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> It's 2005 and I'm *still* debating...should I take his last name?
LilPinkElectricC...
post Dec 21 2008, 01:19 PM
Post #1


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Lily_Anne-My parents kept their names and my sister and I have hyphenated names. We've never really had any issues with it though. If ever I were to get married I'd keep mine, but I would probably just do a double hyphen if my husband insisted on the children having his name. But maybe that's wishful thinking, because that could be a pain.


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Laurenzorro
post Dec 20 2008, 03:44 AM
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I decided to take my husbands name because it made us feel like a family and more united. It was (and still is, 9 months later) a pain in the ass changing over....ID, passport, bank etc etc ETC. It's a weird feeling losing the name you've always had but I didn't have any strong feelings about it either way. I'm happy I changed it, even though my maiden name was better (looked nicer on paper, sounded better with my name, less common)
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Lily_Anne
post Dec 20 2008, 02:31 AM
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What seems to be increasingly popular: both keep their names, and any children get hyphenated names. This makes me wonder,

(1) Does paperwork get more confusing because nobody matches?
(2) What happens when the kid grows up and gets married? Can you hyphenate a hyphenated name?
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pollystyrene
post Dec 12 2008, 02:03 PM
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I am. Changing it just doesn't feel right to me. I just don't have that "getting married=name change" mentality that some women do, even the ones that do put some thought into it. LeBoy doesn't really care; like prophecy_guy, I think he'd more shocked if I did want to do it because he doesn't see the necessity in it either. (There's a reason they're friends!)


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stargazer
post Dec 12 2008, 01:27 PM
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so, are you keeping your last name, polly?


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pollystyrene
post Dec 12 2008, 01:08 PM
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As I am now officially in wedding planning mode, I look at a lot of wedding related websites, a couple of which are message boards. There is a lot of discussion about this and I find it shocking...well, maybe not too shocking; at least surprising...at how many women just unquestionably take their husband's name, and the reasons they use to justify it; "it makes me feel like part of his family"...well what about you and your family?!?!

Like I've said before, I have no problem with women choosing to change it, but at least put a little thought into it....some of them list these brainless reasons they're going to do it and then talk about how they still feel conflicted, and it's like, then don't do it. Or at least take the time to think about it and reconcile your feelings, and know that not changing your name is an option, and it doesn't mean you don't love your husband as much.

This website was brought up and I'm a little disturbed by it. I'm all for anything that saves the time and hassle of dealing with bureaucracy, but I think it just adds to the "don't question, just do" mentality.


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You went to school where you were taught to fear and to obey, be cheerful, fit in, or someone might think you're weird.
Life can be perfect. People can be trusted. Someday, I will fall in love; a nice quiet home of my very own.
Free from all the pain. Happy and having fun all the time.
It never happened, did it?
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prophecy_grrl
post Oct 10 2008, 03:57 PM
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I kept my name. I have a somewhat estranged relationship with my father and his side of the family, but I see the name as mine and not his - it's been part of my identity long enough that I don't see it as attached to him. My husband didn't care and, in fact, would have been surprised had I chosen to take his name. If we have a kid one day, it will have his name; it means more to his family. My siblings and I all had different last names from our mother and each other, and it wasn't traumatizing. We often get holiday cards and wedding invitations and the like addressed to Mr & Mrs, but it doesn't bother me too much. I am surprised by how much it still throws people off though - which to me is reason enough to do it - it's obv still the norm to take your husband's name, and as a result still "easier" in some respects. I just remember that "the personal is political" and those seemingly small statements of opposition can sometimes be the most important.
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sidecar
post Oct 8 2008, 10:29 PM
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We're going with his because he's an only child, and i have brothers and other relatives with my last name. It matters to him, and you know, he was very supportive of my decision, and I don't mind being supportive of this one.

