Saturday, March 15, 2014

Gift of a name

When I spell out my last name now, it's a whole lot easier than my maiden name.

For one thing, it's half the letters. Secondly, these letters don't need sounded out phonetically because they don't sound similar to other letters like the ones in my maiden name.

Those were definite perks to changing my last name when I got married, but it's not the main reason to change your name when you marry.

Taking on your husband's name is a gift from him. He has given you a ring and said "I do" in his marriage vows, but sharing a last name is like him telling the world that you are his and he is yours. You are a new family that is united not only by law and in spirit but in name. You are one.

It has become more and more popular for women to keep their maiden name or to hyphenate when they marry. That never occurred to me to do, and I know that Nate wouldn't have liked that. Even when women put their maiden name in parentheses on Facebook, we see it that they're hanging on to their single identity. (People can still search for you by your maiden name even if it's not in parentheses after your name).

For some women, they want that sense of independence. They think that taking on their husbands name puts them in a servant role, that they give up who they are.

You do.

That is what marriage is all about. You should give up your independence and put yourself in a servant role. Not just the woman, but the man as well. Getting married means that you are no longer yourself, you are now a pair. Everything you do, every decision you make becomes what you do for the two of you, not just for yourself. Even sharing a name is a reminder that you are now totally and completely one.

For some couples, it's easier to not change your name in case of divorce. It takes a lot of time and effort to change your name. There's not only a passport and a drivers license, there are credit cards, debit cards, bank accounts, student loans, mortgages --- the list goes on and on. What if you get divorced and then have to go back and change all of that again because you want to have your maiden name back?

That is the exact opposite of what you should be thinking when you get married. You should not go into a marriage expecting or even preparing for it to fail. That is something that is hugely wrong in our society. Marriage is not convenient and it is not temporary. It is forever. Even if something eventually goes wrong, you deal with it. You don't give up. Don't make getting divorced easy or it could even be a temptation to just give up, because it's easier than working out your problems.

Women, think of changing your name not as difficult or giving up yourself. Think of it as a gift exchanged between the two of you. It is a gift from him to you, a deep part of himself. It is him claiming you as his, forever. It is a gift from you to him, giving up your maiden name and your single life to tie yourself to him, forever.

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