Should I change my name?
January 21, 2009 1:01 PM   Subscribe

In eight years, I'm still not used to my married name.

I love my husband, and I'm happily married, but I can't seem to get used to his (now our) last name. I had qualms before getting married about changing my name (from my relatively ho-hum but easy surname to his long, difficult-to-pronounce-but-entirely-respectable name), but I stifled them after my family (and a couple of his relatives) showed surprise and some disapproval when it got out that I was thinking of keeping my name (yup, I had a pretty conservative upbringing). I chickened out, and I regret that. Since then I've gone on to establish a very modest reputation (mostly through work and a little bit of publishing) with the new name, but it still doesn't feel like me. Even after all this time, I'm still self-conscious about it, and I find myself kind of envious of people with elegant, less obtrusive names and generally thinking fondly about my former name. I happen to be a 'word person' --really conscious of language-- so I may be making way too big a deal about this.

I should stress that my married name is nothing to be ashamed of (even though most people find it really hard to say or spell), yet I can't seem to resign myself to it. Maybe when we have kids I'll feel differently?

Has anyone had this sort of situation? Should I just get on with life and stop being so ridiculous?
posted by anonymous to Human Relations (38 answers total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
You don't mention how your husband feels about this. Frankly, I think the only people whose opinions matter in this are you and your husband. I kept my own name when my husband and I got married, by mutual agreement. Sure, some people have issues with it here and there, but that's not our problem, marriage isn't about who has what name. I say if you're still not happy with this, discuss it with your husband and either create a new family name for both of you, or revert to your original surname. It clearly matters to you for some reason, otherwise it wouldn't still be bothering you after eight years, so I don't think you need to just get over it.
posted by biscotti at 1:15 PM on January 21, 2009

Use whatever name you prefer, and stop stressing about it. If/when you have to start thinking about naming kids, you may have to stress again, but in the meantime, forget about it.
posted by If only I had a penguin... at 1:16 PM on January 21, 2009

I just got married last summer. I kept my last name, because well, I'm me, not a [insert hubby's last name here]. I'm just not. It wouldn't feel right. I didn't change the blood in my veins or who my parents are when I said "I do". Luckily, I had a more liberal upbringing than you, so nobody really said anything about it, and my husband certainly doesn't care. But I just want to say, I totally understand how you feel, and perhaps you should start using your maiden name again.
posted by Green Eyed Monster at 1:19 PM on January 21, 2009 [1 favorite]

Could you start being Ms. Anonymous Maidenname Marriedname? Just sort of put it in there on your business cards or email sender line, or start signing it that way?

The example that came to mind was Hillary Clinton suddenly using Hillary Rodham Clinton much more often after her husband's first term (and after his leaving office). Sure, many people still call her Hillary Clinton, but some use both and everyone still recognizes who she is if people call her Hillary Rodham Clinton.

But I'd say if you're that unhappy with it (you do say you regret it), just use your name. It's been eight years. If anyone would make a stink about it now, that's kind of silly. It's your life and your decision anyhow.
posted by cmgonzalez at 1:21 PM on January 21, 2009 [2 favorites]

Can you go by Anonymous MaidenName-HusbandsName socially and shorten it to Anonymous MaidenName for professional purposes? I suggest the professional name simply because if you’re uncomfortable introducing yourself as "Anonymous HusbandsName--that’s H-U-S-… no, no, H! H! H-U-S-…" then you’re better off being comfortable even if it means some initial confusion.

You should do what you're comfortable with. People get married and change their names frequently enough that it shouldn't be too hard to switch if you want to. I know a woman who just recently, after several years of marriage, decided to go by her husband's name. I'm sure some of her thoughtless conservative relatives gave her grief for not taking the name sooner, and now some of her thoughtless liberal friends are giving her grief for taking his name, but people like that will always find something to be unhappy about. Do what makes you comfortable and confident.
posted by Meg_Murry at 1:25 PM on January 21, 2009

I had qualms...but I stifled them...I chickened out, and I regret still doesn't feel like me... find myself kind of envious of people

Sounds like you are (at least mildly) embarrassed by your name because it isn't elegant or unobtrusive (whatever that means).

