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Old 12-09-2011, 02:45 PM   #16 (permalink)
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Default Re: What did it mean to you for your wife to take your surname when you married?

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My wife still after 11 years married and 18 years together hasn't changed her name... She says that she is just too lazy to change it to mine. To me it's just added proof that she never really loved me. Now it may not matter
Did she say she would and just hasn't?
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Old 12-09-2011, 02:51 PM   #17 (permalink)
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Default Re: What did it mean to you for your wife to take your surname when you married?

Marriage is no game. It only works when you abandon all fear, thoughts about "what if", "who else" and the like, and "can I go back". It requires that you go all in 100% to the point that each of you would lay down your lives for each other. Keeping your name reflects wanting an "out", and not being "all in". Especially when your fiance wants it.
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Old 12-09-2011, 02:55 PM   #18 (permalink)
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Default Re: What did it mean to you for your wife to take your surname when you married?

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Right. At the time when our first was born, I wanted to get married. He had expressed a couple of reasons why he didn't want to at that time. He knew I wanted to be married if we had children (baby came a bit ahead of our plans) and I started to think that possibly he didn't want to ever get married which would be a dealbreaker for me. I did not want to end up a single parent, as I did with my first two, with all the responsibility and them having the name of someone who wasn't there.

I explained this and basically he wanted the child to have just his name without the commitment of being married. No way.

He says a lot about it being tradition, the pride, the name being passe down through the generations and being lost if they have my name. I sense a lot of it is male pride, I do not say that in a derogatory sense... Like he feels that if I were proud to be his wife, I would WANT to take his name. That if I don't, it says something to the outside world about him, me and our commitment.
But it sounds like there were other messages you were communicating to him as well. Like the only way to get his kids to have any part of his name was to get married. If he did not do that, you originally intended not to include his name at all. Like they are your kids, not his, and he does not get his name attached to them unless he commits to you.

May not have been what you meant to say (or maybe it was), but it may have been what he understood. If so, that is part of his reasoning, even if he can't articulate it. He wants the names changed to demonstrate that the kids are his as well, and not just yours.

Of course, this is all a bunch of arm chair analysis based on a few brief posts, so take this with more than a few grains of salt. You know your husband better, so you have a better chance of knowing if this is acurate.
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Old 12-09-2011, 03:48 PM   #19 (permalink)
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Default Re: What did it mean to you for your wife to take your surname when you married?

My W comes from Korea, and women there keep their family names. So when my W took mine, I was very honored.

Incidentally, I knew a guy over there who was a military lawyer-he married a woman named SooMi. Can you imagine the looks on people's faces when he introduced her?
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Old 12-09-2011, 05:20 PM   #20 (permalink)
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Default Re: What did it mean to you for your wife to take your surname when you married?

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Marriage is no game. It only works when you abandon all fear, thoughts about "what if", "who else" and the like, and "can I go back". It requires that you go all in 100% to the point that each of you would lay down your lives for each other. Keeping your name reflects wanting an "out", and not being "all in". Especially when your fiance wants it.
Right. So if I want to keep my name it reflects wanting an "out"... But if he keeps his name then he's just, what, being a guy? So it's okay for him to brush off my wishes that he changes his name then, if I want it then it counts less as I am female? But if I want to keep my name then it means something different, that I'm not as committed? I disagree.

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But it sounds like there were other messages you were communicating to him as well. Like the only way to get his kids to have any part of his name was to get married. If he did not do that, you originally intended not to include his name at all. Like they are your kids, not his, and he does not get his name attached to them unless he commits to you.

May not have been what you meant to say (or maybe it was), but it may have been what he understood. If so, that is part of his reasoning, even if he can't articulate it. He wants the names changed to demonstrate that the kids are his as well, and not just yours.

Of course, this is all a bunch of arm chair analysis based on a few brief posts, so take this with more than a few grains of salt. You know your husband better, so you have a better chance of knowing if this is acurate.
I get what you are saying. But what I was saying is that he can't pick and choose which bits of "traditional" he wants. I was saying I need to know he's in it 100%, for marriage and family. Yep they are certainly his kids too, not just mine. But in the eyes of the law I would be the primary carer unless otherwise decided in court if we weren't married. And also why SHOULDN'T they have just my name if we're not married? He knows they're his kids and I know they're my kids. So it could go one of a number of ways with the name and them having my name isn't a less favourable option just because I'm not the male parent.
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Old 12-09-2011, 05:30 PM   #21 (permalink)
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Default Re: What did it mean to you for your wife to take your surname when you married?

