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Show ALL Forums  > Relationships  > Taking his name....?      Home login  
Joined: 4/23/2009
Msg: 1
Taking his name....? Page 1 of 18    (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18)
In the last few days I have watched what appeared to be a very happy and healthy relation slowly turn to a pile of dust. It seems the couple is up in arms over the soon to be wife not taking her husbands name.

Now I personally can't for the life of figure out why it's a problem.
So I was hoping some people here could clue me in on some valid reasons why a woman wouldn't take their husbands name.

Now everything else in their relationship is traditional which is why this is even a question.
Joined: 7/25/2006
Msg: 2
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Taking his name....?
Posted: 12/9/2009 8:00:01 AM
Probably because it's a hassle changing driver's license, credit cards, checks, etc.

Why didn't you ask them why she doesn't want to take her husband's name? She might have a valid reason.
Joined: 2/4/2006
Msg: 3
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Taking his name....?
Posted: 12/9/2009 8:02:00 AM
I don't understand why it would be such a big deal for her not to take his name or for him that she take his name if they love each other and have no other problems. Generally when something manifests in this way there are latent issues.

Have either one of these two morons considered the hyphenated last name thing and how old are they? A big part of me feels like if they really loved each other, she would be willing to change her name to please him and he would be willing to not b!tch about her keeping her name. Kind of that whole Gift of the Magi thing. Perhaps you should give them a copy of that, I received one last year, little tiny thing but the story is pretty powerful for people that are being petty and selfish, which I wound consider both at this point.

I know some women who didn't take their husband's names because of professional issues, they earned their law degree or medical degree under their maiden name and didn't want the conflicting name issues. Another gal I knew didn't want to change her last name because she was a judge, her father was a judge, and I think there were no males so it was a respect thing for her dad.

I personally don't see the big deal in taking the name because my identity is not tied to my name. It is a no brainer to me when you have children because it is infinitely easier if your name is the same name your kids are wearing which is why I never changed my name back because I didn't feel the need to be visible in letting the whole world know that I had no connection to this man beyond the kids.

Has your male friend considered whether it would bother him to take her name? Sometimes when you turn something on its ear it can take the wind out of the sails. If it would bother your friend to change his name to hers, then he should appreciate whatever issue she is having. If she is older, perhaps she feels that the name taking is antiquated and because she isn't going to have children with him, marriage should not require a name change.

Have you asked both separately why it is so important for them to maintain their position? Does he need to announce to the world that she is his? Does she want to avoid being "his" by keeping her own name and hence her own identity?

If this breaks them up I guess one could take comfort that they averted the failed marriage before walking down the aisle.
Joined: 3/15/2009
Msg: 4
Taking his name....?
Posted: 12/9/2009 8:02:43 AM
I would equate that to the "new" way of thinking.
Pre-nups , ..."I'm not interested in taking your name"
Why bother ? ... kinda reminds me of that old saying ....sorta pregnant ! ...
It's called a "Commitment" for a reason.
Joined: 2/11/2008
Msg: 5
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Taking his name....?
Posted: 12/9/2009 8:06:53 AM
It would seem that she prefers to keep her own name, why would that be a problem, what's his issue, it's her name and it should be her choice. If he's that easily rattled, think what will happen if something really serious took place, poor guy might need a medic to cope. There's nothing 'new' about a woman keeping her own name.
Joined: 11/4/2006
Msg: 6
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Taking his name....?
Posted: 12/9/2009 8:09:12 AM
Rock -- One word man, and you knew it was coming...



I asked a few that *I* know about this situation when I was engaged. Traditionally, it was that a woman goes into the marriage and "sacrifices" her last name to take on her soon to be hubby's moniker. I knew about that, but it was 2004 so I had to get some affirmation from those close to me.

Turns out that less than 25% of them took their hubby's name. 50% of them used that hyphenated crapola (and MAN does that arrogance turn my stomach...) and the rest just chose to keep their own last names. When I asked about it, those that did not take the last name predominantly used the same word - prerogative.

They said it was their prerogative to take it or not. So I went with that.

