Post # 1
So I just really want to vent on this… I’ve been very vocal for a long time on the fact that I am not changing my name. I would be open to hyphenating ONLY if he took the same hyphenated name with me, or creating a new name together, but both of us love our given last names, so that’s not really an option.
Recently, after my best friend got married and changed her name – something she made a definite compromise on – my fiance told me he would have preferred me to change mine. After a couple of years of me VERY forcefully letting it be know that I am keeping my name. I’m the sort of person who is so geared up to not change my name that it makes me sad when female friends of mine do change theirs. Obviously, his opinion is not really affecting my decision, but it was a very weird thing to hear from him. I’ve told him that it would make me happy if he took my last name, but he kind of laughs that off. Awkward because I hate double standards, but understandable because everyone calls him by his last name.
On one hand, I think it’s awesome that it’s relatively socially acceptable for me to do either. And he can’t push me to one decision or another. Seriously, if it were change name or stay with him unmarried, I would choose the latter in a heartbeat – it’s not that I don’t love him, but that to me being Mrs. Fiance instead of Ms. Me means not being me anymore in a way that makes me sick to my stomach). I know what I’m doing and he’s not pressuring so much as making an adorable sad face, but does anyone have any advice on how to cope with disappointment/irritation at a guy’s reaction? Right now I keep wanting to talk it over with him, but he knows what I’m doing and I know he’s okay but not ecstatic with it, and it’s probably annoying the crap out of both of us to discuss it over and over.
Post # 3
I am not commenting on your relationship. Especially if he is just making sad faces and not pressuring you. For me, if my fiance was the type of man who got bent out of shape by (or was anything less than support of) a woman keeping her own name, I wouldn’t marry him. I find it disturbing that a young man in this late year would expect a woman to change her name but laugh at the idea of changing his own. I would worry what else he is sexist about, and what other artificial gender roles he would expect, because that attitude is clearly not neutral to women.
Post # 4
I’m not totally in the same boat as you… because I haven’t decided what to do yet about my name. (But I already have a hyphenated last name and it starts to get more complicated… just wrote a post to vent as well!) But I totally understand the guilt thing. I thought my FH wouldn’t really care about it, but he’s made it clear he’d like me to have his last name… But he’s also said since he doesn’t want to change his name, he understands if I don’t want to change mine.
It’s hard I know, but I guess you just have to move on. You’ve made your decision and he’s “OK” with it. So time to move on to talking about other things about the wedding that make you both HAPPY! I mean, you ARE getting married, so there’s got to be other things about that fact that make you both feel good instead of guilty!
One question: are you thinking of having kids? If so, whose name will they have?
Post # 5
I guess I don’t understand why women wouldn’t change their last name. Maybe I am just old fashioned in the belief that when you get married, you are entering into his family. No, you aren’t completely abandoning your family, but you are joing him in his family. And having his last name still makes you “you”, but with just a new last name.
Post # 6
I don’t really understand why you get upset when your single friends decide to take their husbands name. The women’s movement is about choice – we have the choice to keep our maiden names or change them! Everyone has the right to choose!
My name is not who I am! I will be the same person after I take my FIs name – I will just have a new family (Me and Him for now;-))!
If you don’t want to take his name don’t but I do think you guys should be on the same page.
Have you talked about him hyphenating with you? Have you talked about who’s name the kids will take (if you are planning to have kids)?
Post # 7
From my perspective, my name does not define who am I. I will be changing my name after the wedding this summer and for me, it signifies that we are a family now – we are united – when we have kids, there is no question that they are both of ours. I like that people have this choice, but for me, there was never any doubt in my mind that I would change my name.
The only hard part for me is that I am starting in a professional field and people are beginning to know me by my name. If I had a really established career already, I would consider other options, but I’m not in that situation.
Post # 8
It seems like your fiance is totally accepting of you not changing your name, he just doesnt like it. I think thats something that he’s just going to need time with. It sucks when you have to make hard choices like that, I don’t think it says anything about your relationship, I think you two just have different opinions and that’s a good thing! I agree that talking over and over again might be dragging both of you down, I would stop talking about it, he knows your going to keep your name and as long as he knows its nothing personal against him I think you’ll be fine.
