We Got Married, But I’m Not Changing My Name. Here’s Why

September 9, 2014

We got married!

It was awesome, and I’m so happy to be @benlcollins’ life partner. (In case you missed it, here’s the story of how we met.)

But unlike most of my girlfriends who have tied the knot in recent years, I’m not changing my name. I thought about writing an essay on this topic, but it started to sound all rant-y, so I’m taking the easy way out and writing a list post instead.

Twitter birds on wedding cake

Because we met on Twitter, these birds topped our wedding cake! Photo credit: @andreasjames

Before I begin, take note: This is not an attack on your decision to change your name. Whether you give up your name or not, I don’t care. I’m not trying to convince you to go one way or another, I’m just sharing why I made this decision.

Here are five reasons why I’m keeping my name:

1. My professional identity is tied to it

My entire online presence, brand and SEO power revolves around “Alexis Grant.” Could I make it work around a new last name? Sure. But I have so many other projects that are far more worthy of my time and energy. Why waste time rebranding myself when my brand already works?

Lots of journalists — and people in other professions where name recognition matters — keep their name for this very reason. I remember the first time I realized just how prevalent this is in the journalism industry, when I overheard the reporter in the cube across from me at the Houston Chronicle call her boys’ school and identify herself with a last name I’d never heard before. (We all sat practically on top of each other in the newsroom, so it was impossible not to hear each others’ supposed-to-be-private conversations.) I asked her about it when she got off the call, and she explained that she used her boys’ last name because it was less confusing for the administrator on the other end of the line. Her byline though, was her maiden name.

I don’t remember whether she changed her name legally and kept her maiden byline for work purposes, or whether her maiden name was her legal name. But it didn’t matter. What mattered was that her professional face used the name she was born with, even after other things in her life changed. I thought that was so cool.

Before you say, “wait, but that shows it’s confusing to have a different last name than your kids…”

2. Let’s be honest: My kids won’t suffer because my name is different than theirs

Come on. Kids have a lot bigger issues to deal with than having a mother who teaches them that they don’t have to do things the way things have always been done.

So what about the hyphenated last name, you ask? While I respect it, that’s not appealing to my husband and me — we strive to live uncluttered lives, and a hyphenated last name feels like too much clutter.

(Plus, it’s confusing for a URL that’s based on your name. Do you include the hyphen, or do you not? Do you buy both the hyphenated domain and the non-hyphenated domain and reroute one to the other, to make sure you don’t miss any visitors? Kidding.)

If you’re going to hyphenate your name, you’ve gotta have a name that’s good for hyphenating. Like these journo friends of mine. Although now that I’m linking to them, it looks like they still both stick with original names for work purposes. Unfortunately, most people who hyphenate their names do not have names that are well-suited for it.

While we’re talking about other options, what I think is REALLY cool is when couples ignore tradition altogether and take the woman’s last name or create a new last name altogether. Although as someone who loves tracing genealogy, that could make family histories rather confusing.

3. I’m 33 years old

If I got married at 23, this might be a different story. But I have established myself under my own name, and it simply doesn’t make sense to change it now.

Quite frankly, the tradition of the woman taking the man’s name dates back to when women married young, so they started their adult life under their husband’s name. Plus, women back then weren’t exactly expected to establish themselves professionally or otherwise outside their marriage; being a good wife was pretty much their job, so why wouldn’t his last name be part of her title? Things are — or should be — different now.

“But if a woman doesn’t have his name, how will people know she’s his wife?” a girlfriend mused aloud.

Fortunately, I don’t want to be known for being someone’s wife. I want to be known for being me. My biggest responsibility is now loving and supporting my husband, but that’s not all that I am. It doesn’t define me.

4. My husband is awesome enough to support me in my name-keeping decision

Because now that we’re married, these are joint decisions. I want him to be just as happy with my choice as I am, and he has been supportive all the way. That’s why I married him =)

Wedding bikes

We biked home after our wedding weekend!

