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Do I have to take your name?

It is highly likely that an engaged couple will be faced with the name change issue. There was a time when this didn’t really come up because it was understood that a woman would automatically take her husband’s last name.

I know a lot of guys who are literally offended by the very idea of a woman not using his name (no hyphenating) and the common response is: If she is wearing “my ring” she will have no choice but to take my name. Apparently, the ring and the name are a package deal?

Everyone is different and you have to do what works best for you, but I wonder if men still assume that the women they plan to marry has to take their name. Is it still expected?

Ladies have you ever brought up the discussion with the guys that you date? Do you think that the type of men you date would lean toward one way or the other?

Guys, what would you do if your fiancee informed you that she wanted to use her own name after you marry? Would it matter to you if her reasons were business or personal?

By Wise Diva, Misadventures in Atlanta Dating Blog

269 comments Add your comment

Lily

February 28th, 2012
7:28 am

I’d take his name :)

SlimUno

February 28th, 2012
8:02 am

Good morning,

I have no issue taking my mans last name or his ring. ;-)

SlimUno

February 28th, 2012
8:03 am

Morning,

I’d have no issue taking the beau’s last name or his ring

Lady~

February 28th, 2012
8:17 am

Good Morning!!!! ;)

1st go round I did the hyphen thing but second go round I will gladly drop all last names and be Lady _______ happily! You live ans learn~

Brittany

February 28th, 2012
8:19 am

I think it’s incredibly rude for a man to demand that his fiancee take his name. Just because a woman wants to keep her own name, doesn’t mean she loves him any less. I plan on hyphenating my own name. I have no brothers so there isn’t anyone to carry on our name in the family, so who says that I can’t do it? It’s no cause to get offended, the couple just needs to communicate and the man should try to understand her decision.

Jeff

February 28th, 2012
8:22 am

Let me see if I get this right…….

You’ll take my ring.
You won’t take my name.
Maybe not give our kids my name.
Have rights to half my money.
A 70% chance you’ll file divorce.
And expect me to pay child support and possibly alimony
???.?.?.?.?.?

No thanks.

SlimUno

February 28th, 2012
8:24 am

Excuse the double posts…had some technical difficulties this morning.

Audra

February 28th, 2012
8:40 am

A man getting offended by that is just caveman stuff. Marriage is not ownership. When I was married I chose to take his name. I had just started a new career and no one new my maiden name, so it worked out, and now I am known by his last name professionally even though we divorced. But I can guarantee you that if I had been known in the work world by my maiden name, I would’ve kept it. The ex was fine either way. He didn’t have to mark me as “his property.”

And, Jeff, yes, what you are talking about is unfair. But it’s not really related to the name change issue. And don’t marry some shallow wench who only wants your money anyway! That’s how you end up in that situation! Oh wait….generally those kind of women are the most prone to want to take your name. Coincidence???

What I’m saying is, a strong independent woman is more likely to not be obsessed with taking your money and your stuff if/when you split up. She has her own. That’s def how it was with my divorce – he kept everything we acquired together. Something to think about before you demonize a woman who values herself as a person, not just as property.

LeeH1

February 28th, 2012
8:46 am

My wifeand I amrried after we were both 40, and had established our careers. Of course my wife kept her maiden name, as that was the one on her cartificates, diplomas and licenses. Also, she has a large number of friends and career contacts that know her by her name.

Now that we are facing retirement and moving to a new city, she will finally take my family name.

The only area where we would have disagreed would have been if we had children. But since we never did, the issue didn’t come up as an issue. I would have wanted everyone in the family to have the same family name.

I had been in a marriage earlier with a divorced woman who had a child. She kept her mainden name. Her child kept her father’s family name. I kept my family name. It was three families living together, and was frequently awkward. While none of this was why we divorced, it is indicative of the fact we could never really unite as a family on our own. We were always pulled in other directions, instead of being pulled together.

Jeff

February 28th, 2012
9:04 am

Audra, interesting how you’re willing to brush off what is unfair toward men, but be so vigilant about the things we need to change. You might want to try a different label besides things like dark ages, Neanderthal and knuckle dragger, they’ve long since gotten old.

KaiserSoze

February 28th, 2012
9:05 am

It’s just a name. My fiancee is in the medical profession with a long list of patients that have known her by her maiden name for many years – so changing it would potentially lead to confusion.

