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About my name and ILs

(70 Posts)
PukousMucous Thu 29-Aug-13 17:02:27

I wonder if I'm being over sensitive about.

When I got married I didn't change my name, I discussed it with DH and agreed that I would if he would but he wouldn't so neither of us did. Both of us very happy with this arrangement. I discussed it with my in-laws, not to ask permission but just to let them know which I thought was courteous. Their response was what it is to everything "doesn't bother us."

I agreed with DH that DCs would have his name and in-laws duly informed.

Now, three years on they persist in referring to me using my husbands surname. I feel less aggrieved when they address things to both my husband and I as Mr and Mrs DHs surname. But when they send me a birthday card it is addressed to pukous DHs surname. They have never referred to me by my actual name the whole time I've been married.

Reading this back it's a bit of a first world problem but just wondered if I was being a bit U to be pissed off by this.

FondantNancy Thu 29-Aug-13 19:30:30

"Deliberately calling someone a name they do not use is not "etiquette" it is appallingly rude. And cringingly passive-aggressive."


This. Etiquette is about making others comfortable, no? Not about point scoring by showing that you 'know better'.

I get this too, but only from very elderly relatives of DH's. I'm willing to let it slide. ILs on the other hand should know better.

WorrySighWorrySigh Thu 29-Aug-13 19:32:40

It is not etiquette to address someone by something other than their name in any setting without their express permission. It is downright rude.

Whether the person in question is still correctly named Miss/Ms Zara Phillips or Mrs Michael Tindall is her business and nobody else's.

Hebemajeebe Thu 29-Aug-13 19:33:40

Some of my relatives still send post to me using my exHs surname - which I never used even when I was married. Believe me, this is a whole new level of irritation.

SoupDragon Thu 29-Aug-13 19:36:48

As an aside, I notice that you appear to be perfectly happy with James Smith's decision to be known as Jim

How do you know his name is James and not Jim? Are you making an assumption based on "tradition"?


Pachacuti Thu 29-Aug-13 19:47:52

Nah, just that statistically if he's old enough to have a wife he's far more likely to actually be a James rather than a Jim. In either event, if Waltzing knew him exclusively as Jim I don't get the impression that she'd insist upon seeing his birth certificate before agreeing to put "Jim" on that hypothetical envelope.

Pachacuti Thu 29-Aug-13 20:04:42

BTW, the Court Circular does refer to Zara and Mike as "Mr and Mrs Mike Tindall" or "Mr. and Mrs. Michael Tindall" and to Zara as "Zara Tindall". I have no idea whether Zara has okayed that form of reference or had it imposed upon her.

SoupDragon Thu 29-Aug-13 20:07:21

IIRC, she said she would be known as that but retain Zara Phillips professionally.

justmyview Thu 29-Aug-13 20:16:59

My parents / aunts & uncles do this to my SIL. They insist on using the married name, not her maiden name. They justify it on the basis of social tradition / etiquette. I wince every time. When I point it out, it falls on deaf ears, as if she's a rebellious teenager, not a grown woman. I like tradition as much as the next person, but I think deliberately ignoring the name some one uses is downright rude.

Not as bad as my aunt & uncle who refuse to call their grand-daughter by the name her parents chose, because they don't like it. They insist on using another name. To my astonishment, they've persuaded many of their generation to do the same, so that, instead of my aunt & uncle looking like idiots, it's my cousin & his wife who end up looking stubborn / perverse. Baffling

amysaidno Thu 29-Aug-13 20:54:08

I have the opposite. I took DH's name because I wanted us to all (incl. kids) to have the same family name. My (feminist) Aunt sends me cards to Ms. Maidenname. I don't actually mind, I am not sure she has even twigged that I changed name, I like to think that it hasn't occurred to her.

