Baby name dispute with partner(56 Posts)
I am nearly 6 months pregnant with our first child, a daughter. My partner, her father, is a committed feminist and our relationship is fantastic. We are not married and even if we ever were (unlikely) I would not change my name, which he supports.
However naming the baby is causing row after row and stress. At first he was determined she should take his surname. I feel strongly that this would mean I was betraying her and women in general by making the first thing I do for her- naming her- a reinforcement of patriarchal bullshit! I thought we’d agreed on a cumbersome but fair double barrel but he says he can’t stand to double barrel and she should just take my surname, with his as a middle name (which is reality would be rarely used).
His condition is, he gets TOTAL control of the first name as I have got my “choice” for the surname. (I don’t see it as a choice really as it’s a deeply help principle not a “choice” to me.) The first problem is he hates all names except one that he’s fixated on from the start, that I don’t really like. I’ve given him a list of about 10 suggestions, he’s dismissed them all. Anytime I mention a possible first name, he shouts “oh no!”. This started even before the surname debate!
I hate this method of making the name decision- surely we need to choose together, not chop the decision in half?
Last night there was another heated debate. Getting exhausted by it and stressed.
What do you think?
I'd probably just choose a different surname for the three of you to be honest. Gay friends of mine did this when they married.
Then choose a name you like together?
Yes, give yourselves a completely new surname or make a hybrid of the two existing ones. E.g. Smith and Johnson you become the Smithson family.
I don't think he is a committed feminist, somehow.
And, erm, does he realise that actually he only gets a say in registering her if you permit him to? Point him at the gov.uk website:
'The mother can choose to register the birth on her own if she isn’t married to the child’s father.'
He sounds like a bully. You shoudl make the decision together.
What has he done that shows he is commited to equal rights?
Anyway, I'd take the heat out of it. Don't rise to it. Just snurk and say 'I don't think so dear' each time he mentions his crap name ideas.
Do you plan on having any more DC? If so, take it in turns to name them. That's what DH and I did. He had his heart set on a name for DS which is not my style at all. However, it made him happy so I agreed. When DD was born it was entirely my choice. I know DH would not have chosen this name, but he never said anything.
Make a new surname for you all? All of you double barrel? When we had my DS we weren’t married and just gave DS my then DP’s surname. And then I regretted that. Later we got married and changed all our surnames to a new double barrelled one. That worked for me as I didn’t feel like I’d outright given up my name, but we all have the same name which is nice. And I love that my DH changed his name too. I wouldn’t let him choose a first name that you don’t like, I think you’ll regret that.
Right now I feel like telling him he’s being a real dick about it, and ultimately the person who pushes her out through their genitals will name her. But I’d rather try and find an amicable agreement if at all possible.
We’ve been through all the options re surname solutions... inventing a blended name (doesn’t work well at all with the specific names involved), all using my name, all double barrelling. Couldn’t agree on any of those.
We had similar traumas naming the dog and the poor dog ended up with a semi stupid name!
Agree with @Lancelottie re the birth certificate
There’s an awful irony for me to your post, in that your DP sounds like my narcissistic controlling ex who is behaving like this with our soon to be third child. He has told me what surname the baby will have as well as his middle name. His actual words were he has been magnanimous enough to let me pick his first name. We’re not even married. My ex is a raging misogynist control freak though: to be fair yours is just being a bit of a latent one with this surname shit. And I’m not a feminist by most standards.
I’d ultimately be most concerned about his lack of a truly egalitarian approach to the issue of naming the child, as opposed to the whether the feminist paradigm in your relationship has been breached.
This is the problem I have with all this “stuff”. Sometimes it’s just words when the issues becomes intractable like this one. Ends up in a pitched battle regardless of beliefs.
Hope you manage to sort it out. I’ve probably just made an unwanted observation. Sorry. 🙈
Perhaps coming up with a new surname really is the best way to solve this problem.
Hope you enjoy the rest of your pregnancy and can resolve this.
Double barrell without a hyphen?
That way you can choose to use it as a double barrell or just use the the last part for daily use.
Most double-barrelled drop one day to day anyway.
@lollipop7 Sorry to hear about your ex, sounds a real pain.
Yes you’re right- the real issue is lack of desire for shared approach.
@Sunrosepink That’s pretty much what’s been agreed for middle/ last naming. Sensible suggestion.
If you put it as official two last names on the birth certificate but with out hyphen. Then it is not a middle name so you will always use the two names as a surprise name if you choose. It's just abit easier to drop one also if you choose.
I don't think his arguing style is related to his feminism or lack of. You both sound very similar and stubborn about what you want and his option is at least an attempt at compromise. What are you willing to "give" on?
You both strongly want your surname used but when he effectively gives in on this point you respond that as it's a firmly held belief it doesn't count as your choice exactly. That is petty and not a very kind response to him backing down in something important to him. I can see why he'd get equally petty over first name discussions after that.
I don't like these point scoring type of compromises and arguments but I see they work for some couples. Is there anyone, MIL?, that he'd like to honour with a middle name?
Thanks for all your ideas and comments.
Discussed it a bit more and the agreed plan is he will create a shortlist from which we’ll choose the first name together, his surname is the middle name and my name is the surname.
Going to take the dog with a silly name for a long walk. Have a good day and weekend all X
I wouldn't actually agree to that. What if you hate every name he suggests?
That's where nicknames come in Lancelottie
Oh you want to call him Maurice, dp? That's fine, I'll just shorten it to Ben 😄
Well if I hate all the names on his shortlist it’s back to square one.
"Committed feminist" my arse.
Lofty ideals are one thing but you have to also apply them to your personal life. His attitude to what should be joint decision-making is completely disrespectful.
DH and I disagreed on DS's surname but he eventually conceded that both surnames was the only fair way of doing it. We haven't used a hyphen so DS can drop one of the surnames for day-to-day use if it makes life easier for him. In part because of the surname debate, it was very important to me that we found a first name that we both liked. You're both parents and it's not fair for one parent to force their choice. DH and I each wrote a list - separately - and then compared them. We vetoed a lot of names from each other's lists and agreed on a shortlist. The name we chose was DH's suggestion originally and it wasn't my favourite to begin with but totally grew on me. Crucially though we didn't approach the discussion and decision as a battle to be won and lost. We are both very strong willed and we do sometimes dig our heels in but I think as parents you have to find healthier ways to manage disagreements and reach a compromise.
Is your partner like this about other issues you disagree on? I worry that he's going to be a nightmare to coparent with
Actually that sounds more reasonable now, though it seems to have been gruelling getting to this point.
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