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to suddenly miss my old surname after five years? (sorry a bit long)

(13 Posts)
halfdrunkcoffee Fri 31-Oct-14 20:49:59

DH and I have been married for five years. For some reason recently (quite possibly after reading some of the heated threads on MN on this topic) I've been really wishing I hadn't changed my name. We are not having any relationship problems - I just have been thinking about it and now I miss my old name. (Have felt like this on and off for a while, but a lot more so recently).

My name was Polish in origin. I had years of spelling out my name on the phone and mis-spelled post, not to mention being completely Googleable. DH has a relatively common English surname (my mum met someone with the same name as me at work, which felt very strange as I was used to having a unique name). I decided to change it in a bit of a rush when I was booking the honeymoon tickets, and wish I'd spent more time thinking it through. DH would have been quite happy for me to keep my name - in fact I think he expected I would at first.

At the time, I liked the idea of us being a family unit with the same name, of not having to spell it out and be asked where it was from all the time, and later I liked having the same name as my children. On the other hand, I feel like I've kind of lost my identity, that my name isn't really "me" or that I was letting the feminist cause down. (We did briefly toy with the idea of double-barrelling any future DCs' names, but I found my old name enough of a mouthful on its own without adding another one to it). We relocated just before we got married and then had DCs so in some ways I kind of feel it was a new name for a new life stage.

So, just wondering if anyone else has felt like this? It would be a major PITA not to mention expensive to change back or to double-barrel by deed poll, when I think of the huge number of things (passport etc) to change; plus everyone might think it a very strange thing to do, and most people I know here only know me as my married name. I could start using my old name informally, perhaps (I am a SAHM at the moment), or just accept that I have made my own bed to lie in and there are more important things to worry about.

Artistic Fri 31-Oct-14 21:11:35

I feel a bit in the same boat as you - but it's taken me 10 years!
Just had DD2, and wondered if her surname should perhaps be double barrelled? But then either she'd be singled out or everyone changes. To keep paperwork simple I just went with the flow...

But it does feel good to be united by a single surname. Above all I think the DC feel more secure because of it.

skylark2 Fri 31-Oct-14 21:16:54

You can just start using it. You don't have to change anything legally.

I did change my name legally. No regrets, but I don't go by it - I go by double-barrel. That's my signature too. Legal stuff is Mrs Hisname.

The only very slight complication is that I have to put it in the bit of forms which says "are you known by any other names?"

I didn't double-barrel the DCs either, but DD has decided she'd rather use it. So she does. Again, it is a non issue.

Winterbells Fri 31-Oct-14 21:18:46

Yanbu to feel that way.

I didn't and won't ever change my surname. It's my identity, my history, it's my name. I didn't want to give it up just because I got married. My children have a double surname. We did consider creating a whole new surname for our family but my husband didn't want to give up his surname either.

I think using your previous surname informally sounds like a good idea but you would also not be unreasonable to want to change it back or double barrell it.

Iggi999 Fri 31-Oct-14 21:18:55

Why would it be expensive, bar your passport and driving licence (you cod wait till needing renewed anyway. Wouldn't cost money to change with the bank etc. I imagine family would continue to use the other name though!

WerewolfBarMitzvah Fri 31-Oct-14 21:19:05

I feel exactly the same. Was keen to give up boring old name for tricky to spell new name and in hindsight, should have double barrelled at the very least.
But I won't do anything about it. Just moan at DH intermittently.

Damntheclockchange Fri 31-Oct-14 21:19:09

Yes! I am in a very similar position. So many of my friends/fb friends have got married this year and I'm finding the stream of women changing their names on fb so depressing, though its not something I really thought that much about when I got married.

DH and I have talked seriously about both changing our names now to a new name made from merging both our surnames, and i think we probably would if it was just the two of us, but in the end I think it would just create too much hassle to change our kids' names at this point. It does bug me. Maybe we'll do it for our 25th wedding anniversary or something once the kids are grown up!

Damntheclockchange Fri 31-Oct-14 21:22:26

(and when I said 'Yes', I obviously meant 'yes I feel the same way', rather than 'yes you are being unreasonable'. YANBU!)

polyhymnia Fri 31-Oct-14 21:22:46

Absolutely see your point. I didn't change my name and really can't understand why people do - though I do totally accept it's up to them to do as they want and that we don't all think alike, etc.

halfdrunkcoffee Fri 31-Oct-14 21:53:26

It probably wouldn't be that expensive to change - just passport and driving licence, which have years left on them - and in any case that's not really a problem. It's more the hassle when I think of all the things that would need changing - bank accounts, insurance, utility companies, student loan, pension, Inland Revenue, etc, then informing everyone.

I could ask friends and family to address letters to my old name, I suppose. I don't know if they'd all think I'm bonkers. I had something published in an anthology about mothering and wish I'd used my old name for that.

Need to have a proper chat with DH, I think!

Hassled Fri 31-Oct-14 21:57:38

I used my first H's surname when we were married, and regretted it almost straight away - I stuck it out, but reverted to my maiden name as soon as we split (and have kept it on remarriage). So I certainly understand that feeling that you've given something up, you've lost part of your identity - it is a big deal to a lot of women. And if this is going to eat away at you, you do need to reclaim it.

WhoKnowsWhereTheSlimeGoes Fri 31-Oct-14 22:05:18

I don't believe for a minute that children feel less secure with a different surname to a parent, it's very common now. I don't know hard it is to change as I never changed mine in the first place, but it can't be that hard. I don't think people would think you are bonkers at all.

SoonMeansNever Sat 01-Nov-14 01:05:21

Had you considered adding it in again but as a middle name?
So for example, Jane Sue Kraviec Smith?
It wouldn't be actually double barrelled or changing your official surname, so you could change documents gradually as and when you wanted to.
You could do the same for the children, adding it as an extra middle name/unofficial double barrel.

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