Keeping my surname

(32 Posts)
popsnsqeeze Tue 15-Oct-13 11:27:14

Hi All,

DH and I were married about 7 years ago now. I'm from the UK, we were married abroad and have now moved to a third country.
Out of sheer laziness and lack of money I never updated my British passport to my married name. Now, in moving to country 3 the visa is being issued in my maiden name as per my British passport. And I like that!
So in country 3 I want to revert back to my maiden name. Obviously I have to check into the legalities but aside from that I want to be able to coherently explain to DH why I want to keep my name.
My reasons are,
1. I simply prefer it.
2. I have become much more feminist thinking and don't see why I need his name.

But I think I'll need to really be able to explain it to him as he'll argue that as a family we should all have one name, and he thinks I'm being a crazy feminist. I've only recently started thinking with a more feminist approach, and I don't know that I'll be able to explain myself adequately.

So I'm looking for the more thought out reasons as to why this is really not a big deal for him. And I guess just to develop my own thoughts and reasoning.

Thank you!

Boosterseattheballcleaner Tue 15-Oct-13 11:37:29

You don't need to explain yourself, DH respected my decision to keep my name and that's the end of it really. Its your name and you may do as you please.

He wouldn't be the man i married if he tried to make me feel guilty for doing something I didn't want to.

WoTmania Tue 15-Oct-13 11:42:51

If he says that you need the same name as a family you could suggest he change his name to yours...
But, really, it's your choice. You don't need to do any convincing.

dotty2 Tue 15-Oct-13 11:47:26

I didn't change my name when we married, and DH completely accepted that, and was actively supportive - as I would have expected. But I can see that reverting back when you have changed it might feel like more of a big deal to your DH. So while I'm sure you'll get lots of people saying 'you don't need to explain yourself' (and they're right, of course), perhaps you do need to help him understand why so it doesn't feel like a moving away from him, IYSWIM. I think it partly depends on the thinking and influences you're exposed to? Is part of your explanation to him that you simply hadn't thought about it as a possibility at the time but now because of how your thinking as moved on, it is more important to you?

dotty2 Tue 15-Oct-13 11:48:10

PS - what's the norm in Country 3? There are plenty of cultures where it's much more usual for women to keep their name.

popsnsqeeze Tue 15-Oct-13 12:10:03

Country 3 is the USA, not so sure of the norms. I suspect it is not the norm to keep maiden names.
I really just want DH to broaden his thinking and understand my reasons and support them.

slug Tue 15-Oct-13 12:20:53

WoTamia is right. that's the exact same discussion I had with DH re name changing before we were married. i.e.
Him: Are you going to change your name?
Me: Why? Are you?
End of conversation.

If you do want any extra ammunition, it may be worth pointing out that all your qualifications are (presumably) in your maiden name and should you apply for a job you may need to take your marriage certificate too to prove you are who you say you are and are qualified to do what you claim. Would he put up with having to do that? <<Disclaimer, I know a number of women who have had to do this>>

dotty2 Tue 15-Oct-13 12:22:32

Do you know anyone else who kept their name? I guess if you don't, then it will seem odder to your DH than if there are others in your peer group. FWIW, when we got married, I was much younger and living in London and working in the cultural sector, going to a church with an active feminist reading group etc - and it seemed completely normal not to change your name - people asked me if I was but didn't assume I would. Now I live in a small town in the Midlands, where the culture is much more c/Conservative and I literally can't think of anyone I know here who is married who hasn't changed their name

dotty2 Tue 15-Oct-13 12:23:31

Oh - and I think it's quite common for American women to double barrel or keep their name. But the American women I know are mostly academics or work in the arts, so may not be typical!

joanofarchitrave Tue 15-Oct-13 12:25:41

I think in the US it will depend on what circles you move in, but in general I think it's pretty normal to keep your name there, more so than in the UK.

