Post # 1
OK, so the other day my wonderful, loving, thoughtful SO and I got to talking about whether or not I should change my name when we someday get married (conversation brought on by me talking about my friend who’s about to get married. . . she doesn’t really want to change her name but her Fiance wants her to. . .)
I said I’m not feeling so sure about changing my name. . . I used to always intimate that I would change it, because I have hated my last name for years (it’s long, hard to spell, and people always ask, “is that a (xxx nationality) name?” when it is not– in fact the ethnic origin of my name is from a culture/ethnic group that was harmed severely by some members of “xxx nationality” in the past. . . I don’t have any problem with the people of that nation now but the past is fairly horrid. . .so this assumption does make me a little uncomfortable). SO basically I’m not too fond of my last name, but lately I’ve been realizing that I’m sort of known in the professional field I’m just getting into by my own name, and since we live next to SO’s family, I’m around them a good bit so feel like taking my SO’s last name would kind of push me into being more part of his family than my own. . . weird reasoning, but that’s how my head has been working lately!
ANYWAY, my SO said the following thing about me not really wanting to change my name: “Maybe if a woman doesn’t want to change her name, it means she’s not ready for the union of marriage.” What?!? Yikes. He’s generally a very open-minded guy, but I guess he’s very traditional in this regard, as he also said something about how he would be disappointed if I don’t change my name when we eventually do marry. . . since I’ve talked about doing that so much in the past.
Do you bees think that in some cases (NOT ALL) a woman not wanting to change her name has anything to do with not being ready for marriage, or is this some kind of peculiar idea my SO has about women? (Please note: he’s a great guy, we love each other, and he’s normally not like this, and is a pretty “feminist” man, although he definitely has certain pretty traditional or old-fashioned beliefs. . . so this is definitely not a dumping-grade offense on his part 😉 )
Post # 3
Your SO’s view is back ass-ward. Quite frankly, if a guy isn’t ready to sack up and accept that it’s just a friggin’ name, then HE’S not ready for marriage in my books. If he’s so damn stuck on having the same name, HE can change HIS. (FWIW, I’m taking my FH’s name, because it is important to ME.)
Sorry for the mini-rant. It just irks me when guys say crap like this.
Post # 4
@Creiddylad: I think its a silly thing to say also. My Future Father-In-Law suggested that I not change my last name since my Future Mother-In-Law didn’t change her last name…I forget what his reasoning behind it was though lol
Post # 5
I suppose it COULD mean that…just like not not wanting to have a big wedding could mean that…or not wanting a big ring could mean that…or preferring ivory to white could mean that…
Sorry for the sarcasm, but honestly, that’s just a dumb thing to say. I’m sure your guy is great; we all say dumb things from time to time, but seriously, “if a woman doesn’t want to take the man’s name, she might not be ready for marriage” has no basis in logic or evidence. It’s just a way of manipulating you into doing what he wants. (Not saying this is intentional, but that’s how it’s functioning.)
Post # 6
Guy needs to come into the 21st century that’s for sure. Have you thought of a composed last name? Use it for legal stuff but use your maiden name if you choose to for your career.
Post # 7
I feel ya. I am changing my name because I just always knew I would. But Fiance and I talked about it recently in regard to a third party and he initially said what your SO said. *eyeroll*
I can think of a ton of reasons to not change. Liking your name, having established a career with your name, thinking the tradition isn’t for you…
Post # 8
Nope. That was a stupid thing for him to say. Not changing your name has nothing to do with how ‘ready’ you are for marriage. I don’t really get why any man thinks it’s okay to even have an opinon on what a woman is going to do with her name. It’s HER NAME.
My boss asked me the other day if I was changing my name and when I said no he said, “Really? I would have a problem with that.” Good thing I’m not marrying you dude. It really bothered me though. My fiance is not buying me. I’m not becoming his property. I am an established, educated, professional woman and I can chose my own name, thankyouverymuch. No one, not even my husband should try and tell me what’s best for me. Luckily, my Fiance is wonderful and agrees with me!
