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Dear Wendy

I don’t want to take my fiances name…

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  • #875789 Reply

    I need a little advice here. Me and my fiance met in 2014, started dating in 2018, and got engaged in 2019. We’re starting to plan a wedding for 2021 and the topic of names has come up. One detail: I told him about one month into dating that I was 99% sure I would never take someone else’s last name if I ever got married. Lately we’ve been arguing a lot about what’s going to happen name-wise when we get married. We agree that we want to have the same last name and that we don’t want to hyphenate. I suggested mashing our names together (ie: Smith and Jones become Smines) or choosing an entirely new last name (Smith and Jones marry and become mister and missus Green), but he isn’t open to either of these. His main argument is that his name connects him to his dad, which I understand but also can’t really sympathize with because my name connects me to my family too… Most of my reasoning for not wanting to take his last name comes from it not sounding good with my name, being (in my opinion) an atrocious spelling, I would want us to go through the legal process of changing our names together, and both our families having a very bad history with marriage (I know this sounds weird, but in my mind choosing a new name symbolizes a kind of new start where we can grow from the mistakes others have made and learn how to work as a team). We don’t argue about many things, but this is something that is continuing to be a stressor and I can’t even begin to think about planning a wedding until we know what the heck is going on with the naming process. I’ve also heard entirely too many people say that I’m making this more complicated than it needs to be and that I am asking too much of him by asking him to change his name (when he’s asking exactly that of me)… Are there any other ways that we can have the same last name without me taking his? That process and name just don’t feel right for me and I don’t want to go through with it just because it’s traditional.

    #875790 Reply

    Probably shouldn’t be getting married if taking his name is such an issue for you. It seems like you covered every possibility of combined names ECT and none works for you both. If this is the hill you want to stand on so be it, just don’t marry this guy. Sounds like you think you will get a divorce at some point as you say both families have a history of it. Why bother with the marriage if you are not committed to it. Stay a couple of you want, dosent mean you have to marry.

    #875791 Reply

    I guess I don’t get the importance of having the same last name. I think you’re getting hung up on symbolism that, in the long run, isn’t going to have much if any impact on your day to day lives.

    You’re allowed to want whatever you want, of course, but is it really worth the fight?

    #875792 Reply

    Do you really need to have the same name? Just keep your own names, no one has to go to the DMV/social security office/call banks/get new passports/new email addresses etc. Easy. My husband and I have our original last names and it turns out we’re still a family and committed to our marriage.

    #875794 Reply

    Both of you keep your dang names! You’re arguing about how to symbolize working together as a team! Do you see how ridiculous that is?! You’re not working together as a team, so why argue about the symbol if it doesn’t actually hold up??

    You know what else symbolizes a new start and learning from the mistakes others have made? Getting married! In fact, you should do absolutely nothing, not even get married, in order to address the mistakes of others. Others’ mistakes have less than nothing to do with you and your life. Why make that reaction part of your future? Leave others completely out of your marriage.

    Keep your names and keep your lives simple.

    #875804 Reply

    I wouldn’t marry this guy.

    #875807 Reply

    Reconsider marrying this person – seriously. If he wants to be married to you – he wants to be married to you as you are right now.

    When my mom divorced my dad she returned to her maiden name. When she married my step dad she simply never took his name – that was 40 years ago. This is not a new thing. And her reasons were not that much more complicated than yours, the first being that her first name rhymed with his last name and she wasn’t going to become something akin to Jenny Penny or Susan Loosen.

    Name changing has a long misogynistic history and it is not universal. There are plenty of countries & cultures where this has never been a thing. If he can’t get over this… I’d seriously reconsider.

    #875808 Reply

    If he’s so rigid about this meaningless display of traditional gender norms, you’re better off single. Seriously, I’m not being flippant.

    #875809 Reply

    Everyone keeps their own names. People who don’t know you will call you Ms husband’s name anyway. Don’t correct them & everyone thinks you have the same name. For the love of God figure out what the kid’s last names will be before you have them. This guy sounds rigid and unreasonable. Are you sure you want to marry him?

    #875810 Reply

    Why do you need to have the same name? Just keep your own name. Long lost friends will be able to find you on social media 20 years on is one advantage. Can’t think of any disadvantages.If it is really that he is unhappy with you keeping your own name, I think that’d be a very bad sign, though.

    #875811 Reply

    Ooh, more red flags than a May Day Parade… seriously, if he can’t see that if *his* name is important to him, yours might be important to you, and this is his attitude, pay careful attention to the useful lesson he’s teaching you about his character. I kept my name – it’s quite a rare one, and it’s part of my identity – when I married both my late and my current husband, and my daughter is similarly going to keep hers.

    #875816 Reply
    Miss MJMiss MJ

    You’re making this too hard. Just keep your own names.

    I never legally changed my last name for professional reasons and because changing it is a major pain in the ass and time suck, so we have different last names. Hasn’t impacted our 13-year marriage at all. I do sometimes use my husband’s last name socially, though, mainly when someone defaults to introducing or referring to me as My First Name His Last Name in a group setting and it’s not worth the effort to correct them. Plus, his is easier to pronounce. And lately, I’ve been using both together to bridge the gap. Honestly, unless we’re buying travel tickets or something where my name needs to match my ID, it really doesn’t matter.

    That said, if you’re really not able to think about getting married because of this, then that may be a sign you’re not ready to get married. Focus on that, because that’s what matters.

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