(Closed) How do you feel about women taking their husband's last name? Having conflict

posted 5 years ago in Relationships
Post # 16
35 posts
  • Wedding: May 2016

I just had this conversation with my fiancé. I can relate to you. I’m sure no one else in this world has my specific name, (Facebook proves me right!) but as soon as I take my fiance’s last name, my name will sound quite generic. 

So I hadn’t given it much thought until I read this, so I brought it up with him and he was like, “let’s just hyphenate it then?” and that’s about it. It’s a personal choice, and something you may have to really talk to your partner about. Tell him what you told us, I’m sure he will come around to a mutual agreement you’ll both be happy with. 

Post # 17
2445 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: May 2014

My maiden name is also very indicative of my heritage/race. It is very long, hard to pronounce and spell – which are defining characteristics. I was also the only person with my first and last name, but I never really felt attached to it. I guess I identified with it (if that makes sense) as me and my last name, but I always knew I would change it when I got married. Now my name is full on Irish. When people see it before meeting me, it’s a little confusing for them (because I am SO not Irish looking, haha). They wonder if I’m adopted, mostly, because I also look a little young. So it’s still a good conversation starter and something of interest. But that’s just my story. I definitely agree with doing what feels right to you and your husband to be. You’re the one that will live with that name. There’s no right or wrong answer 

Post # 18
916 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: November 2014

I am taking my husband’s last name.  I already use it socially but haven’t made the legal switch because the social security office is an hour away.  >< 

I think it is a deeply personal decision.  As food for thought, you do have two “both” options: you can have a hyphenated last named (ie Smith-Johnson) or you can take your maiden name as your middle name.  I am putting deep thought into taking my maiden name as a secondary middle name.  It will be quite a mouth full but it also means that I can legally sign documents as “Loudsilence Maiden” still.  

Post # 19
4241 posts
Honey bee

Keep your name, if that’s what you want to do- his feelings shouldn’t trump yours in this very personal decision. The fact that he said you must value yourself more than having unity really pisses me off, for a few reasons- mostly because in my family we have like, 3 last names between us all and we’re unified just fine, thankyouverymuch, and also because he’s acting like your decision somehow has an effect on him.

I would ask him how he feels about him changing his name to yours and if he refuses, tell him he must value himself over having family unity. Ha!

Post # 20
81 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: May 2015

Um, so he said that you wanting to keep your name means you value yourself more than him and your family unity? Okay, so if that’s his goal then why doesn’t he take your name? Or flip a coin to decide who’s name to unite under?

i have zero problem with everyone making their own decision but the pressure put on women in the name of family unity is bullshit. If a man is so concerned about his family sharing a name let him go to bat and prove it  , instead of putting it all on a woman in the name of ‘tradition’

I’m sorry if this comes off as harsh at all but I’m totally triggered by pressure around names and women’s rights. It’s totally cool to say what you’d like or that you’d be disappointed but the faulty logic is so frustrating. 

Post # 21
1469 posts
Bumble bee

I like his idea of him taking your last name. Why not?

Post # 22
6339 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: November 2009 - New York, NY

I am Hispanic, and even though we live and got married in New York, I followed Puerto Rico’s tradition and did not take my husband’s last name.  I think this is a very personal decision that your SO should respect.  Changing or not your name doesn’t impact how close you are as a couple and family.  I hope he comes around.

Post # 23
1472 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: May 2012

I’m with the PP who get very frustrated when a man tries to dictate his partner’s decision. I took my husband’s name because I wanted to. I don’t have a super strong tie to my maiden name, and I have a loooooooong Polynesian name anyway (3 middle names) so I just tacked my little one syllable last name onto the end. I figured it wouldn’t make much of a difference and it hasn’t. 

If he’s so concerned about you all having the same name (which I do personally enjoy in our marriage) then he can change his name. He gets to have feelings about this, but they don’t trump yours beause it is YOUR name, just like your feelings about changing his name don’t trump his. 

I do like the idea of keeping your name legally and using his socially, that could be a good compromise, and really a lot of people will probably assume.

