Middle name....namesake opinion....what do you think?

My middle name is [name]Marie[/name]. I never hated it or loved it. It is just there. But my entire family history, going back as far as I know it, there is a [name]Marie[/name]. So, my grandma’s first name is actually [name]Marie[/name]. Her mother’s middle is [name]Marie[/name]. Her mother’s middle is [name]Marie[/name]…and so on. I always assumed I would just put [name]Marie[/name] in the middle. So, I have only been working with names that will work with [name]Marie[/name].

My husband came to me today and asked me if I was sure about the name [name]Marie[/name] in the middle. He is fine with it. But, he was asking. The issue is, my grandma has been so rude to me in recent times. She is 85 yrs old so I have been blaming her age. I used to love her so much and wanted to be just like her. But her behavior has gone on so long, with no other signs of age issues, that I am wondering if she has actually always been this way and I did not notice because I was younger or did not see much of her. In the last 2-3 yrs, she comes to visit for weeks at a time, 3 times a year, for 3 weeks at a time. Previously, I was lucky to see her for a week once a year, and then, Grandpa was around. Grandpa died 10 yrs ago. My daughter, who is 15 yrs old, says she does not really remember Grandma ever being that nice. To add to it, my own mother, who is her daughter, was not a good mother. My mother, who chose to have children, felt she was too good to have children. She did not even want custody of me as a child. Half my childhood she did not have custody. The years she did have custody was only because she did not want to pay child support and felt that she should not have to. But the only way out was to keep custody. Back then (I was born in 1970) the courts where we lived favored the moms. When she did not have custody of me, she never practiced her visitation. When she did have custody of me, she would tell me many times over, and in many ways, how much she hated me. She was not a dumb person, she was just full of herself. She has an [name]Ivy[/name] league education and had a career to match. The reason I am telling you all this is, my grandma raised her to be like this. [name]Even[/name] now, when my grandma visits, she stays with my mom and goes on and on about how great my mom is. She makes all these demands that I bend over and serve my mother (I don’t). My mother was actually a very spoiled person. It would take a while to explain. But the point is, if my grandma was such a wonderful great person, then how did she raise such a selfish horrible daughter? Now I am looking back over the years and remembering the various little signs that maybe my grandma has always been like this and I just was blind to it because I did not see much of her and thought the best of her (as most children do of their grandparents).

I am thinking because she is 85 yrs old, some of this behavior our of her in recent times could be age. And that she probably won’t be around much longer. And in 10 yrs, I will regret it if I never used my own middle name. And in 10 yrs, I will forget these bad years and how rude she is being. So therefore, I should just use the name. What do you think?

If you just think of it as honoring yourself I think it should be ok. If you can’t get passed the grandma association with [name]Marie[/name], maybe you could use a variant so it doesn’t seem like you’re naming her directly after your grandmother. [name]Maren[/name] or [name]Maria[/name] or [name]Mariska[/name] for example.

I think that if you have been indifferent to the name [name]Marie[/name], then you should use a name that you love. If you want to name your daughter after yourself, that’s fine. But if it was me, I don’t think I would want a mother/grandmother like you described to think that they were being honoured by your choice of [name]Marie[/name]. They sound selfish, and it sounds like they would assume you were honouring them too.

Talk to your husband, and start your list from scratch.

Best of luck :o

Giving your daughter the middle name [name]Marie[/name] can be a way of acknowledging the past – hey, it exists, it’s there, it’s part of who you are – and also moving forward. Sort of like: Take this history and make something good. Take this name and rehabilitate it.

Or you can say, screw this. I’m my own person and worked hard to be this way and I’m going to create a new dialogue for the future, with my husband who has always loved and supported me (hopefully :wink: ) And choose a new middle name.

For the record, my middle name is [name]Marie[/name]. It was also my mother’s mother’s middle name. I never particularly cared for it as a kid but as I got older I appreciated the tie to the past. My grandmother spoke only danish and I never did so I can’t say I really knew her although we certainly spent a lot of time together when I was little (she died when I was 13) so I really only know her from my mother’s recollections. When it came time to name my daughter I was surprised at how much I wanted [name]Marie[/name] as one of her middle names, not so much to honor my maternal grandmother, but b/c it was MY name. I had a very difficult time with my husband that we did not chose to hyphenate her last name (I kept my maiden name) and it brought out a lot of issues neither of us knew were there, so I think for me it was important to get part of my name attached to her. So I love it b/c it is part of my name – a bland, overly common middle name that I used to hate but ultimately is central to how I see myself as a person, and traces some of my development as a person.

So, there you have it. [name]Hope[/name] some of that rambling is useful! Ask yourself what is important about a name to you. [name]How[/name] wonderful that your husband sounds willing to go along with whatever you decide, but don’t miss an opportunity to examine your own assumptions!

And for the record, if you decide you do want to use it for YOU and not for your mom & grandmother, don’t worry if they think you are honoring them when you aren’t. Not using a name you want to just to spite them is just silly.

I’m facing a similar situation and have decided not to pass on my ho-hum family middle name. My reasoning is I’d rather give my daughter a beautiful name that means something to me and my husband than pass along a “traditional” name that ties her to people I don’t admire much. For me, using the name would feel… contrived. I do like naming/honoring traditions, though, so we’ve chosen a different family name for the middle.

