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AIBU to be surprised that in 2013 people are up in arms about a woman keeping her surname on marriage?

(239 Posts)
ComposHat Belgium Thu 31-Jan-13 23:45:48

For clarity's sake, it is worth stating that I am a gentleman mumsnetter who is due to get married in the spring.

My fiancée is keeping her surname after the marriage. It wasn't something we'd discussed, it was just something both of us assumed that we would both keep our surnames on marriage.

Anyway over the last few weeks I've been shocked at some people's reaction to this.

My fiancée met her Aunt who was over from Australia who asked her what her surname would be after marriage, to which she responded 'same as it is now.' her Aunt was a bit dumbfounded and her Aunt's husband who is a bit of a stereotypical unreconstructed Aussie male, starting going on about 'what sort of bloke would stand for that' I'm amazed he hasn't put his foot down' etc etc.

A male friend of my parents had a similar reaction. He asked my mum how she felt about there being another Mrs Hat in the family and when she explained there wouldn't be, he was beside himself.

Am I really surprised that people have such definite opinions on such things and feel entitled to express them to us in quite vehement terms?

5madthings Thu 31-Jan-13 23:53:04

Oh people get funny about this.

My dp and I are not married so the mad things have a double barrel led surname, if we ever do get married I won't be changing my name. My mil hates this and every now and then other poeople comment on it.

Is you can't be properly committed....ERM 15years together, five kids and as mortgage, wills life insurance etc I think that's pretty committed..

Anyway congratulations on your upcoming nuptials, hope you have a perfect day and a long happy marriage smile

McNewPants2013 Thu 31-Jan-13 23:55:12

neither me or DH has our premarried names, we created our own.

To me and DH we wanted a family name.

WorraLiberty England Thu 31-Jan-13 23:56:14

YAB a but U if you can't see that some people find it odd...particularly older generations.

But if they were really 'amazed' 'dumbfounded' and 'up in arms' then I'd say there's more than a touch of the drama llamas going on there.

Rowanhart Thu 31-Jan-13 23:57:12

I've kept mine. Don't give a knack what people think. I just say its because I is a professional and everyone knows my name.

Dahlen Thu 31-Jan-13 23:57:14

YANBU. They clearly need to get a life.

ComposHat Belgium Fri 01-Feb-13 00:00:32

To be honest worra it wasn't that they were disproving that surprised me, but the fact that they were so vocal had no problems communicating that view to us in pretty strident terms.

I resented the implication that I should stand up to my wife to be and tell her she MUST take my name and that I should naturally want and expect her to do this, when I don't!

TraceyTrickster Fri 01-Feb-13 00:04:38

I am astonished that an Australian would be so surprised.

I live in Aus, and would say about 70pct of all my acquaintances and friends keep their maiden name after marriage.
I use both, depending on circumstances- and no one ever says anything. In fact here it is more acceptable than in UK.
(but also defactos have status here which might change perceptions).

Can only assume the Aunt and Uncle are from Queensland which seems to be a parallel universe.

maxmillie Fri 01-Feb-13 00:05:32

Yanbu I have 3 children with my partner and I still have the surname I was born with because we are not married (not that I would have changed it anyway)

You need to ignore them, stop listening to their ridiculous outdated opinions and do what you two feel is right - cos it's only going to get worse post-marriage if kids come along if this is what they're getting their knickers in a twist about now.

ComposHat Belgium Fri 01-Feb-13 00:07:56

He's late 50s and revels in his sexism and boorishness.

He's from Perth and she's originally from the UK

musicposy Fri 01-Feb-13 00:08:02

My DBro got married in the summer. He's much younger than me and Dsis and I are already long time married, both have taken our husband's names.
We had written stuff like "to the new Mr and Mrs Bloggs" on their cards etc. She then announced she would be keeping her name and not taking DBro's. When they have children she wants him to take her name.

Obviously they had discussed this and were happy with it. The rational side of me thinks, why shouldn't she keep it? Why should she have to follow convention? Why shouldn't he take her name instead? This was 2012, not 1900, after all. Of course a woman should be equal.

But, I felt strangely hurt. I think that was mostly because I could see how upset my Dad was. My children have DHs name as does my nephew have my BIL's name. So now the family name we grew up with will die out. My Dad has done masses of family history on the name and there is a lot of history behind it (as there is with anyone's name). I think for the last 35 years he has lived in the secure knowledge that he has a son and the family name will continue. I know he feels the loss. I think he felt it was a sort of betrayal by my bro.

My parents have had to get used to it, of course, and being sensible they don't mention it to them. But it is something which sticks with them, a sadness, and so sometimes (even though I know IABU and it's none of my business to boot) I think "would it really have hurt her?"

VinegarTits Fri 01-Feb-13 00:10:24

well some people need to step out of the dark ages, good for her and good for you for supporting her decision

Ooh, I didn't know you were a bloke, compos. Congratulations on your upcoming wedding!

I do find it really odd too - I know DH gets a lot of comments asking him if he's 'upset' and my mum finds it very hard to believe she won't 'offend' him by referring to me by my birth surname. He couldn't give a flying fuck.

I have noticed it seems to be one of those things some people take very personally - I think maybe it's because they feel as if your fiancee is implicitly criticizing their choices by not doing the same? I always get that feeling from people, anyway.

ComposHat Belgium Fri 01-Feb-13 00:17:53

I have noticed it seems to be one of those things some people take very personally - I think maybe it's because they feel as if your fiancee is implicitly criticizing their choices by not doing the same? I always get that feeling from people, anyway

Yes I think there's something in that. Still maddeningly absurd though!

5madthings Fri 01-Feb-13 00:19:27

music surely you our your sister could have kepot your name and passed it onto your children. Would your brothers wife's name have not continued if she had changed her name?

Its a tradition that had it roots in the fact that women were essentially property that was given to their husbands, they legaly ceased to be a person once married.

Its not a tradition that I wanted to continue.

Some peopled do seem to take it as a personal slight? My mil certainly does and for years she only recognized/wrote dp'surname in relation to the children, drove me mad and I would correct it, once the boys got old enough they corrected her themselves and she seems to have accepted it nows but is still not happy and yet they actually have dp's surname as well!!

BackforGood Fri 01-Feb-13 00:20:35

What Worra said.

It is daft.

Mind you, I think weddings do turn into an excuse for people to show how mad they are.

musicposy Fri 01-Feb-13 00:31:18

"music surely you our your sister could have kepot your name and passed it onto your children. Would your brothers wife's name have not continued if she had changed her name?"

Yes, we could have done and probably might have done. But we both got married 20+ years ago when the world was a little different and it's way too late now that our DCs are well into their teens. I think we both assumed, two decades back, that we wouldn't need to because DBro would.

SIL has brothers, so it's not for the reason that her name would die out. And without disclosing too much her name isn't really even her name - has been changed over the years. I think that's another reason why my parents are struggling with it.

However despite all this I do know it's Bro and SIL's choice and a choice they are perfectly entitled to make. I know IAB very U to care about it. But it does produce an emotional response in me and I really don't know why. I have to make my logical side tell my emotional side this is none of my business and their choice alone.

I suspect this is emotional response is what you are up against, OP. Oh, and btw, congratulations and I do think you should both do whatever makes you happy. It really is no one else's business. smile

StuntGirl Fri 01-Feb-13 00:33:53

I think LRD is spot on.

Congratulations btw smile

5madthings Fri 01-Feb-13 00:38:19

Yes I agree its an emotional response and you at least recognize that. I got together with dp 15yrs ago and I don't think it was that unusual then? And when we had ds1 it wasn't odc to give him both surnames but my mil certainly thought so.

It never even occured to me not to give my children my surname as I always knew I wouldn't change my name when I got married.

Will your brother and sil's children def not have your brothers name, maybe they will use it as a middle name?

Or you and your children can still change your name by deed poll? grin

I just think its one of those traditions that has continued but there is no reason for it to continue. My children will give their children whatever name they choose and I don't think I will be bothered tbh.

KC225 Fri 01-Feb-13 00:38:22

I've kept my surname when we married 7 years ago. Husband wasn't fussed, it wasn't even a discussion.The children have my husband's name. I really don't sweat the Mr & Mrs that his parents and my Mother still insist on doing and Christmas cards etc. School always refers to me as Mrs and the children's name even know all the paperwork, emails are in my name,

I would say that the only time I have a twinge of 'ohh' when we travel abroad and the children's passport are different to mine. Maybe I should have thought that through a little more

AdoraBell Chile Fri 01-Feb-13 00:39:08

OP before OH and I were even engaged I was put down as Miss OH's Name on a seating plan. When I made it that clear I was a bit miffed I got an I got an incredulous " well, what name do you expect to go by?confused " that was only 15 years ago.

chipmonkey Fri 01-Feb-13 00:49:14

MIL kicked up a huge fuss when I kept my name and a slightly lesser fuss when SIL ( BILs wife) kept hers.
She also makes a point of leaving an address book open in her hallway with
Chip dhsurname and SIL dhsurname written in with our phone numbers!
She also made a point of ringing my job once and going "Can I speak to Mrs-er- Miss - er- Mrs- er- chipmonkey please?" The manager who answered the phone was a bit hmm but as this is actually mild compared to some of the things she's done, not all that surprised. I'm not sure what the point of it was. I think it was so that the manager might go "Oh, do you know, chipmonkey, that people find it impossible to know what to call you, don't you think you'd better change your name?" But as no-one in my job has ever changed her name on marriage, she's fighting a losing battle there.
I also get correspondence from different eye departments in hospitals from time to time, letting me know about different lectures going on. One hospital always sends me two, one addressed to Ms chipmonkey and one to Mrs dhsurname. I have no idea how they got my "married" name as I never use it, ever! I suspect that MIL may have rung them up and told them this name as no-one else I know would be bothered but it is a waste of paper!

5madthings Fri 01-Feb-13 00:51:01

chip I would have crossed it out and put my surname and I have done this!

ZombiesAreClammyDodgers Fri 01-Feb-13 00:51:27

I kept my surname too and am so surprised when anyone has an opinion on it!!
A question- all of you who've kept your own surname- do you go by Ma or Mrs?
I prefer the former but some people seem to think that's only divorcees? Bollox I say.

ZombiesAreClammyDodgers Fri 01-Feb-13 00:51:51

Obviously ms and not Ma!! grin

5madthings Fri 01-Feb-13 00:53:09

Actually that reminds me we used to visit dp's gran in an OAP home, mil would sign in herself and dp and the children and me all with only his surname, I would cross it out and sign in with my surname and the children with the double barreled name... Petty yes but god she drove me mad with it!

ComposHat Belgium Fri 01-Feb-13 00:53:26

Cheers for the congrats everyone.

I really have no problem with a couple deciding on whatever surname or combination of surnames they prefer, but I am surprised how engrained the idea of 'thou must take your husband's name' is in some people's mind.

I mean it is hardly a brand spanking new idea to keep your surname on marriage and surely someone who hasn't spent the last 30 years or so in coma will have come across it happening before.

musicposy Fri 01-Feb-13 00:54:05

I think it's probably the fact that SIL has categorically (and very loudly - she's quite forceful!) stated that the children will have her name, and not his at all, that has probably upset my parents most.

But I absolutely agree with this -

"I just think its one of those traditions that has continued but there is no reason for it to continue. My children will give their children whatever name they choose and I don't think I will be bothered tbh."

