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When cultures Clash..I refuse to give my father-in-laws name to my son.

(557 Posts)
orangebee1 Fri 19-Jul-13 12:13:50

Ladies, last week i delivered twins, one boy and one girl. My husband is Greek and tradition here dictates that the grandson must be named after the grandfather.
I am English and it's unthinkable to me that i can't choose my son's name. I am happy to have the grandfather's name (Yiorgos) as a middle name, but certainly not the first one and am insisting that my huband and i find a name we BOTH want.

I delivered by c-section and after two days (when i was still in the hospital recovering!) what should have been a joyous occasion turned into tears and arguments over the name choices - i wrote the names my husband and i had agreed on on facebook and his family saw and all hell broke lose.

My husband was so taken upset by his family's reaction, he was crying and distressed and finally changed his mind about the names.

As yet the babies are unamed and referred to as "the boy" and "the girl".
His sister says to me "you have three children now, what is it to name one of them after the grandfather - he has only one life and waited all of it until this day for his name to be passed on".

Am i being unreasonable??? Would you name your child a name you really do not like at all to keep the peace???

StanleyLambchop Fri 19-Jul-13 12:41:12

I am assuming from your post that you live in the UK and your ILs are still in Greece? In which case the children will be growing up here? I think that the culture they will live in has to take precedence in this type of situation. It may be difficult for your DS growing up with a Greek name which a lot of people will struggle to pronounce. So I would certainly 'anglicise' the name if I were in your shoes. If you do go for the second name option you could keep it in the original Greek form as he probably won't use it much. If you are in fact living and bringing the children up in Greece then this opinion is totally useless BTW.

Snazzyenjoyingsummer Fri 19-Jul-13 12:42:53

Traditions change as cultures change and mix. Your child has mixed heritage so the compromise of the middle name is I think a reasonable one. You could also agree to allow the in-laws to call your son by that name when he's with them - lots of children have nicknames and that shouldn't be difficult for him to understand when he's older. But I agree that his 'real' first name should be one both you and your husband agree on.

It's done now, I know, but this also demonstrates why I think announcing things like names on Facebook - when family don't already know - is not a good idea.

Are you planning to stay permanently in Greece? Does everyone else in your community follow this tradition? If so that doesn't mean you have to, but it does mean you have to be prepared to explain it over and over. Worth sticking to your guns though.

DorisIsWaiting Fri 19-Jul-13 12:43:01

If you discussed this before you were married and before you conceived than STAND YOUR GROUND... this is not new his family are trying to bully you at your most vulnerable time and you will have to live with the consequences of that for the rest of your and your son's life.

He knew your views and agreed to them.

Stick with your decision do not be budged!

JackNoneReacher Fri 19-Jul-13 12:43:19

Yanbu it was all previously agreed?! Your dh needs to grow some and stand up to his sister and family.

GobblersKnob Fri 19-Jul-13 12:46:53

I think using George is a good compromise, they are not just your children, they are your husbands too and they also belong to the wider family.

CadleCrap Fri 19-Jul-13 12:47:27

My husband is Greek and tradition here dictates that the grandson must be named after the grandfather.

I understand your dilemma but are you now living in Greece as indicated by your OP. If so then there is something to be said about adopting the nations traditions,

if not - then I'm talking bollocks and ignore me grin

LadyBeagleEyes Fri 19-Jul-13 12:48:44

He has his grandfather's last name, doesn't he?
That should be enough.
I remember my ex mi'sl catsbum face when I wanted my ds to have a Scottish name, but I pointed out his last name was extremely Yorkshire, so it was going to be Scottish.
She did take it on board.

Snazzyenjoyingsummer Fri 19-Jul-13 12:49:40

Stanley ah, I'd assumed they were in Greece. Will need some clarification from the OP to help with how to play this!

TalkativeJim Fri 19-Jul-13 12:50:53

Absolutely not unreasonable - but they are!

You DISCUSSED it. You were clear. If your husband didn't pass that on... his problem, I'm afraid.

It may be tradition, but it's not YOUR tradition.

Keep what peace? Not your peace. Why should you forever not be at peace with your own son's name?!

You can and should name your own son the name you want.

My compromise would be to give your son his grandfather's name as a middle name. That's quite traditional here.

I hope you don't give in 'to keep the peace'. Because it's NOT peace. It's you being bullied out of naming your own child, and I can't think of anything less peaceful and harmonious within a family. I don't think you'd forgive easily. I wouldn't. It would certainly be a terrible thing for your husband to ask of you. I'd be deeply angry and feel that he was betraying his MAIN obligation to his IMMEDIATE family...i.e. me and our children.

And everyone on here seems to agree!

Goldmandra Fri 19-Jul-13 12:51:44

You dealt with this matter and came to an agreement before you were even married. That means it is sorted IMO.

