December 5, 2012 at 1:23 pm #47759
One of my best friends from college took her husband’s last name, but used her maiden name as her middle name. He did the same so they both were changing their names instead of just her. I really liked that her husband was willing to do that as a display of equality.
My ex and I talked about marriage extensively and he was very clear as to the fact that he wanted his future wife to take his last name. I was totally fine with that until a couple months ago when I realized that I really don’t want to change my name. My name is unique and it’s me. I’m not a bra burning feminist by any means, but I just don’t think I will want to change it when the time comes.December 5, 2012 at 1:29 pm #47760
I changed my last name. There wasn’t really much of a discussion- I always knew I wanted to. I did ask my husband before we got married if he would be upset if I didn’t. He said that he’d respect my decision, but yes he would be disappointed. I think that people have some surprising deep-down feelings about marriage that we wouldn’t really think that they do. Sometimes they don’t know why they have those feelings. While I don’t “like” my married name as much as I do my maiden name, I love having it. It does make me feel a bit more connected to my husband. I love that when you see our names on paper you know that we are married. I love being Mrs. X. I also really want our kids to have the same last name as both of us. Heritage is really important to both my husband and my dad- thats why I think it would be important to my husband for me to have his name. He’s also the only boy in his entire generation so the name ends with him if he doesn’t pass it on and he feels strongly about continuing it. As for my dad- every baby name we come up with he assesses whether it is “scandinavian” enough. I think my dad loves that my husband is from a neighbouring scandinavian country. Our best man speech even made a joke out of it.
Well, I rambled.December 5, 2012 at 1:34 pm #47761
Oh and just for the record, this is one of those that regardless of what you do there will be some judgment and commentary… just to be forewarned. And if you do decide to keep your maiden name, remember that it isn’t just your SO that may feel rejected but your inlaws as well and they may share they feeling with you (had it happen to a friend, the future MIL would bring it up at family dinners during their engagement — AWKWARD!)
I have no problem taking my husband’s name, but I was still really pissy about the fact that when I returned to work after my wedding everyone assumed I had done it and all I got was “congratulations, what’s your new name?” over and over and I would reply, very dryly… “MMcG, and if I actually finish the paperwork and make any changes, you’ll see it on my email.”December 5, 2012 at 1:36 pm #47763
I think that the heritage thing can’t really be overstated – I will not be taking my boyfriend’s last name if we marry, its just, I’m pretty Jewish (and while my name isn’t super Jewish, it fits with my heritage and my first name really nicely) and he has a super Italian last name (which he’s not a big fan of). So, I just don’t think that I would be able to do it, I feel as though it would so totally wipe out my heritage, that it just kinda bothers me a bit. Especially since we would definitely not hyphenate our names (it would be cruel and unusual punishment to our future children) and even though our children will be raised Jewish, idk, I feel like someone has to carry on the tradition? Does that make sense?
Also I’m an academic, so probably by that point I’ll hopefully has some talks and publications in my name, which I’ll need to make sure will always find their way back to me.December 5, 2012 at 1:36 pm #47764
@ lemongrass… the first time I got mail addressed to Mrs. New Name – it was way cooler than I thought it would be. Kinda like that weird tingling feeling that I got when I got engaged.December 5, 2012 at 1:39 pm #47765
My husband didn’t really care either way what I did, and we never really talked about it. When we were signing the marriage license, I was just kind of like “Okay, I guess I’ll just take your name then”. Pretty anti-climatic. haha I have no real emotional attachment to my maiden name. To me, it’s not like *I* chose it, it was pretty much given to me because of my family tree, so I don’t identify with it that much. I also wanted to share the same last name with my future kids, so it was easier.
The only thing that sucks is that my new last name is one that no one ever gets right.December 5, 2012 at 1:39 pm #47766
Not married yet, but we’ve obviously had this discussion.
When my fiance and I dated the first time, he told me that he would be really embarrassed if his wife didn’t take his last name. It would feel like rejection, and he figured that his family would make fun of him for it. The thought had just never even occurred to him that his future wife might not do that, and he was kind of defensive about it.
Fast forward a few years, and the second time we dated he was much more reasonable. His eyes had already been opened to the fact that a name change wasn’t automatic, and he was willing to accept that we might have different names. It took some time to adjust, but he came around. Incidentally, so did I. I realized that I didn’t care about keeping my own name very much (as long as we were married before I got my Master’s), and his feelings were more important to me than my last name. So I’m planning on changing it for him (and I’m pretty excited about it!), but he’s okay with it if I don’t.
I think if you give your boyfriend some time, he’ll probably soften up about it some. He’ll probably still have the disappointment if you don’t change it, but that’s okay as long as he’s not actually upset about it.December 5, 2012 at 1:39 pm #47767
When I got married, I took my now ex husband’s name. It felt right to be Mrs. X.
