Does keeping your maiden name weaken your marriage?

Does keeping your maiden name weaken your marriage?

This is a question I have pondered a few times on this blog: the importance of the woman’s name during her marriage. Does it matter? If a woman takes her husband’s name does it mean anything? For example, does it mean that she loves him more, than if she doesn’t take his name? Is she more committed to the marriage when she takes his name? Will the marriage be more successful?

The reason I rehash this is I just read on Yahoo that the post-matrimony name-change is a big issue for a lot of women. You can find the article here:  http://finance.yahoo.com/family-home/article/112736/name-change-dilemma-women-marriage-wsj?mod=family-love_money

Women are treated differently in society depending on whether they keep their own name or take their husband’s name, apparently. Studies show that women who keep their maiden name make more money and are seen as more ambitious and women who don’t are seen as more emotional, caring and dependent.

If the studies are accurate, then I think it is only logical to presume that whether a woman keeps or name or takes her husband’s name does impact a marriage. I have always been of the school of thought that, after a certain age, a woman may look slightly ridiculous if she changes her name after marriage. I mean, unless my husband (if I ever find him) has a really interesting last name, I’m not so sure I would change mine at this point. Because I’ve been who I am for so long. It’s been my identity. Why should I change? And I bet that is how a lot of older brides feel about it. They get set in their ways.

At the same time, you want to go into a marriage on the right foot and if changing your name makes your husband feel more…..you know, like you are more committed to the marriage, and to him, then….I don’t know. It may be worth it to change it. Especially if it’s not something objectionable…. I mean some men have really awful last names. Like…well, jeeze, fill in the blanks. I can’t think of it off the top of my head. I just woke up. But I know it when I see it and I’ve asked myself, “Why would anybody want to change their name to that?” You know? But if he has a nice last name like….jeeze, fill in the blanks, whatever is nice to you, then why not?

It’s a question of personal preferences I think. For sure I would not take my husband’s last name, at this point in my life, if I don’t like his last name. (Shhhh, don’t say I said this.) But frankly, the way I feel about it, he took his own sweet time finding me and you know what? That’s the penalty. I’m my own woman who just happens to be his wife and I am keeping my last name; unless I really, really like his.

So are you a wife you took your husband’s name or didn’t? Why or why not? And does it affect your marriage do you think?

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9 thoughts on “Does keeping your maiden name weaken your marriage?”

  1. A woman taking her husbands name is part of the bonding process in marriage. The author said something about because the potential husband took so long in finding her, his penalty is the author keeping her maiden name (a woman who has a premeditated penalty for the sucker that was doomed enough to choose her). A reason given is because she has grown accustomed to being independent. I’m sure he is also independent. I’m sure that he has grown older and with it has experienced many women. Why should being married stop his experiences with other women? By this author’s logic, he’s his own man who just happens to be married to her. Why should he act differently than before? If married, should he stop dating other women? Should he come home at night, stay out with his friends, handle financial decisions as though he was single? If I were her man, I would not move forward with any wedding plans. I might keep dating her though, while I continued my journey to find an independent woman who would be happy to join lives. As for the author, she appears better suited to be her own woman who just so happens to not be married.

    1. Oooh. Are you talking to moi? Did you just diss moi? LOL. You strike me as a humorless, little, man Tony. So I forgive you. I’ll have you know that my husband will be the most privileged, contented and happily married man. And that is because he would have at his side a phenomenal wife; one who is nurturing, kind and filled with joy. And one who is completely devoted to making his life better than it was before he was lucky enough to find her. She’s a rare diamond, this author, not for the common, humorless, uncouth and misogynistic….my suggestion is to read a few more of the author’s post to get a better sense of her views before you make these sort of uninformed, judgmental statements about her, for you know not what you are talking about, my sweet. Oh, and even if she keeps her maiden name, this wonderful, independent (and yes, a little older, although, yesterday a 28 year old was hitting on me and he thought I was 26, so, I gotta say, I still got it, baby!) one-of-a-kind creature that I am will be most “bonded” and “joined” to my husband in ways I simply ought not to say lest I should make you blush, ok my child? So close your mouth, right now.

      My suggestion to you? Lighten up. Breathe. Smile. And read a few more of my posts. It will make you happy and you won’t leave mean comments anymore. 🙂

      Have a lovely day, Tony.

  2. Post matrimony name change has become a big deal in our society. Honestly, it depends on the values of the couple. Some couples are traditionalist, some couples value independence higher than they do observing tradition. Again, it depends on values of the individual couple.

    Oh and Tony let me give you a tidbit of advice, bashing the author on her own blog is not your best idea if you want to be invited back…

  3. Im not gonna bash on the author, but I agree with Tony. He is trying to show the authors logic in this area. The author said that she needent change her maiden name because its part of her and who she is. Well guess what, any married couple “happy couple” will tell you that you will need to change a heck of a lot in who you are in order to be a happy couple. Its easy to argue the opposite, and expect the best for your marriage, but you will only understand when you actually get married. Its hard work, its tough changing yourself for another, its sacrafice, its marriage. Personally, I think that if you cant take something as simple as a name change, you probably wont want to change your character, as it is much harder to do, and that is a set up for a divorce. You could maybe live with eachother and be happy for the first year, start getting used to eachother the second year, start getting irritated at eachothers differences the third, and then, well, you’ll be ready to sign the divorce papers. But then divorce is so common nowdays.. why not? Cough*

    Family has lost its value, people are ignorant selfish, and self centered. That is why the majority of people arnt happy. The reward of being egocentric is only an illusion. The real happiness comes from saying “I want to change… I want to change for you… Because aI love you”. My name change is the least I can do in the beginning of mareiage, as other things like character take a while to change.

    Just my thoughts on the subject.

    -married.

  4. In many countries, women don’t change their last names because it’s not a part of their cultural tradition. But in the US, many will attack you for not changing your last name because it’s a societal norm. Although most women change their last names in America, our country has the highest rates of divorce. Thats why I don’t get how people believe a joint last name shows love or commitment. Strong marriages and families are built through positive, loving relationships. I’ve been to countries where people don’t have last names. Yet, they have happy marriages and families. The whole last name thing is based on culture and the idea of keeping ones last name is normal for many.

  5. I just encountered this with the girl I got engaged to last week. She is a doctor that is about to finish her fellowship. She said she wants to keep her last name (reputation, identity, and trouble of changing last name). All these reasons just tell me that I am not worth the effort. It crushed me- the excitement high I was on is gone.
    On another note what about children? If parents have two last names, then I suggest the children have a first name and middle name, then let the kids choose which last name, I mean we are talking about throwing out conventional tradition.
    So if I’m not worth the effort and sacrifice then why should I sacrifice my selfish pleasures to be devoted? Porn, other women, the list goes on.
    You get what you give.
    I realize this sounds hypocritical, but I am old fashioned (born in 1979).

    I’m torn between what to do. I do not believe in forcing someone to do something they don’t want to do, their decision should come from within. I discussed it with her and explained to her that it crushed me. I don’t want to end it but this has always been a dealbreaker. Time will tell.

  6. When it comes to commitment guys tend to struggle more and if he is the one to show he is truly invested I think he should be the one to change his name. After all he is not destined to go thru the torches of pregnancy and labour she does her sacrifice and then some. Some guys say this is emasculating but I think real masculinity should be defined as a strong collaborative force not a dominant one but one that takes action for the welfare of the family. Marriage must be a partnership and deeply loving collaboration to work, both must sacrifice.

    1. Yeah, all I’m reading here is that women should change everything society SAYS she should change in order to be a good wife and mother. Same old story, same old song and dance.

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