I have a long and slightly complicated name. So does my daughter. I have always been really proud of my name, and never intended changing it when I got married, I would consider double barrelling, but my surname is already double barrelled, and that would mean choosing which half of my surname to drop and replace with my husbands.
When me and my husband got engaged, we discussed our options. Both changing our surnames to double barrelled or him taking mine, or having our original surnames. But if we kept our names and we had children what name would they get?
Ultimately I kept my name, and he kept his. When we had our daughter we decided for her to be double barrelled with his and half of mine. Secretly I would have loved her to have my surname, but that just felt selfish! So we all have different surnames, linked but different, we are happy with our decision, and proud of it.
Unfortunately me keeping my name and my daughter having a mix, brings out quite the reaction in people. Some seem outright offended and angered by it, or think my husband is emasculated by ‘letting’ me keep my name and adding half my name to our daughters, some are just confused. I always get asked ‘why?’ I usually respond ‘why not?’ But why is ‘why’ still being asked in this day and age? Occasionally I get a woman who responds with the ‘I wish I could have done that, but my husband wouldn’t have been happy with it’. I have a friend who wanted to double barrel her surname when she got married, but this infuriated her husband to be, and ultimately men’s opinions and feelings seem to matter more. I don’t understand why it is such a big deal, or why some men find it so offensive. I can understand wanting to all have the same name, but why don’t you see more men taking women’s surnames? I know it’s a personal choice, but it should be that, a choice. And definately not a controversial one. Surely we are an open enough society that people can cope?
My husbands family find it very difficult to accept. For the last 3 years I have been reminding and correcting them, and so has my husband. My parents in law never got my name wrong before we were married, so why is it so hard now? I understand that as they are older they may find it hard to accept. But I’m sure they are now doing it to show their displeasure and make a point. What hurts me the most is when they get my daughters surname wrong, and only put their surname on. Me and my husband made a joint decision on this. They are being disrespectful and essentially saying that half of my daughters surname doesn’t matter, which in turn is saying half of her family don’t matter either. Sadly this issue isn’t only reserved to his parents. My brother and sister in law get it wrong every time to. They are the same generation we are, so why is it so hard? I don’t mind if someone has to email/text/ring me to check my daughters surname, I have actively encouraged that.
I know I shouldn’t let it get to me. But when you are proud of your decision, and it’s just my name or half of it that they ‘forget’ it really does hurt. It really annoys my husband and it’s not his name being forgotten.
People don’t have to agree with it or like it, they just have to respect our decision and accept it. And please STOP getting it wrong.