If men are going through a separation or divorce why do they still refer to their exes as their wives?

A Separation is not a divorce and you are still legally married. "Getting" a divorce, you are still married until the law tells you otherwise and papers are signed. I usually hear "ex wife" or "ex husband" and that just means the couple don't live together and could mean they are just separated or are getting a divorce. Some men may refer to their ex wife as "wife" out of habit.