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Son is taking DIL's Last Name

Started by lharak67, August 15, 2019, 10:42:48 AM

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Hello Ladies,

I am brand new to the website and came across it via a Google search. I "searched" the topics before I made a post but could not find anything about the situation we now find ourselves in.

My son is getting married in November. Up until the engagement, we had an "OK" relationship with his now fiance.  As soon as the ring went on her finger a new personality appeared. To preface this story, my son and she are both what you would consider "loners". Not very social with a select few people that they would actually call friends. Future DIL has dealt with some depression issues in the past from what we understand. Our son is very quiet and not outspoken or emotional whatsoever. He is an identical twin and our other twin is pretty much the opposite.

When it came down to meeting her parents to talk about the wedding everything was going fine. We actually met at a place that they were considering for the reception. Sometime during the conversation her mother (she is the only child of her mother and father, but has a half sister from her mom) says "wouldn't it be great to have a destination wedding!" Now her sister married a man from Ecuador who is a pediatric cardiologist. They had their wedding in Ecuador and he and his family pretty much paid for everything. My future DIL's mother says "What about Paris!" and the DIL's eyes light up. Now, we are a big family. My husband is one of five and there are many nieces and nephews. On the future DIL's side it is only the parents (both are only children) the sister and her husband, and a grandmother. Paris is great for them but that probably would not work out for our family.  We left the dinner with the thoughts that it was probably just a pipe dream. NOPE...that's where we they wanted to get married. We explained that if that is what they wanted, it would probably just be my husband and I since we wouldn't be able to afford a wedding in Paris along with travel and lodging for our two other sons. We also explained that we were sure that the rest of his family would be disappointed that they wouldn't be able to see him get married. We are a very close family. We suggested that they get married at home and honeymoon in Paris. We pretty much nixed the idea on our end. Well...that didn't go over from what we understood. It wasn't until a month or two later that we learned that she was so depressed that we said we weren't supportive of the idea and that she spent three days in bed because she was depressed.  Eventually, they decided to get married locally, but our relationship has not been the same ever since. She stopped coming over to our house, she hasn't come over for any holidays/family gatherings with our side of the family, we were only allowed to invite Aunt's and Uncle's to the engagement party (her parents hosted but we helped with the costs, not the planning). Needless to say we have a strained relationship.

Recently, we found out from his twin's fiance that our son was going to be taking her last name. The reason was because she was the last member of her family to have her last name and she wants to continue the lineage by him taking her's because we have a "spare" son to continue our name. Wait what?!?!?! When we asked him about it he said "Yeah, it's pretty much a done deal". My husband is so hurt right now he won't even talk to him. There was never a reason given to us he just shrugged his shoulders.

Over this whole wedding preparation we have not been included whatsoever. We know what day it is, the place and the time. We have also come to realize that she and her family are narcissistic control freaks. There are a lot of other traits we have learned about her and have so many questions. I could honestly write a book.

My husband does not want to attend the wedding. Honestly, if we had not confronted him about the name change we would have been sitting there in front of our family completely dumbfounded by this revelation. I am completely torn as I don't want to push our son away but I do not agree with this decision at all.

We are going to sit down with him and his brother tonight and express our opinions and hopefully he will open up to us with her/her family not around.

Am I being too sensitive about this? Thanks in advance for any words of encouragement or pieces of advise.


Welcome I!!  I am glad you found us!  We ask all new members to go to our HomePage and under Open Me First to read the posts placed there for you. Please pay special attention to the Forum Agreement to be sure WWU is a fit for you. We are a monitored Website.

 I am so sorry for your situation!  I would never wish that on anyone partially because it sounds very much like mine.  I made the mistake of asking my DS (in private) to delay the wedding.  He told his fiance everything I said and it must have come out even worse than when I said it because now her father thinks that I called her a , hmm, lets say a lady of the evening.  No, of course I did not but now I will have to live with that maybe forever.  When she heard she moved the wedding forward by a few months.  Boy did that backfire!

As for attending the wedding, I did and it was the singular most hurtful experience I have ever had.  Don't get me wrong, when I lost my Mom  and later my Dad, both of those were painful.  But at both of those gatherings people were offering condolences, not congratulations.  It was very hard for me to accept their congratulations.  It was difficult to feel so hurt around people who were so joyful.  That said, I am glad I went because it kept the door for communication open and it let my DS know that I had not deserted him.  He knew (and knows still) that I am always here for him.

