Post # 1
So I’m still trying to figure out whether or not to change my name after I get married (next month!!!). I feel really torn between keeping my name and changing it. On the one hand I understand all the arguments for keeping your maiden name and I know for example that my family will be annoyed/not understand if I change my name as my mother kept hers and I am for the most part also a feminist. I have an unusual surname which makes me literally the only person in the world with my name, whereas my Fiance has a common surname. I also have a professional career that I’ve been working in for a couple of years now.
On the other hand, I’d personally prefer to change my name. I like the idea of changing it as a symbol of the transition in my life. I also like the idea of having the same name as my Fiance and any kids we have. I also don’t particularly like my current surname because I always have to spell it out to people, it makes it easy for people (including my abusive ex) to stalk me on the internet and I feel like it is hard to say with my first name. My FI’s surname would flow better with my first name and be easier to use, though less unique. My Fiance comes from quite a traditional family and works in a blokey industry so I don’t want to suggest that he changes his name or that we both pick a new name because I know he’d have to suffer through a lot of criticism for it.
One option I’ve considered is hyphenating, to make it easier to maintain my professional networks and as a compromise that would annoy my family less. My name and my FI’s surname go quite well together hyphenated. However, I’m concerned this option will give me some of the downsides of both the other options without too many of the upsides. I’m also concerned it would make my life harder from a practical perspective and/or unintentionally make me seem pretentious.
What have you decided to do with your name and why? Any suggestions as to which option I should choose? If you have a hyphenated name does it annoy you?
Post # 2
I didn’t change my name. We’ll be celebrating our 38th anniversary, in a few months. I never saw any reason/sense to do it. Our children were given hyphenated names. My husband’s brother and his wife did the same thing. Of course, my mother in law still addresses my birthday card to a mythical hyphenated name ….
Post # 3
- Wedding: July 2012 - The Gables Inn, Santa Rosa, CA
I hyphenated my name for a lot of the reasons you described here (unique name, family signifigance, etc) I wish I had known this was an option at the time, but my suggestion is to keep your maiden name as a second middle, that way you can continue to use it professionally, but when you want to be Mrs. John Smith, you can be.
Post # 4
my mom gave me a hyphenated last name with her maiden name and my father’s last name and then called off their engagement not long after I was born so I’m stuck with a last name no one else in my family has and everyone thinks I’m married already. Can’t wait to get rid of my father’s last name and take my fiance’s!!! Would get rid of both but my moms maiden name is a second middle name and I don’t want to go through everything it would take to get that removed so I’ll probably just not use it as much anymore.
Post # 5
I can’t wait to change my last name. Just have to get the douments in order to make it official. My maiden name is difficult to say and spell and my husbands last name is very cute and my name will be so awesome and short once its complete. There is no hesitation in my mind.
Post # 6
juliette.eliza: thanks that’s a useful option to consider!
Post # 7
Beeyond: a Couple of ladies at my work kept their maiden names on their work email/business cards etc for professional use but did change names legally for everything else. Could this be an option? Xx
Post # 8
A lot of your considerations are about pleasing others. I would try not to worry about that. It’s your name, you need to be 100% on board with it.
I didn’t change my name because I didn’t really see a reason to. Why go through the trouble if Darling Husband and I didn’t have strong feelings about it? We’re still a family and I’m not worried about what other people think about it. In a lot of cultures women don’t change their name so don’t feel pressured to give into (or go against) the “norm.”
Post # 9
I like juliette.eliza:‘s suggestion! From your post, you seem to want to change your name. I also just wanted to add that in my opinion, part of feminism is for women to have the freedom to choose what they want to do without having to comply with some rule set by society. I think someone looking down on someone else for not changing her name after marriage goes against that idea and therefore is NOT feminism. Just my perspective though! I’ve been kind of flip flopping myself about whether I want to change my name but I think I probably will. I like the idea of everyone in my family having the same last name and I don’t want to have a different last name than my kids.
Post # 10
I’m coming to say more or less what AlwaysSunny just said – you should do what you want, and what feels right to you. I didn’t change my name; doing so would have felt totally wrong to me. And it pisses me off when people pressure women to change their names to assuage men’s delicate egos or for the sake of “tradition.”
But that’s not what’s happening here! You want to change your name, you have your own reasons for doing so, and the only reasons you’re hesitating are to please other people. So you should go with what feels right to YOU, and your family will just have to deal.
Post # 11
thumperbear: thanks for the suggestion! this was what I was originally hoping to do but unfortunately the nature of my job (legally licensed) means that my work name has to be my legal name
thanks to everyone else as well, good food for thought!
Post # 12
I was on the fence about changing my name up until our wedding day! The day after we got married, I started the process and even though it’s been a huge pain in the ass, I’m happy with my decison. I thought I had an attachment to my maiden name, but changing my name symboluses a mahot change/turning point in my life for me and I like it. What made up my mind was the fact that I wanted to have the same last name as my children. It’s not a big deal to some(and there are clearly plenty of different options), but that was my deciding factor! Good luck bee, do what you think is best for you =)
Post # 13
I lost my dad back in January and it changed my view on changing my name. I wanted to take my now husbands name but didn’t want to lose my dad’s. I was going to change my middle name to my maiden but my mom was not happy with that. I ended up moving my maiden name to a second middle name and taking my husband last name.
Post # 14
Beeyond: I’m a big time feminist and I changed my name. I would explain to mom that you’re proud and appreciative of the choices that are available because of her and the women of her generation and before. Thank her that you now have a choice, and explain that your choice is not a sign of subjugation or giving up your independence or your family — it’s your choice for several reasons that you’ve carefully considered. She should trust you to make the right choice for yourself just like she did for herself.
Post # 15
Beeyond: I briefly thought I’d written this post and forgot. I am in the 100% same situation you are. My family is the only one in the country with out surname. I have all the same reservations, and yet, part of me did want to make a change. I tossed it around for months and months, and have concluded I will be adding his name to mine. I’m not entirely certain yet, but I believe I’ll be making my surname a second middle (I love my given middle), so I can choose what situations I use what name in. I will always use my maiden for professional reasons, and when kids eventually come along, I will legally share their name. One thing I did was make a choice, and then quietly live with it for a week and see how it feels.