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Name change vent


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#1 kellygrrrl

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    Posted 11 July 2011 - 08:39 AM

    hi ladies -

     

    so I was just discussing with my mom my reluctance to change my last name to that of my FI's and she kept lecturing that it was a PRIVILEDGE to take his last name and how could I possibly not want that. thing is, ours will be his second marriage. his ex (with whom he has two children) TOOK and KEPT his last name (I'm sure for reasons of the kids than harboring any desire to reconcicle, but ARGH!!).

     

    sure, I'm not crazy about his last name, but I'd definitely feel differently if I had first dibs. now, taking the name lumps me in with the lot of them - his kids, his ex wife and his father (who has been cordial but aloof). and while all of this is expected, I'm still beyond frustrated about the situation. it's just another thing in a long list (including the opportunity to have children) that has already happened before me and so simply isn't met with the same sort of optimism and wishful thinking as first-time newlyweds.

     

    we love each other so much, and I think it's normal that these things come up. I don't know if my reaction is in line or if other second wives have viewed it in a completely different light. I don't see it as a priviledge to take his name, I see it as insulting to be linked with his ex.

     

    what I'd love is neutral territory, changing BOTH of our last names to a hybrid combination of them (which actually sounds awesome and has great meaning). but we can't, #1 because of the kids and #2 because he is the only living son (his older brother passed away). jokingly, I've told friends that I'm not changing my last name because it feels like he's colonizing, but deep down, it really does make me cringe.

     

    is there anyone out there who hasn't thought about this and/or is completely un-bothered by it? please let me know - I'd love to hear your thoughts on it (totally ok to tell me I'm overreacting, too ; )

     

    thanks!



    #2 wendyjd

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      Posted 20 July 2011 - 09:47 AM

      Don't change your name if you don't love his name (even if you love him).  I didn't change my name; it was a second marriage for both of us and neither my family or my hubby cared one bit.  its just a name.  You did mention the compromise of a different name, how about hyphenating?  I did this first time around and my very common last name combined with a German last name was super long, sometimes i couldn't even fit my last name in the fill in the blocks forms, but it was socially acceptable to the ex and his family and to me as I didn't want to give up my "identity."  Of course, you'll have to deal with all the narrow minded people who don't understand the concept of an entirely equal marriage (name included), but who cares about them anyway. 

       

      So I don't think you are over-reacting and you need to do what feels right to you, not to your mom.



      #3 Samantha88k

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        Posted 20 July 2011 - 03:28 PM

        I agree, I don't think you are over-reacting at all. I am also having the name change conversation with my FI, although neither of us has been married before I REALLY don't want to change my last name. Aside from the fact that I just don't like how it sounds (it gets mispronounced all the time and ends up sounding like profanity), I will be graduating from law school a few weeks before we get married and I would like to keep the name that will be on my degree for a little name recognition post-graduation and after internships, etc. My FI is quite determined in getting me to change my name and refuses to change his due to his being the only son, so I guess we will see what happens!

        My Dean at school told me that changing your last name isn't done nearly as often anymore and its more of a 50/50 split...in case you need a talking point!

         

         



        #4 Bruuning17

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          Posted 22 July 2011 - 08:48 PM

          I agree!  You aren't over-reacting!  My FI has a name that gets miss-pronounced all the time, and I like my current name better than his with my first name.  Plus, the feminist in me tells me that either neither of us should change our name or we BOTH should change it.  So he jokingly suggested we just create some hybrid of our last names and we came up with Bruuning! (My screen name.)  I think its too silly for either of us to actually go through with, and we've got time before I actually have to decide what I'll do, but I'm having the same dilemma.  But if it makes you feel better, almost every recently married woman I have talked to felt the exact same way.  My sister had a mini panic attack over the issue. :P You aren't alone!



          #5 anna524

          anna524
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            Posted 22 July 2011 - 10:16 PM

            i think it would be completely normal to keep your name. Why shouldnt it be? so many people now keep their names.



            #6 atalanta

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              Posted 24 July 2011 - 04:18 PM

              kellygrrrl,

               

              I completely understand how you feel. My fiance has been married before, but I haven't. His first wife and he made a hybrid of his last name (biological father's), her last name, and his mother's last name, and both changed their name to the hybrid name. She and their son still have that last name.