BTW ellenevenstar, I didn't decide what I was going to do until after my wedding. (I thought I'd probably hyphenate, and then decided I didn't.) It was weird because I hemmed and hawed over what to do my entire engagement: hyphenate or keep it? And then when I decided, I just knew it was the right decision for me.
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ellenevenstar
post Oct 8 2008, 09:41 PM
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Thanks so much everyone, especially roseviolet. I'm glad I reignited this conversation and have taken all your thoughts on board. Yes, I do need to relax about it! The wedding is so low-key and I'm not usually one to stress but I am big on symbolism and meaning so I was thinking that if the name was going to change, it should happen as close as possible to the moment of life commitment.

My gut desire is to keep my name but I think I was over-analysing where that gut feeling was coming from and what factors had informed it - ("am I just kicking against my parents-in-law's expectations??"). I am now more and more leaning towards just trusting that gut feeling and not interrogating it any more. Just like Roseviolet, I don't care if some people call me Mrs. other name. & I don't expect too much trouble from banks, insurance, schools etc. with having different names.

We plan for all our children to have my surname as a second middle name and have their father's name as a surname. This is following a sexist tradition but it doesn't bother me as much as changing my own name does!

Interestingly, there is much less of a tradition in Australia of the whole jr. III, IV thing than there is in the USA. I don't think I have ever encountered it here. I do know a family where both children - son and daughter - are both officially named exactly after their parents but they have always been called by their second name.
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starship
post Oct 5 2008, 07:59 PM
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QUOTE(crazyoldcatlady @ Oct 5 2008, 11:24 PM) *
sidecar's post reminded me of something: why don't couples give their children the woman's last name? and also, why aren't there female jr's, or III's, or IV's, etc.?

Catlady the III sounds regal, no?


I do have my mother's last name!
Her and my father weren't married but were in a serious long term relationship so I'm not entirely sure why.
but i like it.

I don't want to change my name when/if i marry. i feel it's part of my identity somehow. and slightly quirky:)
and if my husband has a silly name then I'll probably want my children to have mine too.
the whole double-barrel thing is a nice compromise if it's an issue but my name is too long so it would ever work for me
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candycane_girl
post Oct 5 2008, 05:36 PM
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There are female jr.s but usually instead of being called junior, they get called missy. At least that's always been my understanding. Jr. for boys, missy for girls.
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crazyoldcatlady
post Oct 5 2008, 05:24 PM
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sidecar's post reminded me of something: why don't couples give their children the woman's last name? and also, why aren't there female jr's, or III's, or IV's, etc.?

Catlady the III sounds regal, no?
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roseviolet
post Oct 5 2008, 03:29 PM
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Ellenevenstar, I think you shouldn't stress about it so much. There are so many other sources of stress when you're getting married, so why add to that? You don't have to make a decision before you get married. You don't even have to decide on your wedding day. You can do it later if you want to. So relax.

I was torn on this issue before my wedding, so I decided not to do anything until I knew for sure what was right for me. The week after the ceremony I knew in my heart that I wanted to keep my name as-is. It doesn't bother me if someone who just met me calls me "Mrs. Steel" since I am Mr. Steel's wife & all, but the people who know us know my real name. I've never had a problem with banks or insurance companies or anyone else about it (we bought a house last year & our different last names was never an issue). Honestly, it's so common for women to maintain their birth names nowadays that people don't make a big deal about it.

I say that you should do what you want to do. Trust your gut. If your gut doesn't know what to do yet, then wait. Changing your name once is hard enough. Changing it back is a whole other can of worms!
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sidecar
post Oct 5 2008, 09:29 AM
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Sybarite, I kept my name for all the reasons you've cited. And while I anticipated a lot of hassle, especially stuff like the bank and traveling, it hasn't been a hassle at all. In fact, I think I've had an easier time of it in terms of hassle/paperwork than my friends who changed their names (and I am the only one of my friends who didn't change the last name upon marriage). My name is pretty Germanic and has only been pronounced correctly once by someone seeing it for the first time (it was at LaGuardia airport, and I actually said to the woman, "Ma'am, no one has ever said it right after looking at my license before"). My husband's name is a lot simpler, but you know, now that we've lived together awhile, I've discovered that it too is always misspelled and mispronounced.

