8 Responses

  1. the BLAH BLAH BLAHger
    the BLAH BLAH BLAHger at |

    I’m a single 30-something who was working in the same industry for my whole career. I’ll likely hyphenate some day professionally. Plus, I like my last name – it shows off my heritage. BUT, I recently found out that when some friends got married years ago, he took her name! They’re my first people to know who went for it. As teenagers, her family became like family to him. They mentored him and nurtured him in a way his family couldn’t, so he chose to honor them. I just think that’s so beautiful and thought I’d share!

  2. Laura Mahoney
    Laura Mahoney at |

    Ashley, with 12 years of experience on this issue, I can say there is no right answer to this question. You have to do what feels right for you.

    Like you, I decided long before I met my husband that I would not change my name. When he told me he would be upset if I DID change my name, he sealed the deal.

    Be prepared for the fact that everyone will assume you are not changing your name, and it will be your job to gently inform them, sometimes over and over again, that you kept your name. Most people don’t bat an eyelash over it. But you will always have a few stubborn relatives or friends who either “forget” or refuse to acknowledge that you kept your name. I’m still working on a few people.

    I have a friend who uses her maiden name professionally and took her husband’s name legally, and that has worked for her. I have a friend who kept her name and her in-laws almost did not come to her wedding because of it. Until the day they died, they addressed every piece of mail and wrote every check out to her with her husband’s name. She sent every one of them back. Ouch. I think they were an extreme exception.

    We gave our kids my husband’s last name, and my last name as a second middle name. So they have four names, but for everyday they just use their first and last names. Cumbersome sometimes, but that’s what we chose. At nine and five years old, they are fine with it so far. When dealing with teachers and friends’ parents, I must identify myself as “Laura Mahoney, Ben Schwartz’s mom,” but it’s not a big deal. Most people don’t have an issue with it.

    Most of our friends and family call us the Schwahoneys. It’s catchy.

  3. Laura Mahoney
    Laura Mahoney at |

    I meant to say people will assume you ARE changing your name.

  4. Ashley Robinson
    Ashley Robinson at |

    haha, i probably should have told barker this article was running beforehand! the poor guy got lots of random questions about my name on the 11th! oops.

  5. laura
    laura at |

    I heart this article. I totally understand all sides of the debate, but I feel the same way that Ashley does. All my life, my nicknames, pet names, have been affiliated with my name (LEB, LB, Brades, or just Braden), and to give that up feels…weird. :) I also think that as a PR person, I’ve worked hard to establish my name and to take a new one would be confusing and feel like I was starting all over again. I think maybe the best solution is to take his name for personal matters, but keep yours for legal and professional ones. That being said, I also really like Mr. and Mrs. Barkinson. :)

  6. bombaygirl
    bombaygirl at |

    I did not change my name and I don’t regret it one bit! We’ve been married over 13 years now, and have two kids. They have no problem with the fact that their mom has a different last name from them and their dad, and neither does the school, the teachers, the kids’ friends, their parents, you get the picture.

  7. Riley Cooper
    Riley Cooper at |

    hinduism is a very interesting religion in my opinion;.-

  8. chaidrinkingfool
    chaidrinkingfool at |

    I didn’t change my name. Socially it was a hassle at first because I live in a conservative state, but paperwork-wise, I hear it’s much easier than changing it would have been. I’m glad I kept my name, although, funny thing: Some people understood “I kept my name” to mean, “I hyphenated our last names”.

    We don’t have children, but in today’s society, I don’t think it’s a big deal for parents to have different last names. Just look at how diverse the U.S. is these days, and compare that to the varied traditions you talked about in your article. I’ve asked only one woman who kept her name whether it was a problem when her kids were in school, and she said it was no problem at all.

    Your husband should be prepared to occasionally be prepared to be called by *your* last name. :-) And I think it’s natural for a woman to make the decision about her name without her husband: After all, she’s had the name her whole life, and usually has been aware of the tradition in U.S. culture for a long time. It’s not unreasonable that a woman would have an opinion on such a thing long before she meets the man she will marry.


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