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The last name debate

dutchgirl76dutchgirl76
100 Love Its 100 Comments First Anniversary Name Dropper
member
edited May 2015 in BNOTB
This is probably not the right board, nor a big issue since my husband and I don't want kids...but I"m curious, what's the deal with the baby always having to have the husband's last name? Since more and more women are choosing to keep "their' name, or have children without getting married, shouldn't the ladies have a say in what name is given to their children? I can see the value in everyone having the same name, I"m not opposed to that, I guess I just have a really hard time with "hey mom, give everything up (job/your body/free time), raise the kid, but don't get the credit and attachment because the dad gets the name" 

This came up this weekend at a party, my husband made a comment "we're not having kids because we can't agree on the last name", meaning I didn't change mine when we got married and I've always been clear that I want my name on there. He doesn't like hyphenated and doesn't "believe" in giving a child his or her mother's last name only, his name has to be on there. Our "compromise" has always been hyphenated, but we both think that's kind of a pain for the kid (hence I didn't even hyphenate mine to have a common name.) I guess I was just a bit offended, it almost came across as if giving my last name to a child would be so bad you'd rather not have one. We did talk about it later and he said he didn't mean it that way, but it hurts to think that would even be a reason to not have children when silly me, I thought it was things like not wanting a child period, different schedules, no close baby sitters (in laws an hour away.) In the past I have expressed my reasoning for giving my name to a child so it's not like this was a new idea.

If we ever ended up with a kid I guess I'd have to see if it was worth going to the mat for a hyphenated last name, I just don't think the mom's last name as the middle name is as good of a compromise. Anyway again it's a moot point, more of just a vent, but I'm curious to see if anyone else would be up for having their name if it was "socially acceptable"
short+sassy

Re: The last name debate

  • I think this falls in the category of "its traditional" so its weird to do it any other way.  Of course, "its traditional" because we live in a patriarchal society.

    And I actually don't think that's true for single mothers who have children out of wedlock.  I think those children are usually given their mom's last name, not their dad's, even when he is in the picture.

    Every once in awhile, I've come across a man who took his wife's last name.  Usually it is because his is long and/or difficult to spell, he didn't like his own last name, so taking his wife's was better.

    I actually didn't take my H's last name, but I plan to.  His last name is actually pretty cool because it is an actual word that is something positive.  I just haven't changed it over yet because I despise waiting for hours in gov't. offices...and apparently that is what is required...first at SS then at the DMV.

    Ah-ha!  I just checked.  My driver's license expires this year anyway.  This will be my year, lol.

    I hear ya, though.  I can see where he said that in jest...especially since you all have decided to remain childless...but it is still hurtful that, even in this day and age, it would be so unimaginable for him to allow the children to have your name.

  • I try to see it from the stand point of "if you're going with one name, you have to pick one always go with the same" and I get it that my last name is my dad's name but now it's my name too, just sucks that mom's do all the work. Give me the chance to work then come home and not change diapers you can give the kid whatever name you want.

    In a small way I feel bad for my husband because his biological father (the one who he has the last name) passed away when he was 2 so he never knew that family, I get it he wants to now have that family live on, but so do I. It's tough, we're both dying breeds, I only have 1 brother who doesn't plan on having children, my husband's siblings have a different last name. We can't pick one family name to go with assuming the other one would live on somewhere else.

    I do get frustrated when people are upset that they have daughters, again it's not like one of them couldn't break with tradition and give "their name" or a hyphenated name to their children to keep the name alive. Oh well hopefully if you're good parents your children will understand you're 50% mom's family name/family and 50% father's name/family no matter what last name they have.
  • Is it weird that i never had a huge connection to my maiden name? Its long and its greek. It was a mouthful and i spent many many years correcting people on pronunciation and spelling.  I had no issues parting with it.  I took my DH's last name b/c to us, having the same name meant being a family and we both like the tradition.   In my opinion the hyphenating is complicating but i wouldnt judge anyone who did or anyone who took the wife's name over the husbands.  
    imageimage
    short+sassy
  • dutchgirl76dutchgirl76
    100 Love Its 100 Comments First Anniversary Name Dropper
    member
    edited June 2015
    I was surprised how much slack I took about not changing my name when we got married. I put it out there that I wasn't to guests so that they didn't spend the money on monogrammed towels or items that said "Mrs. Husband's nickname" since many of his friends refer to him by that name. Even my co-workers made comments, no one could wrap their head around keeping "your own name." I guess it's never something I wanted to do I got my education and built a career under my maiden name which I was told a "good reason" to keep your own name (wasn't aware you needed a reason?) 

