Discuss: Taking Husband's Last Name, Using Mrs. Husband's Name, History&Thoughts

posted 5 months ago in The Lounge
  • poll: Which do you prefer and use (or will use)?
    Mrs. John Doe : (5 votes)
    6 %
    Mrs. Jane Doe : (38 votes)
    46 %
    Ms. Jane Doe : (5 votes)
    6 %
    Ms. Jane Maidenname : (19 votes)
    23 %
    Mrs. Jane Maidenname : (8 votes)
    10 %
    Miss Jane Maidenname : (0 votes)
    Other? If so, what? : (8 votes)
    10 %
  • Post # 16
    4375 posts
    Honey bee
    • Wedding: November 1999

    Ehh TBH I don’t care what people call me. People can call me Mrs John doe but at the end of day I don’t belong to anyone but myself and husband and I have a relationship where we are equals so nobody is the others property and a name is just a name.

    At the end of the day even our name at birth has an element of being property. The majority of us are still generally given our father’s name at birth which has essentially the same connotations and traditions behind it as taking on our husbands name. 

    At the time of getting married this was a big consideration to me only for the reason that I liked my name and had formed an attachment to it. I took my husbands name because we plan on having kids it just seemed easier to be all known as the xyzs. Honestly over the Almost 7 years, I’ve gotten used to it and I’ve realised I’m still me no matter what I’m called and even though I took my husbands name it has no reflection on being my husbands property because we don’t live like that and we live in a country and culture that doesn’t see us as being mens property anymore irrespective of what we are or choose to call ourselves. 

    Post # 17
    3090 posts
    Sugar bee
    • Wedding: January 2021

    I would be greatly bothered by being called Mrs. John Doe, as if I don’t have my own identity outside my husband.

    I don’t plan to change my name legally but intend to hyphenate socially and if we were to have children (which we’re not), I’d hyphenate their names. 

    That said, if we receive something addressed to Mr. and Mrs. Doe or Mr. John Doe and Ms Jane Doe, etc., It won’t bother me much. My preference would be to have both out full names written out, and I prefer Ms. over Mrs. due to the historical connotations, but at the very least address me with my own first name! 

    Post # 18
    3866 posts
    Honey bee
    • Wedding: April 2017

    I’m Ms Jane Maidenname. 

    Calling someone Mrs John Doe is so bizarre and insulting to me. It’s like the wife is no longer even worthy of her own first name, let alone her last! Why would you suddenly call her by her husband’s full name?? Luckily it’s very old-fashioned, my 95 year old grandmother is the only one I have heard it from. 

    Post # 19
    6036 posts
    Bee Keeper
    • Wedding: February 1997

    I’ve never been referred to as Mrs. HisFirstName HisLastName. Ever. That definitely feels outdated to me.

    But I have to agree that ultimately most people’s last names come from their father, so what is the real difference in taking the husband’s last name instead of carrying the father’s? In the vast majority of cases, it is a man’s name that’s passed on, even when a woman keeps her maiden name.

    It is the naming of children that gets me. If a woman feels strongly enough about her name as identity, then why would you NOT pass that name on to a child? I did change my name (as my father actually wanted to adopt my mum’s 4 letter English name in place of his 12 letter German one!), but had I not, there would have been a huge row over what to name the children. I would definitely not have taken it for granted that they would have his name instead of mine. That seems absurd to me. 

    As for the history, I realize it is all about control, but in reality it makes more sense to trace lineages through the mother. The maternal line is almost never in doubt (except in the rare baby-switching cases), whereas the paternal line can be, oftentimes without the man ever knowing. Indeed, estimates are that if all children were tested, there would be 20% or more who are not the biological children of the man they think is their father. But again, the maternal line is almost never in doubt. And it isn’t much use to pass on your name if you don’t pass on your DNA…

    Post # 20
    227 posts
    Helper bee

    I was just going to vote since I have nothing interesting to add, but I accidentally clicked Mrs. John Doe so mentally cut a vote off of that one and add it to Mrs. Jane Doe! Seriously, please do not call me my SO’s name. It’s a lovely name but I have my own that works perfectly fine, thank you very much.

    Post # 21
    357 posts
    Helper bee
    • Wedding: City, State

    I am currently Ms. Jane Maidename and I will become Ms. Jane HisLastname. 

    It’s incredibly important to me that I am a Ms. rather than a Miss or Mrs – there is no reason someone needs to know my marital status that easily.

    That said if someone called me Mrs. Jane HisLastname I wouldn’t be upset but if they called me Mrs John HisLastname they would hear about it!

