(Closed) I just can't decide on changing my name

posted 6 years ago in 30 Something
Post # 3
3461 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: May 2012

Only you can decide this.  It sounds like except for this statement, you don’t want to change your name, is that correct? I want to honor the fact that I’m married now, but i want to retain “me”. Does that make sense?  If that’s the case, I would ask you what he is doing to honor the fact that he is married now.  Is wearing a ring, as he might be doing, sufficient?  If that’s not the case, it would be helpful if you could articulate why you want to change for us.

ETA: I will say that even if you really want to change a name, after 30+ years I imagine it would be hard to do so.  But search hard for why you want to change – because you feel obligated or genuinely want to do so?

Post # 4
4192 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: July 2012 - Baltimore Museum of Industry

Have you thought about making your maiden your new middle name?

I’m going to change, and I want to, but I understand- I’m 40, and it’s going to be a little hard.

Post # 5
1304 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: September 2011

I was pretty torn about it.  Originally I wanted to make my maiden name my second middle name, but in my state you’re only allowed to change your last name with your  marriage paperwork.  Changing your first or middle name requires a full legal name change which was way too much hassle.  Ultimately, I decided it was more important for our family to have the same last name because we plan on having children.  If we were planning to be child-free, then I might not have bothered with the name change.

I have been listing myself as [First Name] [Maiden Name] [Married Last Name] in my email signature at work and on my LinkedIn profile, but all my official paperwork has been updated to [First Name] [Middle Name] [Married Last Name] now.  It has taken awhile for me to process the name change, and I’m ok with that because it has also taken awhile for me to get used to my new name!

At the end of the day, though, I’m still the same person.  It’s pretty trippy to change your name, but it’s not like I fundamentally feel like a different person.

I also changed jobs two months after I got married, so it was simpler professionally than it otherwise may have been.

ETA: I was 34 when I got married and am now 35.

Post # 6
1938 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: July 2012

I am having a hard time too. I have chosen to hyphenate…. but I am probably not going to legally make the switch till we have children. 

I totally understand what you are going through. I have only had my last name for 25 years, but I am rather fond of it! 🙂 

Post # 7
2281 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: June 2012

I am not changing my name, for the very reasons that are giving you pause about yours. I am a published scholar, and it’s very important that my publications match up with the name on the faculty directory. Darling Husband is very supportive of this; in fact, he insists that I keep my name. 

However, as our families are very traditional and are more comfortable with a woman changing her name, I am cheerfully answering to his last name, when addressed that way. I am honored to be included in their family and when they refer to me with their last name, I am happy about it. But I think if I were changing my name officially, I’d feel resentful instead.

It’s YOUR name. Do what you want with it.

Post # 8
6123 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: August 2012

@messymonkey:  It is a hard thing!

I was married in my 20s and I did not change my name. 

Now I’m going to be married when I’m 36 and I am going to change my name.  It’s crazy how different I feel. This time I feel proud to share the same last name.  So different.

I’m not excactly looking forward to a new name, but I want to do this.  My first and last name are so visually pleasing and symmetrical right now – now I’m adding Ys and Ts and crap!  Symmetry is lost!  LOL

But I’m going to change it anyway.

Post # 9
2031 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: July 2012

I’m struggling with this too!!  I was married once, and I took Darling Husband1’s name which I still use.  I struggled with it then, but I was young and it’s what you’re ‘supposed’ to do, so I did it.  When Darling Husband1 passed away, I was SO glad I’d changed it, and always dreaded the day I’d marry again and lose his name.  Now I’m less than 3 weeks away and still undecided.  I think I’m hyphenating, but that seems like such a hassle (my current name is SO SO SO long), or possibly adding it to my middle name, so I don’t have to write it out every time, but it’s still there.  I don’t have any good news to report, since I don’t know what I’m doing either.  🙁

Post # 10
684 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: February 2010

For my first marriage we both hyphenated our last names. I felt OK with that at the time. It was a nuisance with double names for both of us. Only he managed to just drop my name after divorce and I had to go through name change for months on end.

This time I preferred keeping my own last name. Mrs. implies being someone’s wife. There is no equivalent for the man. So I chose to remain Ms MyLastName. I don’t feel like I am any less married. I have a beautiful wedding band on my hand that honours our union 🙂 I feel comfortable with my choice and I think that is what matters.

Post # 11
478 posts
Helper bee

I understand completely!  I’m also conflicted.  And just like you, when I said the potential new name out loud, I was like “who is that?!”  It’s some stranger.  Like you just made up a new person, you know. Of the world of possibilities, I’ve narrowed it down to these three

Myfirst Mymiddle Mylast (no change)

Myfirst Hislast Mylast (his surname becomes my middle)

Myfirst Mylast Hislast (his surname becomes my surname, my surname becomes my middle)


I’m leaning toward one of the first two options.  Fortunately Fiance doesn’t really care.

Post # 12
3471 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: July 2012 - The Gables Inn, Santa Rosa, CA

I am still undecided, but one of my options is to take my last name as a second middle, and my “official” last name will be his. 

I’m also considering not legally changing my name, and just using his socially (i.e. I’ll introduce myself as Mrs. Smith, but my flights will still be booked under my maiden name). 

Post # 13
4 posts
  • Wedding: June 2013

I can totally relate, its not a minor thing.  Its WHO you are, your name is the only thing in this world that is truly your own. 

As shallow as it sounds, one of the reasons I’ve waited until my mid thirties to get married is the whole “Name Change = identity loss”.  I don’t want to be another “Mrs. Blah” or Mrs. Jon Smith.

There is no room for debate here, I will never be known as “Mrs. Jon Smith”.  That eliminates the individual completely.

initially we were going to kind of take the first half of his name and the last part of mine, or combine the two and create a new name completely, very symbolic, but the combinations were really silly and we still joke about that to this day.

Now I’ve compromised and we are both changing our names!

We are taking my last name as BOTH our middle names and a follow up of his last name. 

Its a great compromise. My name is really long, his is short, so we both get to keep who we are and he won’t get crap for it from his chauvinist friends.

Sometimes I still get a little spastic about the thought of it!

Post # 14
569 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: August 2012

Why don’t you change your name in your personal life but keep your maiden name for work? That’s what I’m doing. I’m a freelance writer and I have too many years of bylines to change my work name. I don’t think it has to be everything or nothing.

Post # 15
300 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: June 2013

I think I’ve decided I’m going to, but I am really struggling with it. It just kind of feels like the person I’ve always been won’t exist anymore.  For now I’m leaning towards just tacking his name on the end (no hyphen) so my current last name will become a second middle name.  Either that or I’ll just drop my current middle name.  Unfortunately I think my fiance would be unhappy if I didn’t change it (his SIL didn’t and he thinks it’s indicative of her lack of commitment to their marriage… which it probably is) and my mom will be unhappy if I do (she did 30 years ago and regrets it – not that she doesn’t love my dad/our family) so there are a lot of interests to consider! 

Post # 16
447 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: April 2010

You can always wait and decide later.  Or, legally hyphenate but only use your old name at work & your new name socially (my friend did this).  

I changed my name for personal reasons – I grew up with a remarried mom and siblings from her and my stepdad, so by the time I got married I was really sick of having a last name different from my family’s.  But I do miss my old name, and sometimes I think I made the decision too quickly.  Just don’t rush your decision.

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