Post # 1
My boyfriend and I have been talking about marriage and our future a lot lately and an issue that keeps coming up is his last name. I don’t particularly care for his last name and I especially wouldn’t want my kids to have his last name because it has some sexual connotations and I had a friend growing up with that last name and she got teased mercilessly. I don’t particularly like my last name either so I would like to suggest we both change our names but I have a feeling he’s not going to go for it. He’s from a different country and he claims no one mentioned it in his country but we plan to live in the US and I already get made fun of for his last name. I know it shouldn’t bother me but his last name makes me cringe but I really love him and I don’t know what to do. How should I bring it up to him? Is both of us changing our last names too much to ask? I wouldn’t even mind taking his last name but I’m especially worried about our kids getting made fun of when we have kids.
Post # 2
I think you just need to bring it up with him. It’s a totally fair thing for you to consider. But of course, I come from the POV that it’s unfair that it’s just assumed the family takes the man’s name, and to some people that makes me “extreme.” Ha!
I’ll behonst, whenever I meet a married man with a lastname like “Dicks” or whatever I always wonder why he didn’t take the easy opportnity to change his name!
Post # 3
If your relationship is serious enough to be talking about marriage this should be something you can talk to him about. Start the conversation, listen to what he has to say, figure out where to go from there.
Post # 4
You don’t have to take his last name if you don’t want to but he’s in the same boat. You can’t make him change his name, especially since guys are much more strongly bound to their names by tradition. In the same vein, you can say you want the kids to have your name, but in that case it’s only fair that they have his name too.
I wish I could give you better advice, but you guys will really have to work together to sort this out before any wedding, if not before any engagement. The solution is different for everyone, and it’s even more difficult if y’all are from different cultures. Open communication is key. Good luck!
Post # 5
I also did not take my husband’s last name because I don’t care for it. He got made fun of for it in school and it’s odd and uncommon so when people ask me what it is I always have to repeat it for them. So yea, I didn’t change my name. He was open to changing his last name to mine if that’s something I/we wanted to get serious about but I didn’t see a need for him to do so. One of the many reasons I married him is because he was open to that discussion and doesn’t have that macho attitude that a lot of men do when you dare ask them to do something they expect you to do yourself.
Are you set on both of you having the same last name? Whenever you do discuss this with him, ask him why it’s ok for you to change your name but not him to change his. Get his thoughts on it. If it’s not even that important to him maybe you should just keep your name. I don’t think it’s unreasonable to both changes your names but that opinion is still in the minority nowadays.
Post # 6
bambii : No you do not have to change your last name but I do think it is wrong to put your dislike or phobias of his last name onto him. If he does not have a problem with his last name then yes it is unfair of you to suggest him changing it.
As to the kids, again I think it is unfair to veto your kids sharing a last name with their father because you dislike the name. I think in situations like this the kids should have the double barrelled name.
To me the idea of making/asking someone change their name or avoiding a name because someone might tease them is backwards. We should be focusing on teaching people not to make fun of someones name.
Post # 7
You can decide what you do with your last name, but it’s not fair for you to make your husband change his too if he doesn’t want to. If you have kids, you should decide together what their last name is going to be. Kids can be ridiculed for anything. Changing the last name for them isn’t going to change that.
Post # 8
I am not changing my name because I don’t like the tradition. I’m actually the opposite of you, because I REALLY like my fiance’s last name, so I’m considering changing it just because I LIKE it, even though my moral code makes me not believe in women changing their names haha.
That being said, I definitely think it’s a fair thing to consider. My fiance has a friend whose last name is Boner, and I grew up with someone named Mike Rac (My crack), so I totally get it. They got made fun of to no end. I also agree with PP that if you’re serious enough to talk about marriage, then your relationship should be stable enough to talk about the name change issue.
