What does the term for the in-law relationship become when someone is widowed?
For example when someone is divorced, I have heard the relationship dubbed ex-in-laws. Is there a similar term or phrase that I can use in a widowed relationship?
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In common usage, the parents of a deceased spouse remain one’s in-laws:
Even though they might be expected to be especially supportive of their grieving daughter- or son-in-law and grandchildren, not all in-laws are helpful to the widowed.
Widows in Zimbabwe are routinely evicted from their homes and land, and their property is stolen by in-laws, Human Rights Watch says.
Increasing numbers of Japanese widows are taking advantage of a procedure by which they can sever ties with their in-laws in a form of “posthumous divorce.”
A majority (21.60%) of widows [in India] had received help from their in-laws or in-laws' relatives. The next largest group (16.80%) of widows received moral as well as material support.
Question: Do I owe it to my children to keep in touch with their grandparents (my in-laws) after the death of my husband? Although they are nice people I don’t agree with their values and I just don’t have the energy to keep in touch with them.
In social situations where a widow/widower is called upon to introduce the parents of their dead spouse, how they are addressed depends on how much information is required to avoid awkwardness. “My mother- and father-in-law, my late husband’s/wife’s parents” probably wouldn’t offend anyone and wouldn’t elicit the question, “Oh, and is your husband/wife also here?” from someone too clueless not to ask. After someone remarries, depending on the relationship, they could be introduced as “my first in-laws” or as one’s children’s grandparents. It all depends on cultural and familial expectations and how the relationship plays out in that context.