Changing last name

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TishaLynn Posts : 11 Registered: 6/28/09
Changing last name
Posted: Feb 20, 2010 12:12 PM

Hi Everyone.

Hoping for some input on having your name changed after the wedding.

I was married before and changed my last name completely dropping my maiden name. After we divorced I decided to keep my name as it was since I have a son, I didnt want the problem of having a different last name than my son.

So now I am getting married in Aug and my FH wants me to completely change my name to his (which I am not that fond of-he knows). But then it puts me in the same situation with my son that I didnt want to be in to begin with.

And we talked about having one more child which would have his last name.

So now I am torn between not changing it at all, changing it to his or having both names.

Any one that has had this situation and can shed some advice would be very helpful.


VšnTillBruden Posts : 353 Registered: 1/16/10
Re: Changing last name
Posted: Feb 20, 2010 12:35 PM Go to message in response to: TishaLynn

For the sake of your sanity, and mine, (and anyone else who happens to read) I'm just going to adlib the surnames in this post:

My mother's name, maiden included, was "Jane Norway".

When she married my father, she became "Jane Newbride".

She had two children with my father. We are "Sister Newbride" and "VänTilBruden Newbride".

They divorced when I was six. She kept the name "Jane Newbride" after the divorce.

My mother remarried, taking hubby's name, but became "Jane Newbride California".

So, let me explain how that breaks down. When my mom signed legal documents, school papers, (etc.), she always signed as "Jane Newbride California". That way, the person could see the link to my & my sister's surname, and knew we were related/connected. She also paid respect to her new husband, and new life, by taking his name. Any children they would have had would have been named "Child California". When she signed papers for them, they would see the name "California" in her signature, and know she had a connection to them as well.

That is my suggestion for you. If your FH has a real problem with you keeping your old married name, as well as taking his, then explain to him the little "chart" I gave you. Sometimes you really have to break down into specific examples for men.

NOTE: I have no idea if this is correct, as far as etiquette goes. I am just suggesting that my mother did a very strategic thing while faced with a difficult situation. So, if this is very taboo and not normal, my apologies. *:)

Love me when I least deserve it, because that is when I need it the most. (Swedish proverb)


CatStandish Posts : 2,766 Registered: 6/20/08
Re: Changing last name
Posted: Feb 20, 2010 3:23 PM Go to message in response to: TishaLynn

A LOT of men have a tendency to believe that we have to change our names to theirs. This is not the case. In fact, in a lot of cultures, the wife doesn't change her name. In some cultures, it is the mother's name that is passed on to the children completely.

Changing a name is a personal decision, and one that should be made by the woman -- with the SUPPORT of the man. However, he's not the one going through the identity crisis.

I did not change my name the first time I married...because I hated my XH's last name. I'm glad I didn't change it.

I did change it this time. And I was really excited about doing so UNTIL the first time I signed my new name LEGALLY (signing it in dreamy romantic mode is one thing. Standing at the SS administration, signing your new name for the first time, is quite another thing. It literally punched me in the gut, and I felt like I'd made an awful mistake.)

Our names are our identities...if you do not want to change your name, your FH needs to understand that.

NOW: from the perspective of the FH

1. You changed your last name the first time you got married, establishing a precedent
2. You're presently wearing the last name of your XH (who is, afterall, an XH for a reason)
3. He doesn't want you wearing the last name of your XH, marking you as a different man's territory. He might not mind you wearing your dad's last name, but he does not want you wearing the XH's name.

Men do not understand that changing the name is an emotional thing. I am only just now starting to become comfortable with my new last name. I've been married almost 5 months.

Now, if the only problem you have is the children's name association, do what the PP stated. However, if you have an issue with the last name itself, that you do not like it enough to adopt it, and you're using your kids as an excuse not to take his name, you may need to have a chat with him.

Ask him to articulate to you why HE thinks you don't want to change your name.
Ask him to articulate to you why it is so important to HIM that you do change it. (Because that's the way it is done is not an acceptable answer <G>)
Ask him if the name thing is a deal breaker to him. Is it one to you?



