Post # 1
We were married two months ago. I did not change my name (I could ramble about the why’s and the pros/cons, but that isn’t the point of this post). I don’t have an issue if people ask questions, or even make mistakes about it, they are human, no biggie.
But my mom is simply not getting it and I am so frustrated with her. We discussed it extensively with all of our parents (and many other family members and friends) before the wedding, weighing up our options and deciding what we wanted to do. In the end we agreed that I would stay as-is for now, and perhaps revisit the topic when children come along years down the road (though this “revisit” is not public knowledge I don’t think).
So this week two items showed up in the mail from my mom. The first was a Christmas card addressed to “Mr & Mrs his-initial his-surname”, the second was a parcel addressed to “Mrs my-first name, my-surname hyphen his-surname”. Clearly, by the fact she chose two different ways to address these things, it is not a mistake, she thinks it is a joke. And it isn’t funny! It’s my freaking name! Growing up there was always a lot of emphasis on respecting our last name, my dad is very “old school” about it, so I don’t take anything about it lightly (note: my parents are still together, she was involved in these lessons when I was a kid, so the importance placed on names isn’t news to her).
She tried to make some jokes about it before the wedding, and I thought that I had explained politely, but clearly that it wasn’t a game to me and the comments were not appreciated, but still it continues! I am trying not to “fly off the handle” about something as “silly” as a Christmas card envelope, but the underlying bullsh** behind it is really getting to me! My mom and I have always been friends, so it is out of character for her to carry on about something that she knows I feel strongly about, but sitting her down and discussing it with her didn’t appear to work, and if I say nothing now, down the road I will lose my carefully contained temper and say things I don’t mean. I have also ruled out that she is behvaing this way because she feels strongly about me changing my name, as she suggested things like “why doesn’t HE change his name then?” and “why don’t you just both pick a new name?” and so on. She wasn’t at all concerned that I didn’t take his last name in any of the MANY discussions we’ve had, and she isn’t the kind of person to hold back on opinions.
Argh.. I honestly don’t know where I’m going with this post.. maybe just looking for a bit of empathy more than advice I guess!
Post # 2
This is just a sticking point with your mom, and there isn’t anything to do about it. Just let time go by and hope she gets used to it, or just gets tired of talking about it.
There is always something we do that others don’t agree with. Just laugh it off when she goes on, and try to disregard it.
Post # 3
It’s a different time (thankfully) than when your mom was married. Maybe it’s upsetting to her (whether she realizes it or not) that you have this choice but she didn’t, or she felt like she didn’t. She’s not handling it very maturely but that doesn’t mean you have to stoop to her level.
Post # 4
I can completely relate– I did not change my name, we discussed it with family, then the night before the wedding everyone (both sides ) were completely caught off guard that I wasn’t changing my name. My mom has always been “forgetting” I didn’t change my name, but I just kind of let it go– it’s not worth the battle. Then, she sent me a check for something and it was made out to first name, husbands last name– took me 2 weeks to cash the damn thing (fyi- I figured out that the ATM for deposits wasn’t strict, and did it that way)– we had the conversation again and thought she got it. Fast forward to when my brother passed away, and since he didn’t have a will we had to file probate papers– guess how I am listed on COURT DOCUMENTS?– yep– first name, husbands last name— that took me HOURS on the phone and it still isn’t fixed! My mom and I have had this discussion many times, and she still doesn’t get it– I have given up (and told my dad to make sure anything legal has my actual name on it– hopefully he gets it now).
Other than telling your mom again I am not sure what you can do- can your dad talk to her? Unforturntly you might find this is a battle not worth fighting.
Post # 5
explain to her calmly and politely that you have decided to not change your name and it hurtful when she addresses you by your married now.
i’m not comparing but wanted to share the other side… my mom knows i changed my last name and kept my middle name. she still writes me check to my maiden name, but whatever, she just has to redo them.
one day (maybe a year after i was married) i asked my mom my full name. she said [first name] [maiden name] [his last name] (with his last name pronounced wrong). i asked her if she was serious. she then corrected his last name but for some reason really thought i kept my maiden name. i just laughed at her and told her she knew better.