We discussed it and I told her I don’t care if she changes her name, hyphenates it, or leaves it as is. Her last name will certainly not change who she is or how we feel about one another. It’s her choice and a name change would affect her only – it has no bearing on me in any way. We’re not going to have any children – we both have kids from our prior marriages – so I see no reason to even want her to change. Sure there will be the occasional ‘awkward’ social moment of “Mr. and Dr. Soze”, but we’re both confident enough in our relationship and ourselves we can just let the common surname be a social thing but not an official thing.

disco

February 28th, 2012
9:06 am

good morning y’all. I did have the conversation with an S/O before. we were discussing the future and I stated that if we married I’d keep my name. he wasn’t really feeling it and felt that his wife should have his name. I pointed out that his ex-wife did have his name. twenty years ago I would have thought it romantic/exciting to take a guys name. now it’s not that real. My name and I go way back and I’m not overly eager to give it up.

speaking on names – pet peeve – unmarried women who give their children the father’s last name. I know it’s common and it’s an individual choice but it just irritates me. even more so is when women name there son’s so and so, jr. I think a lot of guys get a kick out of that jr.

Celisea

February 28th, 2012
9:10 am

I’m not understanding the issue here. Would a woman feel like she’s losing her identity in taking the man’s last name? I thought it was a merger becoming one? One but two last names. Really it’s neither here nor there to me but for me personally, I’d go with his last name. IMO merging a life together encompasses everything. IMO, wanting to be independant in one area but wanting him to take the lead in other areas don’t quite mesh.

Of course, just my opinion and my thoughts :)

Morning…….

Lolalee

February 28th, 2012
9:19 am

On a related topic, it irritates me when a woman gets divorced and keeps using her ex husband’s name. She is no longer married to him! If he marries again, then there are two women with his name, but only one of whom is married to him.

I took my husband’s name but reverted to my maiden name when I got divorced. Yes, I had a career with his name, but I rebranded myself over time and I don’t think I’ve lost connections (but guess I wouldn’t know if I had). Now that I’m considering marrying again, I doubt very much that I’ll change my name. But I guess if he felt strongly about it I’d consider taking his name.

ABC

February 28th, 2012
9:20 am

Married over 10 years and didn’t take his name. It was not an issue; I always knew I would never change my name and my husband could not have cared less. Our child has his last name, no hyphens, but my last name is the kid’s middle name. I respect ladies who do, but to me personally it’s an old-fashioned and very antiquated tradition that comes from the time when women were thought of as property. And while we’re at it, a maiden name almost always comes from one’s father, so a woman carries a last name from a man no matter what.

Lolalee

February 28th, 2012
9:21 am

(and does it matter if you “like” his name? If it’s a name you have to spell out every time you say it, or one with some strong national identity, or one you just don’t like?)

PaulDoe

February 28th, 2012
9:25 am

ABC @ 9:20 am
Re: “…to me personally it’s an old-fashioned and very antiquated tradition that comes from the time when women were thought of as property.”

The concept of men paying for dates is also an “old-fashioned and very antiquated tradition that comes from the time when women were thought of as property”. Why is still being carried on? :-)

M. (pronouced M dot)

February 28th, 2012
9:30 am

Good day.

If someone does not want to take the name, why are yall even getting married? You two may be better off not being married if you are not going in 100%.

@audra

“What I’m saying is, a strong independent woman is more likely to not be obsessed with taking your money and your stuff if/when you split up.”

So you are saying if a woman is getting divorced and the judge offers her half of his stuff in court that she is going to turn it down? If so, I have a Ocean I want to sell you in Atlanta ;)

disco

February 28th, 2012
9:42 am

lolalee – ditto. I know women who divorced, kept their married name and ultimately had another child that ended up taking on the “married name” of a man that wasn’t the child’s father. I will say that identity issues are a mutha.

mdot – I’m not that chick that’s going into it seeking half but I won’t turn it down if it’s offered to me. I previously mentioned I’m a yours/mine/ours type. I don’t take issue with pre-nups. I’m not the one that will be whining “if you loved me you wouldn’t ask me to sign it”. I think more practically than romantically. if a split does happen (and let’s face it, there’s a shot), it doesn’t hurt to have a plan in place.

M. (pronouced M dot)

February 28th, 2012
9:48 am

@disco

Exactly and I am sure in divorce court, its not the most pleasant place where people are thinking about their former SO. I am sure the gloves are off and people are going for blood. If that was not the case, they wouldnt need an attorney.

