Deciding to marry my husband was a no brainer. Deciding to change my last name, the name I’ve been identified as for 20-something years, was not so easy. I never put much thought into it until it got closer to our wedding day. Suddenly the thought of giving up the name that I’ve been known by my whole life seemed crazy and impossible.
My last name is unique and is a part of who I am. My last name came from a line of strong people, and I feel passionate about my last name. Not to mention I was referred to by my last name or a shortened version by many of my high school friends. It is who I am. It is one of the last pieces I have of my father. With all those thoughts I really had to think long and hard about if I would keep my name, my identity or take on my husband’s.
My husband and I had been together for seven years before we got married. We have been through some serious life changes together. You know the saying ride or die? Yeah, he is the epitome of that. No, we aren’t going out doing hood rat things with our friends, but he has weathered a lot of craziness since being with me. Not necessary within our relationship, but outside things that definitely tested it. Things that a weaker man may not have been able to handle, but that’s a whole other story.
I thought about it, I asked my mom about it, and I read articles about it. I truly kept going back and fourth. Finally, I thought about all of the things he has dealt with because of his love for me. I thought about all of the nice things he does for me. I’m not talking about buying me gifts. I mean those mornings I’m running late and tired and he makes my coffee. The cold midwest mornings when he goes outside and cleans off my car so I don’t have to. The way he just understands me and supports my dreams and visions.
I knew that for me that it would be a way of honoring him and returning the love he shows me every day. I will always be me, my name does not define me. So if you are like me and on the border of what to do about changing your name. Do what is in your heart. Whether you keep your maiden name, hyphenate, or take your husband’s name do what is best for you. The person you are will be the same either way.