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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My wife and I have been together for 7 years and we have three children together. A couple of days before we got married she asked that I change my name; she was dropping her maiden name and taking mine, so she wanted me to add her maiden name as a second middle one. I told her that I would need time to think about it but didn't really want to do it. I explained that I have "traditional" values and really just didn't feel comfortable with doing it. We've been fighting a lot lately and this was brought up again. She told me she made a sacrifice by changing her name and that I should be willing to do the same. I told her that I understood her viewpoint and that I am willing to do it, but that hasn't been good enough. She wants me to WANT to do it. I told her I didn't want to do it, but that I would do it for her. She's the only reason I would do it. I understand that she wants me to be really excited about adding her maiden name to mine, but the truth is I'm not excited about it, but I am willing to do it. I feel like she doesn't understand my viewpoint at all. Do you have any advice? She's told me basically that I am awful for not wanting to do it. Am I? She also called me a sexist, for which I definitely am not. I'm willing to do it to maker her happy, but it doesn't get me excited like she wants it to. ANY advice would be much appreciated. Thanks....
 

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If you are a "traditionalist" chances are you are more sexest then you realize. The bigger question though is why did she bother to change herlast name at all since she could have kept her maiden name into married life.

Additionally who cares it is just a name.


draconis
 

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I think it's nice enough of you that you are willing to do it just to make her happy, but asking you to feel a certain way about it seems unreasonable. You are allowed to feel however you feel and she should be happy you are being honest with her about your feelings.
 

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I guess that i am sexist then. cause I am a traditional sort of person. wehn i got married i changed my maiden name to my middle name and my husbands last name was my new last name. I wouldnt even fathom asking my hubby to change his name.
 

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I don't have any great advice about the name change, but I do have a lot of experience with trying (unsuccessfully) to persuade my husband to WANT the same things I wanted. It took me a long time, but I finally figured out that it was even better to know that he didn't WANT to do something, but was still willing to sacrifice what he wanted, and do something to make me happy!

(In case you're interested, I've written more about how I learned that lesson here: Getting The Donkey to Budge)
 

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My wife uses her Maiden name as her Middle name now, also her maiden name is the middle name of our youngest son, her father had no sons so Figure it was a way to honor their legacy, it was fine with me.

But why YOUR middle name? I can see hers.
 

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I didn't change my name when I got married 9 years ago, and still haven't. It's sometimes confusing when we do things on paper, like at the bank or whatever, but we don't love each other any less. It would be nice to share the same last name, but there is no way on this green earth that I will have his last name. His extended family has a not so nice reputation around this town and I do not want to be associated with it. Unfortunately our daughter has his last name and may suffer some of the repercussions his extended family has created. I would have no problem changing my name to almost anything other than what his is. It's just that he doesn't want to disrespect his parents by changing his name. He feels a little slighted by it, but like I said, it doesn't change the way we feel about each other or the way we do things, so it's really no big deal, we just have to assure the pencil pushers that yes, we are married.

That's my story, maybe it will give you some insight, maybe not. I wouldn't force him to do something he doesn't want to do or try to make him feel something he's not. This is pretty petty and there are a lot bigger things in life to cherish and be happy for. =)
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Thanks to everyone for their advice. Last night we got in yet another big argument over this whole thing. She asked me if I WANTED to add her maiden name as one of my middle names, but demanded a "yes" or "no" answer. I told her I wanted to do it for her - that wasn't good enough. She used the example of one person saying to another, "Do you want to get married?" only to have the other respond, "I'll do it for you." I understand the point she is trying to make, but feel that they are in two different leagues. I explained that relationships are about compromise and sacrifice sometimes, and that we occasionally should do/have to do things we don't "want" to do. I personally don't WANT to add her maiden name as my own, but I want to do it for her. That wasn't an acceptable answer to her though - it had to be YES or NO. And if I say no, I know she will go out and drop my last name and take her maiden name back. I'd rather add hers. She's also already adding her maiden name to all three kids... she got really mad at me last night, but I don't feel like I'm doing anything wrong.....??????
 

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I don't think you are doing anything wrong either...you are just being honest and she's basically saying either lie or I will retaliate by changing the names of everyone else in the house. It sounds ludicrous to me.
 

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L. C., can your wife and you split hairs even more finely? It seems that all the fighting revolves about something you are willing to do in the first place. You'll do it BUT you won't do it gladly. She is aware that you are willing to do it BUT is upset because you aren't happy about it...where do you get energy to do anything else other than bickering? Both of you are posturing over what could be a done deal. She took your name without alot of drama; you can't dig up enough husbandly affection to affect a little happiness here, if she wants it so much? If this is an old argument surfaced because...why? You can't find enough in the present to fight about ?
Marriage is just full of places where give and take is needed. My husband does all kinds of things for me and/or the family that he isn't very pleased about; I do the same for him. We do it because we love each other and we enjoy pleasing each other. You guys could be so much happier if you all stopped posturing. How often do you use your middle name anyway? You never heard of using initials for middle names? Come on, there are so many simple ways to resolve this.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Marriage is just full of places where give and take is needed. My husband does all kinds of things for me and/or the family that he isn't very pleased about; I do the same for him. We do it because we love each other and we enjoy pleasing each other. You guys could be so much happier if you all stopped posturing. How often do you use your middle name anyway? You never heard of using initials for middle names? Come on, there are so many simple ways to resolve this.
I agree wholeheartedly with what you are saying. I also do things that I am not very pleased about, but I do it because she is my wife and I love her. That's not the issue. It's that I have made it perfectly known that I AM willing to do it, but she wants me to WANT to do it. I want to do it for her (not for me), but that's not good enough.

You are right - we bicker over everything. She suffers from a severe (diagnosed) anxiety disorder, of which only aids in all of the confusion/arguing. I posted here because she told me how ridiculous I am being. I think this whole thing is ridiculous and immature. But I am willing to do exactly what she wants, I feel the way I feel, and I'm trying to be honest with her about my feelings.
 

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Sounds like maybe you should just hunker down and tell her you want to do it because you want to do it. If it doesn't make any difference to you and it means the world to her, it's just a little fib that won't be noticed anymore once it's done.

It sounds like it's more important to her that you change it than it is important to you to keep your pride about whether or not you're glad to do it. If she'll drop it when it's done, like I said, it's just a little fib, or extension of the truth rather that you're happy to do it b/c you want to do it.

Sometimes men just need to go with the flow, and this flow seems pretty harmless. What is it really going to hurt for you to tell her you want to do it because it'll make you happy (when, in actuality, it will make you happy b/c you two won't be fighting about it anymore, so perhaps it's not a fib afterall!!)

Suck it up and realize just how incredibly petty it is... or like mollyL said about splitting hairs.
 

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I heard a great commentary one time about how lying is not just telling an untruth, but telling an untruth that you don't have permission to tell. In other words, the guy said, his wife gave him permission years ago to lie about little things: does this make me look fat? Why NO, dear, it makes you look amazing! So, if she's giving you permission to lie about it, I don't think it's much of a lie.

Also, if you really felt that having her take your name was important, then maybe it's equally important for you to take hers? Maybe if you think of it as a way to show that you are equals, rather than the name issue itself, you'd be "glad" to do it and won't have to lie!
 
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