Originally Posted by KanDo
I find this ironic. You are arguing that he is making a gender specific choice and you are justifying your position by gender specific reasons as well! But at least he has tradition on his side.
Given you previous statements about not giving his children his surname when you were not married, I too would be pressing you to change your name as a sign of committment to the relationship. the fact that you are so adamant about this would have me pretty worried about the future and my wife did not take my name and I had no problem with that.
To give you a short background so you can understand the names issue...
Before I met OH, I was in a long-term relationship, not married. When we had our first child, I wanted to go with both our surnames. My ex agreed, and we did the same with our second.
Somewhere within all this, the ex turned out to be.. well, a loser. Liked drink more than honouring his home commitments. By the time I threw him out, I'd effectively been a single parent for most of the life of my second baby. I was a single parent until I met OH, and yes it was very hard work. My ex was very flaky and in those very early years I did it nearly all myself with some help from my parents. I often felt it unfair that the kids had his surname when his role had been minimal and they hardly knew him.
After I met OH, we had a talk about our future. I said a long-term relationship for me would be one where I would want to get married, particularly with children (and potential future children) in the frame. I knew very early on that he was "the one" for me. When we found out I was pregnant, I said I wanted us to get married. This is when he started out with his string of reasons as to why we couldn't "right now."
Given his inability to commit to marriage, at that point I had a new baby and a boyfriend who wouldn't take that next step. I couldn't know if he would change his mind. So that was when I said I wanted the baby to have only my surname. As mum and the one who would be the primary carer should anything happen in our relationship, I felt it sensible to act as the unmarried mother I was not knowing the level of his commitment to us.
He was very upset and so when we went to register the baby, I said I would go with both our surnames but not only his, and would reconsider if we got married, re-registering baby in his surname if that time came.
We've been together now four and a half years. At the start of 2011 we discussed getting married later in the year, he promptly went and had a very early mid-life crisis and a thing with a girl at work. He moved out. He moved back in. He threw marriage off the table until I could trust him again.
I was reaching the end of my tolerance with the marriage issue at the end of the year and told him if I didn't have a firm commitment to marriage by the end of December then I was leaving. We have now made wedding plans.
This is why I find it completely mad that anyone could even question my commitment: I have never NOT been completely committed! Just the fact that he could even question that makes me incredibly angry, and he has. He cannot see the complete contradiction in that it has been HIM who has acted questionably yet wanted all the privileges that go with marriage when it suits HIM. He didn't want to commit to marrying his children's mother yet wanted them to have just his surname. He's quite happy to have children outside of marriage yet wants to stomp his feet about them having his name but not the security of their parents being married. Runs me about for years keeping me guessing about whether he wants to get married or not yet gets upset when he finds out I'd want to keep my name.
I don't think it's ever occurred to him that if he actually got his arse in gear and stepped up in the first place then he would have eliminated any doubt in my mind about his commitment and my issues about the children's names wouldn't be an issue! I mean it's not rocket science is it?! And my name, well let's say I'd certainly have been more open to changing it had he not been stringing me along for four years about whether he wants to get married or not.
Anyway... We have discussed the name issue and haven't come up with anything further. We both agree that me losing the name link to my older children would only serve to highlight the fractured nature of our family even more and I worry about the effect it would have on my older who is very sensitive to the situation. So no solution yet.