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To want to call the Man I married my Husband

(724 Posts)
Mrsdavidcaruso Sat 02-Nov-13 08:44:21

First I am not saying that Marriage is in any way superior and don't want to have a discussion about that, its more how someone wants the the special person in their life to be described or referred to.

The word Partner is exactly the correct term to use for the vast majority of people who are in a relationship but not married, but I do object when someone refers to my Husband, knowing he is my Husband as my Partner when I have made it clear I find it offensive.

If I am in mixed company where other halves are discussed like parent groups/childrens groups then the word Partner is the right word to use, forms with the word Partner on can (and are) changed by me to Husband.

But in a one to one situation I expect the person I am talking to refer to the man I married (not Mr Caruso alas) as My Husband.

I am going into Hospital soon and the Nurse was taking details, and asked me if my Partner would be picking me up after surgery, now just because I am Mrs C on paperwork does not of course mean that I am still married to Mr C so she was right to use the word in that context.

However when I said my Husband would be picking me up she continued to use the word Partner, when I gently and politely explained that I have a Husband not a Partner and I didn’t want her to keep referring to him as my Partner, I got a lecture from her saying ‘we don’t use the words Husband or Wife or Spouse as it discriminates against unmarried and same sex couples ‘.

As I say I can understand that term being used when addressing a group of people all with different situations and I would never in such circumstances demand the word Husband be used just for me in that situation.

But this was just her and myself and surely having established that I wanted to use the term Husband that she should have shown me courtesy and respect by using the same term herself and not giving me a lecture.

I am afraid in the end I got very annoyed and told her I found her attitude personally offensive and terminated the meeting, ( I will find out what I want to on the net).

I am sure there are plenty of people on here who would find it equally offensive to have their Partner referred to as their Husband or Wife when they have made it clear they prefer to use the word Partner.

So I don’t think I am being that unreasonable or am I?

SomethingOnce Mon 04-Nov-13 22:51:44

I am afraid in the end I got very annoyed and told her I found her attitude personally offensive and terminated the meeting.

That's pretty much the definition of a disproportionate response.

redshifter Mon 04-Nov-13 23:02:55

We don't know she was lectured.

Well yes we do. She said so in her original post. We have to take this at face value. We can't keep going back to the original post and examine it in detail word for word to support our argument because the OP said exactlly this or exactly that, but when it suits us we ignore what she exactly said. OP said she was lectured and she terminated the meeting. Not - it was explained to me so I stormed out.
Why do people only believe the OP's account was accurate when it suits them. We have to take it as she said it as it is all we have to go on.
Why do some people refuse to believe the situation was as she described? Why do they find it hard to believe the HCP could get it a bit wrong or would not 'lecture' someone. It happens.

SomethingOnce Mon 04-Nov-13 23:07:50

Because the type of person who makes such a big deal out of nothing is the type likely to interpret explanation as a lecture?

redshifter Mon 04-Nov-13 23:12:21

And according to the OP she stormed out

No. According to the OP she terminated the meeting.

However, if you want to further your argument this way you then have to accept that, according to the OP she got a lecture from her

The OP was present. You were not.

LEMisafucker Mon 04-Nov-13 23:19:26

Blardy hell, and to think i didnt click on this earlier - you are of course BU and not particularly nice. Hey ho, takes all sorts i guess.

I am Dr LEM, i couldn't care a monkeys what you call me though.

Caitlin17 Mon 04-Nov-13 23:37:44

I find it hard to believe the nurse gave OP a lecture. A lot of what I do for a living involves writing and reading very formal correspondence.Most it will be from other people whose job it is to write very formal correspondence. Occasionally it's written by someone who is an amateur and usually in the tone used by the OP. Meetings are always "terminated" they never end.

The writers think it makes what they are saying more credible ; it doesn't, it just makes it sound exaggerated.

I not think it matters that some people don't care whether their partner is referred to as their husband, partner, significant other or anything else - but it does matter to the OP - and it is something that the HCP could have done with no difficulty whatsoever, but she made the Rules more important than the person - and I find that very unreasonable.

I also find it really unkind when people dismiss someone's genuine and deeply held feelings, as people have done to the OP on here - because they don't care how people refer to their husband/partner/whatever, or because there are far more important, real problems that the OP should be worrying about.

