Me [26/f] with my fiance [30/m] -- He is seriously thinking of taking MY last name after we're married. I'm conflicted. (self.relationships)

{relationships}

41 ups - 13 downs = 28 votes

So my fiance and I are getting married in about two months. Everything is fantastic, we have been together for almost 3 years, and aside from normal wedding planning stress we couldn't be happier. He is truly one of a kind.

Here's the thing though. We have had a lot of conversations about how I was going to change my name. I am very attached to my family and my name, and as a female only child with no cousins or hope of cousins, I am essentially the last of the Mohicans as far as my family is concerned. However, I am completely open to hyphenating (our names go nicely together), and retaining his last name casually (Hi, Mrs. HisLastName!) and my last name professionally (I am a writer with a somewhat established presence).

I have also floated the idea of just not changing my name, and being known casually, but not legally as Mrs. [HisLastName]. This isn't a feminist thing, really. I just like my last name and it is attached to my "brand" (vom), however I do love the idea of being called Mrs. HisLastName.

His thing is, he really wants us to have a common last name, and thinks that hyphenation/ using different names in different situations is too confusing. The way he's put it is, he really wants this unifying factor. So he has seriously suggested him just taking my last name. He has even mentioned it to his mom.

Bless his heart, he has NO idea why I think people would find that unusual. He says he "doesn't give a shit" and wants to support me and be unified with me. Which is just, so SO amazing. But I've told him he REALLY needs to think long and hard about such a big change and that I would support his decision and we can work together on it. So far he's told me his mom and brother have both reacted like, "do whatever you want," but I tried to tell him they probably won't give him an honest opinion face to face.

I would be okay with him changing his last name to mine if he was really 100% comfortable with it and understood the potential social fallout. Believe it or not we are both traditional people, so this is a bit of a departure from our normal operations.

A few more things to consider: He has a brother who has children, he is not especially close to his father, and we do not plan on having children. Also, and this is just sort of a neat thing, our last names start with the same letter so MONOGRAM ALL THE THINGS.

tl;dr: Wonderful gem of a fiance wants to take my last name. What is your honest opinion on men taking women's last names?

44 comments submitted at 19:55:50 on Apr 7, 2014 by SchweddyBurrito

  • [-]
  • oceanicairlines
  • 70 Points
  • 20:02:44, 7 April

Honestly unless you bring up the fact that he took your last name most people don't ask or care. Some of his family might wonder about it at first, but in my experience stuff like this tends to get forgotten quickly by everyone or at least not talked about much more then an "oh okay!". Now if someone does bring it up I would just say "It was the best choice for our family." and leave it at that.

  • [-]
  • SchweddyBurrito
  • 7 Points
  • 20:22:16, 7 April

That last part is the perfect reply. Noted.

  • [-]
  • UnderAchievingDog
  • 1 Points
  • 23:27:55, 7 April

Yeah there really isn't issue that could be associated with it that involves you two. It's your lives do whatever you two want, who cares if other people think "oh that's weird and unnatural" or whatever.

  • [-]
  • BowTieTime
  • 50 Points
  • 20:14:00, 7 April

Honest question: Why does it matter?

Is him changing his last name going to affect your life in any way that is negative or not?

  • [-]
  • AngelicKitty
  • 21 Points
  • 21:03:08, 7 April

This was my first thought. Seriously, no one cares and if OP cares, she needs to stop worrying so much about what society thinks.

  • [-]
  • SchweddyBurrito
  • 2 Points
  • 20:20:36, 7 April

Hm, no. It really wouldn't affect it at all I guess?

  • [-]
  • regular_gonzalez
  • 24 Points
  • 20:49:31, 7 April

I feel like you're worried about "society" or w/e. Anyone who honestly thinks less of you or your husband if he takes your last name is someone you (or, rather, I) wouldn't want to associate with.

My wife kept her last name when we married and it didn't bother me at all. We even mused about swapping last names. Who cares what anyone else thinks -- who are you trying to make happy with your marriage, society or yourself and your husband?

  • [-]
  • cinnamonwhisk
  • 3 Points
  • 21:40:56, 7 April

That last question is so important!!