Told my ex fiance that when the time came, here's how I saw it...she either takes my last name or she doesn't...but none of that hyphenated crap. She was bewildered to say the least, and probably because I even bothered to look into it beforehand.

As for your happy couple, this is no news to me. The taking of the last name was just a fixture and was just the way things were done "traditionally". Nowadays, we all know that women want the "traditional" but they want it at their convenience. If they see something as inconvenient to them, or even (gasp) oppressive, they'll spin it or chuck it. Yea, I even had one couple tell me that she refused to take on a "slave name"...she was her own person, and wanted to marry, but didn't want a "slave name" to be part of the package...thereby reducing her to "them".

Some other "reasons" I heard was to do with being sought and found (can't search for me by name if my name is different now), and documentation. Docs like licenses, applications, names on doors or stationary, and things like that. They didn't want the "hassle" of any of it. Oddly enough, looking back...those that used the word "hassle" and treated it as such were the ones that divorced shortly after they were married. I suppose if you walk into one already seeing a hassle before the vows are even can't expect it'll last longer than the sour cream in my fridge.

All I know now is - should the day come where I do get married, she'll take my name or she won't. No hyphenated pompous shit. And if kids are brought in, they will have MY last name...not hers, and not the hyphenated garbage.

I feel bad for your happy couple that something like this would unravel things in their world...but looking around these boards, it hardly comes as a surprise to me. I've seen people make bigger issues outta things less than that even. So take that for what its worth.

Joined: 12/22/2008
Msg: 7
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Taking his name....?
Posted: 12/9/2009 8:10:45 AM
What are HER reasons for not taking his name?

I figure if you're going to go the whole traditional route of getting married in the first place, why not go the whole traditional route and change the last name, or do a hyphenated version of the two. Could it be that she's well known in her field of work and changing it would cause too many problems?

Back in the day, I changed my last name to my husband's and I've kept it because I'd had it twice as long as my birth surname and it seems way foreign to me, on top of the fact my birth surname was always getting screwed up. This one's nice and simple.

I've solved the whole delemma of every changing it again, being that I wouldn't go the whole "traditional" route of getting married again.

I guess she won't be calling herself Mrs. either, huh?

Boooohihihihi...thinking of another thread...does this mean she won't be as "commited" to him if she doesn't choose to change her name?
Joined: 4/24/2007
Msg: 8
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Taking his name....?
Posted: 12/9/2009 8:12:49 AM
In some cultures it is customary for a woman to keep her name. So all of this is just a tempest in a tea pot based on how we view ourselves vis a vis the culture we live in.

I hyphenated my name. Kept my maiden name for business reasons. Know how much I'd invested in 'building the brand' that is me? Didn't want to just throw the brand equity away with a name change. Also didn't want to insult him. Hyphenating the name seemed like a good compromise.

My big sis, who I would never have imagined would remarry, and if she were to do it, would have never imagined she would change her name, not only got married but changed her name. Turns out, she couldn't imagine doing it any other way. Who knew?
Joined: 7/17/2008
Msg: 9
Taking his name....?
Posted: 12/9/2009 8:13:52 AM
seems like a silly thing to let an entire relationship fall apart over.... two people completely unwilling to compromise over something that ultimately, doesn't even matter. in the meantime i'm sure they are each fully wedded to the "principle of the thing" as they see it, whatever the heck that is.

but, it's an identity thing. a person's sense of who he/she is is very tightly bound to their own name.... so much so that most people who adopt false identities use a name that has exactly the same initials as their real name. or maybe it's something as simple as the fact that she just doesn't like the sound of his last name. two examples: (1) my mother's maiden name is "somborovich"... she *gladly* adopted the last name of my father, because to her mind she just hated the sound of a good old-fashioned ethic serbian appellation. it actually embarrassed her. and even though they've been divorced for many years and she can't stand the thought of him, she still uses her married name.... for exactly the same reason. (2) i was once engaged to somebody whose last name was "booze". now i'm sorry but there ain't no way in HELL i would volunteer to go through the rest of my life with a last name like that.