And yes, my children will be free to have whatever name they like. I don't think it would bother me. They could change to my former name, or add it, but I don't think they will as it doesn't mean so much to them. My eldest is not far off 18 so I certainly don't have a say in that any more! I could add it back to mine, too, you're right. It just might seem a bit odd after all these years and I suspect I would upset DH's parents - he's the only son. I also quite like the connection I have with MIL of us both being Mrs X. But, again, that is my choice just as it is SIL's choice to keep her name.

I do find it an interesting discussion, though, because it is weird to know a feeling is unreasonable and yet still feel it. I suspect a lot of people somehow take it as some sort of slight without checking themselves to tell themselves they are not acting rationally.

5madthings Fri 01-Feb-13 00:54:54

I go by miss or ms.

5madthings Fri 01-Feb-13 00:57:30

I guess its just ingrained and has been taken for granted for so long that it is assumed to be the 'right' thing to do but once you question it you can see its not but that emotional response is hard to overcome?

TheDoctrineOfSciAndNatureClub Fri 01-Feb-13 01:02:33

YANBU. It's weird which people take this in their stride and which do not (looking at you, DM, with your "hope I don't forget what to write on letters" - well, do what you've done my whole life, hey?)

5madthings Fri 01-Feb-13 01:05:36

I tell you what else is annoying, if dp and I ever do get married then we have to re register the madthings! They will get a new birth certificate showing dp and I as married, but we weren't married when we had them. I have no idea why this is necessary?! Will it undo their 'bastard' status?!! Very kids and we have to play for it if course!

5madthings Fri 01-Feb-13 01:05:56

Very odd not very kids.

5madthings Fri 01-Feb-13 01:06:37

And pay not play! Autocorrect gone mad.

AdoraBell Chile Fri 01-Feb-13 01:06:48

In the UK I was Mrs Me-OH. DDs are Me-OH too, much to the PIL's disgust. In Chile I am automatically Señora Me, in Spanish it's always Father-Mother until marriage when it changes to Husband-Father, which the DCs get too. When people see DD's documents they assume it's Mr Me and Mrs OH, and address him accordinglygrin. He genuinely doesn't object now that he's got his head around it.

MIL went as far as registering my DDs at the Drs in the UK under OH's name despite knowing what their name is.

stickygotstuck Fri 01-Feb-13 01:15:30

Firstly, congratulations Compo!

This gets on my nerves. I did not change my name when I got married. It never occurred to me I would and, frankly, I find it unbelievable that people still do such a thing, I think it's sexist and something out of the dark ages. There, I said it! And I don't get the 'preserving the family name' line at all. You mean your family as opposed to mine? Er... why?

LRD is right, some people do seem to take it personally when you don't. I would not dream of telling someone else what I think about them changing their names upon marriage (as above, other than to a bunch of strangers on the net grin), and certainly not without being asked directly and by someone I am very familiar with, and being at pains not to offend them. However, people do see fit to tell me what they think of me and DH for not having changed it.

My answer is always "Well, DH didn't want to change his, what was I supposed to do, beat him into submission?". DD's name is double-barrelled (as is mine) and PILs chose to ignore it. In fact, I am convinced they don't even know how to spell it [rolls eyes].

The thing I just don't understand is the amount of people who have asked me 'So you haven't changed your name. How does that work then?' Honestly, you need to be told how it works? confused It works by not spending ages and a fortune telling banks and passport offices, the DVLA, work colleagues, clients, etc. that you have a new name. No?

zipzap Fri 01-Feb-13 01:20:23

I've kept my name because I like it better than dh's surname but even after being married for nearly 10 years, I still get post addressed to Mrs <dh surname>. or occasionally to Mrs <my surname>. Very rarely does dh get called mr <my surname>. If I'm asked, I give Ms My surname. I'm not married to my father so I'm not Mrs My surname yet as I am married it's nice to move away from Miss and so be a bit more grown up (that makes me sound about 14 and desperate to be old, I know grin).

However, it's amazing the way that lots of institutions are not set up to deal with it. My bank I was able to register my marriage certificate and it is on file electronically and so when I get cheques to Mrs <dh surname> I can put them in, no problem. On the other hand, when I tried to put such a cheque into our joint account which is at DH's bank (yes, I'm looking at you, Natwest) they said that the only way I could deposit such a cheque is to take my passport and marriage certificate in each time (so no quick deposits then), they couldn't have it on file and see that sometimes people guess deliberately get my name wrong. Their loss, means all my cheques (not lots but probably a couple every christmas or birthday - always the same people!). It's not like it is a very rare thing, it's something they should be able to sort out in their systems. And other things where they automatically assume that if you are married you have the same name and you can't change it on the system if you don't.

I would have like to have had my surname used for my dc's names as well as dh's as my parents only had 2 girls and so the name is about to die out. However, as dh was very ill around the time ds1 was born, it was as much as we could do to choose a name and we never even got on to talking about surnames. When we came to register ds2, I said I wanted to include it - I suddenly remembered at the registry office (again, we hadn't got round to discussing it beforehand because we were still trying to sort out first names for him and still didn't really agree/decided - we both thought we had agreed something different for the middle name so when the registrar asked what the name was going to be, we gave different answers. Not good when you have already booked a date right at the very end of the time available legally to do it!). DH did a flat absolutely not to including my surname (even as a middle name rather than a surname) because ds1 didn't have it and he didn't think it fair for one of them to have it and not both, and he didn't think it was worth the effort of changing ds1's name by deed poll, that it would cause complications for him later hmm. In hindsight, I wish I'd stuck to my guns and got it included as a double barrelled surname so both kids had both our surnames but I was ill at the time and time was running out and we were disagreeing about the middle name too - something had to give and it was that.

dh's brother got married to his second wife, who happened to have the same first name as his first wife. She didn't want to be a 'Version 2' or discover that stuff got sent to the wrong wife (not remarried, had kept her name, lived in the same place). So at their wedding BIL had changed his name the day before and dropped his surname as his middle name was one that you could use as a surname or first name. Then when he got married SIL automatically got his new name (it wasn't a surprise to her, they had decided jointly to do it and had looked for a surname they both liked, this was their joint favoured solution) However when FIL realised what was happening he subsequently didn't speak to BIL for a couple of years on the basis that he was so upset that his family name was being discarded.

A friend of mine married a while back, and not only did she keep her surname, her dh took her surname as well.

The family fall-out was massive and there were fireworks aplenty, but they've all come to terms with it now.

Selvedge South Korea Fri 01-Feb-13 03:11:44

(aside) Musicposy, it is 2013...

Selvedge South Korea Fri 01-Feb-13 03:20:11

Although it wasn't last summer. Apologies Musicposy.

OP,YANBU. But this response does not surprise me. Lots of people are idiots.

utopian99 Fri 01-Feb-13 05:21:20

Just to add a possible angle to this, i was engaged before i met and married my now dh; we never got married (i called it off,) and are now still good friends and even went to each other's weddings, although this is maybe beside the point.

ANYWAY when I was engaged the first time I remember feeling more and more strongly as the day approached that I didn't want to take his name, and we agreed we'd make up a joint new one. I told friends who asked (and yes there were many) that this was because we would be starting a new family, and why should I become 'his' in a property/old fashioned/anti feminist way, but my TRUE reason was because I really did not like his parents and much of his wider family, and the idea of sharing their name made me think of being bound to them and to a lesser extent him, and really uncomfortable. This amongst more intrinsic other reasons lead me to call things off, and i have never admitted the name issue i had as it seemed so petty but really pointed to a more serious problem.

When i married dh i wanted to take his name, partly because I saw it as a semi-romantic thing (yes i know I'm not his possession, much as I'm also not now his responsibility to look after/keep). The reason for my long waffly response OP, is that although this was personal and I'm sure not the case with you, maybe the reason people feel the right to express their views so strongly is that they wonder about underlying issues which although your fiance doesn't have, I certainly did, so they worry for you...

That being said, it's none of their business so YANBU to think their behavior should be curtailed! As someone else said, weddings bring out the opinionated side to people like nothing else!

SkinnybitchWannabe Fri 01-Feb-13 07:37:45

I was a dumb naive 21 year old when I automatically took my hubbys name when we got married.
Im now a 37 year old woman who hates that surname with a passion and I wish I'd got him to take mine (which I know he would've done)
I really should find out if we could change it. My 3ds prefer my old surname as well!!

SkinnybitchWannabe Fri 01-Feb-13 07:39:10

I forgot the all important YANBU OP. grin

ledkr Spain Fri 01-Feb-13 07:44:51

I didn't change my name but dh's GPS ignore this and even address mail to mr and mrs ledkrs dh!! I consequently have never been able to cash any if my birthday cheques from them.
These are not doddering old people they are active intelligent people in their 70s.
I never mention it. I wouldn't give them the satisfaction.

redexpat Fri 01-Feb-13 08:03:41

It's astonishing isn't it? I kept my name and my title. I was a lefty feminist before I got married, and I still am.

Also I gave up enough for this man, I am NOT giving up my identity too!

DS has DHs name. We decided that a British first name and danish surname would probably be the best combination.

BornInACrossFireHurricane Fri 01-Feb-13 08:06:30

We both double barrelled by deed poll when we got married, as this seemed the most equal thing to do for us (we knew we both wanted the same name as our children when we had them, and giving up my name was a feminist issue for me personally).

My husband had various ridiculous comments about adding my name, and the fact I was keeping mine (including that I didn't think his name was good enough for me) and that he was clearly under the thumb grin

Just ignore the comments OP. Congratulations smile

msrisotto Fri 01-Feb-13 08:09:36

I find it weird that people find it weird too. I suppose I shouldn't be surprised that the older generations in my family have ignored my wishes and refer to me as Mrs. Hisname anyway. Infuriating!

PeneloPeePitstop Fri 01-Feb-13 08:10:05

We kind of did it the other way. DH took my name.

Computer systems at bank etc really didn't like that.

TomDudgeon Fri 01-Feb-13 08:12:50

What skinny bitch said
I was 21 and didn't have the knowledge or balls that I have now at 32
Not sure what I would have done as my 'maiden' (I hate that more than the name change) was a boys name so double barrelling was odd.
I did suggest to dh that I kept my name but he was funny about it.
Weirdly since then I found out that his father changed his surname as soon as he was old enough as the family name was so awful, so there was was no history behind it either.
I've been Dhs surname for 10 years now so I'm used to it but I do regret not keeping my own. Ds1 has it a middle name instead, I kind of hope that that might be the start of a new tradition and though the surname might one say stop, my old surname may continue as a family name.

Morloth Fri 01-Feb-13 08:15:59

I am Australian and got married 15 years ago.

Didn't change my name, most people went 'meh' if it came up. Quite frankly nobody gave a damn.

Weird response there.

I have used Ms Ownsurname most of my adult life, but I get called Miss sometimes (it is still on my bank card that I have had since I was 18 and my driving licence ditto), when asked for my name by shope etc I give my surname and they end to write down Mrs, if asked I say Ms.

ZillionChocolate Fri 01-Feb-13 08:23:27

Congratulations ComposHat!

Utopian I don't think you can read anything into a woman keeping her name other than it's a choice, given that it's not the default option (in the uk at least).

Fwiw I kept my name and definitely did want to get married, I was the one that proposed. I did find that people were quite rude about it and it's difficult to respond with why I didn't change without implicitly criticising name changers, which I don't want to do. I did find "I have a name, I've had it 30 years, I don't need a new one" and "if you like Mrs Zillion DH so much you're very welcome to it" shut people up.

