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Thread: The LAST Name

  1. #81
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Posts
    914
    Quote Originally Posted by sarahmezz View Post
    My reasons for wanting to keep my name are: I think your name is the most basic form of your identity and that changing your name when you get married loses part of your identity; I feel it's turning my back on my family and becoming part of my husband's family, which I don't want because my family is way better (hehe); I'd like to retain some independence as separate from my husband; I don't think women should base their identities on who they are married to.
    It sounds like you may be one who bases a LOT more of their personal identity on their name. Perhaps because I grew up with a common last name, I didn't feel like that was what tied me to my family. My name is a label, nothing more, and I feel more attached to my first than last as far as 'identity' goes.

    Your best 'reason' as I see it is that it doesn't feel right to you. If it doesn't feel right, there's no reason to do it. You can always change your mind later... changing your mind and taking his name is exponentially easier than deciding you want to change it BACK.

    I know a woman who was married, changed her name to her husband's, got divorced, still kept her husband's name, got remarried and changed her name to her new husband's. I remember thinking that her entire identity is based on who she's married to.
    Getting to change your name back to your maiden name isn't always a given. It depends on the default legalities of your state, but in some states this has to be stipulated in the divorce settlement -- which most people don't realize. They don't think to ask about it, so it isn't included, and they're SOL when they go to change it.

    Also, if someone has KIDS with their ex's last name, they may still want to have the same name as their kids -- just like you think you may want to.

    Her ENTIRE identity was define by her surname? ENTIRELY? She sounds like she must have nothing else unique or interesting about her.

    I do wonder if I should just bite the bullet and change my name. I would like to have the same name as my children. BUT I have a lot of beliefs that I'd be turning my back on. Also, society says I should change my name, etc.
    No, you shouldn't. You're not fully on board. You may be someday, but you're not now. "Biting the bullet" will not change your questioning... you'll still have nagging concerns in the back of your mind even though the decision has been made, you know why? Because the choice is always still there. As long as we have a choice open to us, we will question which way to go.

    Side note - I get so annoyed when someone's reason for changing/not changing their name is simply "I like my name better" or "I like his name better". There are much more serious considerations than whose name is prettiest.
    For YOU there are more serious considerations. For me, there weren't. Some people place a high level of importance on this stuff, some don't. There's no justification for you to get "so annoyed" at someone else's reasoning for this relatively insignificant life choice, especially when it has no effect on you whatesoever. If prettiness of name is the last remaining consideration when all other variables are a wash (as was my situation), prettiness of name WILL be the deciding factor.

    I attached no sense of self-identity to my surname - WASH
    People question your choice equally either way where I live - WASH
    Having the same name as the kids vs. retaining same name as 'original' family - WASH
    No professional issues to take into consideration - WASH
    Husband was open to and supportive of my choice - WASH
    Neither my parents nor my in-laws expressed opinions or concerns - WASH
    My maiden name is boring and common, his is super-rare and interesting (even though I don't actually love it that much)
    ==== Changing wins

    I didn't need some big earth-shattering justification for changing my name. It was my choice. I can make my choices for the biggest or smallest of reasons, it simply doesn't matter.


    In the end, why on earth do you care? I think you're projecting a lot of your OWN concerns and indecisiveness onto others. Getting annoyed at others for their own decision-making process is not much different from judging the final decision itself. This is part of the problem, part of why women are so stressed about this decision in the first place and worrying about what "society" expects of them instead of just making the choice that feels right for THEM.

    I share my thought process when people are genuinely interested to hear about it, but attitudes like this are precisely why I don't put much stock in others' opinions about and reactions to name change choices. There will always be someone who takes issue with the decision, and if not the choice itself then the reasoning behind it. I changed mine. BFD. My friend didn't. BBBBFFFFFDDDDD. It effects NO ONE.
    Last edited by yellow; March 29th, 2013 at 01:41 PM.

