(Closed) Name Change: when SO wants you to change it and you don't

posted 6 years ago in Names
Post # 2
4241 posts
Honey bee

This was never an issue for me BUT I know people for whom it was an issue and their general strategy was to ask their SO to take their name, or hyphenate with them (so both become Wife’s Name-Husband’s Name). If and when he was like “um, no way”, he then kind of realized what giving up your name can mean when you don’t want to do it. Just a thought.

Post # 3
11517 posts
Sugar Beekeeper
  • Wedding: May 2014

View original reply
@geekgirl84  It definitely mattered to both of us, but for different reasons.

DH really wanted me to have his last name.  He’s very traditional.

I really want to have the same last name as my future children and don’t like the idea of them not having husbands last name.  My name and DH’s name don’t hyphenate. Think Smith-Smythe, Baker-Barter, Mitchel-Nichol etc, it just didn’t work.

I also already have 3 names plus my last name so I wasn’t adding a middle name it would have just been ridiculous.

I thought about it a lot and decided a long time ago that I would change it.  It was still really weird when I did it, and it’s been 6 months and I’m still getting used to saying my new name (I had a different one for 31 years!) but I don’t regret changing it.

Post # 4
278 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: October 2013

Ask him if he will take your name or hyphenate both of your last names. if not, and he still insists, call him out on it. It’s ridiculously sexist to want your wife to change her name when you aren’t willing to change your own.

My husband and I wanted the same name but neither of us wanted to full on take the others name. DH had two surnames and I had one, so we went from Mr Smith Smitherson and Ms Jones to Mr and Ms Smith Jones. We didn’t use a hyphen. Two last names works for us and we’ve had no problems with it 🙂

Post # 5
576 posts
Busy bee

My SO and I have talked about this. Mainly because, I’m at a spot in my career where by the time we are married, my name would have already circulated from my independent work. Since I am still at a place where my name being remembered matters, it helps to keep mine. Plus my last name is long, unique and stands out a little bit. So hyphenating would be awkward since my last name is long. 

Ultimately, we decidedthat any kids down the line will take his name and that I will go by his last name in certain social situations not pertaining to work. That way I don’t have to legally change it and other are none the wiser. I think he secretly still wishes I’d take it, but he knows it doesn’t really matter in the long run, the marriage and commitment matter. 

Post # 6
9485 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper

He very much wants me to change my name. I am not. It’s something non-negotiable with me.

I told him that I’m either keeping my last name or, if he wants us both to have the same last name, we are BOTH hyphenating (we each have short last names, so hypenating would only make it 3 syllables total and actually sounds pretty cool).

He respects my decision, but still tries to convince me now and again. I put my foot down each time.

Post # 7
11506 posts
Sugar Beekeeper
  • Wedding: May 2009

People can have extremely strong opinions on this matter.  If I were you, I would at least find out now if this is going to be a deal breaker issue for either of you.  If neither of you is going to be willing to change your mind about this, you probably don’t want to keep dating, because this will only end up becoming a much bigger issue the closer you would come to marriage.

My DH and I are both traditional, so there was never any question about whether or not I would change my last name. My only decision was whether I would end up with my maiden name as a second middle name or whether I would follow the formal, traditional name change pattern in the US and drop my given middle name and take my maiden name as my new (only) middle name.  The state in which I lived pretty much ruled out the first option, so I went from “Jane Emily Smith” to “Jane Smith Doe” after my wedding. I use all three of my names on all legal documents, credit cards, and everything in writing at work. In social settings, I tend to go by my first and last names only.

Post # 8
1469 posts
Bumble bee

View original reply
@geekgirl84  I feel you and there is no reason why you should have to if you don’t want to regardless of your reasons…If I get married I’m actually hoping my fiance will take my last name. I don’t have much in terms of dealing with the fallout you are anticipating…but maybe handle it when it comes to that point. 

Post # 10
4697 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: September 2014

I would ask him to change his name, if his answer is anything but yes.. Then he should see where you’re coming from.

I wanted to change my name, my husband wanted me to as well. If I didn’t want to, I’d suspect we’d be in the same situation as you. He was very adamant about us having the same last name, luckily I felt the same.

Post # 12
7892 posts
Bumble Beekeeper

Ultimately, it’s your name, and you should be able to decide for yourself whether to keep it or change it. The timing of our marriage would not make the name change difficult for me professionally, but if I was already well established with my maiden name, I might be less likely to want to change it. If you get married, you two will be family whether you change your name or not.

Post # 13
296 posts
Helper bee

In my country, it is forbidden for the woman to take the husband’s name upon marriage (she can hyphenate though). That might sound weird,because there might be women who want to change their name,but the reasoning behind the law was that they were often preassured and it wasn’t really their decision.

Ask your SO how he would feel if you pushed him to change his name without wanting to. Hopefully he will understand. And yes, of course it’s your decision. If he preassures you,this is a bad start. What if in the future he preassures you to be a stay at home mom and you don’t want to? Just an example,but he will probably expect to have the final say in other important decisions of your life too.

Post # 14
265 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: September 2014

This isn’t custom where I am from, so to me, its just plain weird to not change it!<br />My husband’s last name is worse than mine, but I was so excited to change it, because it made being married so much more real! (for me). I am in my twenties, so I plan to have my husbands last name with me for much longer than my maiden name… just something to keep in mind if you think your name “defines you” or anything along those lines..<br /><br />I would worry about it when the time comes for you to make that decision..

Post # 15
4107 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: November 2019 - Canada


For us, it wasnt an issue. HI wanted to take his name and he was all for it. However, I have a friend who is firmly against it and her long-term BF really wants to get married but only if she changes her name. She couldn’t care less about getting married, so unless he drops the “change your name contingency” they’re not getting married lol. He refuses to hyphenate or change his name, but feels its OK to insist that shes does. Ultimately its her name and her decision and he has to live with that. I’d try to feel it out to see if he’d take great issue with it – mainly so he can start getting over it now and it doesnt create a huge issue when/if you get angaged.

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