I am not hyphenating, but I am keeping my last name and also taking his. My name now is Katie Moran and after the wedding, it will be Katie Moran Benson. I am keeping my middle name also, just adding his last name to the whole thing and I will go by Benson, but I love my family heritage, so I am keeping my maiden name.
I understand wanting your families name to go on, I do. But this idea that you lose your identity if you change your name is silly. The bottom line is marriage is excatly that. You ARE losing your individual identity, and gaining one as a couple. Traditionally, women are given away by our fathers to our new groom, not ceremoniously. Literally. When we were married, we were no longer a member of our old family, but starting a life in a new one. Times have changed, but there is an important idea there. Remember, you are taking on a joint roll in life from that day forward. You share a bed, a family, an income, decisions, credit history, everything.
I think Hyphenation is a great way to show that. Also, this is 2009...has anyone considered asking their fiance to take their last name instead? I suggested it to mine, and he is not as against it as I thought. If anything, it will give him a little empathy, since he will know what it feels like to give up your family name.
Fitness Minutes: (10,103)
119 3/12/09 12:20 A
I'm hyphenating; I've been a Moran for 30 years, how can I just drop it?! My Fiance is supportive, but wishes I would take his. Somewhat of a traditionalist!
I hyphenated in my first marraige. I was high on the corporate ladder, and everyone knew me by my maiden name. I also wanted to keep my family name. My (now-ex) husband was "you go girl!". I am glad that I did. We have 2 beautiful children and mom just has an extra last name- they get it, in case anyone has thought "omg, how will it effect the children?!". Sorry so long, but I know it's a difficult decision. Good luck to everyone!!!
If i was to move my maiden name to my middle name and then take his name, I'd be A.S.S. Not so good for the monogram! Somewhat luckily, his last name starts with the same letter as my last name, so I will remain A.L.S.
I've struggled with this question myself, and I am going to hyphenate. I don't agree with those who say he shouldn't change his name to the bride's name or those who think changing your name proves your love. I am proving my love by marrying him, just like he is proving his love by marrying me. The tradition is outdated and patriarchal. Blindly taking on his name does not jive with my feminist ideals. My last name is not just a random pattern of letters. It is part of my identity, a part I am not willing to give up but will happily alter.
It's something I'm wondering about too. I guess it's also a decision that both partners should consider. It doesn't mean you love him less cause you don't take up his name. At the same time, why can't he take up yours? Or even hyphen both surnames and both of you use them?
3/2/09 6:05 P
It is a personal decision. Just know that it will sometimes be a logistical nightmare looking up your name sometimes.
Say you name was Kate Skittles-Fears.
Some people would file your name information Skittles and others would file your information under Fears.
I know this to be true because worked a job where I would have to look up records and such.
I am taking his last name, although I don't really want to. It has nothing to do with professionl, legal, or any other "real" reason. I am simply vain. Right now my initials are ME and when I get married they will be MS...I don't know why it bothers me, but it does. (:
I also have a hard time with this. My story is really complicated: I already have two names. No, not two last names, I have two totally different names and one social security number. In my passport, I have my "adopted" name in the front and my "use" name (both legal!!) on the back page with "also known as". I use the "use" name (also my first last name), before I was kinda-sorta-adopted by my real father (like I said REALLY complicated)...and it is Trick.
Trick is really hard to forget. And, in response to our somewhat uninformed male poster, the reality is that woman still don't have quite the same status professionally. We do have to do a little bit more (in some industries and positions, a lot more) to get a similar salary or status (please see government research, as sponsored by the US government or EU government, or ANY government worldwide). Anything professional that can get a woman more positive recognition (like an unforgettable last name like Trick) is a major positive. And, yes, changing your last name in a competitive industry or in a company of over 20,000 employees has been proven through research to temporarily impact female employees negatively. If this impact is experienced in their mid- to late-20s - when project work, raises and promotions have the greatest increases - the impact will most likely be felt throughout their careers. Again, please spend some time informing yourself. A good place to start in the Flux: Women on Sex, Work, Love, Kids, and Life in a Half-Changed World, written by Peggy Orenstein.
All this said (I do work in a highly competitive industry, in a company with many more than 20,000 employees) we also have an international relationship. My name is totally international; it could come from almost any European or English-speaking country. His couldn't get any more German. Seriously....couldn't get ANY MORE GERMAN. Even the *ghls* sound made fun of in the Producers.
However, in Germany it isn't always easy to clarify to the authorities/civil servants that a family can have more than one name. Yes, the civil servants still have so much power. I'm a little concerned that I won't be allowed to pick up my own children (teachers are civil servants here)....and it might be nice to have just one, simple legal name.
