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4 Bumps

Would this be a stepmother or is there another term that would fit?

As you know, I'm a writer. I'm working on a book, and I have a character that is confused, and I realized that his confusion was due to my own. So here's my question:

A man has an affair, and has a child with his mistress. This child spends the first 20 years of his life living with his mother, and seeing his father occasionally, but the father's wife never knew about the child.

Would you call the father's wife the child's stepmother? I think that fits, but I've always thought of "stepmother" as being a wife that came after - not necessarily after an ex-wife, but after the birth of the child. So, it seems...odd to me for him to refer to her that way, but I don't think there's another term that would fit that situation, is there?

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Asked by wendythewriter at 5:04 PM on Dec. 8, 2012 in Relationships

Level 33 (61,976 Credits)
Answers (8)
  • well really it is a step mother but I would call her fathers wife since she knows nothing about him

    Answer by LostSoul88 at 5:07 PM on Dec. 8, 2012

  • Well, I'm sticking with him being confused and thinking "is she my stepmother or what?", but it was just that as I was writing it, I was like "heck, I'm not even sure what to call her!" lol

    Comment by wendythewriter (original poster) at 5:12 PM on Dec. 8, 2012

  • Father's wife. Stepmother infers some kind of role in the child's life.


    Answer by 3libras at 5:16 PM on Dec. 8, 2012

  • Specific to your situation, I think it would make sense for your character to have a capitalized phrase that means that person to him, but isn't necessarily a common, universal thing. Like when he thinks about her, he refers to her as Real Wife or Mrs. (whatever the surname is).

    There are some convoluted relationships in our family because all the kids (the wholes, halves, steps, and halves on the other side) grew up in the same neighborhood and consider each other family, even though several aren't blood related - they each have a half sister or brother in common. They just refer to the other parents by their first names.

    Answer by NotPanicking at 5:20 PM on Dec. 8, 2012

  • Stepmother is probably the closest fit, but it isn't exactly right. I like the idea of thinking of her as say, Mrs. Smith. You have Mom, Dad, and then Mrs. Smith, who is married to Dad but not your mom. It gets complicated.

    Answer by Ballad at 5:26 PM on Dec. 8, 2012

  • Mom

    Answer by GlitteribonMom at 7:07 PM on Dec. 8, 2012

  • Fathers wife

    Answer by booklover545 at 9:30 PM on Dec. 8, 2012

  • she would be the child's stepmom anyway you look at it, just because she is married to the child's father.

    Answer by mamabear484 at 5:13 PM on Dec. 10, 2012

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