Emotions and feelings are of their very nature subjective. What matters deeply to me may well be utterly unimportant to you, and vice versa - but that doesn't mean I have the right to dismiss your genuine and real feelings.

And I DO think it is wrong to tell someone they are being unreasonable for caring about something just because you don't care about it.

Caitlin17 Mon 04-Nov-13 23:48:27

She asked if she was being unreasonable. The majority of replies think she was. That's what you get if you ask the question, should we all just go, oh no, of course you were right.

Enough already. Someone went into a hospital and had a temper tantrum. No one died. Get over it.

The only reason it went on so long is that some older married people think they are better than unmarried people and much better than gay people and find it offensive to be lumped in with them. That group gets smaller each year as the generations move forward. Eventually there will be no one left who understands what the fuss was all about.

caruthers Tue 05-Nov-13 00:01:36

OP you are correct, the person you married is indeed your husband and you stick to your guns.

All the rhetorical gymnastics and anti-establishment dogma wont change that. You have a husband and your husband has a wife, that's the way you like it and for you that's the way it's going to be.

If someone else is awkward to you when you state your preference then report them because they would be unprofessional and rude.

redshifter Tue 05-Nov-13 00:18:46

And if it is so unbelievably petty to be upset about the term describing your OH, why have a policy on this at all. Let HCPs use whatever word they want, after all if anyone was offended it wouldn't matter because that would be unbelievably petty.
Personally it doesn't matter to me if the wrong term is used but it is a bit rude to refuse to not use a stated preference when known and politely asked to do so. I think this is what upset OP really.

Is 'partner' such a catch all anyway? In the past I have had a boyfriend and another time a girlfriend referred to as my 'partner' but they were not. It was incorrect. I just laughed at this. I wouldn't even correct someone unless it had medical or legal importance in the situation.
Once, while I was in hospital my boyfriend (who I described to them as such) would visit me, staff started to refer to him as my 'partner', I thought it would have been unbelievablypetty to correct them. I was wrong. Confidential information was shared with him because of the staffs wrong assumption. In this context most people think of partner as meaning 'life partner/partner in life'. This man wasn't. I had been dating him for a couple of months, we didn't live together or share our lives together, we hadn't even been in each others homes FGS. Sometimes, especialy in a hospital context, the correct specific term of address can be very important, not unbelievably petty. Also being a husband, wife or civil partner can have important legal differences when it comes to your care etc. So it can help for HCPs to know your specific relationship.
Officially information shouldn't be given to anyone without your consent, but it does happen, especially when you are considered unable to make choices for yourself, and the constant use of innaccurate terms for your relationship with someone can sometimes lead to the wrong assumptions.

redshifter Tue 05-Nov-13 00:23:43

Meetings are always "terminated" they never end.The writers think it makes what they are saying more credible ; it doesn't, it just makes it sound exaggerated
I know what you mean but you can just 'end' a meeting without 'storming out'. You could say 'storming out' is exaggerated language.

redshifter Tue 05-Nov-13 00:54:26

SDT exactly. And I DO think it is wrong to tell someone they are being unreasonable for caring about something just because you don't care about it

That is a problem I have with this policy ‘we don’t use the words Husband or Wife or Spouse as it discriminates against unmarried and same sex couples ‘.
I have friends who are in a civil partnership. It is very important to them to be referred to as husband and husband. They would be very offended and upset if an HCP refused to use their prefered term when asked to do so just because of a policy which is probably intended to NOT offend them. While it would not offend me or a lot of people it is important to them. They feel it validates their relationship more, because they want society to see it as equal to a heterosexual marriage. I can understand their point of view.
Why should their feelings be any less valid.
The distinction is important to them but as it is trivial to some they would be thought of as unbelievably petty.

I have disscussed this thread with my friends that are in a civil partnership. They did want me to put their point of view across. So I tried. However I feel some on here wrongly assume that I amone of these older married people think they are better than unmarried people and much better than gay people and find it offensive to be lumped in with them. None of which is true of me. I think some people may have a little chip on their shoulder.

I think I will give up now.

MurkyMinotaur Tue 05-Nov-13 01:42:10

YANBU to request the word 'husband' or to describe your marriage as a marriage. That's what it is.

