1. People & Relationships

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

Responses: 205


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

There are lots of other ways

We both changed our names. I made my maiden name my middle name, and took his mother's maiden name as my surname. My husband did the same (my maiden name as his middle name, his mother's maiden name as his surname). That way, the name change was equal, and we didn't end up with hyphens. His father's surname was one of assimilation that his grandfather invented, so it was easy to let it go. Why don't more husbands THINK about changing their names? I am proud of our family name in a way I couldn't have been if I had just taken his father's name. My husband is also glad to have a way of demonstrating that he joined my family. 'Cause, you know, it goes both ways.
—Guest kav

Change it

A woman should feel proud to take her husband's last name. On my wedding day I was so proud when they announced for the first time Mr. and Mrs. Smith. Our children carry his name. We are a family. The Bible says the two become one. You are to cleave on to your husband and leave your family. This means your name, too. If you truly love your husband, take his name.
—Guest sks


Bravo, Guest Sarah, the only truly intelligent post here.
—Guest GuestMe

Both should change

Marriage is a concept that two united people should embrace. So, both the husband and wife should change their names. If the wife's last name is to be hyphenated, then so is the husband's last name. That is honestly the fairest way to go.
—Guest Cassi


I am not in favor of changing name after marriage. If man can live whole his life with his birth name, why can't we? This tradition is so widespread that nowadays nobody even asks a girl whether she wants to change her name after marriage. Elder people do it themselves, and when some girls dared to change their name, they are forced to do that. Why so? I want to see women living their own identity for their entire life. I am not saying that women who choose to change their name after marriage can not have their own identity. But it must be her personal decision whether to stick with maiden name or accept her husband's name. Nobody should force her.
—Guest Aanal Bharat Trivedi

Stats show more women are changing

Statistically, the practice of women keeping their maiden name peaked in the early 90s and has declined ever since. More and more women (the vast majority - almost 90 percent in most studies) are choosing to change their name. Women who keep their name are a smaller and smaller minority. And guess what? The 90 percent who change their name don't turn into brainless robots! That's just a ridiculous fairy tale women tell themselves when they need the women's movement for intellectual and emotional support, when they're not strong enough to deal with the world on their own steam. Seriously, how many Stepford wives do you actually know? I think in my entire life I've met one. According to my women's studies profs, this mythical creature is everywhere. Ha. Here's a concept: I chose to date him. I chose to to marry him. I chose his name. All choices made by me. So, yeah. Not surrendering my identity there. I'm choosing my identity. Feminists are not often noted for their critical thinking.
—Guest Magdalena

Religious concerns for B-A-Christian me

The issue for me and I am engaged and he cares more about what I want to do, and he has a lovely last name, there are places with his name in America, my family's last name, because, "Hey I'm not a maiden, but i was independent younger and am more cooperative now, my family name is an embarrassing name that is one letter short of a bad word in English in my opinion. The issue I am struggling with is I overcame the issue of my family name made it a good thing, as good as my family. Also, religiously I feel God calls me by this whole name including last name, so if i take his last name I don't want to feel like I don't appreciate the name God gave me before marriage even when I was picked on most of my life into adulthood until I made the jokes and laughed with them about it and God helped me know myself by this name I was hurt by others for having. So, I need to figure out if I can, after all God did for me while he called me by this name he gave me, take another name when I marry my man. It's not easy.
—Guest crystal

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Pros and Cons to Changing Your Name When You Get Married

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