(Closed) Struggling with name change…what to do?

posted 8 years ago in Interfaith
Post # 3
Member
185 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: October 2010

I am not a religious person but this sounds like something you might want to talk over with your spiritual counsel…priest? Or maybe even his rabbi. They can be incredible insightful and understanding and may be able to shed some light on the direction you’re taking and the feelings you’re having. I would want to straighten my emotions out on this one before I got married, you don’t want to regret or hold anything against him unnecesarily.

Post # 4
Member
1 posts
Wannabee
  • Wedding: June 2010

I’m a (very liberal) Jewish educator by trade, and I don’t understand your dilemma…  What about taking your husband’s last name has to do with being Jewish?  I’ve also struggled with giving up my individual identity by taking my husband’s name.  However, at least from a standpoint of Jewish tradition, the name issue has nothing to do with being Jewish or not.  Even the most liberal Jewish communities will not consider you a Jew unless you express interest in learning and living Jewishly.  The decision of whether you change your last name or not is, at least from a Jewish community perspective, a secular decision.

Though, as a side note–as an educator, it makes my life much easier when parents have the same name as their children.

As for me, my husband is adding my maiden name as his second middle name, and I am adding his last name to mine–a sign that we’re both committing ourselves to each other and each others families.

Post # 6
Member
4123 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: October 2010

People think my last name (maiden) is Chinese when it’s actually Irish. Sometimes people look at me crazy when my pasty 5’11” self walks in.

My FI’s last name is as Polish as Polish can get. 

I personally don’t think these day’s people associate last name and religion/nationality as much. You may hear my FI’s last name and the thought’s more like, “What a mouthful” not, Oh, your polish? He’s actually mainly Italian 😉

I wouldn’t worry to much about it. If I heard it I wouldn’t automatically think, Oh she’s jewish?

Post # 7
Member
3316 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: October 2009

Even though I did convert to Judaism before my first marriage, I never took his name. 

I don’t know how to discuss this with FI because he wants me to take his last name and I don’t want to hurt his feelings.

Would he feel like he had to accommodate you if you wanted him to take your last name?  If not, then he has no more right to decide what your name should be than you have to decide what his should be.

Post # 8
Member
9057 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper
  • Wedding: June 2010

I think your point got a little misunderstood by the first poster.  It would be tough to have people make assumptions about your religion because of your name if you identify with a different one.

You should bring it up with your fiance.  You need to be able to communicate about these things. 

I come from a proud Irish family, with a very Irish last name, and when this name change rigamarole is all over, I’ll have a very non-descript “top 3” last name.  It does feel like losing a little piece of your identity.

Post # 9
Member
26 posts
Newbee
  • Wedding: June 2010

If it makes you that uncomfortable than don’t take his name.  I think either way you have to talk to him & be honest about it!  I bet you will feel a lot better afterwards.  

Post # 10
Member
73 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: December 2010

How would your FI feel about combining your names in some way, and each taking that new name, which represents both of you?

I am on the opposite side of things from you- i have a very jewish last name, and once I get married, I will be taking my husband’s VERY non-jewish last name. Will people make different assumptions about my background? Maybe. Maybe not. But changing your name, and the identity that goes with, is a very personal choice. And a lot of women these days choose not to change their names. If you feel strongly about it, and explain to him that your name is part of your identity and is important to you, he should understand.

It does beg the question though: if your husband had a last name that wasn’t jewish, would you still have reservations about changing your name?

Post # 12
Member
1641 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: June 2011

I personally would not assume a married woman with a jewish-sounding last name would be Jewish. Especially in this day and age. The bigger question is, if you are this hung up on the name, how comfortable are you, really with marrying someone who is Jewish? You might want to dig a little deeper to make sure you are truly ok with that.

 

 

Post # 13
Member
1641 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: June 2011

And, really…why care so much about what others think? Your family and friends know where you stand. People will always be able to find a way to judge you if they are judgemental! So, I’d say forget about what others think. FAith is a private thing and it is really not anyone else’s business.

I kind of don’t blame your husband for feeling hurt, or like you are rejecting him. By rejecting the name, you are rejecting his faith (you say you aren’t, but you are obviously concerned about strangers connecting you to it, so that is a rejection). So, if he is connected to his faith, you definitely are rejecting him. Personally I would be far more concerned with hurting him, than with worrying what others think. I’m not saying anyone should change their name if they don’t want to, I just think your reason is..kind of hurtful to your husband to be.

Post # 15
Member
73 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: December 2010

I think hyphenating is a perfectly reasonable solution– it sounds to me like your FI is hung up on the tradition of a woman changing her name. But nothing says it has to be that way. I had a friend in college who took his wife’s name when they got married, because she only had sisters, and his parents really wanted the name to continue.  Maybe 100 years ago things were very different, but today, marriage is about creating a family together, not about a woman going from her father’s home to her husband’s. 

I’m sure whatever decision you make will be the right one.

Post # 16
Member
3866 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: April 2012

I never assume someone’s religion by their name.  Or their heritage, lol. 

Also, on the child’s name thing; what about people who divorce with young children then remarry? 

Example: I have a son and daughter, both have my current last name (which I took from a previous marriage).  I will be remarrying in 2012 and plan on having another child with my FI, so there will be two children with my current last name, at least one with my FI’s last name. 

I want to take my FI’s last name; he wants me to keep my current last name because it’s so unusual.  (We compromised – I’ll use my current last name if/when we get published and I take his last name… maybe…)

regardless, do what makes you feel most comfortable.  Don’t worry about what others think.  It’s YOUR name, YOUR life.  Do what works best for you and your FI.

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