My husband of seven years and I have a strong relationship and three children (four, two, and newborn).
Before marriage, my mother-in-law had pressured me to NOT change my name, because changing hers had been a mistake.
My husband agreed with her then but has since softened those views.
I’ve never loved my maiden name and while a staunch feminist, I’m also a romantic who loves the connection of a shared family name.
I regret that I never changed it. I tried to accept my decision to keep my name, but it never felt authentic.
Is it too late to change my name?
I have a career built on my maiden name and I don’t want two names.
I’d probably keep my maiden name while at my current employer, but I’m considering a career change so would make the switch then.
It’s also probably going to be more work now, because my children’s birth certificates now don’t reflect my married name.
Should I follow through on what I initially wanted or just accept my mistake and move on?
What’s A Name Worth?
It matters what that name is worth to you - an ideal or a definition, a history or a driving choice?
As a busy woman with three children and a career, you need to look at the practical considerations, too.
Before you finally decide, consider all practical implications for your work life (confusing to your employer or work history?), and to your life with your children (once the passports are changed, it could actually make travel with them easier).
As for your husband’s preference, how much does it matter to him, and why?
It’s your personal decision; neither choice implies anything other than what’s most comfortable for you.
Once you firm up your own feelings, bear your name proudly.
In my late-40s, I had a good relationship with my husband’s sisters. Sister A (late-60's) moved closer to us, and we started getting together frequently.
Sister B (early-60's) had lived away but moved closer, too.
The two had rarely spoken or got together (I was always “in-between”) until, in the same city again, they got close.
I THOUGHT all three of us got closer.
But A becomes whoever she’s around. B is very bitter and negative.
I’m a very happy person. Yet I’ve had women friends who’ve hurt me, so I don't trust women easily.
The night before B's birthday, her friend/organizer of a night out, asked me if I was coming.
I hadn’t been told about it by either sister. I was devastated.
I cut myself off from them. However, they were my only female companions.
My husband and I are very close, but there are times when you need a "girlfriend."
What am I doing wrong? Was I right to cut them out?
Yes, and No.
You were right to not let these sisters treat you as dispensable.
Yet you also relied for friendship on sisters-in-law who’d been difficult with each other and put you in the middle.
With past women friends, you may’ve had a (well-meaning) pattern of giving too much to others.
Instead of looking for a “best” friend at this time – lucky you to already have close connection with your husband – participate in an interest group or sport you like, to meet new women.
With your happy outlook, you’re sure to find some casual friends.
Don’t expect any one girlfriend to be fun companion, easily available, and trusted confidante all at once.
Deep trust takes years to build.
FEEDBACK Regarding the man who’s unwilling to discuss his wife’s affair (June 22):
Reader – “The couple have ended up in a “don't ask, don't tell” situation.
“It’s a type of non-monogamy, and works for some people.
“However, he has more options than to remain silent until an implosion, or speak up expecting an implosion.
“They could discuss their needs and boundaries and find a relationship model that suits them both.
“They could transition to a more open form of non-monogamy.
“But if they don't have a chance to acknowledge what’s happening, then their only path within restrictive social norms, is to expect an implosion.
“Ethical non-monogamy isn’t for everyone, nor a fix for a failing relationship.
“But when people stumble into such an arrangement, they need the tools to decide from among all their options.”
Ellie – He didn’t ask for options, but they’ll need to talk soon. They’re adults and will know what they’re willing to try.
Tip of the day:
A name change is a personal choice, if legally possible.