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My girlfriend has agreed to marry me, but refuses to take my name. Unfortunately, this is a tradition that is very important to me. I've tried to discuss this topic with her on several occasions but every time I press the issue she breaks into tears. I consider myself open minded and I love her very much, but I'm puzzled by her stubbornness on this issue. Does she really want to enter into this sacred bond with me? I thought marriage meant two people becoming one. I view her refusal to accept my name is an attack against me. Is she afraid that I am going to view her as my property and "oppress" her if she "gives in to the man" and takes my name?

I'm worried that this is a sign of things to come. If she doesn't have the same definition of marriage as I do -- maybe we shouldn't get hitched. And why does she want to get married in the first place if she wants to remain so independent?

I am asking you these questions because she will not give me the answers herself. She calls herself a feminist -- so I figured maybe there is a feminist doctorine on the issue that I haven't heard.

Thanks for your note. The short answer to your question is that you are thinking way too hard about this. I think the long-term answer is that she doesn't want to take your name because she wants to keep her own--and thus a stronger link to her identity and independence. This probably has nothing to do with you and everything to do with her. Try to put yourself in her shoes--would you take her name? Why/why not? If you have spent x numbers of years invested in your name--would you give that identity up?

I think that you have to stop thinking this is about you--as I said above, it probably has everything to do with her.


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