    My husband's last name is kind of weird and sounds like an animal (another nick name he's often faced.) My name would sound weird as my first name his last name too, when we started dating a friend of mine said to me "First name my last name - his last name" because it sounded "better", and this friend is very traditional. Plus my last name is pretty unique, as I said we're a dying breed so there's not a lot of my last name in the country. Perhaps if I were a Smith or Jones I'd be more open to going to something different and unique.

    I got a lot of the "but what will you do when you have kids? (meaning you'll HAVE to change your name then) comments from people we told we were never having kids too, but I just had remind them we weren't having kids so it doesn't matter.

    One of my SIL's even tried to tell me that you can't get a mortgage in both of your names if they weren't the same. I guess it was just weird that so many people had a problem when it wasn't their name to worry about. 

    I agree hypenating is annoying, part of the reason I never did. After 4.5 years of marriage I don't see any difference in feeling like a family with different names, honestly it hardly ever comes up unless we get a Christmas card, wedding invitation or sign a legal document. I don't think my husband like's us having different names, but it was never his choice. I did offer that he could hyphenate too or we could come up with a combo of our names and create a new last name if he really wanted the same name. He gets mad now that a friend of ours still uses the combo I suggested since "men don't change their name for any reason"

    I guess I'm just frustrated that it's so black and white, it has to be the mans name or else. If the discussion was open which name to pick and we both decided for whatever reason his was the "better" choice I wouldn't have as much of a problem (not sure how you decide which name is better). I'm not a big fan of giving the child the mother's maiden name as the middle name, I think that's a bit of a cop-out and then you ruin your chances of having a Jr. (although that to me is worse, give the kid their own identity) plus the middle name sounds weird/untraditional. Sadly if we ever ended up with a kid I'd probably have to pick my battles and give our child his last name but I'd still keep mine because it's important to me. Even in his family he has a different name than the dad who raised him.
  • I was surprised how much slack I took about not changing my name when we got married. I put it out there that I wasn't to guests so that they didn't spend the money on monogrammed towels or items that said "Mrs. Husband's nickname" since many of his friends refer to him by that name. Even my co-workers made comments, no one could wrap their head around keeping "your own name." I guess it's never something I wanted to do I got my education and built a career under my maiden name which I was told a "good reason" to keep your own name (wasn't aware you needed a reason?) 

    My husband's last name is kind of weird and sounds like an animal (another nick name he's often faced.) My name would sound weird as my first name his last name too, when we started dating a friend of mine said to me "First name my last name - his last name" because it sounded "better", and this friend is very traditional. Plus my last name is pretty unique, as I said we're a dying breed so there's not a lot of my last name in the country. Perhaps if I were a Smith or Jones I'd be more open to going to something different and unique.

    I got a lot of the "but what will you do when you have kids? (meaning you'll HAVE to change your name then) comments from people we told we were never having kids too, but I just had remind them we weren't having kids so it doesn't matter.

    One of my SIL's even tried to tell me that you can't get a mortgage in both of your names if they weren't the same. I guess it was just weird that so many people had a problem when it wasn't their name to worry about. 

    I agree hypenating is annoying, part of the reason I never did. After 4.5 years of marriage I don't see any difference in feeling like a family with different names, honestly it hardly ever comes up unless we get a Christmas card, wedding invitation or sign a legal document. I don't think my husband like's us having different names, but it was never his choice. I did offer that he could hyphenate too or we could come up with a combo of our names and create a new last name if he really wanted the same name. He gets mad now that a friend of ours still uses the combo I suggested since "men don't change their name for any reason"

    I guess I'm just frustrated that it's so black and white, it has to be the mans name or else. If the discussion was open which name to pick and we both decided for whatever reason his was the "better" choice I wouldn't have as much of a problem (not sure how you decide which name is better). I'm not a big fan of giving the child the mother's maiden name as the middle name, I think that's a bit of a cop-out and then you ruin your chances of having a Jr. (although that to me is worse, give the kid their own identity) plus the middle name sounds weird/untraditional. Sadly if we ever ended up with a kid I'd probably have to pick my battles and give our child his last name but I'd still keep mine because it's important to me. Even in his family he has a different name than the dad who raised him.

