I Changed My Name, Then Changed My Mind

Hey there, hive! Remember me? It’s been a while. I wanted to pop by with an update on one very important thing: my name.

Last time we left off, I had decided I was going to change my name when Mr. T and I got married. I always knew I would change my name when I got married. I like the idea of having a family name, and it was important to Mr. T that I take his name. Plus, I was never very attached to my maiden name. But as the saying goes, you don’t know what you’ve got till it’s gone.

I decided early on in our engagement that I would change my name to Molly Middle Married. Four months after the wedding, I officially changed my name. When I looked at the little pieces of plastic in my wallet, it felt odd to see a new name. Who was this new person? She looked like me, but I didn’t recognize her name.

I told myself that I would adjust, that I would grow accustomed to that new combination of letters, but I felt uneasy with my decision. After a few months, that uneasiness turned into regret. I wished I could take back my name. I wished I hadn’t callously thrown it away with little thought. Despite what I thought, I was attached to it. That name was me for two-and-a-half decades. That name was printed at the top of college newspaper articles and in high school yearbooks. It was on trophies, diplomas, and the dean’s list for several semesters. It was announced when I walked across the stage at my high school, college and law school graduations. That name is a major part of who I am, and I wanted it back.

Originally, I considered keeping my maiden name as a second middle name. I decided against it because I thought that would be too cumbersome and confusing. Now, though, it felt like the perfect solution. I could still keep my beloved middle name, share a family name with Mr. T, and retain my pre-marriage identity.

Last week, I returned to the Social Security office for the second time in seven months and refiled the paperwork to have my name changed to Molly Middle Maiden Married. This time, those little pieces of plastic look just right.

Has anyone else had second thoughts about their name change?

BLOGGER

Mrs. Treasure

Location:
Chicago
Wedding Date:
September 2012

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  1. Member
    mstreasure 1655 posts, Bumble bee @ 10:11 am

    @Ann M: I didn’t have that problem.

  2. Member
    prairiedog 455 posts, Helper bee @ 10:24 am

    i wondered if i’d change my mind about not changing my name (and who knows? i still might!) but 2.5 years in, no regrets. i think it’s awesome that you *responded* to your regrets instead of harboring them. (like camel, a number of women have confided in me that they do.) i totally get why taking a married last name makes people feel more like family, but i’m finding that i feel really differently.

    we’re legally bound in marriage, sure, but we feel like a lot of our relationship’s happiness comes from the daily decision to choose each other, still enjoying each other and making an effort as we always did while dating. for some reason, having different last names reminds me that we’re not magically gelled for life because of our legal status as a family. we’re gelled for life because we’re two individuals committed to choosing each other every day. for some reason, that makes me feel strong in who we are as partners.

    …okay that’s enough crazy talk outta ol pdog

  3. Member
    mstreasure 1655 posts, Bumble bee @ 10:33 am

    @Mrs. Prairie Dog: Mrs. Daffodil’s post yesterday reminded me of the importance of choosing one another every day. Did you read it? If not, hurry up already and do it!

  4. Member
    Mrs. Mouse 4725 posts, Honey bee @ 7:26 am

    It really is such an emotional decision! I made the decision not to change my name, and then a few months after getting married I remember sitting at work and fantasizing about taking my husband’s last name. WTH?? I let myself be a little sad for a bit, then decided I had made the right decision in keeping my name.

    I’m glad you were able to figure out what you wanted and make the change, even if it took a lot more work!

  5. Guest Icon Guest
    Crissy, Guest @ 2:06 pm

    Thanks for writing about this. So many brides face this issue. How hard or easy was it to actually execute the second change? Were there special procedures?

  6. Guest Icon Guest
    Crissy, Guest @ 2:12 pm

    Thank you for writing this. So many brides face a similar dilemma. How were the logistics of doing the second change? Was there a special procedure? Also, do you have 2 middle names or 2 last names?

  7. Member
    KingsDaughter 2181 posts, Buzzing bee @ 8:02 am

    I will keep my maiden name in there somehow. I Already have 2 given middlenames as it is and my DH’s last name is hyphenated (3 letters and 3 letters) so my name will be long, it will look a little something like this:

    Kayla Middle Middle Maiden Mar-ried

    but no way will I just throw away my maiden name for my husbands pride. I love him I do

  8. Member
    mstreasure 1655 posts, Bumble bee @ 9:41 am

    @Crissy: It was pretty easy. I just filled out the same paperwork and filed it with the Social Security Administration like I did the first time. I was worried I’d have to go through the courts to change it, but that wasn’t necessary.

  9. Member
    brooklyn55 743 posts, Busy bee @ 10:42 am

    For me, I knew from the get-go that I was attached to my last name. I am however, not attached at all to my middle name (in fact, I don’t like it) so I decided to go Brooke Maiden Married which sounded perfect because my Maiden name is often a first/middle name. I am struggling though because I have realized that people RARELY call by the middle name so now I am always called Brooke Married or Mrs. Married so it still feels like i’ve lost my maiden name… For this reason, I still haven’t changed my name on my license or individual bank account (I wonder if this is even legal since I did change it through social security.. hmm…). It’s only been 4 months so I hope I get more used to it as time goes on because my husband and I want to share a last name.

  10. Member
    slc201329 1204 posts, Bumble bee @ 4:41 am

    We have had this discussion a few times. FI wanted me to replace my last name with his last name. I want to hyphenate my last name with his. My last name is my moms maiden name so its from her side of the family. My grandma (who was like my second mom) is gone and I feel like its the only piece of her that I have left, plus a lot of people call me by my last name. FI was always against it until recently. He now seems fine if I hyphenate the names as long as our children carry his last name only which I am fine with.

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