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What do you think of this Surname Debate? - Page 2

post #21 of 111
One thing I have learned in 15 years of marriage -- agreements are never absolute. We change as individuals and as a family during the course of time, and what is important to us at one point changes. It's a question of who needs something more at some point. If this is very important for him as a way of processing his ideas of family and identity I would probably sacrifice some of the other issues to help him do this, or find different ways to acknowledge some of those other issues.
post #22 of 111
You made a deal on this already. I'd keep the deal.

It seems to me that:

your dh wants to symbolically make up for all the years of not knowing the reality of his biological father. As if a last name could be the same as therapy, or whatever else it will take him to process this. It seems to me he wants to skip a few steps by naming the kids his true father's last name.

I'm sure the step-father (actually bio father) is wonderful, but because of the deceit (and it was a deceit) perpetuated on your dh, the step-father/bio-father really doesn't deserve the passing of his name. I hope I'm explaining this well and not coming across harshly.

But I'm afraid your dh will think "ok we all have this name! All is well!" and not do the really hard emotional work this is going to take.


You could give the triplets dh's father's name as their (only) middle name, not as a second middle name. Then it wouldn't get as "lost" as if they had two middle names.
post #23 of 111
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cherie2 View Post
I do not agree with same last name = unity. Just about everybody in my family has a different last name.. we are quite united.
Of course you are united, you're family and the familial bond surpasses something as superficial as a name. I always sort of thought of us as a team, though. I like my kids being "the XX kids," you know? DH and I have the same last name for the same reason, so that we can be "the XX family" (I understand why you and your dh do not share last names though, OP).

In the grand scheme of things, it isn't that important. It isn't like the family will fall apart and never attach without a common name. Having a name that identifies you as part of a clan/team/family is a symbol of unity, however.
post #24 of 111
All of the hyphenated last names I've ever seen run at least 10+ letters, most last names are at least 5, so if you combine two...there you go.

I would really move to compromise on this, to be honest. Of course, as an adoptee, I think that validating one's heritage can be extremely important, and names can be even more important. You kind of were able to luck out on this, because when you were married, your DH had no attachement to a name.

Now he does. While it may mess up the absolute visual appeal of the name for you, for awhile...I think it would reflect your compassion and honoring to include him if you were to at least discuss this some more and offer compromises until you come closer to a consensus.

I guess you could stick to your guns about "well, you made an agreement before this came out, so I win". But in many, many relationships things change over time, and people end up compromising on "important things". If it wasn't difficult, it wouldn't be a true compromise and inclusion.

How much time do you have left to make a decision? It's true, if all this recently came out, he's likely to still be in the shock stage.

But as for WWID, to be honest I would hyphenate the last names of all the children. Of course, I don't go by the "woman rules no matter what since she gives birth" deal either. Presumably a loving, committed partner cares for the woman during her pregnancy and supported her in conception or contributed to it, and cares for everyone in the family during and afterwards.

I think you need to do some more talking about this. But I think it would be both compassionate and wise to at least attempt to reach some sort of compromise.
post #25 of 111
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cherie2 View Post
I do not agree with same last name = unity. Just about everybody in my family has a different last name.. we are quite united.
I don't know.

My DD and I have different last names because I'm not yet married to her daddy and I have to admit I feel a bit left out.

We're not the "Smith" Family. We're the this is Daddy Smith and Baby Smith and Mama Jones.

I don't like it. Of course, that's me.
post #26 of 111

*


Edited by Cascadian - 6/2/11 at 9:59pm
post #27 of 111
What about just having all the kids' middle name be DH's last name, and their last name be your last name?

I'm not talking about a second middle name (since, as you said, they generally get lost in the shuffle), but just Firstname Hislastname Yourlastname, for all the kids.

