Have you ever seen the movie “Something to Talk About” with Julia Roberts and Dennis Quaid? It’s set in the South, and one part of the movie has always stuck out of me. (But apparently it didn’t stick out for the thousands of YouTubers out there as I couldn’t find a clip, but I found this one, and it pretty much sums up the entire movie!)
The scene: a group of Southern Ladies are sitting in a room having their Junior League meeting and discussing the annual cookbook fundraiser.
- (Junior League President) On to the business of our centennial cookbook. Wee want it to be our best… so I’ll ask our committee chairman to bring us up to date.
- (Committee chairwoman) Deadline for recipe submissions is the second. Think about substituting vegetable shortening wherever it says lard. I say this because Nell McGee’s husband is recovering from heart surgery. Lucy’s going to take over for me until after the Grand Prix. That’s it.
- (Committee member)-Names
- (another committee member)-Right
- (Committee chairwoman) The committee thinks that… Well, we’ve looked at a lot of other cookbooks. We’ve always been listed with our married names under the recipes. Frankly, the practice of excluding our first names looks outdated. So, I think we should list our names: First, middle and last. That’s all.
- (Edna) I’ve always thought the way it was looked quaint.
- (Edna’s friend) It doesn’t look quaint Edna, it looks antiquated.
- (Edna’s other friend) What about tradition? If my name isn’t there as Mrs. Frankin J. Caldwell III… then how the hell is anybody gonna know who I am? Barbaranelle Caldwell, who’s that?
It cracked me up, because there are some traditions that took longer to break, down here in the South, than others. Even my mom mentioned the other day that when she was first married, she signed Mrs. John Doe, instead of Mrs. Jane Doe. So even in my life time, it was not uncommon for that practice!
I always assumed when I got married, I would take my husbands name, it’s just what is done.
Then life happened.
I became a single mother and enrolled my kid in school. And realized that life was so much easier having the same last name. And I have worked very hard for my last name. I’ve been in the same industry for almost 20 years, everyone knows me by my last name. There is no way I want to change that – nor have a different last name than my son.
I mentioned at a lunch meeting the other day, that should I get married, at this point, I’d keep my last name. I’d consider the hyphen, but that would just be to compromise. I’d want to keep my name professionally.
Imagine my surprise when he immediately said “I couldn’t marry someone that wouldn’t take my name.”
Really? Like for real?
That was interesting, and he is a younger guy, a new generation, I assumed he would be more progressive than that.
Which led me to a conversation with a good friend, and we were discussing marriage, as he’s in a committed relationship, but isn’t looking to get married – but his girlfriend is! I brought up my lunch conversation from a few days prior, and darned if he didn’t immediately have the same reaction!
He could totally see why I’d keep my last name on the professional side. And he understood wanting to save the hassle and having the same last name as Mr. T. But he, too, couldn’t marry someone who wouldn’t take his name.
So, I brought up the hyphen.
To which a visceral response happened! He said that he didn’t know why, and he couldn’t control it, but the moment he saw a woman with a hyphenated last name, his first thought was “b$t@#”.
He couldn’t explain it, it was just his automatic response.
So, I asked, but then would you be willing to adopt Mr. T? Because that has to be a valid reason, and he said “Of course, in a heart beat a kid like him I’d adopt.”
Okay, so that’s totally where I expected the hurdle to be, but adoption was a non-issue.
The not-changing-my-name, however, was a deal breaker.
Now, before you shake your head and think I’ve lost my mind, I recognize that some of my issues are really non-issues at this point. Mr. T is older, and so having the same last name for school and medical reasons doesn’t really apply anymore, but when he was younger, it was pretty legitimate!
I just love those moments when you get an insight into the other side of a thought! I had been so sure of my path until those two conversations – and now, well now I get to rethink!
91 thoughts on “I May Have to Rethink My Entire Life”
I think the hyphen would be a compromise that should appeal to all sides. But, if someone is stuck in the mud of tradition, that’s their choice. I don’t think any choice is progressive. Each is unique. Progressive is just one of those “new” “trending” words that people like to think is normal. Just go with what works for both parties.
I agree that it should be something that works for both parties – I just remember being surprised that it was even an issue! Based on some of the comments, it matters more to others than I knew!
