(Closed) Name change, strong feelings.

posted 10 years ago in Names
Post # 3
5398 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: November 1999

Welcome to the hive!

It’s your name so I would honestly tell him it’s your decision.  If he feels so strongly about it, why wouldn’t he have both of you just hyphen your names?  If he feels strongly about not changing his, he shouldn’t pressure you to change yours if you don’t.

Post # 4
214 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: September 2009

Ever since Fiance and I discussed marriage, my original plan was to hyphenate. Then after we got engaged, Fiance told me that he’d be sad if I hyphenated rather than taking his name outright. Surprising since I really didn’t expect him to have an opinion about it at all! And since Fiance never asks for ANYTHING I felt I should at least try to find a good compromise.

My new plan is rather unorthodox: I’m taking on my maiden name as a SECOND middle name. So it will be first name + middle name + maiden middle name + FI’s last name.

That way I’ll be taking on FI’s last name without completely losing my maiden name. Definitely odd but there are tons of people around with two middle names so this shouldn’t shock anyone at the Social Security office (I hope). I’ll probably only document it on my SSN card and just use FI’s last name on all other paperwork.

Other options I’ve heard are:

1. Completely replacing your middle name with your maiden name (i.e., first name + maiden name + FI’s last name). 

2. Creating a "hybrid" last name using both your and your FI’s last name. (i.e., Sally Watson and Ronald Wolff would become Sally and Ronald Wolffson) 

3. Both you and your Fiance taking on each other’s last names (i.e., Sally Smith-Jones and Ronald Smith-Jones).

Sorry this post ran so long. Hope this helps!


Post # 5
584 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: August 2009

My advice would be that you need to talk to each other about what’s informing your preferences. There are a lot of factors underlying the different decisions – career, family concerns, what’s "traditional", gender politics, personal histories… it’s a very personal decision, and you can’t assume that you’re bringing the same assumptions to the table.

Make sure your FH understands why you want to keep your name, and what keeping it or changing it means to you. And find out what you changing/keeping your name means to him.

I had always planned on changing my name, but after getting engaged, I started feeling really weird that my name wouldn’t be my name anymore. I’ve had it since I was born, you know? Fiance and I argued a couple of times about it, before I said clearly to him what was bothering me about it. He explained his point of view (that having the same name represented that we were a family, and that the "unorthodox" options would ruffle a lot of feathers with his family & friends back home, and wouldn’t be worth it).

Once he’d heard my point of view, he said "I see where you’re coming from… I would definitely feel weird about changing my name too. I hope you do, but I’ll understand if you don’t." Just hearing that affirmation was what I needed. I’ll be changing my name, and I’m happy with that decision.

Post # 6
1042 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: May 2010

I’m doing the whole adding the last name and making my maiden name my second middle name because I have a desire to keep my name, but my family and his family completely expect me to take his name and have expressed they would be upset if I should choose otherwise. I am ok with the tradition, but I think it’s important to keep my name because well…it’s my name! I have grown attached to it…so it will still be a part of me:)

Post # 8
1205 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: May 2009

I am still on the fence on this issue. And we’re getting married in 2 months!

I TOTALLY feel you on the whole not wanting to be Mrs. Hislastname like his mom!!!

Would you consider having 4 names: Mary Alice Arnold Anderson? I think I’m going to do something similar (not my real last name, but his name has the same initial as mine)

We actually have the opposite problem of you and your fiance. I would be willing to change my name, but I don’t really want to. If he asked me to, I would. If it were important to him, I would. Instead, neither of us is being very opinionated. Actually, when we first talked about it, he said he doesn’t expect me to change my name. So I figure I’ll leave things as they are. 

I’ll probably add his name after mine (no hyphen) socially, but not officially, and consider the legal name change later. It sounds like a mouthful, so I might think about it a bit longer. 

Good luck… is this the only sticking point you two have? It seems kind of major. Seriously, a disagreement over changing your name is a big deal in my eyes. 

