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The number of women changing their names after marriage is decreasing and this is what I have observed. I also kept my name. Among my friends, only a few of them have changed their surnames after getting married. It’s no surprise I kept my last name. These days, changing the name is clashing with the idea of having own space and identity for modern women. And naturally, I never liked the way women seemed to disappear into their husband’s name. When I got married, I was at the peak of my career. I was dreaming about going out of India and even about settling down in the US. Changing my surname was going to add little paper and official work (affidavit for PAN card, driving license, bank document and passport etc) for us. While registering our marriage when asked the name of the wife, my husband said “Shipra Pandey”. Yes, it’s my original name. Since then, we are man and wife with different surnames. Although, there was no confusion ever that our kid(s) are going to take their father’s surname. But with realizing my family responsibilities and realities of life, my career aspirations opted to slow down and I understood why changing name is still important.
Our marriage started on a turbulent note. Initial days were tough, rough and cloudy. There were problems and problems. And my husband, for the first time, made a bitter remark on my name then. I still had my father’s surname and somehow reasons of our bumpy married life were around me and my family. Things were settled in next few months. However, I always had occasional pangs of wondering if my husband, doubted my commitment, or was at all disappointed by the fact that I didn’t want to share his name. And our recent argument confirmed my doubt. My commitments are still questionable as per him. And after close to five years of married life, the reason he gives is again around my surname.
Although till date, I never faced any problem in having a different surname with occasional questioning by other people. But as I am enjoying my married life, I am more inclined towards changing my name. Even in this blogging space (and in many other), I write with my husband’s surname. Of course, because I want to share my success and achievements with him. With the course of time, I have started feeling that the husband (mostly) takes this as a proof of pledge and liability towards married life if the wife changes her name. But, more importantly, I also started to feel a strange sense of vulnerability and the need to reconnect myself to my husband who is the father of my son and keeper of my lighthouse, in every possible way. Including in name and fame. If a woman, takes her husband’s name or carries her own name, can never change her inner self. Changing name can never cast any kind of spell over her. But there are few things we do just to make other people happy. And if any how I have failed to give my husband the assurance that our relationship is important for me, then I would like to correct it right away. If taking husband’s name is crucial to seal the package of our marriage. I am ready now. The sooner the better!
A few days back, I was reading a post and wife expressed her feeling over the loss of his husband. “At least I have his name with me, always!” This really made me think for a while!