Married women who kept their name share the pros and cons

·6-min read

Keeping your maiden name or changing it to match your husband/wife/partner's surname after you get married is something many couples fret over. For women, changing your name is undoubtedly a convention steeped in sexism - it harks back to a time when women had to match their husbands' name. Even the term maiden name is slightly ridiculous when you think about it. But many women now choose to do so, and that's absolutely their prerogative. So if you're wondering whether to keep your maiden name, here are women who didn't change their name after getting married to explain the reasons, and the pros and cons.

1. "Positive: didn't have to do any paperwork, plus I love my name. Negative: everyone who's met my husband first refers to me as Mrs. Hislastname. It used to bother me but since I'll rarely see them (his work acquaintances) I just have them use my first name and go on with my life." [via]

2. "I kept my maiden name legally and professionally and just changed my social media accounts to my husband’s last name. I worked really hard for an advanced degree under my maiden name and had papers published under my maiden name. Nobody in my personal life has any idea I didn’t actually change my name unless I tell them, and that works out fine for me. The only negative I’ve experienced was some initial snark from my husband about it. He felt like not changing my name was a way of me not fully committing to the marriage, but after assuring him that my decision really had nothing to do with my commitment to him, he got over it." [via]

Photo credit: Brianna  R / 500px
Photo credit: Brianna R / 500px

3. "Positive: No paperwork and I got to keep my identity. I have a pretty distinct last name that people used to make fun of me for so I feel like I’ve earned my name and I’m proud of it. Negative: My husband was a little sad but got over it when he realised how much paperwork goes into it. I think my in-laws were a little peeved but never told me to my face." [via]

4. "I kept my name. I can’t imagine being called anything else and I like my name, if I didn’t and I liked my husband's more then I would’ve probably changed it just for that reason. It hasn’t changed a thing. I wear a ring and no one asks if I use my maiden or married name, maybe they assume? Either way it’s had zero effect on my life personally." [via]

5. "Positively, I kept it because all my academic work and publishing has my maiden name. It's easier to deal that way." [via]

6. "It has had zero effect on my life whatsoever. At most, I feel like other people want me or my husband to feel bad about it? But I don't." [via]

7. "I thought it was going to be WAY more of a big deal and it’s not. The only time I’ve even thought about it is when someone addresses me as Ms. or Mrs. and tbh I don’t know if that’s just because I feel old..." [via]

8. "I've done it both ways. I'm so much happier with my decision to keep my name. It causes less confusion because I am of foreign origin, and my name matches that. Before, people were shocked when I spoke with an accent. Now they go in knowing. [It's been positive] not having to fuck with changing my name on everything, and knowing that even in the event of divorce I won't have to change it, either. The more traditional family members raised their eyebrows, but most came around quickly when told them it's not such an outlandish idea for a woman to keep her own name she's had her whole life. We've agreed any potential children would have his name." [via]

9. "It hasn’t had any effect really besides occasionally having to say 'try my husband’s last name' when someone is looking up a file at the mechanic’s or vet’s or something." [via]

Photo credit: Flashpop
Photo credit: Flashpop

10. "Everyone who’s met my husband first also refers to me as Mrs. Hislastname. However, everyone who has met me first refers to him as Mr. Mylastname, so it’s more funny than annoying!" [via]

11. "My sister asked me ‘but what if you have children!?’ And I said; ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ A name does not a family make. My fiancé’s mum never changed her name. I haven’t heard of any legitimate reason why I should change my name." [via]

12. "I like my name, simple as that. A lot of women in my family have kept our family name because it's somewhat rare. There's like 200 people with this surname, and about 50 of them are in my family, and most of us keep the name regardless of gender, when we marry." [via]

13. "I'm on my second marriage and both times my husband changed his name to mine. People kind of shrug when they figure out I didn’t change my name, but I do get some open-mouthed stares when they realise that my husband changed his name...

"I just don’t see any reason to change my name, my first husband found it convenient to change his with weird spelling and difficult pronunciation. For my second husband it was important to him that we had the same name, so he changed his." [via]

Photo credit: Photo by Roo Lewis
Photo credit: Photo by Roo Lewis

14. "Didn't want to; it's a ridiculous convention that I'm not upholding just because 'everyone else is'. I'm not chattel. Some family and friends posted me letters addressed to Mrs [Husband's Last Name] and referred to me as such. I politely corrected them. Zero drama." [via]

15. "I didn’t want to take his name as I believe marriage is a partnership. We’re marrying each other, not me marrying him only. So we were going to choose a new surname together but one that was in the family to signify the unity but never really got it sorted so we still have our own surnames. People always assume I have his surname or that we’re not married." [via]

16. "He didn’t go to grad school, I did. I’m not going to be Dr. His Name." [via]

17. "I was raised in a strict 'men are the head of the household' environment, so to not take my husband's name was definitely in part a strong reaction to that. When my marriage broke down I was definitely glad I'd made this decision! Interestingly though I am undecided whether I would change my name if I got remarried." [via]

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