Advanced search

to think people should respect my choice of name?

(333 Posts)
DuchessofPsmith Sat 11-Jun-11 23:22:44

I'm a regular MNer, but am writing under an assumed name (and using more fake names) for what's about to be obvious reasons.

DP is in fact DH. We'd had a non-legal shindig a year after we met, and told everybody that's that. And part of that was because during my previous marriage I was driven nuts by a few assholes misguided friends who'd refused to accept I hadn't changed my name: that it was still "Ms Psmith" not "Mrs Ahmed", so I really wanted to avoid giving anbody a reason to get it wrong again.

DP and I thought a bit later that it might be both pleasing to his mum, and protecting for me if anything should happen to him, to do the legal thing, so we secretly married, inviting only our mutual best friend and DH's mum as witness. We made it clear to both of them that this was to be kept secret, and that my name would remain "Ms Psmith".

Within days, the old bat made me regret inviting her, making jokes about total strangers asking "which Mrs Jones?" (as if they'd know). And within a few months DP/H and I were getting [holiday] cards from her relatives addressed to "Mr and Mrs Jones".

A few years went by. DP/H in the meantime heard from his sister that MIL had blabbed to her as well, but it wasn't officially General Knowledge. DP/H of course explained why this was, and all the stuff you read above, i.e. to respect my name.

We got invited to a wedding in her neck of the family; I sent hand-written acceptances using our two names. So, I was a but surprised to see my dinner placecard written as not "Jane Psmith" but "Jane Jones".

We didn't let it ruin our evening (although the general white-trashiness of the event was worthy of a whole 'nother thread). We stayed through dinner but left before the disco (my being 8 months pregnant proved useful for escape). On our way out, during the goodbye and pleasantries with SIL, I handed her my placecard and said "I am certain I spelled my name correctly on my acceptance - could you please in due course pass on my disappointment to whomever was responsible for this that they chose not to respect my wishes."

DP/H's next phone call with his mother started with her launching right into "If you're ringing to apologise, you're too late and it won't be sufficient" because apparently I "went ballistic" and "ruined the bride's big day" (we'd said nothing about it to her - indeed, I made sure to tell SIL we weren't going to bother B&G with this!).

We have since had no apology either from MIL or SIL. The only thing SIL had to offer - and this is where you MNers come in! - is "well, since I know you're married, I assumed your name was changed".


Moreover, I am now bothered by the thought that if what SIL perceives to be my "married name" (I am gagging even typing this) was used, does that mean she spread the secret further? How many people now know?

I actually felt compelled to look up the legality of it, and confirmed what I'd thought I'd known: that name change is voluntary and through usage - though marriage is one of the reasons one might do it, it is not automatic. There is no legal "name change fairy".

So I know leagally where I stand, but what's general consensus? Looking forward to your thoughts.

triskaidekaphile Sat 11-Jun-11 23:27:25

Not sure I understand. Why is your marriage a secret?

DuchessofPsmith Sat 11-Jun-11 23:27:55

PS, I'm going to bed now, so talk quietly amongst yourselves. I'll be back in the morning after my coffee.

PPS, sorry for length of posting.

DuchessofPsmith Sat 11-Jun-11 23:29:21

trisk because if people knew, they'd do exactly what SIL did. Second paragraph in my OP.

AgentZigzag Sat 11-Jun-11 23:32:07

But who will answer crucial questions if you're going to post and run DuchesseofPjones?

The thread might go to critical mass and it'll be all. your. fault.

worraliberty Sat 11-Jun-11 23:32:26

I think the whole thing is quite odd.

Fair enough you don't want your Husband's last name...but blimey I personally wouldn't make a song and dance about it.

Is your Husband ok with you purely marrying him for legal reasons? If so, why doesn't he talk to his family about this?

emsyj Sat 11-Jun-11 23:32:57

I think it's a bit odd to be this worked up over it. Is this going to be an AIBU by stealth??

Secret marriage sounds a bit precious to me (sorry). The rest of the world doesn't really give a shit either way, you know.


YANBU to want to choose your own name, but to be this upset about it is a bit odd. Tis but a minor annoyance, no?

kidsscareme Sat 11-Jun-11 23:33:03

OP Im a bit lost tbh.

Is the reason your marrigae is a secret becuase you dont want to change your name? Can you not just say thay you have kept your own name....

cheapskatemum Sat 11-Jun-11 23:34:34


AgentZigzag Sat 11-Jun-11 23:35:23

I love AIBU by stealth emsy, just when you think it's all been resolved, OP WBU, posters feeling smug at putting the world to right


unexpected nugget of juicy info.

Cue another 300 posts chewing it over grin

DogsBestFriend Sat 11-Jun-11 23:35:35

Indeed, legally you can be Mrs DH's name, Ms/Miss DHs name, Ms/Mrs/Miss Your name or Ms/Mrs/Miss Hoopla-Dodgem-Car if you wish! Whatever you choose is your right and people are just damn rude if they know your preference but decide to address you differently.

