Name Changing (again)

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I did not change my name the first time I got married. I felt attached to my name, all my professional licenses are in it, etc. I am getting married again and it is really important to my future husband that I use his last name. In the meantime, I have grown less attached to my surname as it is my father's and he no longer speaks to me or reaches out to my children. I'm just more attached (for lack of a better word) to my future husband than I ever was to my ex husband or my father. A small part of me feels like I am selling out by changing my name though since I didn't do it the last time. Another part feels like this is an opportunity to symbolically cut myself loose from a fairly awful childhood. And a third part of me thinks I am overthinking and I should just do what feels right.

I think my mind is made up to go ahead and change it; I'm just wondering what people's thoughts are.
I'd change if it were that important to my fiancÚ. And it doesn't sound as important for you to keep your current surname.
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I have never been married but in the unlikely event I ever did get married, I always thought I'd use both my maiden and married name as it would honor both my heritage and my husband. A lot of people don't see it that way, though.
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if i ever get married, i'll keep my name.

but i'm in my 50s and this is my identity.
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Thanks, TNB. As I said, I probably will.

LadyV, I sign my name with a rather long credential after it a million times a week.... I can't imagine using both. I might use mt current surname as my middle name but I might not. Maybe I will use my mother's birth name as my middle name- that is a heritage I would like to honor. Thanks for the idea!
^^^No problem. I just always thought that it's unfair that women have to go through all this angst about our name when we get married when men don't have to. I'm not old school enough to change mine completely as I know the history behind women taking the husband's surname.
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Me too, In this case, the angst is all about signing on to a tradition with a misogynistic history even when I would like to be rid of my father's name. I actually feel really good about the idea of adopting my mother's birth name as a middle name. Obviously, that name came from my grandfather but I have only love and respect for his memory, unlike my father...

Yay, I'm glad I posted this!
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I did not change my name the first time I got married. I felt attached to my name, all my professional licenses are in it, etc. I am getting married again and it is really important to my future husband that I use his last name. In the meantime, I have grown less attached to my surname as it is my father's and he no longer speaks to me or reaches out to my children. I'm just more attached (for lack of a better word) to my future husband than I ever was to my ex husband or my father. A small part of me feels like I am selling out by changing my name though since I didn't do it the last time. Another part feels like this is an opportunity to symbolically cut myself loose from a fairly awful childhood. And a third part of me thinks I am overthinking and I should just do what feels right.

I think my mind is made up to go ahead and change it; I'm just wondering what people's thoughts are.
Originally Posted by cosmicfly
I would listen to the 3rd part of you ... just go with what feels right (as non-committal and cheesy as that may sound) And hey, you could always hyphenate if you don't want to totally give it up.

And congrats on your impending nuptials!
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^^^No problem. I just always thought that it's unfair that women have to go through all this angst about our name when we get married when men don't have to. I'm not old school enough to change mine completely as I know the history behind women taking the husband's surname.
Originally Posted by LadyV69
Actually, men can change their last name when they marry, just as women. I work for an agency that deals with name changes and I have dealt with situations of divorce where the men are changing their names back to their previous given name. It's rare but it happens. No disrespect to what you said, just stating my experience. To the op, you are free to have your choice. You can do what you want, just keep in mind some states want you to prove how that last name is connected to you. If not, you may have to do a legal name change through the court, depending on your state.
I did not change my name when I got married either. Now we are getting a divorce and I'm glad I didn't!

I was engaged years ago to someone else, and one of the three big reasons we never made it down the aisle was bc I refused to change my name, then too.

If I remarry, I might consider it; I've already broken all the rules and been the defiant one. Now I just want to be happy. I don't have anything to prove.

But congrats on the good news! How nice for you
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I wouldn't change it. I would be skeptical as to why it's "very important" to the new husband that you use his name. That's such an odd thing to say. "Very important" seems to imply ownership to me. And you've got a fairly long and established career going...seems silly to change your name now.

