Monday, 28 July 2014

Do I Need to Change Name After Marriage?

So, you have done it. You did the deed. You got married! All the intense preparations, grueling rehearsals and premarital jitters are over. But alas! Another problem rears its head, something else to contemplate. What about changing name after marriage? Do I have to?

Everyone knows, it is tradition. When a woman gets married she drops her last name and adopts that of her husband. It is based on the idea that when a man takes a wife and they have children, they form a family. The family should be recognizable by one name, their last name or family name. So, because it was a male dominated society, the entire family would adopt the man’s last name.

After wedding, woman still has to think about changing last nameHowever, times have changed. Women now take pride in the many strides they have made throughout history. Strides like the ability to now vote and their increased presence in the workplace; there are female presidents and prime ministers everywhere now for heaven’s sake! Isn’t changing your last name against your will to that of your husband’s still a remnant of the out dated male dominated society?

Also, what about the whole issue of identity? Some women believe that changing your name after marriage changes who you are. You were born with a particular name. You are used to it, you love it.

So why should you be forced into changing your name after marriage?  Suppose I do not like his last name? Really, all I signed up for was to love him, not necessarily his last name! Women should not be forced into changing last name after marriage. Some women scream, “Why doesn’t he take my name”? The point is gone are the days when the man controls everything. We are capable of making our own decisions.

There are 6ways in which women deal with the name change issue nowadays. Namely:

·        Simply keep their own name – make no change at all

·        Keep their own name in professional situations only – otherwise they use their husband’s name

·        Fully adopt their husband’s name  - their own name becomes their maiden name

·        Hyphenate their own name with their husband’s – all of that becomes their last name

·        Use their own name as their middle name and adopt their husband’s last name –they have to be willing to drop their middle name

·        Ask their husband to take their name – the entire family name becomes that of the woman’s

Whatever the choice, I believe it is ultimately the bride’s decision. Living in modern times means we are afforded a choice. We do not have to feel compelled to follow tradition and accept the last name of our groom. Neither do we need to feel belittled by feminists who do not believe in taking the name at all.

I had several considerations when I was making my decision. The issue of identity, the fact that I do like the idea of my family being recognized collectively under one name and of course tradition. My first choice was to hyphenate but after trying that out for a while in colloquial settings, I bid that idea goodbye. Both our names are too long and are combustible together. So officially I took his name but I still use my maiden name in certain simple settings like on social media.

The point is, however, it was my decision. I am proud of my decision. Do not allow anyone to oblige you into doing what they want. What decision did you make?

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