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About my name and ILs

(70 Posts)
PukousMucous Thu 29-Aug-13 17:02:27

I wonder if I'm being over sensitive about.

When I got married I didn't change my name, I discussed it with DH and agreed that I would if he would but he wouldn't so neither of us did. Both of us very happy with this arrangement. I discussed it with my in-laws, not to ask permission but just to let them know which I thought was courteous. Their response was what it is to everything "doesn't bother us."

I agreed with DH that DCs would have his name and in-laws duly informed.

Now, three years on they persist in referring to me using my husbands surname. I feel less aggrieved when they address things to both my husband and I as Mr and Mrs DHs surname. But when they send me a birthday card it is addressed to pukous DHs surname. They have never referred to me by my actual name the whole time I've been married.

Reading this back it's a bit of a first world problem but just wondered if I was being a bit U to be pissed off by this.

Pachacuti Sun 01-Sep-13 20:42:05

A lot of women who use Ms will have started using it either when they reached adulthood or shortly thereafter, lil1ady. I've been Ms instead of Miss since I was eighteen or so, just as my brothers started using Mr instead of Master. In fact I can't think of any Ms-users of my acquaintance who did switch title only once they got married (after all, part of the point of Ms is that it doesn't say anything about your marital status; it would be a bit eccentric, then, to only start using it to mark a change in marital status).

lil1ady Sun 01-Sep-13 14:49:45

I took Dh's name when I married and rightly or wrongly I have an expectation that Miss means unmarried and Ms either divorced, or married with own name.

I believe in following tradition, but I respect other peoples decision not to.

Etiquette doesn't come into it in my opinion. You and your dh cane yo an agreement that suited you. you communicated this to your ILS even though you had no obligation to. They should respect yours and Ur dh's decision and if they don't I'd send all incorrectly addressed mail back through the postal system marked "not known at this address" (remember to put their address on the back as sender so they get the message!)

nocarsgo Sun 01-Sep-13 14:05:14

I understand.

I kept my name when I got married and no one knows what to call me, on either side of the family. I mean, it's very simple, I have the same name I always did hmm

My mum "doesn't agree" with my decision, and addresses cards to Mrs Husbandsname.

PuppyMonkey Sun 01-Sep-13 14:00:10

Life would be so much simpler if people just used first names instead of all that formal Mr Mrs Miss bollocks. I find it quite hmm to think your ILs would send something to their SON calling him Mr Whatever instead of Dave or Barry or whatever he's called. Folk are bloody weird aren't they?

Anyway, I haven't sent a Christmas card since 2005. Which is nice.

WorrySighWorrySigh Sun 01-Sep-13 13:52:41

That reminds me cashmiriana, not long after we were married DH & I were in Radio Rentals (shows how long ago!). When I explained to the person filling out the forms that I was both married and Miss, in all seriousness he asked "is that legal?"

Pachacuti Sun 01-Sep-13 11:39:31

I am Dr Pachacuti on one membership card because it insisted I fill in a title and none of the options were actually my title -- so I thought as I was having to pick a title that wasn't mine I may as well pick whichever I fancied (also because whenever mail arrives for Dr Pachacuti it reminds me to check and see whether they've recognised Ms as an option yet -- no luck so far (and yes, I did politely suggest it back when they first made me choose a title)).

cashmiriana Sun 01-Sep-13 11:27:37

It's rude, it's annoying and it's very common. I have been married for 16 years and while FIL and stepMIL use my name, the rest of DH's family still insist on calling me by his surname.

Etiquette changes, but slowly. Government ICT systems assume that any woman using the title Ms - which is hardly a wildly socially subversive notion - has been married and divorced. Last time I applied for my passport I had to fill in three extra sections because the Ms title assumed that at some point I had used other names.

I use the title Ms and my birth surname because I don't think my identity hinges on my relationship to my husband. That's not saying that I think women who change their names are submissive, it's making my own free choice. However it is interesting that colleagues at work were very uncomfortable about my name and the fact I don't wear a wedding ring, constantly asked if I was really married, and eventually concluded that the marriage was shaky, and that my attitude indicated that I wasn't fully committed to my DH.

They also refused to believe that in English law there is no legal requirement to change one's name on marriage, and that one can use whatever name one chooses, as long as there is no intention to defraud.

So, YANBU. It's very rude.

Zoe900 Sun 01-Sep-13 10:25:10

Worry, yeh that is a sensible suggestion, every time I see them it seems like the last thing on anybody's mind. I know they wouldn't mind. I think I have also written "Louise, Phil & Family" on Christmas cards in the past, but then thought, does a letter that goes through the post office require a sur name???? That thought would occur after I'd already posted it!