  • [-]
  • Wildest_river
  • 33 Points
  • 20:15:26, 7 April

Sounds like him taking your last name is the perfect compromise in your situation. Don't worry what other people think. I would've thought not many people would make a big deal out of it these days anymore. Either way it's your and your fiancé's personal decision and nobody else's business. Your SO is reaching out to you with a great gesture. I'd go ahead and accept it.

  • [-]
  • SchweddyBurrito
  • 11 Points
  • 20:20:15, 7 April

It's comforting to see so many people see it as "not that big of a deal." I just want to make sure he knows what hes getting into lol! Thanks for advice.

  • [-]
  • istara
  • 9 Points
  • 21:26:02, 7 April

I think it's an absolutely wonderful idea. I get so angry when a beautiful surname is lost and something awful (like Scragg or Smellie) is perpetuated just because its owner had a penis rather than a vagina.

Hopefully with gay marriage we'll see this trend break down and instead get people choosing the nicest name, or the rarest name, or even a whole new name.

  • [-]
  • MissPoopsHerPants
  • 4 Points
  • 22:37:44, 7 April

Seriously, it's an incredibly kind and loving gesture that most men would NEVER suggest because they couldn't get past their machismo bullshit. I suspect that people will not only support him for doing it, but you'll be the jealousy of women for years to come.

  • [-]
  • AngelicKitty
  • 9 Points
  • 21:04:29, 7 April

> It's comforting to see so many people see it as "not that big of a deal."

Why is it comforting? Why did you care about what people thought in the first place? Sounds like you need to worry about your relationship more than you do of other people's thoughts about your relationship. God, get over it.

  • [-]
  • grapeape46
  • 10 Points
  • 22:14:34, 7 April

It sounds like OP is worried about how other people will react to her fiance. It seems like she's afraid people will tease him for it and it will hurt his social life and/or cause him to regret changing his name.

  • [-]
  • babywhatgives
  • 8 Points
  • 20:55:14, 7 April

This is getting more normal. I have a friend who took his wife's name, and the response in our (lefty, educated) friend group was "Oh cool." People either don't care at all, or they're impressed with him for subverting an outdated custom that implies women "belong to" men.

There is really no reason that the woman should always be the one to change her name, unless you're very traditional and view women as subordinate. Personally, I think this is a great sign -- he respects you, and he sees you as an equal partner. He also supports your career. Sounds like you found a great partner.

  • [-]
  • Vessira
  • 12 Points
  • 20:19:34, 7 April

You've got an awesome fiance. If he wants to change his name to match yours, that's his decision. I would definitely find out your state's laws on such things. While it's expected that women change their names, men changing theirs have hit some roadblocks (Social Security, passport, etc). Good luck.

  • [-]
  • phycologist
  • 5 Points
  • 22:00:34, 7 April

There is a very real possibility that neither he nor his family care about it that much. Why not accept it like it is and let him decide what he wants his last name to be?

  • [-]
  • kidaccount
  • 4 Points
  • 20:56:56, 7 April

I don't see why it's a problem. I know a couple in which the dude took her last name because she's an academic who would rather not cause havoc for people looking for her publications.

  • [-]
  • Made_you_read_penis
  • 3 Points
  • 21:09:48, 7 April

It doesn't matter. I forgot to file the papers, but I'm taking my wife's last name; I have a funny last name, and hers just sounds better. Why make it a gender thing.

  • [-]
  • proclivity4passivity
  • 3 Points
  • 21:23:11, 7 April

I think it's a very sweet and meaningful gesture, and if it means that much to him to do it, why not let him?

I didn't legally change my name until a few years after our wedding, and the thing that bothered me most was that people immediately ASSUMED I had. So people would, for example, write checks to me using my husband's last name, which was not the name on my bank account, which resulted in difficulties.

I imagine you both will have your share of small hassles like this in the first little while after the name change, but if it's worth it to you to keep your name, and it's worth it to him to have the same name as you do, then to hell with what other people think. Enjoy being gender-norm-subverting trailblazers!

  • [-]
  • MyLossYourGain
  • 3 Points
  • 21:59:37, 7 April

As a guy, I would seriously consider taking my significant others name if she wanted to keep it for professional or other reasons. I am not tied much to my last name, and not a single person in my family would bat an eye at my decision to do so...

  • [-]
  • MyNameIsTreetops
  • 2 Points
  • 21:26:40, 7 April

All things considered, I think it's wonderfully progressive and thoughtful of your other half. Who cares if people think, or even notice, if it's different.

