Now. This seems to be a bit of a tough topic when I discuss this with friends and family. But let’s just tackle this one together.
My entire family think I have changed my maiden name – even though I have told them several times that I haven’t. This ignorance is made clear when they send me any mail or parcels because they address it to: MRS G. [insert married name]. This does annoy me on some level, but I understand that they are probably just excited for me, but it is when I have to justify as to why I don’t want to change it, that really pisses me off.
I was born with the surname LOWEN, which translates in to Lion – but it also apparently means happy. Both of these definitions make me happy, and I have always loved my surname, I have always been proud of it. When I was 7 years old, my mum remarried and she changed mine and my sisters name to her new married name and I honestly hated it. Even at the age of 7, I was upset that someone took away a part of my identity. That name was mine; she had no right to take that from me. I felt like I was betraying my dad. (As an adult, this is how I like to think I thought at the age of 7, but I probably just threw a temper tantrum). By the age of 9, I managed to convince my mum to change it back to Lowen and I was back to being Georgie Lowen. Happy Days.
A few years later, when the second marriage ended, my mum changed her name to her maiden name and it took her years for her banks, memberships, mailing lists and any other accounts that she had to change her surname. Still to this day, about 17 years later, she still receives mail addressed to her previous married name and it stresses her out. It just seemed such a headache for her to process all of this, and I just remember thinking, “Why bother changing your name in the first place?”
I have always been independent, and very stubborn, so I just never imagined myself taking anyone else’s name. No other name sounded comfortable. Even when I met E and we started dating I never imagined marrying him, let alone taking his name. Then one day I did what a lot of women do – don’t deny it ladies – I started playing around with my signature to see what it would look like if I did take E’s surname.
After a few different styles, I settled on a signature style that was very close to my own with just one difference. Because it was so close to my original signature, I thought this would be handy if we were to ever split up. Now, I know that sounds very negative and horrible of me, but I have come from a family that has seen divorce. Actually, make that multiple divorces. So I have always been quite guarded in relationships, I have always protected myself. I found it really hard to let anyone in.
E changed that though, he is so kind and loving and he lets me be me. Even when I am having a complete meltdown, or temper tantrum as some may call it, he let’s me get it out of my system and when I have calmed down, he will appear with a cup of tea and he wants to talk about it. Now, I know I can be a handful. But E understands that about me and has helped me through ever up and down; he even understands why I don’t want to take his surname. He understands that. So why can’t my friends and family?
My mum constantly calls me by my potential married name, and I remind her that I didn’t take it in the end. Now, a part of me thinks she does this to wind me up a little, but it could also be because her short-term memory loss is completely gone. So I have to be very patient with her. When I do remind her that I didn’t take it, she gets really annoyed and doesn’t understand why. So we change the topic and then sooner or later, we are back to talking about why I didn’t take E’s surname – her memory really does suck.
My friends – even some strangers – ask me why I wouldn’t change my name. They worry about what will happen with our future children. Now, this is a whole other blog post, but we don’t want children, so I’m not worried about that, so why should they be? I am grateful to be surrounded by loving friends who do worry about those details though, because I never even gave it a second thought really.
So, sorry if I blabbed on a bit too much there, I just feel like I needed to get that out of my system. I have no problem with others taking their partners names, so why is there an issue with my decision? At the end of the day, it is up to me what I do with my name, so stop asking me why. Okay? Cool.
What are your thoughts on taking your partners name?