FrancieElaine Posts : 654 Registered: 6/26/09
Re: Changing last name
Posted: Feb 20, 2010 3:32 PM Go to message in response to: TishaLynn

I was in the same situation last year and I regret changing my name. I liked my name from my first marriage. It went well with my first name and everyone knew me by that name since I was married for 20 years. My new husband wasn't thrilled with me keeping my first married name, so I agreed to change it. However, I put my maiden name back in the and hypenated my new last name. I hate it! It is too long and complicated for anyone to learn or remember. I swear, I wish I would have kept my first married name or at least just went with my maiden name only. I am seriously considering changing my name to Van Halen!

Francie Elaine, The Bride Whisperer  



WannaGetSomeOnM... Posts : 4 Registered: 2/22/10
Re: Changing last name
Posted: Feb 22, 2010 11:27 PM Go to message in response to: FrancieElaine

I like how VanTill broke it down. I think that makes the most sence. When my mom remarried after my dad died, She kept the initial. Like, she signs her name Mom A. Newlastname The A still stands for my dads last name. Not sure if its the full name legally, it probably is but it only shows up as an initial on her ID and documents


Waleska Posts : 8 Registered: 2/19/10
Re: Changing last name
Posted: Feb 23, 2010 11:13 AM Go to message in response to: TishaLynn

I understand how you feel, I still carry my XH last name because of my son and business purposes. My maiden name is 12 letters long, its french no one can ever pronounce it correctly, and I made myself with the married name, so it's easier to keep it. Now that I'm older I was actually thinking about keeping my maiden name, because I feel it's so beautiful and unique. However, FH feels like its a form of not leaving and cleaving.

I feel that if it is harmful career wise to change your name, then you and FH should work something out.

Keeping a maiden name is much easier for a man to handle, but keeping an XH name is like not letting go of the past, like in the previous post taking on your husbands name is like him marking his territory, vice versa.

I don't know about you ladies but switch rolls and think about it. If your FH had the option of letting something go that represented the love, bond and relationship with his ex, but chose not to. How would that make you feel?

Umm umm it's enough my FH has children with her, I don't want him holding on to anything else that represents them.

There is an exception for some, but let's not be selfish, changing our last name represents union.

Ms. Wes.... Happiness is what I long for!


Beeble Posts : 306 Registered: 11/19/09
Re: Changing last name
Posted: Feb 23, 2010 11:48 AM Go to message in response to: Waleska

If my current SO asks me to marry him, which i sure hope happens soon, I will definately want to change my name. I think it's symbolic of the statement that you are making that you want to start a new family together with him, and that he becomes the most important thing in your life now.

However if my SO had some silly last name like Hornswaggle or something I'd think about suggesting that we both choose a new last name to use together.


HappyGirl13 Posts : 1,298 Registered: 4/21/08
Re: Changing last name
Posted: Feb 23, 2010 12:32 PM Go to message in response to: Beeble

I really like the way Cat broke it down, both from your perspective and FH's. And I agree, if your FH gives the reason "Because that's the way it's done"--not a good enough reason.

BTW I struggled with the idea of changing my name, too--and I didn't even have a child involved AND I like my husband's last name AND I like the way it sounds with my first name. Now that I've changed it, I'm happy I did it b/c I was leaning towards changing it anyway. I don't particularly like my maiden name.

So now I'm Firstname Maidenname Husband'sname. I did hate giving up my old middle name, though. I really liked it, but it was a higher priority for me to retain a legal link to my maiden name.

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Jnikki Posts : 42 Registered: 11/2/08
Re: Changing last name
Posted: Mar 19, 2010 7:39 PM Go to message in response to: TishaLynn

I don't think its right for you to keep you XH's name and remarry. My parents got divorced when I was 3 and since then my mom and I have always had different last names. Never had a problem. What is making you feel like you have to have the same last name as your son? He is always going to be your son regardless of a last name. And besides at school and on record your name should be listed as his mother so there shouldn't be any problems. Enough people are divorced now that people understand and are more accepting of this issue. I think that if you do not take ur NH last name in the least you should go back to your maiden.


lissagettingmar... Posts : 22 Registered: 5/29/10
Re: Changing last name
Posted: May 30, 2010 1:08 AM Go to message in response to: Jnikki

To address the most recent post - my cousin and her children have different last names (she's not married to her fiance yet, but the children are theirs) and she says that despite being listed as the children's mother and being able to prove it, it still presents issues - at school, at the public assistance office, etc. She tells me that she can't wait until they get married and she takes his last name so they all have the same one as it will cut down on issues. As archaic as it seems, even in this day and age people expect mom to have the same last name as the children.

