At the end of the civil union ceremony, the officiant declared us civilly ensconced. Not wife and wife, spouses, etc. Civilly ensconced. Yeah, sounds lovely.
After we got the domestic partnership, it was easy to introduce M as my partner. Hasn’t been so easy to describe the relationship after the civil union. Partner doesn’t really do the job any more, since it may give the impression that we haven’t “upgraded” to the civil union. Unionist doesn’t work.
After a little trial and error, I think we’ve settled on the perfect phrase: Jersey Wife. Since our . . . ensconcement . . . only legally has to recognized by the state of NJ (not private employeers!), I think that pretty much sums it up.