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I am not "Mrs. Hisfirst."

post #1 of 41
Thread Starter 
So my partner and I are getting married this weekend.

I have made it clear (very clear) that I am not changing my name. Neither is he.

...so why is EVERYONE addressing EVERYTHING to "Mr. and Mrs. Hisfirst Hislast?"

It's bad enough that they're ignoring my preferences. "ProtoLawyer Histlast" is bad enough--why does my name completely go away?

These are not (all) older folks who cling to their Emily Post or anything...OK, my grandma is 84 and says things like "I'm a feminist but what about family cohesion?"...but my aunt (who is in her 50s, had a kid as a single mother through a donor, has a successful business under a stage name she assumed for the business) did it. An old co-worker in her 30s asked me: "So what's your new last name?" and I said "I'm not changing it, but his last name is Hislast" and she STILL addressed a card to "Mr. and Mrs. Hisfirst Histlast."


Those of you who did not change your name: Is this a battle you have to keep fighting? I don't bother with people who I will never see again--when the furniture store person addressed me two years ago as "Mrs. Hislast" I didn't say anything--but I kind of feel like I have to keep correcting people if it's going to turn out OK.
post #2 of 41
I ignore it because to be honest it does not bother me. We have been married over 12 years now and have 2 kids. I sometimes get called by his name and sometimes by mine. Sometimes he even gets called by my last name if people know me first. It is tradition to call a couple by his names so a lot of people just stick with that to be safe. I do find that most people IME when they find out apologize and ask which name to use. I just shrug and tell them to pick either name as I use his name socially.

What does bother me are the assumptions that since my name is different that my kids are not my kids. Or when the school assumed my DH and I were divorced and I had remarried.
post #3 of 41
no....i just stopped getting so charged over it. at first it was a big deal to me b/c it was new, fresh, and it had been a big discussion between dh and i before we married. still (7yrs later) it registers with me if we get something addressed that way but i don't get offended. the bigger issue for us is that we aren't mr. and mrs. but dr. and dr. and with 2 last names it gets tricky.
post #4 of 41
I think it's because weddings have a lot of tradition involved, and a lot of traditional etiquette is often incorporated, even by otherwise non-traditional folks. If it bugs you, I'd make a funny, lighthearted little statement on your wedding website/blog (if you have one) - something to the effect of, "BTW... we're still going to just be Ms. ProtoLawyer YourLast and Mr. HisFirst HisLast... please don't send things to Mr. & Mrs. HisFirst HisLast... it's confusing the mailman!" or something more clever... I'm not at my most clever at the moment!
post #5 of 41
It comes up off and on. DH's family screws it up, mostly on purpose. Other people get it wrong on accident and if it's going to be ongoing and it matters, I correct them, otherwise I ignore it. (Sometimes it's DH who gets stuck with my last name which amuses me and doesn't phase him at all.)

When DH was in the Marine Corps they were so confused by it that he ended up taking in copies of our marriage certificate a million (okay, maybe it was just a dozen) times to get the benefits and names straight. After he got out, it got easier. And now we live in SF, so anything goes here. . . .

post #6 of 41
My first thought is that you should mark things as "not known at this address" but then your mail carrier will probably stop delivering your dh's mail which would suck. So instead, tell your family that you can always tell junk mail because it comes to the wrong name and you'll be shredding it unopened.

Then if they ask you about something that got sent to Mrs. HisFirst HisLast, you never saw it. "Oh wait, did you send it to Mrs. HisFirst HisLast? Yeah, then I shredded it. My name is Proto Lawyer."
post #7 of 41
Originally Posted by crl View Post
It comes up off and on. DH's family screws it up, mostly on purpose. Other people get it wrong on accident and if it's going to be ongoing and it matters, I correct them, otherwise I ignore it. (Sometimes it's DH who gets stuck with my last name which amuses me and doesn't phase him at all.)

When DH was in the Marine Corps they were so confused by it that he ended up taking in copies of our marriage certificate a million (okay, maybe it was just a dozen) times to get the benefits and names straight. After he got out, it got easier. And now we live in SF, so anything goes here. . . .

