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AIBU?

To insist on DD name change?

199 replies

LegallyBlondie · 18/10/2022 20:24

My DD has just turned 3 and has my DP's surname. On the night before she was born (by arranged C-section), my DP proposed and I thought things couldn't get any more perfect. Given that we were going to be married, I registered her birth and gave her (what I thought would be) our family name.

We booked our wedding for Spring 2020 and my parents paid for all of the deposits, my dress etc. (DP's parents not on the scene). Of course with Covid, we thought postponing the wedding would be the most sensible thing to do and most suppliers agreed to transfer deposits over to a new date.

I should say at this point that we have a generally good relationship, we are in the process of buying a new house and I am currently pregnant with DC2. The wedding/ family name issue has however become a major bone of contention and I am so so upset by it all. DP now acts as though he doesn't want to marry me. I have tried so many times to sit down and have a sensible discussion with him about how important it is to me to have the same family name. Previously I avoided the issue to avoid rocking the boat, but it has become so upsetting for me I can't let it go.

At any mention of the wedding or rearranging a date or family name, he immediately becomes visibly annoyed and comes up with excuse after excuse. He makes me feel like I'm the one in the wrong for bringing it up. I have reiterated time and time again that I don't care about a big wedding, all I care about is being a family with the same name, and have suggested just going to the registry office, but he is still evasive. I feel so ashamed that I don't seem to be worthy of being his wife and it's really embarrassing having to make excuses to everyone who asks when our new date will be. I feel ridden with guilt that my parents have spent all this money and he doesn't care. Any discussion at all about the issue results in him storming off. He repeatedly says 'we will get married.. one day' but he's fobbing me off.

After a further attempt tonight to have a discussion about what it means to me, I finally had enough (not sure if pregnancy hormones!!) and said I want DD's name to be changed to double barrel to include my surname. He said 'do what you like.' I have the forms prepared and ready to go. I would never have registered her this way if I thought for a second he wouldn't see his proposal through. I'm so upset by this whole thing and really keen to get it resolved one way or another before the arrival off DC2. AIBU?

Please be kind to me; currently crying in the bath!!

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Confusion101 · 18/10/2022 23:14

What surname will you give DC2?

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caringcarer · 18/10/2022 23:15

Don't buy new house with him. Let him see how upsetting it is when partner retracts on a promise. I would change dd1 name to my surname and when dd2 born he would not be on birth certificate. He is trying to destroy you. How humiliating to have to go to your parents and tell them he no longer wants to marry you. I would have no more children with him either. I'd probably give him ultimatum, we get married or break up. How can you go on in a relationship where your wants and needs are not met and he constantly humiliates you.

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Confusion101 · 18/10/2022 23:18

when dd2 born he would not be on birth certificate

Ffs.......

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LegallyBlondie · 18/10/2022 23:19

JaneAustensHeroine · 18/10/2022 23:08

So sorry you are in this situation. I totally get how you might be feeling. My ex had depression for many years and what you have written really resonates with me. He says now it was about control. He would become angry and resentful and take it out on things that were important to me. Like your DP, his parents were not around and seeing my family supporting me made him even more resentful. So he would do things that were quite spiteful at times to get back at me for having something he didn’t have or being happy when he wasn’t.

Well done for sorting out the paperwork regarding your DD’s name. Next step is to start saving your money in your own account towards your future. You may never need it but this man isn’t someone you can rely on right now. He has let you down. And he thinks he is justified in letting you down. Start putting yourself first OP.

Take care. 💐

Thank you for this @JaneAustensHeroine, it's nice to hear from someone who's been there too. I spent years working out why DP was the way he was- he eventually was diagnosed with depression (likely to be lifelong according to the Dr) as a result of child hood trauma. His mother left him at 7 and his dad was a controlling abuser (now dead). I've made an awful lot of allowances for this over the years, and constantly try to work out why his behaviour is justified but I'm now just really fed up. He has made progress but this situation is an example of issues rearing their ugly head again. Sorry I know I went a bit off tangent there!

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JulesCobb · 18/10/2022 23:19

Sheenqueen · 18/10/2022 21:52

I don’t understand the issue. If a woman divorces and changes back to her maiden name, should she ask her kids to double barrel their surnames to make sure it’s clear that they are her kids?

Maybe the issue is society expecting women to rent names from men

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LegallyBlondie · 18/10/2022 23:21

Confusion101 · 18/10/2022 23:14

What surname will you give DC2?

I suppose for consistency it would be better to be the double barrelled name too.

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Dixiechickonhols · 18/10/2022 23:27

I’d definitely give dc 2 same surname as dc1 so double barrelled. They are full siblings and it will be odd if they aren’t.