I would just be honest with your dh - say that you're struggling to put it into words but that you found it stranger than you expected to lose touch with your original identity, the one he met, and you would feel better to keep that name. It can be oddly destabilising, I do regret changing my name and wish I hadn't.

popsnsqeeze Tue 15-Oct-13 13:09:23

We're in a pretty conservative area but to be honest I don't really care what others do. In fact, I do quite like the idea of making a statement!
I don't think DH will be bothered, it's more a case of when he asks me why, being able to answer eloquently.
My 2 kids have DH's surname, and that's fine, I'm not bothered about that.
Also, I don't want to just tell him what I'm doing, I'm making a change that's important to me and I want him to understand it too.

PumpkinGuts Tue 15-Oct-13 13:53:12

It is actually very common to keep your name in the states even in more conservative areas and MS is much much more common than in the UK

As for Dh just tell him that's what you were doing. You don't have any obligation to "explain" it to him.

DontGiveAwayTheHomeworld Tue 15-Oct-13 15:11:00

I had this problem, DP said that keeping my name seemed like I wasn't fully committing to him. So I pointed out that I'm legally tying myself to him, what more does he bloody want?

He got the idea.

Tell him it's what you're going to do. If he argues, ask if he would change hos name to yours. If he wouldn't, then why shouldn't you keep yours?

somersethouse Tue 15-Oct-13 15:14:58

Canada, Spain, Italy and France, you automatically keep your own name. Your child gets double barrelled, husbands surname first and mothers surname second. It is the UK which is unusual.
Not sure about America but I think it is like Canada... you keep your own name.

PumpkinGuts Tue 15-Oct-13 15:16:01

I often toy with the idea about changing back to my maiden name, but I like having the same name as my children and don't want to give them hassle of having to explain why their names were changed for legal documents later on.

Vagndidit Tue 15-Oct-13 15:21:14

I'm American and kept my maiden name. Honestly, it causes me more grief here in the UK (everyone is so keen to label you as Mrs/Miss Something) than it ever did while living in the States.

After 7 years I honestly wouldnt bother.

I'd be curious to hear your H's reasoning why you need a "family name."

Hopefully it isnt for something as silly as my MIL's suggestion that my son wouldnt know that I'm hus mother if we didnt share the same last name angry

PumpkinGuts Tue 15-Oct-13 15:31:28

Hopefully it isnt for something as silly as my MIL's suggestion that my son wouldnt know that I'm hus mother if we didnt share the same last name angry

ha ha that is potentially one of the dumbest thing I have ever heard. My children don't even know their last name yet..I am pretty sure they know who I am though hmm

popsnsqeeze Tue 15-Oct-13 15:33:04

DH is great, really a well thought out guy. But he comes from a family where feminism is a dirty word, his mother firmly believes a woman's place is chained to the kitchen sink. DH is not like that at all, we split all household and family jobs well.
I just want him to learn something new, to understand what feminism really is and how it applies to the way we live our lives and raise our children. And I guess this is a part of that.

valiumredhead Tue 15-Oct-13 15:37:43

I kept my name and we've been married years and years.

You don't have to explain it, do what you want.

My Dh didn't 'get it' at first so I asked him if he wanted to change his name to mine. He was horrified and I explained that was
how I felt.

End of discussionwink

valiumredhead Tue 15-Oct-13 15:39:06

Incidently,I have never had a problem having a different name than ds or Dh, it's never ever been an issue.

heidihole Tue 15-Oct-13 15:40:27

My DH wheeled out the argument of a family should share the same name. I offered him my name if he wanted to change. He dropped the argument like a hot brick ;)

PumpkinGuts Tue 15-Oct-13 15:43:53

I didn't change my name for all the reasons mentioned here. DH fully supported my choice. We were together many years before DCs,DCs have his surname, we agreed on this. If I had wanted DH would happily have called them by my surname.
As Dotty says I also live in a small place, where I literally can't think of anyone I know here who is married who hasn't changed their name.
It was never an issue before DC, after they were born I considered changing it to make things easier, which it undoubtedly is if you all share a name. DH persuaded me not to because he thought it was a valuable message for the DCs.
Now they are teenagers they hate the fact that we don't share a family name. They understand my reasons, and wouldn't care what name it was but they don't like having a different name to me. The truth is that most third parties assume I am their step mother.angry

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

valiumredhead Tue 15-Oct-13 15:53:47

Ds is nearly a teen, he's never mentioned anything but then most of his mates have parents with different names.

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