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Deciding on last names when you get married
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Clinically Insane
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Dec 23, 2009, 11:11 PM
 
Do you know any couple where the husband took the wife's last name?

It seems rather troublesome to me that the default and what seems to happen far more often than not is the wife taking the husband's last name. This tradition came out of a time where women were property, slaves also took the last name of their master.

Why not keep your last names, and if you have kids the boys take the Dad's last name, and the girls take the Mom's last name? Why do so many couples have to share a last name, and then this happens why is it that far more often than not it is the man's last name?

I wonder whether this is just some sort of tradition that people don't put a whole lot of thought into anymore? Don't get me wrong, there is nothing wrong with going with the man's last name if the last name is just cooler, the wife is closer to that side of the family, whatever, but the fact that this rarely happens in the reverse suggests to me that some people are just stuck in this sort of mindless tradition and haven't really thought about where it came from.
     
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Dec 23, 2009, 11:22 PM
 
Yes, two actually. They liked their wife's last names better than their own ones.

-t
     
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Dec 23, 2009, 11:25 PM
 
My wife wanted to take my last name. To her it was a part of the whole "getting married" thing. I don't think it's a big deal either way and I never understood the point of making it one.
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Dec 23, 2009, 11:30 PM
 
Without sounding like I'm challenging you, like I said there are certainly all sorts of reasons to take the man's last name, I'm just addressing the overall trend/tendency, can I ask why your wife wanted to take your last name?
     
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Dec 23, 2009, 11:37 PM
 
My wife won't have to take my name if she doesn't want to. If her career benefits from her keeping her surname then its fine by me if she wants to keep it. My kids sure as hell will have my name though. And the idea of splitting up the last names by the children's gender is idiotic. It would confuse the hell out of them when they were little. Among them it would denote blood relation which with the increasing amount of bizarre family blends these days is an important distinction. As for my slaves.. well if they know what's good for them they will adopt my last name.

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Dec 23, 2009, 11:38 PM
 
It's about the children. The purpose is to further support the nuclear family. Thousands and thousands of years of study and experience overwhelmingly show that the nuclear family is the best environment to raise children in.

That's not to say you have to play by these rules. But as with marriage as well, it's what society has determined to be best for the youngsters who will someday be charged with carrying our civilization forward.

Your desire to play with around with the traditional naming practice already takes place in many areas of the US, especially in ghettos where nobody knows who their father is, who their true blood relatives are, etc..
     
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Dec 23, 2009, 11:56 PM
 
spacefreak: okay, well then why the man's last name rather than the woman's?
     
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Dec 24, 2009, 12:05 AM
 
Originally Posted by spacefreak View Post
It's about the children. The purpose is to further support the nuclear family.
Oh please. It's purpose has NOTHING to do with any such thing. It has everything to do with a tradition based on the oppression of women in a male-dominated society, where women were treated as chattel.

Besson3c: You have a lot of guilt over women's issues don't you?
Being in debt and celebrating a lower deficit is like being on a diet and celebrating the fact you gained two pounds this week instead of five.
     
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Dec 24, 2009, 12:07 AM
 
Besson, what did you do ?

Since you find it so troublesome that "the default [...] is the wife taking the husband's last name," I assume that you took on your wife's last name ?

-t
     
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Dec 24, 2009, 12:07 AM
 
Originally Posted by besson3c View Post
Without sounding like I'm challenging you, like I said there are certainly all sorts of reasons to take the man's last name, I'm just addressing the overall trend/tendency, can I ask why your wife wanted to take your last name?
I don't know, and I was never really interested wither way. Apparently names mean more to others than they do to me.
Being in debt and celebrating a lower deficit is like being on a diet and celebrating the fact you gained two pounds this week instead of five.
     
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Dec 24, 2009, 12:13 AM
 
I'm gonna dump my last name when it's legal for me to marry my partner. Only because I've always hated my surname.

