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Surname argument with DH - need advice!

(30 Posts)
FullaDoll Sun 28-Nov-10 11:50:40

Although DH and I are legally married, I never took his surname. This is because I have never been welcomed into his family. They have snubbed me from the beginning in spite of my doing everything I possibly can to make them like me. I didn't want to be tagged onto this family that didn't want me.

When our son was born, DH was desperate for him to have his surname, and I agreed, as I wanted to make him happy. I did think of hyphernating our surnames, but I think this is a bit naff.

Fast forward a few years... we are doing IVF and expect to be pregnant within the next few months (I have just had an unsuccessful cycle, but am feeling hopeful for the next cycle). So, it is likely that we will have at least one child to name. Probably two as we are doing IVF. Oh, and we are also doing PGD for gender selection so it/they will be girls.

So, the surname issue has cropped up again. Nothing has changed with his family, in fact it is worse. But I don't want to be the only one with my surname so I am revisiting the idea of our children (and probably me as well) having a double-barrelled surname.

I raised this with DH and after much arguing he said he is agreeable, as long as his surname goes first. The thing is, I think it sounds terrible that way around as my surname is longer. I just think it sounds better with the longer name first.

So we have reached a stalemate situation.

What does everyone else think? I know there are bigger problems in the world, but, well, this is a baby name forum so I am hoping to get some advice.

Thanks in advance!

scurryfunge Sun 28-Nov-10 11:54:15

Could you incorporate one of the names as a middle name rather than surname?

FullaDoll Sun 28-Nov-10 11:56:11

How do you mean scurryfunge?

For example, say my surname is 'Tennison' and my husband's is 'Clarke'?

MelinaM Sun 28-Nov-10 11:56:22

Well the children are as much yours as they are his, they don't exclusively belong to him do they! I don't see what the problem is myself, and especially if his family have been so unkind to you why should your children adorn themselves with just 'their' name!
Why not have a trial run of the surnames in both orders ...and hopefully you DH will see sense as to which looks/sounds bestgrin Good luck darling! x

scurryfunge Sun 28-Nov-10 11:58:31

Instead of having Joe Frederick Tennison -Clarke as a name, you could have Joe Tennison Clarke and he would be known as Joe Clarke but retain the Tennison link.

Clear as mudgrin

FullaDoll Sun 28-Nov-10 11:58:56

Thanks for saying that Melina, you have validated my feeling on the issue :-).

And actually, that's not a bad suggestion...

MelinaM Sun 28-Nov-10 12:01:24

smile x

lexxity Sun 28-Nov-10 12:02:52

Exactly the same issue with me and my DH. I was never welcomed into his family but he wanted me to take his surname. I like my surname, it's very unusual, and my family welcomed him like a son. In the end we hypenated and we're both happy with that. My name first because it sounds better that way round.

IndigoBlue Sun 28-Nov-10 13:11:42

My family has a double barrelled surname, is he worried about his name seeming less important if it's last?

If that's the case then I've always found that if people are unsure (or can't be bothered to say the whole thing) they will always use first name followed by the last name of surname and miss out the first surname. Don't know if other people have found the same thing.

FullaDoll Sun 28-Nov-10 13:18:52

Lexxity - did you both change your names to the hyphernated one?

Indigo - yes, he thinks it will "fall off the end" because it is smaller. He thinks my name is quite grand compared to his, and his will just get "forgotten".

He also keeps banging on about "carrying on the family line", etc. My argument is that we are starting a new family line, with a new name. He doesn't seem to get this.

PonceyMcPonce Sun 28-Nov-10 13:26:53

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

FullaDoll Sun 28-Nov-10 13:33:10

So, how can I persuade him that Freddie Joe Tennison Clarke is better than Freddie Joe Clarke-Tennison?

Any ideas?

passthechocs Sun 28-Nov-10 13:37:32

Hi Fulla. I don't have dh's surname either - my choice - and am still annoyed with myself that I just caved in on the surname of our kids. When someone calls their name, I just don't register - it doesn't feel part of me (illogical, I know). We did give them my surname as a middle name, but everyone (esp MIL) ignores it and to be honest it may as well not be there.

