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Adult name change not really worked, what now?

(40 Posts)
ErnestTheBavarian Thu 29-Oct-09 08:25:05

After much helpful input here, I changed my name a few months ago.

I have always hated my given name. I kept wanting to change for my whole life.

i finally got brave enough to do it. Lots of people on here were really encouraging.

Anyway, I did it, and it hasn't really worked. dh now doesn't call me anything, just 'dear' all the time which is odd and unnatural, and leaves me disappointed each time. sil calls me by my new name, but I know, even after months it's an effort and while the new name comes out of her mouth, my original name is what she thinks iyswim. ditto for fil, except he slips into old name when he's had a drink.

So I don't really feel it's worked, and feel like a no name idiot. dh still takes the piss - if we're filling out a form he'll ask ' what are you called today', or 'changed your mind again?'. I know he's just teasing blah balh blah

So anyway, do I just accept that those nearest to me will never get it and carry on anyway, or give up and just re use my much hated original name with my tail between my legs?

Feels like it's gone badly wrong and not sure if I should keep plodding on, or give up and accept my given name is what I'm stuck with?

GrapefruitMoon Thu 29-Oct-09 08:31:42

Did you change your name officially or just ask people to call you something different?

I don't really know what to advise - I have known people who are known by different names by different groups of people but they are happy with both iyswim. (Eg always called by middle name by family but use first name at work to save constantly explaining). I have always been called by my middle name and actually prefer my first name but am not bothered enough to change the situation.

I do remember your original thread but don't recall what your RL name was - why do you hate it so much?

GossipMonger Thu 29-Oct-09 08:34:50

ooh tricky one!

I think you should stick out the new name for a bit longer.

You have taken the brave step of changing it and of course it will take some a while to get used to it.

You cannot go back to the old name if you hated it so much.

Which new name did you go for in the end? I do remember the thread.

ErnestTheBavarian Thu 29-Oct-09 08:36:31

I hate it cos it's very old fashined, and not in a modern old cool sort of way, it is often much derieded on here and in rl, it is my mum's name and the hilarious, much recounted story of why it was foisted on my just pisses me off, I am not close to my mum and hate having her reallyhorrid name. It suits her age group perfectly, so I feel like people percieve me as being middle aged/old already cos of my name.

I decided I would do the official name change when my passport came up for renewal next year due to costs (we don't live in UK so all passport stuff really expensive here). SO bank etc all still in old name, so I have to use both occasionally.

ErnestTheBavarian Thu 29-Oct-09 08:37:59

I went for Laura in the end.

allaboutme Thu 29-Oct-09 08:41:11

This in between stage must be by FAR the hardest time. Where people still remember your old name so clearly but are trying to use your new name.
Its great that SIL and FIL are making a real effort to go with the new name. Its only natural that it will feel/sound a little stilted while they get used to it and its also natural that FIL will slip up sometimes. As long as he's making the effort then thats a good thing.
As for your DH - is/was he supportive of you doing this? If so, then it would be worth having a sit down chat with him and explaining that you'd really like his help with getting the new name stuck in peoples heads and can he please try and use it more often, especially in front of other people to get you all a bit more used to it.
Also tell him that the teasing is a bit hurtful, even though you know he means it only in a banter type way and please could he try to stop?
You've done the hard bit by telling everyone! It never could be a seamless change, it will take time to feel natural to you and everyone else, but now you've got this far stick it out and you'll get there soon!!!
(I changed my surname many years ago and it did take a while for everyone to get used to it, but no one would really remember i was ever any different unless you reminded them now smile )

rosieposey Thu 29-Oct-09 08:41:58

Laura is a lovely name.

One of my friends changed her name (the whole shebang - first, middle and last) and it took ages for everyone to get used to it - stick it out, 5 years on everybody calls her Imgoen now.

MaggieBruja Thu 29-Oct-09 10:07:33

I remember you! I knew before I clicked that it was going to be you Laura.

I think stick with it.

If you give up now, you give them more grounds to go on and on and on and on with their "what are you today joke?".

Stick to your guns, it hasn't been that long.

Correct people, ignore the old name, don't respond to the teasing, either with a forced laugh or with a snappy remark.

Rise above the teasing and they'll feel like their joke went down like a lead balloon. Nobody can keep up a joke that is as funny as a bcuket of sick for 2 years....

stick at it. don't give up now laura!

MaggieBruja Thu 29-Oct-09 10:12:46

Ps, do you have a new email address, a facebook account in your new name, do you sign all your text messages laura? do you send cards and sign them Laura??

Another year of this,, 'drip, drip, drip' will really help them take it on board.

angel1976 Thu 29-Oct-09 11:01:55

I think it's too soon to see the 'results'. When I got married, I took my husband's surname as I'm foreign and my surname was quite difficult for people to grasp. It took quite a long while for ME to get used to it, let alone other people! At least a year I would say. And after a few years, as you meet new people, you will have a whole set of friends who would only know you by your new name and that will help.

I was also always known by the shortened form of my first name in high school. I resumed to using the long form once I left as I felt it more 'grown up'. DH says it still feels strange when my old friend calls me by the 'short form'. Incidentally, I also have an 'ethnic' name that only close family uses. You have to be prepared that there will always be people who will use your 'old' name. BTW, your DH taking the piss doesn't really help. You need to explain to him this means a lot to you...

