Dear Husband's Family

When I married your wonderful son three years ago and I chose not to take your last name, I innocently assumed it wouldn’t be a big deal. Since keeping your “maiden” name is now fairly common and we all seemed to be reasonable people, I assumed that you would accept that.

Yet for three years you have persisted in calling me Mrs. Husband’s last name .

I have explained to you (in groups and individually) on numerous occasions that I kept my own name and that I prefer to not be addressed as Mrs. Husband’s last name , either in person or in letters. Yet, despite my continued efforts to get you to call me by my correct name, you continue to address me as Mrs. Husband’s last name .

When I send you emails or letters that have my correct first and last names on it, you continue to call me Mrs. Husband’s last name . When I sign cards and letters with both of our first and last names in order to provide a further reminder that our last names are different and that neither of us are a Mrs. Anything, you continue to address me as Mrs. Husband’s last name . When I politely remind you in person that I am not Mrs. Husband’s last name, that I have my own first and last name and want to be addressed as such, you continue to call me Mrs. Husband’s last name .

I understand that your family is “old-fashioned” (read: closed-minded bible thumpers) and that women are expected to follow tradition and defer to their husbands. I understand that I am not what you wanted in a daughter-in-law, that you do not accept my opinions and beliefs, and that begrudging tolerance is all I can hope for from you.

However, despite your obstinate refusal to comprehend my insistence that my name is my name, and your obvious lack of respect in calling me something I am not, I will continue to demand to be addressed by my own name. Is that too much to ask?

Since this is the pit:

You can take your “traditional values” and stuff them up your tight, fundie asses. Jesus-felching, Bible-humping, passive-aggressive fuck heads.

Oy, I feel for you.

Fortunately, my husband’s family is rather accepting of the fact that a) I kept my own name and b) my husband hyphenated his last name with mine. They are also (apparently) okay with the fact that the impending Beansprout will have my last name, and my last name only.

In other words, my name is Green Bean.
My husband is Over Engineer-Bean
The kid will be Beansprout Bean.

But some of my husband’s so-called friends just can’t accept our choices.

“oh,” they say. “It’s too confusing!” they say. :rolleyes: The main perpetrator of the “too confusing” excuse just graduated at the top of his class from a prestigious dental school. If he can’t be counted on to “remember” his oldest friend’s name, how can I count on him to know a molar from an incisor?

Good manners are not really confusing. People should be addressed in the manner that they wish, assuming titles are not being spuriously added, etc.

It is unfortunate that your in-laws are ill-mannered and disrespectful, but resist the urge to retaliate. If this is the worst way that she lets her resentment show, consider what worse she could do. Remember, your mother in law is the only one who could ever be Mrs. Husband’s last name

My SO did not take my last name.
Nor should she, ever.
The only *Mrs. My Last Name * is my mother and 1 of her is more than enuff for this planet.
Moreover on the funnier side, the SO’s name is listed in the phone book, so when the telemarketers call, they get me, and ask if they can speak to Mr. Wifes Last Name.
No end of hilarity when I play dumbo.

You know, you should try referring to your mother-in-law as *Mrs. Her Maiden Name * and see what fur flies.

I like how they do it in Brazil-my cousin married a Brazilian woman. The wife takes her husband’s name-but only their sons take his name. The girls all take their mother’s maiden name.

I like that idea.

That’s interesting, Green Bean. How did you guys come to that decision, if it’s not too personal?

I’ve really never heard of the kids taking their mothers name, in Brazil, the US or otherwise. It’s interesting! I like hyphenation, myself. Everyone has the same last name and it’s all-inclusive. You get problems after the first generation, though.

And on a side note, here in Quebec, it is impossible to legally change your name to your husband’s when you get married.

May I suggest the next time they send something to you addressed to Mrs. Hubby’s Familyname, you stamp it “no such person at this address” and have it returned to sender.

