I married my wife on May 29th, 2016. And as of that day, I have legally changed my name to match hers.
This decision was made over many months and many, many conversations.
I share this story so that others can explore how I felt throughout the process on their own time, because I’m sure it will scare the sh*t out of many as it definitely has for me.
The Short Story
The brief explanation of why goes like this:
- She hadn’t considered changing her last name from Broberg
- I felt strongly about our family having a shared surname
That’s it. I proposed my name change to hers.
The Long Story
Life decisions can be simple, but it wasn’t in this case. The longer story centres around the ambitious goals of alignment between my beliefs and my behaviours.
I believe in the symbolism of a family unit — with common names and no ambiguity to them. The Smith’s. The Jones’. The Williams Family.
There’s comfort in the simplicity here: an age-old convention that signifies a family unit. I like it.
I also believe in what Judaism has taught me about family. I was born to two Jewish parents and loosely raised as such. My bris, bar mitzvah, the occasional seder; an attempt to avoid the deliciousness that is pork. None of these traditions really hit home for me, but the bigger theme of it all did. Judaism is a shared history that cannot be undone by name changes.
I also believe in equality of the genders, best explained by feminist minds throughout the years. I learned it early on and it stuck with me (my mum was a bra-burning NYC hippie) and my belief grew as I studied.