How do you properly address a widow? Mrs. or Ms.?

13 Answers

  • Generally, as a rule, the person should still be addressed as Mrs., unless the person corrects you. Most widows prefer to be addressed as Mrs.

  • Widow Mrs Or Ms

  • Ms Or Mrs For Widow

  • When I was married I went by Mrs. when I was widowed I hated being called “Miss” all the sudden. I was 25 when I was widowed but I still felt that because I was married and had children with my husband suddenly being called “Miss” was almost an insult. I am called Ms. most often but truthfully I still appreciate Mrs. I am not divorced or single. My marital status is widowed. Mrs. is appropriate.

  • I am a widow, my husband died 9 years ago. I have had “mixed” salutations, from my first name only, to Mrs, to being called Miss, by a bus inspector, recently! NO ONE ever addresses me as Mrs. Husband’s first name and Surname. I find it disrespectful, and those telemarketters, also are rude, calling me by my first name, which I find a bit too personal! I was widowed at 53. I have 1 adult daughter, age 24.

  • I believe it’s honorable to be: Mrs. (husband’s first name and the last name. That is the name she still carries, as she has not been divorced:

    Example: Mrs. John Smith

    I do not feel that as a widow I am a Miss; that denotes that I am not, and never have been married.

    MS Linda Smith would leave you to be known as a presently unmarried woman, and possibly appropriate for business matters when you desire to keep your status private..

  • A widow may be addressed as Mrs. but only with the husband’s name that made her a Mrs.

    ie. Mrs. John Brown not Mrs. Mary Brown.

  • Mrs. I became a widow at age 26. I was a Mrs. & remained a Mrs. I think a widow would be upset if you referred to her as Ms. She didn’t get divorced, her husband died.

  • She is still a Mrs as a widow. Widows at my church are still addressed as Mrs. Robertson, or even formally as Mrs. John Robertson.

  • Times-they are a -changin’ !

    In the pre-feminist past, like 1850s, women were by law required to take their husband’s name upon marriage.

    Now, since so many women were jailed, beaten, starved, and fought so bravely for rights and equality for women, WOMEN can decide what to call themselves.

    In most corny etiquette books you will see that a widow is addressed as MRS. Sylvia Patterson ( her married status intact, her husband’s name intact and her first name intact because SHE exists.)

    There is no Mrs. John Patterson, unless it is her mother-in-law.

    MS was invented to show that it is no one’s business whether a woman is married or not. Like to borrow money or get a job or file a complaint or get an abortion, when her marital status matters not one bit.

    Most adult women go by MS, unless they are jesus freaks, and then they are Mrs. whoever or Miss whatsy to verify who owns them (belong to).

    I , on the other hand, married a feminist. I kept my legal name and he kept his.

    WE explained when people asked, “We got married, he didn’t adopt me.” I honor my fabulous radical sisters who made it their life’s work to promote women’s ability to vote, to own and inherit property, to go unescorted into a restaurant, to buy a car with credit, to determine where their children live, and so many other freedoms that today’s women take for granted, everytime I say that!

    It has been a bit confusing since he has passed away and I have to show a marriage license and death certificate to prove that I am his legal heir.

    I would possibly have to do this even if I were Mrs. HIM. Anyone could SAY that.

    I am a widow because my spouse died while we were legally married – but it is no one’s business is it?

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