Aside from having an awful last name and just wanting to change it I don't quite get the whole name change thing. It is part of one's identity so it seems a little odd to just throw it away.

I like what they do here in the DR. Everybody has 2 last names, their mother's followed their father's (no hyphen).
     
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Dec 24, 2009, 12:53 AM
 
We kept our last names. It's not guilt, it's my relentless questioning of our traditions, norms, and everything and anything. It seems perfectly justifiable to relate this tradition to its origin in this case.
     
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Dec 24, 2009, 12:54 AM
 
Originally Posted by spacefreak View Post
It's about the children. The purpose is to further support the nuclear family. Thousands and thousands of years of study and experience overwhelmingly show that the nuclear family is the best environment to raise children in.
Thousands and thousands of years of study, huh?
Your desire to play with around with the traditional naming practice already takes place in many areas of the US, especially in ghettos where nobody knows who their father is, who their true blood relatives are, etc..
Unlike with the rednecks and hicks, a man knows who his father is because he's also his uncle.

Hyphenated last names are pretty pointless since you can't continue hyphenating generation after generation.

In Quebec, married women keep their maiden names, and must specifically apply to have her name changed. Now there's a movement make it easier to take the husband's name at marriage without the paperwork hassle.

Lots of interesting variations around the world.
     
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Dec 24, 2009, 01:04 AM
 
WTF does it matter for?
     
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Dec 24, 2009, 01:37 AM
 
My wife took my last name, but only because it’s way cooler than hers. I would imagine that if they’d been reversed, I would have taken hers.

(ignoring the fact that in the alternate reality in which our names were reverse, we’d probably be very different people)
     
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Dec 24, 2009, 03:17 AM
 
Ms. ƃnןsƃnןsƃnןs?
     
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Dec 24, 2009, 10:27 AM
 
I took my husband's last name. It's not particularly "cooler" than my maiden name, but there's something about sharing a last name that makes it feel more... official. Like you're a family now, and it's more important than when you were just dating (and coincidentally, owned a home together - you'd think that'd be the clincher, but no, not really)

I'm Italian/Irish with an English last name, he's Italian/Mutt with an Italian last name, it just seemed like the right choice.
     
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Dec 24, 2009, 11:36 AM
 
My wife took mine as well.

Now she has a name that nobody in her native tongue can pronounce correctly. It sounds like "eight noses".
     
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Dec 24, 2009, 12:15 PM
 
Originally Posted by smacintush View Post
Besson3c: You have a lot of guilt over women's issues don't you?
That's what happens when you marry a feminist looking for a doormat to walk all over.
     
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Dec 24, 2009, 01:15 PM
 
Originally Posted by spacefreak View Post
It's about the children. The purpose is to further support the nuclear family. Thousands and thousands of years of study and experience overwhelmingly show that the nuclear family is the best environment to raise children in.
The nuclear family has only been dominant for the last half century or so.

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Dec 24, 2009, 01:16 PM
 
It may have started out as a "woman as property" issue, but today it's a very personal thing, and these days, just because the wife takes the husband's last name does not mean it's because of the "woman as property" issue or for the sake of tradition, either. It's equally as valid as deciding not to take the last name, or for the husband to take the last name of his wife.

My brother's wife kept her own last name when they got married. A friend of mine has told me that when she gets married she is going to take her husband's last name because she wants to do it, not out of tradition or anything else. But because she personally wants it.

As for a husband taking his wife's last name... one of my professors in medical school did that when he got married. His last name was Harrington, and her last name was Pratt. So, he took her name and she took his and they both hyphenated it. So they are both Pratt-Harrington and so are all their kids.
     
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Dec 24, 2009, 01:18 PM
 
Originally Posted by Laminar View Post
That's what happens when you marry a feminist looking for a doormat to walk all over.
**** off Laminar. Really. Stop being a constant asshole. We all know you dislike me, but get over it.
     
