Adults with parents who re-married: Step-parent or Parents spouse?

posted 2 years ago in The Lounge
  • poll: What would you call this man in my situation?

    Mom's husband

    Step Dad


  • Post # 2
    2181 posts
    Buzzing bee

    My mom remarried when I was 17. I just call him by his name. I talk about them as “my mom and FirstName” to other people for the most part. When I have to give him a title I flip between stepdad and mom’s husband now, but for the first 5 years of their marriage he was never stepdad, always mom’s husband. I think now I use stepdad on occassion because he’s slowly started being more of a dad to me.

    Post # 3
    198 posts
    Blushing bee
    • Wedding: August 2020 - La Jolla, CA

    I do the same. My mom and dad divorced when. I was 5, she remarried when I was 11, they split when I was 18, and she re-re married when I was 20. So I call my first step dad my ex-step dad, and this husband is just my Mom’s husband. He had no part in raising me, so he’s not any sort of dad to me. 

    Post # 5
    840 posts
    Busy bee

    My husband has an adult son (he was 19 when I met him). He refers to me by my name or as his step-mom (which makes me chuckle). Our relationship is more brother sister, no kind of authority but he knows I got his back. He also has two step dads that he doesn’t have a great relationship with. He refers to them by name only.

    Post # 6
    2849 posts
    Sugar bee
    • Wedding: April 2016

    My dad got remarried in my mid 20’s… no way in hell would I ever call her my stepmom. and her daughter is NOT my stepsister! it makes me cringe to even type that.

    Post # 7
    2593 posts
    Sugar bee
    • Wedding: April 2017 - Valleybrook Country Club

    View original reply
    jellybellynelly :  either way works. if you don’t feel like he’s in a ‘dad” role to you, then mom’s husband is perfectly fine. I wouldn’t be confused by it eventhough my parents are married. I refer to my grandmother’s significant other as “grandma’s boyfriend” where my younger cousins might refer to him as “grandpa” since they have been together over 10 years. Even if they married, it would be “grandma’s husband” I have got some strange looks when I say my grandma’s boyfriend, but that’s what he is! With my family and people who know him, it’s alwyas his first name. They will say “our grandkids” and act as if they’re married and call each other husband and wife. Each situation is unique and calling him mom’s husband is not strange to me at all! That is actually your relationship to him!

    Post # 8
    7231 posts
    Busy Beekeeper
    • Wedding: September 2012

    My dad remarried when I was about 14, I’ve always called my stepmom by her first name. I do refer to her as my stepmom, and together refer to them as my parents. I think the difference is they got married when I was younger. I also lived with my dad/stepmom so she and I have a close relationship.

    My mom has been with the same man since my parents divorced (so 20+ years) but they’ve never married. I call him by his first name and refer to him as my mom’s boyfriend because we’re not that close.

    Post # 10
    1221 posts
    Bumble bee
    • Wedding: August 2018

    I’m in a very similar situation. My mom met her husband when I was 20 and they got married like a year ago. I call him my “Step-dad” only to people who don’t know me that well, otherwise I call him by his name.

    He has jokingly called himself my “new dad” or signed off on emails as “Your Polish dad” and it totally weirds me out. Like, damn, I’m 27.

    ETA: And I do not think of his kids as my family at all. They are definitely his kids and not my step-siblings. That’s too weird.

    Post # 11
    470 posts
    Helper bee
    • Wedding: August 2016

    My parents divorced when I was 19, and my mom remarried when I was in my 20s. I just call him by his name. I agree with PPs too about the new spouse’s kids…I don’t consider them my step-siblings. Especially since I already knew them prior to our parents getting married…not good people lol.

    Post # 12
    2107 posts
    Buzzing bee

    View original reply
    jellybellynelly :  My stepkid refers to me as “step-mom”, but calls me by my first name. I have to say, I don’t really understand why it’s “cringey” to call him a step-dad to your friends. Obviously he is not your father, and unless he has done something super weird or inappropriate– I don’t really see what is cringe-worthy about it. It’s just a title, I wouldn’t be offended if my stepkid referred to me as “dad’s wife”, but society would probably rake me over the coals 3x over if I referred to my stepkid as “husbands spawn” haha. 

    I obviously err on the side of step-parents because being one– I understand how hard it is. So, maybe cut him a little slack if he is good to your mom and shows sincere interest in getting to know you? Marrying someone with a grown child that thinks they are cringey just for being who they are is tough!

    Post # 13
    2314 posts
    Buzzing bee
    • Wedding: October 2019 - Chateau Lake Louise

    View original reply
    jellybellynelly :  My daughter just turned 18 and she calls FH by his name and refers to him as “mom’s b/f or fiancee”

    I think a “Step-parent” designation is for someone who parented you. Which, he never did. Seems pretty straightforward to me. 

    ETA: If my daughter ever decides to have kids, though he WILL be Grandpa. Because he will be in that role. She’s already said she would refer to him that way. FWIW

    Post # 14
    87 posts
    Worker bee

    Both my parents are divorced and remarried. My mother remarried when I was 4 and her husband raised me. He is my stepfather. My father remarried when I was in my 20’s, I would never call her my step mother. She is referred to as my father’s wife. I think the title ‘stepfather or stepmother’ should be reserved for those that raised you and were in your life as a child. Although, I might consider letting my child (if I ever have one) call my father’s wife grandma, since he or she will know her since when they are born. Should note that my father’s wife has her own children and I don’t consider them step siblings. I barely know them.

    Post # 15
    2669 posts
    Sugar bee
    • Wedding: December 2016

    I was 17 when my dad remarried (they got together when I was 14). Although I always call her by her first name, when talking to people who don’t know her I refer to her as my step mum. I lived with them from 16 to 23, so she did have some sort of parental figure role in my teenage years.

    I think if I had’ve been in my 20s/moved out when they got together and got married, I would just refer to her as my dad’s wife. If she hasn’t had any sort of parental role, she doesn’t need the step mother title.

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