I *did* take dh's last name and our marriage certificate got photocopied like 10 times by 3 different offices. I don't think the military's computers like talking to each other.
post #8 of 41
No matter how many times I say I kept my last name, my own family members will forget and address things to me as Mrs. DH or Mrs bajamergrrl-DH. I just let it go. I don't even think about our last names very much anymore. I'm just glad that our difference in last names hasn't affected the things that matter like insurance and such.
post #9 of 41
I love getting mail addressed to Mrs. DH's first and last name. If I had decided not to change my name though it would really irk me. i would just send thank you notes and sign them with your whole name really really big. like half the card.
post #10 of 41
It's not about your name, it's about your title. Since you're married to your DH that makes you the Mrs. Hisfirst Hislast. You might have other titles like Ms. Protolawyer or whathave you, that you preferred to be addressed as, but that doesn't change the validity of the other title. It is like when Prince Charles married Camilla and she had like 80 titles to choose from, and she didn't choose Princess of Wales (the most prestigious of the available titles) out of respect for Diana, and instead chose Duchess of Cornwall as her preferred title. That doesn't change that she is the Princess of Wales. But it is rude to address her that way, just as it is rude to address you as Mrs. Hisfirst Hislast.
post #11 of 41
It hasn't gone away yet for us. Someone at DD1's school asked DH the other day if we were even married since we had separate last names. Not that it really matters if we weren't but annoying that was what they thought just because of the last names.
post #12 of 41
We had some cards and stuff show up around the wedding addressed to Mr. and Mrs. HisFirstName HisLastName. I never took offense. I think most people were trying to be sort of respectful and proper and some were just being playful . I don't think I've seen anything like that show up since and it's been about 8 years now.
post #13 of 41
I just had to jump back in and say that I'm a little envious of those of you who kept your own last names. I love my maiden name and although I kept it as a middle name, I wish I had kept it as my last name. At the time, I thought it would be too confusing if/when we had kids, but DH didn't care in the slightest, so I wish I'd gone for it. *sigh* So, yeah, defend your name!
post #14 of 41
As a society we like to think we have moved past all the traditions about marriage, but in reality we haven't. The automatic assumption that a woman will change her name when she marries is proof of that.

The Mrs. Hisfirstname Hislastname or Mr. and Mrs. Hisfirstname Hislastname both bug the crap out of me. I know plenty of women who change their last name, I have yet to meet a single one who changed her first name too. Mostly though it bugs me because it pretty much elimiates the woman as a human being and she's just a part of him and is there for addressed through him.
post #15 of 41
Oddly enough the only person who address me by mail by Mrs.Hislastname was one of my own friends! She, to this day, STILL does this. I haven't corrected her since 8 years into the marriage, it doesn't bother me anymore. I feel more like.."Isn't that cute"..

I know when Dh and I get introduced with our separate names people do pause but really, so what?
post #16 of 41
I still cringe. It feels like I don't count as an equal. I took my husband's last name, but I did not take his first name. And I know it's a traditional thing and blah, blah, blah, but I hate it. I'm a whole person too.
post #17 of 41
Yes, I kept my last name too. It does cause some hassle, and I get fed up explaining that DH and I are in fact married and DD is *our* daughter (not his, because she has his last name). And I still frequently get addressed as Mrs. HisLastName anyway, despite explaining it all, a lot.

Some of the worst offenders are the more traditional members of my family, who had a hard enough time wrapping their heads round the fact that I got married in a registry office, wearing purple, to someone of a different religious background to me. The fact that I also chose to keep my last name seems to be a bridge too far for them!

I had such hassle when they used to send me parcels when I was living in the Czech Republic. Standard over there is to leave a note saying there's a parcel for you at the post office and you have to bring your ID to go collect your parcel. Well, of course they addressed the parcels as Mrs. HisLastName and since that's not actually my name I don't have any ID stating that it is. I ended up having to bring both my passport and a copy of my marriage certificate and try to explain (in very bad Czech) that my family didn't know what my real name was! I think a couple of times the parcel was actually sent back to them because whoever was working behind the counter that day couldn't or wouldn't understand what I was saying. But they continued to do it anyway!

At least here I can explain myself - though it gets tedious having to do it all the time.

It's definitely a hang-over from the days when women were just chattels of their men-folk. You had your father's name until you got married then you were your husband's property and bore his name to show it. At least things have moved on from Roman times when girls didn't even have their own first name either, just a female version of their father's name. So Julius could have four daughters, all called Julia - way to make a girl feel special!!
post #18 of 41
For what it is worth, women who do take their husbands name are whole people too. They are not selling out or losing themselves. It is not about tradition or something leftover from the days of being chattel as much as a wonderful union and honoring that union. Women who do not change their name can honor their union just that same as women who do. It is not a war or a right or wrong way. It is a very personal decision and ought to be respected. Please do not assume things about, label and/or look down on women who take their husbands name.

Protolawyer, I would hope that people would respect your decision no matter what you decide. Sorry you are frustrated! CONGRATS on your WEDDING! I hope it is JOYFUL and FUN!:ca rrot
post #19 of 41
I took my husbands name, and it doesn't bother me one bit (and I don't even like him right now. ). I am still me, and will always be me. It never changed who I am.

On a lighter note, when I was sending out the invititations for my wedding, and I sent one to my MOH mother and stepfather, I wrote Mr. and Mrs. Herfirstname Hislastname, and didn't even realize I had done it! They got a huge kick out of it.
post #20 of 41
His father was furious with me for not changing my name. They still address things the other way after 19 years..sigh....he took it as an insult. Now the funny part is that I didn't care one way or the other. DH wanted me to keep my name.

My dd has his last name. I have been asked if Im really her mom a few times.

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