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Opinions on taking husband's last name?

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  • #48295 Reply

    Legally, I go by Amanda [original last name] [husband’s last name] these days, but Amanda [original last name] professionally. I agonized over the decision to change my name for a few weeks. I ultimately made the decision to change because it felt right for me. I have the same name as my husband (who is an only child), his name is short, and I replaced my previous horrible middle name with my awesome last name. Fun fact: a combination of my maiden name and my husband’s last name is Dalek, so I’m hoping to change our last name at our vow renewal in many years.

    #48361 Reply

    Thank you guys so much for all the thought-out opinions & personal stories on this topic! And I love that some of you were prompted to go have this conversation with yours S/Os 🙂

    I did bring it up again, at two separate times, for only about 5 minutes (like, I didn’t frame it as a serious discussion) & let’s just say that, even sober, my boyfriend isn’t keen on me keeping my own name. I hope that doesn’t mean he’s a douche. So hopefully, more updates later!

    #48455 Reply

    My mom and I talked about this last night. She loves changing her name. She’s done it with every husband! She is pretty traditional (except for all the marriages) and thinks it’s nice to have the same name, although she’s not sure why. She asked how people would address mail to me and Boyfriend if we got married. I said, Apple Scruffs and Boyfriend Smith. Or the Scruffs-Smith family. But what if I want to use my doctorate? I said, I assume if it’s really formal someone could write Dr. Apple Scruffs and Mr. Boyfriend Smith. She just said, all this new etiquette…. Poor mom.

    #48488 Reply

    I love what people have been saying in this thread re: women being expected to just accept being called Mrs. X, even if you didn’t change your name, because if you correct people you are an Angry Feminist Bitch. That is some bullshit right there. Why the hell do I need to be okay with people calling me the wrong name? I’m certainly not going to yell at them, but you know what, I get to correct them. As many times as necessary. And if they keep calling me Mrs. X, they are being just as rude as if they always called me Julia when my name was Jane.

    I once ran into this after making a jokey Facebook status along the lines of “My name is actually not Mrs. X, it’s Ms. Y, you can update your Christmas card lists accordingly ;)” At the time, no one on my Facebook had sent me anything addressed to such (and if they had I wouldn’t have posted it because I’m not into public call outs!) but that did not stop one of my husband’s cousins from telling me I should just be grateful to get Christmas cards. It made me so mad. Like, really, I have to be slobberingly grateful for a $0.25 piece of subpar cardstock and a stamp from someone <i>who doesn’t even know my name</i>? I can get that level of recognition from my dentist’s office for Christ’s sake; it’s not like you passed my down the family heirloom quilt and I set it on fire.

    So yes, basically, fuck being afraid of correcting people for fear of being a crazy name Nazi. It’s your name! That is a pretty basic thing to expect people to know.

    I hope your next conversations go better with your bf, Fabelle, that sounds like a drag. If it helps at all, what I said to my boyfriend-now-husband when we had pretty much this same conversation was “How would you feel if after our wedding everyone called you Kevin <i>forever</i>?” (His name is not Kevin.) Then I told him I would feel the same way about changing my name. Somehow that seemed to snap it into perspective for him.

    #48595 Reply

    Walter just came up with an excellent compromise. We’re both changing our names to Badass. Or Motherfucker. We can’t decide. Mr. And Mrs. Motherfucker has a nice ring to it, I think.

    I tend to use “pants” as a term of endearment that my family and bf tease me about. I call my bf’s mom;s cat pearl “mc pearl pants” I told my bf we should change our last name to “pant” when we get married so when we go places we could be the “pants,” but he frowned upon this idea. /sadface

    I am a definite feminist. Yay equality. I decided a long time ago not to change my name. To echo many other posters it’s my identity. I’m not even cool enough to be Dr. Good or Good Esq. It came up in conversation with a long term ex-bf once, and he was incredibly offended I wouldn’t change my name. It never occurred to me that a potential husband would mind. I wasn’t asking him to change his name. Lol. Silly little bee!