BoringSchoolChoiceNickname Fri 01-Feb-13 08:23:47

To veer off topic, can I just say that I love the phrase "gentleman Mumsnetter". Congratulations OP, and YANBU, obvs.

Can I just say I absolutely love the phrase 'gentleman mumsnetter', it is very genteel and a bit like a title that should be bestowed upon those who are male and write polite posts! Have a wonderful wedding ComposHat!

Ooh X posts Boring!

I've got a weird one. Vile now XH was happy for me to keep my own name and even considered taking my name (until MIL put a stop to it).

All the dcs have my name too, but when dd was born and he went to open her bank account, I didn't find out for ages that he had opened it with HIS surname. That was three years ago, and because he opened it the bank wouldn't even discuss it with me, even though I was telling them that that person doesn't exist.

Couldn't pay in cheques for her, etc etc

He has finally sorted it in the past month.

Funnily enough we divorced this week and I couldn't be more relieved.

ChildoftheMonkeyBasket Fri 01-Feb-13 08:32:06

I didn't change my surname when I got married. My husband's family (mainly women!) all put Mrs Hisfirstname Hissurname on mail they send to me - makes we want to scream.

slug Fri 01-Feb-13 08:39:03

If you really want to get a reaction, the next time you see or talk the uncle and aunt say something along the lines of:

I've thought about you're comment and you are right. A family should have the same surname. I've decided to change my surname to DF's one.

Then step back and wait for them to pick their jaws up off the floor. A friend of mine did this. He said it took his parents a month before they could formulate a coherent response.

CailinDana Fri 01-Feb-13 08:43:51

I took DH's name on marriage mainly because I wanted us all to have the same name and I like the idea of being "The X Family." I wasn't attached at all to my unmarried (I refuse say "maiden" - blagggggggh) name but if I were I'm sure my DH would have taken it, he's not bothered either. It does get my goat massively though when my MIL writes letters addressed to "Dr and Mrs [DH's initial] [DH's surname]." I may have changed my second name but I certainly didn't change my first name!!! It may be extreme but seeing that honestly makes me feel like I don't exist any more. I hate it.

I would never comment on someone else not changing their name though - why would I? I don't get why people think they are entitled to have an opinion on this, it's go absolutely nothing to do with them.

carabos Fri 01-Feb-13 08:50:16

5madthings it is not a requirement that you re-register your mad things births should you marry their father, it is an option.

DS2 was born a couple of years before I married his father. I had no intention of re-registering his birth as I don't believe in re-writing history (especially to benefit a man wink), but DH slipped off one day and did it anyway shock. The registrar told him that in her long career as a registrar she had never done that exercise and had to go to her manual to look it up. This was 20 years ago.

TBH I'm always mildly surprised when young women today change their names on marriage. Seems very old fashioned to me.

When I married XH almost 30 years ago, I announced my intention to keep my own, very unusual surname. MiL's response was " over my dead body". I was so young that I was intimidated into changing and regretted it. I regretted it more when, at the point of divorce, I received a letter from their family solicitor instructing me to resume my maiden name forthwith!

PenelopePipPop Fri 01-Feb-13 08:56:41

Agree with slug DH did this with my stepmum. She soon changed her tune.

Anyway I think YABU to be surprised. I did not change my name on marriage either and it ruffled feathers 8 yrs ago. But I think it will continue to ruffle feathers as marriage becomes more and more atypical. Because marriage seems like an increasingly conservative option people assume you'll go for the traditional hoopla that comes with it because if you did not want that why would you not just live together and raise children together without it?

Personally I married for pragmatic reasons. It still makes life easier legally to make a single binding commitment regarding family and property rather than multiple separate commitments (or worse no commitments and be left with no home when your partner fucks off). I pointed out to anyone that asked that changing my name would require paperwork at the bank and sending off my passport and would defeat the object of the exercise. DH and I are clearly as romantic as rich tea biscuits. But very happy - I hope you and the future Mrs Not ComposHat will be too.

EasilyBored Fri 01-Feb-13 08:57:17

I took DH's name, purely because I wanted us all to have the same name, and I wasn't attached to my maiden name in an emotional way. It was my choice completely, DH wouldn't have minded either way, but didn't want to change his.

I think most people of my generation (latetwenties) wouldn't bat an eyelid over whether someone changed theirs or not.

I do love when people make a whole new surname and wish I could have got DH onboard with that!

Trills Fri 01-Feb-13 09:00:37

I agree with slug

^If you really want to get a reaction, the next time you see or talk the uncle and aunt say something along the lines of:

I've thought about you're comment and you are right. A family should have the same surname. I've decided to change my surname to DF's one.^

YANBU to be surprised that people make such a fuss. I think the "criticising their choice" answer is most likely the correct one. Some people seem to think that whenever there is a choice to be made there is a right choice and a wrong choice, and if you choose differently to them then you are stating that they made the wrong choice (rather than that different decisions can be correct for different people).

It might be relevant on this thread, in case anyone doesn't know:

- There is no legal reason why you can't use two names for, eg., two bank accounts. You're perfectly entitled to have one account under the name 'Mrs John Smith' and one under 'Ms Jane Jones'. You just bring in your identifying documents (marriage cert in the first case and whatever your normal ID is in the second). It is a good idea to explain to the bank that you are known as both names if you do this. Some nice banks will also put a note on your account to say that Mrs John Smith is also known as Ms Jane Jones, but they seem more reluctant to do it the other way around.

While this is all perfectly legal (unless, I guess, you're doing it specifically in order to commit fraud ...!), some banks will tell you it's impossible. My bank told me it was 'illegal' for me not to change my name to DH's now I was married. Don't trust the bank to know the law! We found it easier just to go to a different, more friendly bank.

I'm mentioning this because it's a total bugger getting cheques for your wedding that kindly well-meaning people have addressed to a woman who doesn't exist and has no bank account - especially if those kindly well-meaning people turn out to be quite angry if you ask them to re-write a cheque.

(Btw, I can understand people having an irrational/emotional response to names, I think it's very natural.)

I did not change my name when I got married. It never occurred to me I would and, frankly, I find it unbelievable that people still do such a thing, I think it's sexist and something out of the dark ages.

This attitude is just as bad as the people who get "up in arms" about a woman not changing her name.

I do get a bit stumped when asked why I didn't change mine (invariably by married women who did change theirs), as Zillion said, it's hard to explain without appearing to be critical of their choice. I never even considered changing it for a moment to be honest, it just wasn't going to happen.

I've never had any properly offensive comments about it, but I didn't really tell anyone much, just carried on using my own name, only mentioning it if I have had a wrong name on a cheque for instance. It has become apparent over the last two years that even my close family members thought that my official name was DHsurname and I was just using my own surname out of habit, not got round to changing email address etc. Even though it is 12 years since we got married.

Moominsarehippos Fri 01-Feb-13 09:10:29

I've been married 20 years now and its never been an issue (even from my mum who was ever so proper).

PuffPants Fri 01-Feb-13 09:20:29

I haven't changed mine. But most people change it for me! From the moment we were married, birthday cards come to Mrs X and Christmas cards to Mr & Mrs X. One aunt even addresses me as Mrs husband's first name and surname!

When I receive cheques in the name of this fictional me, I have to take my marriage cert. into the bank and they always sat I should change my name of the account and look at me like I'm Germaine Greer when I say no thank you...

RuleBritannia Fri 01-Feb-13 09:20:43

I kept my surname before marrying my late DH. At a ladies lunch a few years ago, my friends began asking why didn't I change my name. They had been told many times before that that it had not changed but kept they picking away at it. In the end, I just asked them all together, Why did you change yours? They had no reply and it hasn't been mentioned since.

Alligatorpie Fri 01-Feb-13 09:22:15

I don't change my name when we got married 10 years ago, dh's family were surprised and expressed it, but they got over it, although we still get Xmas cars to mr and mrs...

But getting dh's Barclay account converted to a joint one 2 years was a huge pita. The guy was about 23 and couldn't get over it.

ethelb Fri 01-Feb-13 09:31:19

My fiancée met her Aunt who was over from Australia who asked her what her surname would be after marriage, to which she responded 'same as it is now.' her Aunt was a bit dumbfounded and her Aunt's husband who is a bit of a stereotypical unreconstructed Aussie male, starting going on about 'what sort of bloke would stand for that' I'm amazed he hasn't put his foot down' etc etc.

^^ Why did they ask her then? hmm

naomilpeb Fri 01-Feb-13 09:37:29

DP and I aren't married, but this has come up because the children have my surname, not his. No one in DP's family asked us what we were doing with surnames before first DC was born, and we didn't feel the need to tell anyone of our plans, but on reflection we should have because it called an almighty upset after she was born. DP's brother said to him, "But the school will find it really strange that you have a different surname to your children" - um yes, I'm sure they've never come across that in this day and age?! DP's father was already praying for the unborn "they have a word for children born out of marriage, you know, DP" so his reaction was no surprise. DP's mother was utterly shocked and was very odd to us for the first 9 months of DD's life, culminating in her saying she felt there was no point in her bonding with DD as she didn't feel like she was really her grandchild and I could 'take her away' at any point. Yes, seriously. My parents thought it was odd, but didn't, obviously, have the same emotional reaction against it.

It is all fine now, four years and a lot of work at relationships down the line, but it's probably best to tell people your plans if you think there's going to be any fall-out... Dealing with all of that with a newborn baby and no sleep was not fun on either of us!

wherearemysocka Fri 01-Feb-13 09:44:08

I agree it's difficult to justify why you haven't changed your name without giving the impression that you're judging those who do. I've been asked if I'm going to and find it's easiest to just say 'No, I've chosen not to' and change the subject. Ultimately it is one of the few things in life that is entirely your own business.

CMOTDibbler Fri 01-Feb-13 09:49:18

Congrats OP!

I've been married 15 years, and just before we got married someone asked me what my new name would be. I told them it would still be the same, and they asked if dh minded. I had to phone him and ask as we'd never actually talked about it - and he said it had never crossed his mind that I would change it. But lots of people have odd views about it and I've even been asked if I was legally married. Ds has both our names, and I don't give a stuff what anyone else thinks about our names.

Timetoask Fri 01-Feb-13 09:52:19

I have been married for 10 years and kept my surname (not for feminist reasons, I just didn't see the point of it).
I am honestly getting fed up with having to explain every 5 minutes that I am married, but just help my own name.
I am seriously thinking of changing it.
I am not from the UK, in my country every woman I know has kept her name. It is definitely a cultural thing.

Timetoask Fri 01-Feb-13 09:53:09

"kept" not help...
(i keep doing this!)

Miggsie Fri 01-Feb-13 10:02:14

My MIL was upset when I didn't take DH's name.
Ithink she saw it as an indication I was ashamed of the family or something - I wasn't, it's just I was way into my thirties - had bank accounts, tax, passport etc all in my own name and what was the point in changing it? About 30 letters to write, what a faff on, and for no actual purpose at all.

DD is double-barrelled which has mollified MIL a bit, though she did ask why my surname was the first in the double-barrelling!

Also, why is one name more important than the other?

DH can change his name to mine if he wants, I don't care - it's meaningless, and also rather silly - as though the marriage ceremony turns you into another person? It doesn't, it just means your bank gets your name wrong for the next 6 months and messes up credit card and plane ticket bookings (if my friend's experiences are anything to go by).

I also find women who sit "practising" their new name by writing the signature with their to-be-DH's name over ands over a bit disturbing as well. As if somehow their personality is to be subordinate to someone else's.

