1. Dating & Relationships

Your suggestion is on its way!

An email with a link to:


was emailed to:

Thanks for sharing About.com with others!

Most Emailed Articles

How to Kiss Like in

Readers Respond: Pros and Cons to Changing Your Name When You Get Married

Responses: 152


What if you come from another culture?

In my country nowadays, most women keep their names and children are named after both parents, being the father's last name the first and the mom's the second. It's how we function and all forms are adapted to this. Even my mom never took my dad's name because she was known in her business for her maiden name, and in her time women used to do it. In Brazil, women not only don't change their names but the offspring carry her last name first, and daddy goes second. It just made more sense to them to name the baby after the person who was giving birth right there and avoid any confusion. I find that great. I wish I had my babies in Brazil. I might be marrying an American guy, and we joke about this. There's no way I will lose my name, my identity, my roots to a history I'm so proud about and if he can't understand that, I would think he is the one who is not ready for the commitment.
—Guest Margau MonteyRibera


If you're such a proud and unbending person that you would rather keep your name or add hyphens, you are nowhere near ready to be married. I agree if it's about feeling equal than both should adopt each others' name - man to take the wife's as middle name and wife to take man's as last name or vice versa don't care but your kids (if you plan on having any) deserve that feeling of family unity while their growing up. Can you imagine the poor kid who has to write out his hyphenated name everyday just because mommy and daddy were too stubborn and immature to settle on one name. Swallow your pride and take the leap wholeheartedly.
—Guest The battles over


I'm a little confused by people who claim that when a woman keeps her name, it is a sign that she is too independent and doesn't really want to be married (or plan to stick it out, apparently). Very few men change their name; does that mean that virtually all men are still seeking independence and aren't really committed to their wives? Just seems like a lousy argument to me. I would say it's a personal choice.
—Guest Maria

Give me a break

Everyone saying "you want his money and his seed, take his name": you have got to be kidding me. I married my husband because I love him. I make my own money, as do most of the women I know. And in case you missed it: women have to carry that "seed" for nine months so that you can have someone to carry on your name. I'm not saying that there aren't valid reasons for taking your spouse's name (I can see how it makes things easier when you have kids), but personally my name is unique and I like it. I chose not to switch to something generic. Fortunately, my husband is secure enough to know that I love him no matter what my name is.
—Guest Christina

Brand New Name

I never even considered changing my name in my entire life until my now husband made it clear how important it was to him that we share a common surname. I love my birth surname and in my family there is an acknowledged identification with our surnames: "You're such a Smith," for example (not my real birth name). It was a point of humor and affection to share identifiable personality traits with my family. That said, I have two half siblings with different surnames than my birth name and they're no less my siblings for blood or name. My husband offered to take my family name before we married but he wasn't completely happy with that solution, so I couldn't really get on board with it. In the end, we took the favorite parts of our names to create a whole new name. I moved from New Zealand to the East Coast of the USA to be with him, so it's lovely to still have that connection to my family who are so far away. We love that it's a process we're going through together. Do what works for you.
—Guest Ms. NameChange

True Commitment

I believe wholeheartedly that a family should share one name. Why make it so confusing for everyone? I have been married twice. The first time, I made every excuse why it was best to hyphenate. The reality is, I hated his name and just wasn't that into him. It was confusing to people in my career, it was a pain to fill out forms, and it never felt right. This time, I did not hesitate to fully commit to my husband and our marriage. We now have three kids together and we are one united family. I didn't have to give up my identity. My husband has complete respect for me as an individual. I feel like people who make such a huge deal of the traditional name change have insecurities that go far beyond the name.
—Guest Stacy

Times have changed

It's an obvious choice but really no one should get down on the other either way. I have friends who were more than excited, honored, thrilled, touched, to take their husband's name. It was part of the ceremony and gave them great joy. I myself, however, kept my last name because it's part of my identity. Marriage is a very personal and individual idea for each person and how much a woman gives away of herself is different in every case. These days women don't usually take money off the man (and if they do that's fine too.) But many women work and earn just as much, sometimes more, than the man. Does that mean the man should take their name? In terms of taking the seed, it makes it seem like the baby is the man's when a baby is both equal parts mother and father, man and woman. But we have the added responsibility of carrying it. Men aren't doing us a favor by giving us a baby. That is just silly. Whatever your choose, it's a completely personal choice- so be comforted.
—Guest Grace

Do what you want

It's nobody's business but the couple, and everyone else needs to respect the decision, no matter the reason. I didn't change my name, but I respect the desire of other women to change their's.
—Guest KG


It is disrespectful to not change your name when you get married. All this new-age stuff needs to go out the door. That's what's wrong with American society, no respect for traditional values. If you want the guy's money and seed, you need to take his last name or just leave. Marriage is about blending together as one because you are now apart of each other .
—Guest johnny

American women have no human rights

Americans always state that their country is the most free country in the world, so they pose their ideology on other countries. However, in the USA, men and women are not equal. The latter are inferior to the former.
—Guest gotohell

To Paul

Shut up! Since you're a male, of course, it's easy for you to say "get over yourselves." It doesn't change who you are among identity theft." You have no right to speak! You wouldn't understand. Would you take a woman's last name? Of course, not unless you were a different breed. Ugh men!
—Guest Angie


Men and women should keep their own names. Only weak men need to name their wives like livestock.
—Guest Keepyourname

Hell YES Women should take his name!

A woman can take his MONEY. She can damned well take his NAME.
—Guest No Way

It's part of it

My opinion is that the changing of a name so that both have the same surname is a no brainer. Does it have to be the woman that changes hers? Maybe the husband could change his, but would she still be a Mrs.? If you want to have different names, the solution is simple, don't get married!
—Guest Chris H

Sometimes yes, sometimes no

Not married but probably will be soon. This issue has been brought up between us and it's not a huge deal, but I would prefer she take my last name. I would consider it an honor if she did change it. However, I can see why someone who has gone through med/law school or worked to establish her name in a field of business might not want to change it. I know it's a silly tradition but so is buying a wedding ring that costs three months pay.
—Guest One guys view
  1. About.com
  2. Dating & Relationships
  3. Newlyweds
  4. After the Wedding
  5. Name Change - Should Women Change Their Name When They Get Married?

©2015 About.com. All rights reserved.