Will you take (have you taken) your husband’s last name or are you hyphenating and WHY?

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Spotted this on BRU. Ope’ said:

Simple question – Will you be (have you taken) taking your husband’s last name or are you hyphenating it and WHY?

Hey friends! I was discussing this with a friend the other day. Are women taking things too far???

Tell me what you think.

Will you be taking your husband’s last name or are you hyphenating it?

(Or ….Did you take your husband’s last name if you are already married?)

Personally, I thought that if you were as big as someone like Whitney Houston or similar then the public goes on forever knowing you as Whitney Houston and maybe because of several complications you go by Whitney Houston-Brown. Still, soooooo many people are coming up and don’t want to change their last name and take on the family heritage of the husband.

I have heard of one case in an African country that a friend of mine is from that the men take the woman’s family name. That has been the only instance that I have heard other than that which I am accustomed to.

So women what is the deal and men what do you think????

Should a woman take her husband’s family name?
Men…. would you be offended if your wife to be decided she wanted to keep her name?

Just innocently wondering….

39 responses to “Will you take (have you taken) your husband’s last name or are you hyphenating and WHY?”

  1. I got married over a year ago and yes I took my husband’s name. I think that this is a very touchy subject. Sometimes, I can see why some people want to do the “hyphen” thing, but but I truly believe that it is an insult to a man not to take his name.

  2. It all depends on the couple. Me an my fiance will be taking each other’s last name. Due to the business that I am in, it is important for me to retain my name. Maybe later down the line, I will drop, but for now my last name stays.

  3. If and when I ever get married, I’ve already decided to hyphen the last names. My reason is because there are not many men in my family with my current last name (lots of girls) and it is very important to me that my last name lives on. I was engaged once before (it didn’t work out) and my then fiancee had a problem with me not using his last name exclusively. However, I was then and still am determined to use both my last name and that of my husband’s when the right man comes along.

  4. I have been married for 20 years and my last name is hyphenated. This is not a problem for my husband, we know who we are. I had a daughter when we married and I did not want her to feel I was leaving her behind. She is now married, my name is still hyphenated and hers is not 🙂

    I have a sister who is married 27 years and never changed her name even 2 children later. Her husband knowes he is loved. The children carry his name.

    The sister that did change her name upon marriage is divorced and caught hell getting that married name off of everything so it is not tha name change that is important but the attitude.

  5. If I am ever so blessed to marry…I will take his last name…given it doesn’t sound dumb. For example, Stacia Cocks (not happening)…or Stacia Dicks (hell to the naw not happening)

    I hear people say its’ hard to change your name and they give all these reasons why they don’t…I guess I don’t get why its’ such a hardship. But again..to each is own, I guess. If I were a man…I would seriously question why my woman can’t/won’t take my name? I mean..who is REALLY the man here? But, I understand wanting the name to live on (there are other ways the name can live on)..but to me its’ more important for the family to last and for us to have a solid foundation/bond…plus, you can pass the name on to the kids (middle or first names). I have heard this is a very touchy subject for some couples though, when I see it as a no brainer. Different strokes…I guess.

  6. I think it depends somewhat on the age of the woman when she gets married. If I was in my 20s, I would probably take my husband’s name without question. But I’m in my early 40s and have never been married. If I do get married, I feel that I have gone so long with my current name that it would be best to at least hyphenate it. However, I have a problem in that my last name is already 10 characters long and my boyfriend’s is 9, so that will be a heck of a long hyphenated name! My first name is 8 characters long, so I already just use my first and middle initials along with my last name for my signature. So I will have to think long and hard about it. This is a good point, because I actually don’t know how he feels about this subject. I will ask him. But another point is that with the high rate of divorce, I sometimes feel it’s best to keep your current name.

  7. I have chosen to hyphenate my name because that is one of the few things I have left of my father. I left England when I was seven years old and did not see my father again until after I graduated from HU in 1991. He died in August of 1991. I discussed this with my husband prior to us getting married and he did not have a problem with it. If we have children they will have and continue my husband’s family’s name.

