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
    snowcone 1141 posts, Bumble bee @ 2:01 pm

    Welcome to the 4-initial club!! :)

  2. Member
    jpalm13 2900 posts, Sugar bee @ 2:13 pm

    This is exactly what I’m doing!

  3. Guest Icon Guest
    39bride, Guest @ 2:15 pm

    I”m having a similar dilemma. I’m known by my middle name, so I thought I wanted to go First-Middle Maiden Married. The marriage certificate didn’t let us do that, so we have to spend $425 to change my name. I haven’t done that yet, but I just started a new job and (other than for Human Resources), I’ve told people I’m First Married. It’s much harder to adjust to than I thought it would be. I do want to take his name, but for nearly 40 years I’ve been First Middle Maiden, and since my father died when I was young and have no brothers, I’m the last to carry a great name…

    It’s hard.

  4. Member
    mrscvsomeday 158 posts, Blushing bee @ 2:17 pm

    I was going to do three names (First, prior last, DH’s last). The morning I went to the SS office, I had utter sadness about it, and decided I wanted to keep all of my former name….so, I have 2 middle names now, as well! And I am SO glad I kept them both! :)

  5. Guest Icon Guest
    39bride, Guest @ 2:17 pm

    (I really don’t want two last names because my Maiden is long, always has to be spelled out to people and is unpronounceable to most. Married isn’t exactly a standard name, either. To have BOTH as a last name would drive me nuts! Not to mention being 16 characters).

  6. Member
    luluvohn 1194 posts, Bumble bee @ 2:17 pm

    I really want to do this, but then my initials will be LAST. Is that weird? Is that a good enough reason not to do it?

  7. Member
    mstreasure 1655 posts, Bumble bee @ 2:20 pm

    @luluvohn: haha I don’t think so!

  8. Member
    veggie_rachel 575 posts, Busy bee @ 2:27 pm

    I’m not married yet, but I’m really struggling with this. I (maybe reluctantly?) decided to change my name, but when I think about it, I really get nervous about it. I don’t have a strong family connection to my name, I just feel like it’s MINE. Why should I have to change it? If FI doesn’t want to change his, why can’t he understand why I don’t want to change mine?
    I digress. Anyway. I’m nervous about it. There are reasons why I do and don’t want to change my name. But I definitely don’t want to regret it. I wonder now if I should take more time to decide…

  9. Member
    mstreasure 1655 posts, Bumble bee @ 2:29 pm

    @veggie_rachel: “If FI doesn’t want to change his, why can’t he understand why I don’t want to change mine?” Mr. T and I had lots of tense, tearful discussions over this basic idea. I hope you’re able to reach a solution you’re happy with.

  10. Member
    mrsmc77 635 posts, Busy bee @ 2:47 pm

    I was an encore bride this time and I swore I didn’t want to change my last name again so I was keeping my maiden name. Well that lasted about 3 years when I noticed DH visibly pouting one time when I got a phone call for Ms. Maiden. As our 3rd anniversary “present” I changed my name to Mrs. Middle Maiden Married. No hyphen, just four names like you did.
    We’re BOTH much happier now.

  11. Member
    dancindavinci 693 posts, Busy bee @ 2:48 pm

    Exactly what I’m going to do! :) I couldn’t take parting with my maiden name and pretending like it didn’t exist.

  12. Member
    whocalledforcrazy 14 posts, Newbee @ 2:48 pm

    I already have two last names–my mother’s maiden name is my middle name. So my name would be First Last Last Last if I did this! In my family, women keep their maiden name as their middle name-7 generations and counting!

    I never wanted to change my last name and my fiance told me that he would find it “deeply upsetting” if I were to change it. I’m able to keep my name and (partially) keep family tradition.