Next time they call you Mrs. Hubby’s Familyname, you just don’t respond. After all, they are doing this, IMHO, merely to point out to you on a recurring basis “your mistake” in not “being a good wife” and changing your name.

To heck with 'em. If they had any decency, they’d address you by your first name. (Unless, of course, you do as my younger brother and go by your middle name.)


I like how they do it in the USA. Maybe I should be careful saying this on a US-based board and heaps of people are about to come out of the woodwork and say ‘we do what? huh?’

Anyway, when I got married I just shifted my old last name to my middle name. So now I’m Aspidistra NewName or Aspidistra OldName NewName as the fit takes me (or the desire to properly identify myself to people I know more than two years ago…)

But then, that was MY decision. Calling someone Mrs HusbandsLastName when they’ve told you multiple times they don’t want to be is just plain bitchy.

Send 'em to Korea to live. Nobody takes their husband’s last name there

No, not too personal at all. I don’t mind when people ask us to explain. (I do mind when people insist that we justify our decision, if you know what I mean. But that’s a whole 'nother rant.)

Short version is this:

My husband’s parents had a very very nasty divorce. My husband has no contact with his father and minimal contact with anyone from his father’s side of the family. Therefore, he does not feel that he is really part of the “Engineer” family. (He sees his mother’s side of the family, but of course their name is not “Engineer.”)

Meanwhile, my family is completely nuts, but at least we all like each other. In other words, he admires my family’s family-ness. He feels very close to my family, and has from the beginning.

When we were getting married, and deciding on the name issue, I wanted to keep my name, and he was more than okay with that. He also wanted any future children to have my family name, because it was associated with a strong and intact family. He decided to hyphenate, because he wanted a name in common with me and any future children, but he still wanted to keep and use his own last name. In practice, he just goes by his maiden name, but on official documents, he uses his whole, hyphenated name.

Incidentally, it is ultra-common for the wife to hypenate, while the husband and children use the husband’s last name. Our situation is only unusual because the genders are reversed.

That makes a lot of sense. My SO, also, does not have any contact with his father’s side of the family, and briefly considered changing his name, but instead decided that he had to take it upon himself to make it a good last name again. :slight_smile:

Ideally, I would think that all members of the family (wife, husband, kids) having a hyphenated name would be nice… But you’d have to decide which would go first (and probably become commonly used).


No matter which way you look at it, your MIL is being deliberately obstuse and just-not-nice.

I know this sentiment’s not really a Pit sentiment, but I really have to say this is just beautiful. Most moving comment I’ve read in ages. Please be so kind as to forward it (since it’s yours) to the Springer Show so Jerry can get a clue.

The OP - your in-laws are being ignorant. Your name, your decision.

LaurAnge, I’d heard that Quebec used to be like that, but I didn’t realize that it was still illegal for a woman to take her husband’s last name. Do they have a rationale for this?

I’m getting married in August, and I have every intention of taking my husband’s last name, because my last name is a pain in the ass - hard to say, hard to spell, hard to understand over the phone, and I have almost no contact with my father and no interest in keeping his name. My fiancé really doesn’t care one way or the other. It really is a personal decision; we all have our reasons for what we choose. Your reasons, Romola, are completely valid.

(Aspidistra, I like the idea of moving my last name to my middle name. If I liked my last name more, I would probably do that.)

I also have name issues. Taking his last name feels too much like ownership. I especially don’t care for it because it is automatically expected of me to change my name, as if I have no choice. Wellllll…Back me into a corner and call me a Ms.!!! I won’t be having any body, of all things tell ME, whaat MY NAME IS!!

It is esp. hard to swithch when you are not too fond of the family’s name you are expected to take. I’ve put up with too many narrow minded rude, judgemental comments to want to be 'one of them

Now to my point–where in the hell is Mr. Husband during all this?
I’ll say to him what I said to mine–stand up!!! What good is a man if he doesn’t have your back!!! (If it weren’t for his sorry ass you wouldn’t even know these people) This obvious repeated insult should be so easy for a man, but they fail to see the writing on the wall because its MOMMIE.(or daddy, whichever the case may be)

He should go to his family and tell them, “I respect her decison and out of respect for both of us, you will speak to her with common courtesy and call her --Mrs. her last name” period!!! I believe this can be done calmly.

