(Closed) Not Changing, but With Choice Comes Guilt

posted 11 years ago in Names
Post # 32
2214 posts
Buzzing bee

I’m in the “if he won’t change his name then I’m not going to change my name” boat.  My BF still thinks I’m going to change my mind and take his name. Not. Going. To. Happen.  I really like my name, and I don’t want to change it.  I’ll be married either way, and when I have kids, they’ll be mine regardless of what their last name is.  I don’t think that a name defines a family, and I know plenty of children (in my family and that 2 families that I nannied for) that don’t have the same last name as their mother, and they’re not adversely affected by it.  I wouldn’t feel guilty about it if I were you.

Post # 33
234 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: July 2010

Ah, I see.  Well if you’ve had rational discussions about it, and have agreed to disagree then I think you need to tell him to knock it off! 🙂  If you see his point of view, but haven’t changed your mind, and he sees your point of view, but hasn’t changed his mind, and you agree you’ve explored all your options (hyphenating, two middle names each, etc) and this is what’s going to make you as happy as either of you is going to get, then you both just need to drop it.  Nothing productive comes from talking about it more, it’s just picking at a scab.  He’s bummed – you know, but you’re not changing your mind.  You’re bummed that he’s bummed – he knows, and that’s not going to change either.  So acknowledge you’re both bummed for now, but be happy that you’re ultimately satisfied with the arrangement and will both get over it eventually.  Then agree not to bring it up again unless something changes.

Post # 34
1154 posts
Bumble bee

Have you discussed the reasons you don’t want to change your name?  I think in a case where his feelings are hurt by your choice it’s important that he really understand all the complicated and deep feelings you have about this.  I think it’s normal (if disapointing) that he wants you to aknowledge that his feeling are hurt that you’re not chaning and I think it’s critical that he aknowledge how upset you would be to change and how much thought you’ve given the issues.  Other than that I would just give him time – in a little while you might be surprised to hear him sound all proud as he tells someone that his wife did not change her name thank you very much because x, y and z.  Our SOs tend to be proud of the principled stands we take – even if they don’t necessarily agree.

Post # 35
1212 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: December 2012

My Fiance and I had a pretty long discussion about this. I’m attached to my name, he wants us to have the same name. I suggest my name, he doesn’t even consider it. We compremised. I will go from (names changed)

Sarah Jade Campell to Sarah Jade Campbell Wilson

And he will go from

Scott Robert Wilson to Scott Robert Campbell Wilson.

And children we have will be known as

First Middle Campbell Wilson

It works for us.

Post # 36
1347 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: July 2010

Seems like this has turned more into the pros/cons of name changing and who did what and why.

To the OP’s question – coping with your guy’s disappointment and reaction. From your thoughtful and emotional post, seems pretty clear that this is an important subject to you. I would deal with it by sitting down for another long conversation and just laying it out there: “I am firm in my decision to keep my name or hyphenate for both of us; and while I appreciate that you aren’t seriously pushing me to change my name, it still makes me feel guilty when you make adorable sad face.”

And then it might be helpful to talk together about (again, right?) why it’s important to him to change your name, and why it’s important to you NOT to, as well as your residual guilt — I think that piece is important, because it shows that you are thinking of him in your decision, and how it affects both of you. Maybe it will help him come to accept and respect your decision.

Good luck.

Post # 38
454 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: May 2011

I’m in the exact same boat, although my Fiance has had time now to get used to my opinion so he’s less inclined to negatively respond in situations where it comes up. 

It was really hard getting to that point though and although you don’t want to have bad conversations that’s exactly what it took for US to get there. Lots of “If you won’t change your name, why do you think I should?” with pushing for REAL responses and investigation of what’s beneath that and, like you said, discussing male privilege.

Now he’s not so much “on board” as he understands my position and respects my right to make whatever choice I want regarding my name.  Now we’re just dealing with his parents who are very much NOT on board and make it clear every time they can.

Post # 39
49 posts
  • Wedding: April 2011

I feel much the same way as you do about my name – it’s part of my identity, and always has been – but I do have that same wish for a shared family name, like Rosie_Girl and pmerr mentioned; however, I totally disagree with the idea that our new family identity should just be his old identity. We’re starting a family together as partners and equals. I bring as much to the partnership as he does, and I really, passionately resent the patriarchical ideal whereby my identity should be subsumed into his. When it first came up in conversations between Fiance and I, I asked if he would consider taking my name. He laughed it off at first too, so I asked why he would expect me to do something he wouldn’t do himself. He’s since given it a lot more thought than I had expected, honestly; I’ve since told him that I’m happy to either 1) keep my name or 2) do what Roux did, and share a new, double-barreled last name with him, and he can decide. He quite enthusiastically decided to change his name too, and seems to take great delight in telling his friends of the decision – I guess, like Arachna said, maybe sometimes they’re secretly proud of our feminist principles.

Have you asked him why he laughs off the idea of changing his name, yet expects you too? There are plenty of traditions in the world, and many of them are downright awful – just because something is the norm, that’s no reason to do it! I don’t have any advice for coping with disappointment over his reaction, like you’d asked, because were I in your place, my gut response would be much like Chicagobride092010’s – and I can guarantee I’d hound him about his expectations on gender roles and equality in our relationship… but I think you should stick to your guns and not give up a middle name that is so meaningful, when he won’t even budge an inch. You’re not the one that should feel guilty – he should!

Post # 41
105 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: October 2010

I understand, I cringe every time I hear about someone taking their husband’s last name, especially if their FH somehow forced or pressured them into doing it.

Double standards kill me!

Post # 42
7768 posts
Bumble Beekeeper
  • Wedding: July 2010

I am glad you two are working it out.  None of my friends changed their last names when they wed, and I am not either.  My Fiance actually wants to take my last name.  I think it’s awesome!

Post # 43
272 posts
Helper bee

My Fiance knew that I did not want to change my last name when I get married.  He understands it and supports it.  However, after we got engaged, my friends (who knew my decision on not changing) brought it up during our gathering.  OMG… one of my guy friend was making such a big deal of it.  The thing is… I was born and raised in Korea until I was 14 yrs old and they don’t take husband’s last name when they get married.  Also, it would be such a pain in the a$$ to change it.  I thought about hyphenate his last name… but it would sound weird and my mane would be very long.

However, you must know that you will have hard time with your children’s school and things… so I was told… 

Post # 44
108 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: March 2011

hello hive,

I just wanted to add a new ripple into this thread.  Not all cultures change last names.  I was born and raised in the states and my mom took my dad’s last name.  I will be marrying a puerto rican in january, and here there is no expectation to change my last name. 

In Puerto Rico (and most Spanish speaking countries) people have two last names.  For example my Fiance is Fiance Ramos Diaz.  Ramos is his father’s first last name and Diaz would be his mother’s first last name.  Lets say I am Julita Ortiz Flores.  Our children would be Child Ramos Ortiz.  And we would be considered the Ramos Ortiz Family.  That way, each individual keeps their name, and chidlren take on both names.  I feel that this represents a new family.  I don’t feel that by marrying my Fiance I am marrying into his family and more than he is marrying into my family.

There is nothing wrong with following tradition, especially if that is what your heart and gut tells you to do.  But at the same time, traditions are traditions, and many fallen by the wayside with the passage of time. Just because people have been taking on names, doesn’t mean that it HAS to be that way or that it is the RIGHT way.  Correct me if I am wrong, but didn’t the whole name changing thing start because the father was giving his daughter away to the man and she was going to become his property?

Ultimately, each person should do what feels best for them, whatever the reason and respect other’s decisions! 

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