When I got married, I didn’t want to keep my name because I grew up with an abusive father. My husband is deeply connected to his last name and didn’t want to change, so I took his name. Now I hate that I changed my name because I associate it with his parents, and they aren’t very good people, and I feel stuck. Anyone have any advice? – C
I don’t know that you are stuck, honestly. If your husband would be okay with you changing your name again, that would be my advice. If it were me, I’d consider something totally new and totally you. It’s a hassle to legally change it again, so you could even just start changing it on public places that aren’t technically official, like on social media.
One consolation if this isn’t an option is that if your husband is deeply connected to the name, maybe you can start thinking of it as just his and being associated with just him instead of the rest of the family. It would take some time to adjust that way of thinking, but it could help if that’s your only option.
Here’s some advice about how to handle going back to another name from this the comments on this post…
I never changed my name, but a friend of mine did and recently went back to her maiden name after about a year. She’s a fairly progressive lady, so I think everyone who knew her just sort of shrugged. And I second the people who are saying, “People get over stuff.” They do. If you want your original name back and your partner doesn’t care, pfft. Everyone else will get used to it eventually. – Chris
I THOUGHT I WAS THE ONLY ONE!! I lasted all of three weeks with my husband’s name before switching back as it just didn’t feel right. Luckily, I hadn’t done anything legally, so it was just Facebook and socially that I had to do. That said, four years later, and his family and some of our friends who we don’t see often still send letters and address me by his name, along with everyone in his hometown. Most of our friends stopped after a few reminders, but he comes from a very conservative area and I get a lot of dirty looks when I correct his family or anyone else there. I’ll still correct people, but if I’m not in the mood to deal with the arguing, I won’t push it. – Chantal
I changed mine legally when we got married, but ended up having to change it back about a month or so later which was a huge pain in the ass as I’d changed everything but my passport and SIN. I wanted to continue to work under my maiden name, and keep my work bank accounts under that name, but wanted to have everything else under my husband’s name. Bank kicked up a fuss, and even though I could prove that every one else was fine with it, I changed it back to avoid the hassle. My parents know I’ve changed it back, and my husband knows and is fine with it. I haven’t told his parents, and socially, on Facebook etc. I go by his last name, and all my legal documentation, bank accounts, and at work I go by my maiden name. I answer to both.
The only issue is having to keep straight who I’ve called and left what names for for non important things (e.g. hair salons, dog kennel etc.) when I’m calling back to try to not to confuse everyone. When I changed all of my documentation back, they asked the reason and I said I got married, or when I had to go into it, I explained the whole process. – Kate
Let’s take it to our fellow readers: have any of YOU regretted changing your name? How did you handle it?
Comments on I changed my last name and now I regret it. What should I do?
You can also do it if your husband *isn’t* ok with it (it’s your name after all). This may prove to be a controversial statement, but if he’s not ok with you going by a name that you’re comfortable with that isn’t a good sign.
I completely agree with this. Sure, talk about it with your partner, but ultimately it’s your name and your decision, LW.
I could never imagine being with someone who felt really strongly about me changing my name. For me, it would be a warning sign of a bad match.
I agree with picking something new. Take a page from Stargirl and change your name as often as you need to. You don’t need to feel stuck or glued to a name. You can outgrow them or change them when they no longer fit or feel right.
I didn’t change my name, we had a super low budget spur of the moment wedding when we were too young and idealistic to care what anyone else thought, and it never even occurred to me to stop being.., well, me. I was actually surprised how many of my friends did change – there were some very traditional ones I expected it of, and a whole load where there were kid related complexities, but a lot with no such issues switched pretty much before the big day was out, and I must admit I struggled to get it.
But these days, oh lord, “yes I am married, but please don’t stick “Mrs” randomly to my maiden name!”, “yes, I made the group dinner reservation in my name, what do you mean they’ve not got it?! Urgh, yes, MY name, not my bloody husband’s!”, “quit adding a distant relative who shares a first name with my husband on facebook! It’s not him! His surname is different!”
It sometimes feels, at least in the UK, that i picked the path of maximum awkwardness…
same feelings, in laws haven’t been super supportive and initally when I kept my maiden name, while my birth father was alive, my mother-in-law expressed she ‘didn’t agree with it’, in regards to keeping my maiden name. After my dad died, I didn’t want that last name anymore so changed to my husbands surname but after how unsupportive his parents have been at times about changes in my health, it hasn’t sat well. I am about to change it again somewhat to hypenating it. In consultation with my foster parents I will now have my husbands surname – foster parent surname. Feels a better balance and I dont care if they ‘ agree with it’ or not.
Great article, thank you!
Oh do I feel this. We will have been married 15 years and I started working st a school almostn3 years ago. Kids call me by my married name and it makes me think of my MIL who I do very strongly dislike. But. I’ve been this last name for so long it will be awful to change. I wish that I went by my maiden name at school. Coincidentally it is FIRES. Which. Is kind of bad ass.
Change it again, to something with no bad associations. If you can’t think up a brand new one (I am definitely not that creative) what about a different surname from your family? Your mother’s maiden name perhaps? Or a grandmother’s? Bottom line, it’s your name, you should decide what it is and be happy with it.
I never took my husband’s name and I have never regretted it. But my sister married twice and changed her name both times. On her third marriage she wised up and changed her name permanently to our mother’s maiden name!
I have to say, while I’m all for doing what makes you happy, pick a name and stick with it. It was a complete and utter nightmare try to get my mother’s affairs in order after she died after a very brief battle with cancer because she had 4 names she considered her’s and went by many variations of them for everything, with no particular rhyme or reason.
Wow it is sensitive subject with families that are still stuck in tradition. You can also: 1) hyphenate your Maiden name and your husband’s. (I know a lesbian couple who picked a new last name and hyphenated it with their own Maiden name. For example Jones and Smith married and Chose Waters as new name so: Jones-Waters and Smith-Waters. (Some men might do that for a woman but easier from the time they got married. ) Good Luck and Follow your Heart!!