Post # 1
Has anyone ever expperienced a lot of drama with your husband/fiance because of the possibility/non-possibility of a last name change?
My now husband is driving me crazy. Initially when engaged he just took it for granted that I would take his name. I resented the matter-of-factness of it all. I didn’t know if I wanted to do it but I knew that I didn’t like people automatically assuming I would or wouldn’t. That drove him crazy because he and I are both so traditional, why wouldn’t that be a safe assumption? So he went from sure of it to insistent of it. He wouldn’t marry anyone who wouldn’t take his name.
I put up a fight and after a lot of heated debates he said it was simply up to me (and yes he would marry me either way). Which to him meant, “I guess she won’t take my last name” but to meant, “okay, now I can think about it without feeling obligated to do one thing or another”. So once I thought about it I figured it meant a lot to him and it would make my life easier in some ways (I have two last names now, one would simplify things). I told him I would change it. He said it was really up to me, but seemed happy that I wanted to.
So now that we’re married I’ve gathered all the documents and was having him take me to the proper departments to get the name change going. But, we were having an off day so I asked him to put that aside and give me some kind words. Afterall, I was taking his name today and wanted to feel the love. Nope, he wouldn’t have it. He felt that I would always resent him, that I would say he made me take his name, that it needed to be my decision etc.
Now he no longer says he doesn’t care. Instead, he says he doesn’t even want me to have his name. That it’s still up to me but he won’t take me to the offices to do it and he won’t react either way but he would just prefer that I not have it.
NEVER did I think there would be sooooooooooooooo much drama over a name. I know I need to figure out what I want (and I thought I had, I just wanted a little support from him on the day I was processing everything) but now I’m just emotional and confused. Has anyone else had a name change become such a hot button topic?! It just all blew up. Me saying he was wishy washy about the marriage and it reflecting in his back and forthness with the name and him saying I was too much to deal with and how much more successful and less stressed he would be without me. Geeeeees, hot tempers! This topic just opened the floodgates Which is particularly odd because we’ve been nauseatingly loving and drama free for quite a long time.
Post # 3
I’m confused, as I’m sure you are too. First he pretty much demands that you take his last name, then he backs off and lets you decide for yourself, but now he is making it clear that he really doesn’t want you to take his last name? *scratches head*
Post # 4
I think what happened is he tried to take ownership over a decision that should have been yours to make and you both ended up resenting each other.
IMO, the best way to move past this is to do nothing now and wait on it. You can change your name next month or next year or in ten years or never. But don’t do it until enough time has passed that there’s no longer resentment associated with it on either side. Wait until it feels like it’s your choice to both of you and don’t feel like there’s any deadline or decision you have to make.
Post # 5
Yes, despite the convoluted set of events that’s exactly right. I’m confused as well and I have no clue what to do at this piont. Everything’s ready to go to change all my legal documents to the married name. But once I do it, it’s done so I’m holding off for at least today. At the same time, inaction is a form of action (having the maiden name). Scratching my head as well over here.
Post # 6
I can feel you’re emotional right now, so maybe just put the issue on hold for now. Take your time and decide for yourself if you want to make the change, don’t do it to please your hubby. You’ve already committed to each other for life by marrying each other. Changing your name or not changing your name doesn’t mean there is more or less love from either of you.
It is a hot topic for us – well we’ve still got 10 months to battle it out lol! I’d say we’re quite a modern couple but he does like some traditions and this is one of them. For me, the upside of changing my name will be less confusion from others, especially when it comes time to have children. The downside is that I love my name, and I’ll have had it for 30 years by the time we’re married! Ultimately though it will be my decision and he’ll have to deal. 🙂
Post # 7
It’s been a hot topic for us, too. Before we met, he just assumed his eventual wife would take his name. I, however, am a strong feminist and always assumed I would keep my name. Also factoring into this is the fact that I’m a scientist and have publications and degrees in my “maiden” name; if I changed it, I’d basically lose that professional weight. Besides, I was in school for 23 years to become Dr. Mylast; I don’t know who Dr. Hislast is! Eventually I decided to hyphenate; even though my last name is now 16 letters plus the hyphen, I think it was the right decision for me. He still says he wishes we had the same last name (though he understands my reasoning with respect to my profession), but I say that if he wants it that badly, he can hyphenate too 🙂
We had quite a blowup over this, too; I was surprised it was as dramatic as it was, but I also took some time afterwards to calm down and make sure I was doing what I really wanted before I actually did all the paperwork.
Post # 8
Yeah, I’m also going to be Dr. X and though I grew up thinking about Dr. MyLast I reconciled with the thought of being Dr. HisLast. I was excited to get things done today. Although it’s not all for him I still wanted him to be happy too. But I don’t feel that I can do anything today. I took the time off to go do it but if I come home having done it and his feelings about it are negative I’ll definitely feel bad. I’m anxious to do it but at the very least it will now have to wait until after the weekend. I guess it will give me the extra time you ladies have suggested to think about it some more (although I know you intend much more than 2 days).