    Okay, now that has me seriously cracking up!  Ummm...no offense to your SIL, but was she kidding?  If not, how does she not realize anyone can buy real estate with anyone else?  You certainly don't have to be married, you don't have to be related at all.  Multiple people can buy real estate together.  Companies buy real estate.  You literally don't even have to be a person to buy real estate, lol.  All kinds of combinations of people/companies buy real estate together.  It's done ALL the time.

    On another side of the coin, though, and this might vary by state....but where I live in Louisiana, if you are married but buying real estate on your own...or anything you need to finance (car, furniture, whatever)...your spouse has to sign off that they are okay with your credit being checked and with you acquiring this debt.

    NoneForUs
  • I'm a bit confused...if you and your husband do not want children, why does it matter what surname your unborn child would have? 

    Also, your SIL was fabricating nonsense to suit her own beliefs. I hate it when people do that just because they can't think of plausible reasons for the decisions they make or try to push on others. 
  • As I mentioned in my original post I know it's a moot point since we don't want children, however, until it's medically impossible for us to have children there's no guarantee we won't have one (accident's happen.) I think it's sad that we have to have a conversation about what last name a potential child would have, but since I stand so strong on wanting my last name on there I wanted to be upfront from the beginning (i.e. when we got married and I "kept my name") in case a child came along or we changed our minds and wanted to have one. That seems fair since it's so nontraditional.

    This particular situation just hurt more to think that adding my name to "my husband's child" would be so bad he'd consider that a reason not to have a child. I don't care if it's tradition and all that to give the child the dad's last name only, your wife (girlfriend, baby momma) wanting to give the child her last name instead is never a reason not to have a kid. I'm now over the issue as we're not having a kid anyway, just wanted to vent.

    I understand my SIL was trying to scare me into following the norm. The sad part is at one point in her life she worked for a mortgage company so she knew the information was incorrect, she just wanted to scare me as you said. My last name and/or our child's last name is none of her business even if it would be the same. I want to appreciate "advice" from folks who see a potential issue down the road with me not having the same name, but it's not something I asked for.
  • I have a very big problem with hyphenating names of children simply because it complicated adulthood. A child shouldn't be seen as a possession that must be claimed with a combination of last names if there is no family name. 

    If my husband and I both kept our own names I would have no issue with who's name the baby took - the point would be that it only got 1 last name to deal with.

    My husband even resented being born with a hyphenated name... his parents both kept their own name and hyphenated his. They then divorced and chose not to change his name. Everything was fine until we started planning our wedding...

    I was looking at my name options with him and neither of us were pleased. For me to take his name I would have a hyphenated name that had nothing to do with my family name, for us to hyphenate would involve 3 last names, he wasn't keen on taking my name, and we didn't want to have separate names.

    So he began the dramatic and expensive process of legally changing his name. He ended up dropping his father's name as he was closer with his mother. This caused a lot of drama and hurt feelings on both side of the family, it all could've been avoided if they had just settled on a single last name.

    For the fun of it I would love to know what couples do when both people are bringing a hyphenated name... so for example:

    John Doe-Deer marries Jane Tittle-Tattle, if they don't want to pick John's or Jane's last name while avoiding eliminating names and having a single family name - they would become "John & Jane Doe-Deer-Tittle-Tattle".

    Even if they kept their own names (which I think would be socially confusing), they would have a bigger issue when naming their child. Unless one parent picked their surname, or they eliminated names for a "Doe-Tittle or "Deer-Tattle" surname then their child goes through life with the name "Johhny Doe-Deer-Tittle-Tattle. 

    And then let's say that little Johnny Doe-Deer-Tittle-Tattle married Tracy Moose-Bear-Crocodile-Platapus... does their child need to become "Junior Doe-Deer-Tittle-Tattle-Moose-Bear-Crocodile-Platapus" for the sake of child ownership, or would it makes sense to have someone at some point just settle for a surname being a single surname?
  • Neither myself nor my FI have any strong ties to our paternal families.

    He had an awful relationship with his dad growing up. It has gotten a lot better, but he doesn't speak to his grandparents, aunts/uncles, or cousins.

    I'm currently not on speaking terms with my father. We used to have a great relationship and I hope one day we can have some sort of relationship again, but we don't now. And I very very rarely see or talk to the rest of my family on his side.

    So I'm not entirely sure what we will do with names. I may just take his because I don't care about mine, but he doesn't really care for his either...
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