If they don’t, then try not to trip over your husband’s newly discovered balls on your way out!

This will only get worse. What if they don’t like how you name your kids? Repeated episodes speak to the basic fact that they don’t respect you and that is what pisses me off!

I’m sure you have more stories, about how the treat you not just your name, eh?

Why can’t they just call you by your first name? If I got married and my husband’s parents started calling me Ms/Mrs anything, regardless of whether or not it was my true name, I’d get a little weirded out. “Would you like some tea, Mrs. Snackycake?” “Could you pass the salt, Ms. Fritolay?” That’s just… odd.

I’m another one in the “your MIL’s a stubborn, disrespectful pain who thinks she’ll break you down to the “correct” way of thinking if she just keeps on trying” camp.

A guy I know took his wife’s last name in a hyphenated deal - he’s Mr. Hername-Hisname. I think they’re divorcing, but that’s neither here nor there.

As for the taking/not taking of my potential future husband’s last name; if it’s shorter than the ten letters of mine & sounds decent, I’ll probably take it. Hyphenating is an option I’d consider, but there again I’d have the “giant last name” issue.

In any case, I’m not too worried 'cause I’m confident in who I am, a seperate entity from any mister I might acquire. And I’ll set straight anyone who assumes different. :slight_smile:

(The above is in no way meant as a dig at you folks who’ve chosen to keep your original last names or hyphenate - I respect that completely.)

Sorry, I was unclear above: mostly everyone does call me by my first name when we are together in person, though some do call me Sister Husband’s last name (it’s a religious thing). What bothers me is when we are sent e-mails, letters, invitations, or cards by the extended family and they put the Mrs. Husband’s last name or my first name and then my husband’s last name. It’s not like they are just being careless and accidently address the letter incorrectly; I know I have made it clear to everyone what my real name is. It’s a concerted, passive-aggressive effort to make me “correct” my behavior. I suppose they think if I’m called Mrs. Husband’s last name long enough, that I’ll magically become the daughter-in-law they want. This behavior is not only rude; it borders on the bizarre.

Also, I would rather fight my own battles with my husband’s family then have them attack him. He is rightfully uncomfortable with confronting his family; nonconformity can result in ostracism (and yes, I do have stories…). I can accept their dislike and disrespect; but I don’t want to seperate my husband from his family, no matter how crappy I think they are. And, to be sure, I will keep any children we may have far away from their influence.

Thanks for the support everyone (especially Green Bean, your naming method is really beautiful).

(P.S. I also think taking your husband’s name is a valid decision; what bugs me is the expectation and the resulting non-acceptance when one chooses not to.)

Ugh. I used a hyphenated last name for a number of years when my husband and I were first married. It was the biggest pain in the ass I have ever dealt with. There didn’t seem to be any standards or filing rules for databases and (as of a few years ago) many systems wouldn’t accept hyphens, or so I’ve been told. So depending on the system - my information might have been filed under maiden-married, maidenmarried, married, maiden married or maiden, any misspellings not withstanding. After six years or so of this, I dropped the hyphen and started using just my married name.

Well, I went through the US Army’s Advanced Individual Training for 75B (Personnel Administration Specialist) back in 1979. Even then, we were taught to hand-write the hyphenated names with the hyphens but to file & code them as though they didn’t have the hyphens.

Well I’ll take it on your authority that the military is consistent. Too bad the civilian sector isn’t.

Well, in Quebec, they’re really picky about names. You’re not even allowed to name your kid anything you want to.

You need to have a certain kind of rationale to be able to change your name legally, and changing it to your husband’s name is not considered a valid reason.

It wasn’t like this when my parents got married, so I’d say it’s arisen in the past, say, 15-20 years.