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A Rose By Any Other Name...

...would still smell as sweet.


This is something I've been wanting to write about for a little while now.  The issue about whether I would change my name or not once we got married arose even before my fiancee had proposed.  I always thought this wouldn't be a problem for me.  Taking my husband's name would be yet another way of showing how devoted I am to him also marking the start of our life together as a family. 

However, it's now crunch time.  We've been married about 4 months now and I haven't changed my name on any official documents.   The closest it go to official was hyphenating my name on Facebook.  The thing is, I really like my name. I know this sounds selfish but I have a very good reason why I want to hold on to it.

You see, I'm of Greek origin, but I've lived most of my life outside of Greece.  And the thing is, it's not one of those typical Greek names that most people don't seem to have the phlegmy-throat or rolling-R ability to pronounce.  It's short and it's sweet and it's only got two syllables.  Anywhere I am in the world, be it New York or London, my name always sounds sweetly exotic (not to toot my own horn or anything - I had nothing to do with choosing my name!) and I am always asked, without fail, where I'm from.  I always take pride in saying I'm from Greece.  Having lived most of my life outside of Greece my origins always made me feel unique.

Now - my husband, who isn't Greek, has a perfectly nice English name.  I would have no problems adopting it had I also had a perfectly nice English name.  But by taking on his name, I lose an aspect of myself that I really love.  I'm not claiming I'd lose my identity or anything like that. I feel I have a very strong sense of identity.  And to be honest, I feel that that partly comes from the fact that I so often have to explain my origins.

I bring the subject up with the hubby every once in a while as I do feel some guilt about this.  The hubby starts off by saying that it would be nice if I changed it and he'd feel that it would show how committed I am to the marriage.  He usually ends the conversation, though, by claiming he doesn't care either way.  But I know that deep down it matters to him.

I don't want him to worry that I'm not committed to him but at the same time I'm still so reluctant to go through the process of changing my name. 

Did you change your name when you got married?  Am I making too much of a big deal out of this? Help please!


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  1. Don't worry too much ^^ I also plan to keep my Spanish name instead of adopting the perfectly Swiss name of the father who adopted my fiancé (full Chinese). I told him I wouldn't mind adopting a Chinese name because it sounded fun but I don't want a 'typical' Swiss name, I feel like it would 'steal' my cultural heritage =)
    So we'll just be the (fiancé name)-(my name) family! :3
    The only question is... what name will our children adopt?
    I guess it would be best to let them choose themselves in the future. =)

  2. Funny how it varies across cultures.. Where I'm from, the people who do get married make up a very small proportion of the population, and everyone is legally required to keep their own last name! Women used to take their husband's name, but the law prohibited it in 1981. It is very common for children to have a hyphenated last name. I personally like it that way; I think that women changing their name is an obsolete custom that shouldn't be perpetrated today. It's not the 1950s anymore, and in my eyes, this change was a major step on the road to complete gender equality :)

  3. Thank you both for your comments. Anonymous, it's very similar here in Greece in that women are not required or expected to change their names. It is simply not that common. The situation is quite different in the UK where it is very much the norm. All of my sisters-in-law have changed their names leaving me the odd one out.

    We have decided though that our children will take on my husband's name which is absolutely fine by me.

    Maria xx

  4. I changed my name (in a heartbeat) as I didn't really feel any affinity to it. As added incentive, my entire life people were unable to correctly pronounce my four syllable Polish surname. However, had I wanted to, I could have stuck with my maiden name, norm or not

  5. This is a toughy! I'm getting married in April and will definitely change my name, but there isn't the same ethnic or cultural ties to it. I think you make a good argument for keeping you maiden name or at least hyphenating it!


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