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A Becky By Any Other Name…


When I got married three years ago, it took me a good long time to reach the conclusion that I was going to change my name. It’s not because I felt like it was a super-antiquated tradition, or because I would now feel like The Daver’s property, not really.

Problem is, I liked my name the way it was. Becky Elizabeth Sherrick.

It had been my name for 25 years and I was rather attached to it. Plus, when I had birthed Ben, I’d given him my last name as one of his two middle names, so it was the one real link I had to my son.

Practicality won out, and once I deduced that my family would have three different last names to contend with, I decided to change my name along with my marital status. I would become Becky Elizabeth Sherrick Harks.

Despite Ben’s 4 names on his Social Security Card (and later, Alex’s), the administration refused to allow me to add a name without removing another. So, choosing between my last name and my middle name it was (unless I wanted to hyphenate, which I didn’t).

In the end, I dropped the Elizabeth and moved the Sherrick to the middle, adding the Harks to the end.

For ages, I still thought of my new last name as the rest of my in-laws names, not a name that belonged to me. Within the last two weeks, I noticed something strange: I now had begun to associate the name with me. It was now MY last name.

For ages, I didn’t understand how divorced women didn’t immediately go back to their maiden names. It made no sense to me, as I had far more pride in my maiden name than I had in my married one, so I always assumed I’d seamlessly return to who I was before I was married. Now, I’m just not so sure. Would I keep my name or change it back?

So, your turn, lovers. Dish. Did you change your name? Would you? Would you change it back? Were you as fucking conflicted as I was about changing your name?

posted under Cheaper Than Rehab
80 Comments to

“A Becky By Any Other Name…”

  1. On September 17th, 2008 at 10:39 am Badass Geek Says:

    I kept my own last name when I got married.

    Probably because I’m a guy.

  2. On September 17th, 2008 at 10:48 am erin Says:

    i had no issues with changing my name when i got married….i looked at it as an upgrade, my maiden name was hard to spell and always mis-pronounced (the correct spelling here is a mystery to me) and i didn’t know the man behind my maiden name so therefore i had no attachment to it and i knew and loved the man behind the potential married name so the choice was easy. if the day ever comes that i am facing a divorce i don’t know which way i would go, i would probably be more inclined to stay with the married name only because changing everything back seems like a pain in the a$$ but who knows, its a choice i hope i never have to make!!

  3. On September 17th, 2008 at 10:48 am ame i. Says:

    Yep, changed mine with first marriage (widowed) and with my second.
    My maiden name was quite often mispronounced and misspelled (rhymed with vogue, just different beginning letter). My first married name was almost always mispronounced. My new one is so simple, 2 one syllable words, stuck together, words we are all taught in like Kindergarten, yet people still tend to mispronounce it. sigh

  4. On September 17th, 2008 at 10:52 am electriclady Says:

    Didn’t change it, never considered it. I was older and already established in my career and known by my maiden name. I liked my maiden name better than my husband’s name, aesthetically. And I liked that my last name was ethnically identifiable, which I’d lose if I changed my name (I’m Asian and my husband is not).

  5. On September 17th, 2008 at 10:56 am Mrs.Spit Says:

    I kept my name. I am the last of the family. And I don’t like my husbands name.

  6. On September 17th, 2008 at 11:03 am kalakly Says:

    I dropped my middle name, moved my maiden name there and took the shiny new last name my husband brought with him.
    Call me Rumplestilskin…or something like it:)

  7. On September 17th, 2008 at 11:07 am trish Says:

    Name change was a huge subject on this one wedding blog I read, but it was never a big deal for me. I changed my last name to my husband’s last name…unfortunately, though, the email address was already taken. So I’m stuck with Not a problem, really, but it gets hard remembering where you’ve changed your name and where you haven’t.

  8. On September 17th, 2008 at 11:07 am Em Says:

    I was a very young bride of 24, and didn’t even think twice about changing it. I did have a twinge when they made me trade in my old Social Sercurity card to be presented with the new one. I felt like I was betraying my father.

    The only reason why I would keep it, should the issue come up, is because it is my childrens’ last name. If no kiddos, I would be back to my MUCH easier spoken and spelled maiden name.


  9. On September 17th, 2008 at 11:08 am stacey k Says:

    with hubby #1 I changed to sandberg from Lewis….and when we divorced I didn’t change it back…better for the kids less confusing.

