- 7 months ago
- Wedding: May 2020
I’ve been married before. Fiancee hasn’t. I was FINALLY able to change back to my maiden name after my divorce (took WAY longer than it should have) and now I’m struggling with the idea of going through all that AGAIN. Granted, I may feel different when the wedding finally happens – in about 18 months – but right now I’m leaning toward not.
We haven’t had any discussion more serious than me saying “I don’t think I want to go through this name change nightmare AGAIN” and him playfully acting hurt and mock pouting. In reality, I’m sure he’d support whatever choice I make. On the other hand, every joke comes from a little truth – I believe that his wife having the same last name as he does is more important than he’s letting on. We’re almost 50 and won’t be having any children. He has mentioned (casually) that he’s glad he doesn’t have to change his name. I have two children who’s last names are different from mine. I am an only child. He’s from a large family and his parents are both deceased now. My parents are actually mom and step dad. My bio-dad is not someone I want anything to do with but I kept his name as it flows with my first name better than other options (step-dad’s name). That’s another issue – my first name sounds awkward with fiancee’s last name. I’m sure it would get more comfortable over time, but I’ve also “just gotten my name back” which is clearly an emotional thing for me. It’s been 28 years since I last used it!.
I’ve considered hypenating, but DANG that would be a LONG name to have to sign! Our last names are both 6 letters. I know I could sign it anyway I like so really it’s about the names and not signing LOL.
I’ve considered using my maiden as my middle, but what happens to my existing middle name, which I really like and don’t want to give up?
I considered (for a split second and mostly as a joke) telling him he should take my last name – I wouldn’t actually do this though because I know he would prefer to keep his last name.
Having been through marriage where my spouse was very traditional, and I was treated more like property than a partner, I’m sure part of my resistance is that I want to maintain my sense of being my own person even after we get married.
I also want to keep my last name for work – changing it back to my maiden name for that was almost worse than the process with the DMV and Social Security and now that everyone knows me by my maiden name just don’t care to go through the explanations AGAIN.
I’d like to continue using my maiden name when I have to sign things, and legally. I would be happy to use his name in social situations. I’ll probably hypenate on Social Media.
I want to have given this plenty of thought before I make this a real discussion with him – I’m fairly sure most of his desire for me to take his name is rooted in tradition. He already has one nephew to “pass on” the family name, so that’s not a concern, and we’d already agreed early on that we weren’t having children (my baby making days are over). However, if this is a tradition thing for him, it’s no less valid of a request than me wanting a “real” proposal complete with him on one knee and the engagement ring. If that’s something I’m getting, then what do I offer him in return?
If I learned anything from being married previously, it can’t be one-sided. You lose yourself if that happens. I also want him to dance with me at the reception, which he’s NOT a fan of, but said he’ll do the first dance and has been giving me song suggestions. I’d be lying if I said I thought it was fair for him to have to do what I want without me doing anything he wants, particularly when his list of wants is far smaller than my own.
Does anyone have experience that could offer advice? I live in CA. Can I just keep my name legally, but use his when we’re in social settings (I mean I know I can, but what are the long-term implications of this)? I want this to be a win-win situation.
Thanks in advance!