Women changing...or not changing... their last name

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Nov 8, 2004
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Old time poster.....some of you hopefully remember me. I try to still swing by once in awhile. Question for the board about women changing last names, or not changing last names. :help:

Quick background, MM is getting married! :banana: MM, as many of you know, is Dr. MM and has been that way for several years. And for the last 10 years of higher education and work and play, MM has been MM current last name. Don't really want to change it. Mountains of paperwork, everyone knows me by the current last name, reputation with the current last name, etc. Compounding this is the fact that MM's first name starts with a Cla... and future Mr. MM's last name starts with a Kla... put together sounds like a train or tongue twister or something. Not a fan of the combination. It's fairly common among all my female Dr friends and acquaintances to be Dr maiden name at work, and Mrs married name socially...not that uncommon not to change or to just drop the middle name and add the new last name, eg. MM maiden name married name. Then I could go by whichever I want.

Enter the future Mr. MM's opinion. He feels it signifies not wanting to be part of "us", that everyone will look down on him for the rest of our lives because his wife doesn't think highly enough of him or respect him enough to take his last name, that refusing to do so is disrespectful, etc. I have never ever heard any of the above reasons mentioned, or anyone ever comment on a couple with different last names in a negative way....but then most of my friends are female veterinarians and I apparently need a male perspective.

Soooooo.... do you guys actually view married couples with different last names this way? I'm moving from a fairly progressive city of 50,000 to a small rural town of 3000 where the nearest large town is an hour away.. probably a similar demographic to Cattle Today folks. Thoughts, comments, etc?

Thanks all, appreciate it!
I'd think that changing your last name should definitely be a sacrifice you should be willing to make! It might be inconvenient but don't you think you could do that for him? :2cents:

And to be completely honest Yeah it doesn't look to good (I my opinion) when a husband and wife have different last names
First off congratulations.
Second, it seems commonplace for female Dr's to keep their maiden names. He should be proud enough of you and what you have accomplished so it wouldn't be an issue.
kenny thomas":116io5i7 said:
First off congratulations.
Second, it seems commonplace for female Dr's to keep their maiden names. He should be proud enough of you and what you have accomplished so it wouldn't be an issue.
Maybe but that could go the other way as well

You could say she should be proud of him and want to take his last name
Congratulations Milkmaid!
I work with 2 female MDs that were recently married. Both with successful OB practices. One did not change her last name. The other did. The one who did seems just as confused as all of us about what to call herself now. I can certainly see why a professional with an established client base would be hesitant to change her last name, from a business standpoint.
I am a traditionalist and generally side with changing your name; however, after witnessing some of the confusion first hand, I can appreciate why a gal would not. Best wishes to you and your groom to be!
Mr MM's opinion has crossed my mind before as in, how long will this last Mrs doesn't seem All In on the marriage idea.
Then again saw my niece struggle with same issues as yourself. She finally decided to change hers and it did complicate life for couple of years, but when first kiddo came along she said happy she did as it made her feel more like a united family. I'm traditional and Hate the hyphen compromise one or the other, but no hyphens.
My Dr goes by her maiden name at her practice. Her husband is in the same office. Away from work she goes by her married name.
She seemed to solve the problem,there must be some legal BS here somewhere.
My two cents. First marriage I changed to his last name and everything traditional.
Second go round I said no that I had decades in that career and everyone knows me as ... besides the last name was Morgan and I was then a Captain. I explained that I just could not be Captain Morgan. However, I told him when I retired I would change to Morgan. Meant a lot to him. He told all friends and family that. When I retired he reminded me of promise and I kept the promise and changed everything legally.
Its your name. You have to be comfortable with it. A name will make no substantive impact on the marriage experience. If you want to keep your name, keep it.
Congrats MM. I couldn't care either way. I know it is a hassle. Neither of two local female vets changed their names when they married. Also know that the real traditional types look down upon those who don't change their name. Not real sure when a name took the place of a ring.

Future Mr. MM should only care about the fact that he has a good-looking woman in his bed every night, not silly things like last names.
First off congrats MM. Glad to see al is well with you. I tend to agree with future Mr MM. I see your point also. You have been Dr MM for a couple years but you have a lifetime to build your client base as Dr Mr MM. If you choose not to though, I recommend y'all work this through before the big day and dont go into the marriage starting with resentment on the first day.
Congratulations. I'm 56, and been married for almost 30 years. To be honest I'd have been hurt if my wife hadn't taken my name, so I'm afraid I have to side with your husband, but you did say you wanted male perspectives.

Right or wrong, many people believe that a woman that won't take her husband's name wants to "wear the pants in the family", for lack of a better way to explain it. I'd say it's not so much you showing a lack of respect as other people possibly having less respect for him. Especially in a traditional, rural setting, like you're moving to. I'd hope you don't want that.

And please don't get the wrong idea about what I said about wearing the pants in the family. I firmly believe that in a healthy relationship neither partner should be dominant, but both should work together. I'd like to think that's the kind of marriage my wife and I have.
Congratulations first off and traditional ways is old fashioned. IMO My wife dropped her maiden name after 30 years, guess she finally figured out she couldn't do any better.
Sounds to me like the other half is awfully insecure. He's really going to hate being mister Dr MM no matter if you change or not.
Professionally, Dr. mm
Socially, Ms. MM Smith or Mrs. John Smith.

Names are important.
Do not use Dr. socially if your husband does not have the title.

I think you should have submitted details about him to us for our review and approval before making the decision to marry. :nod:
Sincerly wish the two of you the very best. :tiphat:
I have a common last name, my wife of 38 years has a common first name. It seemed that everywhere we moved, there was someone with the same name within a few blocks of us. She began to hyphenate her name which bugged the heck out of me for a while. But that was my insecurity showing and had nothing to do with how "invested" she was in the marriage.

I would keep or hyphenate your name. It sounds as if he is insecure, but get it straightened out before you tie the knot.

Love is always patient; love is always kind; love is never envious or arrogant with pride. Nor is she conceited.

Not sure that's relevant here, but it gets me out of a bunch of trouble with my wife.
Ryder":27v4ab0p said:
.....Do not use Dr. socially if your husband does not have the title.

I think you should have submitted details about him to us for our review and approval before making the decision to marry. :nod:
Sincerly wish the two of you the very best. :tiphat:

Disagree with the first sentence (it's incorrect both as a matter of etiquette and as a matter of respect). Agree with the rest of the above.

Congratulations MM! It mattered not to my husband whether I changed my name. (Which is good, because I would not have married anyone to whom it was a dealbreaker). Changing one's name has zero to do with the strength or depth of one's commitment to another person.
It won't be a popular point on here, but historically it was a practice started when women were chattel. And many cultures do not practice it. It's your decision and it's easier to keep it for now and change over later, than to change it now and decide you'd have rather kept it.
Also (and here's where I get a bit ambivalent): even your "own" name is, in all likelihood, your father's name. And his father's name, and his father's name, all the way back into the mists.....When I look at my genealogical tree, I'm always amazed at the last names of the people whose blood runs in me just the same as the tiny thread whose name I ended up carrying by happenstance.
Good luck working through this, and congratulations!!!!

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