Post # 1
Let me get started by saying that my fiance is a wonderful man, he is not at all in the dark ages. He understands that I am an indepedent woman, and he understands my feminist beliefs, and respects them, and he actually even considers himself a feminist.
The changing of my name thing has become a MAJOR source of arguement between us lately. I’m getting married in a month, and I need to come to a decision, who knew that it’d be this hard?!?
I have never decided to 100% completely keep my name, I just only want to hyphenate it. I feel that completely changing my name takes away a piece of me, it might be silly or hard to understand, but it’s just how I feel. I want to keep my name legally, but just hyphenate it unoffically, I guess. It means a lot to me. I mean, it IS my name after all…and I just don’t want to part with it.
He, on the other hand, gets irate when I bring this subject up. I don’t know why, because, quite honestly, he has never given me a reason why, even when I ask. He just gets upset. Which is probably why I have avoided the subject up until now. He just always says “I never have any say in any of this wedding stuff” (which he does by the way…) and my name I don’t feel should be his decision, I mean, it IS my name after all. I do not plan on making our future kids have my last name at all, they will still have his last name. It will not be hypenated. I just want to keep mine. I didn’t think it’d be that big of a deal, honestly.
What’s a girl to do? Just give in and do it? Hold strong and get him upset? I can’t see any form of compromise here, only one of us giving in and the other getting their way 100%…
Post # 3
Have you considered making your maiden name your middle name?
I can’t speak for your Fiance, but I know that for mine it was extremely important that I take his name. I’m a modern, professional woman who believes very strongly in equal rights. He knows and respects that. But for him, me taking his name is a way of being linked to him, officially becoming a part of his family. It is also very important to him that we both have the same name as our future children.
I would recommend just sitting him down to discuss the issue calmly. Tell him you really want to understand why this is important to him, so you can make a fully informed decision about what to do. Listen with an open mind. He might be thinking “she doesn’t care how I feel, she made up her mind already,” even if you’ve been calm about it before. Telling him you want to understand how he feels to help you decide might help him open up a bit more.
And semi-OT but honestly, I don’t understand how you could hyphenate your name “unofficially.” If it’s hyphenated, then it’s hyphenated. If you don’t change it at all (even to the hyphenated version), then really you’re just keeping your name. Which is fine – but if you need to own your decision, whether that decision is to keep your name, take his name, or hyphenate. Own it.
Post # 4
@sariahlynne: we are in almost the exact same position. I am mourning the loss of me and my name and he gets uncomfortable and even angry when I suggest HE change HIS name to mine or I keep my name. I have no idea why, but this one subject brings out the old fashioned side of him.
At the end of the day I want to be a family unit so I am changing my surname to his. I am also changing my middle name to my current surname. Instead of being First Middle Maiden, I will be First Maiden Married Name. That way I still get to keep my tie to my family, whilst creating a new tie to the new family we create
Post # 5
I wouldn’t change my name if the only reason is that Darling Husband wanted me to and I didn’t. Maybe you should ask your Fiance to change his name and see how he feels about it.
Post # 6
@Bears-bub: Well, I never, ever suggested for him to take on my name. I never would ask him to do that, because I know the answer would completely be NO. I didn’t think of the making my maiden name a middle name. I might try suggesting this to him, but it almost seems like he is not willing to listen to anything I have to say on the subject. It’s just so weird, not like him at all. :/
Post # 7
I am planning on doing exactly what you are doing! Just try to explain why it is so important to you. My Fiance isn’t thrilled, but he understand.
Post # 8
I kept my last name as it was important to me to do so. You are part of your husband’s family whether or not you have the same last name as him. It does not make any more or any less married. I would ask your future husband how he would feel about changing his last name, that should at least give him a little perspective on how you feel. I think you should do what is best for you. The name changing service will always be there so if you decide in the future to change it, you could always do that.
Post # 9
I am keeping my name but do not object to being called by his last name. But under no circumstances would I change my name officially or professionally.
I know this is a major source of tension, but try to get him to talk about how he feels about this. His digging his heels in with non-answers is not ever going to be enough reason for you, and if you change your name, feeling as strongly about it as you do, only because he’s sulking about it, this will blow up hugely in the future.
