Emotional support

Being strong-armed into taking his name


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I'm feeling really miserable. I've been laid up for weeks with post-viral fatigue, so I'm already feeling really low, but issues with my future in-laws are getting me to the point where I'm really tempted to just give up on the wedding.

His dad regularly calls up and rants about how awful our choices relating to the wedding are.

First it was that "normal people don't get married in a castle" then it was "everyone snubbed us at the engagement party" (when they sat in the corner and refused to talk to anyone). Then we moved onto "you can't serve Indian food, people don't like Indian food" (which they got around by offering to pay for the catering if we went for "normal" food).

The latest one was mid-week and was on how it was unacceptable that we were planning to double-barrel our names. Apparently, he feels that double-barrelled names are for illegitimate children (although he appears to have said that in harsher words) and that it isn't G's name. He also said that G's mother was very unhappy and wouldn't be sending out invitations if that name was on it (which it never would have been because it was going out under our single names).

Anyway, we took the thing about his mum with a bucketful of salt as usually when he says that it's total bull and just a shield for his own opinion. We ignored him and agreed we'd go on as before.

That was until G spoke to his mum today who ended up in tears because she was so upset (which I can't understand when G's forename is her maiden surname). Now G's seriously considering keeping his name.

I actively do not want to take is name. His name sounds AWFUL with my forename and I do not want to be known as Mrs "his name" which is what will happen if he keeps his name and particularly if the children take his name.

I've said that if I keep my name then the children will take my name, but I know that we'll get the same sort of arsieness from them if we do that.

I really loved the idea of us taking a shared name that wasn't contrary to my feminist leanings and I'm really hurt that his parents are pushing him out of it, when I thought that double-barrelling was a fair alternative to him taking my name (which actually sounds fine, unlike my name with his surname).

I'm trying to leave it up to him to make his own choice but whatever happens someone will resent him and I hate that it will probably be me and I really don't know if I can deal with that long-term

I just really needed to rant about it and sadly share my misery.


I see the problem, but it sounds like you have your view, and if he has his, then it's tricky. Ignoring the parents, do you not think that him changing his mind and wanting to keep his name might be what he genuinely wanted all along?

Persoanlly, altho a bit of a feminist in some ways, I couldn't wait to take my husbands name in marriage. I am unsure why, something about being on his team, lol. My view makes it hard for me to fully take on board yours.

I have friends who kept their names professionally while taking their husband's name personally. Is that something you have considered? Personally I wouldn't like to have a different surname from my children. Hmmmm. Tricky. BUT don't be down, esp if you haven't been well. These things have a way of sorting themselves out.

Our greatest glory is not in never falling, but in rising every time we fall.


I don't think they have strong issues with me keeping my name on paper, but I'll end up being known by his name if he keeps his and even more so if our children take his.

I really don't know. I don't think he minded originally, because he didn't think it would be an issue but now that his parents are complaining he's choosing them over me.


I would want the same as you - to both have the same name, children have the same name etc. I also don't think it's really their concern. I can understand their concern as it's their name that will be changing, but it really isn't something they should be pushing onto him. He's a grown man.
I am with CBW in that I can't wait to have h2bs name. I will keep my name professionally though.


I'm having a similar problem. I love my surname, but h2b's is very boring and normal. I want to stay my name, and we have discussed it in detail, h2b does want me to change but he's not forcing the issue. His parents on the other hand really did take offence to it, especially his mum. My advice, is do whats best for both of you. They may not like it, but after a while they'll forget about it and move onto the next thing!


SS do what's best for you. Talk to him, and tell him to ignore his parents' ranting for a minute, asking what he REALLY wants. If he wants a double barrel name, then that's it.

But it really has to come from him.

When we first got engaged, H2b offered to take my name personally if I wanted that. His mum almost had a heart attack (yeah, she can talk, her maiden name is the same as her married name), but H2b said that didn't matter, if it was what I wanted.

He needs to make his decision based on HIS feelings, not his parents'.

Civil Wedding: June 13th, 2011 Religious Wedding: August 13th, 2011


I think you should stick to your guns. I hate this whole thing about the little woman having to take her husband's name. If G wants to keep his name the way it is, and it is his own decision, the fair enough. Don't forget though that you always stated that your children would have your name... don't give up on that either!!

I hope you're starting to get better soon now. You need to be better for May!! xxxx


One of my friends did what you wanted. She already had a double barrelled surname so when she got married she dropped the last name and added his, thereby keeping the double barrelled thing, he changed his by deedpoll to adopt the first name in the surname and add his name, so they both have the same double barrelled surname.
When I had my son, I considered doing the same thing (although there was a comment from his mum that went along the lines of 'make sure the baby gets your name') but in the end the baby has H2B's surname and I will take his name when we marry.
I think you have to either seriously stick to your guns, both of you, if it's what you both want. Maybe don't mention it again until it's been made legal. A little underhand I know, but needs must.
If, when, you have children could they take your surname as a middle name if you really can't go down your intended route?
You have a lot of options, you could let him keep his name and double barrell yours, you could keep your name professionally and take his in your personal lives.
Unfortunately, because of society's ways, you probably would be known as Mrs (his name) regardless.
I don't envy your battle and I hope you resolve it with a conclusion that satisfies you both.

Get well soon!


He is marrying you not his mother!!