5. I don’t want to abandon my name

Despite all the reasons above, this is the overriding WHY behind my decision: I don’t want to.

I like my name. My identity is deeply entangled with it. And I don’t want to give it up.

“But that’s part of getting married,” someone told me. Um, except that’s only true if you abide by it. It’s kinda like believing the only way to earn a paycheck is by waiting for your boss to hand it to you. That’s how most people support themselves, but plenty of outside-the-box thinkers come up with other ways.

Just like there are lots of ways to make a living, there are lots of ways to live a married life. (Click to tweet this.) Giving up your name only has to be part of that married life if you want it to be.

Now, I realize lots of people will call me Mrs. Collins, and that’s totally OK. Keeping my name doesn’t mean shunning my husband’s, nor lecturing people who are doing their best to address me politely. But despite what people call me as I enter this next wonderful phase of life, on my passport, throughout my website and in my heart, my last name stays the same.

If you feel like sharing how you and your spouse approached this, we’d love to hear in the comments!

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45 Replies to “We Got Married, But I’m Not Changing My Name. Here’s Why”

  • Firstly, congrats, Lexi!

    And thanks for this post. When I get married, I won’t change my name, either. My reasons are similar to yours, but also: my boyfriend’s last name — Nelson — is so common that I’d lose the rarity of my name, especially since a couple other Amanda Shofners are taking their husbands last names.

    I’m not really sure how his family would view the decision, but he and I aren’t traditionalists, and I’d be surprised if he took notice or cared one way or the other. And as long as we’re okay with it, what his family (or mine) thinks about it doesn’t matter. We’ve been together for eight years and suffered through so many “When are you getting married?”s that we’ve learned our relationship is our business alone.

    I always said if anyone was changing names, he should take my last name. The practice is outdated, and it wouldn’t surprise me if it was from the days when women were considered men’s property. Losing her family name makes it more difficult to trace ancestors through the female line — a very patriarchal way of thinking.

    • Alexis Grant says:

      So fun hearing your opinion on this, Amanda! I like your reasoning, too. It’s funny that once you put this topic out there, a LOT of people come forward with strong feelings and opinions on it.

  • AJ says:

    In my situation, I chose to have two distinct identities and I love it.

    In my private life, in church and in family matters, I use my married name.

    In my public life, in career and in published reports, I use my maiden name as if it were a brand.

    My husband and I both agreed on this approach. He even suggested it!

    I have official ID in both names. All of this can get quite confusing, however, and I applaud you for keeping it simple.

    When I went in for my TSA Pre Check interview, the man asked me, “And do you go by any *other* aliases, ma’am?”

    And I laughed and said, “No, just those two.”

    • I did the same thing as AJ when I got married! I actually really like having multiple identities, especially because I use them for two very different types of work. That way, if you Google one name, you get information about one career, and if you Google the other, you get a totally different set of results.

      Part of me wishes I’d had thought of asking my husband to take my name instead, but we got married when we were 24 and I don’t think it occurred to either of us.

      Whatever way you choose, people are going to give you flak for it. I’ve had people tell me I had betrayed women when they found out I use my husband’s family name sometimes, and other people tell me I doomed my marriage when they find out I use my family name other times. Someone will always complain, so the best thing is just to do what you personally feel most comfortable with.

      Because seriously, anyone who’s going to get that worked up over someone else’s name is just not worth worrying about.

  • Katie says:

    I wish I could upvote this post a thousand times. I agree with everything you said, but in particular number 5. My name is closely tied to my identity. In fact most of my friends call me by my last name. Changing that felt very odd.

    I have no objection to women changing their name and I almost wish I wanted to. At the end of the day I. just. couldn’t. do. it.

    So I’ve not changed it legally, nor at work or on Linkedin. The only exception I made was to add my husband’s name to my Facebook profile (First name, my last name, his last name). It felt like a nice way to recognize the marriage, particularly for some of his more conservative relatives, while allowing me to keep my identity intact.

