People tend to have strong opinions one way or the other about women who change their name when they get married. Some (particularly the older generations) feel it’s a tradition that should always be upheld, and get very offended when a woman chooses to keep her maiden name. Other people believe that women should not change their name, perhaps for feminist or heritage reasons.
Regardless of where you fall on the spectrum of opinions, we women who did take our husband’s names have a few things we want you to know. Here they are:
It doesn’t mean we’re not into women’s rights
Just because we took our husband’s name doesn’t mean we’re anti-feminist.
We still totally campaign for equal rights and fair treatment. We just decided – for our own, personal reasons — to conform to one of the conventional aspects of marriage.
We’re still traditional at heart
On some level, there’s just a part of us that felt like it was really important and special to take our husband’s name. That doesn’t make us weak or feeble, it makes us proud and excited!
But we respect anyone who chooses to keep their maiden name
If you don’t want to change your name when you get married, good for you! We’re not about to lecture you on why you should take your husband’s name. The world is made up of different people, with differing views and ideas and that’s what makes it an interesting place.
So now that you know we’re not passing judgement on you, please don’t disrespect our decision to change our name.
We agonized over how our new name would sound for months
It’s just so weird to say our first name and last name together now. We’d identified with our maiden name for so long that replacing it with our husband’s surname was bizarre. We wondered if it would ever feel normal.
The good news is, if you’re considering taking your husband’s name, we promise that after a while it will be second nature, and you’ll wonder why you ever thought it sounded strange.
And spent hours practicing our new signatures
Many people regret choosing the signature that they did. When you get married, you have the ability to change it to something much better! We spent far too long designing our new signature, and we made sure our married name was clearly visible within the scrawl too.
Now, looking back, it looks just as silly as our old signature. At least we have a ring on our finger to justify it now.
Try to avoid calling us “Mrs. XYZ” for a little while — it makes us sound like our mother-in-law
We love our married name, we promise. It’s just that we spent so long sucking up to our mother-in-law that any use of “Mrs. XYZ” makes us think we’re going to turn into her.
We find it really funny when important people like the bank use our married name
Perhaps it’s because it catches us off guard, or maybe it’s because it sounds so formal, but every so often we have a giggle when someone in the service industry uses our married name.
It’s still a novelty to newly married women
For those of us that our newlyweds, having a new name is still exciting and special. We might make excuses to say it (or refer to ourselves as a “wife”) and to write it down. We appreciate this might be annoying, but let us have our fun for a while.
We’re never going to be newly married, with a funny new name, ever again and we want to make the most of it while we can. Don’t worry, we’ll be a regular old married woman in no time.
It caused us a lot of stress sorting out the paperwork
Who knew changing your name could be so complicated? For a start, there’s all that paperwork, and then you have to make sure everyone is aware of the name change. From your bank to your driver’s license to the insurance and mortgage companies, there’s a lot of phone calls to be made.
Were we naïve in thinking there should be a special announcement sent out to every company to alert them to our upcoming nuptials? Probably.
And for a moment, we questioned whether it was all worth it
It really might have been easier to keep our maiden name. After all, we’re not great with paperwork and we do get stressed easily about these kinds of things. Thankfully, we have a supportive husband who helped us through the process and reminded us why we had made the decision to change our names.
If you’re going to take your husband’s name, make sure you’re prepared for the work that’s involved.
But having the same name as our husband is really important to us
There’s something about taking our husband’s name that feels right. We see it as the clearest outward sign possible that we’ve decided to spend the rest of our lives together, and that’s special.
It doesn’t mean we’re forgetting our heritage
Changing our name doesn’t mean we’ll forget our roots. No matter what name we go by, we’ll always have strong family ties.
We still look like our blood relatives, and act like them too — even when we don’t want to! No name could take that away from us.
We like the sense of unity
Being a husband and wife duo is great! It’s nice to feel like you’re part of a team, and having the same name just strengthens that. When you’re married, you know that you have a person that will always be there for you no matter what.
Achievements are shared by name association, and although that means embarrassing or difficult moments are too, there’s always another person to weather the storm with you.
It’s really annoying when you spell it wrong
Come on, our name can’t be that hard to spell, can it? It’s really frustrating to have to spell it out every time we need it.
In all fairness, we know we’ve seen the same name for years so it’s ingrained in our mind. It’s just that we feel a strong connection to this name that we’ve chosen, and we don’t like it when someone gets it wrong. Forgive us if we get a bit irritable about it.
But sometimes we spell it wrong too
Okay, don’t tell our husbands this … sometimes we spell our own name wrong too. It just doesn’t come as naturally as our maiden name!
But we always correct our mistake and casually make it out like we intentionally spelt it wrong. You know, just to test you.
Or forget that we even changed it
Particularly with newly married women, there have been more than a few occasions where we’ve forgotten we’ve even married. Yes, there was that awkward moment on our honeymoon where we referred to our new husband as our boyfriend in front of a room full of people, and those times where we book a table at a restaurant under our maiden name by accident.
We’re sure that after a while we’ll be better at remembering.
We’ve had to change our future children’s names
The ones we’d originally picked out just don’t go with our new surname. It’s really annoying actually, as we loved those names.
It’s even worse when our new name is really unusual or funny. Nothing goes with Przbyszewski or Seaman.
Social pressure didn’t make this decision for us
We know it’s the social norm to change your name, and we’re certainly aware that there’s an overwhelming assumption that every married woman will change her name. But we didn’t make the decision based on social pressure. We decided to change our name because we wanted to.
But having a really bad maiden name certainly did!
Okay, okay … those of us with really embarrassing surnames were pretty much destined to change them when we got married. Why would we keep a name that we were teased so much at school for?
It’s something we’re proud of, so don’t knock us for it
We truly are proud to take our husband’s name. Whatever your opinions might be, try not to impose them on us. We’re in a happy, close relationship with the man we love, and we love sharing a last name with him.
So now you know and understand a little more about why we chose to take our husband’s name. For those of you still not convinced — no problem! For those women who are preparing to get married, we ask you this: will you do the same?