My ex-husband insists to DD that his girlfriend is his wife. I tell her that they love each other so much that they call each other husband and wife, but they're not married to the government. I told her about how to have a marriage you have to get a license and have a marriage ceremony. Sometimes the marriage ceremony is run by a judge, sometimes a priest or minister. Sometimes it's small. And sometimes it's big, like a wedding. And I said that marriage just means something different to her daddy than it does to me, and at my house she cannot call his girlfriend her "stepmother" because I want something different for my daughter, because if she has a husband someday I want him to really be her husband. I asked what she thought, and she said marriage meant the same thing to me as it did to her, because she can learn a lot and know a lot, and she can tell everyone she made the Honor Roll at school, but unless she really made the Honor Roll it wouldn't matter much to her.
Well, today we were in court for an unrelated issue, and the judge instructed me that I was to start calling his girlfriend his "wife." He said they shared finances, a child, and a home together. They have made promises to each other and to God. And I am to respect their union and stop referring to her as his "girlfriend" and insisting that our daughter call her a "girlfriend" as well.
12/13/2012 UPDATE: I got a copy of the written order from the judge. I thought my lawyer had said that the written order would have this on it, and he said that he had thought it was going to from what our judge said, but it turns out that he didn't include anything about what to call my ex-husband's girlfriend. So, I assume we should continue to refer to her as his wife during hearings, but I'm free to share my views on marriage with our daughter while I'm in my own home. That's not so bad.
As an aside, since the judge viewed them as married, and the whole reason their relationship was brought up was because my ex-husband wanted to have his child support lowered, our judge decided to not lower my ex-husband's child support obligation. It says that although the father claims to be unemployed, his wife is working full-time, and he is taking care of their infant son while she works, so it can be assumed that he is a SAHD, and not an unemployed single father. And our daughter should not have her lifestyle lowered beccause her father chose to expand his family, so his child support obligation remains unchanged.
- Only group members can vote in this poll.
- 45% - Follow the judge's instructions
- 54% - Continue to insist that your daughter not call her a "stepmother" in your home
by AnonymousDecember 11, 2012 at 3:40 PMI'd petition for a competent judge.
December 11, 2012 at 3:40 PMhow old is your daughter?
by AnonymousDecember 11, 2012 at 3:41 PMIf your daughter was in court with you then follow the judges orders or you're teaching her to not listen to a judge. But if she wasn't there then screw him, I'm with you on the marriage beliefs
by AnonymousDecember 11, 2012 at 3:41 PM
um, are you serious? I was my sd's "stepmom" even though I never married her dad. We were together for 9 years. She chose to look at me as one... so that's what I was to her!
And when she is older, if she chooses not to get married, you are just gonna have to suck it up and get the fuck over it. It's not your decision, it's hers. And marriage is just a piece of paper, so what's the big deal?
by AnonymousDecember 11, 2012 at 3:42 PMNo judge is that dumb.
by AnonymousDecember 11, 2012 at 3:42 PM
all the stepmom will be here soon.
December 11, 2012 at 3:43 PMExactly
Why does it matter to you so much?
So...did they get married in the church, but not legally by the government yet?
I guess I'm not understanding.
Still, your DD can call her whatever the fuck she wants, so long as it is respectful of the fact she is an adult, kwim? I'd love to see the judge enforce the order against the child.
And, instead of calling her "girlfriend" YOU can call her by her NAME. I don't get why you would refer to her as "Your Dad's girlfriend." Just say her name.
Just step out. Your DD will call her what she wants, there is no way the judge can enforce this, really. Don't "insist" one way or the other, let your DD find what she wants to call this woman naturally. It could be a nickname, the woman's real name, or if your DD decides, stepmom. The title isn't what is important: the relationship is. Like it or not, this woman is probably going to be around a while and impact your child's life. So hopefully she is good to DD and DD feels comfortable with her.
by JC2223December 11, 2012 at 3:45 PM
I would have said that until the court can show me proof of their legal union...she's still just a girlfriend. If he gets sick or hurt and ends up in the hospital incapacitated, she will not be allowed to legally make any life decisions for him because they are not legally married. Why a legal judge is telling you to call someone a title they don't legally own is beyond me.
On the other had...stop explaining it to your DD. You've made your point to her about why you call the GF what you call her...leave it at that. You can still call her what you want, I can't see how anyone can stop you, but stop talking about it to your DD.