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Dec 24, 2009, 01:20 PM
 
I know a couple of men that took their wife's last name. One was because the dude's last/first name combination was goofy and he wanted to change his name anyways. I'm not sure why the other dude took his wife's name.

My sister still uses her maiden name. She was already established as an attorney before getting married so it was better for her business to keep using her last name. Also her middle name and last name would have been be same if she had taken her husband's last name.
     
Clinically Insane
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Dec 24, 2009, 01:32 PM
 
Originally Posted by Person Man View Post
It may have started out as a "woman as property" issue, but today it's a very personal thing, and these days, just because the wife takes the husband's last name does not mean it's because of the "woman as property" issue or for the sake of tradition, either. It's equally as valid as deciding not to take the last name, or for the husband to take the last name of his wife.

My brother's wife kept her own last name when they got married. A friend of mine has told me that when she gets married she is going to take her husband's last name because she wants to do it, not out of tradition or anything else. But because she personally wants it.

As for a husband taking his wife's last name... one of my professors in medical school did that when he got married. His last name was Harrington, and her last name was Pratt. So, he took her name and she took his and they both hyphenated it. So they are both Pratt-Harrington and so are all their kids.

I absolutely understand taking the husband's last name if the wife wants it. There are several reasons where I could see this sort of thing playing out, but again, why is it so rare that the husband wants the wife's last name? Don't we all know successful wives and dead beat husbands where it would seem fitting for the wife's last name to be used for professional reasons, if nothing more? My sense here is that a few people know one or two people like this, but I'm sure you know countless more where the tradition stands.

Perhaps part of this is that some men are afraid of getting the sort of rude response that Laminar gave me?
     
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Dec 24, 2009, 03:04 PM
 
I wouldn't bother changing any names, since marriage doesn't last that long anyway.
     
Clinically Insane
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Dec 24, 2009, 03:34 PM
 
^ -1, Predictable.
     
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Dec 24, 2009, 03:40 PM
 
What is the current divorce rate in America?
It is frequently reported that the divorce rate in America is 50%. This data is not accurately correct, however, it is reasonably close to actual. The Americans for Divorce Reform estimates that "Probably, 40 or possibly even 50 percent of marriages will end in divorce if current trends continue.", which is actually a projection.

"50% of all marriages in the America end in divorce."
The above statement about the divorce rate in America hides all the details about distribution, however.

Don't change your name.
     
Clinically Insane
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Dec 24, 2009, 03:44 PM
 
Originally Posted by besson3c View Post
I absolutely understand taking the husband's last name if the wife wants it. There are several reasons where I could see this sort of thing playing out, but again, why is it so rare that the husband wants the wife's last name?
That's like asking why it's rare to ride a bicycle backwards. It's rare because there's no good reason to do it unless you're just trying to be contrary.

Originally Posted by besson3c View Post
Don't we all know successful wives and dead beat husbands where it would seem fitting for the wife's last name to be used for professional reasons, if nothing more?
That logic doesn't make sense to me. It requires the premise "Women usually change their names for professional reasons." I don't believe that's the case. Women take their husbands' last names because that's how it's done in our culture. Same reason we celebrate Christmas around this time of year and say "Bless you" when someone sneezes.
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Clinically Insane
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Dec 24, 2009, 04:01 PM
 
Originally Posted by Chuckit View Post
That's like asking why it's rare to ride a bicycle backwards. It's rare because there's no good reason to do it unless you're just trying to be contrary.
There are *all sorts* of reasons to do it:

- more connection to the wife's side of the family
- wife's last name sounds better
- wife's career is much larger/more successful/more established
- husband is ambivalent, women feels strongly about adopting her last name
- wife's last name has a special meaning, i.e. has been in the family for a very long time
- wife's family has connections to somebody historically important. Would it be odd if Chelsea Clinton got married and they kept the Clinton name?