Best of luck.

Both my mother and her mother have the middle name Marie, and my grandma’s mother was Mary Catherine, and her mother was Anna Maria, and her mother was Maria Katherine, and her mother was Mary Catherine. So, Mary and her variants abound in my maternal family tree. Yet, my mother used no Mary variants for her two daughters’ names, mine included. (It turns out my paternal grandmother also has a Mary variant - Marion - for a name, so it is pretty big in my family, too.)

Now, I don’t have the same Marie-Mary-Maria-Marion concerns with my family members that you do with yours. My grandmas aren’t horrid and my mother is absolutely lovely. That being said, would I personally use Marie or Marion or Mary or Maria for a daughter’s middle name? Probably not. But I might put a spin on it and go with nature-y Marigold (“Mary’s gold”) or Magnolia.

At the end of the day, you need to choose a name that you love and that will make you happy each time you hear it. If each time you see Marie on your daughter’s birth certificate, you think of your mother and grandmother (in her cranky, older days), maybe that’s not so good. But maybe you can think of Marie as a tribute firstly to yourself and secondly to the woman your grandmother once was, because it’s clear from your story that your gran used to be an incredibly influential and important part of your life. And, maybe in your family, there’s something to be said for tradition? But, if the name is tainted by bad thoughts for you, you can either choose something beautiful that you love or refresh Marie - make your own tradition or take a spin on your family’s generations-worn tradition. Mary, Maria, Mariana, Marianne, Marissa, Maris, Maren, Marin, Marine, Marina, Maribel, Marigold? All ways to make Marie different while still keeping up with the tradition.

Another thought - if it’s your grandma that you really want to honor, and not your mom, is there a different way you can do it? First name or variant, perhaps? Birth month, flower, or stone? Maybe there’s a particularly significant memory that you have with her - a place, a time, a month, a word - that would fit the bill? Think of all the good times you had with her and cherish those, okay?


The problem is, I always thought [name]Marie[/name] was after me and my grandma and her mother and so on. But, in recent times, and I am not talking just a year, this has gone on for a few now, all I get is scorn from my grandma. I am 41 yrs old and I look back over my life and wonder if perhaps, it has always been like this and I did not notice as I live so far away and saw so little of her. Plus, after being so abused by my own mother, and now living close to my mother and having to watch the two of them interact, it sickens me. I guess the whole situation with those two was so disjointed for me because I lived in one area, my mother another, and my grandmother is a completely different state. Now, with living close to my mother, my grandma is often staying at my mother’s house and then making demands of me and being rude and scornful in how she treats me. I don’t recall her being that way before Grandpa died. So I don’t know if it is age, or if she was really always this way.

I love the idea of using meaningful family names as middles, but the reason I love it is because I want to have the connection between my baby and the people he is named after. I gave my son the middle name [name]James[/name] after my father who passed away one year before he was born, it devastates me that my dad never met my son, but I love that my son will carry on his name. [name]Every[/name] time I think of it, it makes me happy that my son has that connection to my father and to my past. Because the name [name]Marie[/name] doesn’t seem to have that same meaning to you, so I wouldn’t use it just for the sake of tradition. Instead I would try to come up with a middle name that both you and your husband love, that has significance to your relationship with each other, or even something specific to your past that is just yours to pass on to your daughter. You baby’s name should have only wonderful associations for you, that make you feel warm every time you see, hear, or think of it.
Best of luck.

I think Bennettsmom put it lovely. Choose a name that makes you light up inside. :slight_smile:

Correct me if I’m wrong, but didn’t you say in another post that this is going to be your 8th child? That really changes my response b/c I think if [name]Marie[/name] was really important to you to include in a name, you definitely would have done so by now!!

Sounds like you are maybe more motivated by guilt or a lingering sense of familial responsibility than anything else. So I recommend not using [name]Marie[/name] and picking another name that makes you and your husband happy.

I gave my oldest daughter the middle name, [name]Marie[/name], for the very same reasons. It’s my middle name, my sisters’ middle name, my Mother’s middle name, my Grandmother picked it for herself as her own middle name (she didn’t have an official, legal middle name). I thought that it would be a nice tradition to continue and so I didn’t give it a second thought when I named my daughter.

Then I had my 2nd daughter, who we decided to name [name]Mary[/name]. [name]Mary[/name] [name]Marie[/name] just didn’t work for me, so we picked another middle name that still had some personal significance for us. (We used [name]Patricia[/name] which was my husband’s (deceased) mother’s name.)

I guess breaking with the [name]Marie[/name] tradition held because I decided to give my 3rd daughter a middle name that had no major significance … other than the fact that I liked it.

And, when it comes down it it, her name - her entire name - is my favorite. It’s the name that, when I wrote it down for her birth certificate, made me the happiest.

I think following a tradition can be lovely. I look forward to telling my older two daughter’s the stories and meaning behind their names, but I think it’s equally important to please yourself and pick a name that you truly love.

Use a name that gives you joy and doesn’t make you remember the hurts of the past.

Grandma may be acting that way now due to health issues, UTI’s for example can change the disposition of the elderly.

best wishes,