Last Name -- to change or not to change

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DeniseRose Posts : 40 Registered: 5/10/11
Last Name -- to change or not to change
Posted: May 28, 2011 12:14 AM

What do you all think about changing your last name (or not or hypen or other option)?

When I got married, I kept my whole name and tacked my husbands last name on the end. So if my name was Mary Ann Smith and my husbands was John Paul Jones then my new name is Mary Ann Smith Jones.

I did that because while my career hasn't gotten very far and was on hold before I even met my husband, I hoped to go back to it (and in fact I have been making progress in that direction.) But I did want the whole family to have the same name. (My mom kept her married name after getting divorced for that reason.) And my third reason was that after having worked in a bank, I knew that women had all kinds of problems because they would have checks and other documents that had diffrent names even when they hadn't changed their name after getting married.

My groom is traditional and didn't even realize that it would be a question and was totaly shocked when I started talking about the topic. We both know that he is far more conservative than me and that there were some topics that we would have to agree to disagree on. And we had already hammered out how to handle the up-bringing of kids in those areas so I was blindsided by this thing over MY name. He would say he was blindsided also.

But now I'm tired of explaining and fixing my name (and his). The thing is that most people get it, but computer's do not get it. And my husband has gotten use to the whole thing except when they call him Mr. Smith (then he gets annoyed). So when some place like the doctor's office asks me for my name, I go into a song and dance about that my last name is Smith Jones and my husband's name is Jones and they need to keep it straight or the insurance gets messed up and while they can call me anything they like ("hey you" works), please don't call my husband Mr. Smith. Well of course they are confused.

Anybody else have a name problem? How would you handle it?

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Aunt Posts : 794 Registered: 12/31/10
Re: Last Name -- to change or not to change
Posted: May 28, 2011 9:43 AM Go to message in response to: DeniseRose

Dear DR,

Everyone has to make up their own mind on this. It's complex, full of emotion, tradition and reason.

There are good reasons and drawbacks to nearly every combination. The husband involved has to be on board, since he is facing a lifetime of introducing his wife, dealing with children's issuea and being called Mr Smith in error.

The only thing I can advise engaged and newlywed women is to think, carefully, about the plusses and minuses to each name change option. Make up your mind well in advance of the wedding and clearly communicate that decision to your friends and family.

There's nothing worse that being the friend of someone who takes a wishy-washy approach to their new name. There are people I know who I've asked "So, what will you do about your name?" and just get some kind of "Oh, gee, I don't know, I guess I'll make up my mind later" type answer. This can go on for the first few years of their marriage. In the meantime, how do I address Christmas cards, birthday cards, etc?

Having said that, I'll tell you what has worked for me. I have been married almost 35 years, and I have used my own original maiden name exclusively. No change whatsoever. My current drivers license, passport, work history, college diploma and birth certificate all match exactly.

Drawbacks include occasional confusion, including pre-printed nametags at the company party with the wrong last name. Telemarketers address me as "Mrs His name".

The issue of what to name the children is huge, when the couple have two different last names. We decided that we would name a boy with his father's last name and a girl with he mother's. Since we just had two boys, they both got their father's last name and I'm the only one in the family with a different name. C'est la vie.

In retrospect, I've very glad I did it this way. It has worked for me.

What you do is your business, and I entierly back up any woman who makes any decision regarding her name. I just need to know what that decision is.

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MsDenuninani Posts : 3,962 Registered: 3/16/07
Re: Last Name -- to change or not to change
Posted: Jun 2, 2011 12:58 PM Go to message in response to: DeniseRose

Put me in the wishy-washy category.

I thought I'd change my name after I got married, but never did, and that was 3.5 years ago. I found I liked the idea of having one name my whole life. Husband's okay with it, although I wouldn't exactly say he's "on board." He just deals.

We're expecting our first child (a boy) in August. He'll have his father's name, and we're giving him my last name as a middle name. Husband's totally on board with that.

