As you all know, L and I recently celebrated our one year wedding anniversary. Marriage has brought many wonderful changes in my life. However, one issue I am still grappling with is my last name. I know what you’re probably thinking. “One year later, and she’s still fidgeting around with her name? Change it or don’t, and shut up about it.” I hear ya. I’m trying…

When we signed our marriage certificate, my name officially became Carly Maiden Name Married Name, no hyphen. I didn’t anticipate that having two last names would cause such long term indecision. More specifically, I use whatever name I feel like when I feel like it. One of my email addresses includes my maiden name, the other features my married one. We have a few sets of stationery and a return address stamp that say Carly & Lawrence Married Name.

My name changes with my moods, too. When I’m being a good wife, I’m Mrs. Married Name. When my husband is being an ass, somehow my maiden name pops back in the mix. It’s really quite convenient. Oh, and I have yet to change my social security card, credit cards, passport, or driver’s license.

Oh no she di’int!

I think part of the issue is that I am still not ready to give up my maiden name. I never thought I had an attachment to it until I had to drop it. Then all of a sudden, I was like, “Gimme my name back, bitches!” Go figure.

I also haven’t completely subscribed to the thought of being Mrs. Married Name. When someone says, “Mrs. Married Name”, I turn around and look for my mother-in-law. I keep telling myself that when we have children, I will officially take L’s name FOREVER. I assume that will probably happen, but I’ll cross that bridge when I come to it.

It’s not that I don’t want to take L’s name. I get a little high off of seeing my name as Carly Married Name. I don’t know what my problem is. I’m an indecisive girl when it comes to big decisions in my life. Always have been.

L’s opinion today is the same as it was a year ago. It’s my name, my identity, and I can do what I want. I appreciate that. Actually, he ended up taking my maiden name as his middle name. Did I mention that? Yeah, he’s awesome. End of story.

What have you done about your name since getting married? Do you still respond to your maiden name, or did you drop it like it’s hot? Any issues transitioning from your maiden to married name?

thelessthandomesticgoddess

17 Comments

  1. Reply

    Hope

    July 8, 2010

    I'm not married yet but we just got our license a few days ago and I struggled with the name change thing too. My FI really wanted me to change my last name to his. I had no problems with that as I'm not particularly attached to my maiden name. I wasn't sure if I wanted to stay first name middle name new last name, or first name maiden name new last name OR first name middle name maiden name new last name (no hyphen either). After playing around with it, I just decided to put my first name middle name and new last name on the license. I was content with it. A little part of me was sad that my maiden name was gone but it was all good. Then all of a sudden one my BMs heard about it and she started to give me grief about it, like "how could you drop your maiden name?" "what would your dad say?", "what about the lineage?", "why didn't you hyphenate?" and just totally made me feel like crap for MY decision. Seriously, she acted like I had just eaten a newborn puppy or something horrible like that.

    Anyway, the point of that story is that we all sort of struggle with the decision and we can't please everyone so just go with what you feel is right. Lucky for you, you kept both of your names so as far as legalities are concerned, you could technically keep all your legal paperwork as is because you are still legally your maiden name (since you kept it as your new middle name). I think it's AWESOME that L took on your maiden name as his middle name. I kind of wish my FI would be cool like that, but he's not that cool (no disrespect to him, but it does take a certain type of cool person to do something untraditional like that). Best of luck with what you decide!

  2. Reply

    Linda

    July 8, 2010

    My hubby was like yours, pretty cool with me keeping my maiden name or incorporating it somehow. But I knew all along I would drop my maiden name in favor of his. Still weird to be Mrs Linda Married Name after 2 years!
    My bestie kept her maiden name as her middle name and it's worked fine for her.

  3. Reply

    Crystal

    July 8, 2010

    I just recently married my second husband. In my first marriage, I kept my maiden name – I wasn't quite ready to lose MY identity yet. So I became First Name Middle Name Maiden Name Married Name. When I got divorced, I went back to my maiden name as fast as I could – it was like I was claiming who I was … that I never really left it and that I could "resurrect" myself from the ashes.

