What's in a name?

This coming June, my wife and I will be celebrating fifteen years of marriage. When we got married, my wife took my last name, as is the norm, and we’ve been the Arnold family for fifteen years. However, that wasn’t our original plan.

When the topic of name changes came up, my wife and I talked to our families about the idea of me taking her last name, Sinclair, instead of her taking my last name. We were pretty set on this plan, but there was a good amount of resistance from both of our families, so we went the more traditional route, and my wife took my last name, as we felt it was important for us both to have the same last name. We still feel that way.

In recent conversations over the past few months, it’s come up that my wife has felt regret about changing her name. While it’s come up here and there over the years, it wasn’t clear how much this change still weighed on her mind. It’s also a much different world now, and so after conversations with families and some friends and colleagues, we’re doing something about it.

Given that it was our original plan, and that I do not have the same strong bond to the last name of Arnold, like my wife has with Sinclair, we’re going forward with a name change for all of us. All three of us (my wife, my son, and I) will all be legally changing our last name to Sinclair very soon, and our second child will be born as a Sinclair this August.

Some people have expressed concern that this sort of change could be risky to careers, as people will know us by our old names, but based on the aforementioned conversations, it doesn’t appear that there will be any real problem. I will personally be taking Arnold as my middle name, so my new full name will be Brian Arnold Sinclair. This means I’m dropping my current middle name, but given that I’ve never really liked it, that works for me.

I have a somewhat strong online presence using “brianarn” as a username on various sites, and I don’t foresee myself changing that anytime soon. I’ll keep the same name on Twitter and everywhere else for now, since Arnold will still be in my name.

Thanks in advance for your support and understanding!