Pilgit Thu 29-Aug-13 21:19:36

I have just about broken my PILs of referring to me as Mrs DH firstname DHsirname.' on mail sent only to me. I am NOT his property. I did not lose my name upon marriage. They now refer to me as "Mrs Pilgit DHsirname". A small step towards them using my actual name as I haven't changed my name. It irritates that pants off of me. My MIL did try and use the argument once that it's because the husband supports his family. I then pointed out that by that logic he should have changed his name to mine as I earn about 4 times what he does and so I support my family (of course he does in non-financial ways and i am not undermining non-financial contributions as they are equally important in family life, it was simply the argument she was using) it soon shut her up on that one. I married the man not his name. What I choose to call myself is my business and anyone who presumes to call me something else because they don't like it or because they want to enforce social conventions is just bloody rude. Otherwise I love my MIL to bits! (and the DD's have DH's name as quite frankly mine is not one you want as a child, but I've got used to it and have a professional reputation)

sarascompact Thu 29-Aug-13 21:34:02

Just tell the ILs that because the use of your own name is obviously causing them confusion (in a head tiltingly, "oh dearie me, one gets a teensy bit forgetful as one gets older" way) your husband and children are seriously considering changing their surnames to your own.

They'll either remember what you're called or self-combust in a fit of righteous indignation. Win-win. wink

PukousMucous Thu 29-Aug-13 22:15:03

Everlong, I thought we could find a random name and both change. My suggestion was Zorro but it was vetoed.

Portofino Thu 29-Aug-13 22:27:27

I love that in Belgium women keep their maiden name til they die. Though I love it on one level and when it was me, twice married and having never used my maiden name for 20 years, I was less keen grin it was like being back at school.....

SoupDragon Thu 29-Aug-13 22:41:17

Personally I love having a choice.

Bunbaker Thu 29-Aug-13 22:51:06

"And waltzing - sure its etiquette but it's massively outdated and also offensive."

Goodness, you are easily offended. It is rude and disrespectful not to call someone by their name, but I think calling it offensive is a bit OTT.

Incidentally, what is the etiquette when addressing Christmas cards to a married couple with different names. Is it Mrs Smith and Mr Jones or Miss Smith and Mr Jones or Firstname Smith and Firstname Jones?

FryOneFatManic Fri 30-Aug-13 21:40:40

Ms X and Mr Y, or Mr Y and Ms X, generally anyway.

Guess it depends on which of them you know best!

Wibblypiglikesbananas Fri 30-Aug-13 22:40:06

My own mother still addresses me as Mrs DH - and I've never been anything but Ms MaidenName. I think she honestly believes my name was changed automatically when we got married. There's no telling her.

MaidOfStars Sat 31-Aug-13 01:42:33

Not unreasonable. It's very important to define yourself, by whatever name you choose. They should respect that.

MaidOfStars Sat 31-Aug-13 01:44:04

Also, who the fuck writes their Christmas cards to Mr X and Mrs Y?

Jenijena Sat 31-Aug-13 06:48:59

My mum sent my Christmas card to Mr A and Jenijena Husbands name. Had quite a bit if a row with her on it as I feel so passionately that my identity is mine. ILs have got it - reluctantly, probably - but family/friends on that side (ie people i and my husband have no contact with) have not been notified.

MrsHoratioNelson Sat 31-Aug-13 07:15:23

"Also, who the fuck writes their Christmas cards to Mr X and Mrs Y?"

Erm, I do. Like I address cards to my uncle and aunt "Dr and Mrs X" and my cousin and his wife "Mr and Dr Y" because that is the correct and polite way to address people - with their correct names as indicated to you by them.

Roshbegosh Sat 31-Aug-13 07:21:24

I think it's pretty trivial and whether we choose to keep our father's last name or take our husband's is personal. I prefer DH.

TheRealMrsSmith Sat 31-Aug-13 08:35:03

I never took my husbands name when we married, both sets of parents and family knew this. I still receive cards from my parents, DH parents and my siblings addressed to Mrs Smith even though I'm still Ms Jones. Doesn't bother me in the slightest. I still have my own identity, I know who I am and so does DH grin

badbride Sat 31-Aug-13 09:15:53

"Proper etiquette" is the preserve of ghastly social climbers. grin

badbride Sat 31-Aug-13 09:17:51

Polite, sane people address a person using the name by which he/she prefers to be known.

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