    This time around – I was so excited and so honored to marry my current husband that I began the name change process BEFORE we were married πŸ™‚ I no longer have my maiden name on any documentation – I am now First Name Middle Name Married Name. Again, for me, it's an identity thing – I am 100% okay with being a Mrs. All the time. In fact, I hate it when people call me by my maiden name – that's not who I am anymore – even though it's still very new!

    I think it's a very personal decision, and it's one that only YOU can make. Whatever decision you do make, you have to be okay with it and feel confident that it's the decision best for you. It's awesome that DH is so supportive of whatever you want to do!

  4. Reply

    Megs

    July 8, 2010

    I took my husband's name with no problem. I actually followed in my mom's footsteps and just ditched my maiden name altogether, keeping the middle name my parents gave me.

    The thought of keeping my maiden name never even crossed my mind and to be honest, I'm glad to have ditched a long, hard-to-pronounce German name for a short easy-peasy common name!

  5. Reply

    Cathleya

    July 8, 2010

    I didn't change my name legally out of laziness, and the fact that it is 18 billion letters long. I use it on my email and have no problems with people calling me by it but I am still legally my maiden name. I will probably change it if we decide to have a baby, but before that… I'm just too lazy to go through the motions.

  6. Reply

    honey my heart

    July 8, 2010

    you aren't alone with this name change situation. i have not changed my name either and i think it is because i am being lazy and like my maiden name. eventually i will legally take my husband's last name (like you probably when we have children) and i know he really wants me to. kudos to L for accepting your choice and taking yours πŸ™‚

  7. Reply

    Krista

    July 9, 2010

    I did everything as soon as I got back and got the official license (where I am, you get the license about 6 weeks after the wedding). My driver's license, health card, SIN (social insurance number, the equivalent of social security number) card, credit cards.

    I'm hyphenated. Krista Married-Maiden. It flowed better than Maiden-Married. Kinda like how your name flows better Maiden-Married (imo).

    At the doctor's office, dentist's office, etc, I'm Krista Maiden. Those offices don't respond well to change, it seems, so even though I pointed out the change, they left it as-is (Krista Maiden). At the vet's office, I'm Krista Married. At work, I'm Krista Maiden. It was a very conscious decision to maintain my maiden name professionally. πŸ™‚

    There is nothing wrong with keeping your two last names forever. Kids will not be confused by their mother having a hyphenated name.

    Allow me to rant for a minute: I also think the argument for a woman to change her name to match her future kids is b.s. – kids don't care or get confused if their mother has a different last name then their father. Perhaps it's slightly more inconvenient when you phone the dentist or the teacher saying "Hello, I'm Krista Maiden calling about my daughter Jenny Married." Whatever.

    Anyway, I think you seem attached to your maiden name, which I happen to think is a lovely name. I say you should maintain your two last names. If down the road you want to change it, you can! (Sarah Michelle Gellar supposedly legally made her name Sarah Michelle Prinze for a 5th wedding anniversary gift. A smart movie for a star – most marriages don't make it 5 years!)

  8. Reply

    Chic 'n Cheap Living

    July 9, 2010

    L rocks. You are not alone my dear. I've changed it in Facebook/LinkedIn/Email display name and that's it. I'm going to change it late this year/early next year on my passport though because I have a year to change it there without charge. Then the process begins (did nothing else since checking that box)!

  9. Reply

    bookishbella

    July 9, 2010

    And blogger just ate my comment…

    The gist was: I surprised both my husband and myself by wanting to change my name, but as more and more in our generation do hyphenate or keep separate names, it will be less of an issue for our future children.

  10. Reply

    MayLove

    July 9, 2010

    I could not WAIT to change my name. I HATE my maiden name (and the man who's fault it is I have it). However, I still haven't fully transitioned or gotten used to the new last name. It looks beautiful written, and I'm totally ok writing it. it sounds so natural saying it too, but saying it feels SO WEIRD. I spent 27 years with a name, and now it's not my name, or who I am anymore? Weird. Plus the changeover procecss is taking a long time.
    I finally have my marriage certificate, am waiting on my new social security card, still need to get my DL changed, still need to change my bank info, insurance, etc changed. It takes so long to fully change everything over that you're stuck in limbo for a long time not knowing which name to use. Plus most people at my company (BIG company) don't know I got married, don't know who this person is, and don't know where the other person went. It's really been a lot more difficult than I ever imagined. Nothing's ever easy is it?