They would just be like Angela Bassett in the scene from whats love got to do with it when she was in court and said she doesnt want any of this..just her name. But I know this wont happen in real life and today society.

PaulDoe

February 28th, 2012
9:50 am

@audra

Re: “And don’t marry some shallow wench who only wants your money anyway! That’s how you end up in that situation!”

Do people have their future intentions written on their faces? LOL

ABC

February 28th, 2012
9:51 am

@PaulDoe, I have no idea why men still pay for dates. I would think whoever does the asking out should at least offer to pay (applies to ladies too), or you should split the bill, which makes more sense to me.

Lolalee

February 28th, 2012
9:52 am

@disco
Ohhh the prenup question. Don’t know how I feel about that one. It is practical, no doubt, but on some level I think it leaves open the possibility of divorce in a way that makes it easier to move in that direction. It’s almost like by signing that document both people say “hey, I’ve already thought of Plan B in case this doesn’t work” rather than saying “we are we forever.” It’s not that I think of it in romantic terms, but that it just seems to plan a seed that isn’t going to bear good fruit.

But I still don’t know how I feel about it. Does it make a difference if the two people come into the marriage with vastly different financial situations?

ABC

February 28th, 2012
9:53 am

@Mdot, not taking your husband’s last name does not mean you are not in 100%, and this is exactly the kind of mentality that needs to change. In some parts of the world, the default is that the woman keeps her maiden name for life regardless of marital status. She is free to change it as well. It should be an individual choice and have no bearing on how committed one is to the marriage.

PaulDoe

February 28th, 2012
9:58 am

@ABC.

I agree, but in my experience I can count on one hand how many women even offered to pay their share on dates. Many even ask men out and almost always expect men to pay the whole thing. They are shocked at the mere mention of splitting the bill. Strange, but true.

Things like this turn me off dating… :-)

disco

February 28th, 2012
10:01 am

lolalee – a lot of people view pre-nups that way. to each his own but I’m all for them. I look at it as insurance. look at all the insurance you pay for “just in case ish happens” (as chris rock says). romanticism aside – I’m sure not very many folks say I do anticipating the day when they no longer do. still, doesn’t hurt to have a little insurance for just in case. sometimes the pre-nup isn’t the issue so much as the will. marriages don’t always end in divorce, sometimes they end in death. I’ve heard of some nasty battles re heirlooms etc. falling into the wrong hands not because of a pre-nup but because a party died without a will. in my opinion, it’s all about having your affairs in order.

Fion

February 28th, 2012
10:01 am

“Apparently, the ring and the name are a package deal?”

Wow! I’ll just say this, It’s waaaaaaaay more than just a name. In giving you his name the “MAN’ is acknowledging responsibility for you.
That’s right “Responsibility”. The acknowledgement of responsibility not only to you, but your family and the rest of the known World.

Lady~

February 28th, 2012
10:02 am

I kept my married name bc #1 I could legally its my choice and # 2 bc I had his child while married and again its legal and who cares why I kept it but when I remarry it will gladly be dropped ;)

I don’t care if he remarries and two women share his last name that is water under the bridge…..

Audra

February 28th, 2012
10:05 am

To Jeff, PaulDoe, and M. – No, it is not easy to tell what someone’s intentions are and no I don’t mean to brush off what is unfair to men. I’m just saying take responsibility for the choices you make. It’s like a woman who is always complaining that men are evil, but she always picks the bad guy! Don’t be that guy that always picks the trophy and then wonders why she effs him over.

And as far as divorce court and turning down half? We didn’t even get that far because we worked it out between us, uncontested, and have honored our self-designed settlement agreement. It is possible to be decent in these things…

M. (pronouced M dot)

February 28th, 2012
10:06 am

@ABC

I see what you are saying but what I am saying is that a lot of things that are going on are not really the traditional foundations of marriages. Should we just rewrite the traditional values?

There are so many things that I am hearing about that just have marriage spray painted over them but really arent marriage.

Have you guys heard about the trend sexless marriages? I guess they are supposed to help people bond more on a metaphysical level.

johnny too good

February 28th, 2012
10:08 am

a woman not taking the man’s name is disrespectful to the family. Its tradition. Why wouldnt a woman wanna take her husband’s name. Does she still want to be an individual?

