Originally Posted by boingo82
I don't think it's weird.
. . . do not see it as this big symbolic "ownership" thing - if changing to my DH's name means he "owns" me, then I guess my dad owned me first, huh?
I am not a fan of hyphenating. TOO MANY LETTERS. And what happens when you're 4 generations into hyphenating?
I never had any intention of changing, for feminist and aesthetic reasons, and was amazed that my changing was so important to my husband. It had never occurred to me, since all men I had ever spoken to about this acted like possessive jerks, that a good man might hope to offer a precious treasure of protection and family identity to the woman he loves.
Nonetheless, there was no way I was changing my last name! My full name is my identity, and he was unable to consider changing or hyphenating his.
We eventually had to go into therapy over this, when we began trying to conceive, as I was also having no part of the "kids get daddy's name" game. There was no way -- again -- that I was going to end up adrift in my own family, the only one with the "different" last name. The solution we reached was that each of us would retain our surnames, the baby's last name would be hyphenated, and we would choose a family middle name -- give it to the baby, change mine, and add one to husband (he had no middle name originally). This suits us well; in addition to making us feel that we are all cool and inventive, we also feel like we have this groovy family identity that is private just among us and those we choose to tell.
To respond to the 2 paragraphs above:
But it IS a symbol, a reminder of the historical practice of ownership -- that's what the whole "giving away" part of the wedding ceremony is about. And yes the surnames of most of us women who retain our names are our father's surnames, but we have to start somewhere.
As far as hyphenating being "too many letters," we decided not to worry about what *might* happen when our son partners up but instead to give him the name that felt right to us now. He may come up with a totally creative solution; he may never have children; who knows what will happen in the future? Again, it's OK to start somewhere.