Changing one’s name is a big deal. It’s a bit naive not to question or weigh the decision. It shouldn’t just be “the thing you do when you get married.” I suspect that sort of thinking contributed to men making more money than women for so many years.
I know a few people married couples who shared the same last name before they met. I always thought everyone got off too easy on that and it was one less argument they had to have. Which to me seemed unfair. So there!
hahahahaha, not going to lie, that would be totally ideal for me!!!
I changed my name when I married even though it was a difficult name to take. At the time I knew it was expected and I really had a problem all my life with my father, so I didn’t even use my maiden name as my middle name, which I really should have done.
However, my maiden name is ME and the rest of my father’s family,(who are mostly really great people).I use my maiden name here,and more and more elsewhere because I have gotten back to writing over the years.My husband wasn’t thrilled, but my reasoning with him was that 1), I not only already had copyrights in my maiden name, but 2), Joyce is just an easier name. The married name is easily misspelled and the butt of immediate jokes. So I won him over with logic:If someone hears “Joyce”, they may just think “writer”,but if they hear my married name, they DO think “cartoon dog”.
And any writing I do is disassociated with HIS family, where many members are very judgmental and hypercritical.
I use the married name in ‘normal’ life. I don’t know that if I remarried, (unlikely), I would not go back to my maiden name anyway.
See, that totally makes sense to me, sometimes it just helps to have a separate name! And, I think I could take the guys name, but like you, I’d have to keep my maiden name, even if it’s unofficial! 🙂 Sounds like you married a good one!
When my husband left me after 37 years, my name (his name) was part of my identity. Two years later, almost like an epiphany, I had a sudden realization I wanted no more association with him and decided change my name, even though I would then have a different surname from my children. I didn’t want to go back to my maiden name as I felt that I had grown. After tossing ideas around for about a year, I chose to simply drop his surname and go by my first two names. I had to legally shift my middle name to my surname. So my surname is very feminine and a name that has been within me all my life. I am really happy with my decision.
Oh now that’s brilliant! I love the idea – and if you aren’t going to have the same surname as the kids, why not have what makes you happy! Go big or go home! I love the decision you made!
OK, I don’t get why this would ever be an issue to people? I mean, had Deb not taken my name, I may have been a little disappointed, but a deal breaker? Nope. Heck, L’il D could have just as easily had her last name, had she not insisted he have mine.
Heck, I’ve got lots of friends who built HUGE names for themselves, published, starred, DONE. And none of them took names–publicly or privately.
Then there are those who did the hyphen thing–because they wanted to be equals on all footings.
And then there was this girl I dated in college who’s brother in law took his wife’s name–which was such a big deal at the time that they appeared on Donahue, or so she said. Deb and I have a friend now that her husband is taking her name–to be fair, her last name is much cooler than his, but still.
I guess what I’m getting at with sooooooo many words is WTF people…not the choice for everyone–especially if you’ve built a name. This ain’t the 18th, 19th OR the 20th century. This is deep into the 21st century. Get with it!
I just never thought of it as an issue, either! I was completely shocked to have not one, but two men, both state it was! My mind was totally blown! And, what has surprised me even more was the discussion it generated! This was just a random occurrence in my life, but I’ve seen some great discussions take place – it’s been amazing to see all of the different views!
Great post Kate!! Very interesting and insightful!!
I have loved reading all the comments and agree with most of them. Like you I like having the same surname as my children. I did take my husbands name because I knew it was important to him – not a deal breaker but something he really wanted – so I made the choice to take his last name. Guess I am pro choice, whatever works really we are all different afterall and that’s what makes the world so great.
LOL, I think I have to be pro-choice, too! And, I loved reading the comments, too, it was interesting to learn how passionate people are over the subject!
Thank you 🙂
If a man told me he couldn’t marry me if I didn’t change my last name to his, then I would be relieved that I dodged a bullet by finding out ahead of time that I wouldn’t want him anyway. If someone wants to change their last name, I wouldn’t judge them for it. It’s sad that so many people are quick to judge someone who does not want to change their last name, when it is none of their business.
That was totally my thinking – I had no clue that men (and women) really had such strong thoughts on the matter! and how societal norms have shifted all over the place, but there is still a stigma attached to not taking his name, or heaven-forbid, hyphenating! LOL. It’s been interesting to read all of the different view points, but yeah, if the day comes and I am considering getting married but the name is a deal breaker, well, bullet dodged!!
