Did you change your name after marriage?
I never gave a lot of thought to changing my name after I got married. I just always assumed that I would. And so four months ago, I did.
Walking around with a totally different name than the one I’ve had for the past 30-something years has definitely been an adjustment. There are times when I completely forget what my new name is, or hear myself saying it and feel as though I’m a teenaged girl trying on her boyfriend’s name for size. I’ve been surprised by how many people leave out an entire vowel and call me a different name altogether, but mostly, I’ve been surprised by how many people have asked me why I chose to change it at all.
“I liked your old name better. Why would you stop using that?”
“That’s too hard to say. I don’t like it.”
“What made you decide to change it?”
I changed my name because I wanted to share one with my husband, simple as that. If we have kids, they’ll share it too, and that works for me. When I weighed the other options–keep my maiden name or hyphenate–going whole hog and taking his name was the best route for me. I stress for me, as I understand why it wouldn’t be the best route for everyone. Isn’t it lovely that we all have options?
If I were super established and recognized by name in my career I might not have changed it. If he had a truly unfortunate name I might have given pause. But I like my new name, and I think it fits me. It’s Croatian and it’s cute and one of my clients said it sounds very “international” which I absolutely love.
Sorry for not telling you what it is–but that’s another reason why I changed it legally. As a therapist, it’s not a great idea for clients to know many of my personal details, which runs pretty counter to having a public blog. I’ll keep my maiden name here (it’s Poole, by the way), and use my married name for work.
Regardless of what my name is legally, people are going to call me what they want to call me. People who have known me my whole life are always going to think of me as JennPoole. It doesn’t really bother me either way.
A name is just a name, and my entire identity is certainly not encapsulated by it. Is anyone’s? I think we’re all a lot more interesting than that.
Did you/would you change your name after marriage? What were the reasons for that choice?