    When I got remarried 8 years ago…I changed again..from sandberg to Kuyper…and realized why I didn’t change back to my maiden name after my divorce….how confusing

    My kids’ friends, teachers, etc called me mrs. sandberg still now…and although it irks the shit out of my husband now….these people have no idea what our family dynamics are. Most people know my husband is not the kids’ dad…but that doesn’t stop them from calling him mr sandberg which he is quick to correct…although he gets upset when i don’t correct them about my name….
    I just have the kids’s friend call me mrs k…..

  10. On September 17th, 2008 at 11:17 am Em Says:

    Can we get a spell/grammar check option on these comments boxes!? Drives me nuts to see my typos after it has “gone to print” – children’s; Security.


  11. On September 17th, 2008 at 11:18 am Heather Says:

    I changed it. In fact I’m pretty sure I skipped all the way to the office when I had to do it. My last name was Griffieon. Try to spell it let alone pronouce it. It is pronounced Griff-U-n (long u sound) so I would call somewhere and every time I would just start spelling. They would say last name and I would say Griffieon, G-R-I -F-F (you get the point)

    However, I did get a few questionable looks when I began going by my new name. There were several people who thought I made it up. That’s not a REAL name!! That’s a PORN star name. No really… it’s my new name… Heather Hamilton. 🙂

  12. On September 17th, 2008 at 11:21 am Karen Says:

    As a divorce lawyer, I can tell that my experience is that once a woman has children in the marriage, she is reluctant to return to her former name.

    I personally would be willing to drop my last name in a second. It long and Polish and annoying.

  13. On September 17th, 2008 at 11:26 am baseballmom Says:

    I changed it, mainly because I HATED my maiden name, it had ‘cock’ in it, so you can imagine the comments in school. My nephew has my sil’s maiden name as his middle name, and she also changed her maiden name to her middle name, like you did. I sure noticed a lot of hyphenated names in the olympics!

  14. On September 17th, 2008 at 11:26 am momumo Says:

    I took my husband’s name — we both agreed we wanted the SAME last name, but we were both conflicted — he was pretty unhappy with his dad at the time and my last name has always been a huge badge of pride for me — so we actually considered that he would take my name — eventually though I took his and moved my maiden name to my middle name just as my mother and her mother had done. Now that my aunt, whose name is/was my middle name is dead and I find that I am much less angry at her then I was then (she was a helpless alcholic and it caused so much pain to so many people that I loved that I was very angry for years) — I sometimes sneak it in there and use it — much to my kids’ surprise as they have always kept — very protectively and passionately — my given middle name a secret from the world.

  15. On September 17th, 2008 at 11:27 am baseballmom Says:

    OH, also, I didn’t think about hyphenating my kids’ names because it’s too hard to fit on the back of a sports jersey…how funny/stupid is that?!

  16. On September 17th, 2008 at 11:28 am SciFi Dad Says:

    I changed my name. Before we were married, my wife called me “Sweetheart”. Now she calls me, “damnit why don’t you stop doing that?”

  17. On September 17th, 2008 at 11:33 am Em Says:

    I have an question for you hypenators out there…

    We have dear friends that chose to hyphenate both their names (totally cool) – their children (changed to protect the innocent) are John and Jane Jones-Smith. What happens when the daughter gets married and wants to hyphenate?

    She’ll be Jane Jones- Smith-Johnson?

    I know, I think too much.


  18. On September 17th, 2008 at 11:33 am guilty noodles Says:

    When I got hitched ten years ago, I jumped at the chance of changing my last name… and first name. I had the most redneck first name, in combination with the typical Asian last name.

    Also, I wanted to have the same last name as my children. No hyphens for me either.

  19. On September 17th, 2008 at 11:42 am Janet Says:

    I changed my last name to my husband’s when I got married because I loved the feeling of connection/having my own family, except on my driver’s license. Not because I didn’t want to change my name but because I had moved from California to Utah and didn’t want to give up my last tie to my home town. I eventually had to get a Utah license because the CA one expired otherwise I’d probably have it still. As for changing my name back if I got divorced, I think I would because if the situation was bad enough for a divorce I’d want to clean out as many reminders as I could. If I thought I could get away with it I’d probably change my son’s last name to my maiden name as well. I cannot tell you how sick it makes me that my husband’s ex-wife kept his last name. She is such a controlling, selfish, spoiled bee-otch that having her in any way, shape or form connected to us kills me! Lucky for me I’ve been able to not let that irritation control my life. Anyway, I’ll get off my soapbox now. 🙂

  20. On September 17th, 2008 at 11:58 am Juli Says:

    I took my husband’s surname when we married because mine was my stepfather’s name, which I’d changed to in order to sever the connection with my useless biological father. Though my husband’s name is a nice, simple one, it’s also noticeably Irish, and I am noticeably not, so it’s cause for comment more often than I’d like. When my Mom divorced for the third and last time she went back to her maiden name, and I realized that I identified with and felt more strongly connected to THAT name than to any of the others I’ve used. I very much wish I had thought to use it. I think I am now pretty solidly linked to this name socially and professionally, but if I had a good excuse, I’d change it to my Mom’s name in a heartbeat.

