I went to change my name on all my important documents yesterday. (oh yeah, and on facebook too)
I meant to take John’s surname, I really did…..but I ended up hyphenating.
I love John and want us to be one family and all, but I don’t want to let go of “the old me” so abruptly.
He thinks it’s a bad omen that I didn’t want to take his name immediately. 🙁
Am I a bad wife?
I’ve had my name forever. I’m attached to it ya know. It’s an awesome name. It’s strong. It’s different. It’s an opera and a really good book. It served as my first name all through high school and college. It’s ME.
Shortly after John and I announced our engagement, his mom invited us over for a celebratory dinner. At some point during the night, she pulled me aside conspiratorially and asked if I’m really ready to be a ______ (John’s Surname). She laughed and said, “it’s okay if you’re not. I didn’t want that name either! Your children are gunna get teased ya know.” And she laughed and left me in the corner to pray my kids are bigger than the bullies in their school.
My friend thinks I’m just hesitant to take his name because I don’t like it. I
bitched vented complained talked to her and she shut me down with the most insensitive insightful words: “oh stop it dan, if he had a cute last name we wouldn’t be having this conversation would we, now go change your name, horsey.”
(what a witch! lol)
I think it’s more than just that. (tho i have always maintained that I would marry someone with the last name Alexander so my name could be Danielle Alexander – and don’t forget our children Joshua Alexander and Corrine Alexander….so perfect. ::sigh::)
Granted John and his brother were both called an animal nickname all the way through school….and work…and I’m sure the same fate awaits my poor children, but I feel like what the name is matters little, and the fact that I have to replace my own with it is what’s really bugging me. Who is this new person with this new name?
I know it’s completely irrational, but I feel like it’s insulting my dad somehow. Like now that I’m a married woman, this awesome name I’ve had forever is now trashed and I have to take on this new identity from here on out. (Thank God I have a brother, he’s going to have to have like 7 boy children so the name can live on!)
I’m going to miss my short and sweet name. I think eventually when I get used to John’s name I’ll stop hyphenating. (I know that’ll make John happy) I just didn’t expect to have such a strong emotional reaction to changing my name.
Did you take your hubby’s name? Do you love your new name? Did your hubby care if you changed your name or not? Were you a weirdo like me and had a last name you wanted to marry into when you were younger? hehe Will I ever get over my new name fears?
I'm planning on taking the hub-to-be's last name and am really excited but am extremely sad about losing my last name. I feel like I'm getting kicked out of my family or something….it's weird to have the same name from the moment you're born then all of a sudden lose it. I've thought about hyphenating but my last name is just too damn long. You could always just change your name to Princess Consuela Banana Hammock like Phoebe on Friends did! 🙂
Kari Keenan says
I totally understand your reluctance to change your name (and it's a totally PITA to get it legally changed everywhere!). Have you thought about just adding his last name to your full name? So your last name would be like another middle name? I've heard of some women doing that as a way to feel like they're still keeping their own identity.
i didn't officially hyphenate, but i added his last name to mine so i have what i call a compound last name. 🙂 actually, i took it one step further and gave our kids the compound last name as well.
my husband has never been happy about it, but it was important to me. my name was changed when i was 10 because my step-dad legally adopted me. i knew almost nothing about my biological father, but that name change was TRAUMATIZING for me. i'd gone through 10 years of my life with a last name that was MINE (and it was uncommon!) and suddenly, i didn't have it anymore.
before i got married i told my soon-to-be husband that i planned on keeping my last name and he was never really supportive of it. i tried to explain to him why it meant so much to me but, unfortunately, it was never something he really got over. (we're separated now (for other reasons), so it's a non-issue.)
your husband sounds like a great guy, and i'm sure that if you can bring him in on the internal conversation you're having, he might be more on board with it than you think. and if not, like you said, you'll stop hyphenating when you're more used to it.
I do intend to take his name. There are a lot of complications for me since we are both not from the UK but got married and live in UK. Too much of a legal minefield here but eventually the paperwork will go through!
Seriously you cannot wipe the smile off his face when I am referred to by his name. I have to have it, it gives him so much joy and that makes me really happy.
I was kinda glad to get rid of my last name. lol I got tooo much crap for it in the past and he's from Eastern Europe so his is kinda cool = ] It was a hassle switching over documents…so much so that i just kinda stopped halfway through and carry my old driver's license with me. If you don't wanna take his name, I don't think it should be an issue, unless you promised you would or something.
