If referring to relatives, spouses or partners, ask your source which term they prefer, such as “Joanne’s partner” or “Joanne’s husband”.

Do not assume either that a couple is married, or that a married couple want to be referred to as husband and wife.

Such preferences often become apparent in most interviews or conversations.

If in doubt, tactfully ask for a preferred term, just as you would ask a woman whether she wishes to be referred to as Ms, Miss, Mrs, Dr and so on.

It is better to avoid the term “de facto”.


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