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Adopting Husband's Name

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This is a bit of a hijack since Cogito has already decided not to change his name, but I'm not sure this is worthy of a new thread.

I just wanted to ask about the more traditional type of name change -- that is, a woman's taking her husband's name upon getting married. I'm of mixed feelings about whether to do it myself, and would like to hear from some of the married folk. Why did or didn't you (or your wife) do it? Are you happy you did(n't), and why?

For the record, I do like the idea of sharing a name with my husband, but happen to LOVE my own last name. After all, I'm one of the fastest crossword solvers in the country and I have a well-established sideline as a puzzlemaker...does a last name get any more perfect for that than "Daily"?

Edited by softwareNerd
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This is a bit of a hijack since Cogito has already decided not to change his name, but I'm not sure this is worthy of a new thread.

I just wanted to ask about the more traditional type of name change -- that is, a woman's taking her husband's name upon getting married. I'm of mixed feelings about whether to do it myself, and would like to hear from some of the married folk. Why did or didn't you (or your wife) do it? Are you happy you did(n't), and why?

For the record, I do like the idea of sharing a name with my husband, but happen to LOVE my own last name. After all, I'm one of the fastest crossword solvers in the country and I have a well-established sideline as a puzzlemaker...does a last name get any more perfect for that than "Daily"?

There's absolutely no reason you can't change your name yet continue to use "Daily" in your professional life as a "pen name" for puzzlemaking. Just a thought.

Of course if his last name happens to be Double (or anything else that would go well with "Daily") you could hyphenate.

And if he hates his last name, he might be willing to go to your name!

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I am getting divorced after being married for nearly 10 years. I have ALWAYS regretting changing my name to my husband's last name, even when we were a happy couple. For one thing, I simply like my maiden name and for another, it's who I am and why should I change? I have filed a petition with the courts to restore my maiden name and I am more excited about it than I realized I would be. I'm not looking forward to having to change my name on everything (credit cards, bank accounts, etc.) but it will be worth it to me in the long run. It's really a personal choice, but as far as I'm concerned, I'm Kelly McNulty and I always will be! :)

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There's absolutely no reason you can't change your name yet continue to use "Daily" in your professional life as a "pen name" for puzzlemaking. Just a thought.

Of course if his last name happens to be Double (or anything else that would go well with "Daily") you could hyphenate.

And if he hates his last name, he might be willing to go to your name!

His last name happens to be 11 letters long. So hyphenating is technically an option, but in my case would produce a rather unwieldy result.

I know I could change it legally and still use "Daily" professionally -- Ayn Rand did this, no? (Legally she was Mrs. Frank O'Connor.) I'm curious as to how well this actually works. Is there confusion if the professional world and the social world overlap? Is there really a point to it if the only people who refer to me using my last name on a regular basis are those I know professionally? (I doubt my friends refer to me as "Stella Daily," just "Stella.")

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There's absolutely no reason you can't change your name yet continue to use "Daily" in your professional life as a "pen name" for puzzlemaking. Just a thought.

Here's a thought. Can a woman keep her maiden name legally, but use her husband's name socially? That's bound to be easier.

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There can be good professional reasons to not change your name. If you change it, you never know but what you might face the problem of not having your present husband and maybe wanting someone else's name. Now if you keep your name, then you have to consider what name any spawn might have. The husband / wife hyphenated option is popular, but your daughter Tiffany Daily-Extractions (the only 11 letter word I could think of at the moment) might marry Scott McGillacuddy-Nebelheimat and give rise to a grandchild Lulu Daily-Extractions-McGillacuddy-Nebelheimat. I'll stop short of describing your great-grandchild's name. So, like, you can do what you want, and there's nothing wrong with you keeping your name and him his, but child-naming is where trouble starts. If you remain without issue, I think it's probably not an issue.

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Here's a thought. Can a woman keep her maiden name legally, but use her husband's name socially?

Yes.