  8. Unless you are Whitney Houston, DON’T EVEN TRY IT! That’s a bunch a bull, when a woman hyphens her name! Plain and simple, it is an Insult! You are either IN or OUT! Other than that, you are simply sending the message to the man that; If yo _ss act up, then you are simply cut off! NO ifs buts or about it!

    As you can tell, I have definitely had this debate on several occasions.

    Married for 21 years! And she betta not even think about it!
    And oh yes, she got that Doctorate without me, but she kept it with me!

  9. I was married and chose to keep my last name and just add his at the end. I did that because i’ve always been called by my entire name. I felt that droppping my maiden name would have somehow changed my identity. He didn’t mind and now we are divorced anyway…

    In addition to this, this question takes me back to a discussion I had recently about people dwelling on the unimportant stuff and don’t spend enough time planning the “who” you are choosing to spend the rest of your days with.

  10. I’ve been married seven years. The only reason I hyphenated my name was because of my job. I’ve worked for the Department of Defense and I did not want them to create a new person. I wanted to be able to collect my retirement benefits with NO hassle.

  11. I have been married for almost twenty years. I was moving far away from all of my family and friends. I decided to add my husband’s name, because he added to who I am… nothing was taken away! It becomes a hassle at times, but I have no regrets.

  12. I have been married for two years and my reason for hyphenating my name is because of my children. My children are not his biological children and they carry my unmarried last name.

  13. I introduce myself with first name + married name. On official documents and sometimes for business purposes, I use my first name + maiden name + married name. The main reason for doing so is because I research my genealogy as a hobby. Female ancestors are the hardest to trace, because of the difficulty of connecting the maiden name with the married name.

  14. First, my name is already long as it is. No, will not change the last name legally. Socially, will change it, but for business purposes, he wasnt there when I was grindin it out in school.

  15. I got married for the first time in my mid 40s and have now been married for over 4 years. I use my name hyphenated primarily for work. I had been at my job for over 13 years when we were married and most people know me by my maiden name. I wanted people to still be able to find me via e-mail and through the work directory. Outside of work, I generally drop my middle name and use the first letter of my last name as my middle initial. So many people know me by my maiden name that they tend to call me that anyway. My husband is cool with it all. He is confident in our relationship and we both realize that its not the name that counts, but whats in the heart.

    As someone stated earlier, it really depends on each couple’s situation. There is no one right answer.

  16. I am choosing to take on my husband’s last name. My mom hyphanated her name, so to each their own, It’s SOOOOOOO not this serious. One does NOT have to be WHITNEY OR MARIAH in order to keep their last name if they choose, come on now ladies sheesh! !

  17. I have been married for four years, and I chose to hyphanate, because I am an only child and my aunt and uncle did not have any children. I will be the only one left to carry on my father’s legacy. My co-workers and friends call me Heidi Anderson and my husband is very proud that I use both names.

  18. It’s was a very touchy subject in my marriage, from this male prospective if you don’t want to yoked totally then don’t get married simple and plain.

    The bible said leave and cleave, not leave and hyphanate.

  19. Married for 8 years….I choose to hyphenate my last name. It speaks more to who I am or have become as a married woman. My hubby could care less….he appreicates that I remain an individual in our union. As long as you are able to move in the same direction and have peace in your household is all that matters…

  20. I am a hyphy-Wifey……..A personal thing…No disrespect…….However, most times woman fade to the background in alot of marriages…..Woman are seen a strong partners today….In the past, woman were thought of as a Man’s property which today is fading a bit….But don’t be afraid to maintain your true identity…..To change or not to change your name? Do what you feel it’s best!

  21. This has been very interesting. I thank everyone for their responses. I never thought that it might generate this much interest but I am interested in everyone’s response. It has been enlightening.
    Thank you!