But it is a cultural thing, albeit one that means nothing to me.

Preposteroushypothesis Fri 01-Feb-13 10:28:35

5madthings some friends who had a baby before they married and subsequently did get married were told that their first born should be re-registered because otherwise any future children born in wedlock would have more rights to their inheritance etc after their death if they didn't! Some archaic law which I'm not sure would actually be followed through with in this day and age surely but I don't know anymore than what they told me.

DP and I are planning on getting married at some point in the future but are in no rush. We have a DD and I'm pregnant with DC2, we have double barrelled our names for the children and I am not planning on changing my name if we do get married. It has raised some eye brows amongst his family when they realised our DD didn't just have his name, however, the worst reaction I've had is from DP's friends. One of them actually said to him that he wouldn't stand for it at all and DP should refuse to wear a wedding ring if I refused to change my name hmm I told him I didn't give a stuff whether he wore a wedding ring as that was his choice the same way my name is my choice...another said he would not be marrying someone who was going to be so ridiculous and stubborn!! Luckily my DP doesn't have his friends viewpoint and is perfectly happy for me to keep my name!

DP is South African, and there is a bit of a stronger male patriarch vibe out there compared with here generally.

joannita Fri 01-Feb-13 10:33:40

I kept my surname when I married and my kids have double-barrelled. Nobody has ever been so vehement in their opposition though a few people express surprise or say don't I think it's a shame? I don't care what they say and when it's my daughter's turn she can make her own mind up. YANBU its about time people were a bit more open-minded.

joannita Fri 01-Feb-13 10:36:37

I still get xmas cards addressed to mr and mrs husband's initial, husband's surname. that really gets my goat. I guess it's fair to assume I might have taken his surname as so many people do, but to give me his initial as well? that completely obliterates me! Why would anyone want that?

ComposHat Belgium Fri 01-Feb-13 10:59:32

^^ Why did they ask her then?

I wasn't there!

limitedperiodonly Fri 01-Feb-13 11:31:15

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

5madthings Fri 01-Feb-13 11:40:01

Its funny isnt how people get so bothered by something, especially when it has no effect on them personally.

Interesting to hear reasons for the re registering of births, our five are all born out of wedlock (another thing that hortified mil) and we arent planning anymore! We looked into getting married a few years ago, just a registry office one and were told we would have to legally re register the madthings and i have a friend that just got married and they were told to re register the birth of their son born before the marriage.

And i agree its like preposterous saud re writing history. I am going to have to google and see what the law is on the issue as our local registry office said we would have to re register the madthings and i have seen it mentioned on other forums as well.

KatherineKrupnik Fri 01-Feb-13 11:55:11

It's not true about the inheritance. I asked when we drew up our wills as one child was born before marriage & one after. We haven't wiped out the stain of dc1 illegitimacy by reregistering her.

I'll be keeping my maiden name whenever we get around to marrying. Why would I change now, its my name!

My mother and father were married in Holland and technically she has a double last name, no hyphen, just the two names after each other as is fairly normal in Holland. Interestingly when they moved to Ireland there was actually an issue with this (I can't remember why exactly as I was too young to grasp it fully) but some official type took great offence that her married surname came before her maiden name. My father explained to them that this is the normal way to do it in Holland but for unfathomable reasons this person was very irritated on my fathers behalf as it was perceived as an insult to him.... my father was hmm about the whole exchange tbh.

My father refers to my mother as [Maiden name] more often than he uses her first name.... and in fact if I'm being particularly obstinate will refer to me as her maiden name too grin

It's fascinating the assumptions though, I get endless letters from medical professionals and the school addressed to Mrs [Dps name] or Summer [Dps name].... despite these individuals knowing full well that I am neither married nor using Dp's surname hmm

babanouche Fri 01-Feb-13 12:00:58

YANBU. They are. I'm personally amazed that more women don't keep their names in this day and age. You never hear of men changing to suit their wife - always the other way round - such a throw back to when women were property.

PostBellumBugsy Fri 01-Feb-13 12:04:12

People are weird aren't they.

I never changed my name, when I was married. I did eventually change my passport when I had the DCs & now I'm divorced I'm glad my passport is the same as the DCs, because I know it can cause issues when they are different.

ComposHat, ignore the dissenting voices, it is just noise. They'll all get over it & the next question will be - so, do we hear the sound of tiny feet & your new wife will get constant glances at her tummy!!!!! wink

ComposHat Belgium Fri 01-Feb-13 12:06:56

If it was a toss up between her surname and mine, I actually prefer hers.

Holland but for unfathomable reasons this person was very irritated on my fathers behalf as it was perceived as an insult to him.... my father was hmm about the whole exchange

Yes this is how I feel! I do not want the misplaced pity of middle aged chauvinists!

3monkeys3 Fri 01-Feb-13 12:09:15

I have a few friends who have kept their own name - if makes addressing envelopes for Christmas cards, etc a bit awkward, but that's the only time I notice it! I didn't keep mine - I wanted to double barrel as I only have sisters and my dad and grandad were both the only boys of their generation, but dh was a but funny about it and it made the name of a celebrity, so I didn't. Maybe I'd have fought harder for it now, I'm not sure.

ComposHat Belgium Fri 01-Feb-13 12:09:21

so, do we hear the sound of tiny feet

We hear the pitter patter of tiny feet most nights - the mice in the flat running amok whilst our cat sleeps soundly on the bed.

TheCraicDealer Fri 01-Feb-13 12:14:37

I take it that the Aussies asked the question as they didn't know what ComposHat's last name was, not because they had an inkling she would behave in such a bluestocking manner.

Meh, I'm not that bothered about it, but I know when the time comes for DP and I to name our kids there'll be some almighty rows. As my career progresses I'm getting less and less keen to change my name when we marry. His is already double-barrelled, and no child of mine will be foisted with a triple-barrelled name. Apparently he cannot just drop one of the names for the kids to replace it with mine, as this would be like "loosing a syllable or something". Knob.

BiddyPop Fri 01-Feb-13 12:14:40

I kept my maiden name on marriage at the start of the millenium. My mum occasionally has had to send me cheques for various reasons over those years, and I had awful trouble getting them cashed as she always sent them to BiddyDHSurname - I had no bank account in that name. Once we had to open a joint account for a building project, I have been able to use that since and the building society lodges them to that no problem. She still sends all post, whether to me or us as a family, to MrsDHSurname - postman laughs about that one. (She had to ring me through switch at work one day and they didn't know who she was talking about, so rang me on mobile instead). I think it's partly cos her SIL (my Dad's Bro's wife) also kept her maiden name and Mum hates SIL (only girls married into the family) so holds that against her (as well as a long list of other imagined slights).

PIL use my correct name. As does my Dad. In fact, I don't think anyone else raised an issue with it at the time - well, raised eyebrows when told but no comments.

I use Ms mostly. I will answer to Mrs, either Mrs Pop or Mrs DHSurname. It gets funny when DH is called Mr Pop (depending on who has arranged what tradesman etc). But while he will usually correct it (I sometimes do, depends on my humour), it's with a laugh 99% of the time.

Fakebook Fri 01-Feb-13 12:15:58

I kept my surname after marriage. My doctors surgery won't let me change my title to "mrs" until I show them my marriage certificate though, so at the surgery I'm still a "miss".

PostBellumBugsy Fri 01-Feb-13 12:21:58

BiddyPop, I've had no problem with cheques in the wrong name as my bank has instructions to deal with cheques in either name. One letter to your branch is all it takes to sort that one out.
I don't care if people call me Mrs Maidenname or Mrs Marriedname - if they are polite & courteous then that is all that matters. smile

ComposHat, congratulations.

5madthings, I think you do have to re-register children born before marriage now. I looked at it a while ago and the gov website was very pointed about it.

DP and I have been together 26 years, and are not married. If we ever did, I am most definitely not changing my name. The faff involved in changing addresses when we moved 6 years ago was bad enough. And I like my name, I don't want to change it. Our DCs have his surname, bu agreement. We couldn't double barrel because we both have long surnames and mine is already double barrelled. I don't think a very, very long triple barrel would really help....grin

Mum has also recently said to me that looking back to when she got married in the 60s it was such a strong tradition to change your name she automatically did it, but if she could go back and do it again she'd not change her name.

BiddyPop Fri 01-Feb-13 12:24:20

Oh, and while I hadn't been bothered either way before the wedding, it was my DH who was more concerned that I keep my name because that was the name I'd already built my reputation on (and how people associated me with my Grandfather, who worked in the same area) so it would be much more useful to me in time to come to be known as Ms (or Mrs) Pop - and he was proven right in that one!!

(Quite apart from the fact we had enough hassle changing all details for moving house to our own place together, without the second lot of hassle changing my name on all official docs too - it's bad enough getting around the fact that my parents registered my birth in our native language in another country, so I have to reconcile the native spelling of my surname with the anglicised version for things like school records (school leaving exams done in native name as that's birth registration) and Uni records (I applied with anglicised name - as that's my name and what I have ALWAYS been known as). If I had to consider adding a "3rd" name into the mix, that would finish me off - especially as I have a passport in country of birth and the administration in that country is pernicity enough, but I want to keep open the option of relocating there in the future so the easiest that can be, the better).

I took my DH name, because i chose him, whereas i had my father inflicted upon me.

From a practical POV, i think as long as both birth parents are listed within the child's name, then it doesn't matter.

I have spoken on the boards how i am supporting a teen on my DH's side, who grew up in foster care. The birth mother had done all she could to hide her birth. Had the teen not at birth been given "our" surname and changed back, it was later changed, we would never have found her (or her us).

She is going to give her child "our" surname.

As, i said, as long as both birth parents get a say and both sides of the family are acknowledged somewhere offical, fine, but it is still to easy for birth mothers to cut one half out of a childs life, even if that child is to be fostered/adopted.

Kendodd Fri 01-Feb-13 12:27:12

Hooray! I wish this was the default position, it just seems strange to change you name if you ask me. Congratulations on you coming wedding.

I've been married 16 years, kept my name, children are double barrelled.

My nan used to keep asking me 'what's your name now' and has told me that she 'can't keep up with what my name is'

Mt cousin (and her children) have had four different last names. Whenever she meets a new partner they all change their names to new blokes name. She's now back to her birth name and I don't know what her children use.

My nan seems to have no problem with her last name.

I just want to add that whether married or not, I'm sticking to Ms, because then you don't have to change anything, so much less fuss and faff grin

I'm not bothered that the DCs have a different name to me, we are very much a family unit and having the same surname wouldn't increase our perception of being a family unit.

Kendodd Fri 01-Feb-13 12:30:00

it is still to easy for birth mothers to cut one half out of a childs life

Do you mean the birth mothers name gets cut out?

mummytime Belgium Fri 01-Feb-13 12:30:38

I kept my surname 20+ years ago, and know several people who did the same about the same time. It wasn't new then. FIL did complain a bit to SIL, but as our children took DHs name it's not been too much of an issue.

I was actually spooked when my nieces were addressed as Mrs newHfirstname newHsurname at their weddings, and didn't seem to even think about taking their Hs surname. But then I was horrified that the whole family knew when DNeice was about to be proposed to.

AmberSocks Fri 01-Feb-13 12:33:27

i kept my surname and the kids have my name too,no real reason for it,i just wanted to,i dont see a reason why they should have his name over mine and vice versa,neither of us know our dad(who we got our names off)and i felt slightly more strongly about it than my husband does so we chose mine,he has kept his though.

when dc4 was born mynan rang wholives in france and said oh baby "insert dads surname" thats nice,i said no theyve all got me name and she said it was terrible,i asked why,she said well its just nice.

