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Where Do You Stand? Changing Your Name When You Get Married

I have a close friend who's getting married and she has an amazing last name. It's so awesome, in fact, that everyone refers to her by it. Her dilemma then is, should she change her last name and take on her husband's after saying I do? It's a tough decision for any woman: giving up your identity to take on your man's is not a decision that should be taken lightly. Some women may find comfort in the idea of becoming a family and both having the same last name whereas others prefer to hold on to her own family roots; and then there are those who stay safe somewhere in the middle. It's totally a personal preference, so where do you stand on this issue? After getting married, will you take on your partner's last name?


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AntiBarbie AntiBarbie 7 years
I am not tossing away my identity when I get married so I am going to change my last name.
dani17731 dani17731 7 years
"For sure for sure keeping my own last name. I don't like the sexism behind the tradition. Also would never have my dad walk me down the aisle as I'm not property to be handed off from one man to another...just my own personal beliefs!" Amen! We share the same beliefs. And as for my kids, their last names will be hyphenated. What's so hard about that? I hated it when my cousins had kids by no-good losers and gave them their last names. Especially since they're not married, why not give the kids your last name? That's what my mom did. (But my dad isn't a no-good loser lol)
dikke-kus dikke-kus 8 years
Hmmm. I've had this conversation before with a friend from Zurich, and a friend from Copenhagen. Neither changed their names, rather a hyphen between both last names. Then which name is hyphened first? Whew. I get tired of this complicated hierarchy. Also how do they create the children's names then? Their little girl then has a hyphened name plus another hyphen when she marries? Clearly we need to drop one name or the hyphens will travel at the speed of light. My situation was I wanted to be married very badly. I had friends who had been married for years and now was my day. I guess I did want to change my identity. So my name also. By changing my name I felt I was proving my commitment to my husband and showing off to the world. Although when I sign my paintings I use my maiden name.
agtpeach agtpeach 8 years
In some Asian countries, women never change their names. Any children will have the father's last name, but the name you are born with is the one you have forever. I remember asking an aunt what would be so weird about taking her husband's name and she said she wouldn't know who she is if she had to change her name. It's an interesting cultural aberration of a strong individual identity in often patriarchal societies where female fetuses are aborted and girl children are considered burdens on their families.
aerie-marie aerie-marie 8 years
i will change mine because when we have kids i want our family to all have the same last name and it shows unity.
sparkletech sparkletech 8 years
I'm going to keep my name but possibly hyphenate it to include his last name as well.
tinabeana tinabeana 8 years
Although my married last name is much more common I choose to change my name because I like it, it's shorter and I really didn't feel any need to keep my father's last name, I'd rather not be associated with him even if only in name.
jadenirvana jadenirvana 8 years
Principle-wise, I'm all about hyphenation. I think the hyphen is the ultimate symbol of the insanely romantic egalitarian marriage (as a poet and writer, I also like to think of the hyphen as the bridge between two united identities). However, I was adopted at a fairly young age, and I really don't have too much attachment to my stepfather's surname, or carrying it on. So, not sure what to do? Any advice? On a side note, I find the idea of tossing one's last name very disturbing. I don't wish to be absorbed into another person when I get married. And any guy who can't "handle" a hyphen is a freak, I'm sorry.
Daisy-Duke Daisy-Duke 9 years
Very valid points with a VERY valid source PrincessLTrain!
HariboLicorice HariboLicorice 9 years
I won't change it because I got my professional degree with my maiden name on it and I'd like to hve the nameplate on my door match the degree in my office. That said, I'm not in a relationship nor am I engaged or married or anything so I guess I'm being passively objective at this point. I think I would perhaps hyphenate? Idk. Prob just sticking with my name- it's ethnic and I like it.
