To go ahead without his permission?

(47 Posts)
Hidingbehindclouds Wed 12-Aug-15 14:04:08

My dd is 9mo and has been struggling with heart problems, but things seem to have settled for the time being. I have wanted to have her christened but she has been too poorly. When she was a few weeks old, my dh and I agreed that my dsis and her dh would be perfect for godparents as they love both of our dcs and both have the qualities we value in a godparent. They live in London, but always keep in touch and visit often and really love both of our dcs.
Now that the request has been put to the church for a date for the christening, dh ha decided he wants his brother and his new wife to also be godparents. To be clear, I have a terrible relationship with them, in particular the brother is loud, obnoxious and attention seeking. He made a show of himself and even made a speech at our wedding without being asked, and always tries to take the attention during other family occasions. There has been many family rows, instigated by their poor behaviour, and he always comments on my dd saying things like 'they are so boring until they talk' 'all she does is poo and eat and sleep' and basically has no interest in her wellbeing at all, let alone being a role model for her or someone she could go to for advice. He has history of drug use, shoplifting and doesn't seem to show any signs of valuing our dd. His wife is very quiet and does whatever bil tells her to do. They live in the same town and barely see the dcs as they are too busy. I don't feel like I know her at all, and we don't see each other unless there is a family occasion.
Dh basically wants to have someone from 'his family' too (although I did point out we are all one family!) and his brother and wife are the only option.
Would I be unreasonable to plan the christening with my dsis and her dh as the godparents and no others and hope dh comes round to the idea? I can't explain how important it is for me to have her baptised as soon as we can given her health.

The5DayChicken Wed 12-Aug-15 14:10:37

Yes, YWBU to go against your DH's wishes here without discussing it first.

SoupDragon Wed 12-Aug-15 14:10:38

Yes, of course it would be unreasonable.

How would you like it if your DH planned the christening around having his B & SIL as god parents, hoping you would come round to his way of thinking?

Coffeethrowtrampbitch Wed 12-Aug-15 14:12:12

Could you suggest having your sil as the person from dh's family? That way obnoxious bil doesn't have a role in the day, and the other godparent can come from your family.

I do think it is reasonable for your dh to have someone from his family, but given what you've said about bil I think you should be able to say anyone but him.

AuntyMag10 Wed 12-Aug-15 14:13:25

It would be massively wrong to go ahead without both of you coming to an agreement. Your dd isn't your child only. However does your dh still think his Db drug taking and shoplifting make him a good role model?

SantasLittleMonkeyButler Wed 12-Aug-15 14:17:13

You are clearly having you DD christened because it means something to you. You are taking the role of god-parent seriously - i.e. giving proper consideration to who would care the most for your child & have her best interests in mind. Not everyone does. I know plenty of people who have had their DCs christened just for the party - or because it's "what you do". Does your DH view the importance of christening differently to you? Or does he actually think his DB would be the best person for the job?

I think you absolutely do get to veto a potential god-parent if you don't feel they are right for the job. But DH obviously gets a say in the choice - and the right to veto too. Would he say that you can't ask your sister if he can't ask his brother?

My eldest two DCs are christened and do have god-parents from both sides of the family. But, in our case, both sides were equally good choices.

We didn't have our youngest DC christened as events in life led to me completely lose all faith I ever had! I don't agree with having a child christened if you don't believe in god wink.

BarbarianMum Wed 12-Aug-15 14:17:28

<<Would I be unreasonable to plan the christening with my dsis and her dh as the godparents and no others and hope dh comes round to the idea?>>

And if he doesn't, what then? I think you need to agree on this but that doesn't mean you need to delay the Christening, just that you'll need to talk sooner.

It will not hurt your dd to have 4 Godparents btw, and her uncle's influence on her is unlikely to be more or less just because he is her Godfather.

SnapesCapes Wed 12-Aug-15 14:22:22

Are there any other suitable candidates from DH's family instead of those two? I think it would be entirely wrong to go ahead without him; something like Godparents is a huge decision for some people, and your DH deserves as much a say as you do; your DD is his child, too.