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Did she say she would and just hasn't?
She says that she would.. that was over 11 years ago. I would be happy if she used her last name as a middle name -hyphenated..
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Old 12-09-2011, 05:35 PM   #22 (permalink)
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Default Re: What did it mean to you for your wife to take your surname when you married?

So many people look at this subject from uniquely different point of views that its hard to compare one couple to another. Religious beliefs, ethical, geographical, and even the way our culture has changed in the last 20 years or so.

My wife really liked my name, but for religious and social reasons, wanted to signal that we were creating a new family with a new legacy, since my father had passed. I was honored, but really couldn't name a single person within a 500 mile radius who did it differently in the 80s in my area.

I could see that I'd look at it differently now if I found myself single, considering marriage again, now that children are in the picture, and more 'life experience'. I would see the woman wanting to keep her name, and would understand. Hard to describe, but I would respect her need to stay connected to the things that are implied in her name.
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Old 12-09-2011, 06:14 PM   #23 (permalink)
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Default Re: What did it mean to you for your wife to take your surname when you married?

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Right. So if I want to keep my name it reflects wanting an "out"... But if he keeps his name then he's just, what, being a guy? So it's okay for him to brush off my wishes that he changes his name then, if I want it then it counts less as I am female? But if I want to keep my name then it means something different, that I'm not as committed? I disagree.
If these traditions such as waiting for marriage to have children and taking a husbands name are too antiquated or silly for you, so be it. But yes, your future husband is asking you to demonstrate your commitment to him and your marriage. If you were to force him to take your name, you would be doing so to prove to the world that norms of society are not for you. The meaning of the gesture is entirely different when a man takes a woman's name, than vice versa. .
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Old 12-10-2011, 03:02 AM   #24 (permalink)
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If these traditions such as waiting for marriage to have children and taking a husbands name are too antiquated or silly for you, so be it. But yes, your future husband is asking you to demonstrate your commitment to him and your marriage. If you were to force him to take your name, you would be doing so to prove to the world that norms of society are not for you. The meaning of the gesture is entirely different when a man takes a woman's name, than vice versa. .
I wouldn't call such traditions silly. Antiquated... Maybe. I do understand what you are saying about my OH asking me to show my commitment by changing my name. Thinking about it I don't frame things by way of tradition or the outside world. It's what these "gestures" mean on a personal level.

So for example... He wants me to take his name. Whilst I understand his viewpoint, showing my commitment, I think well I just do not respect that he would want me to do it yet he would go no way to consider my wishes to change to my name. Like it is diminishing the fact that my name and the unity and commitment it would show to change his name to mine is somehow laughable or not important because it's not traditional.

Interesting you use the term "force" for him to change his name to mine but not vice versa.

I've never seen it as proving that the norms of society are not for us/me. I see it as it's good for him and equally as good for me. My name is just as valuable and important to me as his is to him.
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Old 12-10-2011, 04:05 AM   #25 (permalink)
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I really, really wanted to change my name to my husband's, but we live in a country where that is illegal. Here a woman MUST keep her name, and the children's last name is determined on the day you sign the marriage certificate (we went with H's last name but it could have been mine or hyphenated). I use his name for everything social (mail, magazine subscriptions, facebook, etc) but for legal things I use my legal (maiden) name. I feel really strongly about it and it makes me mad that I can't have the name I want (his name). I think that names are labels and identifiers, and I want to be identified/labeled as part of the same family as he. My last name sucks, so there's no reason for him to prefer mine. He on the other hand has a great last name that sounds really good with my name.

I think you should have strong feelings about changing your name if you are going to do so - it's a big change and, anymore, it does make a statement if you do it. After I changed my name on Facebook, I got a bunch of messages from friends who didn't know that it's legally impossible here saying "I never thought you would change your name to your husband's!" I replied something like "I just use his name socially, legally I haven't changed it" and they were still surprised.
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Old 12-10-2011, 05:08 AM   #26 (permalink)
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Default Re: What did it mean to you for your wife to take your surname when you married?

Personally I could care less!! Two of my children have my wife's last name I care NADA, ZERO, ZIP we could spend $50 per child and change it, but for what? It will just change again when they get married............It means 100% nothing to me.