Post # 9
700 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: September 2010

I agree that it will be strange to be the Mrs. Fiance because really, that’s his mother.  I guess I would be Mrs. Aaron Fiance rather than Mrs. William Fiance, but still.  My Fiance says it wouldn’t hurt his feelings if I kept my name, but I know that it would.  I don’t mind giving up my name so much.  I like the idea of adding a second middle name for official documents…I’m still deciding, I guess…

Post # 10
2004 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: November 2008

If both of you feel very strongly about it, then your stalemate is a pretty big deal, in my opinion. I think you need to move the conversation from discussing whether you should change your name and instead talk about how you will deal with situations about which you disagree once you are married. You are not always going to agree, and when feelings are high you need to be able to reach a compromise that is acceptable to both of you. Maybe you will agree that one of you gets the trump card when it comes to certain situations. In this situation it is your name so I think you get the trump card. How do you feel about going by his name in social situations?


p.s. I just changed my name to First Middle MaidenAsSecondMiddle HisLast and I am happy with the situation. My maiden name is still in there but so far I have not used it and practically it’s like it’s not really there. I’m choosing to go by "First HisLast" though, but I could just as easily go by "First Maiden HisLast" and be perfectly legal. I like having these options.

Post # 11
98 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: November 2009

Well my solution to this is keeping my last name professionally and using his last name socially. I feel like my professional identity includes my maiden name; I’ve started my career and earned my degrees with MY name. However I don’t want my future 7 year old to have to explain to his or her friends why mommy’s name is different from daddy’s name.

Initially I wanted to just hypenate and use that name for all purposes, but my Fiance was a little upset by that. He’s fine with my compromise.

@greencardwedding, perhaps you could find a way to also compromise? Ultimately though, it is your name.

Post # 12
15 posts
  • Wedding: December 1969

I am also going to change my name to be First Name + Maiden Name + His Last Name.

I chose to do this because I feel strongly about my heritage and because I have a unique last name. When I spoke to my aunt about this (she is very wise, so I seek her advice frequently ) she brought up a good point about tracing lineage. She has done loads of family history research and explained that historically it was common practice to simply add the new last name on to the end. This way, you don’t lose the ties to your family as the generations go by.

Another reason is that I have worked for a long time to establish an identity. I am very happy with the woman I have become through the trials and tribulations of life. I am not ready to completely give that up and take his name, no matter how much I love him. I think making my maiden name my middle name is a good compromise for this.

Post # 13
1363 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: June 2009

If you really feel strongly about not changing your name, it should be your decision.  If this is a deal-breaker for either of you, it seems to me like maybe you need to reconsider what is most important to each of you.  (My first instict is to say something like "If I don’t change my name you would really rather not marry me?" but that’s probably not going to be helpful.)

I do think you’ll need to at least accept that people will call you Mrs. HisName socially, regardless of your legal name.  I still remember getting yelled at by the mother of a kindergarten friend because I could never remember which half of my friend’s hyphenated name belonged to which parent.  And that’s just not okay.

(And FYI, I’m planning on changing my name, and my fiance was totally shocked.  I don’t think it had even occurred to him.) 

Good luck!  I hope you reach a compromise that you’re both happy with.

Post # 14
672 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: November 2009

It seems like he’s being unfair about it — like you said, what happens to your family?  It always makes me a cringe a ltitle when men insist that women take their name.  Or when someone uses Mrs HisFirst HisLast to address a woman.  For me, it’s just about politics and identity, I guess.


Personally, I’m just going to go by First + Maiden + His Last like some other people here mentioned.  I really really didn’t want to change it entirely, but felt completely comfortable utilizing both.  I LOVE my last name and don’t think I could ever bear not using it.  But adding his on is, for me, an addition I’m comfortable with. It was a good compromise for us.  I hope you guys work something out and that he comes around to understanding your point of view!

Post # 15
1423 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: May 2009

I’m keeping my name.  I’m an academic, so in the circles I move around in, it would be considered a bit strange and old-fashioned to CHANGE my name.  My fiance is fine with it.  His mom kept her name and it didn’t scar him as a child, even growing up in a small town in the midwest.  It’s not really the name change that would bother me — it can be a sweet thing to change your name.  But I don’t like the Mrs. = Mister’s possessive thing.  It’s kinda weird to be referred to as someone else’s. 

Anyway, it’s YOUR name.  That gives you the veto power 😉   You could also go by Mrs.  _____ in social situations as a compromise.

Post # 16
84 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: October 2009

I struggled with this as well… 

I actually have 2 FIRST names, no middle name and a long (4 syllable) last name.  And though my name is long, it has a nice flow to it (15 syllables total). 

He has a short (1 syllable) last name, so if I eliminated my last name and just used his, I don’t think the whole thing would flow well.  And my last name represents both of my parent’s ethnicities and is…well… me.

At first, I was going to just have 2 FIRST names and 2 LAST names, but since so many people have trouble understanding to call me by my 2 first names (and not just the first first name), I thought there would be no way that folks would know to call me by both first names and both last names.

Bottom line- I am hyphenating.  So my work email will become super crazy long, but I think it is the best solution.

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