People always say that when they dont know the real reason they do things like this!its just nice!

ComposHat Belgium Fri 01-Feb-13 12:33:46

I take it that the Aussies asked the question as they didn't know what ComposHat's last name was, not because they had an inkling she would behave in such a bluestocking manner.

Yep, having only ever met them briefly, they didn't know my surname so just assumed that she would be taking that on our marriage. It didn't enter their thinking that she might want to keep her surname.

As for children, this will be difficult for reasons craic suggested, I'm not keen on double barrelled surnames for any children should we chose to have them. Especially if they chose to have children with someone else with a double barrelled surname? The prospect of grandchildren quadruple-barrell surnames seems a trifle unwieldy.

I prefer her surname to mine, so maybe have my surname as a middle name, which isn't uncommon in Scotland.

I've been Ms Cowgirl since I opened a bank account at 18. Don't see why getting married would change that, after all DH kept his name.

AmberSocks Fri 01-Feb-13 12:36:44

I also hate when my mother in law sends u scards andstuff saying "mr and mrs joe bloggs"

is that just me?and if i ask for anyones address she sends it as "mr and mrs old welsh man"

so annoying.

bamboobutton Fri 01-Feb-13 12:36:52

I changed my name when i got married, caught up wedding fever and thinking properly. I tried to like it but it doesn't suit me and with various inlaw incidents it was becoming almost rage inducing writing their name(sorry dh!)

When i was researching how i go about changing my name when still married, do i need deed poll etc, i found lots of other women asking the same and even on different forums there were people replying "have consulted your inlaws to see how they feel?" hmm hmm
Women still husband's property then?

I'm now looking forward to the inlaws response when they find out, they are drama llamas so it should be good!

TheCraicDealer Fri 01-Feb-13 12:38:49

I know, families who give their kids double-barrelled surnames are just passing the problem/potential arguements onto the next generation, poor fuckers like me!

bamboobutton Fri 01-Feb-13 12:38:53

That post is so badly writtenblush blame dd for hanging off my arm and stupid auto correct.

SnowyWellies Fri 01-Feb-13 12:40:53

It amazes me too when people comment or are surprised. I use both names, as I could not be arsed to change bank accounts or my passport or drivers licence. I go by 'Ms [original name]' and 'Mrs [Husband's name]' I quite like having two names and swapping them around according to what I feel like at the time. I am a committed feminist also. (Actually, a DAunt who is quite aggressive sneered at me when I said that I did use DH's surname and commented 'And you call yourself a feminist'. I replied 'A feminist means being able to make the choices that suits me'. I have mumsnet to thank for that response- and it shut her up. )

Kendodd Fri 01-Feb-13 12:45:33

I don't mind at all if people call me Mrs DHname. DH says he quite likes it if people phone him up and ask for Mr Myname because he knows immediately they're a cold caller trying to sell him something.

I have always used Ms and although the DCs are double barrelled I don't particularly like double barrelling, it just seems the most sensible option. We expect the DCs will drop one of the names as adults.

5madthings Fri 01-Feb-13 12:47:39

But its not a problem for children with a double barrelled surname they can just choose which names/names to give to their children. I dont care what names my children give to their children.

Paiviaso Fri 01-Feb-13 12:48:25

I think it is understandable that older people think it is strange.

To be honest I think it's strange, and I'm in my 20s! Why you not want to have the same name as your spouse? DP said he wouldn't mind taking my surname, but I would like to take his when we marry because I think it is nicer. I also think double-barreling is a bit tacky.

I also think this will cause various confused situations for you in the future. If I saw a Mr X and Mrs Y checked into a hotel, I would assume they were having an affair blush. And if your child had a different surname than yours, I would assume you were their step-parent. Having the same name means something to people - that you are a family.

ComposHat Belgium Fri 01-Feb-13 12:50:20

My parents, the only people other than us this concerns are totally fine with it.

My sister is an academic so to change a surname to Dr X Husbandsname would be career suicide if she chose to marry. So I think they thought it would be the same with us.

TheCatIsEatingIt Fri 01-Feb-13 12:50:53

I'm Miss Maidenname professionally and Mrs DHname socially. Nobody had raised an eyebrow, maybe because DH is fine with it so they don't feel he's being emasculated by this ball-breaking career woman he's landed himself with. I think they like me, but I'm the only woman in the family with a "career" rather than a part time job that fits around domestic responsibilities (not a criticism, different choices, I might do similar if our life changes so as to make it a good idea) , so I was a bit worried at first about what they'd think. They're lovely, so I think as long as DH is happy, they're happy.

My friend is getting married soon and keeping her name. She's an academic with a growing reputation, and I never doubted she'd keep her name professionally, but I was surprised that she was keeping it altogether. I know I was silly to be surprised, the social conditioning must run deep.

My SIL gets irate over letters addressed to Mr and Mrs <DB's intial> <DBsurname>. I understand why, but it doesn't worry me.

Paiviaso hate to say it, but you're making far too many assumptions there grin

I have my own identity and am not reliant on having the same name as DP. And as more and more women opt out of taking a husband's surname, then your assumptions will have less and less validity.

We are talking about an Anglo-Saxon tradition after all, one based on old laws stating the woman was legally the property of the husband. Are you really so suprised women are now opting out of this?

If you want the same name as your husband, why doesn't he change his?

TheCraicDealer Fri 01-Feb-13 12:54:45

Yes, that's true 5mad, but there is a problem when your partner sees both names as their name and refuses to separate them, as this would somehow be bastardising it.

Fairly certain DP's parents couldn't give a monkeys what we decided to do. I'm just pointing out that choosing between four names and any combination thereof (in the case of a couple with two double-barrelled names) is potentially as complicated as picking between two.

AmberSocks Fri 01-Feb-13 12:54:49

paiviaso-because its nicer?

see here it is again!

KatherineKrupnik Fri 01-Feb-13 12:58:09

well paiviaso, when you assume you make an ass out of you & me.

FergusSingsTheBlues Fri 01-Feb-13 12:58:10

I wanted the same name as husband and kids. I gave up maiden name on the understanding that they al carry on my maiden name as a middle name, quite common in Scotland.

Ambersock I think I agree that the people who really stick to this "tradition" are the ones who don't actually understand the background to it, and think "it's nice"

Even my mum, when she'd thought about it, said she'd have preferred to keep her name rather than change, as everyone did then.

nickelbabe Fri 01-Feb-13 13:01:16

yup, Compo people do get annoyed.

It's the worst part about it- I don't care, I like my own, original name, DH doesn't care, he doesn't have to change anything. i just don't get why people who it doesn't affect care so much - if my name is the same, then you don't have to learn a new name, so why the hell do you care?

it's daft.

Paiviaso Fri 01-Feb-13 13:03:58

KatherineKrupnik aren't you clever! I've never heard that one before.

limitedperiodonly Fri 01-Feb-13 13:05:18

My family and my MIL assumed it's because I have a career. It's nothing to do with that. It's because it's my name - or my father's, but we've got to start somewhere.

The only confusion is that sometimes DH is assumed to be Mr Limited. But that's not a problem worth worrying about. We can cope with people thinking we're having an affair.

My sister was so offended by a colleague's decision to keep her maiden name at work that she campaigned against it. I'm not kidding. When a mechanic called the office using the woman's married name to authorise some repairs it caused a few minutes' confusion until the penny dropped and he was put through.

My sister invented ever more dramatic scenarios whereby this woman's completely normal decision to keep her own name for work could end in tragedy in an emergency and she should be forced to use her husband's name.

My sister must have come over as a loon. She's not old btw

plummyjam Fri 01-Feb-13 13:09:13

I didn't name change on marriage, never met anybody yet that cares less about it. This wikipedia entry is interesting, seems that women don't name change in most countries around the world. Much more common to take husband's name in the UK and commonwealth countries.

minouminou Fri 01-Feb-13 13:09:58

People can be very odd about this.
DP and I aren't married, and our two DC are double-barrelled. One of the nastiest and pointless attacks I've ever been subjected to arise from this! An otherwise sane and rational female friend just LAUNCHED herself at me over it. She claimed we were DB-ing the names to get more respect for ourselves (wha'?) and that this wouldn't work. All sorts of weird stuff.....putting feminism above a loving relationship, confusing the kids, trying to be posh..... When I explained our reasons for DB-ing, she just kept responding "I don't care."
She started it off by saying ...."it's a bit........" So I had to ask what the "dot dot dot" was. Then.....BANG! And the chum is gone!

Lots of friends have changed their name, and like a PP's about the choice.

ComposHat Belgium Fri 01-Feb-13 13:10:25

If I saw a Mr X and Mrs Y checked into a hotel, I would assume they were having an affair

There are two problems with your line of argument.

1) We would sign in as Mr Compos Hat & Ms Ophelia Buttocks just as we do now. She will be Ms Buttocks not Mrs Buttocks, she isn't marrying her dad.

2) I couldn't give a shiny shite about if someone who is peering over a hotel register thinks I'm having an affair with my own wife. I actually quite like the idea of being thought of as the Leslie Phillips of the Lothians in some busybody's mind.

SnowyWellies Fri 01-Feb-13 13:12:04

Wow, just Wow, limited about your sister. I hope her colleague told her where to shove it. How out of line is that?

minouminou Fri 01-Feb-13 13:13:28

Ha ha, Compos! Leslie Phillips of the Lothians! Ding dong.....
Why would you assume someone was having an affair? Who says either person is married in the first place?

5madthings Fri 01-Feb-13 13:14:16

I cant see my childrrn being that bothered and i would hope i have raised them and encouraged them to have enough critical thinking skills that they woukdnt be so daft as to think they were 'bastardising' their name if they choose not to use all of it.

And pavlov lots if children dont have the same surname as one of their parents and plenty of people dont get married and not all that do call themsekves 'mrs' some on this thread have said they use ms or miss. Its your issue if you make daft assumptions and asume that everyobe shoukd follow what is rather an archaic tradition that dates back to women being possesions of their fathers/husbands. My choice is not to partake in that tradition, i dont care what others do and neithet do i make assumptions about them in the way that you seem to.

plummyjam Fri 01-Feb-13 13:17:06

Although this article here suggests that most European women do use their husband's name despite not being legally required to change it.

minouminou Fri 01-Feb-13 13:18:33

The only hassle we've had (other than bonkers ex-chum) is elderly relatives of DP's who didn't bat an eye at the double-barrelling, but insisted for a while on putting DP's name at the start of the barrel (just realised that sounds weird).
We'd decided my name should be first purely because the other way round sounds like a merchant bank! Took a few goes, but I think they've got it now.

nickelbabe Fri 01-Feb-13 13:20:01

"I also find women who sit "practising" their new name by writing the signature with their to-be-DH's name over ands over a bit disturbing as well. As if somehow their personality is to be subordinate to someone else's."

good point!

i spent a long time perfecting my signature as a teenager.
it looks like mountains. if i'd taken DH's surname, i couldn't have made it look like mountains.
once, I tried having a large lower-case-style A at the beginning, but it looked bloody stupid, so I went back to my mountains.

limitedperiodonly Fri 01-Feb-13 13:22:11

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

limitedperiodonly Fri 01-Feb-13 13:24:51

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

MerryCouthyMows Fri 01-Feb-13 13:27:58

What gets me is when I get a call for an appointment for DS2 or DS3, asking for 'Mrs Ex's Surname', even though we were never married, and haven't been in a relationship for nearly two years. Which they all know, because it's on their notes on front of them.