I have to say.. we haven't addresses the whole me changing my surname etc I haven't thought about it too much.. but I think I'm going to really struggle changing my name as I love my name lol

It must be really hard, his parents being so negative towards your and H2B's wedding.. but one little bit of advance my mum gave to me, when I worried about what people would say about out choices for our wedding was

"your marrying Simon, not them, just do what you both want to do, they will get over it"


You should do what you think is best for the two of you.

My h2b already has a double barrelled name so I will be taking that on our wedding. But it is tradition in my family that the first born son has the mothers maiden name as their middle name which I am def gonna continue.


I'm stuggling with h2b name as it's not the best - i do, however, really want to take his name as it's quite exciting i think to change your name!

I moaned a hell of a lot about his name and pretended i didn't want to change (just to annoy him really haha) I always joke about it being a terrible name and I suggested he take mine. He will have none of that though!

In his opinion his friends would think he was less of a man if I didn't take his name on - and he would NEVER dream of taking on the girls name. Whether or not this is fair - do you think that maybe G feels the same? I think it is something that a lot of men would feel. (I know it's totally sexist!!). But it does sound as though he has been persueded very easily, why not talk to him about it again and make sure he definitely wants to take on boht names. Maybe he is unsure and you wouldn't want him to do something he was uncomfortable with anymore than you would want to do something you were uncomfortable with.

At the end of the day though it has ZERO to do with MIL2B!


If he were to be someone who was worried about being "less of a man" for changing his name then I would be calling the wedding off. He's marrying me and into my family and I have no truck with sexism or sexist traditions.

I've spoken to him again and he's going to speak to his parents to see if there are any good reasons for their objections. Neither of us slept last night while we had the biggest row we've ever had. I wouldn't mind so much if he hadn't been happy and excited about it until his parents complained.

I'm not making a big fuss for nothing, this is quite fundamental to me. Taking a shared name is about becoming a partnership and I want an equal partnership, not to be the "wee wummin" in anyone's eyes.


I actually had not meant that as an offensive comment but apparently you have taken it that way. I was merely offering advice or another perspective which is why people post on internet forums. But, to be honest,I personally find your defensive comments a little offensive. To suggest that taking your husbands surname is entering into sexist traditions and that is is therefore any less of an equal partnership is a little unfair to those of us who do it.

Myself and my fiance have fundamentally different beliefs on most things. We have had many a heated debate over our beliefs but we love and respect one another for our strong opinions and we would never dream of having blazing rows, or calling off our wedding as a result. The threat that you would call off your wedding if he had certain opinions only makes the possibility that he would keep his feelings to himself more likley.

I am by no means a feminist - that is not to say that I would in anyway tolerate being treated disrespectfully by my fiance. I feel that we are both strong individuals in our realtionship and we treat one another with respect - perhaps this is why I can confidently and happily take on my partner's name with out feeling that I am any less his equal. I can also have a light-hearted joke with him about it without feeling insulted. I also feel that his thoughts/beliefs/concerns that he has about the name changing process are equally as valid as mine and therefore deserve to be considered.

My fiance and I becoming a partnership does not mean taking on one anothers beliefs or abandoning our own. It's about loving each other regardless of our differing opinions and spending the rest of our lives together.

What I do know is that my partner would not make his decision in name-changing based on his mother crying.


I think it's got nothing to do with your in laws and you need to make the decision based on what you and your H2B actually want.
I do agree though that some comments about taking your husbands name makes you the 'little woman' are a bit off - I am taking my husbands name which will replace my fathers name, the name that has been passed down the male line for generations. Surnames have always been passed down the male line so I don't think keeping the maiden name actually makes such a feminist statement as to be worth bothering with.


I don't see choosing to take your husband's name as a sexist tradition, but I see not having any choice but to take your husband's name as a sexist tradition.

Sorry, I didn't mean to be offensive, just to clarify my position. Although if G did start trying to be overly manly and traditional, then he would no longer be the man I love.

His parents, although really just his dad, would have preferred a nice, normal, traditional girl but given the way we met that was never going to be the case (I won't explain too clearly, but it's not where you meet normal people). His dad is very two-faced and this has been a consistent stress for quite some time.

I didn't mean taking his name would make me little woman, but that's what his parents want me to be (not to mention that they hate me being the main bread-winner and head of the household, although admittedly I do run the kitchen, while he does most of the housework).


I agree with SmileyJulyBride about the less of a man comment.

My H2B would NEVER consider taking my name. The idea was floated for all of about 10 mins. In his eyes he is the last male with his surname so it is his duty to continue it. I have an older brother to continue mine.

I also don't think it matters whoes surname you have or if you make your own, but I do think it is important to have the same one (even if you keep your own at work). It defines you as a family unit and is an outward expression of your unity.

I never wanted a double barrelled name, and I don't think H2Bs goes as well with the shortened version of my first name. But niether have stopped me taking it on. I am really looking forward to signing my name as Mrs L-S


At the end of the day it's between you and hubby to be...it's nothing to do with his parents and I really think h2b needs to have a word with them about how they are behaving.

Ask h2b what HE would prefer not going by anyone else's opinion inc his moms.

My other half has changed his name to double barreled ready for sept and fortunately his parents said it was completely up to what we wanted to do, which is how it should be.

I didn't like the idea of completely losing my name as that's how I'm known...plus everyone said it sounded porn starish haha!!!

Hope you sort it out x


You probably gathered that was meant to be P.O.R.N