Before my fiance even proposed, we had a long heart to heart one night in the car, and we talked about EVERYTHING: me not changing my name, if we should have kids, what will happen when my parents can no longer care for themselves, what will happen when his parents can no longer care for themselves, what will happen to my sister with special needs and severe disabilities when my parents can no longer care for her, what would happen if one of us lost our jobs, what will happen if one of us becomes disabled, what will happen if one of us cheats, where we want our careers to go, where we want to move, where we want to retire, what kind of wedding we would want to have (still disagree on this point but thankfully he’s just lettting me plan the thing and going with the flow!)… I mean really, we talked about EVERYTHING. I’m not saying that everyone does this, but I kind of think that everyone should. I realize that problems will arise that we won’t even be able to fathom now, and plans change and opinions change, but it felt really good to get that all out there.
I know we’re just talking about a name right now in this thread, so I don’t mean to get off topic, but I think what I’m trying to say is I think there is A LOT to talk about when broaching the topic of marriage, and in the end, there are many more serious/heavier topics to discuss. Not that a name isn’t important, but that it may seem less crucial for you to change your name when you consider all the other things life will inevitably throw at you guys. A name is just a name, but your love is what makes it a marriage 🙂
Post # 9
You don’t have to change your name. He doesn’t have to change his name. For children you will need to work out an agreement.
Post # 10
bambii : I hate my husband’s surname, it has sexual connotations and he was teased about it when he was growing up. I say my husband’s surname because I didn’t change my name, I still have my surname.
If you don’t want to change your name, then don’t. I discussed it with my husband. He wanted me to change my name, it was important to him. So I explained all the reasons I didn’t want to change my name, including that I don’t like his. I asked him to go away and think about him changing his name, I made it clear that I wasn’t asking him too but just to think about how that might impact his identity, how he would feel going into work and giving his new name and so on.
He would still have ultimately preferred that I take his name but he got it. It’s everyone else that seems to take an issue with it now…
As for kids, I’m happy for them to have his name. Even though he got bullied for his name he and his brother (who was also teased) feel no less attachment to their name now they’re adults. And as horrible as this sounds, there were a lot more reasons that people could have bullied my husband and he acknowledges this (he didn’t fit in very well at school) and he prefers they went for something easy like his name, rather than picking on his glasses or his asthma etc. My surname is a boys first name and I’ve been teased that I have a boys name so I’m a boy. 🙄 Kids aren’t always that imaginative so if they’re so inclined they’ll find something to tease your kids about. You can’t guarantee your kids won’t be teased.
However, you could try double barrelling your surnames (if it sounds good together) and that way kids can share a surname with you. Or raise the idea of the kids having your name. Not every family needs to take the dads surname.
Post # 11
You should talk with him to figure it out. If you want to change your last name you can go for it but you can’t decide on his last name. I think in a relationship, giving each other space is very important.
Post # 12
I knew someone who had the really innocent and common name of Smith as her maiden name and then she became Mrs Dick. Is there any way you both change your name or something?
Post # 13
There’s a former British politician, Ed Balls who is married to Yvette Cooper MP. She kept her name, he kept his and the children are all Coopers to minimise bullying risks.
There’s no harm in asking him to consider changing his name, after all pretty much every man in cultures where women often change their surnames on marriage ask their wives to change theirs, or worse, expect them to.
He has every right to keep his name, you have every right to keep yours. if you have to double barrel the kids I’d suggest yourname-hisname – they can always quietly drop his name if they want to.
Unfortunately children do bully for these things. I went to school with a boy whose surname was ‘Wise’. He wasn’t academic and was bullied. He was usually called ‘X Thick’ or ‘X Stupid’ instead. Then his mother remarried and changed his name to ‘Quick’ at which point he was bullied as ‘X Slow’. Poor kid.
Post # 14
Okay, can we pretty please know his last Name?
Post # 15
I’m wondering if it’s “Dyke”.
It’s easy to say you are keeping your name, easy to give the children your name if you aren’t married, but if you are married you are going to have to agree on the children’s surname.
Could you raise the teasing concern with him? He will probably worry about the reaction of his family in addition to any personal reaction he may feel. I know a man who changed his surname to Capper, from Crapper, when he had children, because he didn’t want them to go through the teasing he went through. Could you amend his surname so “Dick” – “Dickens”, “Dyke” – “Vandyke”, “Gaye” – “Gray”?