Post # 1
So ladies, for the time being, I’ve decided to keep my maiden name and not take my husband’s name. We have been married since May. Today a family friend left me a voice mail and said “Oh hey, the wrong name is on your voicemail- it says Sarah MaidenName!”. I just don’t know how to tell people that I didn’t change my name without being weird. It’s not something that just comes up in conversation naturally! Anyone else have these kinds of problems? Thanks in advance :]
Post # 3
Im planning on keeping my name, and if they get all wide eyed I say, the kids can have his name.
Post # 4
Yes- I didn’t change my name. Just this week someone posted on my facebook page “Why haven’t you changed your name on your account?” Um- becuase I didn’t change my name legally? I don’t go around telling people what their name is SUPPOSED to be! After the wedding everyone, including my parents referred to me as Mrs HislastName, which they all thought was cute, but was just ignorant and presumptuous. At work people have asked me “what is your name now?”- my answer is – Same as it was before!
Post # 5
Just very casually say, “Oh, I decided to keep my name,” like it’s no big deal, which it isn’t!
Post # 6
To be honest, your friend’s reaction is a little weird–I mean, I think it’s all in good intentions, but I wouldn’t worry that people are confused. It’s reasonably common for women these days to keep their maiden name. I don’t really think that you necessarily need to make an effort to correct her; might as well wait until you see her and I imagine she’ll ask you directly.
My next suggestion is to use correspondence. So, keep your email with your maiden name, make sure the signature on your email has your maiden name, keep the vm with your maiden name, and think about getting a return address stamp that has both your names on it: “Smith and Doe” The holidays will also be your friend because you can sign holiday cards “from Miss Sayrah MaidenName and Darling Husband Last”
If you get questions about it, just smile and say, “Oh, I decided to keep my name.” That’s really all you have to say. If people have a problem with it, then let it be their problem and take solace in the fact that it’s 2011, not 1950 🙂
Post # 7
I would just tell them. I’m not changing my name and anytime someone mentions I’ll be Mrs “So and So” I correct them. Face it head on.
Post # 8
i just say “i didnt change my name”. even my mum was shocked when i first said i wasnt changing my name, i was shocked by her being shocked to be honest – she didnt raise me to think i needed another mans name so go figure
Post # 9
I wouldn’t worry about responding to the comment on your vm, unless she asks about it. If she does, I’d say – no, you got my name right – I didn’t change it.
I have people address me by my first and his last name – I don’t bother correcting them. I get mail that way – and it’s kind of annoying, but I don’t bother correcting it – because it really doesn’t matter how they address mail to me (it still comes to me!).
If it comes up, I tell them I kept it and I was very open about it at the wedding, etc.- and I address things just as I normally would (with either my first or my first and last name) – but I don’t make a big deal about it.
And, you are right – it doesn’t really come up in conversation – but, I figure, over time, people will catch on (when they see me using my maiden name on letters, cards, email, etc.), if they haven’t already.
Post # 10
@eeniebeans: Same thing happened to me… (first marriage)… and it was INFURIATING and did not stop for the entire 7 years we were married!
What made it much much worse is that with his last name (which I did NOT take), and my first name, the name was nauseating rhyming cutesy. You know, like “Jane Crane” or “Molly Holly”. In fact, my name plus his name was the exact same name I heard on the playground in a teasing way from kinder through third grade! In that “neener-neener” way.
So as you can see I am still annoyed about it and he and I haven’t been together in almost 8 years. The stupid annoying thing was how his mom was all offended that I didn’t change my name and she would address all mail as if I HAD, even checks made out to us for Christmas or whatever! Then I’d have issues with the bank when trying to deposit them.
My father also made the same assumption even though I told him different umpteen million times (we were not really close)… and get this: when he made out his WILL, he named me in it with the wrong last name!!!
As a result of this, when he died a year later I inherited a small amount of oil royalty shares in this incorrect name. So I would get checks monthly made out to the wrong name. For a while it wasn’t a problem to cash them because I had a joint bank account with my then husband and so they just overlooked the name thing since it was his last name anyway.
I tried and tried to get the oil companies to change the name and they kept insisting on a “proof of name change” and I would reply to them that I couldn’t prove a name change that never happened!
I have since sold my share of those royalties but to this day I still have some of those checks o(about $200 worth, sure would help with wedding costs!) on hold through the state “unclaimed funds” account that I can’t get because I can’t prove that I am the same person since there was never a name change done and I am again asked to provide “proof” of something that never happened. All that happened is my father didn’t know his own daughter’s legal name and screwed all kinds of things up as a result.
Sorry to rant, just make sure people REALLY get that you did not change it and make them respect it. I wish I had done so!
Post # 11
@MsInterpret: That is ridiculously annoying. Though if he was determined to use the wrong name, I’m not sure how much more you would have been able to do.
I assume you are divorced from that husband? Assuming that is the case, maybe you can present a copy of the court order as proof that you’ve changed your name? I’ve seen companies accept that when someone is changing their name back after divorce, so maybe it could work for you?
Though that does not change how incredibly disrectful it is to purposely and repeatedly call someone by the wrong name.
Post # 12
How’s this: I married the first time, took my ex’s last name because my claimed I HAD TO! So, my kids have this last name (my son is my ex’s, my daughter’s my fi’s–how’s THAT for confusing?) and my Fiance wants me to keep it because (you’re gonna LOVE THIS) “it’s too awesome to NOT keep”. Yep, he thinks it too cool to drop because his is so “normal”!
Oh, well, less hassle for work, I assure you! LOL! (I’m in IT, so I KNOW the hassle it can cause us poor IT folk, lol).
so, I’m keeping my ex-husband’s last name even after we marry. considering my maiden name is common and so is his, I can’t complain.
I’m sure there will be hassle from both sides of the family, though, since we haven’t told ’em yet….
Post # 13
Thanks so much for all of the advice ladies! I know that it shouldn’t bother me but it is just awkward when people mention things about it and then seem like they want an explanation! “Why did you keep your name!?”…. “Ummm. Why not?” lol I just never imagined that people would make such a big deal about it… this is the 21st century!
Post # 14
Wow…not changing your name is totally normal where I live. I raised a few eyebrows because I hyphenated – the ultra-liberal scientist women tend to keep their own names because we’ve all been published and established our career identities before marriage. Just be honest with people and hang in there!
Post # 15
Yeah, I think the only way to deal with it is to just treat it as not a big deal. “Oh, actually, I’m not changing my name. How’s work been lately?”
I’m keeping my name and that’s what I’ve been doing. Of course, like crayfish, I’d say more than 50% of the women I know did not change their names upon marriage, so most people don’t assume one way or the other. Although I’m afraid it will be a little awkward with his parents.
Post # 16
I put it on my wedding website FAQ.
Q: Will Melini be changing her name?
A: No. You’ll have to learn to spell (my complicated last name) if you haven’t already!
When people ask I say one of the following depending on who they are and the context of their question:
a. I didn’t take his name.
b. After 9 years/at nearly 40, not that much is changing. It would seem strange to just be someone else all of the sudden.
c. Women in my profession rarely change their name.
d. This one is only reserved for being called Mrs. His First/Last…I prefer Dr. Melini.
I was engaged (then broke it off) once when I was 25, and everyone seemed shocked at my choice. At 37 most people know me well enough to not need to ask, but some of FI’s relatives and my students have asked.