While B and I don’t typically argue, one argument that we have had these past 8½ months is on the subject of the last name of our child. This is not typically a problem for married couples as most husbands and wives share a last name, although not always. B and I do not share a last name, nor are we married. He staunchly believes and will adamantly argue that in our particular case a daughter should take her mother’s last name and a son should take his father’s. Since we are having a boy he believes that our son should have his last name. No ifs, ands or buts. I never have heard this logic before and although his cousin “confirmed” the idea for me I am still unsure.
My friend who has is unmarried and has a daughter with her longtime boyfriend decided to give her a hyphenated last name rationalizing to me, “there isn’t a ring on my finger.” I am more inclined to agree with her theory. While I have no doubt that B will be a good father and present in his son’s life regardless of our relationship status, I am unsure about ceding full last name to him. I have tried to compromise by saying that we could do a hyphenated last name or use both last names, but have our son formally use his last name for school, etc. B refuses to budge on his position. Whenever I bring up the topic he shuts it down and gets incensed like I’m insulting him and his “manhood.” I feel like since there is no guarantee for our relationship (not that marriages necessarily have any guarantees) my last name should probably be included as well.
To be honest I care much less about the issue than he does, but I do think it is an interesting debate. Is this more of an issue for men than women? Somehow it feels as though he is territorial about his son having his last name to pass on. Ironically, although B puts up the argument of sons carrying on their father’s last name, he has his mother’s last name. I haven’t decided what to do yet, but time is flying by and I have about a month to make a final decision on the last name of baby.