I also felt a bit off with the whole double barrelling thing - partly the combination of our names (which would be a bit odd) but also it gives the kids a bit of an issue when/if they come to naming their own kids - would they get 3 surnames or, as dh thinks, would they drop my surname anyway at that point?

I know some people make a new surname by joining up their existing names - which would sound OK with our names, and would be worth it to piss off PIL but we didn't do at the time.

So would be interested to hear other solutions (if there are any?).

It is just so sexist - think thats what really irritates! Even dh, who is in no way sexist, really couldn't cope with the idea of his kids having a name other than his.

FullaDoll Sun 28-Nov-10 13:43:51

Hi Passthechocs, so I'm not the only one with this problem then. I know what you mean about caving in, I feel the same and am kicking myself now. I don't think it's too late, though. How about you? How old are your kids?

And you're right, it is sexist.

FullaDoll Sun 28-Nov-10 13:47:08

...by the way, has this ever happened to you? We got a card from his family addressed to:

John & Freddie Clarke and Fulla Tennison.

"Dear John & Freddie and Fulla..."

Am I being oversensitive to be a bit upset by this?

moomaa Sun 28-Nov-10 13:51:31

I think a good solution in these cases is for the whole family to agree on a new surname, maybe made of bits of the other ones, maybe something completely new.

I think he is hoping that having yours on the end means it will get dropped off.

If you do go double barelled then in your example Tennison Clarke sounds better. I don't like double barralled personally though.

It would also be 'nicer' for all siblings to have teh same surname otherwise people will just keep asking about it.

lucy101 Sun 28-Nov-10 13:52:30

I have read of people who gave the son the father's name and the daughter the mother's would that be a solution for you?

I didn't take my husbands name but will give it to my children. My surname will be a middle name exactly as scurry fudge writes. They won't use mine day to day (unless they want to when they are older) but it will be in passports, official docs etc. (which can be very useful when traveling etc.)

I am actually very happy with this. I would also like my children to have the same surname. Not so in favour of double barelling as names will still need to be dropped at some point down the generational line...

Bue Sun 28-Nov-10 13:56:24

You get cards addressed to your DS before you? That is a bit weird. Growing up there were two surnames in my family and my mother was never put after us kids on any correspondence. I would be miffed.

I can see your DH's point about his part of the name 'falling off' - in my experience it's more likely for the first surname to stick and the second one to be abandoned. But I can't really see what you can do about it - one of the names has to come first. Can you think of some names that sound 'like' your surnames so we can hear what you're talking about?

FullaDoll Sun 28-Nov-10 13:56:47

moomaa - do you think 'Tennison-Clarke' sounds better because it is the long name first? I don't know if this is true, but I have always believed that in double-barrelled names the longer one goes first.

lucy101 - Giving our daughter(s) my surname is a very good idea! I would prefer us to all have the same name, but I don't think we could agree, so this is another option.

Bue Sun 28-Nov-10 13:58:17

Oh sorry - yes, Tennison-Clarke far better than Clarke-Tennison.

FullaDoll Sun 28-Nov-10 14:05:49

Thanks Bue. They do stuff like that all the time. And yes, I get miffed. Part of my desire to change my DS's surname is to make the point that I am not an outsider.

Needaname Sun 28-Nov-10 16:23:33

My DH's name went first because it's longer but I think traditionally the woman's name goes first when hyphenating.

FullaDoll Sun 28-Nov-10 16:34:45

Really?!? I have never heard that before...

muminthemiddle Sun 28-Nov-10 16:35:10

Sorry to hear your dilema and I really don't have an answer as I am simply Mrs Muminthemiddle and my dh and dcs are all muminthemiddle too.

Fwiw I always assumed that the woman's surname went first when double barrelling and the man's last, regardless of how it sounded.
Agree with chocs that it is sexist and why is it always the woman who looses out in naming the child?
I do know of children who do not use their double barrelled name, especially if it is not their parents name, so bear this in mind.

As for the card situation I am surprised that anyone puts a child before it's parent on the address. Really it should be Mr x and Miss X.

ItalianLady Sun 28-Nov-10 16:42:35

But Mr Father, Jane FullaDoll and Baby Father would look ridiculous on an envelope.

I would concentrate on being healthy for your IVF before worrying about names tbh.

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