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by Abigail Van Buren

After Husband's Passing, Introductions Can Be Awkward

DEAR ABBY: I was married to a wonderful man, "Ted," who was 20 years my senior. In social situations his adult children would introduce me as "Dad's wife" or "Ted's wife." Sadly, my husband passed away, and his children no longer know how to refer to me socially.

I was recently asked by Ted's children how I wished to be introduced, but I'm not sure. I don't think "stepmother" is appropriate because I'm only four to seven years older than they are. Do you have any ideas as to what might be appropriate? -- "MARILYN" IN NEW JERSEY

DEAR "MARILYN": You could be introduced as "Dad's widow," "my late father's wife" or simply by your name.

Read more in: Etiquette & Ethics | Marriage & Divorce | Family & Parenting