It seems like alot of people like to pick and choose which principals/traditions of marriages to follow…. well what if a man decides that he doesnt wanna follow traditon such as seeing other women or not coming home every night?

just my two cents, throw those 2 pennies out the window or add em to your savings account

M. (pronouced M dot)

February 28th, 2012
10:08 am

My friend stated that she would drop her middle name and take on her last name as her middle name and take his last name. Isnt that hyphenating without the hyphen? 0_0

Kindeya

February 28th, 2012
10:08 am

If ever given the opportunity…. I would take his name

Fion

February 28th, 2012
10:09 am

@Celisea

Lawd!!! Lawd!!! It’s a sure sign of the apocalypse. I agree with your 9:10 post. I’ve got to go now and stock up on canned Tuna and Bottle water.

M. (pronouced M dot)

February 28th, 2012
10:11 am

@Audra

“Don’t be that guy that always picks the trophy and then wonders why she effs him over. ”

How does a woman being a trophy automatically equate to her effing him over? Are you saying more attractive women are more prone to screw over the guys they are with versus average and below average women?

Lady~

February 28th, 2012
10:11 am

yes M. that is what I did dropped my middle and my last name was hyphen off

Exiled!

February 28th, 2012
10:12 am

Disco?

Ha?
Unmarried mothers giving their kids the father’s name(last?)

What’s strange about that..is that not the right thing to do?

Lady~

February 28th, 2012
10:12 am

I can say for my own personal reasons that was a mistake and I vow not to ever do that again.

Audra

February 28th, 2012
10:14 am

Yes, we can redefine the traditions of marriage as we want. We have free will. It’s whatever works for that particular couple. If you don’t like it, don’t have a “modern” marriage.

And btw, “it’s tradition” is not a good argument. Does that make it right? A lot of things have been tradition and a lot were wrong. And whoever said that it’s disrespectful to the man’s family – that cracks me up, by that logic is it not disrespectful to the woman and her family for her to take his name? :)

Lady~

February 28th, 2012
10:14 am

@C>>>>>> I thought it was a merger becoming one? <<<<<It is and for me it was apart of the downward demise of me, I, we, us, ours………..and being immature too! you live and learn~ ;)

disco

February 28th, 2012
10:14 am

Johnny – that’s just it. everyone’s traditions aren’t going to be the same. that’s part of the key to marriage – finding someone whose traditions are in line with your traditions.

ex – don’t crack jokes.

Exiled!

February 28th, 2012
10:15 am

If she wants to keep her last name then she needs to Marty het father!

Period dot done

This is not an issue fir real men.

Abd guys?!, u set the tone of ur marriage in the beginning.

U let her maintain her name..she will be wearing the pants in that marriage!

Watch! :lol:

Or good morning blogsville!

Audra

February 28th, 2012
10:15 am

“well what if a man decides that he doesnt wanna follow traditon such as seeing other women or not coming home every night?”

That’s not a tradition, it’s ethical behavior..

Tebow > Ryan

February 28th, 2012
10:17 am

Take his name then take his money in the divorce.

Purple

February 28th, 2012
10:17 am

ABC, did your mother take your fathers last name? What role did your father play in your household growing up? Who’s last name do you have your mothers or your fathers?

M. (pronouced M dot)

February 28th, 2012
10:19 am

@Audra

“Yes, we can redefine the traditions of marriage as we want. We have free will. It’s whatever works for that particular couple. If you don’t like it, don’t have a “modern” marriage.”

So why get married then? For the ring, ceremony, dried out chicken, string beans, mashed potatoes, over sweetened wedding cake, sweet tea electric slide and, to show off for your friends for a day?

Purple

February 28th, 2012
10:21 am

M.’s 10:19 is on point

Audra

February 28th, 2012
10:23 am

M. – Because you love each other and want to spend your lives together. Is there any other reason?? Marriage is not and was never about those traditions anyway…it’s about a relationship and a commitment between two people.

Exiled!

February 28th, 2012
10:24 am

Marry her father

Sassy Me...PYT ;-)

February 28th, 2012
10:25 am

This is interesting…I just had a cousin get married this month and she’s hyphenating her last name and the hubby has no qualms about it. I’ve always felt that if I were to ever marry, I’d definitely want to hyphenate mine as well…I like the way it looks and sounds…don’t judge me :-) That being said, I’ve had this discussion with several males who didn’t really care for it, but I’d always ask, “What’s wrong with having two last names?”. She’ll still have your last name…right?