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Confusion101 · 18/10/2022 23:27

Dixiechickonhols · 18/10/2022 23:27

I’d definitely give dc 2 same surname as dc1 so double barrelled. They are full siblings and it will be odd if they aren’t.

Agreed. Seems best choice

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JaneAustensHeroine · 18/10/2022 23:39

I hear you. You’ve made allowances and tried to respect his needs and wants to make him happy. Time to put yourself first. It takes time to get into the habit but every time you think about meeting his needs, say STOP out loud and think about what you want first.

If he won’t prioritise you then prioritise yourself.

If it helps, I have seen several people with childhood trauma who respond like this when their children are born. It’s a difficult time for many people who have had difficult childhoods. But this is his issue to deal with not yours and taking it out on you is unfair and unjust. Start meeting your own needs and looking after you first and foremost.

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Finerthings · 18/10/2022 23:46

Well done for getting the form signed and done.

People who are officially double barrelled often drop one half or the other. She might end up using just your name at school in practice, depending how things pan out. The double barrel gives her flexibility for the future and that's plenty.

I think the baby would be fine to have just your name if you see things going that way longer term. It doesn't need to be completely consistent with DD - you can do a lot with "known as" names at school and you can explain to DC about the change in marriage plans. Whether it's worth fighting the battle with DH over it is a harder question.

I'm sorry he has treated you so badly.

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WisherWood · 18/10/2022 23:46

just can't understand why I deserve all this; he's had significant MH problems for many years, which I have borne the brunt of, I try with everything I have to give him a great life and I am just so, so sad.

You sound like my mum, who is in her late 70s and has been married for 55 years. And I'll ask you what I asked her - how much effort is he making to give you a great life? Because from where I'm sitting, this all seems very one-sided. Just bear in mind OP that you don't have to put up with this. Yes, you need a connection to him because of the children. But if I were you I would be looking very seriously at ways to live a life separate from him.

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Allthegoodnamesarechosen · 19/10/2022 00:00

I think you need to change your strategy. Take marriage off the table. Don’t ever mention it to him again, if he brings it up, just shrug and say ‘ oh….Don’t let’s talk about that it’s so boring’.
If he tries to discuss the future, just say you are planning for an uncertain future as a single mother, which you accept as your current situation and which is probably not going to change.Meanwhile, get your ducks in a row for not being married to this man. Keep your finances separate as you can, maybe don’t get a new house yet. If he askswhy you’ve changed your plans , which are your plans as an independent and separate person, just shrug and change the subject.

Bet he starts to get a lot more interested once he thinks he has regained the initiative and has to ‘woo’ you ( personally I would not say yes to this dickhead again, he’s missed his chance at getting a lovely wife, but that’s up to you).

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GoldenCupidon · 19/10/2022 00:17

Ah, he’s a “Fix Me!” guy, I nearly married one of those too.

After we broke up (for other reasons) I began to meet other people who had severe mental health issues but took responsibility for themselves, sought treatment, showed interest in others, didn’t seek to blame their MH for any failings etc. They didn’t expect their partners to flatten themselves out to nothing in order to bend to their needs, or do all the emotional and practical work of trying to “cure” them. I was gobsmacked.

I’m so sorry things are working out like this OP but you can’t cure what sounds like essentially a selfish man by sheer willpower and avoidance of issues. You need to put yourself and your kids first as he probably never will Brew

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NumberTheory · 19/10/2022 00:49

I completely understand, from your perspective, why you want to change her name.

But I don’t think it’s fair on her. What you are proposing will make your life better. But your daughter will have to be able to document the name change every time she has to verify her identity from birth, for the rest of her life. It doesn’t come up that often, but when it does it is a pain in the ass if you don’t have the documentation. It’s not like a wedding certificate where you can write off and get another copy if you’ve lost it.

So I think you are being a bit unreasonable. Not because you haven’t been let down by your DP, you have. And not because it’s unreasonable to think if you’re going to have different surnames DD should have yours and not his, it isn’t. But because you are creating work for your DD down the line that she hasn’t asked for and that won’t benefit her.

Give DD2 your name. Make sure you are building up a sound financial base for yourself. Don’t be a SAHM. Only buy the house together if you won’t lose out financially. - What I’m saying is, don’t rely on him financially. For all your focus on names, finance is what marriage is about. If you have kids with him you need to be particularly careful you don’t let yourself fall into a situation where you’re financially screwed if one of you decides it’s over.

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user1477391263 · 19/10/2022 00:50

My mum has concerns that our DD will grow up in a 'broken home' and pretty much encourages me not to rock the boat.

It's a "broken home" already, because the poor kid's dad isn't prepared to give his partner and his children legal protection (!). That sounds pretty damn broken to me. Everything the OP suggests tells me this relationship is doomed anyway.