  21. On September 17th, 2008 at 12:14 pm KT Says:

    I could write a whole post on this topic. In fact, I think I will. Tomorrow.

  22. On September 17th, 2008 at 12:16 pm lindz Says:

    I would not change my last name..just because it carries alot of weight with it.
    my name fits me well, and it IS WHO I AM..

    an acqaintance of mine MADE her husband take HER LAST NAME!!

    and it is put before his original last name..

    I wouldn’t go that far.

    they do say a name “makes the person” don’t they?

  23. On September 17th, 2008 at 12:23 pm birdpress Says:

    I can’t wait to change my last name to J’s! My first name ends in a vowel and my last name begins with the same vowel, and it sounds really awkward. Plus my last name is always butchered by people. J’s name is so much simpler, and it sounds much better with my first name. That’s really the only reason I’m marrying him. 😉

  24. On September 17th, 2008 at 12:42 pm tash Says:

    No conflict whatsoever: I didn’t change my name. And both our girls have my last name as their middle names, which happens here and there in my family on both sides (my grandmother’s middle name is her mother’s maiden name; my uncle’s middle name is his mother’s).

    When it came time to naming, we only needed one, which was nice. I never had to change a damn thing when we got married, which was nice. And I’ve never had a problem.

  25. On September 17th, 2008 at 12:53 pm tonya cinnamon Says:

    well im getting divorced after 16 yrs LOL
    so my madian was clark but married is cinnamon
    i dont want to change it back.
    i kinda like cinnamon . kinda unique. not to say clark isnt since its my irish last name.

    but eventaly if i do decide to get married again . my Bf last name is tackett LOl…
    so will be ineteresting for sure…

  26. On September 17th, 2008 at 12:54 pm Joann Says:

    When I got married I changed my name. I had no problem changing my name. 28 years later it is
    my name & I won’t change it…

  27. On September 17th, 2008 at 12:58 pm swirl girl Says:

    I hyphenated for a few years while I was still working. It was my identity in the professional world . My married last name is rather , shall we say…’ethnically assumptive’ and I lived in Florida where there was a lot of hate regarding stereotypical behaviors of a certain group (of which I am !!) and didn’t want the hassle.

    Now– I just use the married name.

    My MIL who has been divorced and remarried for like 30 years -still uses her 1st married (our) last name. My 9 year old was addressing an envelope to grandma and grandpa and literally had to wrap her words around to the other side just to fit both names on the thing!

  28. On September 17th, 2008 at 1:08 pm Ginger Magnolia Says:

    I was happy to change my last name to my (ex)husband’s when we married. I loved his family, and the name went well with my first name. When we divorced, I chose not to change it because it had been my name for almost half my life. Also, I didn’t want my boys to have a different last name than mine. (My oldest son has 4 names, too). There have been times when I wished I had changed it, usually after he had really pissed me off so bad that I wanted NO ties to him at all, and especially when I found out that he had married the woman he left me for. Honestly, that’s the main reason now that I wish I had changed my name back – I don’t like the thought that she and I share anything. Alas, it is expensive to change your name, and what if I get married again? Is it really worth it?

  29. On September 17th, 2008 at 1:12 pm Frozen Star Says:

    I’m not likely to get married anytime soon, so I’ll have a lot of time to think about this, but right now, I’m leaning towards keeping my name. I’m such a daddy’s girl, and I guess the feminist in me objects to ‘giving up’ my identity when I get married. Yeah, it’s just a name, but it’s my name! Plus, my last name is a very uncommon one: only 53 people in the entire country has it, and there’s just no way I’m giving it up for ‘Smith’.

    But I do kinda want my children to have the same last name as me, and I’m really not a fan of the hyphenated names.

