- 5 years ago
- Wedding: June 2015
My fiance had told me while we were still dating that he doesn’t want us to have different last names if we get married. Before, I was very hesitant to change my last name because it is a big part of my identity. Plus I got my masters degree under that name, and I am an adjunct faculty where I work, and so people do know me by my last name.
He said if I don’t want to change my last name, then he will be willing to change his. However, I did research and it seems like a man changing his last name will have to go through a lot to do so. Plus, we think his dad will be furious if he did (his dad is Chinese American and he is the only son in the entire family that can pass down the family name). My fiance doesn’t care about that though, but we are not on the greatest terms with his dad anyway, so it might cause a lot of unecessary drama all due to a name.
So, when we were dating, I said I would change my last name. I was planning to just change my middle name to my last name, or have two middle names. I mentioned this to him yesterday and it made him really sad. He said his mom had a hyphenated last name and it bothered him to have his last name different than his mom’s and then his parents eventually split up when he was in high school. He started talking about changing his last name again.
The thing is, I am a 4th generation Japanese American and I wasn’t always proud of my heritage, but now I am. I think being an Asian American Studies major in college helped, plus living in Japan for a few years teaching English. I have become very fond of my last name, and I have a sister and my other cousins are girls, so our last name will be gone. (At least the ones in America, we have plenty of Japanese relatives that can carry on the name in Japan).
I do like my husband’s last name, but his last name is Chinese, and I can just imagine all these people assuming that I am Chinese when I am not all due to my last name. People tend to always get Asians confused anyways, people thinking I am Korean, Chinese, Vietnamese, whatever, but once they saw my last name, there was no question in what my ethnicity was.
I am totally willing to change my last name, but my fiance doesn’t want me to add or change my middle name either. He thinks it will create unity if I don’t have my maiden name in my legal name at all. My fiance is also half 4th generation Japanese American on his mom’s side, so he thinks if he takes my last name, it would reflect both of our identities.
I don’t know what to do. I think it would be easier if I just had two middle names and changed my last name to his. I think a lot of people will judge him if he took on my last name, (we go to a conservative Christian church). He also has developed a name for himself already, earning his master’s degree as well under his name. Plus his name sounds good the way it is.
I never thought of changing my last name to his was act of commitment and unity. I don’t think my commitment and love for my husband will change in any way no matter what my name is. I just see it more as an ethnic identity thing.
Thanks for listening. Any advice or comments will be greatly appreciated. 🙂