@jsanford: first — what do YOU want to do? you said it was a no brainer before. all of the reasons you mentioned don’t seem like they have anything to do with your future marriage with your future husband. what do you want? what does he want? done.
Why would he have been hurt that the ex changed her name? I betcha that he’s doesn’t seem too bothered by it because he is, in fact, not bothered by it. That’s his EX wife. If he wanted to be married to her to care about her last name, they’d be married today. And if he cares about a woman having his name — he would care if YOU have his name. Does he care if you have his name? If you were going to keep yours before, it would seem that he doesn’t. Let that go. You don’t change your name as a “gift to someone…” You’re not a martyr; you’re a wife. A wife who wants her name. And if your husband is fine with that then it’s FINE.
I’m not trying to talk you out of changing it. I’m traditional — I’m 40 and I’m changing my name. I do, in fact, still have my ex husbands name but only because I’m traditional and we have a son. I wanted my son and I to have the same last name unless and until I got remarried. Now I’m going to happily change my name once again.
Your credit will also not be effected by a name change. there have been instances where a second profile is created but that is not supposed to happen and you can contact the credit reporting agency to have them merge your file. it’s not a big deal. Your credit is about your social security number and nothing more. neither does a name change merge your credit with your new spouse’s unless you apply for credit jointly.
“there’s already another woman in this city with those initials” — there’s probably a LOT of women in your city and surrounding city with your intials. i want to say this with tact and respect — you’re reaching here. are we really talking about initials?
your neice does not care what last name you take. only that you’re married and you’re happy.
“My fear is that I change it in the whirl of wedding foof and regret it, somehow, a year later. I suppose I could decide later” No, decide now. Talk it over with your FI after you talk it over with yourself. it sounds like you don’t want to. for whatever reasons, big or small, you don’t want to. and if you don’t want to and your FI is in agreement with you — you should be aligned on these things — then DONT.
There… don’t you feel better? 🙂
Really, it’s simple. do what you want. you have a wedding to plan and so many other things that will get you in a whirl. this should not be one of them. even this traditional bride thinks so.