I just double checked with my husband and I was wrong. Here is the convo:
Me: What would you have thought if I didn’t want to take your last name when we got married?
My hubby: I don’t know. Unusual but wouldn’t have been a deal breaker. Why?
Okay, you married the right guy, one that totally loves you for you 🙂 I loved this little addendum!
Oh! This is random, and I’m not sure I have a point… BUT, I know two guys personally who intentionally changed their OWN last names BEFORE they got married. One changed it to his mothers maiden name, the other changed it to his step-dads name. In the case of both, neither felt that their “father” was their father and so they didn’t want to carry on the family name. I just think it’s interesting.
I find that interesting and very empowering! It is a bold statement to make a move like that, but like you – if you had changed your name to your step-dads – it was done for a good reason.
Wow this is a freaking bad-ass point. I think for me, changing my last name was NEVER a questions because my dad was a POS and I didn’t want to keep his last name. In fact, I had been considering having my step-dad do an adult adoption just so I could get rid of it faster. This was a bigggg deal to my step-dad. He really, really wanted me to change my last name to his (even at the age of 25). It was also NO question that I would take my husband’s last name from his point of view and he hounded me for weeks after our marriage about changing my name on all my docs. I could forget to wear my ring, and not lay a hand on him in public but I HAD to have his last name… it’s a really STRANGE possessive thing that many men have I feel. For my husband and for my step-dad, me changing my name was about what was “theirs.” I’m my step-dads daughter. I’m my husbands wife. But for me, it’s about identity. I’m NOT my fathers daughter. I AM my step-dads daughter. I AM my husbands wife. I AM my sons mother. Even if my husband and I were to divorce, I know for sure I would not change my last name for the same reason as you (I want my son to have the same name as me)… not because it would be easier legally though but because I’m worried about HIS identify. I want him to know he is MINE and I am HIS. It’s very strange, and very interesting. But I really enjoyed reading your perspective and it’s so neat to have some insight into a mans mind.
Yes, there is a comfort in our kids knowing that they belong to us! I am with you 100% on that one, and will never judge another for keeping their married name, I’m a big fan in that, and you put it into words where I couldn’t – so the kid(s) never have to question their identity!
And you have cracked me up, I had to read all your comments before I could come respond! 🙂
Haha sorry I wrote so much, this was an awesome post. It really got me thinking!
I loved it! 🙂
You got a lot of response on this, but before I read their comments I’ll share my thoughts. I’ve always been curious why a woman wouldn’t take a man’s last name and have learned that some have legitimate reasons for not doing so.
However with that said, even as a woman, I have to agree with the two people you spoke to. For me, it’s not about losing your individuality or your identity. It’s a sign of commitment. “I commit myself to you by taking your last name.” OR “I commit myself to you for now, but I’m not 100% sure, so I’ll keep my last name just in case this doesn’t work out.” To me, not taking the man’s last name has always seemed like part of an escape plan just in case, but with marriage either we’re in it 100% for the long haul or we shouldn’t do it at all.
My brother’s wife didn’t take his last name, which bothers me a lot, but it doesn’t seem to bother him at all, so maybe it could be something that you both decide when that time comes. With all that said it’s still ultimately your choice, obviously, and either way it wouldn’t effect your ability to be a good wife.
After reading the comments of everyone else, I am certainly the odd duck here. 🙂
I think that I just have a progressive audience, lol! No, I think that your views are the same as most of society, but it has been neat to see how everyone else feels on the matter! And, not going to lie, it’s been eye opening and I’ve felt my opinion shift a bit!
The idea of commitment is a good thought, do you think your brother should have taken his wife’s name to show he was 100% committed to her? I think that is about as outside of the societal norm as the woman not taking the mans name!
And as far as commitment, when Mr. T was younger, IF the man had wanted to adopt him, then all of our names matched, I wouldn’t have had a problem with it – because once I had Mr. T, he had to be my commitment (but keeping in mind that my circumstances were a bit different since his dad wasn’t involved at all!) That was the main focus, and then, a few years down the road I was well established in my career, and well, it just never dawned on me that anyone (any man) would have an issue with it! It has been interesting to read the different responses!