the bottom line as i see it though, she is the one that has to accept the name change so it's HER PEROGATIVE entirely to either accept it, or not. i personally think he's the bigger fool for pushing the issue. and i would start questioning why he doesn't want to "allow" her to keep her last name.... hmm i smell control issues. so you can see where that's going can't ya...
Joined: 5/19/2005
Msg: 10
Taking his name....?
Posted: 12/9/2009 8:17:22 AM
I think there are a lot of reasons people can come up with
not to change their names.
I won't be changing my name again. I have the same last name
as my kids and if I ever get married again, I plan on keeping my
name as it is.
Interestingly enough, in all the 29 years I was married I never
referred to myself as Mrs. and I never referred to my husband
as " husband". I just referred to him as his name and everyone
just knew who he was.
A lot of traditional roles have changed. Things change, it's
pretty much that simple.

Joined: 2/11/2008
Msg: 11
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Taking his name....?
Posted: 12/9/2009 8:23:17 AM
It's still her name, what she identifies with, and why would anyone get so all out of sorts over a woman wanting to keep her own name? No one is required to change their last name when getting married, doesn't that tell you something about it not being anything new?

Look at the people getting all pissy about a woman keeping her own name, wow, can you smell the ire you won't change your name, then I won't marry you! issues much?
Joined: 7/10/2006
Msg: 12
Taking his name....?
Posted: 12/9/2009 8:27:27 AM
Well, conceptually, a woman taking the name of her husband's family was once symbolic of her being transferred to his family. Rather like a possession, or to use the proper term a "chattel", as the language went in a less egalitarian era. As in, G_d says, I'll give you the most perfect companion you could possibly want, Adam. All I'll need is one eye, a hand, and your left nut. So Adam says, "what can I get for a rib?".

So it might be that. Or her perception that her fiancée might be harbouring the lingering remnants of that kind of thinking.

I'm not sure what "traditions" the OP is referring to, exactly. Possibly the imagined past of 1950's Leave It To Beaver?

She might be harbouring the rather interesting delusion that particular verbal expressions somehow determine one's reality. Sort of a dumbed-down version of the Sapir-Whorf hypothesis. If she takes her husband's family name that somehow determines reality. Or at least what he thinks is reality. Or what she thinks is reality. Or what other people think is reality.

The funny bit is how pseudo-intellectual this whole resistance to 'taking the husband's name' happens to be. "Hey, lady, you happen to come from a patronymic culture. You have the family name your mother took when she married your father. Or, possibly, when your grandmother married your grandfather. Ever thought of that?" The notion of the guy taking the woman's name in marriage is equally ridiculous, because she comes from a patronymic culture *also*.

The hyphenated last name thing is big here in QC and it's dippy. It's sort of, well, let's not decide anything *now*, we'll just postpone it to the next generation and give them the problem to solve. Kind of like global warming. Three generations and everyone starts sounding like Old Money European nobility. "Pierre-Étienne Saxe-Coburg-Gotha-Stern-Und-Taxis-Tremblay" on passports, birth certificates, SIN cards...the whole thing is just ludicrous.

Seriously, you've got a DNA pattern, the rest of it is just social convention.

Why not have both members of the couple change their name to something totally different when they get married? Twice the paperwork for the credit bureau-- sounds like a good idea to me. Anyone up for becoming Mrs. Robinson? How 'bout Mrs. Pierre-Étienne Saxe-Coburg-Gotha-Stern-Und-Taxis-Tremblay?

Seriously, if these two break up over this stupidity they've both dodged a bullet.

"(1) my mother's maiden name is "somborovich"... she *gladly* adopted the last name of my father, because to her mind she just hated the sound of a good old-fashioned ethic serbian appellation. it actually embarrassed her. and even though they've been divorced for many years and she can't stand the thought of him, she still uses her married name.... for exactly the same reason."