That logic doesn't make sense to me. It requires the premise "Women usually change their names for professional reasons." I don't believe that's the case. Women take their husbands' last names because that's how it's done in our culture. Same reason we celebrate Christmas around this time of year and say "Bless you" when someone sneezes.
Lots of things are done in our culture, many of which do not make sense and people choose to ignore.
     
Clinically Insane
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Dec 24, 2009, 04:05 PM
 
Originally Posted by Chuckit View Post
That's like asking why it's rare to ride a bicycle backwards. It's rare because there's no good reason to do it unless you're just trying to be contrary.
Bingo. That's what 90% of Besson's threads are all about.

In other forums, this might be called trolling.

-t
     
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Dec 24, 2009, 04:13 PM
 
You're a funny guy turtle... Getting in your digs about Obama each and every opportunity you have is not trolling, but my questioning norms is? Intelligent people question stuff, the only difference between them is what they choose to question. If this place was not occupied by intelligent people you'd be complaining about that too, no doubt.

Shouldn't you be roasting chestnuts?
     
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Dec 24, 2009, 04:16 PM
 
Originally Posted by besson3c View Post
i.e. has been in the family for a very long time
that's just dumb

wife's family has connections to somebody historically important. Would it be odd if Chelsea Clinton got married and they kept the Clinton name?
Yes, the Clinton name has no pedigree. Clinton is not her father's real family name. It has no real legacy that it carries beyond himself. Her husband to be last name has just as much political legacy has hers.

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Clinically Insane
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Dec 24, 2009, 04:20 PM
 
Originally Posted by besson3c View Post
Intelligent people question stuff, the only difference between them is what they choose to question. If this place was not occupied by intelligent people you'd be complaining about that too, no doubt.
BS.

I enjoy threads where you talk about technical stuff, because there you really know what you're talking about, and I can actually learn something.
But in those threads, you engage intelligently.

Unfortunately, most of your threads are just trolling by old-school intarweb standards. You're trying to provoke and be contrarian to the point of total ridiculousness.

I believe you that you are not like that in real life. But what, for Pete's sakes, makes you think it's cool to come across like an idiot in forums ?

-t
     
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Dec 24, 2009, 04:31 PM
 
I would love to see turtle and besson interact in real life. From a distance.

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Dec 24, 2009, 04:33 PM
 
Originally Posted by besson3c View Post
There are *all sorts* of reasons to do it:
But few of which are good, and none of which apply to most people.

Originally Posted by besson3c View Post
- more connection to the wife's side of the family
No idea what this means. Sounds mystical.
Originally Posted by besson3c View Post
- wife's last name sounds better
Not a good reason unless your last name is, like, Hitler. If you really hate your last name, sure, maybe, but that isn't most people.
Originally Posted by besson3c View Post
- wife's career is much larger/more successful/more established
Not a good reason.
Originally Posted by besson3c View Post
- husband is ambivalent, women feels strongly about adopting her last name
Circular reasoning.
Originally Posted by besson3c View Post
- wife's last name has a special meaning, i.e. has been in the family for a very long time
I'm pretty sure there are no American families where the men traditionally take the woman's name, so respect for history not a reason.
Originally Posted by besson3c View Post
- wife's family has connections to somebody historically important.
Almost never applies. Might be a decent reason in cases where it does apply if you're the sort of political weasel who tries to get places through name recognition.

Originally Posted by besson3c View Post
Lots of things are done in our culture, many of which do not make sense and people choose to ignore.
Um, no. If people choose to ignore them, they aren't things that are generally done. Very few cultural traditions make sense at a very low level. Christmas actually makes less sense than most, but I don't see you banging on about that. You're looking for logic in all the wrong places.
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Clinically Insane
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Dec 24, 2009, 04:33 PM
 
Originally Posted by SpaceMonkey View Post
I would love to see turtle and besson interact in real life. From a distance.
Actually, I have no doubts that we would get along great in real life. I really mean it.

