A couple of weeks ago a family finance columnist for the Wall Street Journal wrote about keeping her maiden name. She recapped today the discussion generated by the article. I find it a little annoying that the topic generates any discussion. After all, what is the big deal with keeping the name you’re born with?
For the record, I don’t have anything against women who change their name when they get married; as long as it’s their choice.
My Name Change
My first husband and I didn’t talk about the name thing until shortly before our marriage. I was surprised to find he had strong feelings about it especially since he was born in a Latin American country where the women traditionally just added on the husband’s surname; but kept their own.
I could change my name or hypenate it in his mind. I didn’t want to be filling out forms with such a long last name so the hyphenated solution was out for me. In the end, I went against my own feelings and took his last name after our wedding.
It Changed Again
Fast forward ten years and we’re getting divorced. I don’t remember how the form was worded after all this time, but I elected to revert back to my maiden name. It felt like my name fit again.
When Mr. Boomer and I were discussing marriage, I let him know my name was here to stay. He hesitated a moment and told me that his first two wives took his name and look where that got him…two divorces later. That only confirmed he was the man for me.
I don’t blame my first husband for convincing me to change my name (even though I think I might have harbored some resentment). I blame me for not standing up for my opinion and beliefs. No one could have forced me (at least not in this country) to change my name.
It’s a good lesson to learn about every area of life. Have you ever regretted going against your opinion?