(Closed) What’s the point in getting married if the woman keeps her maiden name?

posted 9 years ago in Names
Post # 3
231 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: February 2010

I don’t think you’re being irrational – that would bother the heck out of me too!

I think that when you change your name you’re signaling to the whole world that you’re a family unit.  And there’s something to that.  But, In My Humble Opinion, that the point of the rings as well.  To me, the only thing that matters is that I’m marrying my love- not whether the world knows I’m married or not.  

Does he know that it took the fun out for you?  Maybe you should talk to him about it again … ? 

Post # 5
424 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: June 2009

With my first marriage, I hyphenated. I can’t remember now why I decided to do that.

This time I took his name. We had a liitle argument about it months ago, but I just kind of decided to pick my battles, and let him have his opinion on it.

I don’t neccesarily think you’re being irrational, but I get how his comment made you feel like maybe he didn’t respect the fact that it was YOUR choice and not just something you did bc it was expected of you.

Post # 6
2725 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: September 2009

First of all, you are not being irrational. It’s something that is important to you. You have a right to be upset.

I agree with tatrifon. I would talk to him. Until you and him discuss it, it’s going to bother you. Guys have a tendency to put their foot in their mouths. And guys generally don’t change their name so they don’t understand all the emotions that we go through. I am changing my last name and I’m happy to do so but even still, I know I will be a little sad to no longer use my old name. 

Post # 7
299 posts
Helper bee

I don’t blame you, if my Fiance said that, I’d be annoyed too. I’m not changing my name for a whole slew of reasons- I work for my Dad’s company, so we have a family business that I’d like to keep my last name for, since I’ll take over one day. There are only two daughters in the family, and our last name ends with us, so I really want to keep my name on. Additionally, I won’t take on the last name of a family that doesn’t treat Fiance half as well as my own (and he realizes it also) and that he just isn’t hugely close to (he isn’t seperated or distant from them, he just doesn’t care as much about them as I do about my own family).

But lastly, I don’t see the taking on of his name as a bonding ritual. In my perspective, I’m simply an extension of his family, and an extension doesn’t need or want the family’s last name. We’re bonded by love and a marriage contract that’s only getting signed because of formality’s sake. A last name doesn’t bind you to your partner, and the idea that it does is just silly- to me, if a guy *demanded* I take his last name as a sign of a bonding marriage, I’d be more inclined to believe the actual reason is one of insecurity, possesiveness, or desire to think "this is MY wife, she has MY name, she’s MY property." But then again, I’m a bit of a feminist  But even Fiance said that’s the only reason he’d want me to have his last name, to show that "I’m his" to a degree, that we’re connected. To which I replied, I can be "yours" as your partner/lover, but I’m not a car, so I’m keeping my name, and we’re connected by a piece of paper and our love, so that should be adequate."

Post # 8
56 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: October 2009

You could point out that if it was overwhelmingly important that both of you and your future children (if any) have the same last name, he could always have changed his name to yours.

Would he have done it? No. But it’s a valid point. Supposedly, men and women are equal under the law. Why is it that it’s virtually never men changing their names when they marry, even, say, when the men have multiple brothers and their wives-to-be are the last of their lines?

I am changing my name and am glad to do it; no one can spell my current name. But the name thing is one of those cultural oddities that, like the concepts behind the "Matrix" movies, don’t hold up well under deep scrutiny. By trying to assign deep meaning to it, your husband is highlighting the problems at the heart of it.

I think, though, what’s really going on is that you saw your marriage as an equal commitment that the two of you were making to one another, emotionally and legally, and your husband’s comment left you feeling as though he saw it as an official indication that he had acquired a wife. Or something like that. Does that make sense? He’s essentially implying that he wouldn’t have wanted to marry you if you hadn’t taken his name, but that he, in turn, wouldn’t have been willing to do the same for you. It’s an expectation of inequality. He dragged something out into the light that’s better left alone. 

Post # 10
143 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: September 2011

I agree that you are not being irrational (that is always guy’s fallback argument when they don’t understand and don’t want to try). Maybe one of the reasons it is so hurtful is that it seems like he is devaluing all of the other important aspects of your marraige and relationship – commitment to each other, supporting each other through good and bad, and the little things you do together (each couple has their own special things as well) – and only focusing on the name, which has meaning, but is not substantive.  If you share a last name but don’t support each other, the marraige is not going to work out. 

