Post # 1
Long story short:
It is important to me to keep my last name just like men find it important to keep their last names. I asked Fiance to take my last name and he said no. He suggested I hyphenate or keep my own last name. He went on about how he wants to pass his name on and prove that there is a good branch on his family tree. I don’t understand why you would want to keep your family name when you don’t even care for you family, he has no family pride and they are by no means close knit.
I then asked him how he would feel if our future children had my last name again that was a no. I then suggested we hyphenate our kids last names and he agreed. I still don’t feel satisified there is no reason why women must take the mens name. I know women don’t have to but thats not the point the point is women are expected to as tradition from when women were treated as chattel.
Fiance told me that if he took my last name no one would let him hear the end of it because you know the whole world would know. I would be stealing his manhood and pride. He made it sound as though he would not live if he had to take my last name. He said the guys at work would call him whipped.
Does anyone else share the same feelings? Or am I just a weirdo?
Post # 3
im actually going to hyphen my last name as i am my dads oldest daughter and i have another sister so we are basically the only girls and i want to keep my last name. Ive thought about asking him to take my last name but hes the oldest boy in his family so i dont know how his family would feel.
Post # 4
My otherwise-generally-progressive Fiance and I had a similar conversation….my sis and I are the last in our family line with our name, so I really want to keep it in some form. Fiance wasn’t interested in taking it, hyphenating, or having hyphenated kids, so it was a non-starter. (In his case he just likes his name, and we’re older so we’ve had our respective names for many years as adults, which I think makes a difference too.) I’ll probably either just keep my name, or use both names sans hyphen. Kids will get both names without a hyphen, but I imagine that means they’ll end up using just his. We’ll see.
I do have a few sets of friends where they either use a shared name without a hyphen (each adopting the other’s name), one where they use the woman’s name, and two where they chose a completely new last name. I think it’s just a personal decision about what works for individual couples. One approach I’ve heard for kids is to give different children different surnames so both names get carried on; I find this a little odd (seems like people might presume they’re not full siblings?) but for some people, this seems to be a solution that works.
Post # 5
Tradition was really important to my husband when it came to names. He wanted me to take his name at marriage because that’s what you do in the Western tradition. I gave him the entire argument you just gave about it being arbitrary, sexist, unfair, etc. but it didn’t make a dent. What he did say, though, was “If the tradition was for the man to take the woman’s name, then that is what I would do.” For him it was the tradition itself that was important to uphold, not that he had deep-seated beliefs about the meaning and implications of the tradition. He wasn’t saying “submit to me, woman!” by wanting me to change my name; he was saying “let’s do what people generally do with their names when they get married.” In the end I decided I was okay with that and I changed it, but the decision was up to me, as I hope yours will be fully up to you.
So, no, you are not a weirdo! I hope that you find a name you like for everyone in your family.
Post # 6
If you believe that a woman taking a man’s last name is sexist, then so is a man taking a woman’s last name. Your Fiance seems to be very progressive and willing for you and even the kids to hyphenate. Also, I think you are assuming he has no reason to want to keep his name because he’s not close to his family, but this issue is much more complex than that one concern. So I would say it is going a bit far to consider him taking your name.
Post # 7
We’ve actually talked about both of us hyphanating… his would be alot more complicated cause he’s got 2 degrees and a bunch of certificates that he would have to get changed, but right now, I’m pretty steadfast in my unwillingness to change my name. He doesn’t care if I do or don’t- not even a little bit- but I want us to be the same!
Post # 8
Honestly, I would prefer if Fiance did not take my last name. I’m not taking his, and the reasons I have would apply to him as well. If it was something he really wanted, I wouldn’t stop him, but I wouldn’t push him either. I would much prefer if we both changed our names to something new than for him to take mine.
But that doesn’t mean you are weird. Desires are like emotions, almost impossible to control.
Post # 9
I have the same feelings. I told him there was no way I would even consider taking his last name (which is ok, but not as good as mine) because that’s just how I feel – that a guy insisting I take his name is a 100% deal-breaker. I did suggest he take mine, but he wasn’t big on the idea. Yes, probably his friends would harass him about it, but also he’s very close to his Dad’s family, loves his last name, and has a lot of friends who call him that instead of his (very common) first name.
It’s the pride thing that drives me nuts, too. If that’s really the reason he wouldn’t change his name – teasing from friends – then I would tell him he’s whipped. By his friends.
