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?