Why I’ll Be Taking My Husband To Be’s Surname

SPOILER ALERT: well you’ve read the title, ‘Taking my husband to be’s surname’ and probably don’t need to read the rest – I’ve only gone and given you the bloody gist, haven’t I. But if you’re interested as to why I’ve made this decision, imma tell you.

I had NO idea this was such a contentious issue until Ben and I discussed marriage and then got engaged.

taking husband to bes surname 1I’ve always been staunchly against marriage for a variety of reasons: they don’t last, I grew up with parents in an AWFUL one, partners ALWAYS cheat on me and ‘I’ve been taught that I don’t need a marriage,’ being just a few. So lots of people were shocked when I made a U-Turn and decided it was now something I wanted.

SO why the sudden change of heart? Perhaps since both of my parents have passed, the looming burden of being a product of a severely unhappy marriage no longer weighed on me. I began seeing close friends get married and have amazing relationships with their husbands. And really, I just genuinely don’t see a future without Ben.

Yessss I know that doesn’t mean we need to be married and that there are plenty of amazing long term relationships that have seen one be taken up the aisle by the other in a sexual way not a traditionally paperwork heavy way but bear with.

When I met Ben, I was in a GREAT position. I actually LOVED being single. I was happy within myself. I could easily have gone another 5, 10, 20, 50 years as a single woman as I had fulfilment in other areas of life. So when he came along, it had to be an out-of-this-world connection to give up my singledom and it was. It really is.

I finally believed that something could work. I have a relationship where a future seems certain (and you’re all invited to retweet this post to me if in 5 years, he’s run off with Margot Robbie and I’m moving onto my 15th cat).

And I also began looking into what a marriage means and why I ‘need’ one. It turns out I don’t. No one does really. If a relationship is strong and committed in other areas, in 2018 you really don’t NEED to be married.

But I really want to.

Having come from a fractured immediate family, with an extended family that feature virtually no lasting marriages, I want to have one that works and lasts.

I also want my own family.

I don’t necessarily mean kids because who knows and right now I can’t even look after a house plant, but I want a solid unit.

When my parents passed, Ben was there. He held my hand, as I held my dying father’s hand in the hospital. He picks me up when I’m broken and he builds me up further than I can ever build myself when I’m flying high. And he actually makes me a better person.

When you come from a family where ‘love’ isn’t necessarily modelled to you – you become a person who is so self reliant (lol absorbed). I just didn’t think I could give another person any form of energy. Because I saw another person as a drain.

But Ben has taught me that a partnership is not a drain, or a shadow or a compromise (necessarily) but it’s actually a ladder. It’s somewhere you can reach the bottom rung, as two whole people and you can continue to climb together to whichever goal or dream you want.


taking husband to bes surname 2

But anyway, that’s my reasoning behind getting married. So why did I then decide to take his name?

There are a couple of reasons.

Meldrew isn’t my real surname. Most of you know that but it’ll surprise some. My surname is one of the most common EVER so it’s not like I need to preserve it for generations to come.

Our surname’s triple barrelled (because Ben is already a double barrelledy type person) sounds silly as fuck.

He suggested that we dropped one of his surnames and added mine and it just sounded gash.

We don’t see the point in making one up completely.

He suggested he could take mine but here’s the crux…

My surname is not my identity.

It never has been. It doesn’t define me. I don’t come from a family with a strong history (that I’m aware of) on my surname’s side, anyway. And I don’t know/speak to/care for my Dad’s side of the family. Whilst I’m sure they’re nice enough, up until his passing I hadn’t heard from them in over twenty years. That’s not family.

A family is a support network. A safe place to grow. A safe place to feel. And that’s what I have with Ben.

Taking his surname means that we begin our own family, inside his, that have welcomed, supported, loved and cared for me when I’ve most needed it.

And anyway, being a feminist is all about having an equal choice. I choose his name.

Did you choose your partner’s name?

taking husband to bes surname 3

I like this picture of him, even though he looks like he’s massively regretting sticking a ring on my finger. LOL soz babes, I’m STAYING.

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  1. Georgina
    July 19, 2018 / 11:09 am

    Totally with you, it’s about choice. Me and my fiance are both going double-barrelled, but ironically for similar reasons to yourself. Family. Adding his name to mine, and mine to his, makes us both feel part of both families.

  2. Iona
    July 19, 2018 / 12:18 pm

    It’s so lovely to see you so happy, I’ve never really felt the ‘need’ to get married but I’m sure if/when I meet the perfect person like you did I would want to x

  3. July 19, 2018 / 12:49 pm

    Since I got engaged it’s the first heated question I got along with who’s walking me down the aisle. I’m taking my man’s name and I can’t wait to be man and wife and have our own little family!

  4. Liz
    July 19, 2018 / 3:03 pm

    I didn’t, although when we had our daughter I went double-barrelled (she has my husband’s surname). It was important to me to keep my name in my surname, but I totally get your reasoning too. Every situation is different, and like you said it’s all about having the choice.