  2. #83
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Location
    Arkansas
    Posts
    63
    My husband actually took my last name. We did a legal name change and everything. He wasn't too attached to his family or family name (a very common one), and I liked my last name and it was less common. So our kiddos will have my, now our, last name.
    Favorite Names: Caroline Michal ~ Caroline~Loren~ Toran ~ Brennan Shannon James ~ Liam Alexander/Nathaniel ~ Jade
    DD#1, Saoirse Flynn, 08/30/13

  3. #85
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Location
    Chicago
    Posts
    287
    Quote Originally Posted by cressida View Post
    I've also never fully understood the change-so-we're-a-family-unit logic. I mean, you and your husband know you're married, and your kids know you're their mother. It seems to me like all of the people who count are clear on who's who! Besides, family units and relationships are already defined in a multitude of other ways that have nothing to do with name.
    This is very well-put. I agree completely.

    I'm keeping my last name. We're hyphenating for the kids, his name first (it sounds better that way). They'll be free to run their last names however they choose - if they later decide to drop one, they decide to drop one; if they don't, they don't. Whatever. They can do whatever they want when they get married, too.

    Personally, I'm uncomfortable with the origins of the lady-changes-her-surname tradition, and I don't really see any valid reason to go along with it, either. I can't imagine ever going by anything other than my birth name, and it would feel wrong to me if I changed it: false and awkward. That feeling might not last forever, I suppose, but why should I have to endure it at all, you know?

    I do want to add that I am wholeheartedly behind people's right to do whatever they want (though I do get annoyed whenever someone changes their name on facebook! it's not because I'm judging them, however; I just don't feel like having to recalibrate my mental profile of them). Husband can change his name, wife can change her name, one or both partners can choose to hyphenate (I recently learned that Jim True-Frost and his wife are both True-Frosts - he was True, she was Frost - and I think that it is one of the most adorable things in the entire world). I do think making up a new surname is weird and I admit that it makes me roll my eyes, but, you know, I don't actually oppose the practice.

    My boyfriend objects to the woman-changing-her-name practice perhaps more strongly than I do; I can't really conjure up any vehemence towards the idea of someone changing their name, but he sure can. Whenever the subject comes up, he's quick to point out how glad he is that I'm not changing my name. Last night he also professed that he finds the sound of the hyphenated name we'll be giving to our children "cute". He's so adorable; I love him so much

    Also, I have been wondering a bit, because some people have mentioned that it was important to their husbands that they change their name, what on earth their husbands' reasons were. Everything I can think of seems either selfish or condescending. Obviously I cannot ask my boyfriend, as his feelings run entirely opposite to this line of thinking, ha.
    on my mind, for the moment

    Daria | Athena | Ramona | Winifred | Maeve | Blythe | Nadine | Dorothea | Margot | Cyra | Renata | Hypatia | Junia | Thisbe

    Flynn | Otto | Winston | Claude | Leif | Roald | Tavish | Lionel | Cormac | Tobin | Oswin | Rory | Damon | Tycho

    Mildred "Red" ☆ Obedience "Bede" ☆ Relief "Leafy" ☆ Dorothea "Doro" ☆ Penelope "Pen" ☆ Ruth "Rue" ☆ Eudoxia "Exie"

  4. #87
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Posts
    914
    Quote Originally Posted by mika13 View Post
    My husband actually took my last name. We did a legal name change and everything. He wasn't too attached to his family or family name (a very common one), and I liked my last name and it was less common. So our kiddos will have my, now our, last name.
    I love it!!

  5. #89
    I grew up saddled with the last name Gross, which obviously means nasty/disgusting in English and means "big" in German. I have had a lifelong struggle with my weight so when some boys in middle school found that out...it was rough.When I was engaged- I remember telling a friend when she asked me if I was going to change my name (she hyphenated hers), that I was so glad I didn't have to think twice about it- the only time I appreciated it- because it made the choice so EASY! My new last name is very unusual and people never spell it right but I couldn't be happier to have it!
    Mama to little Ramona Mae 3/2011 and Sylvie Joy born 11/2013

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