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AIBU to not see the point in giving ds2 (due in April) DH's dad's name as a middle name when DH has practically no contact with his dad whatsoever...

(22 Posts)
TheKitchenWitch Tue 25-Nov-14 13:23:53

and hasn't done for years and years?
I think it's a nice idea to give a name with some sort of family connection or meaning (ds1 has my dad's name as a middle name), but my FIL plays no part in our lives whatsoever and until now, I'd never thought that DH wanted him to either.
FIL has seen ds1 once on purpose (we were invited round just after he was born) and twice more by accident (while we were out and about). Ds1 is 7.5. FIL has never once, ever, in the fifteen years that DH and I have been married, phoned or contacted us in any way whatsoever.
Every couple of years or so, DH will ring him. They talk and then nothing ever comes of it - they don't meet, there's no follow-up call, nothing whatsoever.
They didn't fall out as such - FIL just decided that he didn't really want to have anything to do with his DC when he and his wife (MIL) split up years ago. He has never seen his other GC at all (they are teenagers now).

So what would be the point? I haven't pressed DH any further on this since he brought it up as his dad is a bit of a sore point. I'm now wondering (while typing all this actually) whether he's not hoping this might mend things between them a bit...but then, why would it? And if it doesn't, then ds2 is stuck with the middle name of a man that neither of us likes very much who also quite obviously doesn't like us....

Maroonie Tue 25-Nov-14 13:29:59

Does the name have a bigger family connection than just FIL?
Is there another family name you could use- like a grandfathers name?
Maybe he was under the impression that giving your dads name to one son would mean giving his dads name to another an feels like his family is being given less inside ration than yours.
Just because they aren't close doesn't mean he doesn't love his father an want to carry on a family name

Sheitgeist Tue 25-Nov-14 13:33:47

Your FIL clearly has little or no interest in his DCs or DGCs, so giving your baby his name will not mend anything between your DH and FIL.
However, I do feel sad for your DH and this vain hope he may have; if naming DS leads nowhere closer to your FIL, at least your DH can feel he has made an effort.
It's only a middle name. If your DH is determined to use his DF name, I should let him if I were you just make sure you get exactly the first name YOU want .

RunnerHasbeen Tue 25-Nov-14 13:35:16

I think YANBU to not see the point but YWBU to not give him the name as it isn't up to you alone and it obviously matters to your DH. I think this is probably something difficult for your DH and being dismissive about his dad and his feelings (especially when DS1 has your dads name) will cause your DH more distress than your son will have with that middle name. I am assuming it is a fairly normal name.

If he's hoping it will mend things a bit, then I don't understand how vetoing it is a good thing, even if you are right. If he just feels sad at essentially writing off his family, which it might feel compared to DS1s name, then you are just making a sore point sorer.

Not fully understanding his reasoning is not a good enough reason for you to trump DHs wishes (unless his name was Algernon or something)!

Possibly you might be being a little U.

It's not really about your FIL, but your DH's feelings.It's possible he might be feeling the lack of a connection between your (the two of you) family and his, or maybe the name means something to him beyond your FIL.

Either way, perhaps it would be better to talk to him about it before dismissing it?

Also, would you really have an objection if DH feels strongly about it?

TestingTestingWonTooFree Tue 25-Nov-14 13:37:29

Is the name any good? My son has his great grandfather's name, but we liked it anyway.

Bowlersarm Tue 25-Nov-14 13:40:21

Is it a nice name?

We looked back at the family trees to chose middle names for our DSes. Although if we hadn't liked any of them we wouldn't have used them.

If your DH really wants it then it would be nice to use it regardless of circumstances.

TheKitchenWitch Tue 25-Nov-14 13:42:52

The only other connection with the name is that DH's family dog (when he was small) had the same name grin

We all have the same surname (DH's), so you know, it's not like there's no connection to his side of the family. In fact, part of the reasoning behind giving ds1 my dad's name as a middle name was so that he would have something from my side of the family.

I'm not against the idea, I just don't really see the point!

AmberLav Tue 25-Nov-14 13:49:16

DS1 has your father's name, so if your DH wants DS2 to have his father's name, then I think it would be unfair not to let him have his way... Just because you don't understand why your DH cares, doesn't mean he doesn't care...

My uni boyfriend J had a waste of space dad who just f*cked off... J really wanted to mend the gap, but his siblings didn't want to have anything to do with him - but my boyfriend's big brother somehow managed to track knobhead dad down for his little brother's 21st birthday, as it really meant a lot to J. Big bro and little sis still have nothing to do with dad, but J has a limited relationship, and it works for them all...

DoraGora Tue 25-Nov-14 13:49:18

I think you're regretful of the fact that your husband's relationship with his father isn't better. For my own part, I believe that children's names should have a positive connotation (regardless of whether or not that's a family one) and I personally would not choose to give my child any name with which I had reservations.

TheKitchenWitch Tue 25-Nov-14 14:03:01

Well, ds1 understands why his middle name is my dad's name, it is a bond between the two of them (some of my dad's friends refer to ds1 as "little DAD'SNAME" which he feels quite chuffed about). It's a nice thing.

DH's dad is not really very nice, and never has been. There are no nice stories about DH's childhood, he was away a lot of the time and when he was there, he did not really treat them very well. I suppose I don't see the point in giving ds2 a name which doesn't have any positive connotations. And I don't know if DH is being a bit sentimental at the moment and if we do this, he'll actually regret it. I know the rest of his family will be very hmm if we do this.