  22. Although this is a very touchy subject. I have taken on my husband’s name and I have hyphenated my name. My choice is because I have a child from a previous relationship. So I carry my husband’s name and my oldest child’s last name (it is not my maiden name).

  23. I am an only child and my dad and his parents are deceased. The only living men on my dad’s side are in and out of prison and mental hospitals. When I get married, I want to be a hypenate or add my husband’s name at the end. I would like my dad’s name to stand for something good, rather than stick to tradition, just for the sake of tradition. I will still be using my middle name, as well, since everyone calls me Stacey Marie. I believe that two should become one, not one eliminating the other. I never understood why everyone didn’t hyphenate, if we’re combining two people into one. We’re African-American to celebrate our two distinct cultures, right? Why not join last names as we join our families? Regardless of what my husband wants to do with his last name, I want my children to have their father’s name like I have mine.

  24. Wow. I didn’t realize this was such a touchy subject! It’s fascinating. If it came up in a convo I would’ve said, “to each his own…do what you do…”–but it seems like some people have really strong opinions about it. I’m gonna’ what my man what he thinks about it….mmmm?

  25. I have been married for 8 years (tomorrow) and the first year and a half I did not change my name. When I had our daughter I ADDED his name to the end of mine. My husband was very anxious for me to change my name (tagging his property), but it was important to me to not only recognize his family name and heritage but to continue to recognize mine. In many latin american countries the women keep their fathers name, because no matter who they marry they will always be their fathers child.

    Marriage is the uniting of two families becoming one and at no time was I told that I had to drop my family name (and the recognition of being my fathers child) to become my husbands wife. I think that it is important to continue to recognize who’s daughter I am along with who’s wife I am. I am proud to be the daughter of Creighton Jose Incorminias, Jr and proud to be the wife of Shellie Lindberg Rankin, Jr. I display my respect of the two most important men in my life by keeping the name given to me by my parents and embrasing my husbands name.

    I have the best of both worlds

  26. Personally, I find they hyphenated thing to be bothering. Only in the case of continuing your fathers name (because he has no sons) is it okay to me.
    Other than that, why not? You are marrying your husband and becoming a part of his family…to continue his name onto your kids, etc.
    My wife and I have been together 7 years, and she still has some information listed in her maiden name. I’m like “yo…wassup? Change that ish???” lol
    And think about the longs names you may give you kids if you hyphenate, plus give them a middle name? I have a friend whose son has 4 names. Wow.

  27. I have been married for 13 years and I hypenate my last name. I was born with the last name and will die with it. My husband doesn’t have a problem because when I am addressed, it is “Mrs. —” I am proud of who I was before I was married and I am proud of who I am now. My maiden name has kept me in touch with old friends on “RattlerRoundup & Classmates.com” because of the maiden name. Some people haven’t seen me in a while or remember my last name now. So, hypenating it makes it easy to stay in touch.

  28. I am single, never been married, in my mid-30’s. When I do get married I plan to keep my name for a couple of reasons (no hyphens). One I like my name just the way it is, my dad only has 2 daughters and I want his legacy to live on, I am well established in my career and in the community and people recognize the name.

  29. This is a very touchy subject for some and for others a no-brainer. For those who say that they hyphen and it’s no big deal because their husbands don’t mind, that is fine (you are lucky to have found a mate who is so agreeable). But if last names aren’t a big deal why would you want to hyphen to begin with? If something has no value (big deal) why not just take your husbands name? Why were you compelled to hyphen? I think that it’s more important than you lead on or you wouldn’t have be driven to hyphen.

    For those who say it’s to keep my family name alive, I have two comments: 1) Your dad had the opportunity to have more kids (i.e., boys) and their kids have kids (i.e., grandkids) to keep the family name going. For whatever reason, keeping the family name wasn’t a priority at that time or a set of unfortunate circumstances prevented that from happening but that shouldn’t void your husband’s right to keep his family name alive. 2) Does your mom have a hyphen in her last name? 9 times out of 10 probably not. Because your father saw value in his wife taking his last name and so did your mom. Again, why rob your husband of the same value that your father sought?