  11. Reply

    Wifey Wiferson

    July 9, 2010

    I hyphenated, and the second I got my marriage certificate I got started changing all the official documents. Passport, SS card, credit cards, employer, etc… The way I thought about it, when I got my marriage license, that *was* my offical name change, and I just had to update all the other goverment agencies to reflect the new name. I think if I had waited I would have felt too much in limbo. In light of that, I totally would have just kept my name if I had to do it over. Waaaay too annoying having to constantly remind everyone of the new name and always haveing to fill out those "former names" section of forms. I think going through life with one name would just be easier, but oh well! Too much energy to go back now. So I don't blame you for dragging your feet a bit πŸ™‚

  12. Reply

    Stilettos And Coffee

    July 9, 2010

    I was alread hyphenated..so I dropped them both and took my wife's last name. It is hard though… I'm still not used to it. Sometimes I'm sad I'm no longer called my dad's name…. but overrall….it's all about creating families to me. :))))

  13. Reply

    Katie

    July 10, 2010

    I'm still trying to figure it all out myself! I haven't changed my name yet…just on Facebook (haha). I didn't think I'd have a problem with it, but now I'm kind of feeling a bit sad about completely taking his name! That, and the process/amount of things that need to be changed is a PITA. Justin and I haven't been on our honeymoon yet, and I know that I won't change my name officially until we actually get to go on it (yes, I'm cheap…I already have an existing passport, and I don't want to have to get a new one with a different name and pay $). However, I know his family was kind of taken aback when I made the comment that I might not officially change my name at all (they are very conservative). I guess they saw it as kind of offensive that I wouldn't commit to his name. However, in this day and age women aren't just at home all day…we have careers…that we have begun to establish before we were married. It is so hard for me to think about changing my name in a professional world where everyone knows me already as my maiden name. Anyway…I digress…

  14. Reply

    amused

    July 12, 2010

    Hehe… reading your post was like reading something I'd written. I ended up with First Middle Maiden Married (two last names not hyphenated because they wouldn't let me have two middle names thanks to something screwy in the law). A few months into being married I changed my SS card and drivers license. Half a year in I changed my checking account because someone had written a check with only my married last name that I needed to deposit. I kept my maiden name professionally because thats the norm in my field. His parents call us "Mr. and Mrs. His name Married Name", my parents are not consistent. Me? I can never remember what my name is and use maiden, married or both in equal parts… just depends on who I'm with, and what mood I'm in. I still can't hack the "Mrs. Married" thing… now I understand why my mom would always so "that's my MIL's name!"

    Overall, I think I'm actually pretty glad I have both… I get to legally have my cake and eat it too πŸ™‚

  15. Reply

    M and C

    July 12, 2010

    I think Facebook is the only place I use his name. I haven't changed mine at all. At first I was definitely sure I was going to keep my name but now I'm wavering. My first name and his last name together makes for one very plain name. My current last name is interesting and is always a conversation starter whether I want to have a conversation or not. I still don't know what to do.

  16. Reply

    thelessthandomesticgoddess

    July 13, 2010

    Thanks everyone for your responses! I got a kick out of reading each story as every one is different from the next. I never thought I would still be playing the name game after all this time. A long time ago, I assumed I would take my husband's name and that would be it. Guess things aren't always as easy as they seem πŸ™‚

    @amused: "I get to legally have my cake and eat it too"…I like that!

    @M and C: My maiden name is quite unique, too. And L's name is the most common last name EVER. That's funny, we are kinda in similar boats.

  17. Reply

    Chicken Wing

    July 26, 2010

    That is hella sweet that L took your maiden name as his middle name! You picked a winner, Carly! πŸ™‚

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