(Closed) Can't decide whether to change my name!

posted 4 years ago in Traditions
Post # 16
782 posts
Busy bee

I understand 100%! My last name was/is super important to me. I changed mine to DH’s last name but made mine my middle name. I have written my middle name out on every document instead of just a middle initial. It’s not exactly the same but it has made me feel better about the situation. Sharing a name with my future kids is a priority to me so that is why I ultimately decided to do it. It was a very hard decision though bc not only do I have ties to my family name but I’ve been called by my last name for about 20 years bc when I started cheering in middle school, there were 3 of us with the same first name. My last name stuck with me & most my friends still call me by my last name. 

You can definitely wait to change your name. As far as I’m aware there is no time restrictions on it. I’m a teacher & I started a countdown with my kiddos of when my name was going to change. Some even addressed me as “future Mrs. Husband’s name” so I had about 3 months of that to get used to it. I’ve been married for 8 months now. I don’t regret my decision to change it but I still haven’t fully embraced it either. 

Post # 17
4250 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: February 2009

View original reply
wolfeyes :  In all aspects of life, I tend to think that waiting when unsure is the best course of action.  Too many times I have rushed into something for one reason or another, and undoing somthing is so much harder.  You may feel over time that you want to take his name, and if so, then when you do you can be excited about it.  🙂

Post # 18
2005 posts
Buzzing bee

Our kids will be my last name-his last name. We will be the Smith-Jones family. 

Mitigates that issue. 

Post # 19
7986 posts
Bumble Beekeeper

Many people who do change their name don’t do it immediately after marriage anyways – its a TON of work! So you definitely still have time, and there isn’t really a wrong answer. If you do it right away, wait a year, wait 5 or dont do it at all, it’s your choice and whatever you are comfortable with is the right way to do it.

Post # 21
625 posts
Busy bee

It sounds like you should think about hyphenation, or maybe even your husband taking your last name.

It’s okay to wait. You can change your name any time, but changing it and then later changing it back could be awkward. If you’re unsure, better to wait. No rush. It won’t make you any less married.

Post # 22
101 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: October 2017 - Preservation Park, Oakland CA

I’m late to the game here but I’m in a similar boat–I really can’t decide. I dont want to because I love my name and think the taking of the man’s last name is an outdated patriarchal concept. But at the same time I feel like I may regret not changing it. One of my friends just got married and I was like 100% sure she’d never change her name and she did so it got me thinking.

Anyways my whole point of commenting was to say my fiance’s mom didnt change her name until my fiance and his sis were born so I dont think thats weird or wrong to wait anyways. We arent having kids so for me its a moot point but I think if we did plan to have kids that would be when I’d consider changing my name.

Post # 23
444 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: August 2015

View original reply
wolfeyes :  When we got married I decided not to change my name as the though of having a child was quite a while away (if we even decided to have one), but after a few years we are pretty sure we´d like a child in about 4-5 years which has made the issue of not having the same surname as my child more real.  My husband has fully supported me in not changing my name (although he sometimes calls me Mrs ___ as a joke and would probably be flattered if I did change it), but like you, my name forms a huge part of my identity and find it unfair that men do not do the same.  I´ve basically come to the decision (for now) that if we have a child I´ll hyphenate his surname after my own socially and our child would have his surname only (as mine is pretty long as it is and would make it extremely long). I don´t think I´ll ever change my name legally but I might change my mind eventually, but I´ve definitely decided that I don´t want to lose my name entirely and would still use it in a career and legal context whilst partially sharing my husband´s and child´s name socially.

Post # 24
71 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: November 2017

View original reply
ericarenee427 :  Not that it answers the OP, but I think it’d be easier for ou to hold off on changing it and if you really feel like you’re missing out on the “I wish we had the same name!” thing, then it would be easy enough to go change! (Well, ignoring the paperwork). I think it would almost be insulting to change it because you felt like you had to, then change it back because you don’t like it. Like, “hey man, I don’t like your name as my name, so I’m gonna just drop it now!”

It’s totally your name and your call. I think that in your case, it would definitely be best to wait. If you feel a strong urge to change it after some time, then do it!

I think I’m going to just use my fiance’s name socially and keep mine for the time being. I can’t decide if I want to change it or not and would rather hold off on the decision.

Post # 25
1284 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: July 2022 - Maui

Married and divorced here so Iʻve changed mine both ways.

I put my new name on the marriage license cuz it didnʻt really affect anything else. For our one year anniversary I surprised him by changing it completely on my driverʻs license and SS card, both of which I needed the marriage license showing my current and new name. We were going to start trying for kids and I wanted us all to share the last name. 

Fast forward to year 3 and weʻre separated with no kids. The divorce finalized with the decree stating I was taking my previous name back. This decree made it super easy to change everything back.


Obviously I never expected weʻd be divorced but I would DEFINITELY put the name you desire your kids to share on the marriage license since thatʻs whatʻs important to you here and then change things slowly as you get to that point. Without the marriage license or divorce decree, changing it in any way is a whole other ball game. 

Post # 26
619 posts
Busy bee

Obviously OP has been told several times to wait to make this decision and seems content with that resolution, but I will jump on the bandwagon of sharing my own plans just for fun. I haven’t heard anybody say this yet, so here goes: I am a total hypocrite when it comes to this issue. I am “against” women changing their names (not really against it, as women should do whatever the hell they want, but I silent clap every time I see a woman resist the oppressive patriarchal tradition of taking her husband’s name). That said, I will be taking FHs name very soon (already checked that box on the marriage license). My reasons are very unique to my situation though. 

Post # 27
53 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: June 2017

I felt the same way. I wasn’t sure what to do, but I decided to have my cake and eat it too. Legally, I changed my name. Makes it easier for tax purposes and insurance. But socially and professionally, I’m keeping my last name. I did this so if I decided to change my name later on, I could or I could keep it the way it is now. Hope this helps!

Post # 28
166 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: April 2018

My advice would be to not think of it as a patriarchal implication. Just think of it as you and your husband want to have the same name, and you choose his together. He won’t own you, you’ll just chose to use his last name from now on. Like if he had a house first, and you chose to move into his house. Just think of it literally like you need to pick a name to share, and you decide on his because its just easier and more common. No one is going to think any less of you for doing so.

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