Carolyn @ life, love & puppy prints says
I have been trying to figure this out in my head too! I am for sure taking my hub's name, and am super excited about it… but I feel like i am abandoning my family's name. Especially because there are no guys to carry it on. 🙁 It's such a hard decision!
My husband didn't make a big deal out of it. He says he just wants his last name to be in there some how. He even offered to go through the trouble of hyphenating his last name also with MY last name! I was touched.
I'm being lazy and haven't gone to do the change yet, but I plan on hyphenating. Why? Because I love my last name. It's the last name I've had for 22 years! I think it looks nice hyphenated.
All in all we got married because we love each other and would like to spend the rest of our days kicking each others asses. A name is just a name. A marriage is about love and when it's about the love you share it should not even matter whose name you have.
To be honest it's smart. When we went to the bank to open a joint account the woman told me I should hyphenate my name (even if only on the account) because a lot of things take years to switch over. What happens when we get a gift, or I get a tax check, work bonus, benefits, etc lited under my maiden name?? We've made travel plans – the flight & my passport still have my maiden name on them – these things take time.
I went to the Soc. Sec office and changed my name to his but many things still have my maiden name on them – it's a process – it's not just 1 form & be done with it.
To be fair, I've always kinda hated my maiden name. It's Italian and ALWAYS mispronounced. While I will admit his last name isn't awesome (it's a fungus for god sake!! LOL) it's quite common and rarely does anyone say it wrong. 🙂
I took my husbands last name but was reluctant. Like you said, your name is "you". I'm also weird in the way that when my teachers (who I felt comfortable with) got married and changed their names it really upset me. I had some teachers who understood and allowed me to continue to call them by their maiden names so that felt more comfortable to me. Especially, since you never referenced their first name anyway. To call them something different made me feel like they weren't the same person. Wow, this is long, sorry. Back to me. I was going to keep my maiden name but my husband totally was upset about that so I changed it. And I'm happy I did. I realized that I wasn't as attached to my last name as I thought. Perhaps because I rarely hear it, mostly hearing my first name. And I'm still the same person but I feel more like a family memeber to my husband now that we share the same name. And once you have children, I think you'd want to share their name… I say go for it!
Oh, but don't get me started on my friends who have babies! I feel like they become different people too, but that's a whole other topic, lol!
Dani @ OK, Dani says
This is why i love you gurls! I love hearing the different perspectives and stories! Thanks for the input. Keep it coming ladies!!
If I would have married in my twenties there is no way I would have taken my husband's name. I was all liberated back then. But as I got older my perspective changed. I married at 35 and was ready to take on my next life book. I hoped (and still do) that we will grow old together as MR and MRS. Husband's name. It is kind of romantic sharing a name.
You made the statement that your last name is 'You'. But you're a part of a team now. 🙂 You're no longer just you, you're "us" or "we" or however you word it, lol. That's just my .02. I can't see myself coming home and telling my husband I'd hyphenated my name. I think that's one of the greatest parts of being married: the joining, the union. But we all have different comfort levels. 🙂
I feel the same way. Although I'm not married (as yet) I've already started thinking about keeping my last name along with my future husband's.
Although my last name has been the reason I've Been teased up to high school( and still a few snickers in college) I feel like it's who I am. My dad even told me I should hyphenate it. He has so much admiration for his last name, that he wants all four of his children (2 girls, 2 boys) to carry it on!
I hyphenated.. Felt archaic being just tagged with his family name, married him and I not our families, that's how I look at it . Pammy from pammy ponders (on iPhone can't get logged in!)
When I got married I hyphenated my last name. His name was fine, whatever, it is just what I did. I HAVE REGRETTED THIS FOR 20 YEARS! Hyphenating has been a pain in my ass every single day. People mispronounce both names, they don't know how to alphabetize it. Some computer systems like airlines or online shops won't accept hyphens….so just do yourself a favor. If you don't like the name, don't take it. If you take it, then use your maiden name as your middle and only have ONE last name. Trust me!!!!
I took the name…moved my maiden name to my middle name…so I still had access to it…like LOOK! THERE IT IS! hehehe
Being divorced now…I have not changed back. I am still Jessica ____ ____
My facebook name you see…is my maiden name…since most people would find me with that. Not everyone in the world knew I got married…which is a shame…since it was OH SO IMPORTANT to the universe….right??? hehehe
But I think losing who you are as a person is a totally normal fear when changing your name. It is a lot to take on.
My name was mine for 24 years before I got married. People straight up called me by my last name and I liked that.