If it meant so much to your DH that his son's name followed family tradition he could have raised it then, before you became pregnant, during the pregnancy or when you agreed the name after the birth. Now is simply not the time.

Your wishes don't trump your DH's but the decision you made as a couple trumps the wishes of the wider family.

Just be prepared that, assuming you don't give in, you will never hear the last of this.

TalkativeJim Fri 19-Jul-13 12:53:17

' i do feel it sickening that as the mother i cannot chose my child's name?? That i feel bullied and guilt-tripped into doing something i don't want to.'

-you can choose, and you absolutely should. I hope you do.

Reading your posts again - it was a CONDITION of your marriage!

Um, how about suggesting that if he wants this condition overturned, then you're going to overturn the convention of your son getting his family name, instead you're going to register him with your father's name - i.e. yoiur maiden name? Just to be fair eh?

picnicbasketcase Fri 19-Jul-13 12:55:26

I don't know why it's even an issue. He is YOUR son, not theirs. Put your foot down and tell them that under no circumstances will he be given any name you're not happy with. A middle name is perfectly good enough to show respect.

YummyYummyYum Fri 19-Jul-13 12:55:46

Good luck with that, a Colombian-American friend married into a Greek-British family and had the same problem. She ended up naming her son after her father in law, but she doesn't like the name and chose a nickname for her son. Her mother in law said she was confusing the child and should call him by his real name. The name is not easy to pronounce, I usually call him baby sad

gemini75 Fri 19-Jul-13 12:56:23

I'd just go with it . My ds is named after his dad and two grandads and is called by a nickname so 3 proud happy men and a lovely little boy with family history to his name .

StanleyLambchop Fri 19-Jul-13 12:56:40

Snazzy Agree the post is ambiguous about the locations of everyone involved. OP can you clarify?

JADS Fri 19-Jul-13 12:56:50


Stick to your guns. This was agreed before their conception ffs. You dh needs to grow a pair snd deal with his family.

I had something similar. Dh has a family middle name which he wanted to use for ds. I hate the name, it is dull. We compromised by using a name that is an adaptation. I still think that getting a middle and surnam e from the male side is a bit unfair.

squoosh Fri 19-Jul-13 12:58:18

To be honest if I was in your position I'd be thinking 'tradition be damned'.

The name needs to be a name that both you and your DH agree on and from your initial post it seems you had found names you were both happy with. Why on earth didn't your DH give you prior warning that a diplomatic crisis was likely to erupt?

I could not and would not give my child a name I hated just to appease the in laws. Middle name is a more than reasonable compromise.

MorrisZapp Fri 19-Jul-13 12:58:52

Congrats on the birth of your twins!

I have some very bad news for you though...

You are a feminist.


YummyYummyYum Fri 19-Jul-13 13:00:08

BTW, in my husband's tradition you don't name a child after a living person, it was so much easier. In mine, technically, I would have to go to the catholic calendar and see what saint's name is on the day the baby was born, or name the baby after someone (a grandfather/mother, godparent, etc.) but we decided the name without any family interference, thank God.

TeWiSavesTheDay Fri 19-Jul-13 13:01:33

Keep saying no, they are bullying you and your husband (he didn't want to do it either, remember)

I would very publicly tell them all to fuck off quite frankly.

There are ling naming traditions in both line and DHs family - we didn't follow either of them and no one cares because they recognise that it is OUR choice. I'm sorry you didn't get that reaction.

stleger Fri 19-Jul-13 13:04:49

My ds with the Name is 21 now, and it has never been an issue. In school there has always been a 'known name' option when he was registered - a surprising number of people have a different name to the one on their birth certificate.
The only time I even think of it is when booking Ryanair things - ds has both names on his passport; dd1 also has her first and second names on her passport, although she never uses her middle name. So I need to check passports.
And congratulationssmile.

DoctorRobert Fri 19-Jul-13 13:06:19

YANBU. Especially as it was something you specifically discussed with your DH before you got married, and he's clearly in agreement.

Why should your FIL's culture trump your own? I understand he'll be disappointed, but middle name is a decent compromise and he'll just have to suck it up.

EhricLovesTeamQhuay Fri 19-Jul-13 13:06:32

Morris grin

Souredstones Fri 19-Jul-13 13:06:42

I always say a child deserves their own name.

Family names are for middle names IMO

kooksi Fri 19-Jul-13 13:07:18

See I'd say this was a really HARD decision to make IF you hadn't talked about it and actually made it a condition of your marriage ..

It doesn't mean too much to hubby if he agreed, it's only the family now that are making this hard for you both ... and it's nothing to do with them! .. They are being horrendous bullies and you both need to put your foot down and tell them to piss off!

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