  30. On September 17th, 2008 at 1:22 pm Ms. Moon Says:

    Of course I changed my name! My husband’s last name was Moon and my first name is Mary. How could I have refused that?
    The only downside is that because I am an old hippie, many people think I must have made the name up while under the influence of Peyote or something.
    So what?
    Plus, there’s that awesome song…

  31. On September 17th, 2008 at 1:35 pm Sandy Says:

    When you look at my email address – that’s the gem that I married into! My maiden name (I almost typed “real last name”) was so cute and sweet and lovely and I ADORE it. My husband’s last name sucks. I’ve been married for a year and a half and I still call it, “my husband’s last name”. It’s not mine and I’m not sure if it ever will be. When I hear people say it at work, I look around wondering if my husband is here.

    However, I did the drop middle name deal and my name is Name, Maiden Name, Married Name too. I miss my middle name too.

  32. On September 17th, 2008 at 1:43 pm Lola Says:

    I kept my name, and better yet, gave my son my last name!
    I had been in business for 10 years already at the point we got hitched. I grew up saying I’d never change my name unless I was marrying a Kennedy, so it wasn’t a question in my mind. Then when my son came along, we decided it was best to give him my name, because let’s just say my husband’s last name is something that kids get beat up over.

    Add to that the fact that my husband’s last name was never really his last name because his mother just decided to change it when he was three without ever telling Social Security or anyone else (long, complicated, unbelievable, hippy-mama story), and it was a no-brainer what to name our son.

  33. On September 17th, 2008 at 1:43 pm kat Says:

    i could have written this post – i also dropped my middle and changed it to my maiden.

    JUST NOW (three years into marriage) am i getting used to saying my “new” last name.

    plus, my hubby’s dad is a dick so it took me a while to get adjusted to taking his name. i like my parents/family much better.

  34. On September 17th, 2008 at 1:45 pm Daddy Files Says:

    I’m not really old-fashioned, but I pretty much demanded my wife take my last name when she married me. And by demanded, I of course mean “begged.” But seriously, I would not have married her if she kept her name or hyphenated. I just hate it more than words can describe. I know it’s a little odd, but it was that important to me and grudgingly, she came around. She ended up making her maiden name her middle name.

  35. On September 17th, 2008 at 1:55 pm heather Says:

    Changed it, was very conflicted, ten years later I’m slowly starting to accept it. Techincally, I suppose, I added his last name to my last name, became far too lazy writing the whole thing out all the time (pathetic? yes.) and ended up dropping my maiden name. Now I get the rock star cracks all the time. Whatever.

    My FIL actually suggested we name our son the same name as our (my husband’s) last name. What a dork. This is the same man who also recommended we name our daughter AFTER our son. Two kids with the same name. Okaaaay.

  36. On September 17th, 2008 at 2:25 pm Sara Says:

    Legally, my last name is Penrod-Long last name. Technically, I didn’t want it that way. I took my husband’s name because I’m an old fashioned type of girl. I don’t always consider it my last name, but my maiden name doesn’t seem like my last name either. So I guess I’m conflicted.

  37. On September 17th, 2008 at 2:40 pm Betty M Says:

    I haven’t changed my name. I Ike my last name even though it often gets a wholly incorrect capital in the middle of it. My husband’s last name is a bit dull – if it had been Tchaikovsky or something maybe I would have changed cos I’m a bit shallow! The kids have 4 names with my last name as the 3rd and his as the 4th. Not hyphenated.

  38. On September 17th, 2008 at 2:56 pm mandy Says:

    I had the same issue. My maiden name meant so much-and it is my eldest daughter’s name too. Now she doesn’t share a name with her mother or her father. However, my youngest two do and if I were to ever divorce or anything (which I would hope I wouldn’t) I would leave my name so they shared my name still. I almost hyphenated. I chose to keep my middle name as was, my mom really loved it and so do I. (grace)

    It’s a tough one, in this world we grow up in, not to want to keep your own identity or to resist allowing someone else to change who you are. I am very satisfied with the choice I made.

  39. On September 17th, 2008 at 3:48 pm Io Says:

    I kept my last name, mostly because I was too damn lazy to change it.

  40. On September 17th, 2008 at 3:58 pm Five Husbands Says:

    I usually change my name for odd numbered marriages except for No. 5 because I knew it was going to be short.

  41. On September 17th, 2008 at 4:18 pm Jenn Says:

    I changed my name enough so that I would have the same last name as my kids. I really didn’t WANT to because I have a SIL with the same name (first and last) and I don’t like her much, haha. So I compromised and hyphenated. Which makes my name 33 letters long. Fun stuff when you’re filling out paperwork! (My middle name is Elizabeth. Whee.)