"I don't know about you ladies but switch rolls and think about it. If your FH had the option of letting something go that represented the love, bond and relationship with his ex, but chose not to. How would that make you feel?"

I mean, it isn't like she's still wearing the wedding ring from the old union or something. It's her name. A name, as someone else mentioned, is a very personal issue. It's the way you've been identified for your life, for a long time, and for many career women, it's a name that you're known by professionally and that you've built a career on. I'm an academic - I've won fellowships and awards in my name, and I'll be published in my name before I get married. I've built an identity on this name. Why should I be forced to change it because of an archaic tradition?

Here's a thought: for those who's fiances really want them to change their name...ask him if he would change HIS name to your last name. Be serious about the question, and watch his reaction. If he balks or hems and haws, then why should he expect you to change your last name without any thought on the matter or any negative reaction when he doesn't want to do the same?

I thought I'd unconditionally want to drop my maiden name and take my husband's name when I got married. But now that I'm actually engaged and planning, I've changed my name is an important part of my identity. But so is he. For me, the compromise is tacking his name onto the end of mine. I like my middle name so I'm not dropping it. And I'll become Melissa Jane Smith Doe. Both of our surnames are one syllablle (5 letters each) so, it's not an issue.


Nicnak Posts : 27 Registered: 12/26/09
Re: Changing last name
Posted: May 30, 2010 10:52 AM Go to message in response to: lissagettingmar...

I think its unfair to your new husband if you have your ex husbands last name. If anything you should go to your maiden name if you don't want his. How would you feel if your husband took his ex wife(or gf w/e) last name and never wanted to change it? I know i would feel weird. My mother left my dad when I was 2 and she changed her name to her maiden name. We have had different last names my whole life and I've NEVER thought that was weird or wrong. I knew she was my mom and she cared and loved me all the same. I knew I had my fathers last name thats all. She never remarried but I know a lot of people who have known they have their ex husbands last name and think its wrong. I just think you take your husband name because your married to him, not because you like the last name.

 Our beautiful daughter, Jaylynn!


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jojolina Posts : 897 Registered: 2/28/07
Re: Changing last name
Posted: May 30, 2010 3:53 PM Go to message in response to: TishaLynn

I had the same issue. I decided that I would change my last name to "xh nh" no hyphen. When my youngest child turned 18 (which he is in a few weeks) I would drop XH's name.

It has worked out in many ways, but also been a problem too. I like having the same last name as my son for school, etc. For my NH sake, I had my drivers license and credit cards only put in his last name. My social security card is xh nh. If you are confused now well so am i. it's been confusing and has caused issues, like i can't get a replacement SS card because my driver's license doesn't match my ss number.

if i had it to do over again, i just would have changed to new husband's name and continued to go by XH name at school for my son. The only thing you sign is permission slips, absense notes, etc. it may not be completely kosher, but i wish i would have done that.

now i have to go through a deal to have XH name removed. good luck!!!


TishaLynn Posts : 11 Registered: 6/28/09
Re: Changing last name
Posted: Jun 17, 2010 1:45 AM Go to message in response to: jojolina

I want to thank everyone for the advice. And figured I would post an update. Because it was such a topic with FH and I, I made the suggestion that we both change our names to something differnt (not that it was a something that would have been easy so probably not something that would have happpened) so I could get his reaction. Well he told me he couldnt because of HIS son. So then that is where I am you are asking me to change my name and I have a son as well. So then he just responded that thats just how things are done.

So in the end I have decided that I will add his last name to my current full name (no hyphens just spaces). It will be this way on my DL and SS. But only things like checking, billing and credit cards I will use his. This way I still have my tie to my sons last name and do not have to deal with issues there and my house (which is purchased under just my current name).

Thank you again. :)
Only 2 months to go for me :)


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Re: Changing last name
Posted: Sep 15, 2012 2:29 PM Go to message in response to: TishaLynn

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Re: Changing last name
Posted: Dec 5, 2012 8:04 AM Go to message in response to: TishaLynn

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