My Husband Wants My Child To Have His Name. I Don’t Think It’s Right Because- Woman Narrates
From the very first day that I met him in his office during my industrial attachment, he made it clear that he loved me. He said he hadn’t seen anyone as beautiful as me and was ready to do everything to have me as his girlfriend. I went to his office every morning when I reported to work. He would sit me down, advise me on how I should carry myself around, and later give me the itinerary for the day.
He was caring and smooth so at some point, I fell for him too. Our relationship got intense after my attachment. He came to campus to visit me and sometimes took me home to spend the weekend with him. A lot of weekends later, I missed my period. I thought it was one of those things so I didn’t worry about it until it delayed for two weeks. I was very fine and experienced no change in my body so I didn’t think I could be pregnant until one morning I did the test and it came out positive.
I got frozen. I thought of all the things that could go wrong because of the pregnancy; losing a bright future, disappointing my mother, abandoning school to care for a baby, etc. I wasn’t ready to go through all that. So that night when I told him I was pregnant, all I wanted to hear was, “It’s alright. There’s nothing to fear. I will help you get rid of it so you don’t lose a bright future.”
When I told him, He said, “That is so unexpected. What are we going to do about it?” I said, “You’re the man, tell me something.” He said, “As you know, this is not what we planned for. It will cause a lot of imbalances in our future. You’re in school and need to complete school first. Let’s not have it. We can try again when we finally settle down.” He sold my fear back to me and I agreed with him.
The night before the day we go to the hospital, I had a dream I was dead and everyone was crying in the house. The dream felt so real that when I woke up I cried too. I started giving the whole thing a second thought. I told myself, “I will have it. What can come can come.” When I told him he got angry. He told me I was listening to bad advice. He told me he wouldn’t be able to cater for a child. He said a whole lot of awful things but I wasn’t perturbed.
I told my parents about it. A ton of anger and insults later, they took me in and accepted the fact that I was going to have a baby. I gave birth. He accepted the responsibility of the child and came home to name him. From there, he sent money for his upkeep and when I was ready to go back to school, he paid my first fees.
Our child was four years old when he got married to another woman. I wasn’t hurt and I wasn’t surprised. He was only taking care of his child without any intention for us to get married. I think we broke up the day I told him I was going to have the child.
I went to school, completed, and found myself a job. All the fear I had about losing a bright future because of the pregnancy was only a force alarm. With the support of my parents, I got my future back though it took some time. My son was I think five years old when I met Jones. The day he said he loved me, I told him I had a son. He said, “In that case, I love your son too.”
He met my son a couple of times and the two became instant friends. You see the two of them playing and you realize his love for him is so pure and genuine. We dated for three years and got married. We’ve been married for four years and have a daughter of our own. Few months after getting married, he told me he had a problem with my son’s father coming around to pick him on weekends. “I’m the man here and here’s my territory. I don’t want him around. Find a way—a different way for him to see his son.”
So, when my ex wanted his son, I had to meet him in the middle of town and deliver the boy to him. That was alright until he started having issues with the frequency with which he came for the boy. “Tell him no one is stealing his son so he should give the boy a break and allow him to develop at one place. Taking him away and bringing him back will affect the phycology of the boy.” He stopped coming for him on weekends and rather came for him when he was on vacation. That too stirred his ire. “Vacation that he would stay here and play with his sister, then he would come and take him away. How can he develop a bond with his sister?”
The complaint never stopped. Some, I ignored. Some, I pretended I would do something about it but ended up doing nothing. Early this year, the boy’s father traveled abroad with his wife. It looks like they’ve decided to settle abroad permanently. When he was about to leave, he asked when he could come for the boy permanently. That was when I realized he wasn’t coming back.
The day I told my husband that my ex had left the country and wasn’t coming back, he said, “We thank God.” A few weeks later he asked me, “Don’t you think it’s better we give the boy the family name? He’s one of us. He can’t have another name while his sister also has another name. It will confuse them as they grow up.” I asked, “You mean we should erase his surname and put yours there instead?” He said, “Exactly my point.”
I said, “His father will have a problem with that. I don’t think it’s right to do that.” He asked, “Who’s going to tell his father? I don’t even like the way you’re in constant communication with him. Cut ties. Give the boy my surname and that solves the whole thing.” The discussion lost its fragrance. It turned to fire. He said, “Only God knows what you two have been doing in the dark.” I gave him my piece of mind and left the arena of the fight. I thought we’ve settled it but no. Every now and then, he brings the topic up again, insisting on us to change my son’s name. One day I called the son by his surname and he got angry. So angry I even got scared. He roared, “I don’t want to hear that name ever again in my house. There’s a reason he didn’t marry you. You can’t keep his name here to disrespect me.”
Weeks ago, it all came to a breaking point. He said, “If you’re not ready to give him the family name, then please send him to his father. There’s no need keeping him around here to remind me of your past relationship with that good-for-nothing guy.”
I want to know something here. Is his behavior normal? Is it just the name that’s causing him all this anger of there’s something more to it that I don’t know? And is it normal for a man to request to put his name on his stepchild? Currently, everything is sketchy and everything is threatening the peace and stability of our marriage. I’m in between a hard place and a rock now. What should I do to get out of this situation?”