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Fiance has an embarrassing surname and I don't want to take it...WWYD?

410 replies

sweetsinger · 05/11/2021 02:50

NC for this as it could be outing.

My boyfriend proposed to me a couple of weeks ago, which I am beyond delighted about. He is a great guy and we suit each other well.

Something that is causing me a lot of anxiety (hence why I am awake at 2.44am) is the prospect of having to take his name. He has a pretty embarrassing surname. I don't want to write it here because it could be outing but it could be likened to something like 'Meacock'.

I like my surname, it is fairly standard, think along the lines of 'Richards', and I feel that there is a real dilemma in taking his name. At the risk of sounding petty:

  • I don't like it
  • If we have children (which we hope to), they will be obvious targets for bullies
  • I prefer my surname


A simple solution would be for him to take my surname - I mean it is the 21st century - but:

a) he is pretty traditional so I doubt he would want to do that
b) I don't want to offend him or his family by suggesting this

The two points above also fit for if I keep my surname. I would also like to have the same surname as any potential children so me keeping mine and him having his wouldn't really work.

I have thought about double barrelling but Richards-Meacock still isn't great...

I know I am being petty as I would have no problem with taking his name if it wasn't so embarrassing and associated with penises.

What should I do??
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Breakingmad · 05/11/2021 02:54

Why on earth do you think this is petty?

You’re a grown woman, it’s your name, just don’t change it. Give your kids your name and if DF is so keen on having the same name as you and them then he can change his. Don’t give it another single moment of worry.

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MrsCardone · 05/11/2021 02:58

You could combine both of your names into one?

Just not the endings: ‘Hardcock’ Grin.

How about the first syllable of each of your names? Would that work?

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DriftingBlue · 05/11/2021 03:04

There is no reason you need to change your name.
Your children also can have your surname, even if you are married.
DH and I are married before children, each kept our original surnames, and dc has my surname and a significant family name from his side as a middle name.

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NoReason · 05/11/2021 03:09

Keep your surname and give any children you have your surname.

Unless ‘traditional’ means controlling, it won’t be an issue. And it has nothing to do with his family.

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sweetsinger · 05/11/2021 03:12

@Breakingmad I suppose I feel like it shouldn't be that important to me/rise above the dick associations?

@DriftingBlueIf I keep my name and give that to any DC we may have I worry about offending his family. And he is quite traditional so I think he would want me to take his name and not take mine, even though if I was him I would do it without a second thought to be rid of the negative associations! Maybe I need to be firmer about not wanting to take his name but I also don't want to offend or upset him.

@MrsCardone lol that made me laugh! I don't think a combination would work and it still runs the risk of offending him and his family.

I genuinely don't know how he and his siblings survived school with the surname that they have!

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fallfallfall · 05/11/2021 03:13

well you didn't run and hide when you heard his last name, don't imagine children will care.
i know some pretty weird surnames and never heard any jokes. the weirder the surname usually the older the history.

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sweetsinger · 05/11/2021 03:14

@MrsCardone I actually heard of a couple who didn't like their own surnames so created a new one for themselves when they got married! I floated the idea past DF and he just thought it was strange...

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Grimsknee · 05/11/2021 03:17

WWID? Me personally, I'd keep my own name (no matter what my fiance's name was). I'd explain that I am keeping my own name because it's my name and I don't want to change it. If the man I was marrying was upset or offended by that, I'd think again about marrying him because that wouldn't bode well for the future.

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sweetsinger · 05/11/2021 03:18

@NoReason

Keep your surname and give any children you have your surname.

Unless ‘traditional’ means controlling, it won’t be an issue. And it has nothing to do with his family.

What if he wants to have the same surname as his children? Would I just say he has to change his name to mine? How do I go about telling him I want to keep my name without it being obvious that I'm embarrassed by his surname? Is it possible to register a baby's name in the mother's name even if the father doesn't agree?

I did wonder about double barrelling it officially but only really using it officially and continuing to use 'Richards' in my day-to-day life. Kids could then have the double-barelled surname and then choose to drop the 'Meacock' bit if they prefer...
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sweetsinger · 05/11/2021 03:19

@Grimsknee what about children's surname?

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HoppingPavlova · 05/11/2021 03:25

but I also don't want to offend or upset him.

This is someone you plan to marry and spend the rest of your life with right? If you are having this reaction now I’d really reconsider unless you want to spend eternity treading on eggshells.

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sweetsinger · 05/11/2021 03:27

@HoppingPavlova I just don't want to be unkind, that's all

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Topseyt · 05/11/2021 03:29

Just keep your own name and give that to your children. It is bollocks that you must change it, traditional or not.

Waa he ever teased about his name while growing up? If so then that could be part of your leverage, not that you should need any.

You may need to be insistent though, and stop worrying quite so much about what his family (or even him) will think. Say that you want to keep your own name as it has been such a crucial part of your identity since the day you were born. Would that work better than simply saying that you don't like their name?

There are certain surnames that I certainly wouldn't want to have.

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NiceGerbil · 05/11/2021 03:29

Tricky one. And polarised views on this topic!