    • Alexis Grant says:

      O’Neill! That’s so funny because I was asking Erica whether you changed your name! I like how you changed it on Facebook — it’s fun to see how everyone reconciles this differently.

  • Erin M. says:

    Congratulations! I loved reading the story of how you two got together, and the cake toppers (and bikes) are too cute! This is something I think about a lot. Just yesterday I was pondering buying a domain with my name, and my boyfriend asked, “What happens when we get married?” He already knows I don’t really want to change my name, but he loves to tease me about it!

    I agree that hyphenated names seem cluttered. My last name is pretty simple and I would rather keep it that way. I get your last reason, too. Now that I think about it, going by a different name would feel pretty strange! A name is something we carry around with us for quite a while; it makes sense that our identity is associated with it.

  • Jim Dolbow says:

    Congrats on your marriage! I am very happy for you and your husband. I think you did the right thing in keeping your last name. Changing last names is so 19th Century anyway! Thanks for sharing your insight on the issue.

  • Congratulations!!! That’s so exciting – and I love the story about how you met your husband on Twitter, too!

    I had a mini-crisis earlier this summer before I got married about whether to change my name or not. In the end, I opted to change it because a) my professional ‘brand’ is very small, and b) I’m still pretty young so I can easily make my professional career around my married name.

    Still, I haven’t changed my name anywhere online (except Facebook) because of how SEO and branding plays into it! Several platforms will easily re-direct a URL if you change your username/display name/etc, but many will not (like Twitter). So then I would be stuck going through all my author bios and anywhere I’ve linked to my Twitter handle changing it. I’ll get there eventually, but it’s a project. (I actually JUST wrote about changing your name with SEO in mind on my company blog this week!)

    Even though I chose to change my name, I 100% support women who don’t want to. Plus, you’re the lucky ones – think of all that time you’re saving my NOT spending hours at the social security office or the DMV. 🙂

  • Susan Shain says:

    Congrats again, Lexi & Ben! (That rhymes..) This was a wonderful post. I was actually really curious what you were going to do — so I’m happy you wrote an entire post about it. Though I’m not quite at that stage in my life yet, it is something I think about, so it was helpful to read through your reasoning and decision. xox

  • Dena says:

    Congratulations on your marriage. Like marriage itself, the decision about your name is a deeply personal one and should be made by only you with no pressure from others. Enjoy married life. It’s the best.

  • Charlotte says:

    Congratulations, Alexis! Your cake looks beautiful!
    Thanks for writing this post. Your choice makes a lot of sense. I’ve struggled with this…I wanted to change my name but in my husband’s culture (Chinese) women keep their names. In the end I gave up the idea just because of ALL the hassle it would be to go and change so many documents going back several years, and if I wanted to keep teaching, I might lose out on jobs by being rejected for having a Chinese sounding name.

  • Congrats and best wishes, Lexi! I do/did kind of the opposite and I approached it backwards. When I started freelancing, I was married and I used my married name (I’d taken his). Then… I wasn’t married anymore, and I had a son and a freelance career. Legally I kept the married name because (at the time) it was important for me to have the same last name as my son. I pretty quickly grew to regret keeping the married name (I felt like I was introducing myself as The Former Mrs. Whatever) so I changed to my maiden name socially and professionally. (I kept the married name legally simply because I wanted to avoid the hassle and expense of petitioning for a legal name change.) Very rarely has it been confusing — the DMV, the landlord, and the doctor’s office know me as my legal name and to everyone else, I’m Ashley Gainer. It’s entirely likely that I’ll get married again before long, and at that point I will take the new name legally and socially but keep my maiden name professionally. It seems complicated written out like this, but living it has really been no big deal. And my friends who call me “Gainer” kept calling me that even when I was married 🙂

  • Maggie says:

    Good for you! And good for you for having all of these real reasons. I had the same debate when we got married three years ago. I was really stuck on being a Skarich. I’d always been a Skarich, why change now? Ultimately I did change my name though because it almost seemed more “with the norm” to not, if that makes any sense.

