Here at The Plunge, we’ve evolved. We’ve listened. And we’ve collected a nice stack of hate mail–some from family, some from strangers. This is clearly one article that has struck a nerve. And while we don’t necessarily agree with all the feedback we’ve read, we’ve done a lot of thinking about this particular topic. Frankly, the passion of our female readers on “name changing” inspires us, teaches us, and reminds us why we love them in the first place.
Originally we made light of this topic. Mistake. In retrospect, we did you a disservice by making you think you could take it lightly and survive. You can’t. And despite some claims to the opposite, we like to skewer the process of wedding planning, not the sanctity of your relationship. If this issue is a complication for you–and there are strong opinions on both sides–our advice is to tread very, very, very carefully. The truth is, if you and your mate are an ocean apart on what to do here, you should probably check for compatibility in other critical areas. Go back over your attitudes and expectations on major issues.
See also: Is She The One?
Still troubled? What are your concerns? Lemme guess. At the risk of offending our more delicate readers, you’re worried that if she doesn’t take your name, then you look like a pussy.
Get over it. You’re not any less of a man because she wants to keep her own name (more on that below.) But let’s say, for whatever valid or invalid reason, it really, really bothers you that she won’t take the name. How hard should you push? And if you lose this battle, does that make you an emasculated wimp? Does this mean that she wears the pants in this relationship, drives the car, grills the steaks and decides how to invest your 401(k)? (As an aside, if a woman grilled me steaks and chauffeured me around while I got wasted, plus researched mutual funds in her spare time, I’d marry her on the spot. Keep that in mind.)
In a word: no. Whether or not you and your wife have the same name says nothing about your masculinity.
There are options to consider as compromise: doing nothing, making up a new commingled last name, hyphenating both your names, you taking her name (hopefully it happens to be one that helps you get great restaurant reservations).
Our best advice to you?
Deal with it. Not to get all Oprahy, but you love this woman for a reason, and part of the reason, we’re guessing, is that she’s intelligent and feisty and strong. A desire to keep her own name is part of the whole package; take the good with the bad. This doesn’t mean that she doesn’t love you or is embarrassed by you or secretly wants to abandon you; it means that she has a very, very strong sense of self, which is, well, sexy.
For more tactical considerations on the actual name-changing process, check out this nuts-and-bolts article from the NY Times.
Disagree? Have a different take? Comment below or hit us at [email protected].
Another complication you might have to deal with: if the best man is derelict in his duties.