In general IMO

Loads of men even nice ones take as given wife will change name
However keeping name is imo pretty inoffensive to most. Reason identity work etc obv not your surname is awful!
Children. This is the rub. I think it would be difficult to find many men who would be happy with different surname to children. IRL most would assume not his kids. Crappy but that's how it is.

In your case. Tricky. Sensitive for couples parents etc as well.

How about you both keep own surname and any kids get double barrel? Best I can think of.

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sweetsinger · 05/11/2021 03:34

@Topseyt yes he was teased - thank you, I will definitely use this as part of my argument, as well as identity etc.

@NiceGerbil yes I am leaning towards that - using the reasons of identity and work is helpful. Even though double-barrelled would still sound rubbish I'm thinking any kids we have could always drop the 'Meacock' bit once they reach an appropriate age.

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sweetsinger · 05/11/2021 03:35

@NiceGerbil I do think there is something nice about having a 'family name' though. I suppose I need to weigh up whether that is more important to me than having a surname I hate...

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NiceGerbil · 05/11/2021 03:36

Double barrel is both so counts as family name I reckon!

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HoppingPavlova · 05/11/2021 03:38

I’ll also add I was more than happy to offend my in-laws with the same situation. DH was no issue, and in fact if I had of said I was Changi g my name I am betting he would have called it off as that would not have been the person he thought he was marrying, he doesn’t hold with changing names in marriage and would have likely assumed I was aligned. His parents though …….. When they looked shocked when they called me ‘Mrs their surname’ and I said ‘oh no, that’s not my name, it’s ‘my surname’’, and looked at them like they had a bolt loose, I couldn’t have given less of a flying fuck if you paid me.

The corker came with kids. I have an average surname. DH has an average surname. Why inflict this on children, even a double-barrel would have been a bore. So we used the letters from both of our surnames and came up with a great one. So, we all have different names - kids all have the same though. The kids couldn’t care less about having a different surname to ours and are very pleased we did what we did and gave them a great one they are proud of. It is important to them though that they all have the same surname as each other, to them that’s vital, but that’s just them. In-laws really lost it over that Hmm. Refused to be called grandma/grandpa etc. When kids were little we just said it was because sometimes older people were confused and funny but obviously as they got it bro their teens they realised it was because they were just fuckwits.

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SleepyMathematician · 05/11/2021 03:44

I grew up with the kind of “Hardcock” surname you describe. You fiancé will have been teased for it at some point, I can guarantee. Find a solution now and don’t put your children through it.

DSis and I couldn’t wait to get rid of our name on marriage. In later years I’ve been criticised by some for “taking the man’s name” but I married into a nice normal standard name and I’m so glad I did. My children are grateful too - they say they would hated my birth name.
My brother kept his name on marriage but his wife didn’t change hers to his. Their children have the wife’s name. As far as I know no one has ever commented on this since they got married. My Dad was pretty upset at first that his family name wasn’t feign passed on, but not his decision - he got over it.

Habing been there, I’d strongly suggest you either keep your own name to give to your children or choose a new family name between you. Don’t be afraid to broach thus with your fiancé. He’s not stupid, he’ll know the connotations.

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VashtaNerada · 05/11/2021 03:46

Keep. Your. Surname. If you change it just to please your inlaws it’s the thin end of the wedge. What else are you prepared to do for them? In terms of children, that’s for the two of you to discuss. I know plenty of people whose families have non-matching surnames.

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timeisnotaline · 05/11/2021 03:53

There is nothing petty about wanting to keep your name. It never crossed my mind to spend a moment caring about what the in laws thought of my decision. Dh would have preferred I change my name but it also never occurred to me to give that any weight, it’s my name and I’m keeping it. He certainly wasn’t offering to change his name.
I agree children are harder but double barreled is a good way to go. (I confess dc have his name, but it’s a perfectly nice name. I do have a friend with an embarrassing name and hell would freeze over before I gave that name to my children. Said friend and wife both switched to another family name to have the same name without using his name which is similarly embarrassing to your example)

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alexdgr8 · 05/11/2021 03:56

i am quite surprised that women these days even think of giving up their names.
can you not see it is a sign of subjugation.
when i was young, i would have thought by now that only some older women would still bind themselves like this.
i find it quite sad.
are you not an equal individual. why have your identity disappear.

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Mamma43435 · 05/11/2021 03:58

I kept my surname. We doubled our kid's surname but without the hyphen.

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Mamma43435 · 05/11/2021 04:01

Your can keep your surname without too much explanation - just say you like it! It's your name! Channing your name to his is incredible old fashioned.

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mamaknowsnothing · 05/11/2021 04:08

So my ex has a horrible rude surname and I was adamant our child would have my surname. Days after birth he wore me down and we registered our son with his surname. We eventually split a year later. I've since remarried and had more children. Ds1 is 16 now and has changed his name to my married surname.

Ds was bullied growing up because of his surname, his dad apparently never was Hmm We changed his secondary school and he was "known as" my surname and was a much happier child.

He still sees his dad every week, his dad eventually got used to Ds having his stepdads surname.

So what I'm basically getting at...keep your surname!!!!!

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