Help with MIL…

posted 3 years ago in Emotional
Post # 3
3586 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: December 2011

I wouldn’t send an email, but the next time she brings it up, just firmly tell her it’s not up for discussion.

Post # 4
6667 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: October 2010

Let your husband deal with his mother.

Post # 5
729 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: October 2013

If you can avoid putting it in writing, do so. Since your MIL can be prickly anyway, don’t give her something she can permanently hang on to and wave in your face.

First, let your husband deal with his mother. You are his wife, you are his primary family, and his mother is the problem; he needs to deal with her.

If he won’t, then talk with her in person yourself.

Post # 6
9137 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper
  • Wedding: November 2013 - St. Augustine Beach, FL

@eeniebeans:  Ditto.  Sending an email will only be seen as you bitching at her and is likely to cause more damage to the relationship you have with her.  Next time she brings up the name change your husband should pipe in that you’re not changing your name and that’s the end of the discussion.  Only he can put his foot down with his mother and get away with it.

Post # 7
5392 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: August 2014

@eeniebeans:  +1.


@missjewels:  Your husband should be dealing with this; I suggest having a chat with him and telling him that if/when she brings this up again, he needs to firmly state that it was a mutual decision between you both that is none of her business, and that is not up for discussion.

If he can’t/won’t do this then I myself would say as much next time it was brought up. If she continued, I would politely say ‘I have explained that this is not up for discussion’ with a smile, and change the subject.

If she continued after that, I would get up and walk out; and I would expect my OH to follow suit otherwise there would be hell to pay.

Post # 8
131 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: May 1993

@missjewels:  I would definitely NOT send an email.  I would not engage in any kind of back-and-forth with her at all about it — it will only annoy you and make her think there’s a chance she can verbally wear you down.  The next time (and every time thereafter) that she mentions the issue to you, you might nicely say something like “so you are saying that you would like me to take your husband’s last name, is that right?”  Then wait for her to respond.  Then say something like “okay, i understand what you are asking.”  Then pick a topic (a favorite sports team, movie, etc) and just turn to your husband and start talking about that instead.  By consistently stating the obvious (that you heard her), and then refusing to engage further in the conversation, you will hopefully eventually train her to stop bringing up the subject!  But in my experience, fighting/arguing with your in-laws over something like this is just a waste of your time.  My FIL of 20 years is a racist, anti-semitic, jerk — and for man years he was always trying to engage me in political discussions, since I am 100% the opposite of him.  And every time he tried I just said “we’re having such a nice dinner/visit/etc. — why don’t we talk about something else instead.”    Now he never brings it up.  Good luck!!!

Post # 9
2649 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: October 2010

@missjewels:  Personally, I think sending emails like this never ends well. 

I think a better approach would be to have your husband call or go see his mother and have a frank talk with her that the subject of your last name is closed. That you have both heard and understand her concerns but it’s your choice, you’ve made it, he supports it and no one else gets a vote.  He can add that she needs to respect his and your decisions. That if she feels she has a legitimate concern, she can raise it exactly once but after she gets your answer she needs to drop it. 

If he doesn’t want to talk to his mother then you need to shut it down when she brings it up. “We’ve already discussed this.” then pointedly change the subject. Do this every single time (broken record technique) and stop letting her draw you into defending, justifying or explaining decisions that don’t concern her.

Post # 10
10219 posts
Sugar Beekeeper
  • Wedding: December 2012

First I agree with the other Bees, this is HIS Mother… so he needs to be the one who PRIMARY deals with his side of the Family when their is a dispute (Part of being a good Partner is having the other person’s back)

That said, I can feel your frustration… so I know “sort of how you feel”

I however would not send an email… I wouldn’t put anything in writing… because as another Bee mentioned, it sounds like she would enjoy waving it in your face later on down the road

In my first Marriage (Circa 1980) I was a very progressive woman who kept my own name “for Business Matters” (another words, it was my LEGAL NAME)

And yes I got a lot of ribbing from his side of the family… so be it.

In reality, ya know it is just a name (now don’t get me wrong… I GET that it is YOUR NAME)… but in an essence it is just a name… as they say “a Rose by any other name, is still a Rose”

I mean honestly… how often are you going to have to attend to Legal or Business Matters with your Inlaws… and even if you were there are ways around this ridiculous problem*

I’d just let her believe that you are NOW Mrs. or Ms. Gems … if she squacks you can tell her you are Mrs. Jewels Gems… having “assumed” your Husband’s Surname as your own

Little know fact… “technically” in America one “assumes” their Husband’s Surname… one doesn’t actually LEGALLY CHANGE THEIR NAME like is done in other countries / situations (when you Legally Change… they give you a whole new Birth Certificate to reflect your NEW Legal Name… usually with a notation on it that says NEE – Jewels)

I guess I don’t see this to be a big a deal as some women.  Especially women who are just about to marry, or have just married.

Because I was married for 20+ years the first time, and let me tell you over the years as a woman keeping your own name, you’ll be called many things… (as will your Hubby)

There will people who think you still unmarried = Miss Jewels

As an independent Female = Ms. Jewels

Married and Your Surname is Jewels = Mrs. Jewels

Won’t know you chose not to change your name = Mrs. Gems

This one is most prone to happen when you have kids, especially so if they take their Father’s Last Name

And some people will HEAR you didn’t change your name, but still be confused, and end up calling you Ms. Jewels-Gems or Mrs. Jewels-Gems

Lol, and just for variety, when people who only know you, and have never met your Hubby before he’ll get the occasional Mr. Jewels

It is what it is… you can politely correct people “Actually I kept my name, I am Ms. Jewels”

Or you may find in time you just won’t bother with the hassle of explaining… and just graciously accept to be Mrs. Gems socially when need be (makes it way easier when there are kids in the picture for sure with fellow Classmates etc … Bobby Gems Mom = Mrs. Gems)

Hope this helps,

* Legal Issues – You may find that it pays to contact your Bank for example that you are BOTH Ms. Jewels & Mrs. Gems, then if your Inlaws decide to ever write you a cheque etc. you can just endorse it twice, and it won’t be considered a 3rd Person Cheque.  I did this with my Bank shortly after I got married, and never had an issue (just went in and talked to my Bank Manager)

OR you may find that if something really comes up big legally with the Inlaws, in so much as someone has recorded you as Mrs. Gems…  that if you are ever asked by a Lawyer you can prove your true identity (legal & assumed) just by having a copy of your Marriage Certificate & some proper Photo ID available.

In all my married years… I think there was only one such occasion when I had to dig out my Marriage Certificate to prove who I was… and that was at for a Legal Inheritance when a relative had died and wrote out my name with my Husband’s Surname.

In truth… all this name change stuff.  It is what it is.  If you make a big deal / hassle out of it, it is one.  If you go with the flow it isn’t.


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