Why My Wife Couldn’t Change Her Name. Can I?

by Tracksuit Dad

When my wife and I got married over 8 years ago she had decided to take my last name. That was that. Then came the wedding and then came myname-change.jpg mother. God bless my mother but she nearly ruined our wedding (including the Honeymoon, but that’s a different post/or book). The reality set in that she would be trading her name for their name too, not just mine. This caused instant name changing paralysis. But can you blame her? If you married into a family that made you feel unwelcome would you want to take their name?

It’s a much bigger decision than whether or not you should get a small-of-back tattoo (you definitely should). Your name determines a lot, it determines your alphabetical order, where you stand in line for dodge-ball picks in elementary school gym class. Or which table you line up at for your name-tag at those business conferences.

There’s also the way the name sounds and how it combines with your first name. Honestly, if she had taken my name her new one would have been very boring, probably forcing her into a lifetime of teaching elementary school. Her name, the one she was born with, is an awesome name with Greek mythological connotations and sounds good with her first name too.

So, you may ask, why doesn’t she just hyphenate it? She could do that but then our daughters would have different names than her and after what she went through to bring these girls into the world, she deserves to have the same name as them (at the very least). We could hyphenate our daughter’s names but then me and the girls would have different names.

So to simplify everything and as a kind of symbol of our marriage and the solidarity of our family I think we’re all going to change our names. Me, the TrackSuit CEO and her (pen name: Breeda Kahlo) will come together to form the Breeda-TrackSuit family. I think we’re going to make it legal.

Now comes the tricky part. It all makes sense logically but when you take my family’s reaction into consideration it gets more complicated. I know my dad and I know his feelings will be hurt. I also know my family comes first but I don’t want to hurt feelings. I don’t want to cause additional stress and heartache. God knows things are strained as it is.

So that’s where I’m at and I could definitely use some advice as to how to handle this untraditional arrangement with my more traditional family. Have any of you readers done this? I’ll keep you posted as things develop.

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6 responses to “Why My Wife Couldn’t Change Her Name. Can I?

  1. Interesting post. I worked with a gentleman a few years ago who did that. He & his wife came up with a new last name by combining both of theirs, and then they changed it. I thought that was kind of neat, and showed how much of a commitment they made to each other. But I agree, that it takes a lot of nerve to actually do it. Good luck!

  2. thetracksuitceo

    I’ve heard of that too and we’d considered it. We just couldn’t come up with anything that didn’t sound made-up. Thanks for the support!

  3. I don’t know anyone who’s changed their name to something completely different, but I have very close friends who married, and the husband took the wife’s last name.

    Of course, both of their families were super awesome so no one had a problem with it. that and his last name was Hickey…so that sort of cinched the deal. πŸ™‚

    Good luck on your decision.

  4. of course, inspired by your example, your daughters will be atracted to men from like-minded familes, and when they marry there will be four names (each!) to manage.

    I’m counting on you to devise a mathematical system of notation that makes all this work πŸ˜‰

  5. thetracksuitceo

    Kerstin: I think it’s a great idea for any man with the last name Hickey to take his wife’s name. Maybe that way we can marry that one right out of the phone book.
    Thank for the encouragement, too!

    Sacred: I’m working on a spreadsheet right now to do just that. While I’m at it that gives me an idea for a MySpace widget!

  6. Pingback: Early Name Change » Weddingbee » The Wedding Blog

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