And then there is the social pressure...
So: already complicated legal name status + professional impact + international name impact - complicated legal situation - social pressure = ???
But we will work it out.
Oh, another book that might be of interest to everyone here is Marriage, a History: How Love Conquered Marriage by Stephanie Coontz
I just gotta say... WOW! Actually, the feminist in me has a radar going off inside saying... "This man does not know what he is talking about. He may be slightly chauvinistic." But, that aside:
A name is not just a name. It is who I am. It has been proven through psych research that the sweetest word to any person is their own name. That's why it's so important in business to learn your client's name and why people get so upset when you mess theirs up.
So, I guess you don't get it, fine. But don't bash those of us who will not blindly conform to what is expected but will think about the decision that is right for us. (By the way, my fiancee said it was completely up to me, and he didn't care if I chose to take his name or not.)
I get your plight but i'm sorry, a name is a name and it doesn't change the person. My name can be gone tomorrow but i gotta say that i think i would end up being just fine. gotta say i would think the feminist in you would reveal in the challenge to show this bad world that they can't keep a good woman down no matter what her name is.
The feminist in me is very conflicted over changing my last name. My fiance and I went over combining our last names and found that it was positively ridiculous, so that was thrown out the window, yet I want us to be unified as a couple...
A hyphen sounds like too much trouble for our children, but I am not certain about the connotations that taking his name comes with. I've always found it a somewhat sexist tradition based on history where women were often mere possessions. Did I want to support that? I know plenty of women who would believe that's what I was doing. If I DO take his name, which I probably will, I will do it not because HE owns ME, but because I want to. It seems very hypocritical that I should let him buy me the engagement ring, but get all self-righteous about taking his last name. Many strong, independent women have taken their husband's last names and who is going to call them slaves to our sexist world? I certainly won't.
I hope I got my point across. I don't think men can really understand our situation because they aren't aware of all the drama that goes with changing your name. I hope Jasbury's woman sets him straight.
Yes, this is exactly what women worry about. It's not them losing their mind. Some women find it a very difficult decision to make. And yes, some people, like doctors and lawyers would not be recognized by the same name. Wouldn't it be strange for you to find your doctor if his/her name suddenly changed? Or, what about the whole reason behind name changes to begin with? To show that the woman "belonged" to the man. I am no one's possession and there for the decision to show the world that I "belong" to him and his family (name wise) will not be taken lightly. Everything has to be considered in historical context. Even something that you think is so insignificant. Why don't you change your last name to you fiancee's?
this is what you woman worry about? i would have no problem changing my last name. i have a hard time beleiving that simply changing my name will make me fall back to the bottom at my company. surely a simple call to contacts that you don't see often would be able to quell all your fears. perhaps it's just me but seems as though this little thing is the reason all men feal their fiances are losing thier mind.
I'm not sure yet what I want to do with my name. My fiance says he doesn't mind either way. I guess at the moment I just want him to to have an opinion. My parents both think I should take his name, and I do have brothers - but I don't know what I want.
I didn't have any idea what I would do until reading this topic! :) Now, I know that other people are going through all the same decisions that I am!
My mom had me before she was married, so in the beginning of my life I had her maiden name. The man she married decided to adopt me and then I was given his last name. :) So, I want to honor that love that he gave me when I was young, but still honor the love of my husband-to-be. So, originally I thought hypenating, but my current last name is 12 letters long and my whole name is 23! So, I decided that since it is already so long, I will taken my maiden name as a second middle name and take his last name as my official last name. So, it will be: Kyrstin Tyne Delagardelle Shelley. But, on my checks/stationary/business cards (when I get out of school) it will just say Kyrstin T.D. Shelley.
I decided to keep my original middle name because it is part of the name my mom gave me when it was just the two of us. Plus, it's only 4 letters long and it doesn't make much of a difference to the already long name. I have always had a long name and I like that. Why not just continue it! :)
I thought about keeping my last name hyphenated but in the end it wont make a difference, and my name is ridiculously long already so name change it is. Plus it would make him really proud which is very important to me.
2/19/09 10:44 A
Do what you really want. It sounds like it's important to you, so go with your gut. I am changing my name. I don't want to hyphenate. What happens when your kids with a hyphenated name and their significant other with a hyphenated name get married? Are they Smith-Wesson-Jones-Michaels? Just a thought. I'm sure they can compromise, but it's not for me.
My fiancé and I have had this discussion too. Instead of me taking his last name, he is taking mine. This is a sweet idea because I have a son from a previous relationship & he has my last name. So my honey is taking my last name so we can be a "whole" family with the same last name. How sweet!
