Post # 1
We’ve been engaged for a year and will get married in 2020. I’m having anxiety about whether I should take my fiance’s last name or not. He is from Russia and has a very Russian sounding long and hard to spell last name. My name is of Irish descent though I am a mix of ethnicities. I love my last name and it’s very easy to pronounce, and it has sort of branded me professionally in my career. I think it would be really strange to get rid of my last name and take his since I’m not Russian? We’ve discussed this before and he said it would be fine if I kept my last name, but I know that deep down he would prefer if I took his name. Also, his family likely won’t warm up to the idea of me not taking his name. On the other hand, my family will be upset if I take his very Eastern European name since I’ve always been known as “Irish name”. If we have children (which I would like eventually) I think they should probably take his last name to avoid confusion.
Any thoughts on this?
Post # 2
I’m keeping my name. A lot of cultures have the woman keep her name. I don’t see the big deal. Do what makes YOU happy. You created a professional identity around your name. It annoys me personally when women change their names, I have to remember to use their new name.
Post # 3
sylvanas : I’m keeping my really long, hard to spell, Polish last name, and adding finace’s simple last name behind it. I think both families are a bit surprised I’m using two last names because I’ll be the first in both of our families to do so. If there are any opinions on it, I doubt anyone will say anything. I like my name, so I’d like to keep it. Keep your name if it’s important to you. It doesn’t make you any less married, and it’s your decision to make alone.
Post # 4
- Wedding: April 2017 - City, State
It’s your name, your choice. I tacked Dh’s last name on to mine because while I was willing to add his, I wasn’t willing to eliminate any part of mine.
Post # 5
You do you! I kept my name— I have a career and a degree and a professional license, and it’s all very tied to my name. But beyond that, I just don’t like that women are expected to change their names and men aren’t. It makes me crazy. So I kept my name, and my husband doesn’t care at all— why should he? It’s not his name! On a day to day basis, having different last names affects us absolutely not at all! Some women get a lot of joy out of changing their name, and that’s okay too. You have to do what makes you happiest.
Post # 6
Legally I haven’t changed my short, easy to pronounce Irish name. Socially I go by it followed by my husband’s difficult to pronounce or spell west African name. Our children will take his name only.
Post # 7
I think a woman should do as she pleases with her name. It is her name and identity involved, so it is her decision alone.
But while we’re talking about identity, it really bothers me that so many people assume a child will automatically take the father’s name. If anyone should have a hyphenated name, it should be the child. What good does a woman keeping her name do if the child will have all legacy of the mother erased? I chose to take Dh’s name because my father would have preferred to take my mum’s four letter English name in place of his twelve letter German name, but had I not, I would never have allowed my children to take Dh’s name alone. The one thing I would have insisted upon is my children sharing my name.
Post # 8
- Wedding: December 2017 - Courthouse
Do what makes you happy!
I dont know if this helps but I feel like I have a solution that can be best of both worlds! My last name is very, very rare so I didn’t want to get rid of it. My husband’s last name is very simple, easy to pronounce/spell.
Socially, I let people call me whatever they want. Most of my husband’s family calls me Mrs. HisLastName and I love it. My friends and family usually use my name as the same and I love that too. For work I leave my name MaidenName HisLastName and I don’t get offended if people o my use one name or both.
It’s a lot less paperwork, I’m happy, everyone is happy! The only downside is that some people will get confused. I always say you can call me whatever you’d like lol. And it is confusing when you have a child.
Post # 9
Keep your name! The tradition that says that women (and not men!) change their name is SUPER sexist. Feeding it feeds a really problematic social norm. It will feel weird for your husband for a little while because ……… he is used to that sexist norm and he’s never seriously had to think about what it would feel like to lose his name. But he will get over it.
I kept mine—-never regretted it for a day. If we have children we agreed to toss a coin. It’s only fair!
i grew up without the same last name as my mother. Even in the 80s, it didn’t cause meaningful confusion. I don’t really even remember anybody asking me about it. It’s not a big deal.
Post # 10
Keep the name that feels most like *you*, Bee.
It’s nice that your fiancé is comfortable with you not changing your name. We have had posts here from Bees whose future husbands (gawd, I hope not) were really bullying and blackmailing them about it.
If your fiancé is secretly unhappy about it, that’s not really your issue if he’s not willing to speak up.
Post # 11
So I was one of those women that was super excited to take her husband’s last name. Before that I had a very traditional Irish name, and I don’t think it quite flows with his name as well, but his is easier to spell. It is an odd feeling, even though I was excited, I do miss my name and the heritage it represented (great grandmother and grandfather are from Ireland and my mom was the first non Irish woman to marry into the family). Do what you want to do, maybe change it but go by your maiden name professionally? Or don’t change it but go by his socially? Or hyphenate? Or just stick with your maiden name? Any of those are fine!!
Side point: isn’t it odd that children automatically take their father’s name, yet in the vast majority of custodial situations the courts still favor the mom and at the time of birth the mom is the only one who can be 100% of the child’s parentage? Wouldn’t it make more sense for kids to automatically assume their mothers name in cases where the couple doesn’t share a last name? I always find it odd, my friends with babies out of marriage, give their kids the mans last name but refer to them as baby daddy and have no real relationship with them.
Post # 12
It sounds like you’re in a good position actually – you want to keep your name and your fiance is cool with it. Your families are irrelevant to this in my opinion. I kept my name and I’ve received comments from my own extended family such as “what, you don’t think this marriage is going to last?” And I’m just like uhhh no? I just don’t get the point of changing my name and decided not to. My husband said it was totally up to me, and he may have felt “weird” about it first but mostly just because it’s the expected course of action. Once he thought about it he realized it doesn’t change anything about our marriage. I also said if he was concerned about us having different last names, he is free to take mine haha.
Post # 13
I took my husbands last name, and made my maiden name my middle name and wish I wouldn’t have changed anything. I obviously love my husband but miss my original name.
Dont do it if you have doubts, you can always change it if you feel sure about it later down the road.
Post # 14
It sounds like you want to keep your name, and the good thing is, there’s no expiration date on a name change. If you were even only 60% sure you wanted to keep your name, the smart thing to do would be to just keep it and revisit the issue a few years down the road.
Anyhow, solidarity, because it’s a tough decision to make. It seems like so many people are just SURE they want to take it, and the rest are so sure they don’t want to take it. I waffled so, so hardcore for a long time. It was nice, but also utterly useless, that my Fiance couldn’t possibly care less what I do (I say, but if he’d pressured me at all, I’d have melted down).
Post # 15
You could keep your name legally/professionally and still go by your husband’s name “socially,” i.e. call yourselves “The Smiths” if you want and not correct people who assume you’re Mrs. Smith. One of my family members did this. I personally didn’t change my name.