Friday, March 30, 2012

Did you change your name when you got married?

When J and I got married, I decided to keep my maiden name. All throughout my teenage years, I thought I would change my last name when I got married. Naturally, when I had a crush on a boy, I would daydream and write my name with his last name in the margins of my notebook. But then, when the reality of changing my name came along, I couldn't do it. It seemed very strange to suddenly have another name, almost like I would become someone else! In addition, the historical notion that a woman became a man's property through marriage turned me off of the idea, so in the end, I kept my maiden name. Married to J, but still me.
In Switzerland, it is rather uncommon for a woman to keep her maiden name. That meant it was a bit confusing when we opened our bank account. Registering with the city and various authorities was also perplexing. Just last week, when I came back into the country with Coco after being in the US, it made customs a little confusing and they had to ask me if Coco is my daughter. I don't blame them. After all, we do have different last names!

Did you change your name, or will you? Did you change it right away? For the first year and a half of our marriage, I was really happy with my choice to keep my maiden name. But over the past year and a half, I'm thinking I'd like to change my name after all. Is that completely ridiculous?! Please weigh in on this one. I would love to hear what you think!


{photo by amy sinisterra}

7 comments:

  1. Kept my maiden name as my middle name. Purposely did NOT hyphenate--too confusing! I knew i would be finding my name on separate lists from my husband, filed would be separated, all manner of crazy things happen if you hyphenate. Also my husband was not inclined to hyphenate his own name. It was 1966, after all. One generally took the husband's last name without question. It was more about simplicity than a symbol of being the husband's property. Also, I wished to have the same last name as any children we hoped to have one day. My own mother had kept her maiden name; she had also given her maiden name to both of my brothers as a middle

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  2. Sorry, Lindsey. The site would not let me edit or finish my post, donuts a mess. Just wanted to add that my mother gave her very German maiden name (Köehler) to both of my brothers as a SECOND middle name. I gave my maiden name to our youngest son as his ONLY middle name. He says he hates it, but I know he loved my Dad very much, so in time I hope he will sport it with pride! BTW, Z's fiancée is struggling with this very question right now. She is not allowed by German law to hyphenate or to use her maiden name as a middle name at all! She is really stewing about what to do! I find it has been much easier to have the same last name as my children

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  3. Thank you, MsNetz! This is exactly what I'm talking about - it would be so much easier to have the same last name as Coco (and our other children when they come along :). Easier in the long run, but in the short term it would mean double the hassle! Ack!!

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  4. I did that with my name. I kept my maiden name as my middle name, unhyphenated. It allows me to keep my own identity but also become more part of the family that I married into. Reagan now has my middle name Elizabeth as hers, and our son will have my maiden name as his middle name. That way there will still be part of me in each of my children's names.

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  5. I love that idea, Erin. We almost gave Coco the same middle name as mine, but then changed our minds last minute! ;)

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  6. I would love to sit on the fence on this one, but i cant!! Marc dosn't want to be married , so I actually have no choice in the matter, but I would do anything to have the same surname as my boys and Marc! Causes no end of confusion and has...se. Banks, crossing boarders, school meetings, you name it!!! Plus Oli , soon to be 4 is learning our full names and dosnt get why I am not the same as the rest of the family! Makes me feel an outsider in my own family!!!! Change it!!xxxx

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  7. Oh my! I think this settles the matter then. Thank you for sharing your perspective! I hope you'll be able to convince him and share a last name with your boys very soon. I'm rooting for you!! xo

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