Post # 6
I’m sorry for your frustation. I can tell you she might be having a hard time with this for reasons that have nothing to do with you. Try not to take it on as your problem, if there is little you can do to fix it. Its not what people call you, its what you answer to.
Post # 7
canuck24: Oh dear, that’s not very nice for you at all! I’d tell her that it bothers you and ask again that she address you with the name SHE and your Dad gave you at birth.
Failing that, I’d get passive aggressive. I’d start sending back anything with the wrong name and write on it ‘not known at this address’. I know that seems extreme but if she chooses not to listen then this will really annoy her.
I kept my name too and would not appreciate anyone purposely doing this, let alone my own mother! My mother was proud I kept my own name. My Mother-In-Law is another story.
Post # 8
canuck24: I read your post and it appears you have taken very good steps in trying to talk to her like an adult. You sat down with her, have expressed how much her comments hurt your feelings, and made it clear you are staying with your name. End of discussion. Except she didn’t get the part where it’s no longer up for negotiation.
Maybe she feels if she makes enough fuss over it, you’ll cave and change your name. Maybe she’s angry about your decision (who cares BTW), and she takes it out on you often.
As much as you’ve both had a close relationship, this is now in jeopardy if this continues. I think it’s time you become more serious about consequences and boundaries.
Whenever she sends you a message in the mail with the wrong name on the front, write “return to sender” and put it back in the mail. If she mentions it, say “Yes, I did receive a letter from you, but my name was address wrong. I no longer accept mail with the wrong name.” and if she tried to discuss that further, become a broke record. “Mom, I no longer accept letters with the wrong name.” “I’m sorry you feel that way, but I no longer accept mail with the wrong name.”
In person, you actually have more power over the name game. If she brings it up or makes hurtful jokes, say “Mom, I do not appreciate your behaviour with my name choice. If you continue, then I’ll have to leave.” Give her one fair chance. “Okay mom, I warned you. I have to go now.” And leave! REPEAT this as many times as you need to. Over the phone, you can use a similar tactic and hang up! “Mom, this is no longer up for discussion. I’m hanging up now.”
Tough love my friend. You will have to enforce that you will no longer tolerate her behaviour, even set as a joke. “Mom, I can’t talk to you when you do this. Goodbye”
It’ll take an enormous amount of courage to do this, because I’m sure you’re worried about damaging the relationship but it’s already going that direction.
Post # 9
Send her a letter addressed to her maiden name. If she mentions it, say “it’s annoying to get things improperly addressed isnt it?”
Ok, not really! But I wish you could do that!
Post # 10
Most people don’t seem to understand…
Where I live I CANNOT assume my husbands name, even if I wanted to. I’ve told soooo many people to at least hyphenate things if they are mailing to me (they dont listen)
I had something mailed to my MOH’s moms house in England and she forwarded it to me. My Maid/Matron of Honor told her to put my husbands last name (even though I constantly correct her). When it arrived at the post office I couldnt even pick it up because my last name was different.. soooo annoying I had to have it sent all the way back to the UK
Post # 11
Ignore her! She is obviously trying to get a reaction out of you so don’t play into her pettiness. I’m also not changing my name, and some people have strong feelings about it, but I could care less. It’s my choice, just like it’s my SO’s choice to keep his name.
Post # 12
eeniebeans: Why is “not really” ?? I think that is actually a pretty great idea. Some people don’t understand the effects of their actions until they are placed in similar situations. It would certainly be a lesson for mom. Though OP, since you mentioned your Dad is big on respecting the last name, I would give him a heads up first, in case he gets the mail before her.
Post # 13
MeandMyLouboutins: You must live in Quebec… right? I’ve always wondered about this rule. Are you able to change your name legally to something else just because you want to? (Ex. Princess Consuela Bananahammock)
Post # 14
thelibrarylady: yes I do.
Basicalle a name change here means even your birth certificate would be changed,.. that’s how serious they take it. Essentially they almost never grants name changes and the cost to apply to the Regie is astronomical.
Post # 15
MeandMyLouboutins: That seems so weird to me, but let’s be honest a lot of what goes on anywhere east of BC seems weird to me sometimes haha.