Don't get me wrong, things have not been all rosy since then.  I was still very hurt and resentful of what my DS and DIL had done to me and were continuing to do.  That did not change until I changed.  I finally decided (way too late!) that my life was too valuable to waste it trying to make things better for my DS especially when my efforts were so obviously unwanted.  So I started concentrating on things that made me happy.  It is amazing how difficult it is as a mother to shift your focus from your child back to yourself.  For some reason we have convinced ourselves that we are not "good mothers" if we stop trying to 'fix' things for our children.  Well, in my case it turns out that my attempts at 'fixing' things were just keeping my DS from learning from his experiences.  He needed to figure things out on his own.  Since I pulled back and stopped offering advice or telling him what I think our relationship has recovered.  He is an amazing parent and I honestly believe that on occasion he tells his wife not to treat me so badly.  What a turn around!  Truly amazing.

As for your question, no you are not being too sensitive but I honestly do not think anything you and your side of the family say will change anything.  If it does more power to you.  I certainly hope it does not backfire like mine did.  If it does, oh well.  I remember when my DS told my DH and I that they were pregnant and the first words out of my DH's mouth were "We have got to move out of town".  Total shock from both of them.  Things have improved since then but still I will never truly love or trust my DIL.  Sad, but true.  I hope things work out better for you!

Your mind is a garden your thoughts are the seeds
You can grow flowers or you can grow weeds.
Author unknown


Hi and welcome. I was wondering if the User Name you selected reflects your real name in any way. If so, it would be wise to change it to keep your anonymity. 

I haven't had a similar experience to share with you but I sure feel for you and your husband. My take is you are still being punished for not backing a Paris wedding. 

That just doesn't make sense. To me, it looks like the name changing is part of it. You have raised your family. You did your best and your job is done. For most of us, that is hard to get and even harder to honor. Your son has lessons to learn. He has made choices and there are consequences. They are his lessons. It's my hope that you may be able to leave the door open and at the same time shift your focus to what you want out of life and then go or it. Hugs
Be kind whenever possible. It is always possible. Dalai Lama


Hi lharak,

Unfortunately, our son did the same thing, changed his name to our DIL's last name. Really no reason was given to us, but that conversation was one of the last we had with him some 3 years ago.

As with so many others in this situation, we were a close family, or at the very least, a normal family, not perfect, but not crazy dysfunctional either. That is, until our oldest met our now DIL. They met in college, his first GF, and in some ways she was good for him - he became much more focused on his studies and his future. In so many other ways, there were red flags in all directions. Her father walked out on her family when she was 5 or 6, and from what I could gather, her mother and sister are very bitter toward him, but she's embraced his presence in her life. She's close to her mother and sister but her continued relationship with him has caused some contention in the family.

He brought her home for a school holiday, only 4 months into the relationship. At the end of their visit, we held a family meeting to discuss future holiday plans, and as she had only dated him for a few months, we didn't include her. Honestly, as our oldest, she was our first experience with one of our kids dating, and we just went with our gut. Apparently, that offended her horribly and things went south from there. Some family members have since told us that we should've included her, but I'm not sure I would've done anything differently.

A year later, they decided to get married - a courtroom wedding they said - to which we weren't invited. Supposedly her family wasn't invited either, but we later found out it was a real wedding ceremony and her family attended. A few months later, we found out after the fact that he'd changed his name to hers. With the history of her father leaving, my husband and I can't figure out why his name is so important to her, or our son.

Phone calls became fewer and fewer, and visits ceased. Except for that family meeting, we tried to be as inclusive as possible, and made every effort to befriend and love her, but by the time we realized what was happening, it was too late.

I don't want to discourage you, but your son has chosen her, for some reason, and from my 3 years apart viewpoint, your best bet is to keep your mouth as closed as possible. Don't give them more ammunition to find fault with you. This doesn't mean you can't continue to love him and hope for a relationship, but you really are in a da*ned if you do... if you don't dilemma. There's little you can do about the name change, his choice of wife, how he lives, etc... so my advice would be to make the best life you can with the friends and family around you. He needs to figure out what's an acceptable life, and he may have some hard lessons to learn. And they may take years for him to learn them.

In retrospect, while it would've been painful to attend our son's wedding, I nevertheless would have done it, if for no other reason than to show our unwavering support and love for him. Period. (But smile and keep your thoughts about things to yourself!)

Sending you hugs and prayers for wisdom...


Welcome. We ask all new members to go to our Home Page, and under Read Me First to read the posts placed there for you. Please pay special attention to the Forum Agreement to be sure WWU is a fit for you. We are a monitored Website.

Thank you for your post. It helps so much when someone who has 'been there and done that' shares her experience.

I have edited your post and made a change in your language, our take being if we can figure out the word you meant, it's the same as using that word. Since we didn't know where or how to draw the line on language we opted for passing on anything that might be taken as offensive. I addition, if your User Name reflects a Bible quote please select another name. The reason we are also cautious regarding religious referenced is outlined in our Forum Agreement, as well. We have done our best for the last decade to serve a wide audience respectfully.
Be kind whenever possible. It is always possible. Dalai Lama