My initial response to your question was “no”. But then I had to ask myself why. I know that back in the day, the reason that the man’s last name was taken was because his sons were his heirs. The man’s last name is also what carried the family name on from generation to generation. So why now, can’t it be the opposite? I don’t know. But the man is supposed to be the provider, the leader of the family and therefore even still, now days, I feel that it is only right for the woman to take the man’s name and not vice versa. I’m proud to have my husband’s name. But, that’s just me.
As far as your son is concerned, I understand completely. I was married very young when I had my son. We then divorced and a few years later I remarried. So for the second part of my son’s childhood, his last name has been different than mine. I’ll admit that it does cause a little confusion, as the school staff still calls me by my son’s last name sometimes. But, it doesn’t bother me. They and I both know who I am. The trickiest part was when his dad married another woman (for a couple years) with the same first name as me. Imagine the confusion then! Haha! So I can see why women would want to keep their last name and I’m not entirely against it, but it’s just not something that I’d do.
My best friend is dating someone with the same first name as me and it totally freaks me out – I can only imagine your ex marrying another woman with your name!! But that’s a whole different post! And yes, I do agree that the man is the provider and it is his way of laying claim and producing heirs – but I’m also super Type A control freak, so I’m not sure who would run our household! 🙂
All kidding aside, on one hand I totally agree, I’m the female and he should be the leader and I should take his name for all of the reasons you listed and more… and I feel just as strongly on the other hand that I’m my own person and me having his name or not should not diminish him as a man! (I have a feeling there isn’t an easy answer, and I won’t even know mine until the day comes!!)
You’re right on all accounts and I think you’re right also that there isn’t an easy answer. Every situation is different and it really it depends on what the couple decides is best for them. Some people could care less either way and that’s perfectly fine too.
“But the man is supposed to be the provider, the leader of the family and therefore even still, now days, I feel that it is only right for the woman to take the man’s name and not vice versa.”
Who says the man is supposed to be the provider, the leader of the family?
LOL, Nancy, I agree here, too – I’ve been a single mom for 17 years (today is Mr. T’s birthday!!) and raised him and run our household… I’m not quite sure I could let go of that and not be the leader of the family! Even though, a small Southern part of me totally believes that the men should lead! I am a walking contradiction apparently! But so many other societal norms have been questioned lately, I don’t think this is an unfair question to ask and be talking about! 🙂
This is a really good point (commitment) and I think I subconsciously have the same feelings. I wonder if that is partially why so many celebrities never change their last name? I mean… their famous… it’s not like we won’t remember their new names lol… but their marriages have the shelf-life of a plant in my home (I don’t have any because I forget to water them). At the same time though I think that many women see their name as WHO they are and who the BELONG to. I couldn’t wait to get rid of my dead-beat-dad’s last name so I never really thought about NOT taking my husbands name… it’s strange thing, that’s for sure!
It makes sense, that on a sub-conscience level the lack of 100% commitment could keep someone from changing their last name, especially a Hollywood couple entering into a short shelf life marriage!!
Kaily, I agree with you about the celebrities. Although I can somewhat understand why they would keep their names for their profession, it’s hard not to think that at least some of it is also because marriage is so short-lived within the famous community. I think you’re right about why some women keep their names, but a name doesn’t change who a person is or steal their identity. It just shows that their life is now shared with someone else. Like you though, I didn’t think twice about changing my name, but because for me it was just the natural thing to do.
What an interesting read. If I get married I am keeping my name because it is who I am and have been for 44 years. I have known that since my first date and shared that fact. I also knew that I didn’t want children, but had I gotten married and had children – I would have kept my name and the children would have taken his name if they were his children. Keeping my name has nothing to do with for professional reasons. I am who I am and I earned/own my name. 🙂
That’s a big part of it, too! I worked hard to honor my name, it’s part of me and I am pretty sure I don’t want to give it up!! Especially now after all this time!
This is a very brave point! I don’t think many women feel the same as you (“earning their name”) because we are basically raised to believe we are possessions. At the same time though I’d be interested to hear more about your thoughts on why the fictitious (lol) children would have your hubbies name no question? I feel like giving children the husbands’ name is a lot like giving the wife the husbands’ name… which brings me to my next point. You say you earned your last name (and please don’t be offended by anything I say here, I know sometimes words come off the wrong way on the interwebs and I’m truly just curious) but if you think about it, your last name was simply slapped on your birth certificate because your dad is your dad. If anything, I think it’s harder to earn a husband than it is to earn a father, hahahaha 😉 I can’t wait to hear your thoughts!