Castlemilk Tue 25-Nov-14 14:53:22

Hang on, no, that's totally unfair, isn't it? And also crap for your DS2?

If the idea was that they carry your DH's surname so the middle name should be from the other side of their family, then to be FAIR, your DS2 should also have a name from the female side of his family- perhaps your mother's father, or an old family name from your side, perhaps your maiden name if suitable.

It would only be a case of 'DS2 should have FIL name' if he was going to have a surname from your side instead. I assume he's not!

Saying it's 'fair' for it to be your DH's turn to have the middle name this time is a totally false premise. It's not. The situation is the same as last time - your DH has the surname, your side has the middle name as its place to carry on family names.

Added to this, isn't it a bit crap that your DS1 gets something from both sides of the family and a nice link to his granddad, while your DS2 gets both names from one side and nothing from the other, and his middle namesake is someone he doesn't even know? What are you going to say when he asks 'And where is MY middle name from? Who's my 'Big X'?

Keep it fair and nicer and give him your mum's dad's name or at least something he too can have a family story with. Your DH has his dad's name in there already, in your whole family - as the family surname!

Jengnr Tue 25-Nov-14 17:08:26

Is it a nice name? If it was a nice one I'd suck it up personally. If it's an ok one or one you don't like I would veto on those grounds. I wouldn't even get into the argument about your husband's Dad. He's probably all tied up in knots about it.

TheKitchenWitch Tue 25-Nov-14 17:38:38

I'm wondering whether I might use this as an opener for a discussion about DH's dad in general, as I think there are issues there that probably do need talking about.

It IS a nice name, one that is not unlike ds1's first name, in fact, so my objection is based purely on who he would be getting the name from. What would be the point? I'm not against it as such, but I sort of think that if we're choosing family names, then it would be nice if they had at least pleasant associations.

Castelmilk - yes, I agree with pretty much all of that actually. The "fair" argument is a red herring because we share my DH's surname. He also doesn't have any other men in the family that he had any sort of relationship with who I could suggest as an alternative.
My grandad was actually lovely and I hadn't even thought of using his name, but it would also be nice as it was my mum's dad (I think if it had been a girl, we'd have put both my mum and MIL as middle names).

WooWooOwl Tue 25-Nov-14 17:44:54

YABU to not see the point. Surely the point is that it's something that has meaning to your DH and it's something that he wants.

If it's not that important to you but it is important to your DH, just be supportive and go along with it.

milkpudding Tue 25-Nov-14 18:05:17

Agree with Castlemilk.

As they both carry DH's family name, it would be reasonable for them both to have a middle name from your family. Lovely idea, I wish that we had thought of that tradition!

It would be odd to use the name of the grandad who they never, ever see. I think it would be unfair for DS 2, he would wonder why you used a name of somebody you are at best indifferent about.

Also I suspect that your DH May regret this choice of name in the future, e.g. when his father still fails to get in contact.

Tobyjugg Tue 25-Nov-14 18:06:08

Whose name it was doesn't really matter. The issues are whether you and DH like it for your child and whether or not it's a name that will cause embarrassment when he's older (like "Scarborough"). The fact that some old duffer in the family also has it, is of no consequence.

WhereYouLeftIt Tue 25-Nov-14 18:10:47

And how is DS2 going to feel about his middle name in later years?

'Yeah, my big brother got his middle name from mum's dad, we see a lot of him and he's great. Me? I got mine from dad's dad, who we never see and is a bit of a shit. Say a lot about how my parents see me, huh?' sad

clairewitchproject Tue 25-Nov-14 18:20:34

I have a suggestion...why not tell DH that as DS1 is named after a kind dad who is very much part of your lives, you want the same for DS2...and suggest that he has DH's name as a middle name.

If you really want to have a representation from your side, add in an extra name...we used my surname before I was married for DS2 so he is (for example) John James Smith Brown, known as John Brown but with James as Smith both recorded as middle names.

ILiveOnABuildsite Tue 25-Nov-14 19:39:25

I think, as others have said, the only think that matter is what it means to your dh, if it's really important to him I would consider it. We are also expecting for April and have chosen middle names with strong family connection, one of the namesakes I have never met as unfortunately they passed away before I met dh but it really means a lot to my dh. We could choose a different person from my family that we both know and who will actually know our child but the first choice is very important to dh so I'm happy to go along. I know not quite the same situation but I think you need to look at it from your dh's view.

TheKitchenWitch Thu 27-Nov-14 14:33:38

This really is my dilemma though - it's not actually that I don't agree with having a name from DH's side (despite the surname being his), nor that I don't like the name - I just don't see the point of naming him after someone who we have no contact with and don't particularly like. The fact that he is alive and chooses not to see us means it's not the same as picking a name from way back on the family tree.
I'm also confused as to what it means to DH - I don't really have the feeling that he would like to see more of his dad. So again, what would be the point?
DH has a good relationship with MY dad, so when we chose that as a middle name for ds1, it wasn't just going along with something I wanted.

ILiveOnABuildsite Thu 27-Nov-14 15:03:11

The makes perfect sense and I think you need to get you dh to explain to you why it means so much to him and if he can't really come up with a really emotional reason beyond he feels he should then I think your right in not wanting to name your son after him. Middle names are not an obligation to honour people who don't have any interest in your child's life. In don't think you are being unreasonable to question wether this is the right decision and your points are perfectly valid and I think your dh probably would listen to you and consider how much (and why) it means so much to him.

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