    That said, sometimes the social backlash for not changing your name can be overwhelming. Good for you for finding an option that works for you! :)

  13. Guest Icon Guest
    CoCo, Guest @ 3:02 pm

    I’m a 2nd time bride. The first time I didn’t give a second thought as to whether I would change it. Of course I would! It’s just what you do. As it got closer I really started to realize that I would miss my maiden name and I decided to hyphenate my maiden with his last name. I really did like the hyphenated name, it was not too short and not too long. Plus the hyphenate was 2 english surnames so it had a nice posh feel. The only problem was that NO ONE called my by the hyphenate and it made me burn with rage everytime someone called me Mrs. His Last Name. Mrs. His Last Name was not ME.

    This time around, I kept my maiden and not one single person has given me grief over that decision nor have I thought twice on whether it was the right decision. We’re still a family regardless of what last name he or I have.

  14. Member
    steene222 97 posts, Worker bee @ 3:06 pm

    No way could I do that. I already have 4 names, I couldnt imagine adding a 5th its hard enough trying to fill in GOVnt forms as it is, there is never enough room, and they always drop a name or just stop spelling it at some point, so IDs tend to be different depending on who issued it. Super Fun!

  15. Member
    mstreasure 1655 posts, Bumble bee @ 3:06 pm

    @whocalledforcrazy: I have recently fallen in love with the idea of giving our future children my maiden name as a middle name.

    @CoCo: How rude that people wouldn’t address you by the right name! I hope you emphatically corrected them.

  16. Member
    mstreasure 1655 posts, Bumble bee @ 3:07 pm

    @steene222: Yeah, I definitely anticipate having some incorrect forms in the future, which was one reason I didn’t want to do 4 names in the first place. Oh, well. I guess I’ll deal with them when the time comes.

  17. Guest Icon Guest
    Samantha, Guest @ 3:14 pm

    I’m seeing a lot of people in the comments saying they moved their maiden name to their middle name, but what about having two last names? Thats what I was thinking, so that my Last is still recognized when Middle isn’t used. Also, my Last is only 4 letters so it wouldn’t be too long.

  18. Guest Icon Guest
    Katie M, Guest @ 3:14 pm

    currently totally struggling with this.

    First off, I own a house in my name, I own a business in my name, I also have a career in my name that is going places.

    I’m 30, I’ve always been First Middle Maiden.

    He’s always been First Middle Bachelor

    I am really having a hard time deciding if I want to change my name at all, legally. It’s WAY more paperwork for me to go through to change all of the business and house stuff over to a new name than it would be for him to take mine. But he’s attached to his, understandably.

    I thought I’d come to a conclusion I was happy with, but I’m still not sure if I am.

    We’d both change our names to First Middle Maiden Bachelor with my maiden name as our second middle names and his bachelor name as our married name.

    Still a lot of paperwork, but he’ll have a part of me and I’ll have a part of him and we’ll both have to do craploads of paperwork?

  19. Member
    wellies 1425 posts, Bumble bee @ 3:27 pm

    Welcome back! :) Although I’m sorry you struggled with your decision, I’m glad you did what was best for you!

  20. Member
    mstreasure 1655 posts, Bumble bee @ 3:55 pm

    @Samantha: You can definitely have two last names. Most people with a double-barrelled last name choose to hyphenate, but you don’t need to. (See: Sacha Baron Cohen)

    @Katie M: My advice to you is to wait. You don’t have to have these things decided by the wedding. Adopt his last name socially and try it out for a few months to see if you like it. If you change it legally and then change your mind (like I did), you’ll have to do all that pesky paperwork again.

  21. Member
    carnivalrose 35 posts, Newbee @ 4:34 pm

    I’m feeling the same way my FI’s surname is Dolphin and Helen Dolphin just doesn’t sound nice . He had wanted to change his name for ages so we are looking into merging
    My name is Helen Norman his name Seth Dolphin so we want to be Dolman

  22. Member
    mousiegirl 352 posts, Helper bee @ 5:48 pm

    My boyfriend keeps suggesting that when we marry, we both hyphenate our names to mylast-hislast. I’m not sure I want him changing his name but I do want a family name. Maybe that is a fair solution.