Our birth surnames do often come from our fathers, and I can understand not wanting to honor a difficult or absent father, but at some point we need to just embrace who we are now, and not think of it in patriarchal terms. I use my birth name, but it's my name, not just my father's. I gave it to my children too. I had to start somewhere.
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I didn't change my name either but I use both my maiden name and my husband's last name. Before we got married I had renewed all my ID and passports ect and I just thought it was a hassle to go through that again so I decided to wait until things started to expire to change my name. My husband doesn't mind at all he thinks its practical as well. You don't have to legally change your name to use your husband's last name, you can just use it which is what I plan to do instead of legally changing it.
I think it's really an individual choice since maiden names can hold different meanings and attachments to each person. There is always the option of hyphenation so you can use both. Personally I don't mind using my husbands name even though my maiden name holds religious ties and my husband is of a different religion. I like his name and how it sounds with mine so I think I'll continue to use both.


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Do what feels right to you.


For me personally it was very important that my family all share the same last name. I also did not want to lose (or give up) my last name. My husband compromised with me & we both changed our last name to a hyphenated last name. But that was what was important to me, and those were my reasons. I don't judge someone for doing what is the "right" thing for them to do.
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Ah, it all makes sense now. Goldy is the puppet master!
Originally Posted by Poodlehead
I wouldn't change it. I would be skeptical as to why it's "very important" to the new husband that you use his name. That's such an odd thing to say. "Very important" seems to imply ownership to me. And you've got a fairly long and established career going...seems silly to change your name now.

Our birth surnames do often come from our fathers, and I can understand not wanting to honor a difficult or absent father, but at some point we need to just embrace who we are now, and not think of it in patriarchal terms. I use my birth name, but it's my name, not just my father's. I gave it to my children too. I had to start somewhere.
Originally Posted by RedCatWaves


Very important are my words. Initially, he was very vague and that did not sit well with me. I pointed out that we have already done many nontraditional things and could he think about articulating what is important to him about this tradition. His response was that he wanted us to share a name and that he wanted to share his name with me. I think he isn't completely in the habit of thinking about why we do things (I'm working on it). But this wasn't an argument by any means.

I don't know how I would feel if I had a nice last name but my last name is awful, I wouldn't ask anyone to use it.

Also, my initial response was no and while he wasn't overjoyed, he didn't bring it up again. It wasn't a dealbreaker for him by any means. I'm the one who has been thinking about it for 6 months. I haven't mentioned that I may have changed my mind to him yet.

I completely get what you are saying. I just didn't want to leave the impression that he is sexist.
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I changed mine when I got married. When I divorced I kept his last name becuz it was the last name of my children. They are girls and they changed their name when they got married, so we no longer share that. I had thought about changing back to my maiden name, but I have no relationship with my family at all, so at this point I dislike both choices. I will likely change it if I get remarried. If that marriage doesn't work out then I will change to Davenport or Vanderbilt or something like that.
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I didn't want to hyphenate, so when I married the first time, I kept my maiden name as my middle name and changed my last name. Then, yep divorce. I didn't change it back. It wasn't just his name; it was mine now and my daughter's. When I remarried, we became a blended family and I wanted the same names as ALL my children, so I made my first married last name into my middle name and took hubby #2's last name as my last name. It's unconventional, but it works and I am very happy with it.

My husband and I have a son together and he has my husband's last name but my father's name as his first name, so I haven't totally abandoned my heritage.

I think you need to do what will make you happy. And whoever said you don't have to legally change your name to your husband's in order to use it. This is correct. You will just "be" Mrs. His-Last-Name even if all your documents have your legal name as something else.
I changed my name the first time I got married and regretted it. My new fiance wants me to change my name this time as we are having a child ans he wants us all to have the same name, but he also appreciates that I want to keep my existing name for my career.

Ultimately I think he's going to have to suck it up, as I am not going through all the legal hoops that would be involved in me changing my name again, especially as we're ex pats...he just doesn't yet realise its an argument he's already lost.

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If I get married again and DON'T change my name to his, then me, he and the kids will have different names and the mailcarrier will laugh at us behind our backs!
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I wouldn't change my name for anyone or anything.
But I think that people should do what they want. If you are happy changing your name, then you should change it. If it bothers you at all, you shouldn't.

ETA - When I got married the first time (1977) there were still places in the US that REQUIRED women to change their name to that of their husband. I believe that is no longer true (Hawaii was the last state that required it if I remember right).
So at least we now have the freedom to decide for ourselves.
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Last edited by jeepcurlygurl; 03-20-2013 at 10:44 AM.

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