Tuesday, January 17, 2012

His Last Name

When you get married are you going to take your husband's last name? Why or Why not?

In an article in Clutch Magazine titled, Will You Take This Man - and His Last Name, Janelle Harris writes about how her fiance became upset when he learned that she plans to hyphenate her name once they're married. It would be Harris-Williams.

Harris noted in the piece, "...he takes offense to the idea of me attaching his last name to the one I already have. The move, according to him, says I’m wishy washy about my commitment and is a flashing neon indicator that I’m not ready to leave my family and be a wife."

Wow. I had never thought about that.

I know a lot of folks with hyphenated names. I also know a lot of folks who don't change their names at all. They keep their maiden name.

However, when my close childhood girlfriend got married, her husband always reminded me of her new last name. Growing up, I always referred to her as Keisha Jones and, out of habit, called her that one day. But her husband promptly corrected me: No, her name is Keisha SMITH, making it very clear that she was a SMITH, his wife, a part of his family. There was no hyphen in her name or attachment to a maiden name.

But as Harris notes in her article, "There is no level-headed reason why a woman should have to abandon her family’s last name in order to prove her fidelity and allegiance to her man."

She continued: "As women wait longer to get married — or take longer to find someone worth marrying — we’re already well-established in our work lives by the time our dream beau comes along. So it should be understandable that many of us don’t want the hassle of converting our longstanding professional identities."


I don't know if I'm going to change my last name when I get married or even hyphenate it. I think I'll just be Lottie Joiner. (but what if this hurts my husband's feelings?)
But I also have to consider the fact that marriage would be beginning a new life (where 2 become 1) and maybe a name change would signify my new status as a married woman.

I don't know yall.

What do you think? What are your thoughts on this?
Will you change your last name, hyphenate it or just add your
new husband's name to your last name?
What are your reasons?
Would you consider your husband's feelings in your decision? What
if he really wanted you to change your name - would you?

Let me know your thoughts.


kendra said...

keeping my last name. i've been me professionally for nearly 24 years & plan to stay that way. but i won't be one ofthose women who gets mad if someone calls me mrs so & so. if my guy gets bent out of shape by this, he's not the guy for me. besides, as someone once said to me, one slave name is enough.

Joy Sewing said...

Ditto Kendra!

TNDRHRT said...

My current last name will become my middle name and my husband's last name will be my new last name. I have no problem with this at all. I'm sure whoever my husband will be won't have a problem with this either. No hyphenation.

SingLikeSassy said...

I was ambivalent about this, but it was important to my husband that I take his name. At the end of the day, I knew we planned to have kids and I did want us all to be "one big family" so I added his last name to mine, with the caveat that any children we had would carry my last name as a middle name. He was happy with that compromise.

SingLikeSassy said...

Also, I know two couples who created entirely new names out of their two last names rather than the wife just taking the husband's name. I agree with the beginning a new life sentiment, but why does that mean just women's names need to change?

Uneek said...

This is a very touchy subject with some people. Older ladies say we should not hyphenate, but as mentioned earlier, we are getting married at a later age. I have know ladies to have one name (maiden) professional and her married name socially. (on a side note: some companies don't want to go through the trouble of changing email addresses, business cards, etc) I don't thik that is a disrespect to the husband. The lady will still be bringing home her share the bacon.