I treat these relationships as marriages, because the marriage proof might come along later. In some U.S. states these days, acting as husband and wife makes you common-law married. My great-grandfather may or may not have married my great-grandmother because he never divorced his previous wife (she abandoned him). My great-grandmother, according to records, said they were married. I've never found a marriage record, but not all marriage records are easy to find. Even if they were married, it wasn't legal, so he would have been a bigamist. Until the point where I have all the documents to prove all of that, I list her as his spouse.