FIL insulted that I didn't change my last name professionally

posted 3 years ago in Names
Post # 3
9949 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper
  • Wedding: June 2013

I’m keeping my name professionally…if not legally.  I’m still working on that one.  I am a teacher, though, so being called by my last name is part of my identity.  


…  My mom got us a guest book and put our names as His and Hers Hislastname…and when she showed me, I started crying.  I said, you forgot my last name.  =(  So I don’t even know if I can go through with changing it.


For you, just tell him, “My maiden name is part of my work identity, and I’d like to keep it for professional reasons.”  What do you do?

Post # 4
4474 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: February 2012

I wouldn’t say anything to his face about how his name isn’t Americanized enough for you to use professionally. That really may hurt his feelings. I would just be adamant that you feel strongly about your identity at work being tied to your maiden name. He should be able to be understanding of that as long as you don’t say anything insulting while being strong in your opinion. 

Post # 5
1662 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: October 2013

Does he know you don’t plan to change it professionally? Maybe he thinks you’re going to and that’s why he keeps asking? I would just tell him calmly. Explain that it’s just because it’s easier, and you love him and are proud to be his wife.

I think names are personal, and it’s not a matter of disrespect for you to keep your name professionally. Good luck!

Post # 6
575 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: October 2014

@Aquaria:  I wouldn’t tell him that his ancestors should’ve Americanized their names.  That’s really insulting and really uncalled for.  And it also implies that everyone who has an “ethnic” name should go change it into something easy for Americans/English speakers to pronounce and spell, or else every problem they have because of their names (and by extension, perceived ethnicity) is their fault.  I don’t think that’s what you mean.  I certainly hope not.

Just tell him politely that you’re keeping your maiden name as your professional name at work.  That’s it.  And if he brings it up again, repeat yourself.  Eventually, he’ll get over it.

Post # 7
10886 posts
Sugar Beekeeper
  • Wedding: May 2009

He probably keeps asking because he thinks that you plan to change it but just haven’t updated your business cards, etc.  I think you need to be loving but firm in your response and make clear the fact that you actually do not ever plan to use your married name professionally. Perhaps you could say something such as:

“Well, you know how much I love DH and your whole family, and I definitely wanted to take your name legally and socially.  However, I have established a professional identity in my maiden name, and it’s very important to me to maintain that. Because of this, I actually have no plans to ever change my name at work or on any business documents.  All of my professional colleagues and clients will continue to know me as Aquaria Smith, even though I’m married and my legal name is Aquaria Jones.”

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