  42. On September 17th, 2008 at 4:23 pm Natalie Says:

    I had only a brief, brief moment of misgiving when I changed my name. Although with my recent job they give all employees stamps with their initials, and even though it’s been 3 years since I got married and changed my name it still looked WRONG to me and I was grumpy for a few days. But I definitely wanted the family to have the same last name.

    Whether or not I’d change my name after a divorce would depend on a few factors. If it’d been 30 years married I’d be more likely to keep the old name. If I was widowed, I’d keep it. If it was a bad break and I hated his guts, I’d change it back. LOL!

  43. On September 17th, 2008 at 4:30 pm honeywine Says:

    I hyphenated, but most of my things are still in my maiden name after 3 yrs. I don’t think I’ll change my name again after my divorce. I’m just going to keep adding hyphens like Elizabeth Taylor.

  44. On September 17th, 2008 at 4:32 pm Vered - MomGrind Says:

    I wasn’t conflicted at all. I didn’t change my name. It never occurred to me to change it. I mean, of course I knew many women do, but I never considered it.

  45. On September 17th, 2008 at 4:49 pm Lainey-Paney Says:

    I grew up with the last name “Cox”. I gladly traded it for something else. It was a good name…but the teasing was relentless. So, I certainly didn’t want my kiddos having to put up with anything like that.

  46. On September 17th, 2008 at 4:51 pm Melissa Says:

    didn’t change mine either… my own name is fairly unique (if you know one… they are related to me!! lol) and it’s just part of my identity. Besides, if I had changed it, my initials would have been MMM … (mind you, that might not be bad considering what i do for a living now !!)

  47. On September 17th, 2008 at 4:54 pm LAS Says:

    I changed my name – but I divorced the guy so quickly that I never bothered to change it on anything except my social security card – actually, I never bothered to change it on everything because I was going through cancer treatment. Anyway, I changed it, promptly changed it back, and will never change it again.

  48. On September 17th, 2008 at 4:56 pm Cheryl Says:

    I didn’t change my name until I had my first child. I only did because I wanted all of us to have the same last name. Sometimes I still feel weird when I say my last name. But I’ve also come to realize that there will be a time in my life when I have had my married name longer than my maiden name. Maybe then it will feel normal.

  49. On September 17th, 2008 at 5:29 pm foradifferentkindofgirl (fadkog) Says:

    I guess I just felt like I was always going to change my maiden name when I married. I have no qualms with my maiden name, and in fact, when our oldest son was born, that was the name we gave him, and to date, he’s the only person with that name we’ve met, which is cool.

    I have a friend who married 17 years ago and kept her maiden name. They had their first child, a son, 5 years ago. He has the husband/father’s last name. Two years ago, they had a daughter. She has my friend’s present/maiden name. I guess it’s that aspect of the whole “last name” thing that I find confusing, you know? Like sometimes it feels like it comes across as “ownership” of a paticular child in their case. But, I guess, it works for them and they aren’t bothered by it, as of yet, so I guess it is what it is.

    My kid, however, does have a mighty kick ass first name!

  50. On September 17th, 2008 at 5:36 pm Holli Says:

    I’m a hyphen, and I regret it every single day.

    WHY? I have no idea why I did something so stupid. I go by my married name, and it’s always so confusing because no one can ever find me in thier files. Am I under the K’s or the J’s? No one ever knows.

    I didn’t legally change my name, however, until a year after we got married. I changed my name at work, and they did it with no problem. My W2’s came in my married name, and the IRS refused to give us our return because that name didn’t match my SS number.

    I changed it really quick!

  51. On September 17th, 2008 at 6:20 pm Emily (Apron Strings) Says:

    I changed my name … and readily too. Much easier to pronounce, much shorter to spell.

    Filipino tradition is that you keep your maiden name by moving it to your middle name … and dropping the middle name given at birth. 9 times out of 10, that middle name is your mom’s maiden name … so somehow, even if you’re a girl part of you when you were single still carries on with you. Either in yourself, with your maiden name after you’re married and / or with your children. Especially those sons that still keep YOUR maiden name as their middle name.

    I like that tradition, and would totally carry it on if (when?) I have my own kids.

    BTW … thanks for your comments on my blog. I reeeaaallly appreciated it!!

