I decided not to change my surname after marriage and my husband didn’t challenge me on the matter. Why? Because he’s amazing.
After almost 6 years, I am still happy with my decision. We sometimes get mail that refers to me by my husband’s surname, but we also get mail where his surname is mine. Both of these mistakes make me laugh because it illustrates how society has a hard time handling non-conformity.
A friend of mine recently started the process of changing her name after her wedding and from my view, it is such a pain in the ass. She started her process by going to the social security office on Friday and when she got back to work she said something like, “As the woman (in a heterosexual relationship), you have to do most of the wedding planning and after the wedding, you have to do all of the work to change your name to your husband’s. He doesn’t have to do anything.”
I know my friend well enough to know that her husband did help with some of the wedding planning, but she is right. In this matter of name changing, he gets to go on with his life and she has to take time off of work to go to the social security office, brave the NYS DMV, stress about the timing of getting her passport changed with her travel schedule, update credit cards, bank accounts, and more.
I don’t judge women who change their surname. The great thing is that woman in the United Staes HAVE the choice to change, or not to change, their surname. As Americans, women haven’t always had that choice.
However, because I didn’t go through any of this, I have to say that taking the male route in this scenario by not changing my name was very freeing. It reconfirms my decision to keep my name and not go through this antiquated rigamarole.