Similar thought. When I married, I dropped my middle name and placed my maiden name in the middle. It’s not hyphenated, but I use the entire thing for professional things. Given Maiden Married.
I wrote a paper before I was married, but by the time it was published and began to be cited in other journals, I’d already changed my name to what it is now, so it wasn’t a deal. That’s my one big research publication. LOL! Name recognition and reputation do mean something, so I can understand reluctance to change it for professional reasons.
Family history people would just hate this idea! Seriously, it often becomes very hard to trace maternal lines. We’re now in an age of written records and documentation so hopefully we have less of that going forward. It’s sad to come across a maternal first name and there’s nothing left of her family to find. That’s one reason I like the idea of putting the maiden name in the middle at least.
We have some friends. Each kept their own surname. They have two female children. One has the father’s surname. The other has the mother’s surname. To me, that’s confusing. I’d want my children to share a surname growing up, and people assume it’s a step-family situation so you’d have to constantly explain it.
Yeah I think the overall “problem” is that there just isnt a great way to merge two families together without one of them “losing” something. Either side is justified in not wanting to change their name, but then as you have noted the kids have different names than at least one of the parents. I didnt ask my wife to change her name, but she did. I’d be lying if I didnt say I enjoy the idea of all of us having the same name (me, wife, child). Maybe when the prospect of my name dying out becomes a reality, like it was for my dad, the idea will have more meaning to me.
I do think the family history aspect is interesting, in that it provides some amount of heritage trace-ability for whatever thats worth.
Tradition on its own is insufficient. However, in this case, in addition to tradition we have the fact that it isn’t broken and no one has suggested a definitively better system. Hyphenation suffers from a 2^N problem over generations. Everyone keeping their own leaves families harder to identify and raises the questions of what children use. Taking the wife’s name is mostly the same as taking the husband’s name except that going against convention in this case causes confusion because it isn’t expected.
In response to the original question: No I wouldn’t take my wife’s name, because I have functioning testicles.
Of course not. Otherwise I’d be suggesting that we should do away with any and all traditions. Mostly, there are good reasons why something became a tradition, so there are actually legitimate arguments for them. In this case, it wouldn’t be necessary to disguise the fact that something is a tradition as an argument. When that happens, it often seems to be sign that someone can’t come up with a real argument.
You’re right that there’s propably no system that’ll be perfect for everyone, so couples should just figure out what to do themselves. There’s no need for everyone to follow the same system. And if some men do decide to take their wives’ names, I’m sure the rest of society will find a way to deal with the ensueing confusion.
Just ran across this thread & neeed to give my opinion, as per always!
I kind of wish my wife had kept her maiden name. She took mine and doesn’t hyphenate or anything, but I find that for her social media stuff she uses her maiden name (and what a maiden too!)
Also like how the Latin Americans do theirs, like when a lady marries, she adds “de la” - whoever to the man’s last name, as do the children. I don’t know how many generations they do that, but it makes better sense to me than how we do it. I mean we combine identities, not usurp them.
Let’s say “Sally Smith” married “John Doe.” She would then use Sally Doe "de la (of the) Smith (family).
As for a man taking the lady’s last name: Hellll Nah! Therefore I understand why she may not wish to take her man’s last name. Makes sense.
But hey, I’m a country boy type, and social constructs tend to baffle the hell out of me anyway.
This reply must have come as I came to the end of one of my posting phases; I don’t think I ever saw it. Oh! June of last year - I was getting married! And beginning my name weirdness officially. I haven’t managed to segue at all. I haven’t changed my nameplate at work or had it added to my paperwork (my professional signature, which autofills in our documentation system) because I came back from three weeks off for my honeymoon and just kept saying “Hi, this is Emily Q. I’m calling because I have a referral for you for counseling and was calling to schedule that if you’re still interested.” And then just got busy with regular life.
My husband has had more exposure to my ex, meanwhile, and as time goes on I would say “dislikes” is a fair word to describe his feelings toward the man whose name I bear. However, I’m more and more considering private practice, so there’s that continued motivation to keep the name, because many of my referral sources know me by it (all the local schools, for instance, so a big deal). Also, it’s an absolute bitch to change it. My info was part of the Equinox breech and my husband and I both had fraudulent activity, which led to bullshit unending with the credit card companies. The thought of contacting every single entity with whom I have a relationship…spending hours on the phone saying "I’m sorry, could you repeat that? I couldn’t quite understand, and say, where is your call center located?.. Ugh.
I should really get moving on that, though. I hope this thread pops back up in my “suggestions” in a couple of months so I won’t forget again.
I think the standard should be to move the maiden to middle if you’re going to take the husband’s last. I’m against taking the wife’s name because as has been pointed out in the (long dead - let me be clear that I realize I’ve bumped it, lol) thread already, it would be yet another confusing potential mess, but with no tradition to back its arbitrary addition to the equation.
I like hyphenation okay, but there would have to be a standard, which would probably still be patriarchal. I’m okay with that, personally, so what I would like to see would be: Given Middle Wife-Husband. Kids would be Given Middle Wife-Husband until they married, at which point they would drop mother’s maiden. Maiden names just sort of drift right until eliminated or until someone doesn’t marry. In divorced-with-kids situations people could make a choice about maintaining the ex’s name in place of the maiden for the sake of kids and continuity.
Funny this thread actually popped up, am literally going through these exact conversations with my partner at the moment.
I have a fair amount of family history dramas where I feel no pride in my last name, and unfortunately due to dramas involving my immediate family and the way they treated my fiance over our friendship/relationship, she is obviously not too crash hot in adopting my last name, as she has also had dramas with her own family last name (biological father isnt in the picture) however we are both pretty traditional in the fact that she wants something to be symbolic of us in the act of marriage.
We came to a really positive conclusion where we both change our last name, to my middle name.
Ill adopt my grandfathers name as my new middle name, and allows us to stay within traditional parameters but with a modern times twist, so to speak…
I had a friend recently do this. Although, they chose the original spelling of his last name. It did radically change the pronunciations as well. He went from an easy to pronounce name to a very French name.
My wife also did this (maiden name to middle name, took my name as her last name) but still goes by her maiden name in some professional circles (she’s a classically trained vocalist that performs in a variety of roles). She usually puts her name in the program as “Given Maiden Married” but there are still times when she may just go by her maiden name. Depends a little bit on the specific setting and her history with a particular place.
EDIT: also should add, this has to be a giant pain for women in academia that publish papers. I think many of them retain their maiden name if they already had built a profile and publication record with it, perhaps legally taking their husband’s name legally (so they can pick up their kids at school, lol) but rarely using it professionally.