October 28, 2014

Why I Gave Up my Maiden Name.

changing my name
Elephant Journal articles represent the personal opinion, view or experience of the authors, and can not reflect Elephant Journal as a whole.

I am currently both Jan Clarke and Jan Crewe.

My husband and I have been married for almost three years and it wasn’t until a month before our baby girl was born that I decided to re-marry my husband in order to change my last name. This is because I wanted to make sure I carried the same name as our daughter.

Still, I haven’t taken the necessary steps to change my name completely. It has been hard letting go of who I am—Jan Clarke.

As we approach our anniversary, I am beginning to understand why it is so important to change my name. In a way, it solidifies our family. It says to my husband, “I accept you as my provider and protector.”

As children, our fathers are expected to provide and care for us. Once we separate from our parents and cling to our spouses, we should instead depend on them for the nurturing that we received from our parents.  You might ask, “well why doesn’t the man have to change his name?”

He does. In God’s word, it calls him the “head” of the woman.

But I want you to realize that the head of every man is Christ, and the head of the woman is man and the head of Christ is God.” ~ 1Corinthians 11:3

“For the husband is the head of the wife, as Christ also is the head of the church, He Himself being the Savior of the body.” ~ Ephesians 5:23

While we have to change our credit cards, our husbands have to take on the new role of managing the household. He must make the decisions, care for us and make sure the bills are paid.

Even now, as my husband is not working, he made sure that he put away enough money to keep a roof over our heads.

“Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her.” ~Ephesians 5:25

It is his duty to put himself aside to make sure that we are okay.

In this day and age, women are caught up in being independent but there is no way you can be in a relationship and be independent. A marriage is a partnership that requires the sharing of lives, dreams and fears. A marriage calls for both parties to be vulnerable and open with each other.

Of course, it is important to have individual goals and aspirations but sharing them is a necessity. Sharing does not have to mean wanting the same things but it does mean supporting each other. Don’t be afraid to talk about your dreams with your spouse.

My husband and I are blessed enough to have the same desires before we met each other. We are both writers and we want to affect the world through our writing. Robert is a children’s book author who uses his series Scrappy and Rail as a catalyst to drive morality in children. I am a short fiction writer and poet who loves to examine human nature and the errors of our ways.

Understanding what is wrong is the only we can change.

Joining our lives and long-term goals wasn’t hard because we are on the same page—we should have the same name right? Well, I’m working on it. I’ve realized that a small thing like a name can cause distance between a husband and wife.

I didn’t want to lose my independence but that is already gone. From the beginning of our relationship my husband has always said to me that I am his rib. All of my decisions, my greatest moments and my saddest moments have been with him alongside me. I am not going through life alone.

Venturing into a marriage takes a lot out of you but it allows space for your significant other to pour into your spirit. Losing a name means gaining another part of yourself; one that you couldn’t live without.


Love elephant and want to go steady?

Sign up for our (curated) daily and weekly newsletters!

~ ~

Editor: Ashleigh Hitchcock

Author: Jan Crewe

Photo: courtesy of the author

Leave a Thoughtful Comment

Read 0 comments and reply

Top Contributors Latest

Jan Crewe