Like Mary Smith Kowalski, John Smith Kowalski, etc.
post #28 of 111
I would go with your husband's last name. I think it honors your first daughter to carry yours, and it honors your husband to have these children to bear his name. Dd1 was born quite some time ago, when you were both in a different stage of life. I don't think it necessarily discounts your feminist ideals; it shows that you can appreciate honoring both sides of the family. Or have it split along gender lines, if dd1 might feel left out.
post #29 of 111
Quote:
Originally Posted by katiesk View Post

the only thing that i did NOT want to do was split the gender - the girls gets my name and the boy gets dp's name, because to me, that seemed like an exceptionally patriarchal move. you know, the boy is more important to carry on the man's name, blah blah. thats probably just my own personal perception, but i am still kind of adamant about it. if we have two boys, then one of them can have my name and the other can have dp's.
:

I know that you do not like the idea of a double last name but it does seem to be the most logical solution to this situation. I am biased of course because my me DH and my new baby son all share the same doubled last name, but I also really like the whole family having the same name.
post #30 of 111
My kids have different last names and it doesn't faze them a bit. You could do a gender split...

eta - as to the 'boys are more important to carry on the man's last name' bit, that only works if you value his last name more, or assume your daughters will marry men and take their last names. i don't think it holds any weight.
post #31 of 111
My three boys are split: two have DH's last name, one has mine. We alternated with the first two, then for our third child, went with the last name that went best with the first name we'd chosen. There is no unity problem - the kids are as thick as thieves and certainly an identifiable pack in the community.

If this is important to you - that you share last names - then I'm curious why it's not an issue that your spouse to be apart?
post #32 of 111
Quote:
Originally Posted by thismama View Post
My kids have different last names and it doesn't faze them a bit. You could do a gender split...

eta - as to the 'boys are more important to carry on the man's last name' bit, that only works if you value his last name more, or assume your daughters will marry men and take their last names. i don't think it holds any weight.

Then it seems odd to do a gender split in the first place...why should it be assumed that the boys should have HIS name and the girls HERS if not for this reason? Even if the parents think its bunkus, society will assume the patriarchal reason.

Most girls still do marry men and take their last names... Just saying.
post #33 of 111
*I don't think everyone in the family needs the same last name to be unified. My dp and I have different last names. The kids have his last name. I wanted to hyphenate theirs but didn't upon his request; I really, really wish now that I had insisted. I don't feel the least bit "left out" as another poster said. I actually kind of like bucking the system to be honest!

*I think reconsidering your agreement based on new information would be fair. I think you either a) hyphenate all four kids' last names or b) split by gender with girls getting your last name and boys getting his. I know a family that did this with no issues that I know of. It was explained that simply and we all got it just fine. Hell, with all the divorce and second marriages these days, TONS of kids have different last names from their siblings! Ditto on different last names from a parent, though usually the mother.

*If you don't follow my advice above - can't imagine why when I make such perfect sense! then I agree with others that his new last name is the triplets' ONLY middle name so it is more than just a token.
post #34 of 111
Quote:
Originally Posted by A&A View Post
You made a deal on this already. I'd keep the deal.

It seems to me that:

your dh wants to symbolically make up for all the years of not knowing the reality of his biological father. As if a last name could be the same as therapy, or whatever else it will take him to process this. It seems to me he wants to skip a few steps by naming the kids his true father's last name.

I'm sure the step-father (actually bio father) is wonderful, but because of the deceit (and it was a deceit) perpetuated on your dh, the step-father/bio-father really doesn't deserve the passing of his name. I hope I'm explaining this well and not coming across harshly.

But I'm afraid your dh will think "ok we all have this name! All is well!" and not do the really hard emotional work this is going to take.


