Q. I would like to know how to introduce my brother’s partner correctly. They have been living together for many years and have two children, but are not married. I have introduced her as his ‘partner’ at a social function but my brother did not like this and asked that she be introduced as his wife, or my sister-in-law. I do not feel comfortable doing this as it is in essence a lie. One should not simply decide that they want to be called married and asked that others perpetuate the lie, should they? Couples go to lot of trouble financially, emotionally, spiritually and socially to get the status of marriage and it shouldn’t come to those that simply choose to call themselves that.
I have taken to simply introducing her my name and letting her explain her relationship which I know is probably not the best way of handling this.
A. Yes, your protocol is the best way of handling this. It is never necessary to explain relationships when making introductions. Someone’s name is all you need convey and your solution covers both bases – your brother’s dislike of “partner” and your uncomfortableness with using the word “wife.”