If you’re a married lady, did you change your last name? And if so, how did you feel about changing your last name after marriage? Particularly in a time when so many people don’t go the old-school route of woman-takes-husband’s-name after marriage, the decision to change your name after marriage can be a complicated one. My dear friend Cherie (who previously talked about why the transition from being a working mom to becoming a stay at home mom is so life-changing), shared her thoughts on changing her name after marriage. Here, you can read why she decided to change her name when she got married, and why changing her name after marriage was difficult logistically and emotionally…
Why changing your last name after marriage can be difficult…
I changed my name after marriage, and the name change was a tad bit painful both emotionally and logistically — I was definitely caught off guard by how difficult it ended up being for me. Here’s why changing my name after marriage was difficult for me…
Why changing your last name after marriage can be difficult logistically
It’s just a logistical pain to notify all the different places that have your name on file.. your bank, all of the places that are open only 9-5 when you work a 9-5 lol… It also takes a while and you have to keep up with your steps in sequential order. First you get certified copies of your marriage license after it’s been returned to the courthouse by your officiant. Then you take that and all your identifying documents to the social security office. Then they take 7-10 biz days to return your new SS card in the mail. Then you go to the DMV, all your banks, your HR dept, mail in your passport stuff, etc etc etc….some things you can do online and others are just easier in person.
Why changing your last name after marriage can be difficult emotionally
Despite my dad’s complete and utter sorrow over this issue, I had always said I’d go in both feet when it came to the name change. My dad has two sons, the legacy will live on!
Taking my husband’s name is what I wanted to do… it would be so much easier throughout our lives, and we’d me Mr & Mrs like it should be… but then I found myself sitting in the social security office and it felt like i was back up at the altar except it was scarier; the altar was surprisingly fun and exhilarating while social security is lonely and sad.
I felt like I was losing my identity, my culture, giving the last part of me away and no one is there to hold my hand.
That was super dramatic, but literally how I felt and clearly because I had too much time waiting there to think through all of these things that had never bothered me before lol… I even considered adding my maiden as part of my last name as a second middle name in the time before I got called up.
But you know, what got me through pulling the trigger was thinking about our vows and our ceremony readings. This is what marriage is and what we promised to each other.. two becoming one… forming a new family with your spouse.. We promised to share our lives together and that will never change who I was and where I come from.
And as one of the bridesmaids so eloquently put it, it’s a maiden name for a reason.
All of those things I thought I was losing are not gone just because I changed my last name. I still have all those awesome/crazy things about me to contribute to my new hubs and our future kids. In the end, you feel the right decision for you and your marriage. Your spouse may have some feelings on it to consider, also. My spouse was very supportive of my discovery process, but really wanted me to take his name entirely – not try to shove my name back on my ID somewhere. It’s the new me. With all that said, changing my name was harder than I expected. I had to go all in though, both feet! No half-stepping 🙂
Readers, if you’re married… did you change your last name? If yes, was it fraught with emotional or logistical challenges for you?
P.S. – Here’s Cherie on why becoming a stay at home mom was so life-changing and challenging. Also, here’s another story from a woman struggling with whether or not to change her name (from A Practical Wedding).