Change of Maiden Name

 sad true story of an indian wife, fight over change of the maiden name, unhappy wife, divorce over change of name

Today morning I received an email from a blog reader who shares her story... 

I am an Indian girl and in our custom  during marriage  husband changes the first name of the girl he gets married to, so that he can call his wife with the name of his choice with love. Usually all husbands do it during the marriage. But mine was an exception. I always wished of it as I decided to get married or even before i can say. Soon after I got engaged  i expressed this wish of mine to my fiancé and he too had agreed. I told him that I wont legally change my first name on paper and documents  but he can give me a new name with love so that i can share it with my friends and family.

He did agree to this yet on the wedding day when the priest asked my husband what's her new name?, I was waiting eagerly to know what my new love name is going to be.. even before he could say something my mother in law bursted out loudly " We are not changing her name, let it be the same".

I was deeply hurt as this was something I had privately shared with my husband and had agreed to be called by the new name only didn't want it to be changed on papers. After all for 24 years I have been addressed by that name How can I just give it up??

I felt sad that he didn't respect my feelings and had shared it with his mother who bluntly made a mockery of it on our Wedding day. I was scared was this the life I am going to lead from now on? I didn't know what to expect from then on.

After the wedding I did relocate to a new city in a new state in India where I was finding it extremely difficult to get a job with my bachelors degree. The profession I desired needed a masters degree. I had mentioned my interest in further studies to my husband before marriage and he had happily agreed.

During the early days of my marriage I was constantly bothered by my in laws to start working, they just wanted me to work and earn money irrespective of whether I would like that kind of a job or not.
Thats was frustrating..yet I didn't loose my cool. Because I was taught as a married women there would always be things that I need to compromise  and  marriages are all about ADJUSTMENTS, COMPROMISES and SACRIFICES, mostly expected from Women !

I now started preparing for the masters entrance exam, all my energy was now diverted into studying but yes deep now I felt sad, This was not the life I was expecting. Let me tell you a bit about myself  I am a lady of patience, I have worked before marriage for 2 years and have done extremely well, I have a deep sense of passion towards art and a good painter. My silence is not my weakness its my strength to try and make things work out.

It was just 5 months since we were married and I was visiting my parents, my father was sick. When I got a call from the university where my entrance exam results were accepted and they gave me the specific dates for the personal interview round. It was in another city, 8 hours drive from my native and 1 hour drive from my husbands place. I thought it was practical to go the university directly and prepare for my interview but all my documents were at my husbands place. I called my husband and asked him to bring in all my documents to the university. To my shock, he said he cannot come this ended up in a huge fight and he then threatened me to come right away to his place else he would DIVORCE me.

I left my sick father who needed care after his operation alone, as my mother was not allowed any more leaves from her office after she had already taken a long leave. I am their only  child and felt helpless but had to go to see my unreasonable husband. 

In a few days, I did work it out with him and cracked my interview now arised the question of paying my university fees. The amount was not a huge  as i had secured a merit seat, it was approximately a little more than his one month salary. I had spent my savings on the wedding and didn't really want to ask my parents. I had expected my husband to pay for it but alas he said lets take an education loan. I was ready. My in laws were visiting us and that evening when he bought the cheque home, I was shocked to see that my second name was changed. Yes I had retained my maiden surname, I had not yet decided to change it and my husbands behavior was in no way helping me to decide what to do.

I refused to sign my name with my husbands surname and that minute my in laws pounced on me and this time from mental harassment it became physical. My in laws and their son made it clear I could get the loan amount only if I changed my maiden name.

This is just a peek in my marriage, there is a new drama everyday and the intensity keeps growing..  I am so tired of it. 

I don't want to leave him even though that means peace and happiness. I just wished to retain my identity while being married to my husband.. Is that too much to ask for??

Is it mandatory to change my maiden name and  am I a bad wife?? If i choose not to??

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About Ananya


  1. Woaa, what an intense story and I must say true one. I know of many such women. The worst part is martial discord leads to extreme amount of harassment but is hardly noticed or fought for in our society because it is all hidden in the garb of happy family. Very sad state of affairs.

  2. I hope she walks out of that marriage and pursues her studies! Easier said than done, but nothing is worth being miserable in life. If she is worried about how her parents would react, eventually with time they will come around as they will understand that leaving that man was in her best interest.

  3. It's ridiculous. I want to laugh but the mental & physical torture of the bride couldn't allow it. "I don't want to leave him even though that means peace and happiness." I couldn't understand, why is she ready to sacrifice her peace & happiness for him?