    I changed jobs right around this time so I kept my maiden name in professional signatures and such, but three years later, I honestly have to look around for a second when someone calls me Maggie Skarich. Who’s that?

    Moral of the story…I thought it was a big deal. It was, but I got over it fast.

    One thing I do NOT recommend-I changed my middle name to my old middle name and maiden name. Do not give yourself a two word middle name. It just BLOWS THE MINDS of any government official that comes across it. Does not compute, Batman.

  • Ashley says:

    Congrats Alexis!

    I chose my website and business name based on my first and middle name precisely for this reason. I knew my last name would probably change and it would be a pain in the butt if that happened.

    I had to laugh though because your first few reasons are so clearly something that online entrepreneurs think about. Other people might think it’s nuts, but I went through the exact same process well before I was even engaged!

    Happy post-wedding bliss 🙂

  • I’m so happy for you, Lexi! And that cake looks amazing 🙂

  • Saya Hillman says:

    I didn’t change my name either when I got married last year and have no plans to, for all the reasons you mentioned.

    11 years of self-employment, with me being so much a part of what Mac & Cheese Productions stands for, I can’t imagine leaving behind that identity!

    Though, I’m neutral about my last name; if I disliked it, I might’ve changed it. Being the frugal person that I am, if it made any economical-difference, I’d also consider a change. But as life and society stands now, I don’t see any reason for either of us to change, if we’re happy as-is. Mr & Mrs As-Is!

    I did chuckle on our honeymoon though, when, because I made the hotel reservation, Husband kept getting called Mr. Hillman by staff. Drove him nuts. 🙂 My alma mater infuriates me as its correspondence to me has his last name — they assumed that because we got married, I changed. It’s 2014, Boston College!

  • Erin says:

    Great list! I felt the same way and didn’t change mine, either. I had just started graduate school when we got married and I wanted my Master’s degree to match my Bachelor’s. We debated both changing our names to something else entirely but my husband said he didn’t want to do all the legwork involved in changing his so he didn’t expect me to change mine. Laziness for the win!

    Although, a little part of me kind of wishes I had changed my name. My husband’s last name is SUPER unique and has a pretty fascinating story behind it. And if I’d taken his name I would have been one of only about three people in the entire U.S. with that last name. Crazy, huh?

  • Andrea says:

    Congratulations on your wedding!
    I was married in June at age 46 (first time for both of us, my husband is 45), and kept my name. My husband fully supported this decision.
    I knew from the time I was a child that I’d keep my name. The reasons have probably changed in importance over the years–there are no males in the family to carry on the name; my first career was in journalism, and once you see the byline, you don’t want to change it; I have a unique last name (Poet); I’m in my forties and established; I’ve always hated the inequality in the way a woman’s marital status is so very obvious, whereas a man’s is not (Mrs., Ms., Mr.); and to reinforce my decision, my husband’s last name is difficult to spell and everyone messes it up.
    The only thing that saddens me is when I’m asked to ‘defend’ my decision to keep my name. I’ve never once questioned a woman’s decision to take her husband’s name–how does it threaten social order that I’ve kept my own?
    I did laugh at Saya’s comment above, my husband went through the same thing on our honeymoon, as I booked the reservation. After a week of being called by my name, he understood my decision not to change my name more than ever!

  • Amanda L. says:

    Hi Alexis! Congratulations!

    My reasons for changing my name are almost the exact opposite of yours were for keeping it. While many in my industry knew me by my maiden name (Miller), it is such a common name that it is almost impossible to google me unless you use some pretty descriptive search terms. I looked forward to the opportunity to have a slightly more unique name.

    With that said, even though I was 100% on the ‘Change My Last Name’ train, I ended up having a really difficult time reconciling my new identity after the fact. No one seems to talk about how difficult it is to be one name for 36 years, and then suddenly, you’re somewhere, someone calls out ‘Amanda L!’ and you think ‘Who is that… oh wait, that’s ME!’. It took me at least two years to really get used to it. I love it now, but I also applaud women for making whatever choices they make with their names, for whatever reasons they want to make them!

