That’s Not My Name

11Mar09

Last night Jeremy and I had a discussion about my taking his name. I had originally agreed to do this without really thinking about it, and now I’m having second thoughts. I’m almost 33 years old. My name has been my name for all these years and when I think about giving that up, I get sad.

Of course when I told him this, he took it the absolute wrong way, and found that my not wanting to take his name was an insult to him. Of course this isn’t true. When I pointed out that I thought it was an archaic tradition, he got, for lack of a better word, butthurt. He said his parents wouldn’t understand if I didn’t take his name. This is something that I truly don’t understand, but this is probably because I have a very relaxed relationship with my parents, and if they didn’t like it, I’d tell them to pound sand.

So, in the end I’m still not sure about it, but I’m leaning more towards taking his name. His last name is shorter, and more common. My current last name is constantly mis-spelled and mispronounced. It’s already bad enough that I get called Terri, Sherri, Sarah, and yesterday was a new one, CHERRY, it would be nice to have a last name that people can’t screw up.

Did any of you have a problem deciding to take your husband’s last name?

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2 Responses to “That’s Not My Name”

  1. I told my fiance very early on in our relationship that I wouldn’t be taking his name, so I think it helps that he knew from the get-go that it wasn’t going to happen.
    Ultimately, if you take his name, you should take it because you want to. Asking a person to change their name is asking a lot – and you give up a lot. You’ll be harder for old classmates to find, if you have publications under your current name, people will be skeptical when you tell them that is your work, not to mention standing in line at the MVA and everywhere else. If he wants you to take his name that badly, I think you should make him go with you as you go through the process. Also, with a more common name, you risk it being too common and nobody being able to find you.
    I say if his parents don’t understand, you should be the one that talks to them about it. Don’t just take his word for “they won’t understand”. If you bring it up at some point and say, “I’m not sure that I want to change my name” and make valid points, they might understand. They might not, but at least you’ll have talked to them about it. Usually the parents are okay with it as long as you give the kids his last name.

  2. 2 Debbie

    I kept my name. I wanted him to take mine, but he wouldn’t. He did insist that our daughter have his last name, not mine. I put my last name as a 2nd middle name for her, so technically, both our last names are in her name if we write down all 4 of the names we gave her.
    Mine is Duquette and it is misspelled or misprounounced at least 90 % of the time and if I say it to someone (like ordering over the phone, etc.), I often start spelling before they ask because I know it’s coming. I like the uniqueness of my name and didn’t want to give it up. I wanted to keep my identity and I believe the old referring to a married woman and Mrs. Abraham Lincoln makes it sound like the woman is nothing but his property and is no one without him, even her 1st name not important enough to keep up with. True, Mrs. (husband’s 1st and last name) is rarely used to address anyone anymore, but I still think the roots of the tradition are part of patriarchal oppression.


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