In order to get my phone number, they MUST have to open the file that has my name 'Miss CouthyMow' ABOVE my telephone number...

I had a call just today where this happened. And they never seem able to grasp the concept that though I have a 9yo and a 2yo with Mr Ex Partner, that I was never, and will never be 'Mrs Ex Partner'.

Even if we HAD got married, I would have automatically kept my birth surname, for emotional reasons.


minouminou Fri 01-Feb-13 13:29:04

Ridiculous. Why do some people think so bloody RIGIDLY.
I've got hardcore very conservative catholic friends (think a glam Anne Widdecombe for the mum) who genuinely couldn't give a flying one about things like this. All they care about is that the family is happy and healthy.

SnowyWellies Fri 01-Feb-13 13:29:25

That sounds funny limited! Does anyone ever pull her up on it? I do know people like that. I am usually too busy to care about what other people think- but recently was subjected to an angry rant myself from my cousin because my youngest Ds is always in odd socks. I put on socks that are to hand, and socks that fit and then get on with my life. He is 2. He does not care!

[sorry, off topic]

minouminou Fri 01-Feb-13 13:31:12

Snowy.....just day you're prioritising function over form and then fall silent.

SnowyWellies Fri 01-Feb-13 13:34:34

Love it. smile

One time I said 'to me they are the same because I go by texture' but was met with a hmm look.

Dh said I couldnt "steal" his name when we got married shock grin I think he assumed I would want to keep my name, with it being the 21st century, but the way I saw it was I was swapping the name of one man I didnt particularly like (biological father) for one I did. It also has the added bonus of being higher up the alphabet wink
My other option was to change my surname to that of dm's but that didnt feel entirely right either.

SpicyPear Fri 01-Feb-13 13:40:30

I'm surprised by this although that probably says more about where I live, cicles I mix in etc. I changed my name and think that raises more eyebrows amongst my peers, where keeping is now the norm.

I consider myself a feminist and know what it represents, but for me there is nothing wrong with wanting a family name. There are going to be issues down the generations with having to choose names. It's just practical fact. I'd like to see keeping your own name, DH taking DW's or DW taking DH's all being socially acceptable so the couple has free choice.

It made no practical sense for DH to take mine in our particular circumstances. We discussed it hypothetically and he felt that although he wouldn't mind, he probably wouldn't have wanted to deal with other's comments/confusion. Basically didn't fancy being a trailblazer.

limitedperiodonly Fri 01-Feb-13 13:40:36

No snowy she's too scary. It's best to back away slowly with no sudden moves. Seriously, most people just want a quiet life.

You would be judged over the socks. Probably for encouraging bohemian attitudes in your child which will damage him in future.

OT too.

BegoniaBampot Fri 01-Feb-13 13:46:33

Prettyprudence - hadn't thought of that one. I'm not close to my father at all or his family who were all quite strange , hadn't thougt that might have unconsciously be one of my readons.

My maiden name was also so common where I grew up. I thought of keeping my name and discussed it with my fiancé, the fact that he was ok with it actually made it easier to decide to take his as I liked it better than my own as it's quite unusual. I'm the only BegoniaBampot on Facebook and possibly the UK, hell maybe even the world (going away to have alook now). Also wanted the kids and parents all to have the same name. If he had had a horrible name, I might have rethought it and completely understand and thin it's normal form women to keep their own names.

edam Fri 01-Feb-13 13:47:33

I've only met a couple of people (largely elderly) who have been at all bothered by me keeping my own name, and they are easy to brush off. Apart from my Gran who kept sending me birthday cheques made out to 'Mrs dhfirstname dhsurname' in a very marked manner.

The grief I did get is when local friends realised ds has my surname, not dh's. Raised eyebrows, comments about 'extreme feminism' and me bossing dh about. It's no more effing extreme than a child taking his or her father's name FFS. And FWIW it was dh who insisted on leaving his name out, I was quite happy to give ds both. (dh thinks his name is common and boring, which is true. But he did give ds both Granddad's first names for middles so there's a paternal line in the naming.)

5madthings Fri 01-Feb-13 13:49:54

Oh god my children have a double barreled name AND they wear odd socks...they are doomed!

Life is too short to pair socks or for me to be bothered by other peoples name choices!

AdoraBell Chile Fri 01-Feb-13 13:52:24

Snowy and Limited my OH has a habit if slipping into the same kind of thing. I grew up with a ranty, among other things, father so I'm not putting up with it now. When he starts I butt in with "and it's my fault" he says "no, confused what are you talking about?" To which I say "it must be my^ fault otherwise you wouldn't be able to justify talking to me the way you just did" then he sees the light. Another one that works is "and what did I do to cause this reaction?"

calandarbear Fri 01-Feb-13 13:56:28

I don't think YABU.

However, in real life I don't know any married women that haven't taken their husband's name so if some told me they were keeping their name on marriage I would probably raise and eyebrow and say "Really?" and then "ok then" and forget about it (and probably later totally forget and write Mrs husband's name on a card or letter without thinking and probably quite unintentionally offend said person).

That said I don't know many people (or infact anyone outside old school friends and the mothers at school) so am probably hideously out of touch with the wider world.

RattyRoland Fri 01-Feb-13 13:58:29

My MIL was really funny when dp and I gave our dc a double barrelled name, she argued that as were engaged we should use his name, dc would hate being double barrelled etc.

Never occurred to MIL I may wish to keep my name!

motherinferior Fri 01-Feb-13 13:59:39

Er...what's with this 'older people' (the BIL) and '20 years ago things were different'? BIL is only ahem less than a decade older than I am....and 20 years ago it was the 1990s, dammit, not the 1850s.

My aunt appears to think I have married DP and sends us cards to Mr and Mrs Hisname-myname (this is the surname the kids have). I sort of let her, and only her, get away with it, not so much because she is a 75 year old nun, but because she also sends hyphenated cards to my sister and her lovely female partner grin

PrincessFiorimonde Fri 01-Feb-13 14:00:20

I married my now ex 20+ years ago and didn't change my name. My mum was the only person who commented, and even her comment wasn't outraged - she just asked why we didn't double barrel. Looking back, perhaps it was unusual that elderly relatives, very traditional in outlook, didn't comment (at least to my face!) and every year sent Christmas cards with both our names on.

We didn't have children. Not sure what we'd have done re: surnames if we had.

motherinferior Fri 01-Feb-13 14:00:37

Oooh, get Edam with her Extreme Bossiness grin

PenelopePipPop Fri 01-Feb-13 14:01:55

"2) I couldn't give a shiny shite about if someone who is peering over a hotel register thinks I'm having an affair with my own wife. I actually quite like the idea of being thought of as the Leslie Phillips of the Lothians in some busybody's mind."

Indeed it does add a certain frisson. We spent our honeymoon in Italy and the propriator of one of the hotel's we stayed was so a-palled at the idea of an unmarried couple sharing a double room that on our second night there she had moved two single rooms into our double room. Which we pushed together. And she pushed apart again the next day. Etc etc.

Frankly I enjoyed the fact that we scandalised someone on our own actual factual honeymoon. I am not prepared to comment on whether we got up to filthier sex as a result...

CreamOfTomatoSoup Fri 01-Feb-13 14:02:32

My friend took his wife's name when they got married. He failed to tell his (quite conservative) father about this and stormed out of the wedding when they were referred to as Mr and Mrs Wifesname.

CreamOfTomatoSoup Fri 01-Feb-13 14:02:55

The father stormed out.

TheSmallPrint Fri 01-Feb-13 14:04:07

I was told by someone younger than me that I was being disrespectful to my husband by not taking his name. hmm

My mum and MIL both ignored the fact I didn't change it and all postal communication to us from them is addressed to Mr and Mrs DH first and second name!!

limitedperiodonly Fri 01-Feb-13 14:04:25

AdoraBell I'd love to say more but it would hijack the thread and more importantly she'd recognise herself and come and get me grin

minouminou Fri 01-Feb-13 14:05:07

Awwwww.....go on, limited!

We'll protect you.

motherinferior Fri 01-Feb-13 14:06:26

Please do, limited, I've got a deadline to dodge...

minouminou Fri 01-Feb-13 14:08:02

Yeah......same here......let's dodge deadlines AND bonkers sisters......

ComposHat Belgium Fri 01-Feb-13 14:09:36

Hijack away limited I don't mind.

motherinferior Fri 01-Feb-13 14:09:40

In the unlikely event of Mr Inferior and me finding the time and opportunity to check into a hotel toute seules, I suspect our generally somewhat domestic and sub-erotic manner together would kind of suggest we weren't having a wild affair. (Even though we're not married.)

SnowyWellies Fri 01-Feb-13 14:10:50

Me too!

Although am wondering if 5mad and I should set up a support group for mothers-who-refuse-to-pair-socks

fiftyodd Fri 01-Feb-13 14:18:17

I kept my name (we married in 1988) and on the whole it hasn't caused many issues, but there are a few:
The bank told me I had to write to them to tell them I wasn't changing it on my own account which we turned into a joint account. I ended up getting the manager to the house to apologise.

Dc are double-barrelled and complain about having the longest names on the school register.

Some relatives insist on calling me by dh's surname.

One positive is that it's a great way of filtering out cold-callers - if they call me Mrs DH Surname, then they don't know my actual ID.

Congrats to Compos and fiancée and boo to your unreconstructed rellies!

curryeater Fri 01-Feb-13 14:21:22

Congratulations, Compos!
I think people feel they can stick their beaks into other people's arrangements where marriages are concerned, because marriages are not just contracts between two people, but stand for a bond between them and society at large (and God, if you involve him /her too, but that's not relevant here). Honestly, that's one of the things that puts me off the whole thing. There is nothing actually legal that says I would suddenly have to iron DP's shirts if we got married, or always make sure there was at least one banana in case he wanted one, no matter how much I or the dcs might want it (as with my mother and my father). But I have this niggling fear that if we were married, people would stick their beaks in more, or it would bother me more that they did.

And people feeling free to opine about this to you - well what is happening here is that they are opining on the behaviour of a woman, which they always feel relatively free to do, but you are now hearing it because she is about to become your woman, so you have to take some responsibility for her wayward behaviour. Tut tut tut.

(I am reminded of a line in a Roddy Doyle book - ""Have you no control over your wife?" "No," I said proudly")

5madthings Fri 01-Feb-13 14:30:13

fiftyodd that is so true re cold callers! we get lots is mrs dp's surname there...i reply sorry no one if that name lives at this address bye!

Links arms with snowy pairing socks up is so passe now i dont know why anyond bothers grin

motherinferior Fri 01-Feb-13 14:36:09

I usually tell people who want Mrs Hisname that she's dead. His mum died six years ago now.

Moominsarehippos Fri 01-Feb-13 14:37:36

Our son (same first name as my late dad) sometimes gets mail addressed to his first name, my surname. It looks very odd.

SconeRhymesWithGone United States Fri 01-Feb-13 14:40:16

I got married 20+ years ago and kept my name. I use Ms. I have lived most of my married life in what is probably the most traditional part of the US and have had no problems, with family or anyone else. I do have friends who have reported reactions similar to those experienced by the OP, however. Of my closest women friends, about half kept their maiden names and half changed to their husband's names. All use Ms. Of the name-changers, all use their maiden names as a middle name, as is common in the US.