  4. Is it really worth to stay in a marriage where there is no self respect, dignity and most of all happiness ? Unless her husband is ready to accept her for who she is, which seems highly improbable, I would say that she should go ahead and follow her dreams. When a person can't understand you, what's the point of simply 'staying married' ?

  5. See, I feel a person should have respect for oneself. Here two points are coming into fore, first she didn't actually discussed all the points with her husband and in-laws before marriage, which has actually led to all this thing. Secondly, if she is actually tormented then she should file a divorce and go for higher studies. I don't think an anonymous blog is any solution.

    1. It seems you're just as ready to tell her what to do as her husband and in-laws.

      There is no way we can understand this situation but it is clear she has a lot of frustration and nowhere to turn.

      Try to communicate your needs to your own family so you feel you at least tried. If they cannot be met, don't sacrifice yourself to someone who isnt worth sacrificing to. Life is too short not to be happy. The whole meaning to life is to be happy. The days where women are oppressed are slowly slipping away. Embrace your life and be happy.. find a proper husband who cares for you and then have kids. Raising kids in a situation where you're being abused simply means they will be abused as well.

      be aware of these things and take your own decision for yourself carefully.

  6. Poor girl! I don't think it's worth sticking to a marriage which is making her miserable. Compromise is good up to a point, but when it starts breaking your spirit, it's time to let go.

  7. Poor girl...I think she should walk out of this marriage ... It's not worth it and no it isn't a crime to want to retain your identity after marriage...

  8. Sorry to read this. Some people are so unreasonable...
    Women must have every right to hold on to the name & people they feel good about.

  9. Thats a sad tale. It just baffles me that ppl go to this heights to prove that they are right in some way and absolutely deny to budge. Changing her maiden name should be her decision and solely her decision, if she wants to involve her husband and others to do so then it should be up to her and it can be a collective decision however that decision and right again is hers. I am no relationship guru but I can tell her this, it is extremely important to understand the underlying problem though. Not sure if she has done this, it doesn’t hurt to understand the husband’s intention behind this name change and what is he trying to achieve. Is he trying to prove any point to her? Is he just trying to be a hard a**? Is he one of those control freaks?

    There are lot of issues at hand. Solve one issue at a time. Small petty issues will look like a big life changing problem when you start thinking about future, life, society this and that. A problem or issue is only as complex as you make it to be.

    1) Discuss your decision on the maiden name change and your opinions with him – Giving ultimatums is never going to work, someone has to budge in a relationship some times. Talk it out and you may find that the name change was not even an issue. It may be something else.
    2) Discuss drawing a line between involving others(including ur in laws)in ur relationship and other decision making– There is no better time to discuss about this. Problem escalates to whole different level when others are involved. I understand the pain of being smothered with other people’s opinions and influence on our thought process and how it affects the couple. More importantly, you comprehend what this means to you and then convey that message to him in a way you see fit.

  10. i read a comment as "she should have discussed things before marriage" as like what all things a girl needs to discuss, when whatever she does seems like A BIG CRIME", i would suggest stick on and prove what u are rest all will fall in place.

  11. walking out of marriage because of this is non sense.
    Talking to the husband must help.
    why is changing name is big issue , even if it is it should be settled with the wife and husband alone.

  12. I would say first of all go with him out once and talk with him privately and calmly regarding this matter... If he agrees its fine.. If he doesn't agrees then it's better to leave your marriage. Then he will come to your senses. Just be strong in everything.. Dont let it go...Dont be calm and peace.. some times it wont work out.. If he says he gives divorce to you.. just say him frankly yes even i am waiting for it give it to strong.. if you are strong... he will see your strongness in you.. First of all take all your documents along with you..whereever you go...because those are more important in your life than your are in present generation.. think twice and take decision.. Divorce is not a bad thing..If somebody doesnt resepect you and they dont love..Its waste of staying in that marriage...

  13. I do not know what to say. All I have to say is i have retained my maiden name and I am clear about it. Just Fight on girl! All the strength to You!

  14. Are you still with this guy Ananya? I have retained my maiden name !! And my husband has been supportive about it !! I wonder how you deal with such inlaws who put up something like this that you will get the loan amt if you change ur name !! shocking !!

  15. That's a sad story and women go through similar trauma day in and out. Sometimes, it is the husband and sometimes it is the influence on the husband.