Heh, heh. No, it's because she got tired of being called Ms. "sonofabitch" at the bank.
Joined: 11/17/2009
Msg: 13
Taking his name....?
Posted: 12/9/2009 8:28:04 AM
I'm from a country where women don't take their husbands' names. Some even think it's unfair for kids to take only fathers' last names. So some of the people have two last names one from their moms and the other from dads by their choices.
It's good to have choices in everything IMO.
Joined: 12/7/2008
Msg: 14
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Taking his name....?
Posted: 12/9/2009 8:31:15 AM
Why doesn't he change his last name? Good for the goose and all. I have always wondered why it has to be the woman that changes her name.

It's just a name in principal. There could be a myriad of reasons for her not to change her name. It depends on the situation and people involved. Like Shakespeare said "a rose by any other name would small as sweet".

As for valid reasons:
1. For professional reasons-licences, branding, other work related issues.
2. If there is a child involved that carries her last name-it would make dealing w/ issues in the child's life easier if mother/child have the same last name(sad but true even today).
3. Last of her family line-some people take this very seriously.
4. To avoid the paperwork hassle. With a marriage name change you have to do a ton of paper work to get things changed to HIS name. i.e. Social Security Card, credit cards, drivers license, bank accounts, titles, etc.
Joined: 9/23/2009
Msg: 15
Taking his name....?
Posted: 12/9/2009 8:32:25 AM
Continuing the lineage of a family name...I kept my last name and chose to hyphenate his and then my last name for our children, for exactly this reason...

And if kids are brought in, they will have MY last name...not hers, and not the hyphenated garbage.

^^^ ummm....pompous much?
Joined: 6/2/2009
Msg: 16
Taking his name....?
Posted: 12/9/2009 8:32:37 AM
As mentioned above, if she has children, keeping her last name the same as theirs might be a reason, and a good one - it simplifies a lot. If she has a career in which she is well-known by her current name, that's also a good reason. If she is among the last of her name's line, she may feel attached to the name emotionally and not want it to disappear. And she may simply consider the patronymic tradition to be silly. Just a shot in the dark here, but I'm guessing the groom-to-be isn't considering taking her name. Why not? The reason for that may well be exactly the same as her reason.

Personally, I'd probably take a man's name if marrying, unless I just really hated it. If it's something like "Zielinski" or "Wojciechowski," she may just not want to spend a lifetime spelling it for people. Or if it has a tendency to be offensive at first blush, and constantly require pronunciation correction in an English-speaking nation, such as "Khundt," which I regret to say I am not making up. So if his name's complicated or just ugly, that could be a reason, too.

Oh, and, editing to add, late thought: If he has an ex-wife who still uses his name, she may not want to be one of two known as "Mrs. ABC." Especially if they're in the same social community.

But, all that said, if they've been doing well until now - and this somehow only just came up? now? - I don't think it's very likely that this is the real problem at all. They wouldn't be the first couple to pin wedding stress on something stupid! Or, I am sure, the last... I strongly suspect that wedding stress is what is really behind this.
Joined: 12/9/2006
Msg: 17
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Taking his name....?
Posted: 12/9/2009 8:36:30 AM
If it is a 2nd marriage she may have reverted back to her maiden name after many years and wants to keep her original identity. Changing everything IS a huge hassle. I did it after my divorce and intend on keeping my maiden name till I die, now.
I would not have an issue introducing myself as MRS X but why deal with the headache multiple times throughout your life?
Joined: 4/28/2006
Msg: 18
Taking his name....?
Posted: 12/9/2009 8:40:33 AM
I think it is just as silly for him to be so upset about this. I could care less if my gal took my name. My ex was much younger then I, and was proud of her family name. They were 3 generations from a small mountain town in Colorado. It meant a lot to her so I just said sure.

But I would of agreed no matter what reason she used. Her taking my name just was never going to be an issue.

Joined: 7/24/2007
Msg: 19
Taking his name....?
Posted: 12/9/2009 8:44:44 AM
It's easy for men to tweak about this subject cuz none of them have ever gone thru the insane BS of changing their name. One such episode in my life was so jacked up I received a letter of apology from the POTUS (Reagan) before it was over.
I've seen two viable options -- hyphenation (wherein she can attach his name to hers in the social arena but not have to change it legally) and I know one couple who blended their last names into one and BOTH changed their last name legally.
If the guy is ready to blow off what appears to an otherwise happy and healthy relationship over this, I say she's better off rid of such a control freak.
Joined: 7/10/2006
Msg: 20
Taking his name....?
Posted: 12/9/2009 8:49:26 AM
"And she may simply consider the patronymic tradition to be silly."