  • Erin says:

    Actually, my husband gets called by my last name far more often than the other way around. 😉

  • Ally Piper says:

    Congrats on your recent wedding!

    Like you, when working in the cube farm before getting married I overheard a co-worker call her daughter’s pediatrician and talk her way through a long explanation of introducing herself and identifying herself as her daughter’s mother and that yes she knew they had different last names. It was painful to listen to and in that moment every resistance towards changing my name vanished.

    When I was married a few years later in my late 20s I did take my husband’s name. It was an easy decision thanks to that moment in the office and because I felt strongly that in terms of creating a family unit it was important that we shared a name. My business was only a year old at that point so the transition was smooth. Plus it helps his last name is also easier to pronounce and spell!

    If I was older and more established like you are I probably would have made a different decision.

  • Jessica says:

    I married young and changed my last name, despite reservations, because I was marrying into a conservative family and it seemed the smart thing to do. I’m divorced now and I went back to my maiden name, and it will stay that way for the rest of my life, whether I marry again or not! My name is me!

    Also, GAWD, it’s so much paperwork! I still come across accounts that have my married name on them. It takes forever to clean it all up. I’m not doing that again!

  • Steph says:

    Congrats! I kept my name as well, for pretty much all the reasons you stated. I had established a professional identity and more so I just felt weird about it. I spent a couple of months agonizing over what to do, before I realized the fact that I even had to agonize over it was inherently pretty sexist (It’s not like Mike was losing sleep over whether to change his name). After that it was a fairly easy decision and one year in I haven’t seen any drawbacks yet.

    I think it’s becoming a more common decision as well. Probably 80% of my married friends have chosen to keep their names. I think that will hopefully make things easier once the kids become an issue.

  • Kathy McCoy says:

    Hi! Congratulations! I love the idea of riding your bikes home after your wedding weekend — and of your keeping your own name.

    That was my choice, too, when my husband Bob and I married 37 years ago. And my reasons were exactly the same as yours. I was 32 years old, an established magazine writer working on my first book and I really liked my birth name — Kathleen McCoy — better than the potential married name of Stover. My husband was very supportive of the idea. The only person who was disappointed was my mother-in-law who used to send me sweet notes addressed to — awk! — Mrs. Robert Stover. (Even as a child, I was mystified by the fact that the society section of newspapers identified women by their husbands’ first and last names. I thought that was totally appalling.) But she gradually came around.

    I’ve never been sorry. My husband and I are very much partners, a team, close after all these years. Different names haven’t made a bit of difference there except maybe to underscore the independence of each of us, actively choosing to be together.

    Bob says that he has probably been called “Mr. McCoy” more often than I’ve been called “Mrs. Stover.”

    I hope that you and Ben will have much happiness and many wonderful adventures in the years to come!

  • When we got married (young! 21!) I knew I would keep my maiden name just like my mother did. We did decide to hyphenate our kids’ last names and socially both my husband and I go by our hyphenated name, while keeping our own last names professionally. I also have friends with two kids who have one child the maternal last name and the other the paternal one. Good for you for doing what feels right to you. Here in hippy Oregon where I live, it’s no big deal, but back home in Missouri, it can be.

  • Congratulations on your marriage! I hope you had a wonderful wedding.

    When I got married last year I changed my name legally and personally (i.e. on Facebook), but will continue to use my maiden name professionally. My mother and grandmothers all changed their names and I like the idea of continuing in that tradition. On the other hand, I worked hard to pass the 1,000-follower mark on Twitter and didn’t want to have to do it again under another name! My maiden/pen name is very common (Young) but my married name is even more common (you can probably guess it), so changing my name professionally wouldn’t do me any favors. As a few people have mentioned above, I like the idea of having a bit of separation between my personal and professional identities.