ComposHat Belgium Fri 01-Feb-13 14:42:05

Yes I think the two sets of sensible pyjamas and a well thumbed novel each would suggest that we weren't a pair of clandestine lovers booked in for a night of 'making the beast with two backs.'

That is if anyone actually gave one gram of fuck.

AgnesAndTheOthers Fri 01-Feb-13 14:45:30

oh limited, please tell about your sister, OP said its OK. Maybe if she's that bad, start a new thread, it could be a support thread for those with REALLY bossy sisters. I'd join, honest.

Congrats OP. Know where you are coming from though. Its the fact that people comment at all, why do they even care what you are called, just why??!! I don't care a hoot what others call themselves, but like you say, its the need to comment and to do so, so vehemently, telling-you-off kinda of way. Grrrrr.

SnowyWellies Fri 01-Feb-13 14:58:20

yes please limited. I still have a deadline I am avoiding.

nice nice Gentleman Op for not minding. smile

Congrats OP too! I forgot to say that earlier!

Crinkle77 Fri 01-Feb-13 14:59:30

I would keep my surname too. It is such an outdated concept. My surname is part of my identity and don't want to change it

limitedperiodonly Fri 01-Feb-13 15:02:06

I've had a little practice go on a word document but it's too obvious. I'm going up the road to pay a cheque in and see if I grow a backbone.

motherinferior Fri 01-Feb-13 15:05:56

It's your fault if I meet my next deadline, you know.

whiteflame Fri 01-Feb-13 15:16:31

I got married last year and kept my name. I too was surprised how many people this seemed to seriously rile. Mostly people my age (under 30), funnily enough!

It was irritating that so many people seemed to think that I would like to be referred to just once as "Mrs DHname", so did things like post wedding pictures on Facebook with that caption. I really couldn't get them to understand that not changing your name was a bloody step forward for women, not something to be pitied. People saying "it's such a shame you need your maiden name for work". I did, but I wouldn't have changed it even if I had no job and never intended to work again. Got sick of trying to explain this though.

AdoraBell Chile Fri 01-Feb-13 15:23:58

5madthings my DDs are double barraled and choose to wear odd socks, at age 11 shock I've clearly raised raving lunaticsgrin

nickelbabe Fri 01-Feb-13 15:45:40

you don't have to re-register the births if you get married!
what a loads of crap.

it doesn't say on the baby's birth certificate if you're married or not, and the only difference would be if you changed your name - which, for legal reasons has to be the same as it was when you first registered it.

5madthings Fri 01-Feb-13 15:55:50

Actually you do having spent some time googling!

Only in england and wales but if you don't do it I am not sure how they will know or what they will do about it?

nickelbabe Fri 01-Feb-13 15:59:03

re-registering is only done if the father isn't on the original birth certificate

if the father was on the original certificate, you don't need to do anything, it's only if he wasn't on it.

AdoraBell Chile Fri 01-Feb-13 15:59:38

I thought I'd said this before but have found that I ommited to do soblush

Congrats on your up coming wedding Compo

nickelbabe Fri 01-Feb-13 16:00:09

i noticed some LA seem to go "ooh, yes, you have to re-register if you marry" but fail to put "if the father isn't on the original certificate"

it took ages to find the reference in the .gov's pages.

nickelbabe Fri 01-Feb-13 16:01:08

in fact, even that's NI, and the rest-of-Britain .giov site doesn't even mention re-registering!

5madthings Fri 01-Feb-13 16:04:06

Its a requirement u dear law of the legitimacy act 1976 and the info is on the direct gov website.

s you have subsequently married your childrens natural father after their births there is a requirement in law for you to apply for their births to be re-registered. This is under the Legitimacy Act 1976.

The re-registrations would overwrite the original birth entries and the children would have completely new birth entries to show them as a children of your marriage.

You can find further information concerning re-registration together with the application form LA1 which you will need to complete.

You may also obtain the LA1 application form from any register office in England or Wales.

So, there's the offcial line - didn't bother asking why!

nickelbabe Fri 01-Feb-13 16:04:42
5madthings Fri 01-Feb-13 16:05:39

No it doesn't seem to matter if the father is on the birth certificate or not. Our registry office was quite quite stroppy about this when we questioned it.

simplesusan Fri 01-Feb-13 16:18:44

YAnbu op.

I don't really care what surname someone has.
If I need to know, for whatever reason, I just ask.
It never astonishes me when a woman says Ms X as opposed to Mrs Y.

Some people are living in the dark ages.

nickelbabe Fri 01-Feb-13 16:23:07

well i never.

i agree with you mad - it does seem odd re-writing history.
I would be happier if there were some kind of amendment to the certificate stating "name's parents <named here> married on dd/mm/yyyy" instead.

5madthings Fri 01-Feb-13 16:27:15

Yes its mad and I can't see what can be done if you dont re register the births?

KatherineKrupnik Fri 01-Feb-13 16:47:43

My parents didn't re-register me & it has yet to make any difference to my life that I have my original birth certificate, not one from 10 years later when they married...

AgnesAndTheOthers Fri 01-Feb-13 17:05:33

ooohhh Limited, practising on word document sounds promising, sounds worthy of a thread, put it in chat, then it will disappear anyway.

goes off to try to grow own backbone to enable starting thread about own bossy sister

Sorry OP, for mini-hijack.

ComposHat Belgium Fri 01-Feb-13 17:15:43

My parents didn't re-register me & it has yet to make any difference to my life

Thanks once again for your kind wishes everyone.

I can't see what possible difference it would make either.

If the children were born after 2003 and the father's name is on the birth certificate then the father automatically has parental responsibility. If the children were born before this time, is it the re-registering that grants the father parental responsibility? That's my best guess.

There's no difference in terms of inheretence between children born inside or outside the marriage. Anyway if you've made a will you may choose to leave no money to any of your children or leave it all to one of your children as you see fit.

KatherineKrupnik Fri 01-Feb-13 17:21:51

Not sure about the parental responsibility. I was born before 2003 (!), to unmarried parents, & although my dad was on the birth certificate he didn't have parental responsibility without my mum doing this "accusing him of fathering a bastard child" thing - not sure what the legal term was but I've seen the document wherein my mum accused my dad of fathering me & my dad pleaded guilty to fathering "said bastard child Katherine"...

ComposHat Belgium Fri 01-Feb-13 17:33:35

child" thing - not sure what the legal term was but I've seen the document wherein my mum accused my dad of fathering me & my dad pleaded guilty to fathering "said bastard child Katherine"...

how archaic!

slug Fri 01-Feb-13 17:34:56

The conversation before we got married went like this:

Mr Slug "Are you going to change your name when we get married?"
Slug: "Why? Are you?"

Thus ended the conversation. I offered him the far more aristocratic Slug surname but he declined the offer.

tallulah Fri 01-Feb-13 18:01:15

Well we got married 30 years ago and I kept my name. We had planned that DH would change his name to mine because I was bothered about it and he wasn't, but his parents threw a huge wobbly when he told them.

We were Ms X and Mr Y for 2 years until we had DC1 at which point he changed his name by deed poll to double barrel X-Y. The first solicitor he tried - a young Miss - looked down her nose at me and said she would be proud to take her husband's name shock. The second insisted on interviewing DH on his own to ensure he wasn't being coerced confused.

For about 10 years we got cards from the PIL and BILs addressed to Mr & Mrs Y, and I got birthday cards addressed to Mrs Y. Now the only one who consistently does that is MILs sister.

The dc are all X-Y. They all get stuff addressed to Mr/ Miss Y, which really riles my DD who calls herself Miss X. They are all over 20 and all have different ideas on what they plan to be called when/ if they marry. AFAIAC it is their choice and I will do them the courtesy of addressing them and their partners the way they choose to be addressed, rather than demanding they do things my way.

The conversation before I got married went something like:

Me: Thank fuck I can finally get rid of my dumb rhyming name.

I'm sure had I been marrying Mr Wankbadger I may have thought differently.

CarlingBlackMabel Fri 01-Feb-13 19:02:14

OP - give them something to really rattle their knickers.

Say "So If I had married my former boyfriend, you'd have expected me to take his name then?"

Congratulations and good luck.

But seriously, I get exasperated at some of the things that get said and the passive aggressive reactions to the set up over names in my family, and I think 'this is nothing to what it must be like coming out in some of these narrow minded families'.

13Iggis Fri 01-Feb-13 20:03:10

I reregisteted ds1 when we were registering ds2 (had married in the interim). It's the same certificate (and names have stayed the same) just with the date of our wedding in one of the boxes. It is still obvious we weren't married originally as (obviously) the date of birth is earlier.
I just wanted their certificates to look the same really blush and so they can learn more if some descendants are doing our family tree in the future! But we were never told we "had" to do it, you don't have to.

ComposHat Belgium Fri 01-Feb-13 21:02:18

Say "So If I had married my former boyfriend, you'd have expected me to take his name then?

What do you mean my disabled, black Polish boyfriend who is claiming benefits and has a massive flatscreen TV?

stickygotstuck Fri 01-Feb-13 22:36:44

NotADragonOfSoup sorry, this was ages upthread but I so disagree to your reply to my comment as follows:

me: I did not change my name when I got married. It never occurred to me I would and, frankly, I find it unbelievable that people still do such a thing, I think it's sexist and something out of the dark ages.

NotADragonOfSoup: This attitude is just as bad as the people who get "up in arms" about a woman not changing her name.

There is a massive difference. As I said in my post, I do not feel I have the right to tell people that I dislike their choice to change their name. For a start, it does not affect me and couldn't care less what they do with their names.
However these same people feel they do have the right to tell me that my choice is (and I quote) disgusting, that DH is 'under the thumb' or even you are not really committed to this marriage, are you?

No, sorry, my attitude is nowhere near as bad.

cerealqueen Fri 01-Feb-13 22:45:56

I remember as a child seeing post being addressed to my mum as Mrs and my Dad's first and second name! It seemed totally illogical and wrong to me that her identity was completely subsumed by his. i remember thinking that won't be me.

DP and I are not married. DCs have both our names. DP didn't really like that, but no way were my children having a different name to me. When I hear of people explaining why they took their DP's name after kids and marriage, they ofte say, it was so they could have the same name as their children, and I just wonder why they automatically got given the father's name anyway.

Dp assumed I'd take his name when we get married and we have 'had words' a few times. I have got angry because he assumed I'd take his name and never asked me, and that the Dcs would have his name too! He just doesn't get why I want to be me.

As I said in my post, I do not feel I have the right to tell people that I dislike their choice to change their name

Except, of course, you did. You said it is unbelievable and sexist and something out of the dark ages.

Yeah, but it is sexism. It's something women do and men don't, isn't it?

I've got to admit, I agree with sticky here. Stating that women changing their names is a sexist practice is just a fact.

nickelbabe Fri 01-Feb-13 22:51:20

I agree too.

if it were pereceived as more normal and acceptable for men to change their names then it would be more even.

butno+ women are almost assumed to take theirhusband's names.
often we're not even asked if we have.
it's the reason why I wished our wedding invitations had gone out with first names only!

5madthings Fri 01-Feb-13 22:52:45

I agree ldr if a woman changes her name because she wants to fine but it started because women were seen as property and a womsn legally ceased to exist once she was married and changed her name. Its an archaic tradition routed in sexism. If you understand that and feel you don't care and still want to change your name that is fine but it us a sexist tradition.

stickygotstuck Fri 01-Feb-13 22:56:53

No NotADragon, I did not.