This is something that I have been wrestling with for months. I'm very attached to my name and like the OP, I have no brothers and my father was an only son.
The decision that I have finally come to is that I will move my last name into the middle for a 2nd middle name so that I can keep it with me in some way. FH has also agreed that we can give our first son my last name as a middle name.
A word to the wise to any brides who are going to hypenate or keep their last names - just be prepared your whole life to be addressed solely as Mrs. FH's last name. I have an aunt who hyphenated her last name and she goes nuts when she is addressed by only her husband's last name. Its going to happen - society still assumes that if you're married, you too his name 100%.
I have 2 brothers and a paternal uncle, so it's not a matter of losing the family name, I'm just rather attached to my maiden name, so I think I might keep it as a second middle name and add my fiance's last name. So my name will go from Kylee Nichole Ziegler to Kylee Nichole Ziegler Foote.
My fiance and I are BOTH hyphenating. Our new last name will be [MyLastName]-[HisLastName].
There is no reason why you should take his name just because you're the woman. If you're not comfortable with it, keep your name or hyphenate!
Also - if someone really wants to change their last name, but is worried about professional life, you can always use your maiden name professionally but your new last name personally. People do it all the time.
I changed my name and I love it. It does make it easier to conduct business as his wife because we have the same last name. One thing to be careful of ladies is to make sure that the name on your SSN card, your drivers licence, and your place of employment (if only on your pay check) is the same. Due to the increase in illegal aliens in the country they are really cracking down on people using more than one name for legal business. In Indiana if your name one your drivers licence does not match the name on your SSN then your licence will be suspended. I work in HR and periodically we do checks to make sure that our employees names match the information with the SSN office and if it does not and the employee can't document why it is different we have no choice but to let the employee go because of the inability to confirm their identity. So what ever you choose I would highly recommend picking one name and sticking to it. For those of you that are concerned about your name at work you can always use that as an opportunity to share the good news of your recent marriage by sending out a professional e-mail to your workmates that you correspond with on your new name. Good luck
When I got married, I took my DH name, and love it! It took a while to get used to it, but it symbolized a new start to be, as well as the new bond we formed.
Fitness Minutes: (1,113)
62 3/13/08 4:55 P
i legally moved my maiden name to my middle name. I like it because I can still sign with my old name and still keep that as a part of me (because it always has been!) but I still have his name as my last name. It's a pain going through all the name changes and after being married for almost a year I still haven't gotten everything switched over
I'm taking his name socially but keeping mine legally. I am divorced and a hard thing for me during the divorce was not having my name back. It was my identity and being cursed with the ex's name was terrible. (He was sexually, emotionally, & financially abusive.)
3/12/08 10:31 P
Why don't you just keep your name (the easiest solution and there's no paperwork involved) and have him keep his name? As for kids, a triple hyphenation is a bit much, but you could hyphenate with your name and one of his (or a new combination of his). Both of you taking a new last name isn't that out there and is a fair compromise.
I have a bit of an odd situation. My man's name is hyphenated already (apparently his parents couldnt figure this one out either). i dont want to take his last name as it is because then people will assume that my last name is one of the names (does that make sense? Like if his last name was smith-jones, i wouldnt want people to think i am smith or jones). I would love to keep my name, but adding a third name seems a bit odd. I have suggested combining all three names to make a new name, but that sounds a little out there. Any suggestions?
I had decided to hyphen when my husband (we eloped--planning the big wedding for June) told me he really, really felt hurt by it. He said it felt like rejection for me to hyphenate our last names, and that it felt to him like I wasn't completely putting my heart into our marriage. My husband is very traditional.
I know, it sounds strange to someone outside the situation, but I decided to take his last name instead of hyphenating. It made him happier and more comfortable. That was more important to me than hyphenating my name.
You just have to weigh the options, you know? Give and take and compromise.
Fitness Minutes: (13,014)
176 3/10/08 1:13 P
I plan on taking his name legally and for all official purposes. I'm still not sure if I'll change it immediately on my business cards, email and work related info. There is no law that says you always have to use your legal name especially professionally. One of my girlfriends just changed her name and plans to name her first born Kendall (her maiden name) as a way to carry her maiden name. I just wonder what happens when a child of a hyphenated family also wants to hyphenate!?!? :) Ms. Smith-Jones-Thompson-Williams-Anderson :) Good luck!