  52. On September 17th, 2008 at 7:18 pm laura phelps Says:

    I didn’t give changing my name a second thought. That was almost 12 years ago.

    But now, I miss my maiden name. I loved it. And I admit, I feel a little guilty for losing it. It was who I was for so much longer than who I have been, married. And it was original… Way more original than Phelps. I wish I had used it in one of my 3,000 children’s names.

    However, thank you Michael, for making my last name oh so cool. Now when I say my last name, I no longer have to spell it. I simply say, “Like the swimmer”

  53. On September 17th, 2008 at 7:43 pm Tiffany @ My Random Wisdom Says:

    I changed mine, after 8 because I am a slacker..heh.
    I had no problem changing maiden name was (wait for it…) shit, dead serious.
    Now I do hate that my last name is LONGER now, and is always mispronounced..
    it was no huge deal to me really…just something I knew i’d do eventually..
    and I grew up in a divorced household, and HATED having a different last name than my mom step dad and It was nice to have ALL the same last name 🙂

  54. On September 17th, 2008 at 7:49 pm Stacey Says:

    I changed mine to his without really giving it much thought. Now that I have had 15 years to live with it I kinds wish I hadn’t. For one thing his last name is misspelled, misheard and generally misunderstood far more often than my maiden name ever was. The other is, despite it being 15 years I still have not adjusted to now being at the other end of the alphabet, going from the beginning of any list to the end, having to remember to stand in the W-Z line, not the A-C line. I *liked* being at the start of the line, even if it was just because of my last name.

  55. On September 17th, 2008 at 7:53 pm Heather P. Says:

    I am legally hypenated!

  56. On September 17th, 2008 at 8:09 pm Anne Bradley Says:

    I kept my name. I was 23. I liked my name and his was one syllable like my first name, too plain. I felt like I was hanging with his family more than mine and losing my identity. He supported my decision and always introduced me by my first and last names, like he was proud of me.

    Five years later I used my maiden name for my son’s middle name and also for the 2 brothers that followed. When my kids were young, they thought everyone’s mother had a different last name. Twenty seven years later, we’re still married and I’m still happy with my decision. If the names were different, I might have changed.

  57. On September 17th, 2008 at 8:35 pm Queen-sized funny bone Says:

    I changed mine 29 years ago. but im not attached to either one. Maybe for the last part of my life I’ll make one up and change it. My girls have my maiden name as their middle name since no boys in my family to carry on the name.

  58. On September 17th, 2008 at 8:36 pm Fiddle1 Says:

    Yes, I had a little trouble adjusting, but didn’t hesitate. I had to scrap my middle name too in order to add my new married name. I miss hearing my maiden name, and anytime anyone says it I am delighted. I’m giving it to my daughter as her middle name. I think most women ultimately give in and do it if children are involved..its hard having a different last name from your child. I have heard of some women taking their married name as their middle name, but keeping their maiden name as it is. I guess that is a compromise if you don’t want to hyphenate (which really..who wants to write all that out?)

  59. On September 17th, 2008 at 8:42 pm jerseygirl89 Says:

    I didn’t want to change my name. Even though my maiden name was boring as hell, I was attached to it. But my first husband said he’d take my maiden name as his middle, so I took his as my last name. Then he refused to switch. Unfortunately this happened when I was so young that professionally I was known with his name, so even after we divorced I kept it. When I married Hot Guy I felt like I had to take his name since I’d done it for that weasel I’d married before. Besides, I like having the same last name as my kids’.

  60. On September 17th, 2008 at 10:02 pm apathetic bliss Says:

    Wow I’m always surprised that this is such an issue. I never changed my name when I got married. A lot of my friends and family have not changed their names either. Maybe it’s a west- east thing? (me being on the west coast) I am the only daughter and my father passed away when I was a teenager and I never wanted to lose the connection with him so it was less of a feminist statement and more of a personal homage. I am very much considering changing my name this time around though…..weird, eh?

  61. On September 17th, 2008 at 10:30 pm Mare Says:

    I had a terrible time with changing my name. The main reason is because my son. I felt sad the we would not share the same name. What made matter worse is he did too and told his teacher at school that he changed his last name because him and his mommy got married.

    I still have not changed my name on my drivers license..why? Because I am so lazy, they service roads are one way and it would take my whole lunch hour, I can’t see and therefore am afraid I will get an restriction on my license.

