Thursday, October 27, 2005

To Take His Name, Or Not To Take His Name?

That is the question.

I remember when my friends B and T were getting married and he said "I wouldn't marry her if she wouldn't take my name." I thought this was the most barbaric and sexist thing I had ever heard come out of B's mouth. I was appalled and determined that I would never find myself in that situation. No man was worth putting up with that kind of disrespect. I saw changing your name as a way of surrender to the man and that sounded horrible to me.

Later after I got engaged and my mom and aunt were asking if I would change my name and I confessed that I didn't think so it was for entirely different reasons. I liked being a part of my family. I like my last name and I don't like the idea of becoming assimilated into his family which is a little cooky to be quite honest. My aunt put it best when she said, "you want to become Mrs. (My fiance's first name), not Mrs. (My fiance's family name)."

But as W-day approaches I find myself toying with the idea of doing it anyway. It's as though by not changing my name I feel like I'm not officially married. But the few times that I've mentioned it to the man he seems to think I should keep my own name. Partially because he knows how important my independence has been to me and partially because he's had a little financial trouble in the past and feared that my taking on his name would affect my credit history negatively. Not to mention that it can be an expensive and time consuming hassle.

While I've joked that not changing my name will make it easier "if we get divorced" I can't help but feel that not changing my name is a bit like riding the fence. Committed ambiguity.


Martha said...

I am planning to hyphenate ... someday. I'm not in any rush and I don't plan to change it at work.

But just now I was typing up my name to order a new nametag (they forgot the 'r' in Martha last time) and I threw in the -McLain just for fun. I am now staring at it and debating. Who knew the moment of judgment would be now?

Paige said...

I always thought that a way for me to give honor to my family name and take my husbands name all at the same time would be to give our first child my maiden name as their first name. It would work better for a son but I might consider it for a girl as well. I think the last name thing is really only an issue if you have children because having the same last name as your mom is kinda nice. If I didn't plan on having children I would probably keep my last name regardless.