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To Be Increasingly Irritated by PIL Insisting I have Name-changed on Marriage

(195 Posts)
LessMissAbs Wed 17-Apr-13 11:13:59

When I have not? Small problem, I know. But they have completely ignored my not changing my surname on marriage. I have told them repeatedly I am still known by my original surname, but they refer to me as "MrsTheirSurname", send me letters addressed to MrsTheirSurname and have forwarded invitations sent to their address for DH and me, scoring out my surname and replacing it with theirs.

On challenging them, they told me "If you join this family, you take our name. Its not up for discussion". Except I haven't, and I'm not going to.

EldritchCleavage Wed 17-Apr-13 11:34:38

Well, if it is a mountain out of a molehill it is they who are making it so, not you.

I agree that your DH should now raise it, because they have gone out of their way to be rude and silly about it. once he has though, I think you should ignore them if they keep doing it. But also, file away their overbearing lack of consideration for future reference. Sadly, with these sorts of attitudes it may not be the only thing about which they are difficult. Forewarned is forearmed.

Squitten Wed 17-Apr-13 11:35:50

See, usually I would say just let it go, pick your battles, etc, until...

"If you join this family, you take our name. Its not up for discussion."

THAT would royally piss me off. Has your DH not had words to tell them that their attitude is unacceptable?

TimeIsACurrency Wed 17-Apr-13 11:36:35

shock Unfortunately it's not unbelievable to me as DH has a set of relatives who refuse to use our DC first name. They don't like it so write his middle name and underline it several times in all cards/letters etc.
The called him the wrong name to his face also which was obviously confusing to a small child. We tried talking to them about it but they ignored us. They don't see us or DC anymore due to a host of other nastiness, but they still send cards to him with their preferred name.
They go straight in the bin.

I hope you and DH tell them straight, that actually they're right, there is no debate. You pick your name, not them.

DewDr0p Wed 17-Apr-13 11:37:50

My PILs do this too - I choose to laugh at their pettiness because frankly to argue with them over it would (a) make no difference and (b) be a waste of my valuable time.

People I love and respect use my correct name so in all honesty, if PILs want to play these silly little passive-aggressive games then they can knock themselves out. grin

pippitysqueakity Wed 17-Apr-13 11:38:34

This should be such a non-problem. What is wrong with some people? Surely we should have moved on from this, why get married if you won't take my name stuff by now? (I realise it is PILs not DH btw).


Does it happen often tho? I cannot think of any letters my PIL have written me in 10 years, not counting birthday/xmas/etc cards.

What I mean is, does it impact on how anyone else addresses you or is it just their little PA way of making some sort of stupid point?

LessMissAbs Wed 17-Apr-13 11:39:46

I've explained to them my reasons for not changing my surname on marriage (not that I need reasons):

- its my choice
- both of my parents are dead, I'm an only child and the last person in my family with my name
- its a nice name, and I'm well known by it in my profession
- I find changing your surname on marriage sexist and outdated
- I have some Scandinavian blood and have a whole host of female relatives who didn't change their name on marriage, in fact one of the husbands changed his name to his wife's.

FuckOffMrBloom Wed 17-Apr-13 11:40:42

Is it possible they are confused? My ILs (and DH) thought it was actually illegal not to change your name. I use both my name and my DH's surname depending on circumstance, and they were horrified when they saw my driving licence, they honestly thought I woudl go to prison for it.

HolofernesesHead Wed 17-Apr-13 11:44:29

You don't need to persuade them, Abs. It's your choice and they should respect that, regardless of your reasoning. I'd be hmm at their idea that in marying your DH, you are 'joining their family.' I'd want to sort that one out one way or another before it causes other problems, tbh. What does your DH think?

GobShizz Wed 17-Apr-13 11:45:44

"If you join this family, you take our name. Its not up for discussion."

Actually, you don't - you form a NEW family, when you choose to marry someone. I haven't changed my name, and MrShizz refused to change his, which I think is fair enough.

LessMissAbs Wed 17-Apr-13 11:45:58

I'm sitting looking at an envelope, addressed to me and DH, forwarded from them, to my own house, upon which my surname is crossed out and replaced by theirs. It has happened a few times, because DH and I were moving house, and some of their relatives would send invitations, thank you letters to PIL's house. Its also happened with every formal invitation they've sent us, not many to be sure, but the point is still made. And in conversation, they will correct me and refer to me as "You are MrsOurSurname" now, not "MsYourSurname" (emphasis on the Ms). When I correct them, they talk over me. I would have to create a big scene and stomp out to make my point.

I just hate it. Hate it. I don't see why I should get DH to speak to them about it. I am going to take them to task on it again and again, each and every time they use it.

Despite this, we get on reasonably well. But for sure, I find them old fashioned and sexist in their views - they seem to think DH and I are doing well because of his job, and make reference to the nice house we have bought, when in actual fact I earn more than him and paid the vast majority of the deposit!

quoteunquote Wed 17-Apr-13 11:46:18

What an arse, and very rude, don't give in.

send back letters , as not known at this address.

Wibblypiglikesbananas Wed 17-Apr-13 11:49:01

My mum (!) still refers to me as Mrs DH, despite me never having changed my name on marriage. Whenever I bring it up, she just says, 'Well, you really should change it.' Erm, no I shouldn't! DD also has both surnames.
Interestingly, my somewhat more enlightened inlaws are fine with this set up.
I really do not understand people who believe they can tell you what you should be called! Your name is of your choosing, simple! In your case, I'd be getting your DH to have a word. Your inlaws are being incredibly rude.

