Dear Sasha, I have an issue that I really need your insight on.  I’m getting married in 6 months to my bf of 7 years.  I am in love, we have a great relationship, our families get along, everything is great.  The problem however is that when we’ve had conversations about taking his last name things get pretty heated.  I’m not quite sure I want to give my name up and he’s revealed to me that he doesn’t care so much, but that his mom does and will care very much.  Their last name is pretty well-known around where I live and she’s more than once passively aggressively, more aggressively, told me that I should take it.  I don’t really know what to do.  Should I? Shouldn’t i? what would you do?  T.


For me, my last name is and always will be a true source of identity – it’s quite simply who I am and I honestly never gave changing it a second thought. Not only does it warm the cockles of my heart when my friends still say “Sasha Tong likes it long”, but from a cultural standpoint it’s important. I married a white dude and to take his last name felt like it would be a total whitewash. Also, the real reason is quite frankly that I’m too lazy to go through all the bureaucratic bullsh-t to change it.

However on the flipside T, if you're the kind of chick who loves tradition, if it makes you feel more united and/or if you could give two-sh-ts about your last name then these are all valid, great reasons for taking your husband’s surname. I’m not here to chastise or give you any feminist slack for your personal decisions.

So T, I’m sorry but I can’t make the decision for you, but it does sound like you’re leaning towards not changing it and if that’s truly the case you need to stand your ground. The next time your future MIL brings it up, say something like: “Don’t take this the wrong way, I love your last name and its strong history, but I also love mine. It’s important to me and I would never ask your son to change something he wasn’t comfortable with either.” And it’s that last line that should one-two punch her mouth shut.

But sh-t, if after all that it still continues to be a stress that you don’t know how to deal with, well, there’s always the compromise of the hyphen....

Hope this helps and keep me posted! Xx