6.30.2014

Why I Took my Husband's Last Name


One of the first things M told me after we got engaged was that the did not expect me to change my last name. Always jumping to logistics that boy. Anyways, it felt like one of the sweetest things M had ever said to me and it made me so happy I had just said YES to marrying that man. Yes, I did just say that.

The reason he said this had nothing to do with the fact that he didn't want me to take his last name. He did. BUT he was willing to overlook his desire for my best interest. See, in my field, women usually do not take their husband's last name. I don't know if it is due to the fact that the sudden change in last name is confusing publication-wise, or if it is just an academic norm. Either way, none of that mattered to me (plus I'm early enough in my career it wouldn't make a huge difference in terms of publications). 

Now, I know a lot of women that really struggle with "losing" their maiden name. After all, it was our identity for however many years prior to meeting our beaus. I never felt this. Sure, it was strange that I wouldn't have my maiden name anymore, but I was more excited to take my husband's last name then anything. Maybe it's because my maiden name is an adoptive last name, meaning I have no blood ties to it, or maybe it's because it is just a name. Or maybe it was because taking on M's last name was EXCITING. I couldn't wait to be a part of his family and to raise our kids with his last name. For me, taking on his last name was a privilege and I was proud to take it (even if my last name will be forever butchered now).

I know so many men who get upset when their wives do not decide to take their last name. This scares me. It is possessive and never turns out well for the woman, who often feels pressured to make what can be a very difficult decision. I am so grateful that M not only made it clear that it was my decision, but was actually comfortable with whatever decision I made. Because in the end it's just a name. A name is no reflection of the quality of our marriage, or our love for each other- it is just letters. What really matters is that we are one, whether we have the same last initial or not. 

I can respect whatever decision people make when they get married, but for us it was just natural that I changed my last name and I'm so happy that I did.

Did you change your last name? Why or why not? Was "losing" your maiden name a challenge for you?

If you're not tired of me yet I would encourage you to stop by Kimberley's blog to check out a little Q&A by yours truly! 

20 comments :

  1. I did take my husband's last name. There were a lot of reasons, but the main one was that I am proud to be tied to this man, for life. I am proud to be his wife, and I am proud to now be his family. There's a lot of legacy in a name, and I'm proud to know that together, we will pass that legacy on.


    I wasn't particularly sad to leave behind my maiden name. I love my parents to pieces, and I will always relate with my maiden name, nothing will ever change that.

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  2. Love it! I grew up saying I would NEVER take my husband's last name. I was so attached to my maiden name and I felt that giving it up would be giving up a part of myself. I even have it tattooed on my back-that's how strongly I felt. But then I met and fell in love with Dave. And when he asked me to marry him there was no choice. I knew I wanted to share his last name, to form a family of our own with one last name. I wanted to share a life and everything with him and if that included his last name-well I was 100% on board. It shocked my family a bit but they were supportive and I will always have a place in my heart (and on my back) for my maiden name. I love both names but my married name is somehow more special to me now.

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  3. Love this, Cassie :) I took my husband last name though it'll be butchered forever too! I also think "it's just a name" though when the time came, it was a bit emotional for me....probably just because I had it for 30 years. I love having the same last name as my husband because we are "one" and forever a team. Like Lauren said too...it's about starting a family of your own as well :)

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  4. Yes! I think that was the reason it made it easiest for me. I wanted us to be one and for me having the same last name was just a reflection of that!

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  5. I wanted to take his name but my grandfather passed away right before the wedding. My husband suggested I hypenate to honor him. I loved the idea so that is what we did!

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  6. Maggie H JohnsonJune 30, 2014 at 6:45 AM

    Love your perspective, friend. You've read mine too so I'll keep my response short and include a bit that I couldn't on my post. My husband is an only child with very involved parents. The difficulty was magnified for me when I felt that I was being integrated into his family and leaving mine behind entirely, instead of BOTH of us joining BOTH of our families. I think that struggle magnified that tension of the name change for me more than I realized at the time.

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  7. I love that- those are the cases where I totally cannot say I would choose one way or the other!

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  8. YES- I am struggling so much right now with the fact that I am an only child (although I was raised from the time I was very young with two step-brothers) and M has a brother. I never realized how hard it is for me to understand that parents can love their children all the same- not that this is related to name change but it reminded me of that!

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  9. Such a great post. It is something we talk about regularly. The short version is that, socially, I go by both last names or just his, but legally I still have my maiden name. I have run into some roadblocks in my quest to get it changed so for now we have both decided it is best to just keep it. After his mother passed last August, I have been feeling more and more like I need to push through all the red tape and to get it changed.

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  10. Thanks for sharing! I am loving everyone's opinions

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  11. Mia- MakeMeUpMiaJune 30, 2014 at 7:57 AM

    Wonderful post Cassie- I enjoyed reading this. I did change my name and I was so excited to! For me, it was different. I had a legal last name but no relationship with my real father. I had a step dad that I wasn't super close to, but had used his name for a while when I was younger. I feel like when I took my husbands last name almost 6 years ago, I finally felt like I had a name that was so very special to me for so many reasons.

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  12. I can totally relate to this as well! Thanks for sharing with me!

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  13. I love this post. i did change my last name but i agree, it's an individual decision.

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  14. I changed mine without reservation... And I love having the anonymity that a last name like Thomas provides because my maiden name was 1 in a million... Though working for the family business (that has that family name) does make me miss it some days. ;)


    Also, your dress. DIVINE.

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  15. I can imagine! I like the simplicity of Thomas! And THANK YOU. I love it still- even if it did end up in pieces by the end of the night haha (that's a whole post in itself)

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  16. This is all relatively new to me. It was only about 4/5 years ago that I found out woman didn't always take their husbands last name. I don't know if it's just how I grew up but it is still such a strange thing to me. Working in a business where I take down peoples names all the time I see it so often. I say all the time I can't wait to have a new last name because i want a new monogram. (my middle initial and last name initial are the same..boring) I love learning why woman don't take their husbands last name. It's a new interesting topic to me.

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  17. I think there are many reasons that women don't, and I also had a few reasons for maybe not wanting to but in the end I know I made the best decision for me!

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  18. I always wanted to change my name. I loved the symbolism of transferring from my Dad's protection and name to my husband's protection and name and am always up for a little adventure (name wise!) When I first met my husband, I joked that I only was interested in him because of his last name (Mayberry) I obviously fell in love with everything else about him but with a last name like that, how can you not?!?! HAHA


    But I totally get it!One of the sweetest moments was when right after we got engaged, my husband told me that he didn't expect me to be a stay at home mom. We could find a way for me to continue my carrier with kids. The more that I get closer to being a mom I think I might stay home but having him voice that somewhat counter cultural idea was so endearing to me!

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  19. YES! I love the symbolism too. And yes that last name is pretty great!

    And I completely agree- my husband has said the same. He has even expressed interest in being a stay at home dad at least part time, so that's pretty cool! Looks like we have some keepers!

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