I have the same problem. One suggestion a friend at work gave me is to use his name as my middle name and keep my last name. You could also do this vis versa. My middle name is plain and I was going to drop it anyway. This way it lets you take on his name and keep your own identity, plus it saves you from signing the whole hyphenated name on everything! I already have a long last name and to add his name would end up being over 19 letters!
1/15/08 2:04 P
I'm not changing my name or hyphenating it. I have professional reasons not to, but it really comes down to that I'm lazy (don't want to go through the paperwork to change my name on lots of documents/accounts) and that it's my name. I've had it all my life. If he was going to hyphenate his last name, I might consider doing it. Socially, neither of us care what last name people use. We make reservations under our first names (we both have hard to spell and pronounce last names) and having two different last names makes it easier to spot telemarketers.
If you don't want to change or hyphenate your last name, it doesn't mean you don't love him enough or that you aren't committed. Nobody says that about him for not taking your last name. As for kids -- mixed families have made it normal for everyone in the family to have a different last name and it's not that hard to figure it out. Plus, in other countries both people keep their own lastname or their lastname is based on one of their parent's firstnames.
In my family, my mother kept her last name when she married my father for professional reasons, and my brother and I have hyphenated last names. This can be a little problematic since there are four people in our family unit and three different last names, but it could be an option for you!
I will be changing my last name because I am so sick of having a hyphenated last name. A lot of people don't get it, even though it's more common these days than when I was younger.
1/14/08 2:50 P
I decided to hyphenate, and it has its advantages or disadvantages. Definite advantages are that people who knew me before I was married always know who I am now. Also, it has always helped me feel like I didn't take on a completely new identity once I got married.
One disadvantage is that sometimes people get really confused, especially if you're talking to someone on the phone. If I'm ordering takeout or dropping my car by the mechanic, I usually just use one or the other last name, depending on how I feel that day. Also, sometimes people don't follow your wishes. For example, if you last name was Smith-Jones, sometimes the receptionist at the doctor (or where ever) gets confused and just puts "Smith" or "Jones" on your records and it can take a little while for them to find you in the system. That gets really annoying.
If I had it to do all over again, I'd probably just have kept my maiden name and saved myself some hassle, but hyphenating is certainly a great way to go. I know lots of women who hyphenated for a long time because of their careers, and it's worked well for them.
Since you're considering hyphenating, you probably already know this, but the status of your last name has nothing to do with how much you love your husband, contrary to what some previous posters might have implied. My husband and I are extremely happy, and he definitely knows how much I love him, even though I didn't completely take his last name.
As for no hassle dropping the hyphen, it's the same process as changing your name any other way, and if you choose not to use his last name, you'll still have to sign with the full hyphenated name on everything from checks, to picking things up from the dry cleaners.
I just got married, and I say not hyphenate. It's just one more way to prove your love to him. It also makes it easier to make reservations to surprise him. You just book using your maiden name(and, if things go sour, you'll be able to go back to the old you faster with your maiden name.) I know that it's tough when you're the only child to the end of the line, as I was, but they'll be my parents whether I share their last name or not, and if it had been that important to them, they would have ensured they had a son no matter what. I also think that by changing your name, you don't lose who you are(you never really will), but it does give you the opportunity to create a new identity.
I say do not Hyphen, your family is still going to be your family even if you don't have their last name. Now a days one immediate family can have 3 different last names with all the divorces and remarriages. I look at it as your marrying this man because you love and care for him. It takes it a step further to prove you 2 are really married. By taking his last name and not keeping yours just seems more traditional.
Just do not be like my friends who are getting married this summer.... where HE is taken HER last name...
this is one decision that has been tough. i know my fiance would like for me to change my name, but like you, i hate to lose my identity. i have been at my company for 7 years. it is a very large company, so once i change my name, it would be almost impossible for some of my contacts to find me. i am going to add his last name to ensure i don't impact my career. socially, people can call me whatever, but i have to think about the impacts it would have professionally. good luck!
I'm having trouble with this one too. Same situation, Father is the only boy and had two daughters. I still haven't decided. I too have established myself in business as me. My older sister did not hyphenate her names but instead dropped her middle name and if she signed something for work (in the beginning of her married life) she signed all three. But, her legal name (on checks, etc.) didn't have to include the middle name, so it was shorter.
That is the question! I liked to idea of hyphenating and keeping my last name somewhat. My grandparents only had one son (my father.) And he only had two girls. So the last name will end with my parents.
My fiance's last name is Fears. So hyphenating won't make my name much longer and hard to sign.
Also I am concerning with my work, people won't know who I am. And building a name for yourself in my company is very important.
What is everyone else doing? Anyone else deliberating on hyphening or not?
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