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Marriage/married but keeping maiden name


hello John. I have an issue I can really need some guidance on.
So here's my problem; I will be proposing to my girlfriend next month. We have talked about marriage and children and she brought up how when we get married, she will keep her last name. We argue about it and she said she will never take my last name because it means too much to her to give up. I compromised with her and suggested that she take my last name in hyphenated. She still says no! This makes me feel hurt and rejected. I am almost to the point where something so simple will cause me to call off the marriage. I want to marry her and I love her, but it means too much for me to have her take my last name. It makes me feel as though her not wanting to take my name that she will not be into the marriage fully like a husband and wife are supposed to be. What am I to do?  Any help would be greatly appreciated. Thank you for your time.
Jared C.

Hi Jared,

Married but keeping maiden name_________________________

I understand how you feel.  It does sort of feel like a rejection.

There's a very important saying that will help you deal with issues in marriage (or in general with people) and that is 'it's not so much the differences between people, it's how you deal with those differences.'.  So, in this case we would say that you two see the issue of maiden names in marriage differently.  OK, so there will be some hurt feelings involved, feelings pass.  However, it becomes a serious issue if you two do not 'agree to disagree' (another very, very important communication concept).  In other words, tell her how you feel and then let it go.  It will be a problem in the marriage if you keep it going.

It helps also to look at a difference from the other person's POV.  Would you like to give up the name that you have connected with and established your whole life?  Doubtful.   By rights she could ask you to hyphenate your last name!  

It is a rejection, all right.  But it could be seen as a modern woman's rejection of the concept of a female being a male's property, not a rejection of you.  In other words, more political than personal.

A good marriage has three parts:  You, the Other and the Marriage.  All have to be fed and nurtured.  She, as well as you, need to keep some things as part of your own identity.

All that being said, ask yourself the question of just how independent is she?  Would it conflict much with the marriage?

Best of luck in your future.


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