We got divorced and I kept his last name. No other reason than because it was going to be a pain in the ass to change all of my stuff back to my maiden name. It is a pretty common name, though. So, unless someone asks me directly, or my siblings’ names are mentioned, nobody would be the wiser. Now that I think about it, very few people, aside from family, even know that my last name is my ex’s last name.
If I get married again though, I’d likely take my new husband’s name.December 5, 2012 at 1:58 pm #47768
I started a thread about changing my last name a while ago. I don’t know how much it will apply to your situation, but maybe it will help: http://dearwendy.com/forums/topic/the-name-change-debate/
As for me, I did end up changing my name but it took me a REALLY long time to make the decision. I was deeply upset that everyone just assumed I was changing name. Our friends and family members gave us many very generous checks, but I was not happy to see that all except one were made out to either “John and Jane Hislastname” or “Mr. and Mrs. Hislastname.” It didn’t occur them how inconsiderate this would be if I didn’t change my name.
But I was really most upset by the fact that my then-fiance assumed I would take his name. And when I tried to explain to him why I had reservations about it, he had a reaction very similar to your boyfriend. For some reason, he took my reservations about my name as an extension of my commitment to him and my desire to marry him. Which, obviously, is bullshit. I had to have a very straightforward discussion with him, which ended up with me saying something along the lines of “Am I questioning your commitment just because you’re not taking my name? No, I am not. You owe me the same respect and understanding. And if you can’t offer that to me, frankly, it’s because you’re looking at this from a sexist point of view.” I think it’s perfectly fine for a man to want his wife to take his name. But it is NOT fine for a man to measure her love and commitment by her choice to take (or not take) his name.
Anyway, it took a while to get him to understand that whatever choice I made, I just wanted to make the decision based on my own feelings, not to make him feel better or to do please our families or to go along with societal conventions. He had a hard time seeing it from my point of view but he eventually came around. Most men never encounter a situation where they feel pressure to change (or not change) their name, so it’s a really foreign thing to them.December 5, 2012 at 2:11 pm #47773
@mf, I thought we had a thread about this before. Glad to hear you got past the issue! On the check issuing thing, I have to say I would not think twice about writing a check out the the new Mr. & Mrs. X. Its something that is assumed, like it or not, and totally harmless. Many, if not most, people get a kick out of calling a new bride by her new name, so unless you told people beforehand that you were not changing your name, I wouldn’t be too upset by it. Obviously a non-issue now though.December 5, 2012 at 2:28 pm #47776
i wont be changing my name. i have no real attachments to it or anything either i just… dont want to? i dont see the need. its a hassle and i dont want to do it.
when i told jake about that, he didnt really like it. he did tell me that his family (who are small town people who dont understand when anyone does anything differently then tradition) would not be happy, and i said i didnt care. i think he was kind of mad about it for a little while until i explained to him that just because im not going to legally change my name doesnt mean ill be all OMG MY LAST NAME IS THIS I DIDNT NOT CHANGE MY NAME HOW DARE YOU ASSUME kind of crazy about it. i told him that if someone calls me mrs. whatever, i wont be mad about it. it just wont be my legal name, thats all. like, its almost a non-issue. and so once he figured out that it wasnt that i was all crazy on one feminist side, and that *i* didnt even think it was an issue, he stopped making it out to be an issue as well.
i definitely agree that to men this is a big issue, or at least, they think it is a big issue because they have been told it is a super big deal. but really, when you come down to it, its not a big deal at all. you change a name or you dont. then life goes on. it really doesnt effect things at some huge, important level. i mean, sometimes i feel like men think that if you dont take their name it will somehow invalidate your marriage license or something, you know? like its some really huge deal. but in reality, its not. and so that is the angle i would take when you try to talk to him. its just, really, not that big of a deal.December 5, 2012 at 2:41 pm #47785
I had an ex that was really offended that I wouldn’t change my last name – to his or anyone’s. He also got a little offended when I referred to Hillary Clinton and Ms. Clinton instead of Mrs. Clinton…so go figure.
My official reason is I worked really hard to be Dr. Scruffs, and I want to keep it. Why would I let some girl named Apple Smith or whatever get all the credit? I don’t even KNOW Apple Smith! Plus my last name is unique, only a few people have it, blah blah blah.
The real reason? I don’t want to. Yeah, my dad gave me my last name, but he also gave me my first, and I certainly wouldn’t change my first name when I got married. Changing my last feels just as weird.
Luckily my boyfriend gives absolutely no shits about it. One night at a company dinner his boss was teasing us that he’d have to take my last name because I’m a doctor, blah blah. I said, “we’ll just both keep our last names.” Easy enough.