(Closed) Changing my last name has become a major source of argument between us…

posted 7 years ago in Traditions
Post # 3
128 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: July 2012

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
466 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: July 2012

@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
4371 posts
Honey bee

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 # 7
1938 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: July 2012

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
1776 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: August 2010

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
2281 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: June 2012

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 # 12
3580 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: August 2012

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 # 15
1091 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: October 2012

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
224 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: September 2012

@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
447 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: April 2010

@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.

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