In the event we have biological kids, they will have my last name. BUT I can get away with saying this because I don’t want kids in the first place. If we ever have them, it will be as a concession to him. But my philosphy in general is if they come out of me, I get to name them. I do thinking hyphenating (or creating a combined last name) for the kids is a very good compromise, though.
In theory, the double standard makes me twitchy with anger, but in practice I understand that a lot of guys go through life expecting that they will keep their names, often going by last names as nicknames, etc. There are guys who really do want to change their name and while I wish that they were more common, they’re still few and far between. Just like you have the right to keep yours and shouldn’t be judged for it, he should as well. At least that’s what I tell people who ask if I’m changing my name – that it’s my FI’s decision to keep his and I can live with that.
Post # 10
At this point it depends on when we get married. I start my PhD fall of 2011, so if it’s before that I’ll change my name. If it’s after and there’s a lot attached to my name at that point, I’ll keep mine. I don’t think I would ask him to take my name simply out of tradition. I’m also from the south, and I don’t think anyone around here would understand. 🙂
Post # 11
My Mom asked my Dad to take her name – mind you this was 30 years ago. He agreed. He took her last name for a couple of months. He eventually changed it back to his own because it was way too complicated for him with his many degrees and publications and all. My mom has always kept her last name
My fiance offered that I could take his name, keep my own, hyphenate, or we could make a whole new one together from our two names. He would probably not take my name, and I don’t want to ask him too, for the exact same reason that I wouldn’t want to change mine.
I can assure you neither my Dad nor my fiance are whipped or unmanly lol. They are some of the strongest men I know. In fact, they are secure enough in their manhood that neither of them has ever felt threatened by what other people would think. I would assure your fiance that it takes a lot more than a broad shoulder and a name to make a man – and no one can ever take that away from you. Manhood should and does extend far beyond popular opinion.
Post # 12
I want my fiance’s name even though it’s common. However we laid it all out on the table and his reasons were much better then mine so I’ll always be Ms/Mrs Jellybean. You see his dad smacked his mom around until she finally left him when my fiance was a child. My fiance wants nothing to do with his father’s side of the family and he hasn’t heard from his dad since he was about 10yrs old. His whole family encourages his name change and are actually relieved that he wants my name and that we won’t be passing the “X” name on.
Post # 13
Fair is fair…we’re both keeping our own names. Some of my friends have combined their names, but ours just don’t work, and we’re both published under our own names so switching is awkward.
Post # 14
its different to me for women not to take their husbands last name.. idk, i just always think its something that comes along with marrying a man. we are in 2010 tho, so it doesnt bother me.
i want my FHs last name. i am the last and only child in my dads side, and although its sad that our family name is ending, its okay for me. he doesnt mind either. (my fambam is wayy spread out, so i might have some fam w the name, idk)
but like anytime i think of a husband/wife i always just think in my head, “Mr and Mrs John Doe” know what i mean?
i am all for women and them being equals, but idk, my FH is essentially the man of the house and i want it to be known that im his wife. so when people hear B Gax, they know, “she married M Gax”.
maybe im just weird and a little old fashioned.
Post # 15
I don’t think I’m old fashioned or anything but I want to take Howard’s last name. I use to tell him that I wouldn’t just to hear him beg, but I really wouldn’t have it any other way. He is the man that I love and he constantly shows me and my daughter unconditional love so he has asked me to take his last name and this is what i’ve decided to do.
Besides, he has been calling me Mrs ____ for the last year or so!
Post # 16
I did, but although he didn’t say no outright, he’s made it pretty clear that it’s not really an option (even though he says it is). I have better reasons for wanting to keep my name and pass it on to any kids (I’m very close to my family, love my heritage and therefore my name, there are only two boys in my family left to carry on the name, and I’ve wanted to keep my name ever since I was little). When I asked him why he wanted to keep his name, the only reason he came up with was “I never thought about it”. He’s not only not close to his dad, but he really doesn’t like him and actually avoids spending time with or talking to him. Plus, his dad has four brothers. I recently proposed the idea of giving our kids his last name as their middle name and my last name as their last name, but the jury is still out. I said that way, people can call them hislastname-mylastname as if it’s hyphenated, but the kids will have only one legal last name, which is more simple than hyphenating, and that way they’ll have the option of someday hyphenating it themselves or just keeping mine.
Still… I wish he’d take mine. I like the idea of us having the same last name, but I don’t really love my name with his, plus there are all the reasons I said above. I don’t know what we’re going to end up doing.