By 'telling people' I mean telling people directly, unprovoked, so to speak, like so many have done to me about my choice.

It is sexist = fact
I don't like it = an opinion (which I will give if requested and unlikely to offend, eg, this thread)

YY, I feel that way too 5mad. Lots of women I know changed their names. It doesn't mean they're not aware it's sexist.

There are shedloads of things we all do that are sexist and unbelievable (but probably not out of the dark ages cos they were quite good on women using their own names back then). It's part of living within a system, you don't always kick against it.

Doesn't mean it's rude to admit the sexism is there, though.

edam Fri 01-Feb-13 23:04:01

I used to work for Sheila McKechnie, the campaigner (RIP). One day we were on a fag break and got talking about a member of staff who was getting married - a young lass, ten years younger than me and several decades younger than Sheila. Sheila said she was really puzzled by the switch in attitudes - that her generation of feminists (young in the 60s and 70s) felt liberated by Ms but younger women were now both taking their husband's names and calling themselves Mrs. She wasn't disapproving at all, merely puzzled.

I am now a few years older again and find myself in the same shoes, really not understanding the younger women at work who do the whole 'husband's surname + Mrs' thing.

Isn't it also true that there's been a boom in people getting married at all? I think I heard that's so. It was going down for years, then went up again.

Certainly weddings seem to be very commercialized and not so many in registry offices as I remember, but that could just be my impression from being the age when everyone is getting married!

edam Fri 01-Feb-13 23:20:32

I think that's just because you don't have to get married in a registry office if you aren't religious these days.

Forgot to say, re. re-registering babies after getting married - my parents never re-registered me and it's never caused me any problems. No-one's ever batted an eyelid at my birth certificate. Odd how often you hear of someone in a very junior official role making shit up, isn't it?

zipzap Fri 01-Feb-13 23:22:14

ooh I've just remembered a different twist on this.

FIL split up from MIL 25+ years ago and has had a partner for most of this time, certainly they were together before I got together with dp (approx 20 yrs ago).

In the last few years, MIL has started to sign herself as Mrs [FIL surname] rather than her surname. They have never married. Or at least they haven't ever told anyone that they have married... Would have thought they would have mentioned it to at least one of their numerous children by now if they had of done, even if they didn't want to invite us to the wedding!

She insists on sending christmas cards to us as Mr and Mrs [dp surname] - I'm Ms Myname.

So I always send theirs as Mr DPsurname and Ms Hername - I figure if they haven't had the decency to tell us that she has changed her name for whatever reason, then how do I know that I needed to change it? grin

Childish and petty? Yes. Satisfying? Very! In my defence they are very uninvolved in our lives (I've met him 5 times and her 3 times in20 years) and probably call dp once a year if he is unlucky, took them 5 years to see ds1 for the first time etc, didn't bother to call and find out how we all were when ds1 was born - dh was seriously ill, when I woke up in the night to feed ds the first thing I would do (even if ds was screaming) was check that dp was still alive before sorting out ds. So I'm not greatly inclined to be charitable when I think of them.

I just think it's funny that she is pretending to be married even though she's not!

Yes, might be so, edam.

5madthings Fri 01-Feb-13 23:25:39

Edam according to the website you are legally obliged to te-register your children under the 1976 legitimacy act do its not bollocks but if you don't do it no one will chase you up about it it seems. Its obviously a silly outdated rule!

I took my DH's name when we got married. My main motivation was to ensure that any DC would have the same name as both parents. I had a bigger problem with the thought of any DCs taking my DHs name and the rest of the family being Mr X, Miss X and Master X, and me being Ms YTD.

I have friends who both took a new name entirely on marriage (which was actually the name of the place that they first met), and kept their original surnames as middle names, which I thought was great. I like the idea of a couple sharing the same name and creating a new family unit together. Yet still acknowledging the family that they have come from.

VinegarDrinker Fri 01-Feb-13 23:36:51

It never occurred to me for a second to change my name. DH never mentioned it either, I think he'd have collapsed in shock if I had said I wanted to. My own Mum has never and changed her name and DH is a child of a single lesbian feminist mother.

DS is firstname myname DH'sname so he can choose to use either, or both (or neither!).

I couldn't give two hoots what any other individuals do, but I have to say, it does surprise me that "taking your husband's name" is still so common amongst women in their 20s/30s.

I love the idea of having an affair with my husband.

ComposHat Belgium Sat 02-Feb-13 01:15:20

I was busily working on stuff for the invites tonight and I was wondering if there's anyway we could subtly slip it into the general guff about the wedding/the venue/hotel/reception/travel that my fiancée will be keeping her surname on marriage without it being a bit out of place?

I thought it might be less awkward than explaining at the wedding and we get cards addressed to 'The new Mr and Mrs ComposHat'

SconeRhymesWithGone United States Sat 02-Feb-13 03:14:49


We used an "At-home" card included in the invitation, which is fairly common in the US, but I am not sure whether it would be correct ettiquette in the UK. We were moving house right after the honeymoon so it was useful for that, but the main reason we included it was to let people know that I was keeping my name. I think you could also add other information like email addresses and make it more informal than these example:

GingerBlondecat Sat 02-Feb-13 05:46:21

I concure with TraceyTricksterFri 01-Feb-13 00:04:38

I am astonished that an Australian would be so surprised.

I'm also aussie and am baffled you had that reaction

whiteflame Sat 02-Feb-13 07:16:40

That's interesting cerealqueen. I remember when I was about 4 years old a bunch of ladies that were over for tea laughed at me knowingly because I said I wouldn't change my name even if I got married.

While they were laughing, I thought "you're wrong, I really won't". Joke's on them now smile

I've wondered sometimes if it were that moment that made me so determined to keep my name. They were women, they should have supported me!

You could just put a line in your general guff saying that "neither of us will be changing our name following the wedding".

nickelbabe Sat 02-Feb-13 11:26:37

good plan, WhoKnows
that would work well.

"neither of us..., so our correct form of address will remain Ms DF DF'surname and Mr Composhat Surname"

ComposHat Belgium Sat 02-Feb-13 11:29:54

whoknows & vinegar that is brilliant! I shall do it forthwith!

nickelbabe Sat 02-Feb-13 11:30:57

Scone - i like that Julia is a Dr smile

I wish I'd thought of it before my wedding.....

PenelopePipPop Sat 02-Feb-13 11:50:48

LRD there has been a slight increase in marriages in recent years, partly attributable to the licensing of civil venues. But a large proportion of those are remarriages making this a difficult social trend to read. The proportion of children who are born to couples who are not married at the time of the birth has continued to rise sharply in the same period but birth rates have also risen.

So it could mean that people who have been married once are more likely to marry again. But people who have never married may be more likely to never marry. In any event there is nothing to suggest a resurgence in marriage as an institution will happen any time soon. Hence repeated attempts to get parliament to sort out a statute which will allow courts to allocate interests in the family home between longterm unmarried partners who split up, especially if they have children. Or, if you are a massive optimist, give people £3 a week to get married and stay married!

babanouche Sat 02-Feb-13 11:56:11

we're not married but I would keep my own name, without a doubt. However, our kids have DP's surname. My justification at the time was that the law sees the mother so strongly as the main parent, and by having DP's name, DP would feel more 'linked' to them.

I now feel this is truly bollox and kick myself for not giving them my name. Gah!

Ahhh, thanks penelope, that is interesting to know.

Btw, I don't think anyone's mentioned the best reason to change your name (have they?).

If you change it and move to Germany, and your DH is about to become Dr something, you get to be Dr Mrs Whatever.

I like the idea of stacking up titles. grin

13Iggis Sat 02-Feb-13 12:11:24

So if you are a Dr in your own right, you'd be Dr Dr Smith? I like that smile
I would wait till thank you card time, and then just make sure there's an address label or something with the corrrect form of your names and address.
Not many people have "changed" my name for me, strangely it's mostly cards from my side of the family that do it. I haven't bothered to correct them, maybe I should.

I guess so. I know you can be 'Dr Architect' or stuff like that, where you stack up one title with another job description.

ComposHat Belgium Sat 02-Feb-13 12:28:14

So if you are a Dr in your own right, you'd be Dr Dr Smith? I like that

In which case I would by changing my surname by deed-pole


EuroShagmore Sat 02-Feb-13 12:41:00

I'm always surprised when people change names upon marriage. It's 2013! I'm baffled as to why this tradition didn't die out in the heady days of feminism in the 1970s!

(I am a "militant name retainer" (or at least I was referred to as such on another MN thread on this topic... I think it was supposed to be an insult but I take it as a compliment). I didn't change my name upon marriage and if we have children I want them to have both our names. I was quite unsure about getting married but actually love being married. The only time I get sad about it is when I am addressed as Mrs [Hissurname]. I feel like in the eyes of certain people I lost a bit of my identity the day I walked down the aisle. Mr Euro has now taken to opening cards addressed to Mr & Mrs Hisname and disposing of the evidence before I get home to stop me getting annoyed about it!)

13Iggis Sat 02-Feb-13 13:40:45

'Militant name retainer' - love it! Shall we get badges made? grin

RevoltingPeasant Sat 02-Feb-13 14:32:20

Ha! DH and I got married in a registry office this summer just gone and the registrar asked if I would be keeping my name.... I said yes.... 10 minutes later we picked up the envelope with our marriage certificate, with our different names on, with 'Mr and Mrs Wotsit' on the front.


Also, I booked us in for an appt with a mortgage consultant recently and so the appt was in my name. When the woman came to the waiting room to call us in, she said 'Dr Peasant?'

DH and I both walked up and she held out her hand to him and said 'Nice to meet you, Dr Peasant!'

Mind you, we do live in the Victorian period Devon. Things move slowly here...

Hobbitation Sat 02-Feb-13 14:35:22

I'm surprised that people get upset about someone not changing their name. I'm also surprised that people get upset about people wanting to change their name. I can respect either decision, personally.

PenelopePipPop Sat 02-Feb-13 14:40:03

I get introduced as Frau Professor Doctor PenelopePipPop when I go to conferences in Germany. And all I had to do was go to university for approximately a thousand years. Oh and some other women (now dead) had to pitch up at university demanding to be let in to the lectures, and then demanding to sit the exams, and then demanding that if they passed the exams the bloody universities should give them the same degrees they gave to the men...

pointythings Netherlands Sat 02-Feb-13 15:32:01

I took DH's name, but only because mine is Dutch and awkward - think impossible to spell, impossible to pronounce for English-speaking people. So given that we were going to make our lives here, it seemed logical. I just didn't fancy endlessly sending back official and essential documents until they were spelled correctly, nor did I fancy the endless telephone conversations ("Could you spell that? Could you spell that again? Are you sure? Double what?").

So I changed. (And people still ask me to spell my (DH's) surname, but at least they can pronounce it when they read it).
My mum double barrelled herself, but she completely understood my choice.

And if anyone had told my DH that I had to take his name and to put his foot down, he'd have put his foot somewhere. Firmly.

BegoniaBampot Sat 02-Feb-13 19:10:41

a close female relative is getting married next year, now curious as to whether she keeps her name or not. very traditional area, bets are she changes. I did as well, at least ai considered it and we talked about it.

nickelbabe Sat 02-Feb-13 21:35:56

I have to admit to being secretly disappointed in dh's niece changing her name thi summer.
and the reporter from our local paper did too- she keeps posting on a local facebook board inher new name and having to explain who she is. it's weird.

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