Because the patronymic tradition IS silly.

As are most traditions, when viewed in the light of day, instead of in the intellectual darkness that they originated in.

Why are you going to subsidize chopping down a perfectly good tree and setting it up in your living room to celebrate the 25th of December? Because your Odin-worshiping ancestors used to hang human sacrifices from trees to celebrate the Yule? Or because you need to put consumer purchases under it to celebrate the birth of a Messiah (who rather uncomfortably accomplished virtually none of the things the Hebrew Messiah was supposed to accomplish)?

"Or if it has a tendency to be offensive at first blush, and constantly require pronunciation correction in an English-speaking nation, such as "Khundt," which I regret to say I am not making up."

Ha, ha, brilliant. Try explaining to a woman named "Fanny" that she'd best go with her middle name in the U.K., that's not such a comfortable conversation either.

EDIT: "guess we can just throw darts at a phone book ..."
No, we have too many Wongs already. Identity thieves do not need their lives made any easier than they already are. And who has phone books on paper any more?
Joined: 11/1/2009
Msg: 21
Taking his name....?
Posted: 12/9/2009 8:56:40 AM
Sounds like a silly thing to fight about, in my opinion. I plan on keeping my last name unless the guy I marry has a really good last name.
Joined: 4/11/2009
Msg: 22
Taking his name....?
Posted: 12/9/2009 9:00:21 AM
Interesting Post Rock since I really never gave it much thought before.

I can't think of any reason why I would really care if I married again, that my new wife would keep my last name. Had our decision been at a time in our lives that would have included having children, this would have warranted further thought and discussion.

I have a last name that can also be a womans first name. I joke about it when I meet someone with that first name. If she took my last name I could see that she would constantly have to provide clarification and just general confusion. She might not want to go through that and I couldn't blame her.

I'm all for not sweatin the small stuff. I don't see the big deal here if they truly do love each other.
Joined: 10/10/2007
Msg: 23
Taking his name....?
Posted: 12/9/2009 9:02:06 AM
I'd change my name only if his were something cool like "Danger". CassaDanger! woo hoo

I'm too old to change my name at this point, when I was younger I would have had no problem.

It is odd that this would be a fight, frankly. Sounds like it's the GUY who has the problem, not the gal.
Joined: 7/24/2007
Msg: 24
Taking his name....?
Posted: 12/9/2009 9:08:40 AM

Sure ! i'm going to spend the rest of my life , dedicating myself to someone who can't be "bothered" with the paperwork..

If men think it's so easy and just a "bother," feel free to change YOUR last name to OUR last name. Problem solved.

If there is a child involved that carries her last name-it would make dealing w/ issues in the child's life easier if mother/child have the same last name

If the parents blend their last names and both change their names then the child has the same last name. Problem solved.
This also is a stickman argument cuz when couples get divorced the first thing men want is for the woman to stop using his last name. Nobody is worried about Lil' Johnny having the same last name then, are they?
Joined: 11/8/2007
Msg: 25
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Taking his name....?
Posted: 12/9/2009 9:12:37 AM
I knew one couple where it was a big issue...
In this case she didn't want to change her last name "again". Her and her kids still had the baby-daddy (ex husband's name and wanted to keep THAT). It was what she and her kids were 'used to'.... and all her paperwork, kids paperwork, her career and everything were geared to...
Now I really have no problem if a woman wants to keep her 'maiden' name, or if she wants to hyphenate it... but I'll be damned if she is keep her ex husband's name...
When I met my G/F she was still living under her Ex hubbies name (for the kids sake) and I told her, I wanted her to go back to her maiden name... she balked until I asked her how she'd feel if I used my Ex's last name then.... problem solved... she started the paperwork the next day... and lo and behold, it was little or no hassle to change back to her maiden name... (to her and my surprise also, one of her daughters ALSO changed her last name too!)
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