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Changing Your Name Is Hard To Do

Posted on the 17 April 2012 by Msadams @HilaryFerrell

Changing Your Name Is Hard To Do

From the beginning of our engagement, Mr. A made it pretty clear that he wanted me to take his last name when we got married.

Initially, I didn’t have a problem with it at all.  I wanted to have the same last name as our future children and hyphenated last names are just too complicated for me (besides the fact that our last names don’t sound good together at all).

During the engagement process, I remember being inundated with blog posts about engaged couples arguing over the soon-to-be wife changing her last name.  At the time, I will admit I definitely scoffed at the idea of a name change causing such conflict.

For me, it was simple.  Everyone changes their last name.  I’m not so special that I can’t change mine.  What’s the big deal people?  Do we really need a hundred blog posts about people not wanting to change their names?

Then, it became a reality that I was really going to change my last name.  This my friends is when I started to eat my own words.  My cockiness about my lack of a reaction to changing my last name was about to kick me square in the behind.

Changing Your Name Is Hard To Do

After being married a few months, Mr. A approached me about changing my last name, asking about the logistics and paperwork involved.  The first conversation was pretty harmless.  Not looking forward to the fiasco that changing one’s name is, I avoided taking any real action for awhile.

Then, wouldn’t you know that Mr. A asked me about it everyday after that.  Well not literally everyday, but he definitely wouldn’t let me forget about it.

The more he brought it up, the more anxious I became and I really wasn’t sure why.  This wasn’t a big deal before, why was it such a big deal now?

One day, Mr. A harmlessly asked about me changing my name for the millionth time and I just exploded into tears.  Having no idea that it had been bothering me so much, he was incredibly taken aback and so was I.  I had no idea I was this upset either.

For me, it wasn’t the idea of leaving my given last name behind (although I do miss it and its quirkiness and meaning); it was the thought of taking a last name that represented so many people that disliked me.

I’ve mentioned before on this blog that Mr. A’s immediate family has not been very supportive of our relationship.  The closer I got to changing my name all I could do was thinking about my pent up anger and resentment toward the last name that represented all of them.

I think that anger was definitely fueled by some inappropriate actions by Mr. A’s family on our wedding day (which we didn’t know about until after the fact).  Why would I want to take the last name of a family that dislikes me so much?  If I take their last name, it’s like they’ve won even though I don’t want to be associated with any of it.

In explaining all of this to Mr. A, I was petrified that he would be so angry it would turn into our first epic married fight.  Luckily, he was nothing but understanding.  He sat there and held me as I cried it all out and let go of all those pent up emotions and angst.

When I was finally done, he turned and said, “Baby, I know exactly where you are coming from.  But you know what?  We can start our own path with this new last name.  We can be the branch that breaks away from everyone else.”

Suddenly, it clicked in my head.  This new last name doesn’t have to represent all the negativity and family drama that I’ve come to know.  It can represent our future, which is completely molded by our decisions.  We have the power to move it in a positive direction going forward.

After our conversation, I felt much better about starting our own family together fresh with a new last name.  While I still miss seeing my old one, there is something really endearing about sharing a name with Mr. A.   As the saying goes, “he stole my heart, so I stole his last name”—even if it was begrudgingly at first ;)

Did you have trouble changing your last name?

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