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How do you compromise on baby names?

(139 Posts)
BraveLilBear Tue 09-Jul-13 13:25:37

Hello - I'm looking for some un-hormonally fuelled perspective please!

We're still undecided on my/our first child's name (DP has 11yo son already), and at 38 weeks plus twinges, time is running out. My DP has set his heart on a particular name for a boy. It's old English and means 'intelligent', but is more commonly known as a surname, or a place name in the USA and in the north of England.

It doesn't feel right to me at all, and given that DP is also refusing to let baby have my surname as an additional middle name (tho has conceded to let it have one of my family first names as a middle name), it just doesn't feel right to me at all - I imagined going to the doctors and having my child's name called and it would feel like it wasn't my child.

The name is ok, but I think it sounds a bit daft and is too 'big' a name to hang on a newborn who has to get through primary and secondary school intact. If it wanted to be a lawyer, journalist, doctor etc it would sound great, but I worry it'll have a negative experience in childhood that would stop it wanting to achieve IYSWIM.

Thing is, DP is exceptionally stubborn and is also very selfish. I can't use the name here because he'll be able to ID me.

Every alternative I suggest, he hates, or at least says he does.

It's getting to the point now that I'm dreading my child being a boy - because I don't want the fight that will be inevitable.

I absolutely love the name we have in mind for a girl - now he's saying he'll only 'let me' name her that if I agree to the boy's name he likes.

Help?!

BerkshireMum Tue 09-Jul-13 14:40:47

You can only compromise if you both want to!

As you're not married you register the birth and he is only named if he goes with you. I like the idea of the "compromise" being his surname, your choice of first names.

Seriously though, this wasn't really a message about compromising on names - took me and DH 8 & 3/4 months to do that - it's about control. If it is as bad as it sounds with the words you've used then think hard - if you don't make a stand now it won't get better!

In the end, my MiL suggested a name that we both thought the other had vetoed. Result!

TalkativeJim Tue 09-Jul-13 14:41:28

Forget about the first name: my advice would be to give this baby your surname. I've seen countless posts by mothers who regret getting bullied into giving their babies the surname of controlling, nasty little pricks who (surprise, surprise) they then separated from.

As you're not married, he can't 'let' you do anything, thank God. In fact, he can't even go ON the birth certificate without your say-so and can't register the birth-you have to, he can't do it without you.

So when you say 'let' , you mean he will get his way by bullying, because legally, YOU are the one who gets to decide.

You have bigger problems than the name, as everyone else has indicated. Why is he not with the mother of his other child? Are they amicable?

Think ahead. And remember, if you give the baby your surname now, it can always be changed: to his, IF you marry, or to any new name you and your baby's siblings might have in the future. Give it his, and it's out of your power, no matter whether you stay with him or not.

He sounds a nasty piece of work.

The very fact that you've posted this in 'relationships' rather than something like 'baby names' suggests that there are issues ... care to elaborate Bear?

I have sympathy ... it's hard to be strong when you're so late in your pregnancy - but you must be. Don't let him bully you - I know you don't want to post the name on here, but throw the name amongst family and friends - maybe their general incredulity at his pompousness and pretentiousness will shame him into conceding.

CissyMeldrum Tue 09-Jul-13 14:44:01

No no no , you can't inflict that name upon a baby, there is no way you can shorten it to a cute nickname either, as someone said before you have probably got bigger problems than the name tbh.
You are not married so can name the baby whatever you like . Good luck.

TeamEdward Tue 09-Jul-13 14:46:03

How do you compromise on naming a baby?

DH: I like the name X
Me: Push 9lb of screaming, wriggling small person out of your hoohah and you get to name it X.

margaritadrakeina Tue 09-Jul-13 14:49:44

No, don't give the baby a name you hate. I have just realised DC2 doesn't answer to her given name on the rare occasions when I use it. She only answers to a nickname. I regret not having resisted, but like yours my DH said he hated every name I suggested and just repeated one of two names back at me. One I detested even more and DC2's name.

EagleRay Tue 09-Jul-13 14:56:39

Totally agree teamedward

DD has a pretty unusual name, which was my first choice. Vetoed by DP but he caved in on the deadline date for registering after failing to come up with any alternatives and agreed eventually that I should have the final say as I had the stitches. She's got his surname as mine is rubbish but it was a good negotiation tool

BraveLilBear Tue 09-Jul-13 15:06:39

I'm impressed by some of the googling going on here! Thanks for all your thoughts.

I honestly don't have an issue with his surname - my surname is ubiquitous, his is much less usual, and whatever happens, he'll always be the father. I would, though, like my name recognised in the middle, if only to swerve practical issues such as customs etc prior to us getting married.

He blocked this because he thinks 'it'll end up being double-barrelled'. There are issues at play here - his son was double-barrelled, but used his surname. After they split up, his son's mother changed his name to hers only meaning the son now shares a name with no-one (mum married someone else and they have other kids together).

We have plans to marry in a few years but opted for kids first because of money - and the fact we're in our 30s so didn't know how long it would take to get this far. Having said that, he won't propose yet because he 'doesn't like long engagements'.

Other than this, we work well together - we have fun together and (when I'm not pregnant) enjoy getting out and doing active stuff together. He's a good father and I love him a lot - but he is controlling... he'll frequently quiz me about who I've commented on on Facebook and then get mad at me for not remembering (we're talking public messages, usually as in-depth as congratulations or a shared opinion).

