Post # 1
My boyfriend and I are quite serious, and marriage is definitely a possibility in our future. However, drama has arisen over whether I’m going to take his name. As much as I love and respect him, I’ve always wanted to keep my maiden name (it’s uncommon, and there would be no one in the my generation to carry it on). In addition, my first name ends in a “ree” sound and his ends in a “dee”, so to me it sound a bit wonky :P. My undergraduate degree is in my maiden name, and in all likelyhood, so will my corporate law degree. So long story short, I really do not want to take his name, although I am completely fine with our children having it.
The problem is that he is very traditional, and has explained to me that he’s always wanted his wife to take his name, as for him, that’s included in the “definition of marriage”. I’ve tried telling him all I’ve said above, in addition to how I’m not really a fan of it for me personally, and how to me it feels like a transition of property (what it meant in the past). I also said how it’s a part of my identity that I don’t want to give up.
Am I being unreasonable? He sort of hinted that it’s a make it or break it type of thing, and he sees me wanting to keep my name as being like “it’s my way or the high way”. He said he’s willing to compromise in other areas for me, so I feel bad. He’d be willing to live in the city (where I’m from, and he was raised to hate but where there are the most job opportunities in our fields), have animals (I’ve always wanted to rescue them), and get married at my dream location. I’m open to other places, but those are my preferences (which everyone has), and he says that since he wants a happy wife, he’d compromise on those.
Because of that, I feel so bad about the name thing. I said I’d consider it out of guilt, but it’s not really something I want. He was really upset and I don’t want to lose him, so I’d really appreciate being told if I’m unreasonable!! I don’t know what to do.
Post # 3
It’s not uncommon in certain professions to use your maiden name in your professional life and then you could use his legally. Can you hyphenate to separate the “ee” sounds?
Post # 4
Marriage is about being able to figure out how to compromise, but I totally get the name thing. I have a strong connection to my maiden name, there are no more of that last name because there were too many girls, so I made it my middle name. It was important to Darling Husband for me to have his last name, and he compromised other things that were important to me. So I think you have to decide the things that are most important to you, the things that are most important to him and figure out how to compromise. Also, I do know people who use their maiden name (or the name on their degrees) in the profesional world but socially go by their husbands. You could also hyphenate it.
Post # 5
It’s YOUR NAME. YOU get to decide whether to want to change it, keep it, hyphenate it, use it as your middle name, change it for casual usage but keep it professionally, WHATEVER. (That said, have you thought about some of those options?)
Stick to your guns on this. Quite frankly, if he can’t see past you having a different name, then I can’t see him being open to more “non-traditional” ideas later down the road either.
Post # 6
Since name changing is NOT included in the definition of marriage, tell your boyfriend that you can discuss a compromise when the time comes. If he really won’t consider your relationship serious until he knows that you will change your name, maybe reconsider how serious you are about someone who doesn’t respect your view.
I will not be changing my name for professional purposes, but I’ll be adding FH’s last name to my first, middle, last names.
Post # 7
I agree with the suggestion that you could hyphenate your last name and his, then you could continue to be True Romantic professionally, and legally be True Romantic-Jones.
Post # 8
Thanks to everyone for the input, I really appreciate it! I’ve brought up the idea of using my maiden one professionally and his socially/in all other areas, but he said no.
Post # 9
I know several people who use their maiden name at work and their married name elsewhere. I think it’s quite common!
Post # 10
My SO is the same about me taking his last name. Luckily, I dislike my current name and like his more, even though it is really really common. Maybe change your middle name to your maiden name? So instead of being True Lee Romantic, you would be True Romantic Jones, as PP have said. That way, you still have your maiden name as a part of your identity. Also, I knew some siblings in high school who all had their mother’s maiden name as their middle names. It was really sweet and they appreciated the sentiment.
You said you wanted to keep your last name because you are the last one in your generation to have it, but if you are okay with your kids taking his last name, does that really matter? In the carrying on sense, not the mattering to you sense.
Post # 11
Alright, hopefully it being quite common will warm him up to the compromise a bit more. Thank you for all the suggestions!
Post # 12
I would either:
A- Just tell him that breaking up with you over changing my name is ridiculous. Why should you have to change your name to his, if he’d never consider taking yours?
B- Offer to hyphenate, on the condition that your future children take both names as well (that way you can carry on your last name).
Post # 14
OP- My husband was a bit skittish about this at first as well, but I told him that he’s not buying me, owning me, or in charge of me, so unless he intends to change his name as I see fit, it’s a rather personal decision. Sure, he can have a preference, but he does not have the final say. We’re both adults. I considered his (then) opinion, and made my decision, and he had the choice to be an adult and deal with it (btw, he did, and now he’s very pro hyphenating/keeping names, etc).
FWIW, I’m in law as well, and I definitely understand the importance of name recognition (and heck, marketability), so your compromise of First Middle Maiden Last (so you could go by either First Maiden or First Last legally) is more than fair to someone who’s not changing a dang thing about his identity. Phew, sorry, but it just riles me that he seems to be so pushy about something that is siginficantly more important to you than it is (or should be) to him.
Post # 15
You could BOTH change your name to a hyphenation of both your last names. Then you’d both have the same name and your kids would have the same name too. If he wouldn’t be willing to add to his name I sure as hell wouldn’t give up mine just because he wanted it.
My Fiance asked what I intended to do with my name since my current first middle and surname is very long. I haven’t decided but I told him I may choose to double barrel it. His mum double barreled hers and he has her surname as a middle name to carry on the line in a way. His mum and dad passed away when he was a child and he’s always been glad to have part of both of them represented in his name.
Post # 16
@TrueRomantic09: He doesn’t get to say no. In fact, he has no say in how you present yourself, name or otherwise. He doesn’t get to control your identity. Stand your ground, this is your choice.