    Even if it’s symbolic to the man (or couple), a last name has value. For instance, it’s symbolic for a man to “ask” a woman to marry and give her a ring. What if your man didn’t feel the need to “ask” you to marry and simply wanted to discuss it with you and the both of you make a decision to marry? Furthermore, what if he didn’t want to give you a ring? How would that make you feel as a woman? Wedding rings and “asking” a woman to marry are only symbols and rituals that we do. One can argue that they really don’t have much value in determining the true substance of a relationship. However, there is something very REAL about the message that is conveyed when giving someone a wedding ring and “asking” a woman for her hand in marriage. I feel taking a man’s last name has similar merit.

  30. I am answering this because I encountermany women in my medical practice with a hyphenated name. Before I got married my father made the comment “Black Sorority women get married and hyphenate their names”. I was not insulted by this comment but only laughed it off. I got married 2 months before I finished medical school and that was my opportunity to change my name. I dropped my middle name and made my maiden name my middle name. I sign most things with the middle initial but all of my legal documents have my maiden (middle name) and married name.
    Whether your husband says something about it our not he has a problem with it. As a christian woman my husband is the head of my household and my covering comes from him. If I want to line up with God’s idea of marriage I had to take on my husband’s name. Even if you are well into your career, you can make changes and people adapt. As for the “what if we divorce” you have already spoken doom into your marriage and you may need to rethink anyway. I have 2 daughters and no sons but obviously this is what God had in store for us. Who are we to decide? My father’s comment only made me remember how important taking on my husband’s name meant to him.

    That’s my one dollar on it……..

  31. Your last name has been attached to your first name all of your life, until you commit yourself to the man of your destiny…….First of all you must allow for transition. This is why I hyphenate my name on the jaguarroundup, library card, and driver’s license. I had a full 26 years being Dina Best, it may take me another 26 years to just become Dina Williams. However the hyphen means a lot. It means I am trying.

  32. I certainly believe that the decision to take your husband’s name, to hyphenate, or to keep your maiden name, is a highly personal choice. I decided to take my husband’s last name, no hyphenation. However, I can understand the reluctance of some women to make this choice. If you have always practiced, worked, or published under your maiden name, there are implications for hyphentating or changing your name.

    My maiden name has always been a signifcant part of my identity. It has communicated to others who I am and where I come from. And quite frankly, it has been the catalyst for various and endearing nicknames over the years. At this point, I have decided to use my maiden name as my middle name. Who knows? Even that may change, as it’s getting about as much use as my middle name always has, which is not much more than an initial, which kind of defeats the purpose.

    But no matter what, I’ll always respond to Choo-choo!

  33. I think every individual has the right to decide the name they shall use. Men really need to stop worrying about the small stuff and concentrate on fulfilling their marriage vows and their spouse’s lives. The important thing is that the husband and wife love one another. If that is true, everything else is simply unimportant. So, women, I support your right to be known as an individual, whatever the name may be…

    Mr. Ed (CES)

  34. I don’t remember who mentioned the bible, but the Bible does say “for this reason a MAN shall leave his father and mother and cling to his wife.” So why doesn’t the man take the woman’s last name? I am married and hyphenated because the only son my parents had died as a baby and I want the name to live on. In due respect, since neither of us wants to forfeit our names (we come from strong heritage), my husband is also hyphenating his 🙂 And we are both happy with that.

  35. I’ve been married for 2 years, and been with my husband for 6 years. I chose to take his name for one main reason. TRUST. My mama always told me to hypenate, in case of divorce, so I won’t be stuck with his last name. But I love my husband and I trust him, so I took his last name because of that. Its every girls dream of renaming themselves Mrs. xxxxxxxx. Why not do it? What are you afraid of???

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