Woman breaks down just how much work it took change her last name after getting married
She still stands by her choice.
Though the age-old tradition of wives taking their husband’s name after marriage has dwindled somewhat, it is still very commonplace. According to a Pew Research Center survey taken this year, 79% of women reported taking their spouse’s last name when they got married.
But would this custom still be so mainstream today if women were made aware of just how drawn out and mentally draining of a process it can be? Having just gone through it, 27-year-old newlywed Delanie Kristek doesn't seem to think so.
In a now-viral TikTok clip, Kristek recounts the lengthy tale of getting her last name changed, breaking down the stress involved.
Still in the “beginning stages,” as she calls it Kristek has successfully changed her social security and is now onto changing her driver’s license. Even with the “exact instructions” given to her on her NewlyNamed box (a special kit that helps newlyweds keep track of what documents to change), it was “incredibly time consuming."
@chiknnuggiesinmytummy Dont even get me started on our digital footprint and all the places our names are online. #changingyourname #namechange #namechanged #newlastname #lastnamechange #newlymarried #newlywed ♬ original sound - Delanie Kristek
Why? Because "everything's on the government website, which we already know is trash," Kristek explains, adding that "now, post-COVID, I can no longer just show up to the DPS [what Texas calls the DMV], I have to make an appointment. I go to schedule an appointment...all the DPS's near me, in DFW? There's no openings until January 2024. Guess what? I have a flight in December 2023...the name on my ticket is my new last name."
This left Kristek with no choice but to schedule an appointment at a DPS over 40 minutes away.
But that wouldn’t even scratch the surface. She continues, “at that point, I've only changed my social and my driver's license. I've still gotta change my insurance cards, I've gotta change my bank accounts, I've gotta change my passport...Global Entry, which means I'm gonna have to go to the airport."
But wait. There’s more.
"You've gotta change your name in all the systems you're in. Most of us have multiple doctors. I have primary care physician, I have a gynecologist, I have a therapist. There's so many places where my name appears, and now I'm gonna have to go change it. The mental load that it is taking on me...every time I see my name, I'm like, 'Oh my god, that's ANOTHER place I'm going to have to change my name,’” she says.
Understandably, Kristek can’t help but acknowledge that this is a special inconvenience reserved almost exclusively for women in heterosexual relationships, and says that most of their male counterparts "will never understand the mental load and time investment of changing your last name.”
And this is in part why Kristek posted her TikTok.
In an interview with Buzzfeed, she shared her hopes that it would ”shed some light to hetero men so that they can better understand,” and inspire them to help their partner during the process where they can. Whether that's helping directly in the name-change process or even taking on a different task that maybe their wife typically managed. In turn, freeing their wife up with some time and brain space to go through this name-change process."
Still, she stands by her choice to take her husband’s last name. And other than maybe the amount of time it took to get there, she has no regrets being Delanie Roselle Majors Kristek. She just wants others to be fully informed, and therefore more empowered, when going the traditional route.
As she told Buzzfeed, "each couple and person is different, so they need to decide what works for them versus just changing their last name because that's 'the thing you do.' It's time-consuming, it costs money, and there are pros and cons to whatever decision you make. Changing your name after marriage shouldn’t be an automatic yes, it should be a thought-out, conscious decision.”