Post # 24
144 posts
Blushing bee

I am a feminist and I believe that feminism means everyone gets to equally make their own choices so I stand firmly with the You Do You crowd always.


do I feel a little sad that currently only about 8% of American women decide to keep their name after marriage (down from about 23% in the 90s)? Yeah, truthfully a little. Because if men were equally agreeing to change their names for “family unity” that number would be much, much higher (ideally 50%). 

I’m keeping my name for a bunch of professional and personal reasons. My Fiance offered to change his name to mine, but we ultimately decided we don’t need the same name to be a family. So I like to say we’ve both decided to keep our names. That was right for us, but might not be right for others.

Whatever makes you and your Fiance happy is what you should do. I would simply encourage your Fiance to think about how he would feel taking your name. If he’s uncomfortable with that is he also putting himself before the family?

Post # 25
287 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: November 2015 - Ballroom

I’ve kind of been going around and around about this question, too. I’ve never particularly LOVED my last name – it’s NOT hard to spell or pronouce if one gives it the teensiest bit of effort, but it constantly gets mangled.  Also, I’ve had it now for over 40 years including 18 years as an attorney, and in a professional sense, it’s my identity.  My current plan is to change my name for personal dealings, but keep my maiden name for work purposes.  I’m considering hypenating as well – and if I did, then I’d just hypenate for everything.  My Fiance doesn’t have a strong opinion about what I do for professional purposes, but he wants me to change it for personal dealings, mostly so he can call me “Mrs. T.”, just like his dad calls his mom. Sweet, huh?? 

Post # 27
413 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: October 2016

He shouldn’t be rude about the issue. If you want to keep your name then do so. If you two want to compromise, you can keep yours and his without the hyphenation. & sign your name however you want. People will assume & address you as Mrs. _[his last name] anyway. I’m moving my maiden name to a second middle name & will be taking my FI’s name because I want to. I like my name so I’m keeping it in there! My maiden name is very common, but I have tons on brothers on biological’s dad side as well as nephews so I’m not my family’s name only hope. Never feel pressured to make a decision regarding yourself. If you don’t want to change it, don’t. Sign your name as is on your marriage license and be happy.

Post # 28
1246 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: October 2013

You are definitely not being selfish or petty. And his argument that you value your own identity more than unity is ridiculous. To echo a PP, if he has objections to taking your last name, you can throw the same garbage right back at him, lol. And furthermore, why shouldn’t you value your identity? That does not need to be erased or lessened by marriage. If you feel like you are losing your sense of self and heritage by changing your name, that should register to him as a bad thing. I think he may just need time to mull it over, since this is probably the first opportunity he has had to see the issue from a woman’s perspective. Not a bad thing, just a teachable moment. 

I did not change my name. Like you, I have a family middle name that I prize highly, so I kept my name intact and did not add, hyphenate, etc. I had so many reasons for my decision: personal/family identity, career, feminist convictions, and I’d be lying if I said laziness and stubbornness did not factor in, lol. It was also helpful that my now-husband was supportive of whatever I decided to do. And when it comes to kids, we won’t hyphenate, but they will have his last name and their middle name will be my last name. 

Give him time and space to process what you’ve said, and how he would feel if the shoe was on the other foot. A supportive partner will come to see that supporting your convictions is a WAY bigger deal in terms of family unity than what name someone signs on a form.

Post # 29
2127 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: May 2019

Hey OP. I too am half Persian! (Well, Indian-Persian) I’ve always loved it. When I was wee people said I looked like Pocahontas. Now people say I look like Princess Jasmine. I’ve also been mistaken for a local when I’ve been in Spain, Greece and Morocco. Yet my surname is Scottish. Having a British name takes nothing away from my heritage. My middle name is also from my Grandma. You will never change who you are by taking your husband’s name. Your blood is just the same.

All that said, you don’t have to change your name if you really don’t want to. I get that your boyfriend will be disappointed though. It’s something you would both have to think about and talk. But don’t be afraid that you would lose who you are. 

Post # 30
8 posts

It’s your name and your choice and no one should judge you for that.

I kept my name because it’s part of who I am and it doesn’t bother anyone where I live (here in QC province it’s almost impossible to change your name and married couples are unable to change it due to the Law).

  • This reply was modified 5 years ago by  JesuisKiki.

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