  62. On September 17th, 2008 at 10:30 pm Marie Says:

    I just notice my name on my comment was Mare. It is fixed now. I don’t want you to get confused or anything. 🙂

  63. On September 17th, 2008 at 11:20 pm Collette Says:

    I changed it and didn’t occur to me to think very hard about it. We were getting married therefor I would change my name. I wasn’t very close to my Dad’s family so I was never really attached to the name. If it had been my mom’s maiden name that would have been a different story. But, my parents stuck my moms maiden name in my middle name so I didn’t have give it up. I did completely drop my old name because if I hadn’t I would have had 5 names and this is just insane.

    I am still not used to my new name after 8 years. My mom still addresses cards to my maiden name then scribbles it out and writes my married name.

  64. On September 17th, 2008 at 11:26 pm Big's Other Half Says:

    Changed my name the 1st time and couldn’t wait to change it back when I got divorced. I actually went against my lawyers advice and signed the settlement papers at the hearing instead of allowing my lawyer to squeeze every last cent out of the abusive bastard in court. I wasn’t interested in the money; I just wanted my name back.

    With #2 there was no question about changing it because this one was worth having kids with. I didn’t want the hassle of multiple names in the household. Four years later it still seems weird especially in our small town where everyone knows the family.

    Name changes suck and were made all the more painful with the introduction of The Patriot Act which insures that I will never fully be able to put all the shit behind me as I have to keep dragging out the divorce papers to buy property, renew passports, open bank accounts, etc.

  65. On September 18th, 2008 at 12:47 am Lannie Says:

    In the Netherlands it used to be common to hyphenate your last name after the name of your husband. So if you’d be Jane Smith and you’d marry John Doe, your name would be Jane Doe-Smith (and you’d call yourself on the phone for example Jane Doe). These days you can choose pretty much any combination of names, so I’ve chosen to hyphenate my name by putting my last name first. I’m now Jane Doe-Smith.

    It’s a terribly long name since I have the ‘van der’ bit in my name, but I don’t give a rat’s ass actually. I still go by my old name, but if I write out my name, his name is added to mine, and I like that.
    Because I had the same as you; after 25 years with my maiden name, I’d rather liked it and gotten used to it. I felt that my husband added something to me, but not that I would take his name. 🙂

  66. On September 18th, 2008 at 5:12 am Jen Says:

    I changed my name, no real conflict about it. My married last name and my first name run together – Jen Knepper = jennepper, one big long blob of a name. But hey! At least it gave me an idea for a URL.

  67. On September 18th, 2008 at 6:40 am Meg Says:

    Yeah, I flirted with name-changning, but I could never get my head around it. Its seems so archaic. So I still use my maiden name. It is BB’s middle name.

  68. On September 18th, 2008 at 7:30 am Cricket Says:

    I did change my name when I got married, but I dropped my middle name and used my maiden name.

    I have not wanted to change my name upon divorcing because of the hassle. I abhor paperwork more than I dislike the surname. Besides, I was married 17 years, so it became part of me.

    What I really have trouble with is signing paintings with my married name, to where I didn’t sign paintings for years. I’ve kind of resigned myself to it.

    I do know that if I married again I would make the effort to revert back to my maiden name. I think it’s silly to retain a married name when remarrying and the last thing I want to do is add another surname to my history.

  69. On September 18th, 2008 at 8:55 am heather Says:

    That’s weird, that you say SS wouldn’t let you have all 4 names, because I had no problem doing it. And it’s not hyphenated. I just tacked my husband’s last name onto the end. I DID get a lecture from the SS guy who said if I don’t hyphenate, people will assume my first last name is my middle name and I will be alphabetized by my second last name, and blah blah blah. Well, he was right really – people want to call me Mrs. Second Last Name. But I realized I didn’t mind so much. The only reason I kept my maiden name at all is because that’s my daughter’s last name too, and people at her school always call me Mrs. First Last Name anyway. I was married once before and it caused a huge fight that I refused to change my last name to his because of my daughter. I gave her my last name instead of her dad’s because we weren’t married, so screw him. Also I didn’t want people calling me by his last name the rest of my life because you know they would. They just automatically want to call you by whatever your child’s last name is. So instead, they call HIM by my maiden last name. LMAO!!

  70. On September 18th, 2008 at 9:28 am Ellie Says:

    Did you change your name? No.

    Would you? No.

    Would you change it back? See above.

    Were you as fucking conflicted as I was about changing your name? No. Although my sister-in-law-to-be, the avatar of, well, nothing, asked me, pre-wedding: “You ARE going to change your name, aren’t you?” Me: “Well I was planning NOT to; now I’m DEFINITELY not.”