  23. Member
    mstreasure 1655 posts, Bumble bee @ 5:56 pm

    @mousiegirl: How thoughtful of him! I think that dual hyphenation is the fairest name-change solution there is. You say you don’t want him to change his name, but ultimately, it’s his name, so it’s his decision, just like it’s your decision whether you change your name.

  24. Member
    camel 703 posts, Busy bee @ 6:06 pm

    I’m so glad I didn’t change my name. Although everyone at work keeps making a big deal about it. The funny thing is that men give my husband a look as if to say “Sorry man” (Mr. C is totally cool with my decision) and women keep secretly confiding in me that they wanted to keep their maiden names but their husbands wouldn’t have it. I find that very sad! Damn patriarchy! ;)

  25. Guest Icon Guest
    Vntage hairstyles, Guest @ 6:09 pm

    I agree with Miss Kathie. This kind of things don’t need to be rushed. We must be sure about this , with our whole heart. Take time to think if you really like it.

  26. Member
    riley23 298 posts, Helper bee @ 7:30 pm

    I didn’t have much of an opinion one way or the other, so when DH said he’d prefer if I changed my name, I said fine. I kept my maiden name as my middle, then took his last and dropped my middle. That’s what women in my family generally do anyway, because our middle names come from our godmothers, and the theory is once you’re married you don’t need a godmother anymore because you’re an adult. But none of us give up our maiden names entirely. So it actually kept everyone happy, because my family was behind my choice too.

  27. Member
    mstreasure 1655 posts, Bumble bee @ 7:53 pm

    @Mrs. Camel: That IS sad. :-( Damn patriarchy, indeed.

  28. Member
    hilarycole 73 posts, Worker bee @ 11:15 pm

    I’m keeping my name for professional reasons as I wouldn’t want anyone finding my family…but I had always thought I’d want to change my name as my name is always butchered in some way. However, as I’ve become an adult I rather like my name and it’s uniqueness. Socially I’ll be Mrs. his last name but professionally I’ll still be Dr. D :) It has a nice ring to it haha…however he did offer to change his name to mine though so we could have one name (which makes me think deep down he wants me to change my name for connectedness). I don’t know though…the traditional girl in me still wants to change my name…decisions decisions…

    I’m glad you were able to find a resolution to your internal dilemma!

  29. Member
    otter 1321 posts, Bumble bee @ 4:25 am

    I personally couldn’t WAIT to drop my maiden name – as much as it is a part of me, it also associates me with a lot of “family” that I’d rather not be associated with. My family will always be mine, regardless of name, so I happily took Mr. O’s name. I’m glad you found the best solution for yourself!! That is what’s most important :)

  30. Member
    mstreasure 1655 posts, Bumble bee @ 5:06 am

    @hilarycole: I didn’t address this in the post, but another reason I changed back was because professionally, I go by Molly Maiden Married, and I felt strange going by a name that isn’t legally mine. I went through law school with my maiden name, so a lot of people still know me with that name and I didn’t want people to forget our professional connections because they didn’t recognize my name. Plus, if it’s a good enough solution for Hillary Rodham Clinton, it’s good enough for me!

  31. Guest Icon Guest
    scotgirl, Guest @ 5:36 am

    I changed my name to my husband’s and I’m slowly getting used to it. DH still calls me First Maiden when I’m in trouble though :-)

  32. Member
    msmongoose 264 posts, Helper bee @ 5:41 am

    Bravo to you Mrs. T!!! That’s very cool that you decided to take back your identity. It’s very interesting that it’s basically only American culture that has such hang ups about last names (apparently it’s a non-issue in Canada because no one changes their last name!). I haven’t officially changed any of my legal paperwork but in the meantime, I’ve “unofficially” hyphenated Mr. M’s last name to mine (unofficial meaning I’ve hyphenated on my social media pages, my email, etc.) My maiden name is very long but you know what, I don’t care. I love my last name.

