I absolutely love this post by Sara. She has said what I feel so well. I thought I would share her post and my comment to her post with you.
I am having this exact battle in my head. I get married this October, and just do not know whether to take my H2B’s name.
I have a love hate relationship with my surname. I love it because I have a really great relationship with my parents and my sister and I have the same last name as them. I don’t want to change my last name as it will be like I am tossing them to the side and wont be as close to them any more. I know they wouldn’t treat me any differently, but it is just how I feel even though I know it sounds stupid. I almost feel as though I would no longer be a family unit with them. At family gatherings they would be the G’s and I would be a B. My surname is short and quite harsh sounding when you say it but I have grown to love it over the years.
Another reason as to why I don’t like the idea of changing my name is because the H2Bs parents are divorced, so his mum has gone back to her maiden name and neither he nor I have a particularly good relationship with his father. The relationship is definately not as close as we are to my parents; so why should I take a name that doesn’t seem to have a strong family attachment? His brother is married and him and his wife have taken the B family name. They also have two sons, so the name will be carried on through them, therefore it isn’t like the H2B needs to keep his name and pass it on to his children.
Therefore I want him to join my family and take my name, rather than me join his and take his name.
The feminist in me also hates the fact that society dictates I change my name. Men don’t even seem to contemplate changing their name, it is just expected that the woman will change hers, and often when asked the man refuses to change his name. Usually the refusal is based on the fact that it is his identity etc, which makes me even madder as I just think, yes, and my name is my identity. Girls no longer belong to this dad until they marry, and the changing of the girl’s name signified that she had gone from being her father’s possession to being her husbands. I am not a possession, so why should I have to signify who I belong to by changing my name.
It all seems so confusing and I just don’t know what to do. So thank you for writing this post. I thought I was the only woman who felt this way as so many of my friends just took their husband’s name without even questioning it.
I quite like the idea of merging the couples surnames into one surname. So If my fiance and I did that we would be either Brough or Gowning; keeping both names but using them to make a new name.
This website shows you the different choices you have when thinking about changing names upon marriage, the merging I have talked about is point 1.4 titled “Meshing” your surnames.
Basically for a heterosexual marriage, if you are doing anything other than the woman taking the mans surname you have to change your names by deed poll. Therefore a nice touch to the wedding is to apply for your deedpolls before the wedding, and after you have signed the registrar during the ceremony you then sign your deedpolls too which you send off the next day for your legal name change.