Bunbaker Wed 12-Aug-15 14:24:21

I wonder if your husband actually understands what is expected of a godparent. Perhaps it might be an idea for him to talk to the vicar to get a better understanding of the role, and then he may realise that his brother is totally unsuitable.

I lifted this from the C of E site:

"Every child should have at least three godparents, two of the same sex and at least one of the opposite sex. Parents may be godparents for their own children, providing they have at least one other godparent.

Godparents must be baptized themselves and old enough to make some serious promises on behalf of the child."

ImperialBlether Wed 12-Aug-15 14:29:51

"Every child should have at least three godparents, two of the same sex and at least one of the opposite sex."

There wasn't really any need for them to say "two of the same sex" if they had to have "one of the opposite sex!"

(I'm in editing mode!)

MaxPepsi Wed 12-Aug-15 14:36:37

You mention other children, what godparents do they have?

Compromise with your DH - and have just SIL

Girls tend to have 2 god mothers and one god father. If he argues that the godfather should be his DB mention that you have already asked your Dsis and Dbil when you both first agreed.

Hidingbehindclouds Wed 12-Aug-15 15:16:18

The fact is, I want the christening for both religious and personal reasons. I want her to be welcomed into the church and to celebrate our child and everything she is and is going to be!
Dh wants the party side, and the family to be around and we agreed on the godparents together, which is why I asked my sister when dd was born.
I point blank refuse to have bil or wife as godparents. Bil is not a role model, nor has any interest in dd, he couldn't give advice or guidance and I dislike his character. Asking sil would be like asking a stranger, because that's what she is. Someone I see at family events, and someone who has made nasty comments about me before, which I know I should let go of, but have never addressed with her.
My ds has our close friends as godparents (two married couples).
I find it unfair that dh has only brought this up now, knowing that there is no alternative in 'his' family.

MrsGentlyBenevolent Wed 12-Aug-15 15:23:54

Does it really matter? Honestly and truly? I mean, the title godparent doesn't mean much, I don't even know who mine are - at least you'll have one set that will 'do something' (which is more than most people get from godparents). To be honest, you're not coming off very 'Christian' in the way you speak about your BIL - I can understand, you don't like him on a personal level, but he's just as much family as you sister and her husband. You cannot have one ideal for you, and block your husband's wants out completely. Very selfish behaviour on your part, in my opinion.

AcrossthePond55 Wed 12-Aug-15 16:28:45

I don't think you're unreasonable to not want them as godparents. To me, being a godparent is a serious commitment. You are promising to be a good role model and advisor to the child, someone they can look up to and confide in. And you are promising also to care for the child in the event something happens to the parents. It's a role I take seriously both as a parent, and as a godparent.

I wouldn't name anyone as godparent to my child if I wouldn't trust that person with the care of my child.

Is there truly no one else in his family? Aunts, uncles, grandparents?

Morganly Wed 12-Aug-15 16:39:43

I completely understand your objections and I don't think you are being unreasonable.

However ......... I don't think you are going to get anywhere with your H. He wants someone from his side of the family and there are no other candidates. You absolutely cannot go ahead with a Christening without his involvement. I can't imagine that your marriage would ever recover.

The role of Godparent has no legal status. This will not affect your child in any way. It is much more important to think about who will be her Guardian(s) if you and your H both die. My children have many aunts and uncles, who are involved in their lives in varying degrees mostly based on who we see most often and completely regardless of which ones were the nominated Godparents at the time they were Christened.

ReginaFelangi Wed 12-Aug-15 16:49:31

You are taking the role of god-parent seriously - i.e. giving proper consideration to who would care the most for your child & have her best interests in mind.

Erm, that's not the role of a godparent (which has no legal standing). It's supposed to be someone that will support the child in their faith.

Our DCs have mentors rather than god-parents. We deliberately chose a couple with views similar to our own (atheist) with wide experience in lots of things. I don't see the point in choosing family members that already have a link to the child.

ReginaFelangi Wed 12-Aug-15 16:50:08

And you are promising also to care for the child in the event something happens to the parents.

Since when?

Bubblesinthesummer Wed 12-Aug-15 16:54:03

It would be massively wrong to go ahead without both of you coming to an agreement. Your dd isn't your child only

I agree with this.