Stella, I know that my ex-wife loved my last name, not only because she didn't like hers, but more: because it was mine.

(case in point: when i was divorcing her, she couldn't wait to get her maiden name back, she called herself by it before it was her legal name again)

(oh, and around that same time she was referring to me in a social context as something other than my legal name...and it's no names that a court would ever let a person have legally, since they were profane ones. :) )

Edited by intellectualammo

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There can be good professional reasons to not change your name. If you change it, you never know but what you might face the problem of not having your present husband and maybe wanting someone else's name. Now if you keep your name, then you have to consider what name any spawn might have. The husband / wife hyphenated option is popular, but your daughter Tiffany Daily-Extractions (the only 11 letter word I could think of at the moment) might marry Scott McGillacuddy-Nebelheimat and give rise to a grandchild Lulu Daily-Extractions-McGillacuddy-Nebelheimat. I'll stop short of describing your great-grandchild's name. So, like, you can do what you want, and there's nothing wrong with you keeping your name and him his, but child-naming is where trouble starts. If you remain without issue, I think it's probably not an issue.

I know one couple that solved the first part of the problem this way: She kept her last name. Male children got his last name, female children got hers.

She tore me a new one one day because I, totally unknowing of this arrangement, saw a picture of her son right after he was born, and it was captioned "Bob Todd". I assumed that "Todd" was his middle name, and she ranted about how insulting it was for me to assume that she'd want to be called "Mrs [husband's full name]" Not that the connection could possibly be obvious to someone who did not know how they were working things.

(Names changed to protect me from the guilty. The real last name was just as easy to confuse between a last and first name.)

They did end up getting divorced, no surprise as she could be an irrational b****, as you have seen. She remarried, and this time took the new husband's name.

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I am not married yet but I have thought about this question and think that choosing a new last name together, and move the existing last name to a middle name, might be a good option. That way, you can both continue to use your existing last name where appropriate, the children could get the new last name, and no one has to deal with a lot of hyphenated messes. Problems include the social stigma of picking a new name together, and actually coming up with a new last name, and what name the children would use if you get divorced.

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In Spain and Latin America people commonly, and legally, use two surnames. The first is their father's surname, the second is their mother's. Women keep their maiden name but add their husband's name in a fashion like Mrs. Joan Smith of Jones. This is more or less informal, as for legal government papers only their maiden surnames appear (ie Mrs. Joan Smith Johnson). the children would be named along the lines of Bob Jones Smith, for example.

Some people know their "third and fourth" surnames, although these are never used either legally or socially. If you know your grandparents' full names, you can add more surnames, ditto with your great-grandparents, and as far back as you can go. of course, if your grandparentsa re immigrants, as mine were, you can only go so far. For more genealogical info, if I wanted it, I'd have to consult in Poland and Lithuania.

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Some people know their "third and fourth" surnames, although these are never used either legally or socially. If you know your grandparents' full names, you can add more surnames, ditto with your great-grandparents, and as far back as you can go. of course, if your grandparentsa re immigrants, as mine were, you can only go so far. For more genealogical info, if I wanted it, I'd have to consult in Poland and Lithuania.

Thus, Francisco Domingo Carlos Andres Sebastián d'Anconia.

As to the subject of this thread, it would depend on your personal context. However, a really good reason to do it is because it's a very feminine thing to do. How perfectly symbolic of a woman's worship for her man: taking his name. If you have the sort of man who has earned that, then go for it. If not, however, one does wonder why you're marrying him...

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Thus, Francisco Domingo Carlos Andres Sebastián d'Anconia.

No. All of those, except d'Anconia, are given names. BTW that is an exaggeration. Most people in Spain and Latin America have a given name, middle name and the two surnames I mentioned.

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I'm getting married in just a smidge exactly 13 hours (really). We've discussed this and I've told her that I honestly don't mind if she wishes to keep her name, though she is planning on taking my name, primarily for the reasons David has pointed out: children naming. We, being a single family, would prefer to have a single name to unify us, and we're not interested in hypenating (for brevity's sake).