  • [-]
  • justsomemammal
  • 2 Points
  • 21:32:33, 7 April

I think it sounds lovely. A friend of mine and her husband both changed their name to her middle name (or something like that). The earth has not opened up and swallowed them yet.

  • [-]
  • Common-Ramen
  • 2 Points
  • 22:11:58, 7 April

I would be honored. If I were ever to actually get married, I wouldn't want to give up my last name, it's a pretty French name. I think it's actually a really symbollic gesture and other posters are right, nobody in the future who isn't already in your circle would even realize that it's your name and not your fiance's.

  • [-]
  • Common-Ramen
  • 2 Points
  • 22:12:03, 7 April

I would be honored. If I were ever to actually get married, I wouldn't want to give up my last name, it's a pretty French name. I think it's actually a really symbollic gesture and other posters are right, nobody in the future who isn't already in your circle would even realize that it's your name and not your fiance's.

  • [-]
  • MissPoopsHerPants
  • 2 Points
  • 22:35:27, 7 April

Darling, you have found gold. If it makes that man happy to have you name, you just let him have it. It makes sense for you to keep yours because of your profession but if it makes you happy to be known by his name, then go for that too! If you are concerned about his family name not living on, you can always give any future children his former last name. What a evolved male. You are very lucky!

  • [-]
  • kombucha_mushroom
  • 3 Points
  • 21:21:16, 7 April

How are people even going to know that he took your last name and you didn't take his, unless one of you specifically mentions it?

  • [-]
  • cinnamonwhisk
  • 2 Points
  • 21:42:22, 7 April

Facebook, of course ;)

  • [-]
  • rascalnascar
  • 1 Points
  • 21:38:27, 7 April

I think your fiancé is pretty darn awesome for considering it! I did the route where I'm MyLastName on paper, but will respond to either last name, because no big deal.

I would just warn that I've heard lots of tales of bureaucratic woes from people of both genders on the name change, which I think you are getting a good overview of upthread. I would imagine since it's non-standard for the men to change theirs, there will be weird hiccups.

Are there other more traditional members of his family that might flip out? I think our generations are more relaxed about it, but for older folks, it is Just Not Done.

  • [-]
  • ForTheLoveOfGiraffe
  • 1 Points
  • 21:58:52, 7 April

Honestly, if you and your SO are both comfortable with him having your last name, then why does what society thinks matter? If someone asks you about it in the future, just shrug and tell them that it works for both of you. You don't need to explain yourself to anyone and if your SO is willing to go against social norms to make things easier for you, then I'd happily accept it if I were you!

It's becoming more normal for guys to consider taking their SO's names and we'll only get there if we just stop caring what everyone else thinks and do what works best for the couple, so go for it and have fun! If your SO has such an indifferent view on his name but your name means more to you, then it sounds like he's come up with the perfect solution!

  • [-]
  • breannabalaam
  • 1 Points
  • 22:22:24, 7 April

When I get married I want both me and my fiance to take my great-grandparent's last name.

I think it's awesome that he wants to take your last name!

  • [-]
  • masagoroll
  • 1 Points
  • 22:36:21, 7 April

I just said "That's the dream!" out loud like Barney Stinson when I read your title. There have been posts on here about men being really angry and argumentative when their fiancees did not want to take their last names, and here you have a guy who is secure enough to want to take your beloved and meaningful last name! I would say, jump on that chance!

  • [-]
  • ClaraRinker
  • 1 Points
  • 22:46:03, 7 April

A friend of mine did this. He took her last name and no one batted an eye.

  • [-]
  • M0XE
  • 1 Points
  • 22:46:51, 7 April

My fiancé has two hyphenated last names and he will be taking mine when we get married. People won't care unless you yourself make them care.

  • [-]
  • vamub
  • 1 Points
  • 23:25:07, 7 April

My wife and I are both actors, she took my name in real life and I am taking her name professionally.

It really doesn't matter in the end. No one has to know unless you tell them.

  • [-]
  • BelleVierge
  • 0 Points
  • 20:06:35, 7 April

I kept my last name when I got married a few weeks ago. I would have been totally fine if my husband wanted to take my last name, but he wanted to keep his too. Our names do not sound good together hyphenated, so that wasn't an option for us.