    Post # 22
    3237 posts
    Sugar bee
    • Wedding: April 2017 - City, State

    I added my husband’s last name to mine. He made it clear that he very much wanted me to have his last name, but that ultimately the decision was mine. I wasn’t giving up any of my names because that is part of my identity, but I was fine with adding his name to what I already had. He’s an addition to my previous life, not a replacement for it. So my name stays and his gets to tag along. 

    Post # 23
    1301 posts
    Bumble bee
    • Wedding: March 2018

    I go by ms or Mrs his last name. I changed my name but I was going to change it either way at some point as I said in the last thread discussing this topic.

    My maiden name was my fathers and he was abusive and toxic and I was itching to get rid of that name since the end of high school when I seriously started thinking about changing it (to my moms maiden name).

    I held out for my husbands last name and am glad I did. When I told my father that I changed my name, who I have low contact with-He~ went ballistic and was spouting all kinds of nonsense about how I didn’t want to be apart of the family anymore and that I only care about my husband etc.. needless to say, I’m happy (and darned proud) to be a family with my husband and rid of my maiden name for which I had no choice in the matter of getting (and as another bee pointed out-I went from one mans name to another so not a super huge deal for me) 

    Sorry that turned into a cathartic mini vent for me lol I will fully support whatever a woman wants to do in regards to her name! 😊

    Post # 24
    519 posts
    Busy bee
    • Wedding: February 2018 - UK

    I’m happy with ms/mrs Jane Doe, but don’t call me mrs John Doe because my name isn’t John! I tend to use Ms but it doesn’t bother me if people use mrs.

    I think if my family history had been different, I probably would have kept my maiden name. As it was, the only other person in my family with my surname was my estranged, abusive father, so I was pretty keen to get rid of it and cut that final tie to him. 

    We occasionally receive mail addressed to mr and mrs John Doe, but it’s only ever from elderly relatives. I prefer either both our first names or just the surnames.

    Post # 25
    21 posts

    i’m going from Ms Jane Maidenname (unmarried) to Ms Jane Doe-Maidenname

    my fiance is going from Mr John Doe-Deer to Mr John Doe-Maidenname

    he has a hyphenated last name so he’s dropping a hyphen and adding mine. i’m taking half of his so we will have the same surname but it’ll be half mine and half his 🙂 

    Post # 26
    365 posts
    Helper bee

    I don’t understand the “but the woman’s name comes from a man too, so changing it to another man’s name is no big deal” argument.

    No, my name is not just my father’s, it’s MY OWN name.

    Just as the husband’s name is his own. You don’t take his name because you want your father-in-law’s name, you do because you consider it your husband’s own name.

    And if taking your husband’s name is important to you, then obviously names *are* important for identity, right? Otherwise you wouldn’t bother to change it.

    It almost sounds as if the man has his own name while the woman doesn’t get her own…

    Post # 27
    563 posts
    Busy bee
    • Wedding: November 2017 - France

    Same as sensoda, I go by my maiden name, husband’s name, or hyphenated. 

    Post # 28
    8946 posts
    Buzzing Beekeeper

    I go by Ms Jane Maidenname and I am one of those women who it annoys the hell out of to be called anything but my name. Someone else does not get to decide what my name is and to not call someone by their name is the height of disrespect. I mean you wouldn’t call your friend Mary by the name Betty because you think it is better/proper/right.

    I will politely correct anyone who just assumes I have taken my husband’s name but if they continue to do it then yeah I will be less than polite about. I also ask people how they like to be addressed rather than just assuming they have taken their husband’s name.


    Post # 29
    278 posts
    Helper bee
    • Wedding: December 2018

    I kept my maiden name, but I don’t mind when people call me by his last name. We never told his dad I was keeping my name. When it came out he had a tantrum about the schools not recognizing I am our childs’ mother because we won’t share the same name. I wonder what will happen when we have a baby and give the child my last name. Darling Husband is going to take my name after his dad is gone, but doesn’t want to deal with the fallout now. Whatever. I didn’t want his name because his family is a treat (he agrees) and we couldn’t agree on a new family name. I insisted on having our kids taking my name, and he agreed. But, I prefer Mrs. because I am a married lady, and I like Mrs. 

    Post # 30
    596 posts
    Busy bee
    • Wedding: June 2020

    I am Dr. girlfriendphd and will be staying that way. I am addressed as Ms. girlfriendphd quite a bit, but I’m in a field of work where almost no one has a PhD, so I don’t think it occurs to most people, and I don’t make a point to use the Dr. myself.

    I am willing to accept Mr. & Mrs. John Doe only when someone’s trying to address the two of us on a small envelope e.g. wedding invitations. There’s enough to stress out about during wedding planning without worrying about names on envelopes. But anyone dealing with me personally will be expected to use my real name.

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