One day, I may decide to change my name, because I may decide I don't want to be the only person in my family with a different last name. Hell, Heidi Klum changed her name to Seal's after her third child. I get to change my mind. In the meantime, I don't care if someone calls me by my husband's name -- I really don't. What works for me is what works for me right now, and that could change.

__________________________________________

"I'd hate to advocate drugs, alcohol, or insanity, but they've always worked for me." Hunter S. Thompson

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Mrslinnben Posts : 2,285 Registered: 6/4/07
Re: Last Name -- to change or not to change
Posted: Jun 2, 2011 1:39 PM Go to message in response to: MsDenuninani

Congrats Ms. D!!! When is your due date?

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MsDenuninani Posts : 3,962 Registered: 3/16/07
Re: Last Name -- to change or not to change
Posted: Jun 3, 2011 11:10 AM Go to message in response to: Mrslinnben

Mid-August. Or, at the end of what will probably be a long, hot summer :(

__________________________________________

"I'd hate to advocate drugs, alcohol, or insanity, but they've always worked for me." Hunter S. Thompson

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MrsSy Posts : 504 Registered: 7/6/08
Re: Last Name -- to change or not to change
Posted: Jun 19, 2011 12:15 PM Go to message in response to: MsDenuninani

MsD, Congrats on the baby boy!

Agape, I had first name, middle name, dad's last name and mom's last name no hyphen. They were all long and since I'm Pety I always said I had more name than body, lol. After getting married I drop my middle name, dad's last name is my middle name now and I took DH name. My dad was ok, and my mom was upset b/c I no longer had her last name. She's ok now.

Proud Member of the P.O.O.P.

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Aunt Posts : 794 Registered: 12/31/10
Re: Last Name -- to change or not to change
Posted: Jun 20, 2011 6:34 AM Go to message in response to: MrsSy

Ladies,

Remember, you have two parents, four grandparents, eight great-grandparents, sixteen great-great grandparents, (etc).

You can only have one or, at most, two surnames. It's hard to decide, as choosing one means the others are "ignored".

However, that's Biology for you. The alternative would be for us all to be conceived by artificial insemination from anonymous sperm donors, thus having only one legal parent, one legal grandparent, etc. So much for Fathers Day.

It's much more fun conceiving future generations the old-fashioned way.

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anne11235813 Posts : 58 Registered: 11/15/08
Re: Last Name -- to change or not to change
Posted: Jun 20, 2011 4:25 PM Go to message in response to: Aunt

As some already put it: To each their own.

The only thing I resent is if people take it for granted that the woman has to change her lastname and assume his.

For a woman, the last name she grew up with is just as much a part of her identity as for a man. And it is hard to give that up. Therefore, I don't think it's right for an FH to just take it for granted that his future wife is assuming his name.

Of course the same is true the other way around, although so far I never heard of a woman who took it for granted that her husband would assume her name.

My husband took my name (so glad that he suggested it) and there were people that made snarky comments or laughed about it. Not any of my family or any of my friends, though, but outsiders. It did not really bother me but I thought "how rude and thoughtless!".

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UKbride Posts : 29 Registered: 1/7/11
Re: Last Name -- to change or not to change
Posted: Jun 21, 2011 2:39 AM Go to message in response to: anne11235813

I know a girl who got married, and when she and her husband couldn't decide on whose last name(s) to use, they decided to pick out a whole new last name as a couple. They were British, so I'm not sure if that's legal here in the US, but thought the idea was cool!

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PharmToxGirl Posts : 5,446 Registered: 8/30/07
Re: Last Name -- to change or not to change
Posted: Jun 21, 2011 7:25 AM Go to message in response to: UKbride

IN the US there are times when it's easier to change your name - marriage and divorce. I don't know about a guy changing his name at that point - though I don't know why it would be different for guy vs girl. Otherwise I believe you have to go to court to legally change your name if it's say 10 years after your divorce or you don't like your name or whatever.

But I could be wrong.

 

 

 

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swichwang34 Posts : 657 Registered: 9/13/12
Re: Last Name -- to change or not to change
Posted: Sep 13, 2012 9:47 AM Go to message in response to: Aunt

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