My husband is running for office. His lit piece and Web site say this:
"(His name), his wife Proto, and children (8-year-old) and E. are proud residents of (our neighborhood)."
(I don't want this Google-able, hence all the parentheses.)
Well, he gave the lit piece to the 8-year-old, and now his ex-wife is all in a huff about how it's worded.
She said, specifically, it casts her out of the picture entirely (FYI: they've been divorced for half a decade and separated for more than 7 years) and makes it seem like I'm the 8-year-old's mom.
Now, originally the lit design said, "wife proto and THEIR children," but I actually suggested he edit out the "their" so as to not make the claim that I am mom, in part because people in the neighborhood do know us and some might say something. The way it's worded now completely glosses over who Mom is, to either child, so people make the leap logically rather than grammatically. We played around with wording a bit, and that's the best we could do.
She apparently wants "He lives with his wife Proto, and their son E. and enjoys weekends with his daughter from his first marriage." Yeah, that will go over well on a political flier. Even taking out the "first marriage" language calls attention to the arrangement and may prompt questions. (Not that people who would have a problem with him having a child or a prior marriage would be voting for him anyway, but still.)
That's my (and the professional campaign manager's, FWIW) opinion, anyway.
(As an aside: If he wins the office, he will be paying about $450 more a month in child support than he is now; it's a full-time well-paid office. So Ex has a vested interest in him winning.)
So...yeah. How would you word this? (If I was running, I would probably say, "Proto, her husband, son and stepdaughter live in Milwaukee," but I don't think you can point these things out if you are the parent to both.)
(My husband's already moved on--this is a longstanding pattern with them, that every little inadvertent slight on his part is him trying to harm her psychically. I obsess.)