Admittedly, I think I'll miss her having her last name, since I think her full name just "works," but it we find it'll be more practical for us to share last names.

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No. All of those, except d'Anconia, are given names. BTW that is an exaggeration. Most people in Spain and Latin America have a given name, middle name and the two surnames I mentioned.

Huh. Interesting. Thanks.

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I'm fortunate enough to have the cool last name "Edge," which Kelly prefers to "Koenig."

I'd accept it if my wife wanted to keep her name, but I prefer that she take my name. I never thought about it before Stella raised the issue, but I would have been really disappointed if Kelly didn't want to take my name. I think it is a sexuality issue, as Inspector indicated. Also, there's a lot of symbolism in sharing the same name, and there are other benefits, as mentioned earlier in this thread.

That said, it's not a moral issue. If a woman wants to keep her name, it's her right.

--Dan Edge

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I'm somewhat with Dan and Inspector on this one.

[Disclaimer: like Kelly, I'm finalizing a divorce. No, she didn't take my name. No, that wasn' the reason for the divorce, but the underlying psychology of it, may have contributed.]

I personally think any particular practice such as name changing, in and of itself is arbitrary. Only in context will it tell you anything, and as such, there really is no "should" about it. You have to look at your own psychology and be honest with youself about what you want to go either way, and then decide if in that context, those are the right reasons. If you do it out of an independant streak, then it might be worth considering if it doesn't indicate some unhealthy psychology. I can think of great and rotten reasons for taking either action.

In general however, I think marriage is defiintely a union that is more than just a strong relationship. As such, I personally would like to see BOTH parties concretize that aspect of it by doing some things that recognize their commitment to the union. Yes, they don't have to be the same things and maybe gender differences would say that those things that are done are different in each case, but I think making your committment to the union concrete *in some way* for the other person is a good thing.

Unlike Dan I happen to be unfortunate enough to have a long foreign name which is often mispronounced (read: slaughtered) and while I love the uniqueness of it, I could certainly understand if for practical reasons a prospective wife didn't want to take it.

Edited by KendallJ

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I'm getting married in just a smidge exactly 13 hours (really).

So that would be about 5 hrs from now! Congratulations! (as if you're reading this right now :))

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How perfectly symbolic of a woman's worship for her man

I would find anyone "worshipping" another person disturbing, I certainly would not want a romantic partner "worshipping" me (though that depends on exactly what you mean by that) admiration and respect are one thing, but worship is too much of an abdication of self on their part for my tastes, and implies too much passivity. Besides, what is the complimentary response to being worshipped? Just to sit back and be worshipped? My immediate response to that kind of reaction from someone would be to say please do not make me the central focus of *your* life.

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I would find anyone "worshiping" another person disturbing...

Ah, beat me to it.

I guess what I don't understand is why you would love someone enough to marry them, then expect them to change?? Did you not fall in love with them for who they are? Now if the names are not a big deal to either party involved, then there's not issue, but for me, I am proud of my family and our heritage. Giving up my last name, come to find out, was just not something I wanted to do, for anyone. My name is mine and it means something important to me. I barely even know my husband's family and I certainly know nothing of their past that would make me so proud as to take their name and shun my own heritage. I guess I'm just selfish. :)

I do not plan to have children, but if I ever did, I would simply make my last name their middle name and their father's last name, their last name. No hyphens either. It used to drive me crazy when I worked in a call center and I had to refer to clients as Mrs. Hemphill-Smith or whatever. Just pick on last name, please, for the sake of those around you that have to deal with you. :)

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I would find anyone "worshipping" another person disturbing, I certainly would not want a romantic partner "worshipping" me (though that depends on exactly what you mean by that) admiration and respect are one thing, but worship is too much of an abdication of self on their part for my tastes, and implies too much passivity.