I think I can understand your frustration. It can feel as though it's uncool, almost taboo, to want to be called 'married' (or husband or wife) when you are. As though 'calling a spade, a spade' is unreasonable because not everyone chooses the 'spade'.

I call my husband, my husband too. Just because, that's what he is! It would make me sad to be made to refer to him differently to step around our marriage. It's part of who we are together and it's important to us.

Perhaps another option is to ask the nurse to use your DH's actual name?

TheRealAmandaClarke Tue 05-Nov-13 06:43:47

As I hinted At earlier, I'm in the "not worth flouncing out of a hospital appointment for" camp. If I take the op at face value hmm there seems to have been a good deal of awkwardness and then some (unnecessary ) counter awkwardness at play.
But, I absolutely do not believe that nhs staff are "not allowed" to use the terms "husband" or "wife".
It makes sense initially to use "partner" for obvious and aforementioned reasons. And then to roll with the changes as driven by the patient (I'm not sure anyone actually disputes that point). But I absolutely refuse to believe that any nurse has ever been told they must not use the terms "husband or "wife". It just doesn't happen. Ever. I mean, it's never happened.
So, maybe the nurse was lying. Or the OP is mistaken/ exaggerating.

SatinSandals Tue 05-Nov-13 07:11:22

Probably both sides were a bit prickly, had they been more laid back it wouldn't have happened. OP perhaps had a bee in her bonnet about it in the first place. I treat people as they treat me so if someone is friendly and just asks if I can say husband I would,but if they are all antagonistic and have an agenda I might, politely, dig my heels in!

redshifter Tue 05-Nov-13 08:21:52

This - I absolutely refuse to believe that any nurse has ever been told they must not use the terms "husband or "wife".......... So, _maybe the nurse was lying. Or the OP is mistaken/ exaggerating_

And this - Probably both sides were a bit prickly, had they been more laid back it wouldn't have happened. OP perhaps had a bee in her bonnet about it in the first place. I treat people as they treat me so if someone is friendly and just asks if I can say husband I would,but if they are all antagonistic and have an agenda I might, politely, dig my heels in!

Common sense at last after 29 pages. smile

Skygirls Tue 05-Nov-13 08:24:40

Have my very first biscuit

BitOutOfPractice Tue 05-Nov-13 09:13:26

SDT I can't help thinking that you have totally missed the point of aibu! The op asked if we thought she was unreasonable. I said she was. Some said she wasn't. That's what happens when you ask for opinions. You tend to get them.

appleeyes Wed 06-Nov-13 10:33:35

HUSBAND is not a dirty word. Neither is PARTNER. But both can cause offence if used inappropriately. They do not mean the same thing, so let's not pretend that they do. 'Partner' is the word we use to describe an unmarried cohabiting couple. Married couples are husband/wife. The OP clearly does think that being married is different and better to not being married, otherwise she wouldn't have bothered. I happen to agree. So does the law. So do all the gay and lesbian people around the world who are currently fighting for the right to be married. We all deserve our relationships to be treated with respect and the appropriate words to be used to describe them, whether it's a partner, a husband, father, stepfather, whatever. These things are important to people.

Anti-discrimination policies were put together in order to be sensitive and to avoid causing upset and offence. To insist on calling him 'partner' on the basis of such a policy was insane. It was clearly causing offence and it was inaccurate.

In this situation, I don't see why the nurse had to use the word partner at all. She could just say, 'Who is picking you up?' - 'My husband.' And then she could have referred to him correctly.
YANBU

appleeyes - I certainly agree that "these things are important to people" but don't agree with the idea that everyone wanting to be married automatically thinks being married is "different and better than not being married" - yes, it may be better for them, hence deciding to get married at that time, but that doesn't have to mean better generally.

As I mentioned upthread I'm married but more often continue to use the word partner, or at least slightly avoid words "married" and especially "husband/wife" - it's about equality and inclusivity, and feeling "my husband/ my wife" is a little possessive etc.
- perhaps I never got used to it too, after being together not married for a few years?

diddl Thu 07-Nov-13 09:52:49

Did OP ever come back?

Coupon Thu 07-Nov-13 09:56:08

YANBU. Fine to refer to a partner if you haven't yet been advised. But if someone asks you to use a different term, it's polite to use it.

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