It confuses people now if they go out with me and for some legal reason (like credit cards or bills) I have to use my legal name.
*shrug* …its just strange all around sometimes.
But someday…I hope to get the chance to take a different name….and when that day comes…I will change it …but for now…I will keep the name I married into back in 2004.
Whats in a name?? EVERYTHING…. ^_^
Lil Man and Mommy says
This is a pretty common topic. My g/f and I had this conversation 5 years ago when she was getting married. She did not want to take her husbands last name, and he was mad that she didn't want to. So she posed it to him that he should change his name to hers…yeah…did not go so well. lol. In the end she took his name, but as she puts it, for their kids sake.
I didn't have a problem taking my husband's name. But like you pointed out "your attached to it" I was not. And like your friend said "if the name was cute you would take it". His was. Not only was it cute, but it has like a billion years of history behind it. Even a family ancestry book! To me it felt like belonging to history somehow. Does that make me a cop-out? lol.
Lil Man and Mommy says
P.S. I am a new follower to your blog. Loves it 🙂
I think the "-" is totally acceptable these days! I wish I would have hyphenated aidyns name.. only he has two middle names, so that would have been quite the mouthful!
I'm not sure if i'll drop my name or not. I kind of love it! Although being called "BJ" isn't always that fun 🙂 lol!
Anyways, I dont think you are crazy at all, and I dont think that its a bad omen! 🙂 You're very normal 🙂
Now one day when I meet and man fall in love, and decide to get married.. please remind me that I am normal when I freak out over this stuff 🙂 Promise?
Carina the Blogarina says
I completly get what you are saying!! That's why ehen I get married, I will take my husbands name and he wil take mine. So we can be a new family, with both names. In a way it symbolizes how two families are coming togther, instead of one person (always the woman) leaving one unit to be a part of another. I want my future kids to have my parents name to. I wan't people to know they are related to them. I like it when poeple ask me if I'm my fathers daughter after hearing my name. I don't want that to change. Luckily, my boydfrien is open to taking my name as a middle name. It's reallt only a fomality, he doesn't have to use it.
ps. after this I'm sooo curious of what your husbands last name is!!!
Encore Bride says
I married young, didn't want to change my name but he wanted me too, got a divorce and the ONLY thing I wanted was my name back. 9 years later I'm older and wiser and still on the fence about changing my name. I grew up in PR where women do not change their name and kids get both of their parents last name, it seems so simple there I don't see why it couldn't work here…
My legal name is my husband's name but I kept my maiden name as my stage name since I was already acting before we got married so I guess I get to enjoy the best of both worlds. If I ever decide to leave the acting biz though, that name will not carry on.
When we got married 3 years ago my husband was very happy and proud that I agreed to take on his last name while it just seemed like a formality to me at the time. Now, however, I'm so glad that I changed it because there's something special about being Mr. & Mrs. ***** that I don't know would feel the same if we were Mr. ***** and Mrs. ****-*****. I know it may seem like the unmodern thing to do but I believe sharing your name is one of the many things that make you closer as a couple. BUT there's definitely WAY more important things in a marriage than just this so if changing your name makes you really comfortable then come to a compromise.
Stephanie in Suburbia says
My new name is awesome, but my old name was super short and impossible to pronounce and spell. So there was no question for me. But do what you want to do! I don't think it means any bad omen about not wanting to be a family. My only caution is I've seen it cause issues when kids are in school, etc. But you can always cross that bridge when you come to it!
Yolanda "Yogi" Allen says
that's funny!! I have never thought about what name I wanted to marry into…Yolanda Allen is just perfect….there aren't many last names that fit with Yolanda….I plan to hyphenate! My name is pretty much branded right now so it would be too much to change it…I'll just be another Jada Pinkett Smith! ;-D
Ok, I know that i'm super late but i just found ur blog through lhcf and here I am going through each post. My bf and I had this very same conversation this morning!! Granted, we have the same last n as me (no, we're not related!!!) But I said that if it was differnt then I would have hyphenated, and got upset!!!!
Oh, I kept my last name. It’s now my 2nd middle name and his name is my last name. He said he didnt care, but he kept bothering me about it, so I think it meant more to him than he let on. lol! I agree with you. It’s hard to let go of your name that you had your entire life. I felt it was the best thing for me to keep my last name somewhere in the mix since my dad doesnt have any sons. The name dies with me and my sister. lol! My entire name is a mouthful now though…
I Hyphenated, but I think I’m going to just make my maiden name my middle name, and drop Marie. Then I’ll be DFH.