StephaniePowers Wed 17-Apr-13 11:52:38

OP they have zero respect for you. That isn't 'getting on reasonably well'.
You are going to take them to task and there is going to be another thing and another thing and then another.

What options do you have for limiting contact? Is it a big family who have lots of get-togethers? Does your DH ordinarily have trouble with them (hmm lots of men ignore red flags from parents though).

NinaHeart Wed 17-Apr-13 11:53:47

Utterly rude and ignorant of them.

(One of my BILs does the same to me and another asked what was the point of getting married of I wasn't going to chamge my name?)

I think your H should intervene and tell them in no uncertain terms that he thinks it is rude. I expect they quite like winding you up, but may think about it a bit more coming from him.

badbride Wed 17-Apr-13 11:56:04

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Jan49 Wed 17-Apr-13 11:57:07

Argh! This would really annoy me. No advice but lots of sympathy in having to deal with these people. I think it's very offensive that people think they can tell someone else what their name is.

My (now former) ILs couldn't cope with the fact that I'd kept my own surname so Christmas cards were addressed to "Mr J Smith and Jan" and birthday cards were addressed to "Jan" with no surname. My MIL said it was because she couldn't remember how to spell my surname, though it's not a hard one. Once we split up, she continued to send cards but immediately started addressing them accurately to "Ms J Jones".hmm

LessMissAbs Wed 17-Apr-13 11:57:32

LOL StephaniePowers I don't see them that much, simply because we have little in common, although we live so close together. My idea of fun isn't sitting indoors all day on a Sunday, not even going out for a walk. DH is with me on that one. For some reason, they seem to have the attitude that they are some wealthy leading local family, whereas I don't see them that way at all.

I actually had a friend of DH's, on Facebook of all places, whom I barely knew, having a real go at me for not changing my surname, and accusing me of it being because I didn't like the surname in question! Quite bizarre. DH told him he was stupid.

It is kind of clannish...

QuintessentialOHara Wed 17-Apr-13 11:59:58

They are rude and ignorant, and this is the best way they let you know that they have absolutely no respect for you.

The MrsTheirSurname they are talking about is another woman, the woman your dh might have married, not you. MrsTheirSurname does not actually exist, so when they are writting Mr and Mrs Theirsurname, they are referring to their son and NOBODY.

I would just distance myself, and be Nobody to them.

Alwayscheerful Wed 17-Apr-13 12:04:10

Ladyclarice - I am loving your post, if I had your name I would take your attitude.

OP - I rather think your in laws are just ignorant and any point you try to make would be wasted, save your energy and your breath.

Loulybelle Wed 17-Apr-13 12:07:34

Oh lord, do they find it offensive because you havent immediately taking their surname.

I'd start sending shit back, with no such person at this address and circle the name.

Does it even bother you DH, that you didnt take his name?

BlingLoving Wed 17-Apr-13 12:07:44

"And in conversation, they will correct me and refer to me as "You are MrsOurSurname" now, not "MsYourSurname" (emphasis on the Ms). When I correct them, they talk over me. I would have to create a big scene and stomp out to make my point."

This is the best that just astonishes me. MY parents (never IL) have been known to ask plaintively why I haven't taken DH' name and to have suggested that really I should. But they've never told me to my face that in fact my name is not Bling Loving.

I think you may have to get rude. "No, that is not my name. Stop calling me that" said loudly and very firmly and shout over them if they try to do it to you.

elfycat Wed 17-Apr-13 12:07:45

I get this after 9 years of marriage. I ignore, ignore, ignore. Except cheques written to the wrong name. MIL blusters. I say 'well thanks for the thought anyway but I can't bank this. Never mind'.

(Backatcha with the PA!)

Mind you my FIL did tell me at our wedding reception that I wasn't welcome in their family unless I bucked up my ideas. I haven't changed my ideas at all, so I take his offer as stated.

Thank goodness the apple (DH) fell far from that tree.

Kundry Wed 17-Apr-13 12:10:03

You are not getting on reasonably well because you are seething.

My MIL will cheerfully talk at length about her darling boy, how stressful things are for him, how he has a good job etc etc while just turning to me to point out what essential DIL task I've forgotten now.

When actually I earn double his salary, have bought a house twice the size any of her kids have, have much more responsibility at work and work longer hours. And had none of the financial support from my parents (who didn't have a bean but are amazing and my inspiration) that they have been able to give their children.

Initially I smiled nicely but then I realised I could have 20 years of this. I pull her up on it every single time now - she isn't happy but I am! It isn't you who are making a mountain out of a molehill - SHE IS.

badbride Wed 17-Apr-13 12:12:00

"And in conversation, they will correct me and refer to me as "You are MrsOurSurname" now, not "MsYourSurname" (emphasis on the Ms). When I correct them, they talk over me.."

In this situation, I would be sorely tempted to turn up wearing a T-shirt with "MsMyName" printed on it. That way, they can talk over you all they want--you can just sit there wearing your correct name, and smirk.

Haberdashery Wed 17-Apr-13 12:12:43

God, they sound absolutely horrible. So rude. I agree that you should start sending things back with 'not known at this address' on them. Or get DH to tell them that he's changing his name to yours.

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