After marrying my partner** of seven years, many of my female friends were slightly taken back to find out that, yes, I will be taking my husband’s last name. GASP.
The fact is that I never truly envisioned myself getting married… until I met my B. And from that point on, many of the notions I had about marriage changed. ***
B — my partner for life, and now husband — truly was a game changer. Meeting in the midst of an almost-quarter life crisis, B was the most supportive person and has been the ultimate human to explore and learn about the world with. We’ve grown up so much since 2011, and I’m exceptionally grateful that we were able to do it as a team — together. And not to sound too cheesy, but I love that I get to spend the rest of my life with him.
So, when we decided to get married on the seventh anniversary of the best first date in history, we knew not much in our daily lives would change. We were already domestic partners who lived together for six years with a four year old dog we got as a puppy. We had the joint bank account for years now, and have already been each other’s emergency contacts. The only change was that I was going from Ms to Mrs. I was taking B’s last name and leaving mine behind. No hyphen. No middle name change.
The fact is that I’m not particularly attached my last maiden name. It’s not a part of my identity to me. And frankly, at thirty-one years old, I am happier with who I am now more than ever before. A lot of that has to deal with self-care, but it also has to do with the work that B put into our relationship and me. I am the woman I am today because of him. I didn’t need him by any means, but we are each better because of one another. He is the love of my life and my family. As untraditional as I am, this traditional patriarchal ritual of the wife taking her husband’s name just feels right to me in my specific circumstance. I am not belonging to him, nor am I losing me. With no true connection to my maiden name, I get to take ownership of my married one.
We are partners in this life and being Mr and Mrs just feels right. It’s really at the foundation of what feminism means to me — equality and choice. We are equals in this marriage, as we have always been in our relationship. And guess what? It’s my choice.
** Yes, we are cis-heteros, but we were also legally domestic partners, and I never felt that ‘boyfriend’ accurately described his relation to me — so ‘partner’ it is!
*** What didn’t change: the pomp and circumstance of the wedding industry and the related pressures and wild expectations that are put on women.
Photograph by the incredibly wonderful and talented, Jessie Casey.