My cousin put up a post on fb bitching about people who sent her cards to Mrs P Chattel, I think I did that once shortly after she got married! But she's always done everything by the book, gone to a great uni, dated one rower before marrying a nice chap, sensible job. I don't know why but I thought she'd be the type to appreciate a formally addressed letter, but I was WRONG. I'll get it right for her fiftieth! ha ha.

BiddyPop Sun 01-Sep-13 10:22:49

For Christmas cards and "mixed" families, I tend to address them to the Mooney-Clarkson family (putting That MUm name first, that DDad and DCs surname second), if that's any help

BiddyPop Sun 01-Sep-13 10:19:56

My PIL are fine about it. But after 13 years of marriage, I only recently stared getting any money from mum as a cheque to Biddy my name. The most recent was last week, where I got a letter addressed to Biddy DHname, but the cheque inside was to Biddy Myname - passive aggressive biatch! (There is history of belittling me anyway and she doesn't prove of people keeping their maiden names).

Pachacuti Sun 01-Sep-13 10:14:44

Roshbegosh, it is a personal choice, yes. But why aren't you phrasing it

I think it's pretty trivial and whether we choose to keep our father's last name or take our father-in-law's is personal. I prefer my father-in-law

or

I think it's pretty trivial and whether we choose to keep our own last name or take our husband's is personal. I prefer DH

?

Pachacuti Sun 01-Sep-13 10:10:23

I tend to put "The Mooney/Clarkson family" or "Louise, Phil and family".

WorrySighWorrySigh Sun 01-Sep-13 09:54:31

Zoe900 - why not ask them?

Catsize Sun 01-Sep-13 09:53:08

It is annoying. I am forever being addressed incorrectly, as is my partner. We double-barrelled our names after our civil partnership nearly seven years ago. Partner's side of the family refuse to acknowledge it. Others get the names the wrong way around.

Zoe900 Sun 01-Sep-13 09:36:39

can I ask, so many of my friends have their own names and when I write chrismtas cards it looks a mess, addressed to
ms l mooney and mr p Clarkson

is that correct? or, can you put to THe Clarkson Family (eg) if they have children who are all Clarkson.??

Names not real.

wherearemysocka Sun 01-Sep-13 09:29:54

Indeed it is, but nobody questions them for wanting to keep their birth names, or claims that it wasn't their name in the first place.

Roshbegosh Sun 01-Sep-13 09:22:59

Yes they all were given their father's names. Fine. But we can choose to take our husband's if we want to. It is a personal decision.

wherearemysocka Sun 01-Sep-13 09:09:39

I don't understand the whole 'it's your father's name anyway' thing. Nobody says that to my fiancé, my brothers or indeed my father himself, all of whom got their names exactly the same way as I did.

WorrySighWorrySigh Sun 01-Sep-13 08:51:58

Getting a person's name right as in the name they use is enormously important. It is part of saying that you value the person you are communicating with.

Getting it wrong says that you dont care. It says that the person is beneath the level at which you bother about getting their name right.

Using spurious claims of 'etiquette' is saying that this alleged etiquette is more important than the comfort of the person you are communicating with.

MaidOfStars Sat 31-Aug-13 09:53:07

MrsHoratioNelson Erm, I do

Ok, fair enough, my comment probaby sounded unnecessarily abrupt anyway. I just write first names or Aunty X on cards.

I still use my maiden name. Otherwise, cards would be come to Dr and Dr SameName (The Doctors SameName?).

badbride Sat 31-Aug-13 09:17:51

Polite, sane people address a person using the name by which he/she prefers to be known.

badbride Sat 31-Aug-13 09:15:53

"Proper etiquette" is the preserve of ghastly social climbers. grin

TheRealMrsSmith Sat 31-Aug-13 08:35:03

I never took my husbands name when we married, both sets of parents and family knew this. I still receive cards from my parents, DH parents and my siblings addressed to Mrs Smith even though I'm still Ms Jones. Doesn't bother me in the slightest. I still have my own identity, I know who I am and so does DH grin

Roshbegosh Sat 31-Aug-13 07:21:24

I think it's pretty trivial and whether we choose to keep our father's last name or take our husband's is personal. I prefer DH.

MrsHoratioNelson Sat 31-Aug-13 07:15:23

"Also, who the fuck writes their Christmas cards to Mr X and Mrs Y?"

Erm, I do. Like I address cards to my uncle and aunt "Dr and Mrs X" and my cousin and his wife "Mr and Dr Y" because that is the correct and polite way to address people - with their correct names as indicated to you by them.

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