I’m getting married in a month and, I’ll be honest, I’m nervous.
It’s not that I’ve got cold feet. Quite the opposite! I’m so ready to marry this phenomenal man of mine. It’s just that my only lifelong commitment so far has been my legal obligation to pay my TV Licence. This is a much bigger step!
Gideon and I have been fortunate to attend of series of pre-marital counselling sessions with our church. I’m grateful for the lessons we’ve learned through these sessions from wiser couples who have been married many happy years. Lessons like the importance of making decisions together and being an attentive listener.
Despite these lessons, there are some things we need to figure out ourselves, on our own terms. Since the day we got engaged there’s a particular topic I’ve struggled with: the surname change. I’m very attached to mine, you see. I’m proud of it and proud of my heritage. It makes me think of my grandfather and my father. I’ve used it in my professional capacity and, because it’s relatively unusual (‘Sukhdeo’), it’s easy to identify. In short: it’s mine. On the other hand, I love my future husband’s surname and desperately want to have his surname too.
In an attempt to make sense of all these confusing feelings, I spoke to married women around me. Some who had kept their surnames said they wouldn’t change a thing, others wished they had. Some who changed their surnames wished they’d kept their maiden names, others were blissfully happy with their choice. The long and the short of it is this: there’s no right answer. We’re all just trying to do what’s best for us and our families.
So what I’ve decided to do is this: I’m going to change my surname. I want us to start our new family with the same name. It’s important to me. But I’m going to keep my maiden name professionally by making it a double-barrel surname; Sukhdeo-Raath has a nice ring to it, no?
I guess I’ll only really know how I feel about the surname change once it’s actually happened but, for now, I feel happy with the decision. I’ll check back in after the wedding in February and let you know!