Post # 1
So I’m getting married in about a year and I’ve been thinking about the whole name change business. I grew up with a different last name than my mom (due to divorce). When I was 18, I legally changed my own last name since I don’t have a relationship with my dad. I picked a name I like (my moms maiden name, since she changed her name when she remarried). I am a doctor so obviously my name is used every day all the time and is on licenses, etc. The thing is, it’s important to me to share a name as a family with my future husband and children. I don’t want to deal with having to bring birth certificates around when traveling with my kids if they have a different last name than me. I think it’s nice to all share a name. However, I have brought this up to my fiance and he just doesn’t really care (though he cares about sharing a last name with the kids). I said we could both hyphenate our last names—he said no. I suggested merging last names—again met with a no. I am frustrated because he’s not willing to consider changing anything even though come changing my last name would be way harder given I’m a doctor and it’s a huge process to change names on all my licenses/credentialing. I also don’t feel a big connection with his dads side of the family (they’re super religious and I just don’t jive with all that) so I’m not pumped about changing to his last name. And my last name has some cultural significance that is important to me to pass down to kids. What do you guys think? Am I blowing this out of proportion? Should I just keep my last name and have kids with a hyphenated last name? Or should I suck it up and give up my last name because my fiance isn’t willing to budge?
Post # 2
Hell no you shouldn’t cave to him. You should keep your name and give it to your children. The tradition of only male names passing in has gone in long enough – we could do with a few generations of maternal name transmission.
If he doesn’t care to change his name than HE can be the one whose name doesn’t match the children’s.
Post # 3
- Wedding: April 2017 - City, State
I think it’s up to each individual to decide what they want their name to be. He’s allowed to not want to change his name the same way you don’t want to change yours.
You guys can just decide what you want to do with the names of future children.
Post # 4
I don’t think you’re being fair, there is no compromise for changing your name, we say this to women all the time. He isn’t forcing you to change your name, he isn’t even trying to convince you. If neither of you want to change your name then you can keep them and hyphenate the kids.
If your reasons for not wanting to change your name are mostly logistics then I don’t see why you’re suggesting you both hyphenating or merging, surely the same problem exists with that vs taking his?
Post # 5
I kept my last name and hyphenated it with his last name, our kids will have his last name only, would that work? You are getting to keep your last name, and have your family name?
Post # 6
I recently dealt with a similar scenario. I love my last name and didn’t really want to change it. I also have work related things that would make changing it right now a huge hassle. But I liked the idea of an entire family including children having the same last name.
FH doesn’t care if I ever change my last name to his. I considered hyphenating but I heard that can be an issue with passports?
I asked a friend of mine who growing up had a different last name than her mom. She said her mom was never faced with difficulties for having a different last name. But I also don’t know if they really ever traveled.
What state are you in? I just got my marriage license in California and they gave me a form with a name change request on it. The clerk told me I was allowed to put my FH’s last name on it but it didn’t mean I was legally taking his last name. I asked if I could use the form to change my name in a few years and she said I could, although I don’t know if she really understood my question lol. Either way it made me feel better knowing I didn’t have to make the decision right away. I have considered waiting to make my final decision when we actually have kids.
Post # 7
don’t change your last name unless you want to. otherwise you will end up resenting it.
i also don’t understand this argument about kids having different last names. plenty of people have kids out of wedlock or get divorced and remarried and have different last names than their kids. no one is going to be confused by this.
Post # 8
I went through this just this past May when I got married. While I loved the idea of sharing a name with my husband, I didn’t want to change my name for a number of other reasons.. (like you, I have an advanced degree, and the hassle of updating that, going to the DMV for a new license, ordering a new passport, changing my bank cards, calling insurance, wondering what to do with my email addresses i’ve had over 15 years, etc etc etc, didn’t seem worth the hassle). It seemed like a lot of work not much to be gained. Plus I like my last name! My last name also has cultural significance. So yeah.. I feel you. My husband and I both agree the future kids should have his name, but (even though he would have loved me to take his name) I have decided to keep my own and do NOT have any regrets at this time. Do what you feel in your heart.. but don’t pressure him to do something he doesn’t want to. You will be just as much his wife whether you change your name or not. Good luck!
Post # 9
I am a professional as well, and will not be changing my last name.
We’ve had a few discussions, and something that has been floated as a possibility is being Minnewanka Middle Hislastname Mylast name. In Canada your last name can contain two last names without a hyphen. I would continue to use my own last name for everything, but have his on my driver’s license as well for kid issues.
Second thing we have discussed re: kid issues – his father was an abusive alcoholic who has subsequently passed away, so he does not feel any strong attachment to continuing his last name. While he wouldn’t change it (also for professional reasons), kids might take on my last name (we are a couple of years out from kids so who knows if he stays in this lane).
Post # 10
Also for what it’s worth (though I think the children should be given your name for reasons above) I don’t have the same last name as my mother, we traveled internationally all the time when I was a child, and it never posed a problem in the slightest. Indeed to my knowledge we were never asked about it. (Obviously this is anecdotal—if this is a concern, you can research the issue more expansively).
It is of course your husbands’ right not to take your name, just as it is yours not to take his.
Post # 11
docinlove484 : You are not blowing it out of proportion. I told my husband that I wouldn’t be taking his name and I would be keeping my name and future children would likely have my name – he changed his. Obviously, it worked for us for many reasons BUT I don’t think anyone should give up their name if they don’t want to. I said to my husband he could have kept his obviously.
Post # 12
Could you hyphenate with his last name but still go by your maiden surname socially and professionally? Both my primary doc and my OBGYN have hyphenated names, but they are still known by “Dr. MaidenName” professionally.
Alternatively, I think the idea to each keep your last names and hyphenate the childrens’ names (or give them some sort of combined surname) is probably the best compromise, if neither of you want to change your name. I think this practice is becoming more common nowadays.
Post # 13
I’m keeping my last name, hubby is keeping his. We’ll give my maiden name as a middle name to our kids, which is what my parents did for me.
For what it’s worth, we travelled a lot growing up and my parents never got any questioning at all about my mom having a different last name than us (maybe it’s becUse they could see her name as one of our middles?). Just another option!
Post # 14
- Wedding: March 2021 - Kauai, HI
I have 4 kids and none have my last name. I’ve never been questioned as to if I was their mother. Well rarely. In ten years once by a teacher and once at the ymca daycare just last week. Travel has not been a problem either.
Changing your name is a one time annoyance mostly at the social security office. But I learned you can do it by mail if you’re willing to send your original identifications. Which mine were sent back promptly. Keep your current name as a middle name. Or don’t change it at all. That’s your right. Some Men take some pride in their wife’s changing their name and becoming a family, it’s traditional and that’s okay too. But this is 2019, all the modern choices are out there for you!
Post # 15
Just like you I wanted my husband and our children to share a last name.
I changed my last name to his last name. I am not sure I would do it if I had it to do again. I wasn’t prepared for the hassle. Social Security. Bank accounts. Retirement accounts. Employers. Each requiring extensive documentation. All of my career achievements had been in one name.
I thought I could legally change my name but continue to be known by my maiden name professionally. It didn’t work. I had to change my name with the college Human Resources and payroll and then my new name showed up on my students schedules. They were confused as to why I wanted them to call me something else.
I wish I had kept my maiden name as a middle name. And made my current middle name part of my first name, as in Sue Lynn (just an example, not my real name.)