I’ve been married three times. The first marriage ended in divorce after ten years, though it was quite amicable and neither of us bears a grudge. My second spouse died at a relatively young age after 18 years. I married again and have been happy married for about five years now.
I sometimes mention my second spouse during conversation. (Both my spouse and I do this, as my spouse also lost a spouse to death about 15 years ago.) My comment is usually fairly innocuous, like, “Oh, my spouse and I visited there in 1998 and really enjoyed it!”
The awkward part is that the person I’m speaking with doesn’t know the name of my deceased spouse, so I usually end up saying “second spouse” or “deceased spouse” to distinguish that person from my current spouse. But it still seems rather odd to me.
Former spouse? Second spouse? Deceased spouse? The spouse prior to this one sitting next to me? My last spouse, excepting this one? My penultimate spouse?
Anybody have an opinion on this? I definitely don’t say “ex-spouse.”