I do have a bit of a deadline though. I will travel for the holidays and I need the SS done so I can send off the marriage certificate to get my passport (which takes 4-6 weeks). I’m not studying in my state of residency so I need to have the SS done before the holidays so I can get my DL during the break. So if I don’t get the ball rolling on all this now I won’t have a chance to do it all until the next time I got to my state of residency–who knows when that will be.
Post # 9
Yes. I get so jealous anytime a bee posts “my Mr. doesn’t care if I change it or not”…who/where are these guys??? Mine cared a LOT.
I probably never would have changed my name if he didn’t care so much. We got into many fights about this. My husband is fairly traditional and grew up expecting that when he got married his wife would take his name. He didn’t understand at all what a big deal it was for me, which I hugely resented – I (half-jokingly) suggested he change his name to mine, and he couldn’t comprehend that at all, which pissed me off even more. Eventually I realized that he felt really hurt that I might not take his name, and that he would feel somehow less manly or something if his wife did not do what all the other wives did. Also, we’d like kids someday and I do think it really is much easier being known as a family unit by a common last name for all….so I decided that his pride was more important than my resistance, and that I would change it. Eventually. I needed a while to get used to the idea though. He was patient and did not nag me, so for our 1 year anniversary I started the process of changing my name. Not changing it at work though – Baby steps!
I am guessing your husband is like mine in that this means so much b/c he never thought of it any other way, and it would seem like a huge slight to him if you did not change it – as if you didn’t love him enough to take his name. You need to decide what’s more important. I think it’s good if you take a few more days to calm down, talk it out, and change it when (and if!) you are ready.
Post # 10
I think he’s feeling like he crossed a line from “expressing his preference” to “telling you what to do” and now he feels really bad about that.
I am sure my opinion is colored by my own decisions and experiences (as is everyone else’s), but since you’re feeling pressure from the deadline and like he doesn’t want you to do it now, leave everything as is for the passport/DL UNLESS you feel like you really, really want to do this now. If you are 110% comfortable with changing it now regardless of how he feels, he will eventually accept how things happened. If you think you’re going to have any regret at all, wait. You can always change your name later. If you keep pushing down a path that’s leading to regret on both your sides, it’ll be a lot harder to fix than a court order and a new passport.
It’s OK now, but it needs to be ENTIRELY your decision. You need to be really excited about it, no matter what he thinks (beacuse if that’s the case, he’ll eventually get excited, too. If not, he’ll keep feeling like he bullied you into something). If you really feel that way do it, if not wait. There are plenty of women out there who’ve changed their name later on (after several years of marriage, before a first child). Even if you leave your name legally as is, you can start going by his name socially in a few months even if you don’t get a chance to change your IDs and stuff at that time.
Post # 11
I’m sorry that you’re having so much drama over something as simple as your name :/ It definitely should be your decison alone. I’ve noticed that a lot of guys (at least ones I know) actually do care a lot, for some reason, about their wife/future wife taking their last name. I personally, like you, think it’s rude and controlling to assume that the person you marry will definitely take your last name.
My s.o. and I were talking about names a while ago and though he is an egalitarian and pro-women’s rights, he surprisingly was upset that I didn’t want to take his last name. I like my name, I’ve had it for a long time, and I really don’t want to have to change it, especially if he doesn’t have to either. His last name doesn’t sound good with my first name either. I’m also getting a Ph.D. after my undergrad is finished, and we aren’t going to get married until in the middle of/after that. Thankfully he quickly backed off and realized it was my decision, especially after I turned the tables and asked him if he would like to have to change his name upon marriage 😛
Post # 12
I think its just one of those newlywed issues. Me and my DH had the WORST fights about the STUPIDEST things the first month, some still rear there hear here and there, and we’re not a normally argumentative couple. I think there’s kind of like a subconscious power struggle, its tough to keep yourself and become one at the same time, or at least thats how I feel sometimes.
Changing my name was tough for me, even though I didn’t think it would be. My compromise was keeping my middle and maiden names as middle names and tacking the new one on the end, that way I didn’t lose something, just added more on. Oh, and I freaked out the first time he wrote Mr. and Mrs. hisfirstname hislastname… excuseeee me, I think my name should go somewhere in there too! haha. He got very defensive about that.
It does seem like he just wants to back off and let it be your choice, so go with your gut, make the choice that’ll make you happy, and leave the bickering behind. It really goes nowhere anyways. Oh just make sure if you want to do it, you do before the time runs out. I think its 2 years in my state with the marriage license, otherwise you have to go through the legal system, ugh.
Post # 13
It was so good to hear all of your comments about this. Glad to hear that this issue is pretty normal (also not so glad, hah, I don’t want anyone fighting!) because like one of you commented, you mostly hear about the guys who don’t care at all. Well, in the end it was my decision like all of you said. i let the argument die for a week and brought it up again. He was still very much in the same place and that annoyed me. Really, I wanted to do it and I felt that he was making this problematic and delaying things when in reality both of us wanted me to change it. So I burried the argument again for a few more weeks and one day just told him I was going to do it, that I wanted him to support me and be there, and that was that. My decision, right? He drove me to the SS office, when the envelope with the card arrived we opened it together, and we celebrated. I definitely think we’re happier for it!
Post # 14
so good to hear that! i am always happy to read updates.