I'm a feminist, so I think it's totally fine and awesome that he wants to take your last name. How families do last names is actually very cultural, with a lot of worldwide variations. Just because some Americans are narrow-minded doesn't mean that y'all shouldn't do your own thing.

Not gonna lie, I would have LOVED for my husband to take my last name, not because of feminist reasons or for "unity," but because I wanted to sue our state for gender discrimination and be part of a benchmark legal case. Sadly, most states do NOT have gender-neutral laws in regards to name changes after marriage. I just wanted to change our state's laws!

  • [-]
  • SchweddyBurrito
  • 3 Points
  • 20:21:31, 7 April

Oh crap, I should probably make sure our state's laws allow for this! We're in the south so hell, you never know. Thanks for the advice!

  • [-]
  • BelleVierge
  • 9 Points
  • 20:55:47, 7 April

The only difference is cost and maybe paperwork. It is usually cheap/free to get a name change upon marriage, but not all states have gender-neutral laws.

Although there was a recent case in Florida where a guy was arrested for "fraud" because he took his wife's last name. It was sorted out eventually, but it was a good public reminder that the laws are not yet equal in every state.

  • [-]
  • Rage--
  • 2 Points
  • 20:36:32, 7 April

It should be fine. I mean you can legally change your name at any time.

  • [-]
  • vanzemaljac
  • 1 Points
  • 20:23:00, 7 April

I've never thought of it to be significant. Do as you will - your marriage, your name. Would I do it? Absolutely not. Having said that, I wouldn't let my wife-to-be take my last name. I think it's silly to take your last name for the sake of "unity". If you need to take a persons last name to feel unified, I'm concerned about you, your intentions and perspective of marriage.

Bottom line, if it doesn't both you and it doesn't bother him, go ahead with it. If it bothers you, don't let it happen. If it bothers you now it'll only bother you more later.

  • [-]
  • suicide_blonde
  • 1 Points
  • 21:10:38, 7 April

I'm a writer and I'm friends with a lot of writers. Most of my married female writer friends have legally changed their name to their husband's last name, but retain their own last name for publishing/professional purposes (I did this as well). Legally and in day-to-day life, I'm Mrs. Hislastname, so my husband and I feel unified. Since my writing name doesn't come up too much in day-to-day life, it hasn't been confusing in social situations.

  • [-]
  • AbsoZed
  • 1 Points
  • 21:46:41, 7 April

Maybe I'm wrong, but I think people focus too much on this as a whole. I know this is slightly off topic, but I'm going to post it anyway.

Who cares who takes whose name? Does it really matter? I mean, sure it's a little different for a male to take a female's name, but in the end, will it change anything?

You'll still love each other, and want to be unified with one another, and that's what marriage is really all about. Being with the person you love, and showing your commitment to them, regardless of what may happen. The name has nothing to do with it.

TL;DR: Don't worry so much about who takes whose name, as long as you love each other and are ready for marriage. Focus more on that than on the finer details like this, in my opinion, and do whatever makes you both comfortable.

  • [-]
  • ShelfLifeInc
  • 0 Points
  • 21:23:19, 7 April

So, my partner and I are poly, and he has another primary partner. He has actually taken on her last name casually because it sounds so much better. His original name didn't really make much of an impression, yet with her last name, his name sounds classy, like something out of an Edwardian novel. (Imagine going from Ben Trapes to Benjamin Harper.)

At first, I was a little hurt, until he told me he wanted to take MY last name as well. I was floored. He said he couldn't marry both of us legally, but at least he could take both our last names to show the world how important we are to him.

Eventually, after months of thinking about this, I said no. And I only said no for these reasons - one, my last name is quite unusual, and adding it to his current name just destroys the classiness completely. (Benjamin Kang-Harper? I think not) Like you, his name is his brand, and his name is perfect as it is.

And secondly, my last name is associated with my father's family, which is riddled with mental illness, depression, and a lot of negativity. I've had that last name all my life - I've earned it, like a scar, and I'll wear it. But for him to take it on...no. I do not want him to buy into that name and all the negativity it entails.

I suggested that we both pick our own last name (Noomi Rapace did that with her ex-husband) to connect us. But honestly, his name sounds so perfect as it is that I'll probably end up taking his new surname. But I'll decide that later down the track.

Anyway, that's my story. Names have been changed.