Few things touch on our identities like our names. They are us. You haven't accepted that this name is you and sounds like you don't want to.
posted by trinity8-director at 1:27 PM on January 21, 2009

Maybe when we have kids I'll feel differently?

I haven't been married, but I have been a kid whose parents kept their own names. Their solution was to give us our dad's name as the last name, and our mom's name as the middle name. (This is not bound by gender -- others in my family have had their mom's name as the last name and their dad's name as the middle name.) I'm glad that I get to use both of their names. I think it subconsciously gave me the message that men and women are distinct individuals -- the woman's identity doesn't get submerged into the man's. So I'd changed your name back because, not in spite, of having kids.

Another anecdote, FWIW: I know a woman whose maiden name is easy to spell and pronounce, and she took her husband's unwieldy last name when they got married. Years later, she decided to run for elected office but felt it would work better to go back to her maiden name. She went down to City hall and legally changed it, and only later told her husband. He was shocked and said: "I can't believe you changed your name without bringing me along to join you!" He immediately went to City Hall to change his last name to her maiden name, and they've kept it that way since.
posted by Jaltcoh at 1:34 PM on January 21, 2009 [11 favorites]

This is something you are going to have to discuss with your husband. I completely agree with biscotti that this is an issue solely for the two of you and the rest of the family should really have no say. Many men don't care, most care at least a little, and some are totally fixated on the traditional naming regimen. Where your husband stands is quite important to this issue as marital harmony is also at risk, especially now years into the marriage. Chances are he is going to feel a little hurt, at least at first.
posted by caddis at 2:19 PM on January 21, 2009

well, if it weren't for the fact that you've started a reputation at work and in publishing under your husband's name, i'd say change it back. but changing it back now is going to mean having to rebuild that reputation to people who only know your name. or somehow point out that you've changed your name back, even though you didn't get divorced, which is unwieldly and awkward.
posted by misanthropicsarah at 2:23 PM on January 21, 2009

My wife and I both changed our last name when we got married, which is not at all something I regret doing. It helped that I hadn't really built up any reputation based around my old name, so I didn't have to worry about it from a professional standpoint.

After 8 years of using his name, I would not want to give up the reputation that you've built up by changing your name back.

However, obviously you need to be comfortable with your name! I would discuss with your husband and agree on what you want to do with kids, if you are planning on having them. The world is much more forgiving on the "parent doesn't have the same last name as the kids" (at least in the US), but it is still an inconvenience that I'm glad I don't have to deal with.
posted by gregvr at 2:26 PM on January 21, 2009

I think that firstname maidenname marriedname would be a good first step. Try that out and see how you feel, and whether it satisfies the nagging "that's not my name feeling."

Personally, among friends and acquaintances, I'm on the side of women not changing their name if the main reason they are considering doing so is family/society pressure. And despite this, I'll still advise you to be a little sensitive to your husband's feelings. To have changed your name at marriage and then change it back may seem like a Statement to him, an indication that you feel differently somehow about your marriage.

I have a friend who is doing some research for her graduate degree on this topic (which is inspired by her being in the same situation as you.) MeMail me or, if you'd like to be more anonymous, send e-mail to the address in my profile if you'd like to get in touch with her!
posted by desuetude at 2:34 PM on January 21, 2009

You are not being ridiculous and it is a big deal. After twenty years of trying to get used to my husband's unusually-spelled and easily mispronounced name, I gave up. I made the switch when I changed jobs, so at least I didn't have to explain it over and over, but I can't tell you how much better it makes me feel.

I did not ask my husband's permission, he knew that I would have preferred to keep my own name from the start (for a lot of reasons, I went through various iterations of one name, two names, hyphenations, etc.). He didn't give me the "hey, yeah, that's awesome," but he doesn't complain about it. He's a smart guy. I love him.