Post # 9
I tease my Fiance about keeping my name but I would never do that. Call me old fashion as well but I’m looking forward to changing my name.
Post # 10
We all have views that dissapoint our spouses and significant others, and this is dissapointing you. That makes sense to me, it would really dissapoint me if Fiance was doing this, even in the non-serious way your Fi is handling it.
One way you may want to approach is just to tell him, “look, I’ve made this decision. If you want me to change my mind, we need to have a serious conversation about it. But what I don’t want is dissapointment face and the gentle chiding. I know you’re not trying to be mean, but I really only want to talk about it seriously or not at all.”
@ Rosie: I am not joining my husband’s family. We are making our own. That point of view, though valid, has no resonance with me whatsoever.
Post # 11
I feel ya. I am in the same boat. My Fiance says “I don’t want to talk about it”!
Post # 12
@monitajb: True. You aren’t joining his family, but you are creating a family with him, and because of that I feel that you should share the family name (last name).
Post # 13
For me, I didn’t have much attachement to my given last name – it’s very common and every other person has it, so I was actually looking forward to getting a more unique last name.
The other reason I really wanted to change my name was to simplify our lives, especially when we have children. I want to share my children’s last name, and I want us, as a family, to all have the same last name, as opposed to my husband having one name, me having another, and our kids either taking one of ours or hyphenating. Plus our names hyphenated really don’t go well together. So I took hubby’s name instead!
Do you want children someday? What will you do with your kids name-wise when/if you do?
Post # 14
After going through the legal process of changing my name for a month now and I’m only 25% through changing everything I would have kept my maiden name legally and had his name socially. So would that be a good fit for you? I would think it would give you the flexibilty of having both when you want/need to and make him feel satisfied. Don’t know just throwing it out there.
Post # 15
I don’t think he’s unsupportive of your choice, or that he doesn’t agree with your ideals. I would hope that after a long term relationship and the upcoming marriage, you are on the same page about the majority of your values.
I think more likely, there is simply some deep-seated social bias and assumption that he has been exposed to all his life that makes him a bit uneasy. It is also possible that he worries about how other people may interpret your decision. It’s like me and ketchup on eggs. I KNOW it’s not wrong to eat ketchup with eggs. But I have heard for so many years that you aren’t supposed to do that, it makes me a bit queasy. Then I keep eating it the way I want, and eventually I don’t care if other people think it’s gross. Not that it’s even remotely on the same importance scale with your name, but just an analogy :-). How we logically think about something and how we feel about it can be very different.
Personally, I changed my last name because I really like His. I am still confident in my own independence, career, and choices. In my circle, I have actually had to face more of the opposite questions, “WHY WOULD YOU CHANGE YOUR NAME?” especially since everyone knows my husband didn’t care. HE would have changed his to mine if I had asked. The simple answer is because I want to – the same way I wanted to wear a white dress. You don’t have to justify to anyone about your choices. It’s yours and yours alone.
Post # 16
@monitajb Said everything I came here to say (and we’re date twins to boot!) To address your issue, the thing that would bother me is that he’s not having an honest conversation with you about the topic. He knows you feel strongly, and instead of openly saying either “I accept that it’s your choice, but it still hurts my feelings” or “I’m just going to need some time to get my head around this” or whatever, he’s hiding behind humor. He’s making silly faces and laughing at legitimate suggestions as a way to avoid having a frank and honest conversation about it with you, and I think you should call him on it. He doesn’t need to be thrilled with your decision right away, but he needs to accept that this is important to you and respect your decision enough not to tease you about it, because nothing productive is going to come from him making sad puppy faces.
One thing I will say is that I am chosing to take my husband’s name. It’s something we talked about and decided together, and like @Future Mrs. Martin says, I don’t feel my name defines me. And I’d still defend your right to not change your name, and to not be judged for it. So why are you judging those of us who do decide to change our names? Not trying to be flip – it’s a legitimate question. It just seems odd to me to celebrate that you have two socially acceptable choices, but then pity those who choose differently then you. Isn’t it better to be happy you can choose what’s right for you, and your friends can choose what’s right for them?