I was pretty sure I wasn’t going to have children, but if I did, I had no problem with them having his name. No thought behind it really, just makes them “normal” and would be easier for them. As for earning my name, I was given it at birth yes, but the things I have done and become as Lisa so-and-so….I did that, I own it in the sense that this is who I am and who I love being. And you are right, I don’t personal know any other women who feel/believe what I do.
Wonderfully put! You’d be surprised how many women actually feel a lot like you do 🙂 I never really had the chance to think about keeping my name or not because I couldn’t wait to get rid of it and the “father” it associated me with, so I find it very interesting to see where other people are coming from. I have a friend who told me that in the Chinese and Spanish cultures, women NEVER take husbands names (or very rarely). Even my husband who is from Cuba thinks it’s odd that they do. Thank you so much for sharing your perspective 🙂
Thank you too! Oh, and I remembered that I do have a friend who kept her name but who’s child has her husband’s name. after I posted. So I guess I have one like minded friend. hahaha
I admit I have a similar reaction to hyphenated last names. I’ve never met a nice one. I am sure they are out there somewhere. Now as for changing the last name, in this day and age, he needs to grow up. There are so many more serious points of contention out there, a name shouldn’t be one of them.
LOL, after my first meeting, that was my thought exactly, but then when I had the conversation with my friend and he had the same attitude, I was just flabbergasted!! I just have to laugh, of all of the things they would accept , not taking their name was where they drew the line! It still strikes me as silly!
Im glad my wife took my last name. However, if she wouldn’t have done so, I would have shrugged it off without too much thought.
See, you are a mature and proper man! Not stuck in caveman times!! 🙂 You and Mrs. MMK have done a great job and working together from the very start!
Thank you Kate.
I’m not sure what I think of a guy who claims he is in love but won’t marry if a girl doesn’t take his name?! Is that then real love? Having said that, my maiden name is very rare and I always vowed to keep it as both my female cousins have. But then I married a kiwi, and realised I’d have to deal with English speaking people all my life and the maiden name was too much work so I took the name of my husband, which is pretty easy for Finns too, and rather love the easiness of us all sharing the same surname. But still, a name shouldn’t be the crucial thing when it comes to love, should it?
PS can you ask these guys what they think of the husband taking on the wife’s maiden name as eg my cousin did? Or is that unheard of over there? Just curious 🙂
It is not unheard of for a man to take his wife’s name, but it is very, very rare! And yes, if the guy was adamant that I take his name, I’m pretty sure he wouldn’t be the guy for me – but I have a feeling I’d be like you – so sure I was keeping my name… and then taking his!! 🙂 LOL. But, Mr. T is older now, and I’m (hopefully) wiser and less… less stuck in the mud!
Mr T is so old that the theme could even be discussed with him. But it’s a fair point too!
When I got married for the first time at 20 I didn’t have a career so took his name. When we got divorced 5 years and 2 daughters later I kept my married last name because of the girls. I did consider changing my last name back to my maiden name after I had been divorced awhile – and upon mentioning it to my young daughters they were all for me changing my name… to Belladonna Faloogalogga. They still laugh about that! When I remarried I hyphenated my last name with my maiden and new married last name. I did not want to disassociate with my first 2 daughters, but definitely wanted to disassociate with my first husband. There were times where it got confusing at school and Doctors, but I do not regret it. Although, retrospectively I think Belladonna Faloogalogga would have been the best choice. As a side note: My current husband might not have been happy with me keeping the last name of my first husband or hyphenating with that last name.
My current husband would have been ok with me not taking his name IF I went back to my maiden name, but not with keeping my ex’s name. So, I established a new professional identity with the current husband’s name. The decision was quite a struggle at the time, BUT in retrospect, I wouldn’t have it any other way.
I do understand the new husband not wanting us to have the previous husbands name, that one I can understand – but it’s still hard to take that step and make that change! And I’m glad that after all is said and done, you wouldn’t have it any other way! 🙂
I like that you kept the married name to match your daughters, but it sounds like it was the right choice to make the change when you re-married. And, Mr. T is older, so most of my argument is now invalid, but it was a pretty strong argument for me there for a bit – but now that you mention Belladonna Faloogalogga, well, that looks pretty darn appealing!!