PrincessLtrain PrincessLtrain 9 years
Hi kikidawn, No, it is not because of careers that it is difficult, but rather the legal process. Mindy Weiss explains it in "The Wedding Book": "Call it reverse sexism, but it's harder for a guy to legally change his name. A woman puts her new name on the marriage certificate, begins using it, then goes through the formalities with the necessary government agencies. A guy, however, usually needs a court order to change his name, although the laws vary by state...It's also costlier for a man, even if he doesn't hire a lawyer. Filing and publication fees vary by state, but a legal name change can easily run a few hundred dollars. The process involves filing a "Name Change Petition" and paying a filing fee, having it published, waiting six weeks, and then appearing before a judge. Then the process begins in earnest." Oh - and their Louboutin's. :)
MrsJigglesworth MrsJigglesworth 9 years
morganfay, I am fully aware of the roots and history of the tradition and how they were discriminatory toward women. Since it is nowadays generally an option and choice and I am not literally viewed as my husband's property, I do not feel my choice to change my name was a sexist act. I do not see it as discriminatory toward me as a woman because it was a thought-out personal choice on my part. and guess what?... my dad walked me down the aisle. :jawdrop:
morganfay morganfay 9 years
Kellibee - what are the social advantages of changes ones name to ones husbands name? Marriage comes with privileges, sure. Name change doesn't. Enlighten me.
richandfamous10 richandfamous10 9 years
I would not give up my last name - I love and respect everything my parents have done for me too much to completely get rid of it. I'd either keep it or hyphenate.
Pallas-Athena Pallas-Athena 9 years
Yes, this is a sexist tradition, but a lot of traditions were made when everything was sexist. Just because you take someone's last name doesn't mean that you're losing yourself. It is just like changing your name or a part of it (well that is what it is, but I mean the name changing without getting married) and you don't change. Your face and body and personality is still the same. I think that if you want you can change your last name, keep it and take his, have him take yours, keep your name, or hyphenate it. When I find Mr. Right maybe I will take his last name, but my name means a lot to me because it has a huge history behind it...although it doesn't have the nicest reputation I still like it. Also, it also depends on how his last name sounds with my whole name. Congrats to those who are getting married!
kellibee kellibee 9 years
As a good feminist, I would assume that anyone on a wedding forum would be considering marriage, a social institution based on sexism and patriarchy. But as a bad feminist, in this society there are benefits to participating in it: economic, educational, legal, and religious perks. So, I am getting married and changing my name, whooo! I will slowly change the system, like demanding equal participation in housework and childcare, but I refuse to deny myself the benefits of a whole social institution because I am a woman. Which is more sexist?
morganfay morganfay 9 years
Antiquated paternalistic bullshit. "I'm never changing my last name. And what's more, any children I might have in the future will take my last name, whether I am married or not." Fully seconded. I like my last name, any potential SO can deal. "I personally didn't/don't see it as sexist since it was completely my choice, and I was not pressured by anyone" Cringeworthy. Please take a crash course in women's studies or, alternatively, google "internalized sexism" and "patriarchy". As long as it's expected and the norm for women to take on the man's name and not vice versa, it IS a sexist tradition. As is "giving away the bride". *Shudder*
kikidawn kikidawn 9 years
PrincessLtrain, How is it so much harder for a guy to change his name? Becuase of established careers? Well women have them too... I'm truly curious how it is so much harder for guys. Maybe it shouldn't be just assumed the child gets the husband's name... they should discuss it with the woman first. I do agree with your last point. If you go into a marriage making plans on how to make your divorce easier you shouldn't be getting married. Oh and those are seriously cute shoes in your picture! Who's are they?
kellibee kellibee 9 years
I'm glad there's a thread on this bc I am stuck. I love my husband-to-be's last name bc it ties me to the hispanic culture that my own family has lost. BUT I'm really fond of my last name. When ppl see it they smile and say it's cute. I have little connection with my dad or his family, so it's only the familiarity that I'm attached to. I think in the end I'll drop it, but I know I'll miss it and it will always be a fond nickname for me.
PrincessLtrain PrincessLtrain 9 years
For those who think the man should take the woman's last name, it is actually MUCH more difficult and involved for them to change it. We have it pretty easy. For those who are adamant about giving the children their last name and not their husbands/father of their children, don't you think you should discuss this with the man first? For those who don't want to change their name for fear of the hassle after a divorce, why are you even thinking of those things? It's like your setting yourself up for failure!
bchicgrl bchicgrl 9 years
I agree with the posts that say your last name doesn't identify who you are as an individual. I'm definitely taking his last as my initials will go from MS to MM which I think is cute and my friends are already teasing me and calling me M&M haha
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