The one thing that bothers me about name changing is when people assume (and they do) that it means somehow you're not fully committed to your marriage. I can say pretty definitively that I am in one of the happiest, most compatible marriages of anyone I know. In a way, I think his supporting my decision -- and my independence within our marriage -- has contributed to that.

The only thing that gives me pause is that when we have kids, they'll use his last name and mine as a middle name, so my name will be different from my family's. And that's a little sad, but I hope if I have daughters, I can use it to teach them to make their own decisions about the things that matter to them, like what they'll be called.
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sybarite
post Oct 5 2008, 08:33 AM
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I'm not going to change my name for several reasons. I've published under my name and want to keep references to my work consistent. I also feel my name is integral to my identity and my sense of connection to my family. I have seen at my workplace the hassle involved when women change to their married name--our office requires the original marriage certificate sent in as proof. Finally, when discussing the idea of name change with the mister, he said he wouldn't change his name.... so I see no reason to change mine. We are both stubborn people. wink.gif
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auralpoison
post Oct 4 2008, 09:59 PM
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I like my name. I see no reason to change it. I was born Aural X, I'll die Aural X.

I do have two friends, however, that decided that rather than take his name, they'd come up with a new one. It's kinda retarded, but the name they came up with fits them.


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pollystyrene
post Oct 4 2008, 02:58 PM
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For me, I just don't see why marriage=name change. I'm not particularly attached to my name; hell, less than 100 years ago, there was an "ovich" at the end of it, so it's not like there's a big family history there that I'm trying to honor. It just doesn't feel right for me. I think everyone has personal reasons why we would/wouldn't/should/shouldn't. Most of the women I know who changed didn't change it in all contexts of their lives- like, their driver's license changed, but they kept it professionally and their friends still refer to them by their maiden name. I just don't think it's important enough to go through the hassle and then have to keep track of what you're called, where.

But no one should feel like their feminist credentials are going to be taken away for making that choice for themselves.


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You went to school where you were taught to fear and to obey, be cheerful, fit in, or someone might think you're weird.
Life can be perfect. People can be trusted. Someday, I will fall in love; a nice quiet home of my very own.
Free from all the pain. Happy and having fun all the time.
It never happened, did it?
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hellotampon
post Oct 4 2008, 01:10 PM
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Even if things were completely egalitarian and it was the norm to flip a coin to decide who takes who's name, I still wouldn't want to change mine. I have no attachment to it, but I've seen the amount of paperwork you have to go through, and I haaaaaaaate paperwork more than anything.
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candycane_girl
post Oct 4 2008, 12:29 PM
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I find this debate interesting. I don't even have a boyfriend or anything but if I ever get married I will probably change my name. My reason is simple though, I think it would be a step up from my maiden name which is foreign and people find hard to pronounce. It usually gets butchered. Seriously, if I could marry a guy with a normal last name and not having to constantly correct people I would do it!

The name issue also came up in one of my classes and we got into discussing how much of a hassle it can be for women to keep their last name. Anything from bank accounts to traveling, the general consensus was that you get questioned a lot more and always have to prove that you are in fact married.
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tankgirl
post Oct 4 2008, 11:38 AM
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I think that the boy and I are going to both change our last names, if and when (who knows at this point because we have been pushing it off forever.) It is a pretty happy medium. Since, my parents got a divorce, I no longer feel attached to my last name, and he never liked his because he parents didn't raise him, his grandmother did, so we will be taking her name.
As feminist as I am, I still think a married couple should share a last name, whether it is one or the other. I have been against marriage in general my whole life until recently, but, things change I guess, I grew up? Not that it is immature to not believe in marriage, but for me, personally, it was.
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