I know this is a significant problem, and there are other problems too - but a relationship only needs to be 51% good to make it worthwhile, and it's easily that.

My issue is with the naming issue is that I have no bargaining chips here - he simply won't negotiate for fear of being manipulated. Ironic, huh.

A relationship only needs to be 51% to make it worthwhile? That's one of the saddest things I've read on here. He sounds like a complete arse to me and I don't know why you would want to stay with a complete arse?

Lweji Tue 09-Jul-13 15:13:07

You are not married.
You can go and register the child without him and give it any name you want.
He can't register it without you.

Lweji Tue 09-Jul-13 15:14:50

Me naming DS:

I want Dxxxxx.

He proposes Y, Z, W - I say no to all.

DS is called Dxxxxx.

BraveLilBear Tue 09-Jul-13 15:26:07

Lweji I thought you both had to be there if you're not married, either way. Didn't know I could go alone.

Re the 51% thing - no relationship can be perfect, but if the good stuff outweighs the bad stuff then it's worth sticking with. We're at better than that (most of the time) so my attitude is to stick with it. Now I'm carrying our child, a much longed-for child by both of us, my own stubbornness has kicked into gear.

I've had to do a lot of defending of him since we got together - he can be antisocial ie doesn't like meeting people he doesn't know/like inc my family - and will be actively rude on occasions eg kept checking his phone during an antenatal class. I defended him because I know he's a better person than he comes across. I really really don't want to have to stand up and say I screwed up - especially not now we have a child arriving any day now.

I just want him to realise how sad it makes me when he's so domineering, but he'll say what he always says 'if you don't like it, pack your bags' - he never wants to try make things better.

I'm such a fool.

And what will you do when he's just as domineering and bullying toward your DC? Watching someone bully a two year old will break your heart. You might put up with it yourself but when he does it to someone you love, you'll learn to hate him.

ImperialBlether Tue 09-Jul-13 15:34:38

He tells you to pack your bags!

Oh god, OP, I hate saying this as you are in such a vulnerable situation (being pregnant) but he really is as he comes across.

hevak Tue 09-Jul-13 15:35:38

Have you thought about relationship counselling? Or any counselling at all? Definitely do not let him force you to accept a name for your child which you hate. I have figured the name out through google as well, and I agree that it's awful very unusual and likely to be a source of embarrassment and bullying to the poor child as he's growing up. Good luck.

HotDAMNlifeisgood Tue 09-Jul-13 15:37:19

Oh you poor woman. What would you tell your best and closest friend if she told you the following about her own husband/partner?

he is controlling... he'll frequently quiz me about who I've commented on on Facebook and then get mad at me for not remembering (we're talking public messages, usually as in-depth as congratulations or a shared opinion).

I know this is a significant problem, and there are other problems too

I've had to do a lot of defending of him since we got together - he can be antisocial ie doesn't like meeting people he doesn't know/like inc my family

I just want him to realise how sad it makes me when he's so domineering, but he'll say what he always says 'if you don't like it, pack your bags'

he never wants to try make things better.

hevak Tue 09-Jul-13 15:39:21

He does sound awful. I'm trying to give him the benefit of the doubt and not jump on the LTB bandwagon even though I feel like throwing you on the wagon myself! but I think you need to prepare yourself that this relationship is unlikely to go the distance - and prepare yourself accordingly

LieweHeksie Tue 09-Jul-13 15:41:14

"but a relationship only needs to be 51% good to make it worthwhile"

That is so utterly depressing sad

Lweji Tue 09-Jul-13 15:41:58

If you want to name him as the father he needs to be there.

As things are, you (and your child) may be better off if he is not named...

DorisIsWaiting Tue 09-Jul-13 15:44:23

He's not going to change with the birth of your child if anything he will get worse and worse and socially isolate you and he will have a bigger metaphorical (hopefully that's all) stick to beat you with -your child. He's not a better person than he comes across - that's who he truly is.

Standing up and saying i screwed up is sometimes one of the best things you can do. However I don't think you're anywhere near that point atm but I do think you would benefit on some background reading on abusive relationships, as I think sometime in the not too distant future you may well appreciate it is not you that is mad.

HotDAMNlifeisgood Tue 09-Jul-13 15:47:45
Mixxy Tue 09-Jul-13 15:50:56

You don't need a barganing chip. You are the mother. You are the house and the house always wins.

If he doesn't like long engagements tell him a city hall wedding next week will do fine until the larger "party" in a few years time.

Lweji Tue 09-Jul-13 15:52:54

In fact, I'd put off marrying him, but make sure you are not making yourself more vulnerable.
If you have a job, don't leave.

Mixxy Tue 09-Jul-13 15:52:58

"He doesn't like meeting people he doesn't like". Eh, how does he know he doesn't like them if he never met them? Sounds like he doesnt like them because they like you. He's isolating you already.

WhatWouldBeyonceDo Tue 09-Jul-13 16:01:45

It's never too late to say you made a mistake.

I realised at roughly the same stage as you. And 5 years on I'm fine, and most importantly DS is fine.
It's hard when you are in the situation as it feels like such an enormous desision.
And it is hard and things will change, and then you will wonder why you stuck around and took it for so long.

I wish you all the best.

And can someone please pm me this name, my googling skills are lacking blush

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