More men taking wives' last names?

Discussion in 'Politics, Religion, Social Issues' started by joeshell383, Mar 15, 2008.

  1. joeshell383 macrumors 6502a

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    #1
    More men taking wives' last names?
    USA TODAY

    The newlyweds knew it would be surprising, but they never expected it to go quite so badly.
    As Donna and Mike entered their wedding reception, an unwitting announcer told the expectant crowd, "Ladies and gentleman, put your hands together for the new Mr. and Mrs. Salinger!"

    Some guests clapped, some chuckled at what they presumed was a joke and most looked at one another in confusion. The couple spent the entire reception and some of their honeymoon explaining to people what they had done.

    The groom, you see, had started his day as Mike Davis and ended it by doing something precious few of his brothers-in-arms do: He took his wife's last name instead of her taking his.

    "Never in my wildest dreams would I have thought it would have caused as much of a stir as it did," says Mike Salinger, 27, of Seattle, who was married in November. "We knew people might be surprised, but we figured they'd say 'Huh' and get on with it.

    Full Article:
    http://www.usatoday.com/news/nation/2007-03-20-names-marriage_N.htm

    Related Article:
    http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,102945,00.html


    My questions to men:

    Would you ever consider taking your fiancée's last name (in full or hyphenated) or creating a brand new "combined name"? Why or why not?
    Would it be okay if she kept her name (and you kept yours)? Why or why not?


    My questions to women:

    Would you ever ask your fiance to take your last name (full or hyphenated) or create a brand new "combined name" instead of taking his? Why?
    Would you consider keeping your name (and he keep his)?

    If you are married, what are your thoughts?
     
  2. Eraserhead macrumors G4

    Eraserhead

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    #2
    I don't care really, it shouldn't be an issue. However I wouldn't go for a hyphenated name, that seems like too much of a horrible compromise.

    If some of my older relatives cared a lot then I might not change it to my wife's name as I get on well with my family, but to be honest I doubt any of them would care.
     
  3. Iscariot macrumors 68030

    Iscariot

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    #3
    It's just a name.

    I've been thinking about changing my last name just for the hell of it anyways.
     
  4. robanga macrumors 68000

    robanga

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    #4
    There's actually a trend (small albeit) going on toward "female led marriage", if you google it you come up groups such as "Venus on Top" and others. When you put aside the intimacy side of things, which is some of the appeal to the growth of these sites, there is an actual philosophy behind it all.

    I know one such couple, where he has taken her name. I'm guessing it works for them.
     
  5. sushi Moderator emeritus

    sushi

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    #5
    I have some friends who did the hyphen solution.

    Personally, I don't care much for it as the names become long. But it works for them.

    How about this. The husband and wife take a whole new last name. So if Mr. Davis and Ms. Johnson marry they become Mr. and Mrs. Richard or Mr. and Mrs. Jones, or whatever. Sure would make things interesting.
     
  6. Virgil-TB2 macrumors 65816

    Virgil-TB2

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    #6
    This is one of the main reasons for doing it.

    Where I live anyway, changing one's name legally is a hugely expensive hassle, and the government doesn't like it much so you have to always be prepared to explain to any agency that you "used to be called... X" or whatever, whereas if you change your name through marriage it costs nothing extra and is much more of a respected change.
     
  7. abijnk macrumors 68040

    abijnk

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    #7
    For me, it would depend on the outside situations.

    I'll give an example of a girl I went to school with. Both of her parents are doctors and they had already established themselves in their respective practices before they got married. As such, they decided, for obvious professional reasons, to keep their respective surnames.

    I plan on taking my fiance's surname when we get married, and not necessarily for any reason other than tradition. I'm pretty sure that if I was hell bent on him taking my name he'd consider it, too. :)
     
  8. Doctor Q Administrator

    Doctor Q

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    #8
    Mrs. Q and I went the conventional route (using Q, of course!) but we know plenty of couples who kept separate names, some where she or they hyphenated (with or without the hyphen), some where she uses her maiden name as a middle name, some where she changed names for her personal life but not for her business work, some where she kept their married name after a divorce, and some who went back to their maiden name after a divorce. One friend used her 1st husband's last name, changed back to her maiden name after a divorce, then kept using her maiden name after remarrying.

    But I know no men who gave up their last name entirely.

    There are a few tradeoffs to consider, such as:
    • Wanting to observe social tradition.
    • Wanting to buck social tradition to make a point.
    • Wanting to preserve a family name.
    • Whether either name is in use professionally.
    • Whether either name is famous (which can be good or bad).
    • Whether they think having matching names shows more commitment.
    • How the first and last names sound together. I have a friend who was wary of her boyfriend's last name because it rhymed with her first name.
    • The paperwork required to change names.
    • The confusion that results (temporarily) from changing names.
    • That life can be easier for a couple with the same last name, simply because it's clearer that they are married and people will call them by the other's last name "by default."
    • That life can be simpler for children with a non-hyphenated name, especially when they are learning to write their name!
    • Which name sounds better. Sometimes one of them will be glad to change from a less pleasant last name (in their opinion) to a better one.
    What did I leave out?

    About that last bullet point, I have an American friend who disliked her maiden name and looked forward to having a new one "someday." It was a hard-to-spell name like Glockenspiel. (That's not the real name, but an example so you get the idea.) So what happened? She fell in love with and married a man with an even worse last name! Being a traditionalist, she changed to his name and they lived happily and oft-misspelled ever after.

    What do people with hyphenated last names do when they marry each other?
     