  • Congratulations, Lexi and Ben!

    Great post, and I love all the comments. I’ve never even considered hyphenating my name, since a hyphen on top of three words and unusual capitalization would be a little ridiculous.

    I’m sticking with my awesome, unique last name — though I did love this way one couple tried to settle their debate: http://www.nytimes.com/video/fashion/weddings/100000003023348/game-for-the-name.html

  • Nichelle says:

    I just got married in July for the first time….at 46! I kept my maiden name because it IS my name, and all my professional accomplishments as an architect are under it. My husband was totally cool about it, in fact, when I let him know I wouldn’t be taking his name (which I thought was going to be a major conversation) he just smiled and said he had assumed I’d be keeping my own moniker, and he asked me if I wanted him to change his name to mine. Of course I said no (he’s got a professional identity as well!) but I loved him for asking. Yay for the 21st century!

  • Kerry Howard says:

    Congrats Lexi, I wish you a fabulous future together and as a family.
    The name issue is something I’ve tackled too – but I’ve done it in reverse! I kept my married name for my son. I changed my name when I got married and wanted to change back to my maiden name when we split. I have no problem with keeping the surname but I was just starting out online so was considering my writing identity. My son would then have a different surname name but I was fine with that. But my son and I are a team and when we discussed it I discovered he was really upset about the idea. Our solution – I returned to my maiden name in my writing life.

    It’s about what’s right for each individual and each family.

  • Congratulations on your marriage and for thinking through the whole name change issue. Keeping your name and identity makes perfect sense, and it doesn’t lessen your devotion to your dear husband.

  • Gina says:

    I think this is a super interesting topic. I was (am?) uber independent and always thought I would keep my own name (or coerce my hubby to take mine) and didn’t think I’d get married until now (age 30).
    Funnily enough God had other plans and I married young (at 21) and took his name. I didn’t have a brand and ended up being fine getting rid of my name. Looking back I’m glad that’s what I did, but can completely understand and support your reasons; thanks for sharing!
    Bonus-my married name is not very common;-)

  • Erin Howard says:

    Good for you! I kept my name as well. At the time I was a corporate employee so I didn’t have the concerns about branding that you have. It just seemed like an outdated practice to me. Also, I don’t have any brothers and my father doesn’t either, so my sister and I are the last “Howards” in our line. My husband didn’t care at all one way or the other. But I have to say I was really surprised at people’s reactions. This was in 2000, so not *that* long ago, and I live in the Boston area so it’s hardly a conservative culture. But a large percentage of friends, family, and co-workers seemed really shocked or puzzled! And I once had a rental car clerk in Texas question if we were legally married because I had a different last name!

    I have 2 kids now, and I answer to Mrs. (Husband’s Name) from kids, teachers and pediatricians. It hasn’t been a big deal at all.

  • I\’ve recently discussed this with a good friend going through a divorce who was often annoyed at all the trouble that came with changing her name to her husband\’s (having to pay for a new passport before her old one was expired, having issues with voter registration), and now either has to go through it all again or keep the name of a man she\’s no longer married to.Obviously, no one\’s thinking about the potential for divorce when making a decision about this when getting married, but there are logistical issues at play when you change your name legally that should matter in how you make the decision. I have a brand tied to my name as well, so can\’t imaging changing it and starting again from scratch (I know it wouldn\’t exactly be from scratch, but would still set things back). If not for that, I kind of love the idea of couples just picking a new name they relate to if it\’s important to them to share a name.

  • Kathy says:

    Congratulations!!! I changed my name when I got married when I was 24 years old, and now I wish I hadn’t. I liked my maiden name better, and the marriage ended in an ugly divorce 25 years later. I changed my name back to my maiden name, and when I got remarried I didn’t change my name again. It’s nice to be ME again!!

    PS – Love that you rode back on a bike! My husband rode into our wedding ceremony alone on a tandem bike, and we rode off together on the tandem which people had decorated with best wishes. So fun!!

