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Dec 12, 2008

Name Change Conundrum...To change or not to change?


I want to marry Justin, regardless of my feelings about my last name. For me, it's not about the marriage, it's about the name. I know I want to marry Justin, I just am "not sure" on changing my last name. I know some people might think this shows that I am not ready to marry Justin, but I don't think of it in that way. Like I said before, it's not the marriage, its the name changing part.


Hi All,

I am still deciding if it's worth changing my last name from Palmes to Kemp.

You see, the favourite part of my name is Palmes. Joan Maree Palmes...hmmm. The Maree part is okay, but the Joan part is really old fashioned, even though I understand why my mum called me that. I love the Palmes part, because I think it is really pretty and it's got a great, albeit interesting, history. It rolls off the tongue well too. Whereas I find the Kemp name really short and brief (and lets face it, Joan and Maree are two short names already).

Another reason why I don't want to be a Kemp is that Justin's parents have made it quite clear that they don't "accept" the situation fully yet. And I quite frankly, don't want to be part of a family that can be that manipulative and controlling. The Palmes family whilst not being perfect, have always let me have the final say in my life. I want to marry Justin, not his parents and their baggage, because lets face it, I have plenty of my own. I certainly don't need any help on that front.

Another reason is that there are so many couples in the world that are not as fortunate as Justin and I: that indeed, they can't marry: homosexuals. I have always struggled with the idea of taking on all the traditional trappings of marriage (I have never had a problem with the marriage itself) when there are so many couples out there for whom their relationship is completely illegal or, are just banned from the act of marriage itself. I find this incredibly sad. I would find the whole name changing thing as almost an act of disrespect to some of my greatest friends and friends of friends. Now, that's just a personal opinion, but it's how I feel.

I also feel uncomfortable with being labelled (via a name change) as just someone's wife for the rest of my life. Yes, I am going to be someone's wife, but that shouldn't mean I am put in that box for the rest of my life. I love Justin, that is why I am marrying him, not be a "wife", as in the submissive, housemaid, becoming one, kind. I saw plenty of that growing up and I don't like it. A marriage should be a partnership with equal say, not one above the other. I have always said that Justin and I are on a level playing field, that we can tell other exactly what we are thinking, without covering it up and making it pretty. A good clean argument is good for the soul, is what I always say. It brings all the dust bunnies and bugbears out from under the bed and sends them away out the front door nice and quickly.

Justin almost leapt 10 feet in the air when I told him how uncomfortable the idea of changing my last name made me. He wants me to change it (his reasoning: because that's what you do when you get married), which I can understand, but at the same time, I want to keep my own identity. And for me, I have always drawn a lot of comfort (and identity) from my last name.

I don't know, I think I might wait: wait and see how I feel after the marriage. I might wait till we have our second wedding (and change it then), because hopefully by then, Justin's parents would have warmed to the situation more.

I am not questioning our marriage, I am questioning the name change. Why should I change something that makes me happy and that doesn't really affect anything, anyway? If Justin turns around and has a big bugbear with it, I will consider changing it. And I will wait, and not cancel the idea out completely.

What does everyone think: Am I coming from the wrong place, wanting the wrong things? Or do I just know what I want?


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