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want my DC to have my name

(20 Posts)
dilys4trevor Fri 01-Apr-16 08:51:27

Husband killed himself in January. He had treated me terribly (EA but wouldn't leave, telling everyone he wanted to leave me but reality different and he kept doing just enough to stay, having affairs at our shared workplace where I was very senior, very heavy drinking, neglecting our kids. Once I'd kicked him out he was begging to come home but later found out he had been slagging me off at the same time. Then killed himself).

Maybe he was ill but harsh reality was that he was throughly unpleasant and dishonest at the time of his death. First response on hearing he had done it was a weird elation.

We married five years ago (he was normal and nice then!) and all three DCs have his name. I never changed mine as didn't get around to it and my career had been built on my name.

Now he is gone for good I don't like the children having his name and it being different to mine. It's just me and them now and whenever I have to spell out their surname it makes me shudder a bit. I've also heard it can be troublesome travelling to some countries when you have a different surname to your kids and it's just you and them.

Then again, they won't understand and may see it as a further 'change' they didn't ask for. Eldest is seven and he does ask why I don't change my surname to be the same as theirs (no chance!). But I'd like theirs to be the same as mine.

Another reason not to is that if I marry again some day it could change again (although no reason it has to).

Has anyone else changed DCs names following the death of a spouse? How did the children get on with the change? Needless to say, no desire to carry on the family name! H's dad is okish but not my kind of person (H's mum is dead) and is not hugely involved with the kids, although he has been making more of an effort of late following a request from me. FWIW, my money would be on it being a 'Christmas and birthday' relationship in a few years.

OP’s posts: |
Fourormore Fri 01-Apr-16 09:04:36

I'm sorry but I wouldn't. It must be hugely traumatic for the children to have lost their father. I wouldn't want to make that worse by taking away their link to him through their name.

Travelling abroad with different names isn't difficult at all. Just take their birth certificates and your DH's death certificate with you.

starry0ne Fri 01-Apr-16 09:18:01

Does 7 year old not want to? If not then I don't think you should.. I can understand your anger towards him, however kids see people differently.. If they have good memories that is not a bad thing....

dilys4trevor Fri 01-Apr-16 09:55:05

7 yo hasn't said he doesn't want to. I haven't asked him. He wants us to have the same name and his suggestion was that I change mine to his but I haven't suggested to him the other way yet.

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lorelei9here Fri 01-Apr-16 10:01:32

I think it's fine and go right ahead.

backonthebikeagain Sun 03-Apr-16 16:26:10

I would do it. Celebrate the occasion with your dc. One day they will fully understand. My 2 dds would lI've to have my name but Exdp won't allow it.

starry0ne Sun 03-Apr-16 21:20:21

I would drop it in subtly...It is isn't really an option for me to change my name but we could change your name.. see what response you get...

ProfessorPickles Sun 03-Apr-16 21:29:53

I think I'd go with changing your children's names to your own, he was abusive and I can really understand why you'd no longer want to be associated with that name.

See if the children fancy changing to your name, it would be nice for you to all share a family name

Lunar1 Sun 03-Apr-16 23:00:47

I think you should leave it, they have been through enough. They can ask you themselves if they want to change when they are old enough to understand.

I'm pretty shocked at the suggestion that changing their name should be celebrated. Talk about setting them up for conflicting emotions when they are older.

dilys4trevor Mon 04-Apr-16 08:49:40

Thanks all.

Sadly, thanks to H, 'conflicting emotions' when they are older are pretty much guaranteed.

I will go with Starry's suggestion and mention it as a possibility. It feels ridiculous to me even now that they have that name and I think in time they will work out the kind of person he was. When they ask when they are older what happened in the run up I will tell them the truth. No interest in preserving a fake memory. There is plenty of love here. On day one I told them he had jumped in front of a train because he was sad and angry and probably ill, and it was the best thing I could have done. They accepted it and know he is not coming back.

If they don't want to change name I won't mention it again. Unfortunately, because of his behaviour, they already are on the road to knowing the kind of person he was (the morning he left he told them he was leaving because he had 'kissed another lady' and 7 year old asked me if it was the same lady who had been round when I was away).

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lateforeverything Mon 04-Apr-16 19:19:15

Would you consider adding yours onto the end i.e. a double-barrelled surname?

lateforeverything Mon 04-Apr-16 19:22:01

Fwiw my dss lives with us and his bio mum is 100% NC and we were allowed to change his name. Dh has a European background, whereby dc have mum and dad's surname.

We kept bio mum's surname for dss but put it as a middle name instead.

neonrainbow Mon 04-Apr-16 19:22:05

I'm sorry, your post above suggest you told your very young children that their dad killing himself was the best thing he could have done. Please tell me I've misunderstood.

lateforeverything Mon 04-Apr-16 19:23:40

No, OP was saying she gave the best explanation possible.

VinoTime Mon 04-Apr-16 19:24:54

I absolutely would. To hell with having that reminder following me the rest of my life. I'm dreadfully sorry your little people lost their daddy, but I do think it is something you should consider doing.

Casually mention that you don't like having a different surname and suggest changing it. If they don't seem happy with the idea, could you double barrel but drop his surname day to day and just go by yours?

dilys4trevor Mon 04-Apr-16 19:31:42

Thanks Vino.

Neon, read the post. It's very clear what I am saying.

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tribpot Mon 04-Apr-16 19:33:00

Yes, OP means that telling the dc a suitably worded (but not watered down) version of the truth on day one has been the best thing she could have done for them.

I personally would not raise this with them, OP. Travelling with children with different surnames is not that difficult, although you would need to account for why you aren't carrying a permission letter from the father. I think changing their names in the wake of their father's sudden and unnatural death could be deeply unsettling. Let's face it, if the tosser was still alive you'd be having to deal with them having his name. (I remember the OP's previous thread if anyone wonders why I am being so mean about a dead person).

dilys4trevor Mon 04-Apr-16 20:05:37

Ha ha, thanks tribpot. Yes, I thinks it's best I leave this at least a year and then see how the land lies.

The whole not speaking ill of the dead thing drives me potty. You don't suddenly become a great person!

But before anyone else reading this thinks I slag him off to my children.....I don't. Obviously.

OP’s posts: |
Kr1stina Mon 04-Apr-16 20:13:32

Why don't you change the childrens names by deed poll and add your surname as a middle name? Then they will have both your names .

Or make it double barrelled, with your name first ?

Or change the names of your younger children who I assume don't have an option on the matter .

I know lots of children who had their surnames changed when they were older than your children and didn't seen troubled by it . And I know hundreds of adults who changed their surnames and seemed quite pleased to do .

So I don't see why it's such an issue to some people

frog51 Fri 08-Apr-16 23:58:54

I was a child who had my name changed without my knowledge or consent after my father committed suicide and it bothered me enough to change it back when I was old enough. That said, I now have 3 kids (their father has no contact) and they have. decided for themselves whether they wish to keep his surname or not. One of them has but it was his choice to do so. It is a tricky situation but my advice is allow them to decide themselves.

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