Post # 1
quick background: i was married before, and i changed my name. we have a son together. my husband died five weeks before he was born.
so now i don’t really know what to do. i WANT to change my name again. but somehow i feel like it’d be a betrayal to my first husband…which is really dumb, because getting married again doesn’t feel like a betrayal. and then i worry about our son…Fiance wants to assume legal guardianship of him when the time is right, but we’ve discussed it and he will be keeping his father’s last name. so then if Fiance have a child or two together, we’ll be the family of X, and my son will be the only Y.
my mom put it to me this way, “who would you be married to, [DH] or [FI]???” (she changed her name the second time around, but she and my dad are divorced, dad still alive, and i have an older sister who had that last name too, so it’s a little different.)
i guess mostly i just want to be told it’s ok for me to change my name, lol. i don’t really want to hyphenate…it just seems like a half-measure, and i feel like this is an all-or-nothing situation. of course, if you think it’d be a horrible idea for me to change my name again because it would scar my son for life, i want to hear that too! what do you think?
ETA: to clarify, my son is currently 14 months old.
Post # 3
It’s definitely okay for you to change your name! It’s YOUR name, you should feel free doing whatever you want to it. It won’t scar your son for life, not at all. How old is he? He should understand (if or when he’s old enough) that having a different last name than the rest of the family isn’t a big deal and doesn’t make him less of a family member.
Post # 4
IMO, I would change your son’s last name too if he is young. I know some may disagree, but then you will all have the same last name. And realistically, your new husband is going to be his father. I don’t mean to disrespect your first husband.
If your son is old enough to understand – ask him what he wants.
Post # 5
I was going to suggest hyphenate, but you said you aren’t a fan of that. I wouldn’t stress out over it too much. My mom re-married after she had me (my dad is still alive, but not in my life at all) and then had 2 kids with my step-dad. I’m the only one with a different last name, but I never felt like less of a family member because of it. If you want to change your name, go for it.
If your Fiance wants to take legal custody of your son when the time comes and your son wants to change his name, then maybe you could hyphenate his? This way he has his dad’s last name and the “new families” name also.
Post # 6
Wow, that’s a loaded situation!
Of course it’s ok to change your last name! I’m assuming your late husband would want you to be happy to to marry again. If he loved you he would want you to be happy! You’re not betraying him in any way by changing your name.
Lots of families have different last names for various reasons and people just need to get used to it. I had someone really insist that schools would be confused because I kept my name and my future children will have DH’s name (whole other discussion there)! I don’t see why I should go to the trouble of changing my name (which would be a huge hassle for something I don’t want to do) because other people might get confused! they’ll just have to learn to deal with it.
As long as your son knows why his last name is different from yours it shouldn’t be a problem. It might be confusing when he’s little, but when he’s older he’ll appreciate being able to keep that tie to his first father.
No matter what you decide make sure you never assume that your son knows his last name. A friend of mine had this horrible experience in middle school of finding out she had a different last name than her mom and step-dad. Apparently no one had bothered to tell her that she had her mom’s first husband’s last name (not her biological father’s name…longer story there)! Poor kid had spent her life assuming she had the same last name as her mom!
Post # 7
@WestCoast: thanks for your opinion, but…no, lol. i owe his father that much, and his father’s family. i’m not going to pretend my son’s father didn’t exist. the fact is that i wouldn’t be here at all if he hadn’t died. our marriage was happy and my husband was really looking forward to being a father. his death was tragic and sudden and senseless. Fiance also agrees that DS should keep his father’s name.
Post # 8
I think having your son keep his father’s name is a great way to honor him and always remind him of the man he never got to know. Obviously your Fiance will be the father figure, but I’m sure your son’s grandparents will be very appreciative, and I don’t see it being a problem for your son. If when he’s older he wants to change or hyphenate it, then it can be up to him 🙂
Post # 9
@floridabride12: i hadn’t thought of this…thanks! DS will probably be rather young still when the paperwork is filed, but i’ll keep this in mind. maybe it’s something i can save to ask him when his older and offer to pay to change it for him then, if he chooses.
Post # 10
@cardus: No problem. My mom actually suggested it when I went into high school. I have my bio dad’s last name, but refer to my step-dad as my dad as he’s been in my life since I was 2 and my dad has been out of my life since I was 10-ish. I think it’s wonderful that you are having your son keep his bio-dad’s last name though.