what’s in a name?

When I got married I decided not to change my surname.

Being in a professional career, many girls I know haven’t changed their names when they have gotten married, so to me it isn’t unusual.  I had never been particularly against the idea of changing my name, but when the time came I just felt that the right thing for me was to keep my name.  Part of it was that I hate dealing with bureaucracy and I knew there would be lots of it to deal with if I changed my name.  The other part of it was that I had been Kristy Kyi for over 30 years and the thought of not being Kristy Kyi anymore felt strange to me and actually a little bit upsetting in a weird way that I hadn’t expected.

Funnily enough, I used to hate my name when I was young.  No one could ever spell it or pronounce it correctly.  All I wanted was to be a “Smith” or a “Jones”!  Over the years though, I’ve gotten used to my name and the fact that people can’t say or spell it doesn’t really bother me so much anymore.  As I’ve grown older I’ve accepted a lot of things about myself that I may not always have liked and it seems my name is one of those things.  I now see my name as being a part of me – it says something about where I’ve come from and what I have become.

I did ask my husband-to-be whether it would bother him if I didn’t change my name.  If it had mattered to him if course I would have reconsidered, but fortunately we share the view that whether our names are the same or not is irrelevant to our relationship – we’e lived together for 10 years with different names afterall!  On our wedding day the fact that I hadn’t taken my husband’s name definitely didn’t make a difference to the happiness and excitement I felt to be married to the most amazing person I’ve ever known, and now that we are married our bond isn’t lessened by the fact we don’t share the same name.

I know a lot of women choose to change their name because of their future children.  The thought of me having a different name to my kids doesn’t really bother me.  A family is a family and I don’t think that having different names changes that.  I expect that I will get called by my husband’s surname in error when we do have kids (even more than I already do after only a few months of being married!), but that is something I will just have to learn to live with!

Whether or not to change your name is such a personal choice and I am always interested to hear people’s reasons for changing or keeping their name.  Why did you decide to change or keep yours?  Maybe it was a major decision for you or or maybe to you it wasn’t a big deal and you didn’t really give it much thought at all…  Was it something that you and your partner agreed on?  If you aren’t married yet have you thought about whether you will change your name when the time comes?  Leave your comments below 🙂

Images by Samm Blake

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3 comments

  1. After posting this I received an email from a guy named Mark who changed his surname to his wife’s! It’s great that people nowadays do whatever is right for them as a couple. Mark kindly allowed me to share his email with you all below.

    My wife (and I) handled the last name issue differently than most when we were married in January of last year. She kept hers and I took it! I was Mark Perry Harper. She is well established in her career and I am not. Our plan is for her to be the primary breadwinner and me to be the primary parent. So, “Carol Tyler” is a well established professional while “Carol Harper” is who? I don’t have the same dynamic going from Harper to Tyler. Shortly before the wedding. I decided to make the change. Told her on Christmas Eve. She was stunned. Actually, she asked me to reconsider, that it was cool with her for me not to change. But I told her it was too late, and then she said GREAT! After New Year’s we told everyone and the reaction was mostly negative. Anyway, the big day came, I signed the certificate, the minister introduced us to the crowd as the Tylers, and of course the deejay did too. I spent a considerable amount of time doing the paperwork after that, but it’s all over now. And, in November, our daughter Angela Marian Tyler was born.

    Thanks for sharing your story Mark 🙂

  2. Hi Kristy,
    My maiden name was a very long and very difficult name for people to pronounce. (even my grandmother couldn’t say it correctly) I almost couldn’t wait to get married and marrying a ‘Stevenson’ I thought, “Wow, you can’t get any easier then that”. When it came to write my new signature for the first time it felt so weird to suddenly be without my old name, the name I’d grown up with, the name I had endured for 27 years. So I decided to keep the first letter of my maiden name as an initial between my first name and my married name. People often ask me, “What’s my middle name?” When I tell them I don’t have one, they look a little confused. Now everyone knows how to say my surname, except I get, “is it ‘ph’ or with a ‘v;? ALL THE TIME! 😉

    maria xx

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