I never wanted to lose myself in a relationship, especially not my sense of independence and strength. And I guess I always viewed taking your husband’s last name as one thing that would chip away at my individuality. Perhaps I view changing your name as an antiquated tradition that is based on male superiority or ownership. So, when I got married a week ago, I filled out the license application and put down a new name, a hyphenated one.
I’ve been a Beamon all my life. I saw no reason to cease being one because I’ve chosen a mate. My fiancé signed the form, but he let me know he’d prefer I change my name completely. I initially thought, “no way.” Then, I thought, “changing my name would undermine all the years I spent building my reputation and platform as an author, blogger and motivational speaker. No one will know who I am.”
I thought about his request for hours before explaining my concerns to him. I also listened. I learned that to him we were becoming one and should share the last name. He wanted me to be his family and thought my name should reflect that. For him, it wasn’t about control or possession rather it was about proudly proclaiming you are partners to the world. I asked him my fiancé if the name change was important to him and he said, “yes.” Then, I asked myself if not changing my name was important enough to me to hurt him, disregard his feelings or start our marriage on a sour note and the answer was, “no.”
I realized I’m always going to be me no matter what name I write when I fill out a form. Besides, I can continue write under my maiden name while living happily under my married name. In the end, I don’t care what name other people call me, I know who I am.