OP, you've made some poor choices here (why did you get pregnant with a guy who wasn't already legally committed to you via marriage?), but you're being smart now, a lot smarter than your mum.

Start taking stock of your assets and your money. Focus on your career and earning prospects, now--start looking for daycare so you can return to work as quickly as possible. Leisurely maternity leaves are for women who have rock solid, legally committed husbands and you don't have one.

Think of yourself as a single-mum-in-waiting, because the odds that you will be one before are overwhelming. I've seen relationships like this many times. They always break down--always. You'll get a better deal for yourself if you start preparing for this now rather than later on.

Do NOT buy a house with this loser. Do NOT change your name to his. I cannot believe there are people on here suggesting that you take his name!?!?!

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Blowthemandown · 19/10/2022 00:50

@LegallyBlondie no law in UK says you have to take DH name if you do marry. Never has done. I didn’t change mine and I never would. Not sure if you are in UK or not.

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WhosafraidofVirginiaWoolf · 19/10/2022 00:57

BIL pulled this stunt on his partner. She wisely named her first after her.

What I cannot get my head around is the fact that she then went on to have 2 more with the feckless twat and gave them his name in the hope that he would marry her.

24 years later she is still with him and not only do the kids have different names but she is not named on the mortgage either.

She stupidly believes the "common Law" bollocks and I have stopped now trying to open her eyes.

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Thatboymum · 19/10/2022 01:00

Why would you actually want to marry somebody tho that’s made it clear isn’t that interested? I don’t think it’s fair at all to basically say if you don’t marry me you’ll change her name, her name isn’t about you it’s her own identity, if your that fussed I’d change your own by deedpole

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Aria999 · 19/10/2022 01:05

Maybe you should say to him something like; DP, talking about getting married clearly bothers you. You don't want to do it any time soon. So I will cancel the arrangements and get as much money back as I can. If at some point you want to get married, ask me again but next time, mean it.

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JustKittenAround · 19/10/2022 01:23

He should be enthusiastic about getting married… anything less is a no go.

He sounds awful to be honest.

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Ottersmith · 19/10/2022 01:45

Just give her your surname. Don't pander to him any more. Is it right that in the UK that if you aren't married then it is your job to register the birth? If so then it will be easy to give the new baby your name only. Be careful with combining finances because if you split then you won't be entitled to his share and I'm assuming you have given up more work to have the kids.

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Mari9999 · 19/10/2022 01:56

It sounds as though he may be having second thoughts about marriage, and you do not need to be married to a man who does not want to be married.
If this man loves his daughter and is willing and committed to being a caring father who loves and supports his children , it is likely that his children would want to have their father's name on their birth certificate.

The cost for not wanting to be married to the mother should not be the ability to be identified and named on your children's birth certificates. If this man is willing to give love and support to his children, why should he be denied the opportunity to give them his name? This should not be turned into a transactional or quid pro quo situation.

Your partner does not sound like good marriage material, but you haven't said anything to suggest that he may not love and want his children.

Giving both children a hyphenated last name may be a solution of sorts, and it does seem as though you may have dodged a bullet in terms of the marriage.

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IncompleteSenten · 19/10/2022 02:11

Does he want to end the relationship?
No longer wanting to get married plus telling you to do what you like re your daughter's surname makes me wonder if he really wants out.

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PickAnyName · 19/10/2022 02:55

It sounds as if he really doesn't want to get married any more - maybe this is the impact of lockdown on his MH? "he suddenly feels 'unwell'...." is his way of trying to get back control. It seems as though you have dodged a bullet - can you imagine what it would be like if you had married him and he carries on like this? DO you still want to be with him on this basis? Personally, I would want to disentangle myself. It's good that he signed the form; he may read into this that you have had enough... and he would not be far wrong, from what you say.

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EleanorLucyG · 19/10/2022 03:35

I'm with you about the importance of the name OP. Who wants to feel like a spare part in their own family? 🤬 It's totally not the same to change your name to his. The reason is supposed to be because you're married! Changing your name to his when he won't marry you is just degrading yourself further.

I'd give the second child your name only. For continuity the first child can decide to drop half their double barrelled name if they want to be the same as you and their sibling. It needn't be a fight, just register the birth without him then you can give your name and his opinion doesn't come into it. You're the one carrying the child in your womb for 9mths and giving birth. If he wants an opinion on things he can marry you.

If you've currently got a joint account then pay your parents back out of joint money. Then separate finances. Sell the current house but don't buy another with him. That way you can leave whenever you like, whether you're renting or living in a property owned by only one of you. If you don't own the property where you live make sure you invest your share of the money so you can buy somewhere if you decide to leave.

Sorry it's turned out this way OP.

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