If you're not comfortable by now, reclaim who you are.
posted by sageleaf at 2:43 PM on January 21, 2009

As for kids, my son has my last name, and my daughter has my wife's. Other than the paperwork (and the occasional mis-addressed birthday cards from doddering old relatives), it's hasn't been a problem and is kind of cool.
posted by stargell at 2:57 PM on January 21, 2009

There was absolutely no way on earth I was going to change my name when I got married, and my husband knew it. I feel very much connected to my name and I always have. That is me, from start to finish. I'm very close to my family and I wouldn't ever want to give up the first gift my parents gave me. My sister didn't change her name when she got married, and fortunately for me, there is no tradition of name-changing for women in my husband's family. My mother-in-law uses her maiden name in spite of being married, and so does his older sister. No one ever once questioned me about the fact that I was going to keep my name. It never even came up. I'm grateful for that!

Times have changed. There's no reason not to keep your maiden name, and no one should be offended by that choice. At this point, frankly, I'm offended if anyone suggests that I should have changed my name; my family remains my family. That's the identity my parents bestowed on my when I was born, it's the name I grew up in, the name I learned in and became myself in. Being married doesn't change who we are, my husband and I. We love each other for who we grew into, and I think both of us keeping our histories and names intact celebrates that.

Given that it's been 8 years and you legally changed your name, switching back to your maiden name might cause some ripples. If you want to do it, talk to your husband about it. He needs to understand that your desire to do this isn't slight against him at all; it's a reclamation of your own history and identity. It's the story of where you come from.
posted by Hildegarde at 3:08 PM on January 21, 2009

Just start using the name that you prefer. There will be hassles related to the transition, but you're seeing hassles already, *and* you're not comfortable with your current name. Talk to the folks you care about (including your husband, hopefully) to make sure that they know that the change isn't an attack on them, or an attempt to distance yourself, and do what feels right.

For what it's worth, my mom hyphenated her last name at marriage (so she was "X maidenname-husbandsname"), but gradually found she didn't like the hyphenation for a number of reasons. 5 years later (when they had kids) they gave me and my brother her old last name as a middle name and my dad's last name as a last name. As it turned out, i decided i preferred them in a different order, and swapped last with middle when i was a kid, legally completing the switch about 10 years later, at the end of high school. I talked with my dad about it explicitly so that he'd know i wasn't trying to distance myself from him before making it official. He understood just fine.

So now everyone in my family has a slightly different set of middle/last names (though my brother and dad at least share a last name), and we're all still family. Awesome family, for that matter. My mom has never gotten around to legally reverting or de-hyphenating her name, but most people she's friends with know her with the old maiden name, and the hyphenated one is just there on official documents.

Family and relationships are what matters, not the name. Use the name you want to use.
posted by dkg at 3:21 PM on January 21, 2009

Given your reputation being based on your married name, there is no way that you can change it back and still keep your professional identity. I also started publishing under my (now ex) married name and I regret that I did not change my name back before I did so. It is way too late now. People know who you are -- you'd have to start again if you changed back (and lots of people will consider this weird, so long after the fact). I have known people who have completely disappeared from the record (i.e. no-one knows to whom you are referring) because they changed their "professional" name mid-career. I think that you will just have to adjust to using this name.
At least if your married name is unusual, it is also memorable. This has its advantages, professionally. Coupled with the rejection that your husband is likely to feel if you change it back at this late stage (no matter how much you explain your action), I'd just consider it your professional "alias."
posted by Susurration at 3:22 PM on January 21, 2009 [1 favorite]

My mother was married in 1970 and widowed in 1992. Last year, she changed her name back because she never felt like a North, despite having no problems with changing it at the time that she did, and having children (hi!) with my dad. She seemed really happy to have gone back to her birth name. I have a feeling that you will, too.
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 3:40 PM on January 21, 2009

stargell: "As for kids, my son has my last name, and my daughter has my wife's. Other than the paperwork (and the occasional mis-addressed birthday cards from doddering old relatives), it's hasn't been a problem and is kind of cool."