    My current awesome bf initially said he might care a smidge even though he would want me to be happy, and he understood where I was coming from. Then 5 minutes later he was like “well it would be silly to expect me to change my name, so I’m not sure why I’d be upset if you didn’t change yours. I take it back.”

    My mom has a horrendously long maiden name and was happy to take my dads. They were divorced for 12 years or so when she married my step-dad. She ended up keeping my dad’s last name for a year cause she didn’t want to go through the hassle of name change. (I was 22 so she didn’t care about “family name.”)Then she felt like a dick for having another dude’s name so she changed it. Oddly my cool step-dad didn’t seem to mind either way.

    I only have 2 married friends yet I mistakenly call them by their maiden names pretty much ever time I refer to them. I’ve known them both forever though. I swear I’m not purposefully being a jerk!

    I have a first name that can be pronounced 2 ways and I have the opposite problem? of many people here. Everyone I encounter is super polite and ask “is it x or y?” and I’m like “well my mom calls me x, but I don’t really mind either way.” This blows peoples minds. I’m sorry people are so mean on other name corrections. = <

    #48614 Reply

    honey- I think it’s because nobody has ever heard my name pronounced my way that they are so rude about it. Or they are just trying to break the Canadian stereotype.

    I have to say, I love that my aunts address my Christmas cards to Mr. & Mrs. X, I get a weird thrill.

    On the name change thing- my husband was on facebook and said to me “Oh, our friend (who got married a couple months ago) hasn’t changed her name on facebook yet.” I had to remind him, “well, maybe she isn’t changing it!” He just simply didn’t think about that since it is so common among our friends.

    #48635 Reply

    @Amanda – you should totally change it to Dalek!

    My friend’s have a kid they named Dalek.  They are both big nerds, but the mom had never seen Doctor Who.  The dad has a name similar to Dalek, and convinced his wife that they were naming the kid after him (their daughter has a name similar to her mom’s).  I think the kid was about 5 when his mom figured out that he was named after a race of killer robots.  Oh, and he totally lives up to his namesakes 🙂

    #48828 Reply

    I didn’t change my name after I got married.  We occasionally get mailed addressed to Mr. and Mrs. Lastname but legally my name is as it’s always been.  It’s a lot of work to change your name and I’m lazy and I was me for 47 years before I got married so I didn’t really feel the need to change it and the husband didn’t really care whether I did or not.

    I have other friends who either didn’t change their name or changed it back after they divorced.  You’ve got to do what feels right for you but I don’t think a name change is needed anymore.

    #49024 Reply

    I have a friend who changed her name when she got married, then changed it back a few months later.  She said she just couldn’t stand it, because it wasn’t her name (her husband doesn’t have a weird name or anything).

    I have another friend who’s husband refused to marry her if she didn’t take his name.  I would have told that idiot where to go, but she changed it.

    I didn’t change mine, and I’m so glad.  My name is literally my identity.  Everything I have ever achieved in my life is documented under my name.  I can’t think of any reason why I would ever give it up.  My husband was a bit disappointed, but he understands, and he knows that it’s my choice and he can’t change my mind.  I was disappointed that he was disappointed, because he’s quite a feminist and into equal rights, but what can you do?  I guess you feel how you feel, and that’s that.  I was a bit surprised though, because his parents are divorced, and now his mom is stuck with a last name that she doesn’t really identify with.  She’s half changed it back, but it was such a pain that she quit.  So now some of her credit cards have one last name, and some another.

    Anyway, the biggest problem I have with not changing my name, is that now my kids won’t have my name.  🙁  Of course, even if I did change my name, they wouldn’t have MY name, they’d have my husband’s, which I just took because we got married.  It seems weird to me that there is no connection between my name and my potential child’s, considering that I’m the one that has to grow it for nine months, and then go through the ordeal of delivery at the end.  Anyone have any suggestions?  Ideally I’d like to toss a coin, give the first kid the winning last name, and then alternate.  Or give girls my last name and boys his last name.  But I doubt that he’ll go for that.

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