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Relationship Advice: My Fiancée Won’t Let Me Keep My Maiden Name?

Posted Jun 11 2011 7:00pm

She needs relationship advice – he wants her to take his name after marriage and she wants to have her own. What should she do?

I’m getting married to the most amazing man I’ve ever met. He’s perfect. We’ve never even had a fight…until…I told him I was keeping my “maiden” name. I’ve worked hard in my profession to build the brand name and I don’t want to change it. My fiancée is super insulted. He says I’ve I don’t say I do to his last name, we aren’t getting married. How can we fix this?

It sounds like a heated situation for such a happy occasion, complicated by the fact that you’re both “in the right.” He sounds like a traditional sort of guy who’s probably been operating off the assumption that you would naturally take his name after marriage .

Take A Look At His Perspective

Take a moment in his shoes to acknowledge that he’s probably in shock. In fact, he may even be taking your insistence on having your maiden name as some form of rejection towards him. He might also have concerns about naming your kids, if you’re both thinking of having children. (Though different last names in one household is a common occurrence these days.)

Reassure him that your love is as strong as ever, no matter what you are called. You two definitely need to find a way to step away from this ledge, otherwise known as the ultimatum he just gave you.

Your Right To Have Your Name

Now let’s take a look at you. You have every right to have your name – it’s definitely a different day and age; the taking of the husband’s name isn’t necessarily the norm it used to be. Building a name in your profession is a huge deal – and one that’s hopefully supported by your future husband. Honoring that accomplishment is every bit as important as your relationship. It’s a part of you, and that means it stays.

Getting Creative To Reach A Compromise

But how does it stay? It’s time to get creative. Perhaps you use your maiden name professionally, but take your husband’s name for your private life. Actors often prefer this option. Jennifer Aniston was Aniston on the screen and Pitt in “real” life – until Brad strolled off with a certain someone. Maybe not the greatest example, but you get my drift!

I’m not sure of the legalities, but it seems worth looking into. Flip that coin and take a look at Jack White (of The White Stripes). He took his first wife’s name – and kept it. He liked it so much that his second wife and their kids all use it too. Now that’s progressive! Of course, there is the lovely option of hyphenating. That can be a great compromise and a way for you to both get what you want.

I hope you can reach an agreement without losing sight of the most important thing – your love and your wonderful future together.

This is a big slap in the face to a lot of guys. I’m guessing you guys never talked about this prior to the argument, which is where a lot of the disagreement comes from. I know it’s not spontaneous to discuss marriage parameters before popping the question , but it’s better in the long run.

Next Time, Talk First

If you’d have had this discussion with him before hand, you wouldn’t be having this problem in the relationship now. If it’s that big of an issue for him, he could’ve made an informed choice. I still think this will blow over. He’s blown way too much $$ on you to back out now.

Do you know what those rings cost? Kidding. Sort of. It will probably blow over, with a little time & TLC. It would be hard to imagine that he loves you enough to spend the rest of his life with you but not enough to get past this. If you have any other bombs to drop before you get married, you probably want to discuss it with him first.

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