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Guest Dolphin-Pearl618

Last name dilemma

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Hi all this is my first post here altho I've lurked a bit before. I'm married to my first cousin (our mothers are sisters). He has a daughter from a previous marriage who lives with us fulltime & we have an 18 mo together. I have my maiden last name but my daughter & stepdaughter have my husbands. The issue is that his last name was changed back to his mother's maiden name when his parents split. And my mother never changed her name either. Long, confusing story short: my husband & kids have same last name as my mom & this annoys me. Also we live in a small town where everyone knows my mom. When I introduce him as my husband if I say his last name it's weird. It's not a common name at all so it can't be explained that way either. We don't tell people the whole truth bc of the stigma & it's not really important in day to day life. Also, most importantly I do not want my daughter or SD to suffer bc of our relationship. The only thing I can think of is that we all change our last name, possibly back go my husband's father's name. My husband is on board with changing the names but not sure about going back to his fathers name as they have a rocky past. AND there's the issue of getting permission from my SD's bio mom. Currently there's no contact except a few emails here & there. (Very bad divorce, she has a lot of mental health problems). I guess I'm wondering if anyone has an experience with this or any advice. We are planning in having another child in the somewhat near future & I would like it to be figured out by then if possible.... Sorry my post got so long also! Thanks :)

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If I understand correctly:  your husband, your kids and your mom have the same last name, but you have a different last name from your mom because she still has her maiden name and you assumed your ex's name? 

And you do not want to share a last name with your mom?

If it were me, I would not make the kids change names.  The baby wouldn't know the difference, of course, but the older one would.  I don't know, maybe I am too conscientious of how our actions affect our kids, but it seems to me that you are wanting everyone else to make this big change in their lives simply because you are uncomfortable.  I'm not saying that this situation couldn't cause some uneasiness, but really, that's all it is, uneasiness.  And, having everyone go through a name change is more likely to raise eyebrows that if you either kept things the way they are now, or if you took on your hubby's name. 

The kids won't suffer because of this name game.  They probably won't even think twice about it until they are much older and if they know that you had your hubby are cousins, it will really be a non-issue for them.  I think you are over thinking this situation.  If people ask about your last names, laugh it off with, "Yeah, isn't that weird?  Of all the people for me to fall in love with, I had to choose someone with the same weird name as my mom".  That's as much of the truth as anybody needs to know.

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I agree with Serendipity. Also, avoid introducing him as First Name Last Name. Laugh it off if the last name is brought up somehow.

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Thanks for the insight! Altho it was my husband who suggested the name change, & my SD wants her name changed also bc her name is hyphenated with my husbands & her moms last name & she hates having her mothers name as she has not been a mom to her at all. My husband and my daughter have the sam last name, my SD has a diff hyphenated last name, I have my moms & hubby's last name as my MIDDLE name (as given at birth) and my fathers last name. Here is the example with names changed for anonymity of course:

Me: Jane Smith Doe.

Hubby: John Sam Smith

SD: Amy Lynn Smith-Robinson

Daughter: Mary Ann Smith

It's very confusing & we also partly want it changed for continuity in the family. Hubby wants to pick a new name which I think will cause some legal issues for us, I think going back to his father's name makes more sense. I don't usually use my hubby's last name when introducing him, the weirdness usually is from people hearing my daughter have the same last name as my mom. The last name is extremely rare, it couldn't be explained away as a strange coincidence. All in all it is just about our comfort which is maybe not a good enough reason, but I do worry about the kids getting made fun of (altho this could happen regardless of a name change). My hubby said he heard at work someone saying a cousin couple in town had kids who were so mistreated at school they left the area completely. This is of course hearsay but stil unnerving for me to hear as a mom. Idk...it was easier when we weren't living in my hometown, it's just so small & people seem to know my family very well (my dad also serves on the town board). I just want my kids to feel normal & not be ostracized. While I don't believe we are doing anything morally wrong, I can't help but feel like I set them up for a difficult road :/

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By all means, change it if you feel like it is the best thing to do for your family. I can understand - my cousin and I have the same uncommon last name.

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