You could give the triplets dh's father's name as their (only) middle name, not as a second middle name. Then it wouldn't get as "lost" as if they had two middle names.
Did I miss somewhere that it was the bio-dad's/step-dad's deception? It is entirely possible that her MIL was not truthful. Why the leap?
post #35 of 111
Quote:
Originally Posted by jlobe View Post
One thing I have learned in 15 years of marriage -- agreements are never absolute. We change as individuals and as a family during the course of time, and what is important to us at one point changes. It's a question of who needs something more at some point. If this is very important for him as a way of processing his ideas of family and identity I would probably sacrifice some of the other issues to help him do this, or find different ways to acknowledge some of those other issues.
: Circumstances change and "agreements" can be re-visited. If it were my family, i would want to support DH to honor the family name if he felt so strongly about it. I think that I would go with the double (or hyphenated) last name for all the children (my maiden name had 10 letters and it was not a problem). While it is no-biggie if the kids have different surnames, which is so common these days that I think that few people bat an eye anymore, I personally would prefer them to be the same if at all possible. There are plenty of other ways to teach your children about feminism and a hyphenated name does seem, in my opinion, to demonstrate "equality" in the family so I do not even see a loss of ideals as an issue with a hyphenated name or splitting last names among the children (but not by gender).
post #36 of 111
I'm pretty traditionalist when it comes to names, but the gender divide thing seems very non-feminist to me. It gives off a weird vibe of "You own the boys, I own the girls" which seems kinda... segregated? I dunno.

Not that I have a helpful answer for you or anything. It does seem like it might cause confusion down to the line to have triplets, not just regular siblings, with different last names.
post #37 of 111
I have a friend who has done it by gender split. Girls have here last name and boys have his last name. It does not seem to be a problem for them.
post #38 of 111
I did not want to take my DH's name when we married for feminist reasons. DH didn't want to take mine. So we just picked something we both liked and both he and I and our joint children have that name. One of our sons has my stepdad's surname name as a middle name, and the other will have my dad's surname as a middle name. DH isn't all that concerned with carrying on any of his family names, so that is why he is unrepresented in the middle names.

DH's daughter has a hyphenated last name - her mom's name (which is the name of her ex-husband) + DH's "maiden" name. DSD's mom "didn't like" the name that we chose so she won't let DH change DSD's name to match his. It makes me feel a little bad because we really like having a family name and use it as such - it does make us feel unified and I wish that she could be a part of that, too. To get around it, when I sign cards and things like that, I sign them "Team Suchandsuch" instead of "The Suchandsuches." She is still on the team even if she isn't a legally-named Suchandsuch.

Another thing that I did before we were married was to give our house a nickname (the Ranchero De-Luxe). I used to use this in the name line of our return address instead of writing out everyon'e completely different name.

I agree with the PPs that didn't like the idea of dividing things by gender - I'd do one of each if you decide to give the kids different last names.
post #39 of 111
Quote:
Originally Posted by Barefoot Farmer View Post
Triplet gender is know: in the end, we will have 2 boys and 2 girls. Again, leaning on the gender split; but then I worry about the kids not all having the same last name. If we give the triplets his last name, DD would have to switch her second middle name and her last name; I really don't think she would mind, except she does like that she is the "same as mama."
Here in Denmark, it is not assumed that the woman takes the mans name. Quite often the woman keeps her own, and just as often the husband takes the wife's name. When DH and I were to be married, he wanted to take my name, Barry. I wanted to take his name, Rosenlund - which sounds beautiful and means the small forest rose. Now if his last name had been Jensen or Larsen or Nielsen - which are as common as toast and just as boring over here - I would have never taken it. I had to convince him to not take my name because I liked his so much. We did what works best for us, not in the name of feminisim, but what we liked better. Being comfortable in your own name is important, imo. A lot more important than "rules."

Why not change both your DD and YOU to your DH's last name. Gasp! This is not anti-feminist. If you like his name, you like your children having the name... then it is your choice to choose that freely. You have changed, your husband has changed, the circumstances have changed, and you have a right to change your mind, and not chose based on whether it fits into your rules of feminism.
post #40 of 111
I chose to take my husband's name for simplicity. "MY" last name was just my father's name anyway, and I like my husband better! I like that in today's world we have the freedom to chose the answer that works best for our situation. To me, that is what feminism is about; teaching ALL children that your opinion is weighed on your merits, not your genitals, or your last name. You do not strike me as the kind of mama who will raise patriarchal children regardless of what you call them, but I do understand the importance of the symbolism.

I really don't see an easy solution unless one of you is willing to take the "token" spot of second middle name. All the kids having the same last name will be simpler, but I really don't think it effects family unity in reality. The way you raise them is the important part on all these fronts.
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