It does blow me away that young men today have such strong opinions against women keeping their maiden names. In my circle of friends it is very common for women to keep their maiden names, add the husbands last name after their own, or hyphenate. Many of the people in my circle are hyphenating their children’s last names.
All I know is when I finally filed for child support and was sitting across the table from Mr. T’s dad, and the State employee goes “and are we changing Mr. T’s last name?” I may have shouted “NO!” just a wee bit too forcefully! LOL! I think I shocked everyone (including myself) and no one even thought of a hyphen!!
Fascinating! I have thought a lot about this and actually told Eric when we have more kids (if we ever get them out) that I’d actuslly consider legally changing my last name to his to match the children. Then the other day I thought I might not do it legally but at the school just use it so we are the same. It’s not like they check my ID. Anyway I have some time to figure it all out. I’m less attached to my name because my dad is an arse. It would kind of delight me to ditch it. Which is silly as my brothers are amazing and carry that name. Anyway I have time to figure it all out 🙂
LOL, it’s amazing the power of a name isn’t it? As a parent, it is hard now a days when it seems everyone has been married and divorced and remarried and none of the kids seem to have a last name that matches – I had no desire to go through that when Mr. T was younger, and I think it would be fun to change to Eric’s name so that you matched the kids!
hehe we’ll see!
So interesting Kate! I came to the USA as a married woman, so my social security number and ID have always been in my married name. When I got divorced, noone knew me as anything different… and so I kept the same name and dropped the Mrs to Ms.
My husband-to-be was okay with it … Even although I had the name of an other man, he understood it made sense and made it easier for me professionally.
Now that is a guy to really fall in love with 🙂
Yours, Mrs Val Tiberia xo
That is a guy to fall in love with!!! And I knew there had to be at least one out there that got it!! You’ve restored my faith in humanity – well, your hubby did 🙂
Me too Kate. Me too 💛
I’ve known lots of women who — for a variety of reasons — either kept their maiden name (or, if prev. married, sometimes that surname). It does not bother me and I figure it’s the business of the two people getting married. I knew a couple who, when they married, BOTH changed their names to a hyphenated version of the two. I’m drawing a blank right now, but it was like this:
Bob Smith became Bob Smith-Jenkins
Liz Jenkins became Liz Smith-Jenkins.
So both changed, and the result was a compromise of each.
Oh, now I love the both taking a hyphenated name! That is unique and awesome!
Imagine my surprise when he immediately said “I couldn’t marry someone that wouldn’t take my name.”
I would have replied, “Really? I couldn’t marry someone who would insist that I change my name.”
BFF and I have different last names. But no kids. So that makes it less of an issue.
But it works for you two, and that gives me hope!! I guess I just never considered it was a real issue, in my mind, it was total no-brainer! 🙂 And I’m sure that should the situation come up, the guy would be cool with it, but it was still fun for my Ego to get a lesson on the other side of the fence!
Kate, I love these moments too- when you are asked to think about something from a completely different perspective. I am surprised at the responses, especially the one in reference to a woman with a hyphenated last name. So many women have to do that for professional reasons. ( i.e., as a scientist, the name you publish under is huge). I had no problem taking my husband’s last name. I really didn’t think the hyphenated route was for me. It would have been “Ryder-Harding” which sounded like a porn name in the making 🙂
hahahahahaha! Oh my goodness, yes, the hyphenated route was not the one for you!! I liked the different perspective, and was totally surprised (which is why I had to share!), and naturally, when it comes down to it the situation won’t be as hypothetical as this, but it was still something that made me think – and I’m glad you enjoyed it!
bwahahaha! I would have gone with the porn name!
Haha!! That is too funny, Kimberly!
It would be funnier if it was Harding-Ryder. 😀
I kept my last name. No English speaking people can wrap their brain around it and considering I now work and live mostly in English, it makes for interesting conversation. My husband and daughter share the same last name. I didn’t burden her with 2 last names. When the school or doctor call me Mrs T instead of L, I answer them, I know they are talking to me. When people call my husband by my last name, he also goes with it. I think my in-laws were surprised I wasnt changing my name but in the end, they still love me. When we ask Emily if I should be a T instead of L, she laughs and says no because mom is a L. :).