Post # 9
@artichokey: Yup, agree with you exactly.
It’s just so weird that he would say something like that– and I don’t think he’s totally ready to get married himself (I’m more ready that he is, as far as I can tell) so maybe that does play into it some. . . urk.
I’m still in the process of figuring out what I think marriage means/should mean etc. so we can have a serious convo about it instead of me mentioning it here and there “casually”. Bleh. Can’t wait until I get up the guts to talk to him about how I feel and what I think it means and ask him what his opinions are. . . though this weird statement of his kind of makes me wonder what else he’d come out with (that I’d never have expected) to do with his beliefs about marriage!
Post # 10
@Creiddylad: I know how you feel about the family issue. When we were first engaged, Fh’s family made a remark about joining his family and the implication was me spending less time, holidays, etc with mine. It has stuck with me and still rubs me the wrong way.
Post # 11
ask him to put it into perspective. What if he had to change his name? I’m sure his feelings may be different.
He’s wrong and needs to get with the times!
Post # 12
Wow… uhh really, the only one who gets to have a say on whether you change your name or not is you. You dont need to be bullied into changing your name just so he thinks you are ready to marry him!
Post # 13
Are there “some cases” in which a woman’s resistance to changing her name has to do with a broader insecurity about the marriage? Sure.
Is that every case? No, definitely not. I’m completely proud to be my DH’s wife, but I’m also proud to be me, and my sense of myself as an individual is bound up with my name at this point–I’ve had it for at least 30 years and earned a lot of my titles and degrees under it. My choice to keep my maiden name says nothing about my commitment to my marriage.
You should impart to your Fiance that the two don’t correlate for you (unless they do, and then you’ve got bigger problems!), because I suspect that’s where some of the insecurity is coming from. He might also be disappointed if he thought you were going to take his name and then you changed your mind and he might also be anticipating the fight over what your children are going to be named. But in the end, this is YOUR decision to make, and while he can be biased one way or another, he’ll just have to accept that.
Post # 14
Wow, everyone just kind of jumped all over your SO.
In this particular situation you have always said that you would change your name. Now all of a sudden you are thinking of not? (I realise that the reasons you have stated are great, practical reasons, I’m just say what’s in his head) If I was him I would probably think the same thing, that maybe you aren’t ready. Now obviously you are, but marriage can be a sensitive subject and if he’s already jumpy about it this would not have helped.
I really think that in some cases it could be a sign of not wanting to actually get married. But obviously this would be rare and for the most part, women have good reason to not change their name. So I don’t think it’s so left field for him to say. He did say maybe, not that “all women who don’t want to change their name aren’t committed”.
It’s funny, you can be a very open minded person but their are some traditions which are just really important to you. I wouldn’t worry about it really. You can always legally change your name (if that’s what you want to do) and keep your original name professionally
Post # 15
I used to semi-seriously (because we weren’t talking about marriage quite yet) said I would change my name, but now that we’re closer to getting engaged, I told him I wasn’t so sure anymore, that either I’d be First Middle MyLast Name, or First Middle MyLast HisLast, and I wasn’t sure. He said that he was really importnat to him that our whole family (children, etc) had the same name, but that he’d support whatever I wanted to do. I suggested that HE change his name, then, if he wanted us to all have the same name, but he wasn’t pleased with that. But he’s said it’s up to me. I would personally ask your SO if he’s so ready to get married/prepared, that he’d be willing to change his name.
ETA: Where in VT are you? I’m moving there soon! 🙂
Post # 16
@Creiddylad: Honestly, men can be feminists and still have this reaction at first. After all, its not every day that a man has to deal with a patriarchal issue that effects them directly. He also sounds like he’s just worried that you might not be on board with marriage in general, or he’s just spouting out crap stuff he’s heard from others in the past.
My Fiance had similar views at first. Now, he’s come around and is so proud of me for keeping my last name, that he goes out of his way to tell people.
Talk it over with him. Explain why it would be important for someone to keep their name (even if you choose not to.)