Well, as you've said it depends on what you mean by that. If you take the Christian notion of worship, as homage paid to something greater than yourself (which your abdication of self comments seems to imply), then I'd have to agree with you. However, since we're all Objectivists here, I would bet that that is not the meaning. Maybe the one's in bold would do, as a reverent extreme of admiration and regard.

My personal take on the response to worship, is to accept it, to feel bouyed and affirmed by it, and to worship in return.

wor·ship premium.gifthinsp.pngspeaker.gif /ˈwɜrthinsp.pngʃɪp/ Pronunciation Key - Show Spelled Pronunciation[wur-ship] Pronunciation Key - Show IPA Pronunciation noun, verb, -shiped, -ship·ing or (especially Britishthinsp.png) -shipped, -ship·ping. –noun 1.reverent honor and homage paid to God or a sacred personage, or to any object regarded as sacred. 2.formal or ceremonious rendering of such honor and homage: They attended worship this morning. 3.adoring reverence or regard: excessive worship of business success. 4.the object of adoring reverence or regard. 5.(initial capital letterthinsp.png) British. a title of honor used in addressing or mentioning certain magistrates and others of high rank or station (usually prec. by Your, His, or Her). –verb (used with object) 6.to render religious reverence and homage to. 7.to feel an adoring reverence or regard for (any person or thing). –verb (used without object) 8.to render religious reverence and homage, as to a deity. 9.to attend services of divine worship. 10.to feel an adoring reverence or regard

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Unlike Dan I happen to be unfortunate enough to have a long foreign name which is often mispronounced (read: slaughtered) and while I love the uniqueness of it, I could certainly understand if for practical reasons a prospective wife didn't want to take it.

I hear you!! Loud and Clear!!

Mine has to be about four times as bad as yours. Some people freeze up at the sight of that fricking apostrophe, or insist on making it into a glottal stop. And we won't mention how many computers and how much software just chokes on the bloody thing, because it's half of a "quote". The only alleged benefit is I get an extra initial if I want it (SJDI). At this point if I even *think* the damned thing might be going into a computer I don't use the apostrophe.

Obviously the people who invented COBOL were not Irish, with an O'- name.

I'd change my name myself except for one problem. As soon as you choose a last name, as opposed to being born with it or adopting your spouse's name (one choses one's spouse, not one's spouse's name), it's not longer an arbitrary product of happenstance. Then you must choose carefully, because then the name will be presumed to have a meaning to you, more than just "oh, I like the way it sounds." This will cause all kinds of tiresome explaining to your friends. Especially if someone somewhat famous has the same last name. It would either be considered endorsement or presumption. (Note that no Objectivist (other than Alisa Rosenbaum, for whom it was not an issue) has ever had the nerve to change their last name to "Rand.")

And if I am going to go to the bother, I'd want a name I wouldn't ever have to spell. And there isn't one, not even "Smith" (someone would insist on spelling it "Smythe"). Sometimes when I have to give a name out for a restaurant reservation or some other context where they really don't need my last name, just a unique handle, I use "Dean." Shouldn't need to be spelled, right? Well, I saw someone write down "Deen" one time. I did manage to get out of there without busting out laughing.

Interestingly, I've known two people (both men) who changed their last name to basically the same thing (one was Austin, the other Austen). I don't know why one of them bothered, but the other one, I don't blame for it at all, knowing what his name was before that.

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...Oh and just to underline what I said above...

Yet another company printed my name as D Ipppolito (space where the apostrophe should be, thank you very f***ing much COBOL), and it got transmogrified into a middle initial somewhere in their process when a human read it. Just found this out today, after failing to log into their website with my actual NAME.

Yep, I will *definitely* forgive my future wife for not taking this name!

Edited by Steve D'Ippolito

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As a couple I think that it would be neat to create your own last name together. Some women who keep there maiden names maybe don't realize the fact that their maiden name is most likely from their father who is also, a man! In reality then there is no real individuation from keeping the maiden name.

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