Post # 1
I’m coming here asking for advice because I have asked a few close friends and I’m still feeling conflicted.
Essentially, my last name is incredibly unique. My family are the only ones in the WORLD with that last name. My grandad changed it when he came to Australia after WW2. Throughout his journey through Europe during WW2 (labour camps etc), his last name got changed on documents by misspelling etc and it become what it is today. My grandfather had 2 girls and one son. Obviously the girls got married and changed their name and their children now have a different last name. His son (my dad) had 5 girls and it was always a sore spot for him that his son didnt have a son to carry on the family name. Stupid, yes I know, but he was from Poland and I think they seem to have a lot of pride of making sure their name is carried on.
So far two of my sisters have partnered/married. One is married and took her husband’s name and their children have his name. The other one is not married but I believe that their children will be taking the father’s last name.
I recently got married and was discussing changing my name and taking my husbands last name. He has made it clear that he does not expect me to and he understands I have a connection with my name etc. but I have always said that I would want the same last name as my children etc. Post-honeymoon he said to me that if that is my only concern, he would be happy for our children to take my last name and that way we can carry on the name for at least one more generation. He has no attachment to his name as it comes from his grandfather who left his dad when he was young. They have never met. He is not open to changing it to my last name as its his name and its apart of him, but he sees no reason to pass it onto his children.
It appears that having the same name to my children was not the only reason I wanted to change my name because the issue has not resolved itself. I feel incredibly stupid in this day and age saying this, but some part of me feels like we are more of a family if we have the same name. The Brown family, Mr & Mrs Brown etc. It makes us seem more connected. So now the question appears to be, am I happy to have a different last name to my husband? I really do like the idea of sharing a name, but I know it doesnt make us more or less of a family, but something in my can’t shake it.
The few friends I have spoken to seemed to feel like we are more of a family if we share a name and another said she couldn’t pinpoint why, but she would give the children the dad’s name. One friend even said she would change her name and use his name for the children because it was annoying having people ask her if they were married or not.
So Im turning to you guys for your honest opinions. What would you do?
Also, be gentle in telling me how silly I am for having this internal conflict at a time where many woman keep their own name. I know its stupid to feel like we are less of a family with a different last name. I know how outdated it is, but it seems to be an opinion shared by those around me which I have picked up on and cant quite shake yet.
Post # 2
Why doesn’t your husband just take your last name then?
Post # 3
It has been his name his entire life and wishes to keep it. He says it is apart of who he is. I haven’t asked/needed any more explanation than this.
Post # 4
Everyone I know who has a different last name from their spouse either hyphenated the kids last names, or they just have dad’s last name. I personally hate hypenated names, and most of my friends with hypenated names only use one of them.
I personally would (and did) take my husband’s last name because that’s a tradition that I am used to and wanted to do. I am somewhat bummed that my maiden name isn’t going to carry on, it just is what it is. Out of us 5 grandkids, 3 are girls. Two of us are married w/ kids but took our husbands name. The 3rd girl will likely also take her husbands name when she gets married. My brother is married but they are not having kids. That basically leaves my one male cousin to have kids and give them the family name.
Post # 5
How about you take his last name but use your last name as a middle name or last name for your children?
Post # 6
I did not take my husband’s last name but we will be giving our children his last name. Not because he’s the man but because of similar reasons you have for your last name. My husband’s name is very uncommon, it has a history and culture attached to it that my super common, boring last name does not. I do go by his last name socially, it’s changed on my Facebook, I just didn’t change it legally. That could be an option for you if you think it might help you feel more like a family, though really I don’t think a name makes a family at all.
So if I were you I would keep you name, give it to your children, and be fine with your husband keeping his name.
Post # 7
- Wedding: July 2018 - Mount Princeton hot springs
if it is what you want and he has expressed that he has no issue with it, I’d give the children your last name!
Post # 8
My husband and I are each keeping our names. We are flipping a coin for our first kid’s last name, and then switching back and forth for any future children. It’s only fair!
Post # 9
as someone who grew up with a different name to my mum (parents never married) I think there is definitely a sense of unity in all having the same surname growing up. I’ve taken my husband’s name and our children will have our surname.
You make good points about your family name though. I suppose you just have to figure out what is more important to you – not just now but potentially in 5, 10, 20 years. Same name or retaining your family surname?
Post # 10
I can’t help you with the children as we don’t want any but I can relate to your feelings about keeping your name.
My last name is not that unique but also not too common. My family knows where they are coming from but still we’re very astonished when we did the ancestry test. We are 93.7% Ashkenazi Jews. And I carry a matching name. I knew before that I wouldn’t really let go of my maiden name and my US paperwork now is with two last names, no hyphen. But I never got around to changing my name on my passport and “in the books” of of my home country (technically I’m not even married when it comes to any other country then the US) and I keep on dragging my feet. I will have to make a decision soon as I need to renew my passport by August next year. But some part of me is debating to just change the US paperwork to my maiden name…
I also can relate to a husband who is okay with you keeping your name but is clinging to his own name for no good reason. (Well, he has a reason of course…)
plus i can’t understand why these days a name would make a family. The meaning of what makes out a family has changed so much these days. Why stick with the most outdated form of expressing what a family is? I always go bonkers when people address me with his-last-name that’s the point where I loose countenance in a conversation.
Your name is unique and so is the history which goes with it. Keep it. Let your kids carry it on. Put it down in the hall of remembrance in yad vashem.
Post # 11
This is the only thing holding me back. People talk about the unity of a name. I haven’t ever experienced what it is like to have parents with a different name and neither have the people I have spoken to. Yet my boss thinks the idea of the woman changing their name is silly and his wife did not. His two teenage sons dont seem to have any issues with their mum having a different name, although they carry her last name as a middle name.
This tradition is one of the reasons I dont want to, but the world is changing. Will I be okay with the decision to leave my name behind when it becomes a more and more common thing to do? I am not sure.
Post # 12
I know this varies among different cultures. So it depends how strongly you feel about passing on your name vs. everyone having the same last name. My SIL has two brothers, and the brothers have different last names (same mom and dad, one has mom’s surname, one has dad’s surname); it’s a cultural thing, sometimes to honor a passed sibling (male) from the generation before, or also to ensure that the family (maternal) name gets passed on.
It’s a really personal decision. I come from a place where most women I know don’t change their name, and it’s actually surprising/uncommon when one of my friends do change their last name. So whatever makes the most sense for you and your husband- it doesn’t matter what other people think, you do you.
Post # 13
I’d use both. His as a middle name, yours as a surname.
I don’t understand why he won’t change his name. Women do it all the time and according to your story he doesn’t even have a connection to the person whose name it is.
Post # 14
Having different last names is perfectly common in many cultures and I don’t think ‘unity’ is achieved by names anyway , so I would not ( and didn’t ) change my name because of masculinist tradition .
Also, it seems overly generous in letting your husband simply refuse to change his surname on the apparently unexamined grounds that he’s always had it and it’s ” a part” of him . Isn’t yours exactly that?
Post # 15
Something that no one has mentioned, but you need to consider: what about in the event of a medical issue? For either spouse and kids. Whoever doesn’t have the same last name will have to forever carry around the marriage and birth certificates. Otherwise they won’t be allowed in the hospital room without proof they’re related.