And for every suggestion you get that if you just go ahead and change your name to please him and that you’ll get used to it, I say: keep your name, and he’ll get used to it. When he sees that no one thinks less of him and that you’re married and a unit and clearly a family, despite you having your own name on paper, he’ll adjust.
Post # 10
@SoupyCat: I actually have jokingly asked him how he’d feel if we lived in a society that it was standard for the husband to change their last names to the wife’s last name, if he’d do it. And he always said that he would, if it was what was expected of him. But I think it is just easy for him to say that because he isn’t being asked to do that.
Post # 11
Post # 12
I still don’t fully understand the whole ‘I want the same name as my children’ argument. It’s really not that difficult for teachers and medical staff to get that you have a different last name, or that your children do. Think about the event of a remarry (which is sooo incredibly common). You would take the other person’s last (or revert back to your maiden) name and your child would have your exes last name. Your children, teachers, and medical staff would all still totally figure out who you are regardless of your last name. I dunno, I just think we’re using this as an excuse to take on a name that we may be talking ourselves into, you know what I mean? I am in financial services and I know so many clients who have different last names and its not at all confusing. *shrug*
As for me (not that you asked) I wanted to keep my name because I think the ‘ownership’ of it is so incredibly antiquated and there was no way in heck my fiance would go with inventing an entirely new name. The *only* reason I am considering it is because my last name is an adopted last name anyway (much like a married name would be I suppose) and it’s the last name of someone who much of my family blacklisted in the 90’s (major dramaz!). Only one of the family members has taken the time to change her name to her mother’s maiden, but I considered this for a long time too. My fiance’s name would just be to get rid of that family members name…and it sounds really good with my first name. hehehehe
Maybe you can ask your fiance to write down why he wants you to do it. Maybe he instinctually doesn’t like it but he can’t put it into words verbally. Giving him some alone time to write it all down may help. 🙂
Post # 13
@ProfessorGirl: I am thinking that this is what I am going to have to do. Because you know, quite frankly, I believe it is just him fearing that he will be judged as less of a man by others, or something. Which I do not feel will happen.
He was engaged once before when he was very young and in college, and throughout their (very long) engagement the girl slowly transitioned from being a ultra girly girl who made him ask her father for permission to marry her, to a women who felt being in a relationship with a man and marriage in general was a pointless, patriarchal instition and needless to say they broke up shortly before their wedding date. And I think he kind fears that I will do the same thing (not going to happen, my beliefs have been the same since years before I met him)…
If I change my mind in the future, I can always change my name then… And honestly, since he is not willing to talk to me like an adult about it, then, how are we supposed to come to an agreement? I hate to be uncaring about the whole subject, but, I do think I’m going to have to just do what I feel is right and have him get used to it, just as you said. Every other source of contention we have, we can always work it out, and in all other aspects we are in agreement, it just baffles my mind that he is acting this way just about this!
Post # 15
My Fiance also got irrationally weird about the name thing- when we discussed it, I wasn’t completely sold on either option, but unlike you, OP, I knew I did not want to hyphenate under any circumstances (it feels bulky to me, plus my mom always had hyphenated names and it was a pain).
I’m making my name First Maiden HisLast, no hypehn, legally. Socially, I’ll be First HisLast, but keeping my maiden name as my middle name will give me some continuity at work and in my professional circles. This might be a good option for you.
Post # 14
@sariahlynne: I’m having the same issue that you are! I can’t stand the thought of losing my last name. I have ultimately decided to drop my middle name(against my Mother’s wishes).
Post # 16
@WillyNilly – the situation you described is the one I grew up with: my mom took my stepdad’s last name and their kids, my brother and sister, have his name too. I think you give people too much credit in figuring out peoples’ relationships when different names are involved 🙂 I constantly had to explain myself and my relationship to my family, and it suuuuuucked. So that’s why I changed my name when I got married – after 25 years of, “…and you are?”, I was completely over having a different last name from the rest of my family.
But for the OP… if I were in your shoes, I would just stop bringing it up. You say he gets irritated when you mention it, but you don’t say that he’s pushing you on his own accord. Also, FWIW, my friend hyphenated her name and said that she can use either name now for legal purposes. I’m not 100% sure that’s accurate, but it might be a good compromise.