We've done the same thing here. It has the added bonus of maybe, just perhaps, the younger child won't get the "Oh, are you so-and-so's sister?" her whole childhood. (Yes, Mr. Corpse and I are both younger siblings.)
posted by The corpse in the library at 4:06 PM on January 21, 2009

I might push a few buttons here, but I don't think you need to discuss this with your husband or with anyone. Should you so choose to retain (even retroactively) your name, that's your choice. It is your person / self that carries whatever name, and it's your business to be called whatever YOU want to be called. And I don't think it's odd (although it may be uncomfortable at first) to change your name back after eight years of marriage. It doesn't mean you love your husband less, or that you are less his wife. It just means that you are more comfortable with your own name. Or, you could do as a few people suggested here and insert your maiden name before your current last name (in the Rodham Clinton vein), that way you can go alternately Maiden name or Married name or even both.

And on another note, there are a number of women who use one in their professional life and the other in their personal life. And then there's the case of my own mother who just tacked my father's last name at the end of hers and went with whatever people saw first or assumed; it ended up being split 50/50 between those who called her Mrs. Maiden Name and those who called her Mrs. Married Name. And she was a school teacher; all of her students knew that she had two last names and they could call her whichever they pleased. It didn't seem to cause problems in her 25 years of teaching while married.
posted by cachondeo45 at 4:44 PM on January 21, 2009 [1 favorite]

I'm jealous that you even have a choice to revert back to your old name while still being married. In Japan, where I live and am from, when two people get legally married, one of them must change his/her last name. So either the woman takes the husband's name (which is the most common route) or the husband takes the wife's (which is something that still has somewhat socially negative connotations because Japan is still very much a male-dominated society). An old friend mine has been in a long-term relationship for as long as I've been married, but although she even has a son with her SO, she isn't legally married to him because she wanted to keep her last name. I think it's awesome that they're doing this, but she's the only person that I personally know who has gone down that route and I imagine it must be a royal pain in the arse to explain to people every time she has to fill out forms and such.

It took me years to get used to my married name (been married for almost 12 years) and I still sometimes find myself reacting to my *very* common maiden name when I hear it at banks and such. And I didn't even like my maiden name because it was so common (so common that my mother's maiden name was the same as my father's name, so most of my relatives on both sides had the same last name), and thought that I'd enjoy being called something else! I'm happily married, like you, and although I don't feel as uncomfortable about my current last name as you seem to, if I had a choice to be married to my husband but keep my former name or hyphenate it, I think I would have, for the same reasons some others have mentioned above about the ties to my own family. If it's bothering you so much, I say go for it.
posted by misozaki at 4:46 PM on January 21, 2009

Nthing trying out the firstname maidenname marriedname thing, as a step to possibly transitioning back to your maiden name. Start using that professionally, at least. Meanwhile try to feel out your husband on the subject. Also, as my mother pointed out, it is not such a big deal to change from one male last name (your father's), to another (your husband's,) so if you think your husband would be hurt, just do the Hilary Rodham Clinton thing. For the record, I kept my name, but my husband was totally indifferent on the subject.
posted by gudrun at 4:50 PM on January 21, 2009

Oh, and we don't use middle names here, either, so using my maiden name as a middle name also isn't an option. Though I'm not sure how that works if you're a non-Japanese person getting married in Japan.
posted by misozaki at 4:54 PM on January 21, 2009

You are not a chattel, nor are you property of anyone. Nthing that this decision is yours and yours alone. It is not a rejection of your husband because you are married, not something he owns. It is a tradition, nothing more, nothing less. If you choose to embrace the tradition, I salute your decision. If you choose not to, I salute your decision. But let's realize that it is TRADITION in America and that is all that it is. Old fashioned patriarchal tradition.

Frankly I think it's a horrid custom.

With children, this isn't the 50s, and teachers and the like are now used to figuring out what to call the parents of the children in their classes. But when you have children, you make the decision about their names. You don't have to change yours. Maybe in some backwards town in the woods somewhere you'll get looked at askance for your kids not having your last name, and whispers of bastardy and the like, and if that sounds like the 1800s, then maybe it will make people realize how outdated the custom is.

We get one go-round at this life. If you want to cut your hair, paint your nails, get a tattoo, pierce your ears, or change your name to McFliberrty Cogswatter because it makes your heart sing, you don't need anyone's permission to petition the court to change your name. It will be difficult but you can do it.
posted by micawber at 7:35 PM on January 21, 2009 [2 favorites]

Guy here who is torn between the symbolism that one name for the family signifies to the outside that you are a family unit, and call yourself whatever the heck you want. My wife did take my last name when we got married. We did name our son with her maiden name as his first name. It works. My other two kid's middle names are her family names. "They get your last name so I choose the middle name." As it turns out I like to call our children by their middle names and she cringes because, well she hates her family.

I do think you name is part of your identity and if you want your old name back, you should. I do think you will be sending an unintended signalmessagevibe to the outside world that you are giving up on something, I do not know what. However, I am a 40 something guy from a fairly conservative family. Ignore at will.
posted by JohnnyGunn at 7:35 PM on January 21, 2009

We get one go-round at this life. If you want to cut your hair, paint your nails, get a tattoo, pierce your ears, or change your name to McFliberrty Cogswatter because it makes your heart sing, you don't need anyone's permission to petition the court to change your name. It will be difficult but you can do it.


I do think you should tell your husband before you start the process, not because you need his permission or because you owe him the chance to persuade you otherwise, but just because I think that people in lifelong committed relationships ought to discuss things that are bothering them. This is bothering you. Talk with your husband about it, reassure him that you love him if he's feeling upset about it, but do what's going to make you happy.

(It would be awesome if your maiden name actually were Cogswatter.)
posted by decathecting at 7:49 PM on January 21, 2009

Take charge.

My first (now deceased) wife changed her name back to her maiden name after trying mine out for a while. It sucked as far as she was concerned. I agreed.

When she was considering it, but wavering, I heard Carly Simon referred to on the radio as Carly Simon Taylor, since she had recently married James Taylor. I went to wife and said, "Sweetie, you are you, not me! Let's get this thing changed back immediately!' We took a lot of heat for it, but I defended her literally to her grave on this issue. As a matter of fact, in a few years, she dumped her entire name and adopted ones of her choice.

Not long after that, I did too. All of them. At age 42. And I am a man.

I figured, why the hell should I accept a name chosen for me, by people who didn't know me, before I was even born? Screw that.

It's perfectly fine to accomodate social restrictions, if that is what you want to do, but really, it is just a brief inconvenience to do the name change. Be brave. You really don't need anyone's permission to live the life you want to live. And if you do, then maybe that's not the life you want to live.

Good luck.
posted by FauxScot at 8:07 PM on January 21, 2009 [1 favorite]

I think if you're going to have a difficult to pronounce name, (and sigh, I have both a first and last one) you gotta love it. It's got to be worth it. For me it is. I kept my name when I married, basically because I can't imagine any combination of sounds that makes me think of me. It gives me a bit of grief at times, and I use my favorite fake name when I order pizza, but I'm sticking with it.

I hope you find something that works for you.
posted by anitanita at 8:49 PM on January 21, 2009

Are you the same person you were when you married your husband? Has the experience of being married to this man changed you? Has your life together changed you?

I am not quite the same person I was when I married Mr. G... and the name I have now is just part of who I am now. I don't feel like Grrlscout Maidenname any more. I am Grrlscout Marriedname now, if only because so much of my life has changed as a direct result of my bond with Mr G. The old label doesn't quite fit me these days.

If you don't feel that way, then yes, you need to find a label that does fit. If that's your maiden name, go for it. Try it out socially first, just to see if it really does still fit you, before you make the switch professionally. It will be a hassle to change your name professionally, and with all the paperwork of your life (drivers license, passport, bank account, etc) But hey, you changed it when you married, right? The process isn't going to be a mystery.
posted by Grrlscout at 12:21 AM on January 22, 2009

Just to be contrary: how about Anonymous Marriedname Maidenname at least professionally (I suppose this depends on your field of work)? It may ease transitioning to just Anonymous Maidenname.
posted by tavegyl at 2:29 AM on January 22, 2009 [1 favorite]

I'm a little bothered by the "Hell NO! YOU DON"T HAVE TO TELL YOUR HUSBAND! HE DOESN'T OWN YOU!"

Well, duh.

My wife and I have a wonderful relationship. We share everything. We discuss everything. If she came to me and said that she wanted to "cut your hair, paint your nails, get a tattoo, pierce your ears", I would expect that she would discuss it NOT BECAUSE SHE'S ASKING PERMISSION, but because we are best friends!

*shrug*. FWIW, YMMV, etc, etc.
posted by gregvr at 4:07 AM on January 22, 2009

Has anyone had this sort of situation? Should I just get on with life and stop being so ridiculous?

My wife liked her name a lot, so she kept it. That's also how they do it in Iran apparently, and really, I didn't care one way or another.

If your new official last name bugs you, then just start going by your old name. I wouldn't bother officially changing it back, unless having the wrong name on your passport bugs you.
posted by chunking express at 7:28 AM on January 22, 2009

mr. m. is my heartsong and my life partner and my significant other, and yet, i might mention to him that I am going to cut off my hair or color it differently, especially if I felt like I wanted another opinion on it, or just as a 'hey this is happening this weekend', but this whole "you must tell your best friend EVERYTHING' bs is just that, bs. I might share it informationally but there's no requirement that he be informed of EVERY DECISION unless it impacted him directly and actually.

i just resent that a woman's choice to change or not change her name is viewed by society as a reflection of her attitude towards marriage or her husband, or that her husband should have the God-given right for a vote in the matter of THE NAME OF A HUMAN BEING.

No seriously people, think about that.

Years ago I lived overseas and one of my dearest friends was from Germany, and had a name that was utterly unpronounceable by anyone native to the country we were living in. WHenever she had to call the government it was 20 minutes just to spell the name, and they always got it wrong, and it caused untold inconvenience. When she got married, she changed her name, although she was a staunch feminist otherwise, to her husband's name, simply because it was the equivalent of Smith or Jones. There was also probably some element of feeling more comfortable in her new home as well. That her accent would always give her away but at least her name didn't scream NEW IMMIGRANT.

It was her choice, not her husband or her mother or her father-in-law browbeating her into it, or guilting her into it, or passing silent judgment on it. To this day she and I laugh about the whole thing. (Now, getting her MIL to understand that you didn't have both rice AND potatoes at the wedding dinner... that was another battle altogether).
posted by micawber at 9:49 AM on January 22, 2009 [1 favorite]

My $0.02: Your name is *your* name. In the end, you get to determine what people call you if you don't feel fully comfortable with your name as it is now. Try your best to smooth over your family's issues, tell all your friends that you're not getting a divorce (Seriously, you're not kidding!), and go for it!
posted by Citrus at 10:06 AM on January 22, 2009

I'm with Susurration - over the years I have been gobsmacked again again and again when it does not enter someone's head that if Lexis Nexis doesn't spit out the article/case/cred that a female candidate listed, maybe we should check her other names, too, instead of throwing her in the crook pile.

This happens with married women who worked under their own name for a few years, and them married.
posted by Lesser Shrew at 8:08 PM on January 22, 2009

Oh, and in terms of dealing with this professionally, it's not so bad. If you make your married name your middle name, or somehow otherwise incorporate it into your chosen name, it's even easier. But even if you just want to go back to the name you were given at birth, you can take steps to make sure the everyone knows who you are.

- When you update your resume or professional profile info, note your publications, but put in parentheses after the title something like "published as FirstName Oldname." Ask a married woman at work what the standard naming convention is in your industry. That way, you claim your work and tell readers how to find it (under your old name).

- Change your legal documents. New passport, license, SS card, credit cards, etc. That will make it much easier for your company to integrate your new identity into their formal systems.

- If possible, start a website about yourself under your new name, but referencing the work you did under your old name. Link to sources of your publications, and write some new stuff every once in a while that is relevant to your field, even if you only publish it on the site. It will help search engines to link your publications to your new name, and it will help overall in building a professional reputation for you under the name you want them to call you.

Friends, coworkers, and everyone else in your life will adjust to the name change. They may slip up, but they'll get it right most of the time. I had a friend who changed her first name a few years ago, and now I'm the only one who uses the old name (she told me I could). Her family has adjusted. Newly married women deal with this with few problems.

Some people will think that this is a sign of something bad in your marriage. Most people won't care. And some will tell you that you're empowered or strong or get all "You Go Girl!" No need to take either the first group or the last group seriously. Tell them that the three of you--you, your husband, and your last name--hope to live happily ever after. You might get a funny look; people are weird.

When you have kids, you'll get called Mrs. KidsLast all the time when you're with them at school, the doctor's office, and anyplace where they know the kid better than you. Doesn't mean that has to be your name. It's your choice whether to correct people or let them make the mistake.
posted by decathecting at 9:14 PM on January 22, 2009

This whole do it and don't bother to discuss it with your husband vibe bothers me. Are any of these morons even in relationships? This is not some minor issue. Failing to discuss things with you spouse prior to launch is one of the biggest factors in failed relationships. Most husbands would be just fine with this, although some will take some time to get used to it. Marriage is a partnership and with that comes dealing with your partner's quirks and the like even when they don't make sense. People who can't deal with quirks that defy logic are called ex-spouses. This is in no way to imply that a woman should not take her family name, even after years of marriage. If that is what you want it is yours, regardless of your husband's feelings on the matter. That does not mean you just ignore them from the outset though. Most guys who object will come around in time. The others you have to let know that this is really, really important, even though you love them etc. I am just saying that if you ignore your husband's feelings you may very well reap what you sow. Well, you sound too intelligent for that, but a lot of other people are pushing some bad relationship advice here. Relationships are all about compromise and those who refuse to compromise are either not in a relationship or are abusers in a relationship.
posted by caddis at 10:56 PM on January 22, 2009

Wow - this subject brings up some fervent emotions for people. A lot of the advice seems to be along the lines of "your not his property do what you want." Well that is true but so many people assuming that this is how your husband views you is shallow to say the least. Sometimes things have meaning to some people even when it seems like they shouldn't. My guess is that you having your husbands name means something to him.

Quick story: My sister dated a guy for about five years. He was a great guy and was loved by everyone in the family. He was very non-conformist however. She had wanted to get married but he consistently pointed out that marriage means nothing. People get married all the time and then divorced. He loved her more than anything and he didn't need a piece of paper to prove it (and felt that it proved it more by not having the paper). He felt so strongly about this and I remember our family (fairly conservative) discussing it at many family dinners. In the end my mom and dad amazingly agreed with him and encouraged my sister not to worry about marriage. BUT, marriage really meant something to my sister. She understood his arguments, she understood that he loved her more than anything but it still meant something to her. Anyway they are married now. I guess he decided that since it meant so much to her he'd just do it.

People aren't always rational. More communication I think is the key here.
posted by tr45vbyt at 9:13 AM on April 27, 2009

I see your story more about compromise than communication, but without the communication you cannot get to a real compromise.
posted by JohnnyGunn at 4:50 PM on April 27, 2009

« Older Older Photoshop Upgrades   |   Jazz albums where the guitarist fills the usual... Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.