- 5 years ago
I thought really long and hard about this. I’m unofficially engaged to the best man in the world, and I feel like a crumbum that I’m going to be breaking this to him, since he really wanted me to change my name, but I just can’t.
A little background:
This is my third (3rd) engagement. The first didn’t come off, thank goodness, but that guy just assumed I would take his name- and I probably would have, too. He would have made me. That relationship was horrible and abusive and horrible.
The second was my ex-husband, who suggested we both hyphenate. He is a sweet, wonderful man, and hyphenating was horrible. No one got our names straight. He was always Mr. MyName and I was always Mrs. HisName and people openly disrespect hyphenated names, even when you are female and they’re working with you professionally; one assumes they would like to impress you, perhaps, but no. Even our families weren’t great about it. Also, him changing his name was very difficult. Please note that legally, in the United States, it is EXACTLY the same as a woman changing her name after marriage, but everywhere he went to change it, it was, “I think you need a court order. Oh, you don’t? Let me get my supervisor.”
I would never ever hyphenate again. Even if it would be the coolest name ever. Systems are not set up to accept hyphenated names. Paychecks cannot be cut with hyphens, sometimes. People apparently cannot pronounce two names. IT IS A BITCH.
Anyway, that brings me to where I am now. Even though I was divorced years ago, I have delayed on changing my name because it is so much work. I hated having my married, hyphenated name, but everything was already set up(okay, yeah, some things were set up in my original name because yes, fuuuuuuck hyphenated names) and the power of inertia compelled me. (I’m 99% certain that my ex-husband hasn’t changed his name back yet either; the work email I have for him, which is his primary email address, is in the married name.) But now that I’m looking at visas and remarriage and joint accounts and all this paperwork, I can’t stand to be doing it in the name of my old marriage.
I considered just waiting and changing my name to my FI’s last name from the clunkiness. But… I need to be my REAL name. I know who I am. Had my first marriage made it past takeoff, maybe that hyphenated name would have taken on a new life and been worth being a pain in the ass. But we never made it there. So today I got all my documents together and got my name changed back, and it feels just so good, I know in my heart I just don’t ever want to change it again.
I know most women are happy to change their name, or at least don’t mind. But it seems too weird to me. There are plenty of societies in the world where no one changes their name, and people still manage to figure out who belongs to who. Who’s married to who, which children belong to which family. I’ll be the first to admit that I’m a feminist and proud of it, and it does bug me that when guys are like, “I want my wife to take my name,” they never EVER consider taking anyone else’s name. I know my sweetie is proud of his name- he’s changed his before, due to family circumstances. I wish he would appreciate that I’m proud of mine, too. Especially now that my dad has passed.
I don’t mind compromising, and being socially Mrs HisLastName. I respect people who wouldn’t want to do that, though. I’m just not ready to antagonize the folks my honey comes from- they are enormously different from the circles I run in. And kids? I don’t know, and I don’t really care. I’m really close with a lot of families run by different rules, and I’ve never noticed that anyone gives a hot damn about who has what last name- children know EXACTLY whom they belong to. That’s all that matters to me.
Thanks for letting me vent! What went into your name decision? Did you even feel like you made a decision?