Post # 1
My fiance and I have been in a bit of a battle for the past year about what to do with my name. I have no desire to change it for a number of personal reasons, amonst which include the fact that it is easy to spell and pronounce, whereas his is always (ALWAYS!) mispronounced in somewhat of a derogatory way. I finally decided I would be the bigger person in this situation and compromise, and offered to hypenate my name. My fiance has made it very clear that this still isn’t good enough, but let it go, so I figured he had come to terms with this.
We recently received an e-mail from our band leader with a list of questions related to the music at the wedding, and among them, we were asked as what we wanted to be introduced when walking in at the reception. I just put down our first names for the introduction, because that is who we are. When he saw this, he threw a fit — we need to be introduced as The "HisLastNames". I pointed out that if I was going to hypenate, then we should be introduced as HisFirstName HisLastName and MyFirstName MyMaiden-HisLast, which he thought sounded horrible, and I agree — which was why I just wanted us introduced by first names. He has picked multiple fights over this lately, and I really don’t know what to do. I’m concerned that if we are introduced as Dr & Mrs HisLastName, it will set precedence for everyone to call me Mrs. HisLastName for the rest of my life, and what if I don’t even wind up hypenating afterwards? Am I just being too stubborn here and should I just give in and agree to change my name? I don’t want to start the marriage off on the wrong foot here, but it really upsets me that he refuses to take my own personal opinions into consideration and insists that I change my name. It makes me feel like I am his personal property and when I bring this up to him, he just gets pissed. I just fail to understand why this isn’t a decision that I am permitted to make, since it is MY name.
Any suggestions or advice?!
Post # 3
I think you should be free to choose what you want your last name to be. Is there a reason why your FH is so adamant about wanting you to change your name to his? Maybe because of family history? Also, if you are planning on having children, they would have his last name, right? So its not like his name would be "lost." I know it is really important to some cultures to carry on the family name.
Ultimately I think it is your decision how you want your name to be after you get married. What about if you both hyphenated your last names? A couple I know compromised this way (HerMaiden-His Last). Just an idea….anyone else have any ideas?
Post # 4
I wouldn’t give in if I were you. If you feel strongly about keeping or hyphenating your name, don’t change it just to "make things easier" or to make him happy!
As for the announcement at the reception… maybe just do something like, "And introducing, for the first time as husband and wife… HisFirst and YourFirst!"
Are you planning on going by his last name socially/informally? That is, if people were to accidentally call you Mrs. HisLast, would you correct them? And if you have kids and their friends call you "Mrs. HisLast" would you correct them, too? I’m planning on hyphenating my name legally/at work, but will be ok if friends/kids’ friends/etc. call me by his last name.
Post # 5
I don’t think you should do anything that feels like giving in. It is absolutely a decision you are permitted to make, and particularly since you have expressed that opinion since the beginning, he should suck it up and get used to it.
However, you should know that people are going to call you Mrs. HisLastName anyway. Or the opposite – when Fiance and I check into a hotel where I have made the reservations, the concierge often calls us Mr. and Mrs. MyLastName, which he finds very funny! Since it is the norm, still, for the two of your to have a single last name, people will assume.
I am taking my FIs last name, and am going to use my maiden name as a second middle name, as my mother does. My little sister has not taken her husband’s last name, although their child has HisLastName. Its a very personal decision, and by the way is a significant amount of work – especially if you have professional licenses to change – and can end up complicating your career, if you have a lot of publications under your maiden name (which is my sister’s issue).
I guess I would try to figure out why your Fiance is so insecure that it is somehow threatening to him for you to keep your last name. Maybe you could work on that together. My Fiance told me that, while he would be very pleased and flattered if I took his last name, it wouldn’t bother him at all if I didn’t. Why should it?
Post # 6
Thanks for the advice so far guys (and ugh, I just reread my post, and I realized I spelled hyphenate as hypenate the whole time – I type quicker than my brain works – especially when I am riled up and angry!)
cgeniew — Yes, children would have his last name. Ideally I would love to hyphenate their last names too, but I wouldn’t want them to get stuck with long last names (sadly, they will be at the end of the alphabet unlike at the beginning like me — I always found it very advantageous to be at the beginning when I was in school). I know someone who recently got married and they each hyphenated their names to have the same last name — when I mentioned this to my fiance, he just laughed and laughed about how "stupid" that was.
briannie — The "introducing for the first time as husband and wife" thing was exactly what I had been hoping to do. Everyone is at our wedding, it’s not like they aren’t going to realize we are the newly married couple just because we’re not introduced as Dr. and Mrs! As long as people pronounce his last name correctly when calling me Mrs. (and in the future, Dr.)HisLastName, I won’t correct them — socially, I wouldn’t love it, but I’m certainly not going to make a big deal out of it.
suzanno — I have no idea why he is such a pompous jerk about the last name thing. He has never been chauvinistic in the past, which is why this came as such a surprise. He mentioned once that our children might not feel like I am their mother if I don’t have the same last name, but I think that’s a little absurd — to be honest, with the divorce rate in this country, most of my friends no longer have the same last name as their mothers, and they don’t feel any less attached or any less like a family. Like your sister, I have quite a few publications under my own last name, and I’d rather not lose association with all of them. I’m a scientist, and the vast majority (over 90%) of female scientists at my university maintained their maiden name upon marriage, and most of the rest hyphenated.
I think that if he took the "I’d like you to change my last name, but it’s your decision and I will respect whatever you want" route, I would be somewhat more amenable to the change, but I really loathe the fact that he thinks he can boss me around and tell me what to do. I’m just so lost with this situation, because he never showed any indication of behaving like this in the past. It really makes me feel like I’m his personal property with his need to mark that I am his wife.
Post # 7
You should be free to pick whatever you want, though I don’t know all your personal reasons (obviously – they are personal..lol) the simply fact that it’s mispronounced all the time doens’t seem strong enough for me to not change my name. But I’m sure there’s more to it than just that for you.
To each their own, is how I feel about it –
I think that even if you hyphenate, or are just introdused as YourFirstNames you’re always going to be refered to as MrsLastName until you correct enough people – and you may just have to prepare for that. I might start word of mouth so that people get used to the idea and you don’t have to have the "Why didn’t you take his last name" conversation a bajillion times at your reception. Because turst me "For several personal reasons" won’t fly with family memebers because they won’t let it go – at least in my fam they woulnd’t…lol – but my family is a bit nuts too
As for Fiance – I can understand why he’s a bit taken aback, I mean I suppose he always dreamed his wife would take his name (just as we – well most of us- dreamed of our weddings from childhood) For him you taking it is a distinct honor, not a lable of you being "his" or anything. He seems really upset and finding out why before it’s time to change them legally is a really good and healthy thing to do. Plus maybe he’s thinking ahead…what last name will your children have, it’s his name sake and I can understand him wanting to pass it on.
Post # 8
PS – Don’t mind typos (I read your response post just now) – have you seen my posts!? LOL – I’m a quick typer too and with no spell check on here…well it’s a pretty good chance everything will be wrong…LOL!