  9. joeshell383 thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    #9
    That's my largest problem (of several) with the whole issue. When you break from the traditional system of children taking the father's last name, the family loses lineage and history. I heard about one instance where the woman kept her name and the man kept his but the children took her name (no hyphenation)! I think it is wrong, as is merging names/choosing a new name/making up a name.

    For me, I would not change my last name and I would have my wife take mine, thus having one family name, unless there is a specific reason for not doing so (career, etc.) The children, of course, would take my name/the family name.
     
  10. miloblithe macrumors 68020

    miloblithe

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    #10
    Having a different last name than someone doesn't mean you're not related. If my son has a different name from his grandfather, his grandfather is still his grandfather.

    I'm also not a fan of hyphenation because it's an obvious stop-gap solution. Children with hyphenated names obviously aren't going to marry other people with hyphenated names and hyphenate all of them. Allison Jones-Kimble-Delany-Smith

    My wife and I did the following: she kept her last name and we decided that when we have kids, girls would have her last name and boys my last name, unless we decided the opposite sounded better or if for a second child we have two of the same sex. I don't consider my daughter to be any less my daughter because she has a different last name.
     
  11. Doctor Q Administrator

    Doctor Q

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    #11
    Actually, one of two families loses lineage and history that way. That's the reason some choose to combine names.

    One benefit of the computer and Internet age is that you don't have to be named "Smith" for you and others to know you are a descendant of the Smith family. Recordkeeping (not to mention DNA) can track your lineage and preserve the information for future generations, whether you like it or not!
     
  12. joeshell383 thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    #12
    Of course that is a personal decision, but from the outside it could be viewed as a sign of disconnectedness and lack of unity within your family, and it will be very difficult when the children reach school age. Why not just spare the hassle and go with one name for your children?
     
  13. j26 macrumors 65832

    j26

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    #13
    If your name was, say, Mike Hunt, you'd probably be glad to get married and change it to your brides name, unless her name is Roch.
     
  14. ham_man macrumors 68020

    ham_man

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    #14
    Being a social traditionalist, I am all for the woman taking the man's last name and moving her maiden name to her functional middle name.

    For instance, Marie Smith married to Mike Jones might become Marie Smith Jones, with Marie Jones being her legal first and last names.
     
  15. Ugg macrumors 68000

    Ugg

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    #15
    What do you mean by the outside? Are you saying that tradition is more important than freedom of choice?

    The NYT had an article recently about boys with "girls'" names. The upshot was that the boys grew up to be more tolerant and more able to roll with the punches.

    My nephew is the only one of his generation to carry the last name of the father of the guy in my avatar. In other words, after 7 generations, he's the only male descendant. When I pointed this out to him, I realized that it was sort of unfair to expect him to produce a son just to carry on the family name. After all, he's only 16.

    In the long run it's irrelevant what a person's last name is.
     
  16. yg17 macrumors G5

    yg17

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    #16
    I don't see what the big deal is....if both parties are OK with whatever they decide, then that's fine, and who am I to disagree? If I ever get married and my wife wants to keep her name or hyphenate, that's fine with me. Because no one can seem to pronounce my last name correctly, sometimes I wish I didn't have it either.

    It's just one of those many things that affects just a couple people, yet all of society gets all worked up over it.
     
  17. BigPrince macrumors 68020

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    #17
    I am never getting married, so I will never have to worry about these questions.
     
  18. abijnk macrumors 68040

    abijnk

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    #18
    I am female and the only one in my family with the last name Young. I really don't mind because everyone is a Hutchinson and that takes WAY too long to spell. ;) But to the point, it was a simple matter of personal choice as to which surname I chose to keep. My situation is a little unique, but still, I grew up as the only sibling with a different last name, and it presented no problems at all. Everyone who doesn't know has to be told, but it takes like two seconds to say "I'm their sister." I don't think it would be any different for miloblithe.

    That's kind of sad. :(
     
  19. Eraserhead macrumors G4

    Eraserhead

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    #19
    Why make such an arbitrary decision, rather than seeing what path you take?
     
  20. BigPrince macrumors 68020

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    #20
    I do not want to hi-jack the thread, so if someone cares enough, we can start a new one.
     
  21. creator2456 macrumors 68000

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    #21
    "Hi, this is my son Craig Allen Johnson-Flanders-Worth-Boyd."

    Poor kid and kindergarten.
     
  22. MacFanBoyIIe macrumors 6502

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    #22
    You could always go the Friends route and change your name to Crap Bag....:D
     
  23. Doctor Q Administrator

    Doctor Q

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    #23
    If your name is His Royal Highness The Prince Charles Philip Arthur George of Wales and Duke of Rothesay But Not Earl of Merioneth then should your wife go by Mrs. Royal Highness The Prince Charles Philip Arthur George of Wales and Duke of Rothesay But Not Earl of Merioneth? :D

    Maybe it's better to go by a nickname!
     
  24. it5five macrumors 65816

    it5five

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    #24
    I don't see the point in changing last names at all.

    My girlfriend and I don't plan on ever getting married, so I guess we won't have to deal with this problem at all. Though if we do ever end up getting married for some reason, I imagine she'll just keep her own last name.
     
  25. Kernow macrumors 65816

    Kernow

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    #25
    I never really saw the point of changing names, man or woman. When I got married, it was never a question - my wife kept her own name and neither of us assumed she would do otherwise. We have justified this to some people who were bothered by that kind of thing as being for professional reasons, but really that had nothing to do with it.

    Not sure what we are going to do with children's names - probably go with hyphenation, but I do like the solution above. I don't think this erodes any kind of family cohesiveness - that depends on the love and family environment rather than what surname you use.
     

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