December 5, 2012 at 12:50 pm #47739
@eb, good explanation. I get not assuming he will take your last name, but the assumptions that tag along with that are crazy sometimes.December 5, 2012 at 12:50 pm #47740
I love my last name. It’s great. It has history attached to it, it’s short, easy to spell, and in the middle of the alphabet.
Since I was in college, I’ve known that I want to keep it, or have at least entertained the idea of keeping it. I brought it up at various times with different people, and got some “eh, whatever” reactions and one “that’s kind of a slap in your future husband’s face, isn’t it?” which I find disturbing. Just because it’s culturally a thing, doesn’t mean my choice is meant to reject my husband. Unfortunately, because it’s the default assumption, I think a lot of guys feel that way–like you’re rejecting them or something. Of course when you suggest that they could give up their names–well, of course not! Don’t be ridiculous! I like my name and I’ve had it for years!
Fortunately when it came up with my bf, he was cool with it. He kind of hates hyphenating, so our kids will probably just have his last name and that’s that. Maybe mine as a middle name. I’m okay with that.December 5, 2012 at 12:52 pm #47741
@LBH I was not formally adopted but we did legally change my last name with the courts or what ever. My social security card has my stepdads last name. I’m not sure why we didn’t do anadoption- my birth father hadn’t been in the picture for 2 or 3 years at the time. I was 10 btw. We also changed my last name during a summer and I was changing schools as well so there wasn’t too much confusion by other people. I am more attached to my stepdad last name, since he raised me and is active in my life, then my birth father’s (ahemdeadbeatdadahem) last name. (I did get to go from 10 letters to 9 with the name change though!)December 5, 2012 at 12:54 pm #47742
Well, I’m not in a long term relationship right now, but I very much intend on keeping my own name. Not so much because of the property angle – and I do totally understand those who take the husband’s name to feel more like a family and don’t think there is anything whatsoever wrong with that – but just because I am very connected to my last name. It’s always been a nickname for me (it’s a funny last name) and very much a part of my identity.
I can understand guys wanting their wife to have the same last name as them, but I’m with you fabelle, it shouldn’t be an assumption anymore, it should be a discussion.December 5, 2012 at 12:56 pm #47744
@gg, I didn’t realize you were 10 when your stepdad married your mom. Wow, close to my kid’s age. We’ve discussed the idea of marriage and adopting at the same time, but I fear that if we try to, it will “wake a sleeping dog” so to speak so for the sake of staying drama-free and away from headaches, we won’t be doing that.December 5, 2012 at 1:00 pm #47746
@LBH if you ever want to chat about the similarities I have with your daughters situation I’d be happy to. I can give you my e-mail or FB.December 5, 2012 at 1:05 pm #47747
With my first marriage, I had no choice in the matter. I had to change my last name. But, we all know my 1st husband was a major dick.
My 2nd marriage – I changed my last name in order to get rid of my last name from my 1st marriage. It was so uncommon (I was one of 4 women with that last name with that spelling in the state, and the only one with that first name) that I HAD to get rid of it. My 2nd husband had a very common last name (much like my maiden name).
Now that I’m getting married again, we discussed it (argued it, really). He wanted me to change my name to his, but there are NO females with his last name in the state, and there are only 3 people in the state with his last name. Him, his brother and our son (his and mine, not his brother and mine). With my 1st husband still attempting to track every move I make, and checking the vital statistic listings for weddings in the paper (yeah, they still post those) to track all the ex-girlfriends and me to see if we’ve had name changes to follow, plus my career, I don’t want to change my name again. I don’t want to go back to my maiden name because of old associations with it (especially since I’m now actively in a career that is 180’d from that association). Plus, I really hate his last name.
The few family members that I’ve spoken with on the subject are confused, yet supportive. I spoke with my 2nd ex-husband and asked him if it’s okay if I keep his last name. It’s so common that he really doesn’t care. He did make a joke or two about it, and I told him to keep it to himself because it’s a sore subject. I’m sure there will be complaints from his side of the family, but oh well.December 5, 2012 at 1:07 pm #47748
I love the responses so far guys! So many interesting points. @ebstarr, you pretty much summed up my feelings on the practice as a whole, even though I’m more waffly about it in my personal life.
And yeah, aside from those larger issues, I don’t really feel like his last name goes with my first name, so that’s part of my hesitation. Which I guess IS a kind of rejection? (@bethany– my boyfriend seems to feel similarly to how your husband felt, regarding the rejection thing) But it’s like…do I reject him or reject part of myself? (my last name does feel very much a part of me). Realistically, I’ll probably wind up doing something like you did (@bethany, again)December 5, 2012 at 1:10 pm #47751
oh, also– ebstarr, I hope you’re right that the wheels are turning in my bf’s head now for the next conversation :-\
I’m glad there seems to be so many who feel like I do– I wasn’t sure what kind of consensus I’d get, haha.December 5, 2012 at 1:19 pm #47755
I barely thought twice about taking my husband’s name. I was teased pretty badly in middle school and high school about my maiden last name when all my classmates figured out that it’s also a euphemism for oral sex – loooong before I had any what they were talking about. My confusion just made me more of a target. “Is your middle name ‘Gives’?” was the first one I encountered (8th grade field trip to Washington D.C. – I was 12!). Later, “Are you going to name your son Richard, so you can call him Dick __?”
So with those memories, taking my married name was a no-brainer. Now all the pressure is on my brother to carry on the family name – my dad only had sisters, so all their kids have their married names.
I feel very strongly attached to my family and heritage, but the name itself doesn’t have as much significance to me. I’m more liable to brag on my Swiss and English roots than my family lineage.December 5, 2012 at 1:20 pm #47756
FWIW – I did the same thing as Bethany. I really liked my old name, but it wasn’t so critical to my self-identity that I decided that the short term pain of changing it was worth it. So it’s my middle name, no hyphen or anything. I just kinda like the idea of us all having the same name, but in all honesty his last name is so normal that if it was Schlepcockwitz or something I may have reconsidered 😉
I also have a bunch of friends that all got married about a decade ago (I’m a late bloomer for my group) that were big on the hyphenating thing, but as it’s played out with changing jobs, etc. it seems like more of a pain than anything… there are different standards between states and the feds in the US and post- 9/11 there have been some weird issues with their identity not matching up.
side rant – Why does the Gap need more documentation than social security to change the name on my account!?! Seriously… if it’s good enough for the IRS and Citibank, what is wrong with you stupid credit card. AND WHY DO COMPANIES STILL USE FAX MACHINES!?! that was way unexpected… scan & send is so much easier.December 5, 2012 at 1:21 pm #47758
ebstarr, I hope you’re right that the wheels are turning in my bf’s head now for the next conversation
I hope so too! 🙂