I do understand for many family heritage and lineage mean so much and that is awesome for them. We are all different in what we hold dear and value.
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Old 12-10-2011, 05:23 AM   #27 (permalink)
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Thankyou guys. I can't multiquote on my phone but it's good to get different views, from ladies also.

I suppose I am looking for something, some good reason that shouts to me, yes, that is a GREAT reason to take his name AS OPPOSED TO KEEPING MINE OR HIM CHANGING HIS. I don't know if I'll find anything but I will be thinking about it as I know he feels as strongly about a name change as I do.
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Old 12-10-2011, 05:51 AM   #28 (permalink)
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Think in terms of giving and getting in your marriage.
In your marriage you need to give him what he wants, and he needs to give you what you want. This is a subtle but important concept. Deciding this is too much for you to "give" and that he should be sensitive to your needs to "not give" him this is a bad pattern to get into in your marriage. You should go all in on your giving. And he should go all in on giving to you what you need. This is what I mean about taking the risk and going "all in". Give him what he needs without the direct knowledge that he is the man who will do the same in return. That's the risk / scariness. But that's the model you should develop in your marriage: Giving to the level that the "needer" wants.
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Old 12-10-2011, 06:16 AM   #29 (permalink)
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Think in terms of giving and getting in your marriage.
In your marriage you need to give him what he wants, and he needs to give you what you want. This is a subtle but important concept. Deciding this is too much for you to "give" and that he should be sensitive to your needs to "not give" him this is a bad pattern to get into in your marriage. You should go all in on your giving. And he should go all in on giving to you what you need. This is what I mean about taking the risk and going "all in". Give him what he needs without the direct knowledge that he is the man who will do the same in return. That's the risk / scariness. But that's the model you should develop in your marriage: Giving to the level that the "needer" wants.
I understand in principle. I think that is a great idea but I don't think it applies with everything. I don't think stifling your own wants/needs is healthy when it's a bone of contention. I think this is where compromise comes on. I think if it were something he REALLY wanted and I had no particular preferences - and that applies to a range of scenarios - there is nothing wrong with going with his feelings then.

However when both of you have strong feelings? I have felt like this since being a little girl. I have never not thought of keeping my name. I'd happily take his name in addition to mine, like my younger two have.

I know that at the heart of his feelings is a strong sense of masculinity. To him it's ridiculous to even ghink of having my name. I understand. I know we are coming at this from different perspectives. I don't know if he could equate his gender-specific feelings towards mine, that giving up my name for a man's is something I do not feel comfortable with.
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Old 12-10-2011, 08:22 AM   #30 (permalink)
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Default Re: What did it mean to you for your wife to take your surname when you married?

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I understand in principle. I think that is a great idea but I don't think it applies with everything. I don't think stifling your own wants/needs is healthy when it's a bone of contention. I think this is where compromise comes on. I think if it were something he REALLY wanted and I had no particular preferences - and that applies to a range of scenarios - there is nothing wrong with going with his feelings then.

However when both of you have strong feelings? I have felt like this since being a little girl. I have never not thought of keeping my name. I'd happily take his name in addition to mine, like my younger two have.

I know that at the heart of his feelings is a strong sense of masculinity. To him it's ridiculous to even ghink of having my name. I understand. I know we are coming at this from different perspectives. I don't know if he could equate his gender-specific feelings towards mine, that giving up my name for a man's is something I do not feel comfortable with.
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You're in a very tough position, I agree. Some guys could just let it go, but he seems to feel insecure with the notion of your not taking his name. Do you think he will always question your sincerity in wanting to be his partner in life? Not sure what the answer would be, but when you address it from the root of the problems that it might cause within him long term, if it does, then maybe you could offer an alternative that might not help as much now, but may allow the two of you to put it behind you. I'm thinking of offering to change your vows to heighten your interdependence on each other - then frame it along side a picture of you in your wedding dress. I have my wife's self-made vows framed in a print over her image, and keep it on my desk. My own vows reflected the native american aspect of my heritage, so she did the same. Its a daily reminder.

Just a thought.

Also, I do think that if you explain that you want to carry your life heritage into the wedding, adding it to his name at the end, he could possibly understand this rationalization if you haven't offered it before. See, my wife is a professional, and has built herself within a practice with her name. I'd never blame her for wanting to keep her own name if I met and married her at this point of life. I have a friend who did the same. She has made herself known in the technical world, and married a guy who was a supervisor. She added his name to hers. Unfortunately, the way our computer systems work at the corporation, it has become a challenge in other aspects, but not insurmountable.
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