The Blogger’s Husband (and other naming dilemmas)

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So, here’s a question: how should I refer to my husband online?

Some of the bloggers I read have invited me right into their homes and introduced us to their family by name: Rachel Held Evans has her Dan (Go, Team Dan and Rachel!) Kristen Howerton has a feisty daughter named India: I would recognize her spunk at 100 paces, even if she wasn’t wearing rompers. Ashleigh Slater goes with Ted. Glennon Melton has her Craig, Chase, Tish and Amma. And I know Jen Hatmaker has Brendon, Remy, Sydney, Gavin, Ben and another kid whose name I don’t know so they must be either very private or very boring (who am I kidding: clearly the answer is private. Boring is not an option if you are a Hatmaker.)

Others are more cryptic. I know Sarah Bessey has an “Anne with an -e” (of course!), but usually she calls them her ‘tinies’. Parenting forums use the ubiquitous “DH” for “darling husband”, which I find more than a little cheesy. My friend Jen opted for MOTH: the Man of the House – sheer genius!  My friend Cara calls her beloved “HBH”, Hot Black Husband, a most awesome combination of privacy and flattery.

I am choosing the more private route. While I am willing to bare my own soul on this blog, my husband would rather have root canal than talk about his feelings. His trust has been long-won, and I work hard to walk the line between being honest about my life while not sharing about his. My children are in the same boat.  So while they do make appearances, I don’t post pictures of their faces or their names on this blog. But what, then, to call them? And in particular, what to call my husband?

Ann Voskamp loves her Farmer. And Ree Drummond has MarlboroMan (and honestly – who can not vicariously love a man like that?) But my husband is not a Man of the Earth, who spends his days doing manly things in manly ways, sweating manly sweat and wiping his brow on his rugged plaid shirtsleeves. He is an engineer, and an excellent one at that. But I can’t call him The Engineer. It’s altogether too Dilbert-like, and I ain’t anyone’s pointy haired woman.

And so, I call him “my husband”. Accurate, but not exactly catchy or endearing.

So I’m wondering: Do you have any suggestions? How would YOU refer to your family?


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20 thoughts on “The Blogger’s Husband (and other naming dilemmas)”

  1. “My husband”: hmmm. I like it. It has the ring of truth.
    For some reason this reminded me of my very happily married uncle, who, when choosing his relationship status for Facebook, chose “It’s complicated.” (It wasn’t, but maybe it is now…. 🙂 )

  2. I faced this problem when I published a book about our family and felt the need to consult an attorney. His advice was to not mention them, which would have meant scrapping the book because it was almost entirely about one of them and the other individuals and the family as a whole were essential to the true story. As variations on the genetic and traumatic (caused by various assaults) audio deficits that provide the foundation for behaviour, our illnesses and reactions to situations display the warp and weft of a family with fragile ear function under strong environmental and social stress. Each of the children read enough of the book (the parts about them, primarily) to become willing to sign releases as long as I made certain requested changes, which I did. All but the central figure Daniel preferred that I use fictitious names and they approved those, too, before I used them. I refer to my husband by his actual name Richard that most people never use, except business associates; he has always been “Dick” in his family. “Richard” is only one of several terms of endearment for my Princely Person. Post-publication, as I continue to reference family, I rarely identify them as such because I have a pool of resources from among clients who have given me various sorts of permission to share their stories. I always change those names for privacy and I usually change settings/cities/states/countries and sometimes gender. Dick faced the same problems writing about people with severe mental disorders and he made the same kinds of privacy changes and included copyright page disclaimers, as I always do, including on blogs. My favourite is, “The names of the characters in this true story have been changed to protect the guilty, who are all of us.”

    1. So much to think about, Laura. Thanks for these thoughts. And I LOVE this: “The names of the characters in this true story have been changed to protect the guilty, who are all of us.”

  3. I think I’ll start referring to my family members as Snuffleupagus, Ishkabibble and H.R. Pufnstuf. Which name goes with which family member will change daily as the mood hits. I will refer to myself as El Kabong.

    El Kabong

    P.S. Many bonus points to those who can identify all four of those characters. Extra bonus points for whoever gets all four without using a search engine.

  4. Well, is there a South African term of endearment that makes you smile? I always vote for something short…when I wrote stories growing up I always chose short names for characters because I didn’t want to bother with writing a long one over and over. I kind of did that naming the kids too, come to think of it! 🙂

  5. I call my husband Brant and he seems to like that. You could always try that one. Granted, everyone will be seriously confused if they meet him in real life, but still… it’s an option. 🙂

      1. I have a friend who lives in San Jose his neighbors’ names are Teri and Terry. So, given that that is a real situation, I think anything goes. Tell Brant I said hi. 🙂

  6. You could choose a literary name, say “Mr. Darcy” from Pride & Prejudice, or some other hero from your favorite classic novel. I know a Southern Living columnist who refers to her husband as Mr. Bingley in her columns. People know it’s not his real name, but it’s cute and romantic and tells me a bit about her as a person.

  7. I recently decided to start calling Nic by name, but previously I called him “hubs” or “the hubs.” Like you, I’m married to an engineer, so it felt apropos. 😉
    I’ve also seen tough monster names like Beast, El Chupacabra, etc.

  8. Pingback: How To Write About Family | Tim's Blog – Just One Train Wreck After Another

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