I took my husband's last name even though I like my maiden name much better. I don't really like how my first name and my husband's last name sound together (both have the same number of syllables and end in "a", so they kind of rhyme). I changed my last name so that I would have the same last name as my kids. I might be a little old fashioned, but I think a common last name symbolizes that the family is united while having different last names creates some symbolic divide. While I totally understand that people with established careers may have an advantage to keeping their maiden names, I don't think that liking your last name better than your husband's is a good enough reason to not change it, if you have children. With that said, perhaps if my husband's last name was Fisher and my first name was Amy, I would consider alternatives such as keeping my maiden name or hyphenating. Also, I suppose if my husband's last name was something awful like Focker (from Meet the Parents), then I would try to talk him into changing his last name so that none of us have to endure the pain of such an awful last name.
I guess since I posted the question, I'll answer my own question. :-)
When I was a teen, I said NO WAY. I love my last name & won't give it up. With divorced parents, it made me feel closer to my dad. Well along came Mr Right & the rest is history. We both come from rather traditional conservative families although mine is more messed up than his. LOL So when I asked him about it, he plainly said that he would feel hurt & wouldn't like it one bit if I didn't legally take his name. I had already decided that I would take his name & didn't feel offended at all over his feelings of it.
I like that having my husband's last name bonds us & our kids on paper...there's no questioning.."is she the stepmom?" And I have no problem signing "Mr & Mrs" when we have the same last name. My husband is the head of our household & so to me by having his last name it says that I am a part of his household.
I had the last name of my biological father who was absent from my life from ages 10-26...we recently got in touch but that's a whole other topic...
I never had great feelings towards my maiden name. However it was short, an easy to spell & familiar word name.
I married a Russian guy with a crazy confusing last name & took it for these reasons...
I love him & it was important to him.
For ease/clarity once we have kids.
His family is Jewish & survived the Holocaust & fled the anti Semitic former Soviet Union. Over the years the family name has been changed several times to hide their religious identity & was even changed against their wishes so reclaiming the original version in America was a big deal for them.
I'm getting married in March and I plan on taking his last name. I've thought about it a lot because I work at a bank so I've seen what a HUGE pain it can be to change your name. Someone in my department recently got married and she was having trouble for weeks getting into the programs she needed and stuff because of the name change. It's a huge hassle but I'm hoping it will go a little more smoothly for me.
I'm taking his name mostly because of our future kids. I like the idea of "the Lastname Family" with parents and children having the same last name. I have absolutely no problem with other people doing things differently, that's just what I prefer. His last name is also really uncommon so I think it would be cool to be one of maybe two people with my name (I Googled, there is another person with that first/last name combo). My current last name isn't super popular but there are a lot of athletes with it, as well as at least one actor. I like it, but I'm not super attached to it or anything. Though I only have one male cousin on that side so if he doesn't have any kids, it's possible our line of the last name will die out :-(
I've seen all sorts of things with my friends and their last names with they get married. Most change it, a large group hyphenate or have two last names and a few kept theirs. I even know of a man who ended up taking his wife's last name because it meant so much to her (sadly they ended up divorced because he's a jerk, but I thought that was a really cool thing to do). It's all about preference and everyone has different priorities and opinions when it comes to this topic. For anyone making the decision, I wouldn't let other people's opinions decide for you. Just think about what's most important - is it more important to have that "family unit" or keep a name that means a lot to you? No one can make that decision for you. Some people even make a whole new last name! Haha.
I didn't change my name, nor did I ever really consider surname changing as a serious option for myself.
Admittedly, a lot of this has to do with the fact that I work in a profession (academia) where it has become increasingly uncommon for women to change their surnames. If you've racked up a stack of degrees and already started publishing work under your maiden name, then switching upon marriage creates a lot of unnecessary professional confusion (and could even have a negative impact on your career due to said confusion).
Career-related reasons aside, though, I'm pretty sure that I wouldn't have switched names anyhow. I like my surname, and I feel like it's a big part of my identity. In my social circles, it's also more common not to change than to change. Most of my friends retained their maiden names, and my sister did as well. I think what seems normal to each of us regarding surnames and marriage is shaped by what we've seen our friends, colleagues, and family members do in the past.
I've also never fully understood the change-so-we're-a-family-unit logic. I mean, you and your husband know you're married, and your kids know you're their mother. It seems to me like all of the people who count are clear on who's who! Besides, family units and relationships are already defined in a multitude of other ways that have nothing to do with name.
I took my husband's last name. Most of my friends put a hyphen between thier own last (maiden) name and their husband's last name.
Originally Posted by cressida
I agree with cressida here. For a long time my parents weren't married so my mom was X and I was Y. I never had any problems at school or anywhere of people not thinking my mom wasn't my mother.
We're not planning on getting married so not such an issue for me, but if we do at some point, it's highly unlikely I'll take it (we did have a chat about each of us adding the others name and thus making a family name). I love his surname, it's beautiful and lovely, but I'd feel weird changing a name I've had for almost 30 years. My surname is pretty badass and I really love it, for cultural reasons, historical ones and the fact that a lot of people in my family have carried it. And I would hate getting mail adressed to hon mrs. his name. Would creep me out!!!! We haven't decided yet if our children will have mine or his surname, or if we'll do both.
Very few of my friends have changed their names, the only one who did did it because she married a man named D a r l i n g t o n and her maiden name kind of sucked.
DH is handy since we are driving so I can answer for both of us. :)
This question is for all the MEN - Do you expect a woman take her husband's last name? Why or why not?
"Most women I know either drop their last name and take the husbands, or, hyphenated the two. This is what I see most of the time, and in my profession I almost always see the 2 hyphenated names or one last name that is the husbands familys name. It depends on the couple."
Now this question is for the LADIES - Did you take your husband's last name? Why or why not?
I did. Just felt right to me. We married young (at 22) so its not like I had really made a name for myself or anything, lol. I don't regret it, and it was just something I felt like doing so I did. :)
Our kids all have the same last name as DH and I of course. ;)
I am young so I probably won't be married for years and years. Anyway I don't really like the idea of changing my surname, but what I do will depend on a lot of things. Maybe the guy I marry would take my surname. I see no logical reason why they couldn't, although it's something I would be sure to discuss it with them and make a decision from there. There's also the question of what surname any kids would get.
When I see my surname I don't consider it my father's surname, I just think of it as my birth name. The idea that having different surnames impact how close a family feels doesn't sit well with me because there are plenty of people who have a different surname to other families and have never felt apart from them. Similarly there are those who share a surname with a parent or sibling and don't feel close to them. I also really don't care about not being identified as a family unit by strangers. If they don't know you well enough to know who your family are, then they likely don't care to know. You (hopefully) know who your husband / wife / kids are; nobody else needs to.
All in all, I might take his surname, he might take my surname, we might come up with a new surname, we might just keep our own surname. What does it really matter? There's no "right" way of deciding what happens to family names after marriage.