  5. July 19, 2018 / 4:33 pm

    I’m always surprised at those who call themselves feminists just to tell everyone what all they are doing wrong. Taking your husband’s name is the most normal thing to do! Although I’m totally for the fact that it makes a strong Girl Power-era gal think about it before doing it.
    I myself would never change my name. Simply because it’s so rare and it has no resemblance of the language or the country where I was born. For some reason I really love that 😀

  6. July 19, 2018 / 4:51 pm

    “It sounded gash” was the highlight of this post for me ?? I took my husband’s surname for quite a lot of the same reasons – as much as I love my family, I’ve had a lot of shitty times (typical child of divorce) but I wanted to create our own unit and getting married was important for me to show myself that not all marriages end in heartbreak!
    Gaby xx

  7. July 19, 2018 / 5:18 pm

    That is exactly it isn’t it? Choice. I think the idea of a new family unit is beautiful and what made me smile even more is that you’re wearing a ‘your name here’ T-shirt which I thought was very apt!
    I am so very happy for you x

  8. July 19, 2018 / 5:22 pm

    I didn’t realise this was such a thing, maybe because I hate my surname and am more than happy to get shot of it haha! Though my partners isn’t much better ? surnames don’t make a family though (my daughter has her father’s and we split up a long time ago!) It’s just nice to have the choice I think!
    It’s lovely that your choosing to take Ben’s name and I wish you both all the happiness in the world ♥️

  9. July 19, 2018 / 7:23 pm

    I love the emphasis on choice. I will most probably be taking my boyfriends surname (although that’s several years down the line!) for very similar reasons. I don’t have any kind of sentimental connection to my surname and I’ve never really though of doing anything different. But equally I know my sister wants to double-barrel because she feels like it’s part of her identity.
    You just gotta do what feels right for you!

  10. Lucy
    July 19, 2018 / 7:53 pm

    Such a great post Vix, I’m not engaged and probably won’t be for some time but this is something I’ve thought about before. I think I’d take my husbands surname though, purely because I hate my own surname!

    Lucy | Forever September

  11. July 19, 2018 / 8:33 pm

    I don’t really feel any attachment to my surname, and I hate how many people either say it or spell it wrong, so I’d quite happily take my future husbands surname. (Though if his was worse I might think twice about that!) But just having the choice nowadays is so important – it does seem like its way more accepted now to mix up what you do with the surname, whether thats you taking his or him taking yours. And that’s all good!

  12. July 19, 2018 / 11:39 pm

    Like you said, I have always considered myself a feminist, but I never considered it a bad thing to take my significant other’s name name when I was younger. I didn’t think it was honestly a big deal. As I’ve gotten older, I don’t know what I’m going to do in the future. I think it’s a mix of how it blends with my first name, and how we decide to figure it out together. Great post Vix! xxx

    melina | http://www.melinaelisa.com

  13. Chloe
    July 20, 2018 / 10:12 am

    I will also be taking my husbands name in a few months, and it certainly wasn’t an easy choice! Ideally we’d double-barrel, but it would end up being 21 characters involved an F, Z, Y and 2 Ks, so a bit of a mouthful and nightmare to spell! Both of our surnames are quite unique and I’m gutted to be loosing mine, but equally I can’t imagine not having the same name as him and our future (fingers crossed) children. I have decided I’m going to officially move my maiden name to be a second middle name – so whilst my offical name will be ridiculously long, it still retains my identity and I won’t use it all the time.

    LIFE & LOVES: A Foodie Blog

  14. Mark Langlay-Smith
    July 20, 2018 / 9:50 pm

    Wahhooo welcome to the Langlay-Smith unit! It’s a gooden! So happy for you guys and a really great article 🙂 xx

  15. July 22, 2018 / 8:40 am

    I did, for the same reasons you stated. I don’t have a relationship with my father anymore so had considered changing my name anyway. The only downside was that previously, my initials spelled my name. Now they don’t spell anything, but I’m happy with my decision.

  16. July 23, 2018 / 11:35 am

    I kept my surname for work for the first year after we married, purely because It was easier and that was how everyone knew me. Privately I took my husbands name. Like you say, a name does not define who you are, and your surname is likely the name that your Mum took from your Dad anyway so surely it’s still taking a man’s name. Feminism is about choice, it is about what I choose to do as a woman. Surely by having staunch rules about what constitutes feminism we are simply trading a patriarchy for a dictatorial matriarchy.

  17. July 27, 2018 / 8:45 am

    Good for you, Vix. I also took my husband’s name when we got married, purely because I liked it better than my old name. I’m sick of seeing people berating women who decide to change their names and think you’re absolutely right that true feminism is all about the power of having a choice. Best of luck to you both – I’m sure your marriage will be long, prosperous and full of love. I look forward to reading all about it x

  18. August 7, 2018 / 12:24 pm

    Such a good post Vix! Mike and I aren’t even engaged yet but I’ve already decided I won’t take his name. I was adopted by my step-dad when I was 12 so I’ve already changed my name once and A) can’t be bothered doing it again and B) Since I have no biological link to my dad, I like that we share a name. Also, Mike’s cousin is called Lauren so we don’t need another Lauren Munro in the family to confuse things! We’re not having kids either so there’s no worry about what they’ll be called.

  19. last year's girl
    August 24, 2018 / 11:21 am

    I kept my name, for the reasons I wrote about here, but since your professional/writing name was always different from your “actual” name you don’t have most of the same considerations I did anyway!

    I suspect that, had my husband and I ever had any interests in kids, we’d have wanted to come up with a different solution but this works well for us. Although having a Google-unique name creates its own set of problems, haha.