               

              If we have children, I do not want them to have the hybrid last name! Not only is it his ex-wife's last name, but it also contains part his ex-wife's last name)! I don't think my FI wants to change his name again. I understand he wants to have the same last name as his son, but a name isn't just a name to me. To me, a name tells your history and is part of your identity.

               

              I could give our children my last name, but I have a feeling that people won't think that they are our kids, especially with our mixed racial background. I suggested that he and I both hyphenate our current last names, not with each other's, but with his late adoptive father's last name. This is a neutral name that we can all adopt if we want, and it's short and easy to pronounce (5 letters). I thought he would jump at the idea, but he hasn't said anything positive about it.

               

              Kellygrrrl, IMO, you are not overreacting! I feel the exact same way!

               

              I'm also open to other's thoughts.

               

               



              #7 Pucca

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                Posted 26 July 2011 - 11:53 AM

                My two cents: I don't think you're over-reacting at all. I think it's tough to change your last name because it's something you've grown up with your entire life. It's like trying to wipe away that part of you that actually makes you who you are. Just like atalanta said, it's a part of your identity and history. Personally I don't think any other last name really goes with my first name other than my own. I've never considered changing my name before and I certainly don't want to do so now. I've had this conversation with my fiance. He doesn't care because in his culture women don't change their names just because they are married, and the children actually take on both last names (which I actually like!). In my culture women don't change their last names either. But since we live in the States and not in the countries of our cultures, this topic comes up a lot and people have asked me. So I've talked about it with my fiance and he's okay with me not changing my name. Besides, I feel like for centuries women in most cultures have been obliged to change their last names and men have been socialized into thinking that's the norm. But it should be a choice. There's no problem if the woman wants to change her last name - and there should be no problem if they don't want to. Why don't they ever ask the groom to take the bride's last name? It's indicative of socialization and power relations. But marriage should be a partnership which means the woman should have a choice in the matter. And if she chooses not to, for whatever reason, that should be acceptable. 



                #8 atalanta

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                  Posted 01 August 2011 - 01:51 PM

                  Well said Pucca! And after my rant, I should just say that last night my fiance told me that he likes my idea so in loving memory of his adopted dad we will each hyphenate our names with his dad's name, making his dad's name our family name (Mr & Mrs. Dad's lastname). 

                   

                  I feel so relieved to have that resolved. I hope you are finding some resolution, too, kellygrrrl.
                   

                  Originally Posted by Pucca 

                  My two cents: I don't think you're over-reacting at all. I think it's tough to change your last name because it's something you've grown up with your entire life. It's like trying to wipe away that part of you that actually makes you who you are. Just like atalanta said, it's a part of your identity and history. Personally I don't think any other last name really goes with my first name other than my own. I've never considered changing my name before and I certainly don't want to do so now. I've had this conversation with my fiance. He doesn't care because in his culture women don't change their names just because they are married, and the children actually take on both last names (which I actually like!). In my culture women don't change their last names either. But since we live in the States and not in the countries of our cultures, this topic comes up a lot and people have asked me. So I've talked about it with my fiance and he's okay with me not changing my name. Besides, I feel like for centuries women in most cultures have been obliged to change their last names and men have been socialized into thinking that's the norm. But it should be a choice. There's no problem if the woman wants to change her last name - and there should be no problem if they don't want to. Why don't they ever ask the groom to take the bride's last name? It's indicative of socialization and power relations. But marriage should be a partnership which means the woman should have a choice in the matter. And if she chooses not to, for whatever reason, that should be acceptable. 



                   



                  #9 kymish

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                    Posted 08 September 2011 - 03:06 PM

                    I to am having the last name struggle with my FI.. I want to keep mine and he wants me to take his. I offered him my last name, I have a 9 year old daughter from a previous relationship ( not marriage thou) and my kiddo has my last name. My FI is the last boy from his side of the family and wants to keep his last name. We have no intention of having any kids. So i think i should keep my last name so that its the same as my kiddo. A name to me is just a name it doesnt change how much you love someone..i hope it works out for all you ladies !!






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