I kept my own name and the title Ms when I married but despite that my parents insisted on addressing me as Mrs Husbands name. It got to the stage of me frothing at the mouth! I finally sorted it by correcting them EVERY bloody time and then, because I discovered that they didn't believe that it was legal for me to remain Ms Myname, printing out the relevant law on it from a legal website. It took a long time!

Is it possible that your family also think that what you're doing is illegal?

Forgive me though, and it isn't relevant to the name you choose obviously, but why keep your marriage secret? Why not, if anyone refers to you/DH as the others partner, say that well actually we got married quietly a long while ago but apart from that we're still the same, still happy, oh, and I still prefer to be called Ms Myname by the way!

None of my business, I'm just curious as to why it's such a secret. The bottom line is that YANBU and people are so damn rude but that said if they don't know the law and think that they're in the right, make sure you correct them.

CurrySpice Sat 11-Jun-11 23:36:05

Blimey! What a fuss! I couldn't even muster up enough interest in your story and name keeping obsession to even read to the end, let alone to being myself to care. Call yourself what you like. Don't get so hung up about it that you'd be rude and obstreperous at a wedding. It matters far too much to you more to you than anyone else, live with it!

squeakytoy Sat 11-Jun-11 23:36:37

I have quite honestly never heard such a bloody palaver over something so trivial.

What on earth is fecking wrong with having your husbands surname as a family name when you get married?????

DuchessofPsmith Sat 11-Jun-11 23:37:46

Yowee, Agent, I guess I'll have to stick around a bit then! Pooter is being a bit of agiit, which is why the OP took so long in the first place.

Worra, DP/H and I didn't need to do one darned thing to make our happiness complete. As I said above, the only reason we bothered with the registry office was to (a) make his mum happy and (b) make me his closest kin. He's perfectly happy with what we've done - in fact he prefers that I am the person who would make decisions. His mum doesn't respect a lot of his wishes (religion, etc), and he knows I do.

And, ahem, he has spoken with both MIL and SIL, and you can see how successful that was.

UrsulaBuffay Sat 11-Jun-11 23:38:37

I'm going to wait up all night til she comes back, I just can't wait!

UrsulaBuffay Sat 11-Jun-11 23:39:01

ooh, xposted - xcitin!

MoreCrackThanHarlem Sat 11-Jun-11 23:39:11

I think it is very strange to keep your marriage a secret.

I haven't changed my name, but it doesn't offend me if I am mistakenly referred to as Mrs.X, after all, most women do change their name so people kind of 'expect' it.
I simply correct them, and generally it doesn't happen again.

I can't believe you soured a happy occasion over a placecard hmm

Your MIL is BU not to respect your wishes over your 'secret' wedding, though personally I think it's odd.
I can imagine the family think you are precious and contrary, looking down you nose at their 'white trash' wedding.

browneyesblue Sat 11-Jun-11 23:39:30

I changed my name after marriage, and I suppose I'd be guilty of assuming that others would probably do the same.

Having said that, this does seem to be deliberate. If I was told that someone hadn't changed their name after marriage, I wouldn't keep addressing them by their OH's surname. That would just be rude angry

shineoncrazydiam0nd Sat 11-Jun-11 23:40:10


UrsulaBuffay Sat 11-Jun-11 23:40:34

I've read it now and YABU.


MumblingRagDoll Sat 11-Jun-11 23:41:13

"White trash" is a sick phrase. Thats all.

AgentZigzag Sat 11-Jun-11 23:41:29

I was just pulling your leg DPJ, you get yourself to bed smile

The flaming will still be there in the morning grin

fairieswearboots Sat 11-Jun-11 23:41:53

This is obviously very important to you but I dont really understand why it is such a big deal. Lots of women keep their name after marriage , it's not at all unusual. And i'm sure lots of the man's family members assume his surname is used , without giving it much thought. I'm sure it's not malicious, just not something they care about enough to remember. I would have thought as long as your side of the family, your colleagues, and friends use your chosen name , it would be wise and less stressful to ignore the few 'in-laws' who dont. And i do think you were somewhat unreasonable to bring this up at a wedding.

DuchessofPsmith Sat 11-Jun-11 23:42:34

Curry - sorry I took up so much of your time. But if you had bothered to read to the end, you'd have seen that I was courteous at the wedding.

Mollydoggerson Sat 11-Jun-11 23:42:40

Wanting to keep your own name is grand, but I think you being a little toooooo sensitive about it, just keep drilling home my name is blaaaa and it'll soon get drilled home. Laugh off any failure to recognise yourmaiden name and just keep using it yourself.

You were 8 months pregnant so allowed to be a little hissy about it, but tbh, why make the big deal, slightly ott in my view.

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, watch threads, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now »

Already registered? Log in with: