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My father won’t respect my name

(46 Posts)
ButItsmyName Sat 16-Nov-19 20:11:48

When I married I changed from my father’s surname to my husbands.

When I divorced I changed my surname by deed poll to be my maternal grandfather’s surname. I then with ExHs permission added my new surname onto my DCs name, day-to-day they are “known as” ExHs surname but on all documents is ExHs Surname-GFs Surname. This has made it so much easier when travelling abroad as they have one name the same as me.

I didn’t change it to insult my dad like he claims, I did it because my dad’s surname is extremely common (think Smith or similar) and paired with my uncommon first name to me it just didn’t sound right, my granddads surname is much less common and fits more with my first name. My DC is so happy to have one name the same as me.

My dad refuses to use it. He was the same when I was married. He kept saying I will always be “Miss (his surname)”. When I was married he’d always say I should have stayed as my surname. He claims I changed to my GFs surname to insult him as my mum changed back to her maiden name (GFs Surname) when she divorced my dad, and he says it shows me taking sides in the divorce. He claims my mum is turning me against him. He sends any cards addressed to me as “Miss (Firstname)(His Surname)” if I tell him that’s not my name he says it is as that’s what’s on my birth certificate, and he knows it’s on my birth certificate as he registered my birth alone.

He also refers to DC by his surname even though they’ve never had it. He apparently used it to one of the teachers at an event there last half term and then wondered why the teacher didn’t know who he was talking about.

For added context: He chose my first name (he used to wax lyrical about it when I was a teenager) and I have kept that, he also chose my middle name which I have also kept. So I still have the name he chose for me, I just have a different surname.

I have tried calling him by a different name but he just shrugs and says I can call him whatever I want as it’s only a name – hypocritical much.

AIBU to ask for ways I can get him back?

Seeingadistance Sat 16-Nov-19 20:23:22

Just ignore him.

Craftycorvid Sat 16-Nov-19 20:24:24

Well firstly, I wouldn’t try to ‘get him back’ tempting though it must be! I have every sympathy with your frustration. My DM addresses letters etc to Mrs DH’s surname, which I don’t use, doesn’t mean ill but it’s annoying. All you can do is correct him every time he does it and encourage your DC’s to do same. If the relationship is otherwise ok, you could try talking to him and telling him you love him but this is your decision and no amount of ignoring it on his part will change it. However, constantly disrespecting your choices may very well alienate you eventually.

Veterinari Sat 16-Nov-19 20:27:21

Stop speaking to him? He sounds like a controlling arse who thinks you’re his property

nocoolnamesleft Sat 16-Nov-19 20:29:54

You are but chattel. Woman know thy place.

Can someone remind me what century this is, ffs?

SleepingStandingUp Sat 16-Nov-19 20:31:35

Well I think you either need to ignore it / correct once when he does it. Ut don't engage in argument, or if this is just one example of how he is controlling and sees you as his property, go nc.

I wouldn't waste toem doing revenge

ChicCroissant Sat 16-Nov-19 20:33:48

You don't have to turn up to every argument you are invited to, OP. If he's always done it he is unlikely to stop if he knows it winds you up. I don't think he's right here at all, but it really does sound as if he does it because he knows you'll react.

Aquamarine1029 Sat 16-Nov-19 20:35:13

AIBU to ask for ways I can get him back?

That's just ridiculous. Ignore him.

mathanxiety Sat 16-Nov-19 20:45:52

It seems from your post that you and your dad are a little too involved in each other's lives.

It's nice that he is able to go to events like your DS's school thing, but why was he talking to teachers there about DS?

Step back a little.

Tell him you are sorry he feels that way when the subject of your name comes up. Don't respond when he keeps on talking about it.

FenellaVelour Sat 16-Nov-19 20:47:03

“Your mother is turning you against him.”

Jesus Christ, I hear this sort of thing all the time in regard to children, but you’re a grown woman.

He is behaving like a spoiled brat. I would think the best way to deal with this would be to ignore him and just don’t respond. Send any letters etc back marked return to sender, addresses not known.

FenellaVelour Sat 16-Nov-19 20:47:23

*addressee not known

HigherFurtherFasterBaby Sat 16-Nov-19 20:48:18

I changed my surname after divorce to my Great Grandmothers maiden name, my Dad thinks it’s cool AF grin

Ignore yours. Dickhead.

Eckhart Sat 16-Nov-19 20:48:33

The thing that will piss him off is to ignore him. The thing that will piss him off more is if you agree with him. 'That's right, Dad.' will do his brain in if he's used to you getting upset about him.

What difference will it make?

ThatsMeInTheSpotlight Sat 16-Nov-19 20:49:49

Are you 12? hmm You don't need ways to get him back. You're allowed to change your name. He's allowed to be upset at your choice. I can't imagine the use of your surname comes up that often anyway.

It also doesn't matter if he chose your other names. His point is that you were given his surname at birth and you then changed to have the same surname as your DM. Most people would do that to show they were taking their DM's side. I don't know anyone in RL who has changed their surname as an adult because they want one that matches their first name better. I do know people who have deliberately changed their name to distance themselves from their father.

Aridane Sat 16-Nov-19 20:50:47

This is obviously a hugely emotive area for your father. I have known permanent rifts in families over the 'abandonment' of the family name

Aderyn19 Sat 16-Nov-19 20:51:49

I can see why he's hurt tbh. Names are very emotive for people - you have actively rejected his name, the name he chose for you at birth and picked the one that your mum chose, post divorce. I'm not disputing that you had valid reason and that you didn't do it to hurt him and it's absolutely your right to call yourself whatever you please, but for him it's bound to be a loaded choice.

FizzyGreenWater Sat 16-Nov-19 20:53:43

'Dear Dad,

This has been a hard decision, but I have decided that we no longer want to keep in contact with you.

Every time you refuse to use my legal name, the name I chose, you show not only me but also your grandchild - whose name it also is - just how little you respect their mother. I can't let them grow up seeing that dynamic.

i'm not your property - but everything about your attitude to this shows me that that's what you think of me, and it stinks to high heaven. I can honestly say that I have never felt in the past that I was more on Mum's 'side' than yours - until now. How ironic. If you were half as belittling and controlling to Mum when you were married, I can see why things went the way they did.

You've already made a fool of yourself at your grandchild's school by demonstrating how pompous and ridiculous you are over this. Only a name? Clearly, you don't think so.

Don't contact me any more. Or at least, not until you can respect me enough as an adult to use my name when you do it.'

FizzyGreenWater Sat 16-Nov-19 20:55:30

I do know people who have deliberately changed their name to distance themselves from their father.

A father who wouldn't even use her married name remember, because as far as he was concerned, she stayed his property surname.

Can't imagine why you'd want to distance yourself from a sexist twat like that!

wildcherries Sat 16-Nov-19 21:02:00

The fact that he also does this to your children should get you to distance yourself. He sounds controlling. I'm sorry, it must feel shit.

steff13 Sat 16-Nov-19 21:05:16

Ignore him and distance yourself. Assuming you're a grown woman and not a child, forget about getting him back.

TheMidasTouch Sat 16-Nov-19 21:19:59

'AIBU to ask for ways I can get him back?'
You really need to ask? You are behaving so childishly.

I can understand perfectly why he is upset. You divorce and then revert to your mother's maiden surname. I can see how it looks like you are taking your mother's side in their divorce. Your DF is probably extremely hurt.

If you wanted it to be easier to travel by having a surname like your children's then it would have been so much easier to just keep your ex husband's surname. Voila! No need for your children's names to have to be changed.

If there is not some reason behind this to do with your parents' divorce then you must go through life doing things in a highly convoluted way.

ButItsmyName Sat 16-Nov-19 21:23:49

I didn't want to keep my ExHs surname, at all. I just didn't want to be associated with him anymore. He agreed to the change of surname for DC and was fine with it, I never mentioned my maiden name as I didn't want to use it again. I don't associate it with me anymore.

It is literally my dad who has a problem with it. And it's not about him. If it was about taking sides I wouldn't spend time with him or let him come to school stuff (it was the Harvest Festival and the teacher asked him who he was watching and he said "(DC firstname)(his surname)" and the teacher said she didn't know who that was. It was him who wondered why.

Chloemol Sat 16-Nov-19 21:24:01

You ‘get him back ‘ by ignoring him, stop rising to the bait, just accept that’s how he is and move on

hopelesssuitcase Sat 16-Nov-19 21:24:25

Well he is obviously unreasonable but your reasons for changing your name seem very 13 year old to me. You can't have a basic surname with a fancy first name? confused

ArtieFufkinPolymerRecords Sat 16-Nov-19 21:38:57

Strange that you say you chose to take your grandfather's name rather than you chose your mother's name.

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