WorraLiberty Wed 12-Aug-15 16:55:56

Seriously. I don't know anyone who takes the role of Godparent so seriously that they start advising and guiding the children...and even if they did, they don't need to be Godparents to do it.

It's only fair to have his brother and wife, if you're having your sister and husband.

Either way, you would be bang out of order to make any decisions without his knowledge/agreement.

YellowTulips Wed 12-Aug-15 17:07:48

My Catholic MIL christened my son and DSD over her kitchen sink with her local priest against mine and DH's wishes.

He was very angry (we are both atheists). I less so in the sense that as I don't believe, splashing water on them didn't make them Catholic.

However, I say this because to people to whom it does matter, it's a big deal with a lot of potential bad fallout.

I really think you and your DH need to compromise.

You want 2 members of your family. Why not agree to 1 and say he can choose from his side with the exception of his brother and he can choose someone from your family?

sadwidow28 Wed 12-Aug-15 17:11:12

I understand where you are coming from. I am Godparent to several children (now adults) and take a very special interest in their lives. I stepped up to the plate for child-care, extra help with guidance when asked to do so etc. Not all of my Godchildren are family members. There is one young man who actually THOUGHT I was his Godmother as he grew up ..... he knew I was Godmother to his younger sister and, because I cherished him in the same way, he thought I was HIS Godmother also.

So, clearly the Godmother of that young man (his Aunt by the way) didn't take the role as seriously as I did. And I am only as 'serious' in my role as the parents want me to be.

However, I have to say that YABU to even think about organising the christening with only your DSis and BIL nominated as Godparents without having your DH's full approval

Secrecy breaks trust. Lack of trust causes problems within the relationship. That will do more harm to your DCs than if you go along with your DH's wishes.

The role of Godparent is a religious one. There is nothing legal about it.

My DH and I were named as Guardians in the wills of 2 sets of parents. My niece and nephew (to whom we were Godparents) and the friends' 2 children (where we were Godparent to the younger DD but not the elder DS who always thought we were his Godparents as well). I am named as Guardian to my youngest nephew - but I am NOT his Godmother as he has never been christened.

Your BIL and SIL can be the 2nd set of Godparents without it actually affecting anything in DDs future life. It will be for-one-day-only for them from the sounds of it. If that keeps your DH happy, I would do it. It is obviously very important to him to have members of his family included in this very special event itself. You don't have to consult BIL and SIL on child-rearing advice, basic morals or anything else just because they are the 2nd Godparents.

Do the deal with DH and say that you are happy to have BIL and SIL to be Godparents for DD BUT it needs to be accepted that if anything happens to you both (heaven forbid) it would be your DSis and BIL who will be DD's Guardians.

Does that help?

ArendelleQueen Wed 12-Aug-15 17:17:49

If you value the christening over your marriage, go ahead. I think you would be very unreasonable to force him to come around to your ideas. Surely your religion would not permit this sort of behavior? confused

sadwidow28 Wed 12-Aug-15 17:18:43

And you are promising also to care for the child in the event something happens to the parents

That is very 'old school' even in my church (Catholic). They were the days when the Godmother (and you didn't have to have a Godfather) actually carried the child into Church, went through the Baptismal Ceremony and then handed the child back to the mother. Yes, in those days, the Godmother had to assume responsibility for the child if anything happened to the parents. Godparents were even vetted by the priest. I also recall that the Godmother was allowed to 'interfere' in the moral upbringing of the child if the Godmother thought the parents were lax.

Thank goodness we are well beyond that stupid level of Church teaching!

Godparents now promise to SUPPORT the parents. No more, no less.

clam Wed 12-Aug-15 17:37:37

Imperial, "There wasn't really any need for them to say "two of the same sex" if they had to have "one of the opposite sex!"

It means two adults of the same sex as the child, so two women for a girl, or two men for a boy.

SoupDragon Wed 12-Aug-15 17:59:27

I point blank refuse to have bil or wife as godparents.

So, it's your way or, well, your way.

You do realise your DD has two parents don't you?

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