Hyphenating your name after marriage, yes or no?

My fiance and I have had numerous arguments about me wanting to hyphenate my name when we get married. I tried explain that it would in a sense my last name would kinda be like my middle name and that I would still take his name. He says that he thinks that it is disrespectful. Any opinions?

Updates:
My reason behind wanting to hyphenate is because I am the only one left with my name besides my mother. If my father were still alive I might think differently but it is like one of the last connections I have to him.

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Most Helpful Guy

  • I used to feel the same way as your fiancee. I just wanted my wife to take my name, period. However, after seeing this done, and it having become very common, I don't really see a problem with it. You will need to compromise with him about this in some way, or it could become a major stumbling block in your relationship.

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    • If you don't mind me asking. Why you felt the same was as my fiance feels, why did you feel that way?

    • I thought it was against tradition to not take my surname, and she should definitely do it. But after I'd seen it hyphenated, I realized its just a variation of the tradition. Just another way to take my name. If you don't include his name, that's bad!

    • I would like to hyphenate including both names using my name as a middle name. I think he is having a hard time understanding that, I think he feels like I am not taking his name at all although I have stressed that I would be using him name. Thanks!

What Guys Said 8

  • My opinion about a woman's name is that it is hers and if she REALLY wants to change it to anything (well not "MotorboaterIsAJerk" but other than that. ) that's fine and her prerogative and not to be taken as disrespect to me. I mean, if I want my name to be whatever it is, I know I don't intend any disrespect to my wife, even if I don't want her last name as my own.

    Now if we marry and she chooses my last name, I would (and did) feel honored. But not automatically entitled to such a compliment, regardless of tradition.

    When you get the "free name change" at marriage, btw, you can change any and all parts of your name. Which means you can add a second middle name, or change your middle name if you so choose. So my wife, when we got married, replaced her middle name with her maiden name. Thus preserving it for similar reasons that you have, while avoiding the hyphenization that she considered awkward. Meaning, her maiden name was:

    Jane Mary Doe

    And my last name was Motorboater (names have been changed here to protect the innocent; but this is a true example. )

    And her married name she chose was Jane Doe Motorboater. And she got to ditch "Mary" because she didn't like it. But she could have chosen Jane Mary Doe Motorboater if she wanted.

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  • Depends on your (unmentioned) reason for wanting to keep your maiden name. If you have established a career with it and need that background, then I can see where it would make sense. Otherwise, I'm not sure why you want to break from a lineal tradition?

    To me the name thing is a stamp of approval and commitment on a new life together and not changing says: "I'm marrying you and kind of taking it seriously but keeping my maiden name handy for when I leave you. "

    And are your kids going to have a hyphenated last name? I think hyphenated names look stupid. I'm glad my mom didn't hyphenate her name because then that would be my last name and it would embarrass me.

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    • If you look at it as a stamp of approval and commitment on a new life together than why can't a guy change his name?

    • He can. I have no objection to that.

  • You need to make a decision. Do want to think of yourself as daddies little girl or fiance's new wife. Once you have made that decision I suspect the problem will go away. Were I the fiance, I would just give the word, "it isn't happening with me. "

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    • So a woman is daddy's little girl or a fiance's wife to be? How about being her own person'? How about the fact that her name is represents her identity not which man own her?

    • Which man OWNS her? He doesn't OWN you. You'd take his name because you love him and want to be with him.

    • Scorpchica, I don't agree with your view of mariage. I am not a strongly religeous person, but iI was married in a mainstream church and a significant portion of the ceremony was that the two individuals were now joined as one. And that is how I veiw a married couple, so obviosly it just doesn't work out for one entity to have different last names.

  • Do you plan to have children? If so, you could name any boys you have after your father. That is another option. The hyphenated name wouldn't be so bad either.

    Does your fiance know the reason you want to hyphen the name? He may be more understanding when you tell him it's to honor your father's memory.

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  • If I was going to marry a woman who wanted to do this, I'd much prefer just to think up a brand new last name, and we could both change our last names. My last name is way too long to make sense as a hyphenated combo anyways! LOL

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  • Don't think your father would of been offended if your mother never took his name?

    Call it old fashioned, but guys view their last name as their legacy. It needs to be carried down to their children, & their wife. women want to be protected, men need to spread their speed and their dominance.. I know that sounds male chauvinists, but think of it this way; we're all animals. Whether you like it or not, and despite what the feminist movement has tried to sway peoples minds, we're still just animals.

    Men conquer, women nurture.. Part of the male conquering and protecting basic element of them, they need their women to take their name in our culture. Yes other cultures are different, that is because their men express that in other ways. However since we have very little we really control in the house anymore, that is but one of the few things we have left.

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  • What will probably happen: Even if you decide to hyphenate now, within the next few years you'll end up taking his surname anyways. And like what other people said, there are tons of other ways to keep the name alive (through your children, double up your own middle name if you already have one, etc).

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  • I have a somewhat related situation. I have two middle names, one is a regular middle name and the other is my grandmother's (on my dad's side) maiden name. I am now the only living person with my grandma's maiden name, I like having it and plan to pass it along to my children.

    As far as your situation goes you could do what my dad did, give your kids the name so that the name is passed along.

    I can see where your fiance is coming from, I would be upset if my wife insisted on hyphenating her last name. Hopefully this doesn't become a strain on your relationship, good luck.

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What Girls Said 5

  • An idea that I know some people have done is to change their middle name to their former surname and then take their husband's surname. For example, if Jane Marie Carter marries John Smith, then her name would become Jane Carter Smith. In common usage, she would be known as Jane Smith, but she'd be keeping her birth surname as well. I'm not sure if that becomes an issue if your middle name is, for example, a baptismal or confirmation name, or if you've got a particular attachment to your middle name, but it's a thought.

    On another note, I don't intend to pry, because I know this wasn't your question, but the fact that he says it would be "disrespectful" for you not to take his name sends up a red flag for me about what your married relationship might be like, if he's not willing to compromise on an issue like this. Just a thought.

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  • I agree a lot with what annwyl-cariad said. I am actually VERY against hyphenating. I just don't like the way it looks or sounds or anything. I'm actually married and always planned to take my husband's last name. Both our kids have his last name. But 3. 5 years later I still have my maiden name. That's a story unto itself. If I finally do get around to making the change, I will be changing my middle name to my maiden name. So it will be First Maiden Married. My reasons are similar to yours. My father passed when I was a kid and I can't bear to part with his last name, yet am against the hyphenating. So this was my solution.

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  • I agree with annwyl-cariad's comments on your fiance saying it was "disrespectul"--red flag. HE should be more respectful of your wishes and realize that if you're making the committment to marry him and spend your life with him, the focus shouldn't be on how you guys share a name, it should be that you both are making the committment to begin with. Who cares about the name?

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  • Surely you have memories of your father? Can you not just. take his name? Hyphenated names look stupid anyway.

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  • I wouldn't do it, I want the same name as my kids.

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