Laura is a lovely name!

belgo Thu 29-Oct-09 11:05:06

It hasn't gone wrong! People are just not used to it yet, but it sounds like they are trying. Your sil and fil are trying to call you Laura, it's understandable that they still think of your original name.

stick it out!

hattee Thu 29-Oct-09 11:17:45

I think you should stick with it Laura. You have already been very brave and done the difficult bit by making the decision and telling everyone. The transitional stage is bound to be difficult for you all, but it does sound as though your family are trying. It will only get easier over time.

I agree with allaboutme, that you should sit down with your DH, and explain how important this is to you, and how much you would value his help. I'm sure he doesn't mean to be hurtful, and is probably just finding it difficult to adjust. When people slip up and use your old name, just calmly remind them that you are called Laura now. They really will get used to it over time, and gradually they will stop even thinking about you as being your old name, and you really will become a Laura to them

Good luck!

ErnestTheBavarian Thu 29-Oct-09 11:20:50

ok, thank you all for the reassurance. I just heard so many tales of 'so and so changed their name and the old one was forgotten by one and all the very next day' and this def hasn't been the case for me.

but yes, my email, mobile, voicemail, house phone messages etc all in Laura name.

was starting to think it had all gone wrong and felt like giving up, but you've convinced me it's ok. ta.

btw, really don't mind some people using old name, eg I haven't even told my grandma about the change as I know she would not cope with it at all and tbh didn't think it was fair, she has real memory problems following her stroke so I'm not being totally precious about it.

But dh never calling me by any name is annoying. Kids are great, so I guess i'll just stop getting upset and stick to it.

when I changed my name following marriage I don't remember any problems really.

Can I change my bank name before I do the official name change I wonder? Thant would be big help

MaggieBruja Thu 29-Oct-09 11:24:36

I doubt the banks would allow that... they'll want to see ALL the legal name-changing documentation I'm sure.

Earthstar Thu 29-Oct-09 11:29:23

Stick with it and ask dh to call you Laura, tell him it is important to you.

Isn't it nice though that all the new people you meet all know you as Laura and nothing else?

neenz Thu 29-Oct-09 11:44:01

Hi Ernest! Stick with it, it will take time - I am sure everyone understands exactly why you changed so it's not like your ILs are thinking 'wtf?' After a few years it will just be normal to them.

I think you should definitely tell Dh that you want him to call you by your new name and tell him how important it is - it probably just feels a bit odd right now but he'll get used to it. I think you did the right thing changing.

Good luck!

SkivingViking Thu 29-Oct-09 11:53:08

My little brother changed name and it took quite a while for it to feel 'normal'. Nowadays, I can't imagine him at all as his previous name - it just doesn't fit.

Just stick with it and keep emphasising (as people said, in email addresses, messages etc)

The teasing comments from DH would hurt me a bit too (I have a DH who teases a lot and sometimes it can go too far although he does it without realising it). I'd tell him how much this means to you and can he tease about something else that doesn't mean so much to you as him taking the piss about this actually hurt (or something along those lines).

Good luck!

lisianthus Thu 29-Oct-09 11:56:39

Stick it out Laura (lovely, elegant name, btw). As everyone else is saying, it takes a while. If you equate it to businesses changing their names, you can see that with some people, it takes longer that others to automatically think of the right name, but it gets there in the end.

iwascyteenagewerewolf Thu 29-Oct-09 12:03:18

Definitely stick it out. My best friend and her sister changed their names as young teens, for various reasons, and both of them say they wouldn't even turn their heads if someone called their old names in the street now. It does take time but it will stick with everyone eventually. Do give your DH a slap gentle reminder to sort himself out though wink

Laura is a gorgeous name and much underused. Enjoy it!

admylin Thu 29-Oct-09 14:00:19

Ernest, dh changed his name officially just after we met. He went to the Rathaus to do it and they gave him a certificate which had their official stamp on the front and back (no idea why!)then we copied that about 10 times and went back to the Rathaus and they put their stamp on the copies to say they were true copies and we sent the copies out to banks, insurances, passport/Ausweis places and work.

Took a while until he stopped getting post with his old name but it was worth it.

admylin Thu 29-Oct-09 14:01:56

We were also in Germany at the time!

ErnestTheBavarian Thu 29-Oct-09 14:24:19

ooh, that's interesting Ad, wasn't sure if I would have to do it in Germany or UK? Is your dh registered as German or British?

Thanks again to you, neenz, everybody with their encouragement atc. will happily give dh a slap

hupa Thu 29-Oct-09 14:29:03

Great name Ernsest - I agree with the others to just give it time and have a word with dh to start using your new name.

I have to say I thought it would be a nightmare in Germany to change your name given how much paperwork seems to be involved in the simplest task, so it´s good to hear that it´s not that complicated.

schroeder Thu 29-Oct-09 14:37:45

I changed my surname informaly years ago and it was fine; used it for work and banks with no problems as long as I declared on forms what it had been before.

You can go by whatever name you like. I wish I'd had the guts to change my first name too which I hate, but could never decide what I liked better.

Keep at a few months isn't really enough time for people to get used to it I'm afraid.

GinSlinger Thu 29-Oct-09 14:38:34

My name was changed many years ago by my parents- forename and surname - complicated story but I was pleased enough for it to happen. It took quite a long time for people in the extended family to get used to it - we made a bit of a game of it than when people used the wrong name they had to put a penny in the jar. I found that the more I met different people who new me as Gin the easier it became. It is only this thread that reminded me that I used to have an entirely different name.

To summarise, now that I've talked about myself, keep going with it for longer and if people tease you or get it wrong suggest that they should stick a pound in the gin jar.

good luck, Laura.

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