  33. Member
    mswaterfall 1403 posts, Bumble bee @ 6:00 am

    I have two last names (Spanish tradition) and I never use my second last name unless its on an official government document.
    I’m curious, did you have to notify the Bar association of the name change?

  34. Member
    mstreasure 1655 posts, Bumble bee @ 6:13 am

    @Mrs. Waterfall: Not the bar association, but yes, I have to notify the ARDC (Attorney Registration and Disciplinary Commission – not sure what you call them in Canada) to get the name on my license changed. I haven’t done that yet… Oops!

  35. Member
    Trixxie_90 251 posts, Helper bee @ 6:28 am

    ME!!
    Thankfully I don’t get married for another month but the plan from day one was to take FI’s name. Now.. I’m negotiating a hyphen. I just can’t get past that Trixxie Maiden will be no more. Trixxie Maiden-Married sounds like a mouthful but .. I feel like that’s who I will be. And who my children should be. =)

  36. Guest Icon Guest
    Ann M, Guest @ 6:33 am

    I live in IL and I changed my name to First Middle Maiden Married, but they only put my First Middle Married on my drivers license. Is that how yours is?

  37. Member
    lastgirlstanding 353 posts, Helper bee @ 8:13 am

    FI and I have ‘discussed’ this at length. I use the quotes because I initiated the conversations usually during long car rides when he couldn’t get away. lol
    FI assumed I would take his name. I explained to him that, at 33, I’ve done a lot as First Maiden. I also feel like I don’t know who First Bachelor is. Also, I’m the last of Maiden and he’s one of four male Bachelor.
    I said I was open to taking his last name if he could give me more compelling reasons than those I had for keeping mine. His answer, “I just want you to take my name cause that’s traditional.” Not good enought for me. If we’re playing by those rules, then we shouldn’t be living together before marriage.
    So FI said he was fine with me keeping my maiden name – as long as any kids were Bachelor.
    No. Not good enough. It’s 2013. They’d be my kids, too. I should be able to have the same last name as them as easily as you.
    So we’ve had to compromise.
    We’ve agree that we can each be whatever last name we want (legally, in business, at work), but our children will be First Middle Maiden-Bachelor, and sociallly we will be the Maiden-Bachelor family.
    Ideally, I’d like us both to legally change our last names to Maiden-Bachelor, but I’m not going to push it. Men are raised to assume they’ll never change their name, and I can’t change social indoctrination.
    I’m happy with our compromise – mostly. lol

  38. Guest Icon Guest
    Nikki, Guest @ 8:25 am

    That’s what I did! In my case, I go by my middle name and wanted to keep my maiden so…4 initials it is.

  39. Member
    kit_kath 1331 posts, Bumble bee @ 8:35 am

    I keep going back and forth on this one. From early on I wanted to hypen, and go by his socially. FI is totally cool with this and it gives me the best of both worlds.

    But at work we have a lot of customers who are hypened and it always screws up the databases. Either it puts the wrong name, doesn’t associate them, etc. And reading name change posts on the bee have opened my eyes to a lot of hassel that a hyphen can cause. Plus that would put me in the “A-L” and him the “M-Z” should we ever have to stand in a line organized that way. It’s silly but these are the things than make me second guess myself. I’ve never considered adding my maiden as a second middle name, but that might be a good option for me.

  40. Member
    mstreasure 1655 posts, Bumble bee @ 8:52 am

    @LastGirlStanding: The kids-get-dad’s-last-name thing drives me crazy. I am fine with it, and since I did change my name, his last name is my last name, too. But I strongly feel that if they get his last name, then the first and middle name ought to reflect my family history. I plan on naming our future kids after important family members on my side of the family, and maybe giving them all my maiden name as their middle name. I think that is a nice compromise. We’ll see how Mr. T feels about that when the time comes.

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

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

  42. 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

  43. 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!

  44. Member
    Mrs. Mouse 4831 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!

  45. 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?

  46. 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?

  47. Member
    KingsDaughter 2257 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

  48. 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.

  49. 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.

  50. Member
    slc201329 1237 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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