LOL, that’s awesome! And yes, I’d answer to either name, because it’s just an honest assumption, but that’s interesting to know about your decision and I like it 🙂 Thanks Pascale!
I’ve worked hard to make a name for myself and grew-up with a mom who went back to her maiden name after her divorce. I was raised by an awesome mom who had a different last name than us and that didn’t change the feeling of belonging. I think it’s a really personal decision and it’s great when your future spouse is on board with your decision. Jonathan really didn’t mind. I’m no less of his wife because our last names are different.
That’s exactly how I see it!
I’m for the hyphen. Remember the 90’s when anybody who was anybody had at least three names and all of them were hyphenated? That system worked for me. As for the boy who won’t date a woman who won’t take his name… Maybe he needs to let the women folk in his world know that mess right up front.
I wonder how many relationships progress pretty far along before this topic comes up? I mean, it really never dawned on me that it would be an issue, and it sounds like for guys, it never dawns on them that it’s a discussion to be had!!
And yeah, I kinda love the idea of a hyphen 🙂
You could hyphenate your middle-last name, and then if you marry again, hyphenate all three. Go for the gold, baby.
I think the more hyphens the better!
Or, as the story goes, it was meet the teacher night and the teacher was talking to all of the students. And she looked down and saw “Le-ah”, and said, “Hi Leah, I’m happy to have you in class!” and the mom goes “That’s not her name!!”. So the teacher looks down again, and sees “Le-ah”. Leah. Well, there aren’t a lot of different ways to pronounce that. So the mom goes “the dash ain’t silent, it’s Ledashah”.
I took on Mr. Wests name and I rather love it and I had no attachment to either of my other two last names, one my birth name the my adoptive name. However I always tell Miss Abbie that if she should one day marry, don’t be afraid to hang on to that West name because it’s totally rad. I also know for sure the gal my son is dating at this moment would keep her last name and I’m good with it….he would be too:)
You’ve raised your kids right! But I knew that already! 🙂 I am very attached to Reed – but more than that, I secretly think that taking his last name is a way for him to show ownership and possession, and well, no. LOL. And naturally, all of this is very clear in my mind while we are dealing with hypothetical… watch me eat my words should the situation come up!!! hahahahaha
I WISH I had done the hyphen. I miss my real last name!
When my ex and I divorced, he wanted me to take my maiden name back and I refused out of spite (plus the hassle of changing everything back). I guess I could always apply to have mine changed…. I have nothing against those who stand by whatever tradition but there has to be a compromise. If he wants his wife to take his last name and she’s not keen on it, the hyphen is great!
I wouldn’t take back my maiden name if he wanted me to, either – and for the same reason!! LOL. And, really, I’m okay if he wants to take my name 😀
I am a wee bit surprised that 2 men (both younger?) had such an adverse reaction to the thought of a woman not adopting her husband’s name. I’ve got to say that at least half of the weddings I’ve attended in the past 10 years resulted in the bride not taking her husband’s name – especially where the wife is …ahem… older. It seems to be the 20-something brides that are still adopting the married name in droves, but among the 30-somethings, it’s a mix, and in the 40 and above category it’s majority keep maiden name only (not even hyphen).
Meh. I say, whatever floats your boat. 🙂
Both men are younger, and yes, I really thought the trend would be opposite of what it is!! And I’m pretty sure that should I decide to get married, the guy will be happy with whatever I decide 🙂
Seriously, he can’t think of any good reasons why a woman would want to keep her name? Better wed them before they start law school or get that doctorate then!
I would consider changing my name again, but it would depend on the name. 🙂
LOL, I agree, it does depend on the name I’d have to change to! I can’t argue there at all!
First, I love that movie. I watched it bunches of times before it left the theater!
Second, I would be hard-pressed to date someone who’d ditch a woman for not wanting to change her name. Requisite empathy/understanding how a person’s name of a whole life would be something worth keeping? Missing! (Perhaps just the right person/experience is what it will take to lend that insight …)
I have to believe that should that time come, the guy would understand and it wouldn’t be an issue for him – but I’m still surprised a bit by the fact that both men had such a reaction!! And yes, LOVE that movie!! 🙂