With modern high divorce rates, a lot of people get married more than once in their lives. Saying "my ex-wife's new husband" is a bit awkward. Is there anything more graceful?

I came across it in this video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RqXGxLWPWMQ. They proposed "ex-in-law" and "outlaw", mostly in jest.

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    "Your replacement" – jwodder Sep 9 '12 at 23:49
  • If I'd have been a woman, I'd probably call my ex-husband's new partner his floozie and I'd spell it that way too, regardless of what the link says. – FumbleFingers Sep 10 '12 at 0:05
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    Outlaws are the people who would be your inlaws had you made an honest woman of your girlfriend. – MetaEd Sep 10 '12 at 0:09
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    @JLG - true, undoubtedly. But if the first husband referred to his replacement as "my second husband", I suspect people would get the wrong idea. – user16269 Sep 10 '12 at 4:27
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    'Her latest squeeze'? – Barrie England Sep 10 '12 at 7:05

No, there isn't.

This sort of kinship relation is relatively new to Anglophone cultures, and there are really no established norms to follow. It takes centuries for terms like this to populate the language and its culture.

Really, you have two options -- or more correctly, a mix of the two:

  1. explain the nature of the relation (once) to anyone who's that interested in it
  2. make up a relation(al term) that will pass under people's radar, and stick to it.

Counterpartner is a reasonable and logical relational term, which unfortunately means that nobody's ever heard of it, and likely won't understand it.

But maybe it'll make them ask, if that's what you want.

  • I agree: I think my ex's new spouse would be much more understandable than my counterpartner, and it doesn't even add an extra syllable. – J.R. Sep 10 '12 at 8:25
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    'Anglophone' --> 'most' – Mitch Sep 10 '12 at 12:36
  • True, but this is an English language question. – John Lawler Sep 10 '12 at 14:43

If you don't want to be friendly, then my daughter’s stepfather might fit the bill [substitute appropriate offspring as necessary]. Why mention the ex-wife/partner at all?

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    Actually, this doesn't need to be unfriendly; this could be used matter-of-factly as well. I can think of contexts where this would work rather nicely. – J.R. Sep 11 '12 at 2:19

Try counterpartner. This article from a site supporting blended or bonus families is written from the woman's perspective relating to the other wife/mother, but I see no reason why counterpartner can't be applied to the ex-husband relating to the new husband/father. However counterpartner doesn't appear in dictionaries yet.

Note also the bonus term bonus mom, which is probably a friendlier way to distinguish between the biological mother and the new mom (a.k.a. stepmother), and from which bonus dad could be extrapolated.

protected by tchrist May 16 '17 at 4:12

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