 I don’t know if this is the case for you – if it is I would try talking to him about it that way, maybe then he would understand where you are coming from.

Post # 11
56 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: October 2009

Further thoughts:

From your perspective, changing your name meant that you were making a sacrifice in the interest of family harmony. You had to stand in lines, fill out paperwork, talk to HR at work, etc. etc. I doubt you expected a tiara and a rainbow for doing so, but I do think that, understandably, you saw (and see) it worthy of some notice and some gratitude on the part of the person benefiting from the sacrifice — i.e. your husband. Instead, he essentially just dismissed the magnitude of what you did. It’s one thing to say, "What’s the point of getting married if you don’t live together?" because that requires equal effort. A name change does not.

You changed your frickin’ name, the name you’ve had all your life, the name you went to school under, the name you share with your parents…you get the idea. I don’t think you’re out of line wishing for a bit more thankfulness on the part of the beneficiary.

Post # 12
98 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: November 2009

 I really wanted to hyphenate or not change my name at all; I’m in the feminist crowd and I loathe the historical implications of possessiveness that still linger in modern marriages. That being said, my Fiance was more hurt than angry when I brought this up. I think it made him feel that I didn’t fully accept him or his family, that I didn’t really want to become part of it. Which is obviously completely and utterly untrue, but that’s how he felt so I have to respect that.

So perhaps he’s more hurt than angry about the whole situation? Lord knows guys seem like lash out with anger rather than discuss the fact that they’re hurt/upset.

It sounds like you might just need reassurance from him that your marrige is about your love and commitment, not a name change. That even if you change your last name to Banana Hammock it wouldn’t matter to him.

Post # 13
952 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: September 2009

You’re not being irrational! Frankly I do feel that the woman taking the man’s name is a bit antiquated. I am taking FI’s name, but this is mainly because his last name is easier than mine to pronounce and spell, and I’d like our children to all have the same last name.

Post # 14
1356 posts
Bumble bee

I don’t think you’re being irrational at all. I’m changing my name because I WANT to, not because I feel like I HAVE to. But I have a lot of friends who didn’t. Part of me thinks that guys sometimes just don’t get it – by changing our name, we are losing part of our identity! That’s a big sacrifice! Especially for those of us already in professional careers – it is a big deal to change your name! Sorry, for getting on my soapbox, but that’s how I feel about it. 🙂

Post # 15
2271 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: August 2009

I am an encore bride and I never changed my name and have no intentions of doing so. First of all, I LIKE my given surname, it has a long history – my family has been residents of PA since 1683! Second – changing the last name harkens back to the days when wives were considered property and I certainly am not property! Also – all my degrees are with my last name and all my students are used to calling me Prof W. Changing a last name is a custom, not a requirement. Ask Fiance why he doesn’t take YOUR last name!

Post # 16
342 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: May 2009

Ooh, the name issue can be so touchy!  I think a lot of guys just assume that their future wives will take their last name. Period.  His mom changed her name, his grandma changed her name, why wouldn’t his future wife change her name too?

When I told my guy that I was considering keeping my own last name, he was caught 100% off guard and had a less than ideal response.  I was annoyed at the time, but I can see how it would be a lil upsetting to me if he "out of the blue" challenged a view I’d held my whole life.  I imagine it’s how I felt when he casually mentioned that he didn’t want to wear a wedding band.  To me, married men wear wedding bands. Period.  My dad wore one, my grandpa wore one, why wouldn’t my husband wear a wedding band too?

When he told me he wasn’t sure about the wedding band, I was shocked.  Doesn’t he want people to know he is married to me?  Is he afraid of 100% committing to our relationship?  I couldn’t understand why he didn’t want to just follow "the norm," and do what "everybody else" does.  I imagine he must have felt quite the same way regarding the name-change issue.

So, this doesn’t help resolve anything, but maybe it will help us be a little more sensitive to our sig others.  It’s never fun to have your childhood beliefs challenged…even if it’s a minor one!

FYI: In the end, I decided to change my last name, and he decided to wear a wedding band.  🙂

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