As a recently married woman and the honeymoon over I am left staring at the reality that I need to change my last name and all things associated with my name. I have agreed with my husband to do this even though it is almost the saddest thing I can possibly think of doing. So obviously I’m not thrilled to change my last name (ask my husband and then watch his eyes roll), but I know that I will because of the potential of us having children in the distant future. The very true part is that I don’t want to keep my maiden name as a my last name either! Not even that feels right to me any more. I wanted to hyphenate my name in the very beginning, but ultimately decided against it after thinking about how many chances that has to be messed up by the government, banks, and anything really with formal paper work. You could say that I’m wussing out here, but really I don’t want to fight like that all the time for people to get my name right. So then I thought I would have 2 middle names, but this still seems equally confusing. I want my maiden name to be quite a prominent part of my name. Finally, I’ve decided to replace my middle name with my maiden name. I’ve never really been that attached to my middle name of Marie. There is no significance what so ever associated with it (other than my parents thought it sounded nice). But thinking of just taking it out seems way harsh too. Even with a name that I’m not wild about, it’s still hard to think about it being gone. Christopher was filling out the paper work for me and when he asked what I wanted my name to be, I burst into tears.
Being an avid blog reader, I googled “how to cope with changing your last name” to see if I could find another soul who shared my woes. I found nothing. I got a lot of people saying that they would never change their last name, people who said they would hyphenate their name and people saying that they just wouldn’t go by their married name professionally (which I have no idea if that even works!) just in social situations. What I found a lack in was people who were going to change their name but just felt sad about it. So I’ve been left to try to figure out what to do and how to deal with it all on my own. I think I might do a very small memorial of my former middle name and a little celebration on moving my maiden name as well as welcoming my new last name. I’m quite sure this might sound like I’m being overly sensitive, but this has been the hardest part of getting married for me. Trying to embrace your new married self without sacrificing your past seems like a lot to take in. This little ‘service’ of sorts I’m going to do will be a way for me to cope with this identity change. Have any of you ever felt like this? What did you do to accept this?