  • Congratulations! Marriage is an awesome new phase of your life.

    Personally, I got married at about the same time as I finished my degree and moved countries. For both my old country and my new one (Australia/France) it’s perfectly valid to use both names, so I can have documentation in both my maiden name and in my new legal alias of my married name. So, I didn’t really do anything official except show the bank my marriage certificate so I could accept cheques for both names.

    My biggest problem was my Gmail account. I have everything Google-related linked to an account using my maiden name. I have an email address for my married name too, but that just forwards to my regular Gmail, which is where all my email is processed.

    I also had a big problem with my maiden name and my professional identity: I lost the domain name years ago (thanks to a dodgy registrar) to a person of the same name.

    Professionally, I figured using my married name might also distance me a little from the online rantings of a teenager and to somewhat separate my professional and personal life. This theory tied in well to the Gmail problem too, as my friends know my real email address and maiden name, but most professional contacts don’t. Unless I use it on their website in comments, of course. 😉

  • Jojo says:

    Hello, love your post. I have to say I’m also definitely never hanging my last name. Unlike a lot of people here who comment that they had a career history and that stopped them from completely changing their last name. I honestly don’t think that matters. I’m 23 and I don’t have a long career or anything and I don’t want to change my last name because I don’t want to. That’s it. No other reason. I don’t think we should expect women to change their last names at all 🙂

  • Hi Alexis !
    It’s funny because with me it was the other way around : I started writing professionnally and publish books AFTER I got married : 12 years after to be precise.
    And I realised that I did not WANT to write under my married name. Because I felt that it was too “restricting”, as if my identity was dependant on my husband’s name. All the more so as the poor darling doesn’t like reading and fantasy books even less…. So I decided to publish under a new name, a name I created out of my married name (BA), my maiden name (GA) and the name of my grandmother, who was the woman who introduced me to the love of reading (DEY).
    And I have never regretted this choice.
    So I do understand yours, totally. 🙂

  • Sarah says:

    Hello

    I found this blog when for the umpteenth time I’ve had my decision not to change my name thrown in my face by various people (not my husband though), as if I’m the reason for all things nasty and slimy in the world. My husband does want us to all have the same last name, but he’s not cruel about it like his parents. I’m not changing my name for almost all the same reasons you wrote but in addition:
    1) I am the most educated in my immediate and immediate extended family (MSc from a top three UK university). Seeing my name on that degree speaks to eat sacrifice, blood, sweat and tears of my ancestors who helped me get to where I am. See number 2 for emphasis.
    2) I strongly identify with my family history, which is weird, unique and rather kicka**.
    3) Why can’t my kids have my name? I see this as being exactly the same as them NOT having my last name, but my husbands.
    4) My husband really likes his last name too, to which I say “don’t use the same argument I am and then tell me, that when I do, it’s not as valid.
    5) When on the rare occasions as a girl, teen and young adult I thought about getting married, I never once thought about changing my name. I have always known I will always be a Kavanagh.
    My husband and I are great together, we tackle problems like a gold winning olympic team, and we support each with love, compassion and patience. And then his parents bring this up, again. And again. It’s been nearly three years, and we just had the ‘talk’ again.

    Does it ever stop?!

  • I came across your post when looking for tips on fixing my online identity after a name change. Oy! My situation is different in that I was married before. My married name is Kris Cain which is ALL OVER the internet, Google, etc. I loved my name. Everyone knows me by it, or my brand (LittleTechGirl). However, I’ve been divorced for 5 years and just remarried and my new husband would not appreciate me keeping my ex husband’s name… and I don’t blame him one bit!

    I have started changing my name everywhere that I can online including my own blog, but it seems like it is taking Google FOREVER to catch up. If you search for “Kris Cain” on Google… it is basically all me. However, searching for “Kris McDonald”? Not so much. It is quite depressing. I’m determined to have a plan to fix this for 2016. I enjoyed being on the first page of Google. LOL!

    Hopefully I will get there again.

    Kris

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