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Give Advice: My Fiance Won't Change Her Name.

Published on April 14, 2010 by carderoni

I've been dating my girlfriend for a little over seven months and, in that time, we've grown to know that we both want the same things in life - marriage, kids, close ties to family on both sides, prosperous careers and a house in the 'burbs. Things have been terrific, the best relationship either of us have been in and we love each other very much. In fact, we just recently moved in together. I'm 26 and she is 28. I've never married before, but she is once divorced. She did not change her last name for her first marriage. It is very important to me that a family unit share the same last name. It's difficult for me to express why I feel so strongly about this - I'm not a hard line traditionalist and certainly not a macho, domineering type - but I feel like something would be missing, or like I would not be totally and completely loved if my wife rejected that part of me. Likewise, hyphenated names do not sit well with me. For her part, she says she feels like she would be losing a part of herself if she took my last name. Her mother and her sister-in-law took their husbands' last names, so I don't think her stance stems from her family. We've discussed this and I've made it clear I will not marry or start a family with someone who will not accept my last name (which, by the way, isn't something odd or off-putting like, say, Latrine). I did not deliver this to her as an ultimatum, rather, as part of a well mannered conversation in which I also made it clear I would stay with her forever without marriage. I worry, though, that this difference has set a ceiling for our relationship. Am I being unreasonable? Should I let sleeping dogs lie or do we have an expiration date?


Seven months and already living together? Too soon, and lots more is going to crop up that you will find out about each other, some of which will not be favorable. So, since you have "made it clear I will not marry or start a family with someone who will not accept my last name" and she does not wish to change hers, maybe its time you move out and move on. Nothing wrong with standing by your principles.

My boyfriend and I have discussed this same issue, and he is more than happy to let me keep my name or to combine ours together. The reason why I would like to have my name somewhere in the mix is because I grew up as this person, with this last name, and there is a lot of history behind it. I don't want to lose it because it feels like I'm wiping my history off the map. Just because her other female family members did it doesn't mean that she feels the same way about it. The thing is, if it were the other way around, would you be as willing to give up your last name? Is it worth losing her if she won't take your name? I can understand, if it means that much to you, that you would feel upset that she wouldn't go along with it. But remember that she might feel like she's losing her independence or she might not feel comfortable taking on someone else's name.

I don't understand why this guy thinks changing a name make something more than what it is. The name doesn't provide ownership of the other person. She could legally take his name then use her other name for business/professional reasons. I've known a lot of women who have done just that. Sounds like he has insecurity issues with the name. If they have any kids, the kids could all take his name. They really have to decide for themselves what would work. I've personally always thought it was unfair that the woman is the only one to change her name.

Listen honey, rather you feel as if you did or not you did give her an ultimatum. You'll "stay" with her forever, marriage or not, yet you won't marry her because she won't have your last name??? If it really means that much to you, that you're willing to not marry someone you say you love then eventually you will find someone who is willing to change their last name and you'll leave your current sweetie for that person. Or at leas that's how she feels, and I would feel the same way. Your want for a last name overrules the want for the one you're with. The Bible says that love is unselfish and puts others above itself, if you truly loved her you wouldn't be pressing this so hard and you would want her to be happy. You said you both want marriage yet you refuse because she won't change her name, if so, then there's no point in you being together. That's something you should have asked on your first date so you won't be wasting your time with someone who doesn't want that. That would have definitely helped in this situation. Love is about compromise and a lot of the times it's about putting your own wants and needs to the side, if you truly love someone you should want to do this. I wish you the best of luck sweetie!