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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 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 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 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 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

LRDtheFeministDragon Fri 01-Feb-13 00:11:13

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 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.

LRDtheFeministDragon Fri 01-Feb-13 00:27:59

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 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.

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