  71. On September 18th, 2008 at 4:47 pm gypsygrrl Says:

    i like my current last name, but when i was with my first gf and we were talking kiddos, we wanted all of us to have the same last name. and i liked hers and no problem leaving mine go ~ tho i might have made it my middle name and we were going to have it as a second middle name for any kids we had.

    as for the sweetgirl… realizing i wanted to spend my life with her and marry her and that i was doodling my first name with her last name early on in our relationship is how i knew i loved her. well, loads of other reasons, but i want her name to be mine :}

    darn you now, for making me miss her LOL

  72. On September 18th, 2008 at 6:07 pm heather... Says:

    I did exactly what you did, Maiden Name to middle name. PEACE OUT, Heather Lynn Maidenname. HELLO Heather Maidenname Spohr.

    I use my Maiden Name still at work. Which is why I’m not posting it here. My married name is all over google but not my “work” name. I need to keep it that way or I’m screwed.

  73. On September 18th, 2008 at 10:15 pm Painted Maypole Says:

    i wasn’t conflicted about changing my name, but I still use my maiden name for all my acting work, and so sometimes STILL, 12 years into my marriage,I introduce myself with my maiden name when I should use my married name. (oddly enough, it has never gone in the opposite direction) This becomes especially confusing when credit cards or doctor records are involved.

  74. On September 18th, 2008 at 10:28 pm Tanya Says:

    Well, I always said I’d change my name if I got to upgrade… something like Smith or Jones would be nice.

    Once I decided to have a child on my own the only way I’d change my name is if the man I married ended up adopting the boy… and I’m not sure I’d want him to have any legal rights to MY son if it didn’t work out.

    So my plan would be to keep my last name so the boy had one member of the family with the same last name as him. If I had more kids with the husband then they’d get hubby’s last name.

  75. On September 19th, 2008 at 9:19 pm elle michelle Says:

    As I have done absolutely nothing noteworthy enough career-wise to justify keeping my last name, I’m changing it. (Swapping my Italian maiden name for my Italian married name. Husband has requested I hyphenate so I can be Super Duper Dago, but that’s a little much for me.) Of course, I’m pretty lazy, so let’s see how long this process actually takes.

  76. On September 20th, 2008 at 8:14 pm Sarah Says:

    I changed without thinking twice about it. And I like my husband’s last name. I like that’s it is now very much my own. But in the past 8 weeks, I’ve been questioning that choice. After over 8.5 years. I’ve been wishing I’d kept Duncan. Maybe because I’m thinking now that I may never have that 3rd or 4th baby whom I intended to bestow my maiden name upon? Idk. But finding out from you that I, too, would have to drop Elizabeth, which I’ve always liked, makes me think twice. Hmmm. Again, perhaps because 3 or 4 may never show up, and never be given Elizabeth? Still don’t know.

  77. On September 22nd, 2008 at 8:16 am In a name « Wheels on the bus Says:

    […] Because Becky asked. […]

  78. On September 22nd, 2008 at 11:00 pm Baby Smiling in Back Seat Says:

    Thanks for your ICLW comment and your kind words…

    Didn’t change my name, never ever ever would, and I am full of bossy advice for brides who ask. I am also full of bossy advice for grooms who try to pressure their brides but the brides want to keep their own names. And when people try to call me Mrs. anything (DH’s name or my own), I am full of bossy corrections.

    One of my relatives strongly wanted to keep her own name (same as mine), yet at her wedding she got called Mrs. X no less than 3 times, during the ceremony, introductions, and one of the speeches. I told her during the wedding that I fully supported her keeping our name. Well, less than a year later they were divorced (totally unrelated to the name change of course). Good thing she didn’t change it.

  79. On September 23rd, 2008 at 3:09 pm stephanie Says:

    I changed my name without a 2nd thought when I got married. It’s when I got divorced that I had to think things through long and hard. I elected to retain my married name as long as the ex and I had children in common together and as long as those children were of school age – so much easier on the school system for one thing. If I were to remarry, my kids are old enough to understand why we would then have different last names (I would not keep my ex’s last name if I remarried). But until then, I EARNED the priviledge of retaining the name my children use. That’s my take on it anyway.

  80. On September 23rd, 2008 at 3:10 pm stephanie Says:

    oops… forgot to add into that post — here from ICLW and thanks for visiting/commenting on my blog.

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