I recently succumbed to a headline I couldn’t ignore. I clicked through to find this article. You can read the underlying study here or I’ll sum it up for you: 70% of Americans think married women should change their name. And 50% think it should be the law.
The most common reasons cited that a women should take her husband’s name were that women should prioritize marriage and family ahead of one’s self and that it indicates she is more committed to the marriage.
No one’s going to argue that SJP, married to Matthew Broderick for 20+ years, is less committed to her marriage than Sarah Jessica Broderick. Or that Beyonce isn’t prioritizing her Carter family over herself after Lemonade. Or that Blake Lively’s marriage to Ryan Reynolds isn’t real (it’s been almost 5 years and two kids, ladies. This isn’t Gossip Girl. It’s real life.)
Names are deeply personal. It becomes the descriptor, the embodiment, of who we are. It takes every word and every action of our being and represents it.
Say Tom Brady. Did you just picture him hoisting the Super Bowl MVP trophy? Or celebrating the victory with his beautiful wife? Or did you remember that he played at Michigan or the ordeal between he and Gooddell? They’re all true. Now say: Tom Hanks. Did you think of Forest Gump, Big or Rita Wilson? Now say: Tom Smith – who’s that?
All the same first names. All the last names have the same number of letters: 5. But vastly different responses.
Our name is like the hashtag of our life.
I have two names. The first has been always been mine. It’s the only one I use at work. It’s how I answer my phone and it’s how I still introduce myself (most of the time).
The second is my husband’s name which means it’s also my children’s. I legally took that on after we had our first child. Primarily because not having the same last name as my children and husband is
That new and additional last name is just on paper. In my head my name is, always has been and always will be: Libby Vish.
And then one day, on paper, the hashtag was suppose to change.
I don’t dislike my married name: Libby Carl. It’s cute, endearing and sweet. I often joke that she’s much nicer than Libby Vish. (Someone once agreed with that joke a little too eagerly!)
But it feels like this whole other person that I’m just getting to know. So I combined the names: Libby Vish Carl. I like it. It’s a good fit for me. It lets me still feel like me, while acknowledging I have this new part of my life.
What’s in a name? Everything is in my name. My highs, my lows (and there are many) and everything in between. I’m thankful we all have the ability to navigate it however works best for ourselves, our marriage and our family.
Anyone else think it was weird to one day have one name and the next day another? Or was it a no-brainer? (I know we all have our own experiences that effect our thoughts. So I like hearing opinions that are different than mine. It adds perspective to my own view.)
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