Second Weddings

the last name...

Well, this isn't my second wedding, but I figured this topic is more likely to have brides who have dealt with this. I have a son who is 6 (acting as ringbearer). Because I wasn't married when he was born, he has my maiden name. While he adores his soon-to-be stepdad, he isn't so thrilled with the idea of me changing my last name. He really wants to have the same last name as me, and since his father is still in the picture, it would be insensitive to try to change his name along with mine. I would really love to have the same last name as all of my children (present and future). My fiance is set on retaining his own last name, and would like to give it to our future children and me. Since that name is well-known and admired in our community, this is understandable...and I like being part of his family. They're just...well, I'm really lucky. As you can see, I'm torn. I wish our last names sounded good hyphenated, but they're just awkward that way. I don't want to leave my son with a last name that doesn't match either of his parents', but I really want to take my fiance's name. (Insert series of swear words and something about less than two weeks here.) Thoughts?

Re: the last name...

  • 2dBride2dBride member
    2500 Comments Fourth Anniversary 5 Love Its Combo Breaker
    edited December 2011
    If you are hesitant, you're probably best off keeping your own name for now.  You can always change your name later, when your son has had more time to get used to the marriage, if you want to.  But if you change it now, then you will have to go through the whole name change hassle twice if you decide to change it back.And you don't need to change your name to be part of his family.  After all, in most families there are a variety of last names, if only because of daughters who change theirs on marriage.  I sincerely hope that your FI's family would not treat a relative as less valued based on the surname.
  • edited December 2011
    2dBride said it better than I have ever heard it said.   Bravo!  Here's another way of explaining it to your son if you choose to TAKE your Fi's name.  A friend used this narrative to explain her return to her maiden name after her divorce to her children:  There are two ways to have a last name, either by marriage or by blood.  The name you have right now is the name you got by blood- from your parents.  You gave that name to your son, as he has your blood, and is part of your family of origin.  He could have had his dad's name, too, but that was not the way things went when he was born.  When you marry Fi, you will have his lastname by marriage.  Since DS is not getting married, he will keep the name he got by blood.  When he gets married as a grown-up, he may have a wife who changes her name to his, and he may have children who will have his name, too.  You could talk about him passing on the last name to keep the name going - etc.  ~Donna
  • hollieheidihollieheidi member
    Seventh Anniversary 100 Comments
    edited December 2011
    My divorce is pretty fresh and I'll be getting married again in the spring.  In the divorce I took my maiden name.I'll be hyphenating my maiden name and my new married name.  In certain instances I'll be using my married name and others I'll be using the hyphenated one.  At the school I can use my maiden which my children know is my name and on my stuff at work, etc. I'll use the hyphenated.  I know it sounds difficult to juggle, but my kids are still young, 9-2, so it's important to help them to be comfortable with it too.I've decided that pretty much only the stuff they'd know me by my maiden will be at the school and all of the other important documents will be the hyphenated.  The older they get and the more used to it they become the more I can go to using the hyphen full-time.  They love their STB step-dad, but the name game seems to be so confusing to them.I would ask your FI about how he feels, which name you should use.  My FI really wants me to have his name, but he understands that I want to be able to identify with the kids.  It's important to him too, but he would be offended if I didn't change my name at all.
  • handfast4mehandfast4me member
    Seventh Anniversary 1000 Comments 5 Love Its
    edited December 2011
    I never asked EITHER one of my husbands which name I should use; it just ain't in my vocabulary.  I chose to keep my name both times, but I understand your decision is a little different. However, for my first marriage, I kept my name, my ex actually changed the spelling of his about 2 months into our marriage (it had been anglicized from the original French when his great-grandparents came to the states) and we gave our daughter both of our names.  She ended up just calling herself Chelsea Mom'slastname because his was difficult to spell, being French.  When she signed legal documents, she used her legal name, which was Chelsea mom'slastname-Dad'slastname.  When she married a few weeks ago, she dropped ex's last name, and inserted her new husband's, so it's now Chelsea mom'slastname-husband's lastname.  I felt it was important to pass my name on, as I had no brothers, and dad had no sons.  Now I'm a professional person, published, and have been president of my large professional society, so no one would have ever known who I was if I used my DH's last name.  And no one can pronounce or spell his Ukrainian name. 
    image Don't mess with the old dogs; age and treachery will always overcome youth and skill! BS and brilliance only come with age and experience.
  • sayfay1973sayfay1973 member
    edited December 2011
    I'm struggling with this as well. I was married for 10 years and am professionally established with that name (I took my former dh's name). I also have a 5 year old daughter who has that last name. That being said, things did not end well with my ex and I really do not want to keep his name. Yet, I am worried about the professional implications and also really want to have the same name as my dd. But, then again, if I have more kids, I want to have the same name as them as well! My fiance really would like me to take his name. I'm probably of no help! But, I agree with the poster who said family is not about sharing a last name. In my effort to come to a decision about the name thing, I've talked to other friends who have been divorced and remarried and their kids have suffered no ill effects from having different last names. I think it is pretty commonplace nowadays. Anyway, my .02 - good luck!
  • nycgirlkatnycgirlkat member
    edited December 2011
    I am struggling with this too.  I took my first husband's last name but when my marriage ended badly the first thing I did was begin using my maiden name and ran out and changed all of my legal documents back to my maiden name.  It was kind of my declaration to the world that I was never going to be tied to that jerk ever again...My second soon-to-be husband is very traditional and communicated that he would prefer I take his last name.  So now I'm trying to decide on whether I should hyphenate or just take my new last name.  I did not have children with my first husband, but I'm still slightly nervous - I don't know if emotionally I'm ready to give up "my identity" since I worked so hard to create it and feel very proud of it after my divorce.
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