-t
     
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Dec 24, 2009, 04:51 PM
 
My wife kept her last name because she liked it and wanted to keep a small bit of her Peruvian heritage. Our kid has my last name though. It's really not a big deal.

I still consider her my property.

My sig is 1 pixel too big.
     
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Dec 24, 2009, 05:00 PM
 
Originally Posted by ort888 View Post
My wife kept her last name because she liked it and wanted to keep a small bit of her Peruvian heritage. Our kid has my last name though. It's really not a big deal.

I still consider her my property.
That makes more sense to me than the man taking the woman's name. If a woman just really likes her name and doesn't see any value to the tradition of taking the husband's name, groovy. But to see no value in the tradition yet still follow it in reverse seems strange.
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Dec 24, 2009, 05:42 PM
 
Originally Posted by Chuckit View Post
No idea what this means. Sounds mystical.
Connections meaning emotional and through relationships. Some people don't want to have anything to do with their side of the family due to past conflict, abuse, or whatever else.

Not a good reason unless your last name is, like, Hitler. If you really hate your last name, sure, maybe, but that isn't most people.
Not a good reason to you, and not really to me either, but I'm sure there are some people that really have strong feelings towards or against certain names.

Not a good reason.
Huh? This is probably the strongest reason out of all of them... If you are some big name celebrity, say Cate Blanchett or something like that, your name (and your name is a part of your overall product) is weakened if you were to marry somebody with the last name of "Clodhopper" or something dorky... People know you as Cate Blanchett, this is your name, your value, your reputation. Maybe if you are big enough people will catch up to the fact that you have changed your name, but this is a big reason why a lot of powerful people opt to retain their last names.

Even if you think that this is completely irrational, it is extremely common among artists and such - at least, keeping your existing last names.

I'm pretty sure there are no American families where the men traditionally take the woman's name, so respect for history not a reason.
Circular reasoning.

Um, no. If people choose to ignore them, they aren't things that are generally done. Very few cultural traditions make sense at a very low level. Christmas actually makes less sense than most, but I don't see you banging on about that. You're looking for logic in all the wrong places.
Um, yes. There are all sorts of cultural traditions that people either choose to value or ignore. I'm not big into Christmas either, for the record, but there are plenty of people that have untraditional weddings, do not believe in the traditional religion, do not wear traditional clothing for the traditional occasions, etc. There are people that are "abnormal" because they enjoy being contrary and counter to norms, but there are also people that do abnormal things because they genuinely feel strongly about something. For instance, we don't do the "normal" things for Valentine's Day because we think it's a pretty silly holiday.

Why the confrontational tone, Chuckit?
     
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Dec 24, 2009, 05:44 PM
 
Originally Posted by SpaceMonkey View Post
I would love to see turtle and besson interact in real life. From a distance.

Turtle would need to have Simon tag along to be able to keep up with me! I would be running all over the place jerseying them crying "you can't catch me!" while doing like 20 backflips while they yelled at me that I was doing it in the wrong place, trolling, and that my backflips were ridiculous and have no value!

Just teasing you guys
( Last edited by besson3c; Dec 24, 2009 at 06:01 PM. )
     
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Dec 24, 2009, 05:53 PM
 
Originally Posted by lpkmckenna View Post
Thousands and thousands of years of study, huh? [/URL]
Yup... since man first walked the earth.
     
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Dec 24, 2009, 06:08 PM
 
Wives who do not take their husband's name are 72% more likely to cheat on their husband.

94% of these wives have already decided internally that they will not let commitment get in the way of finding a better mate.

67% of these wives, when asked why they got married in the first place, stated that the desire for wedding gifts and/or wedding accolades was the primary motivator.

The 50% divorce rate, when the pool of women who did not take their husband's name is removed, drops to 19%.

100% of these statistics were made up by me, though I'd love to see further study into these demographics.

Merry Christmas, everyone.
     
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Dec 24, 2009, 06:08 PM
 
Originally Posted by ort888 View Post
My wife kept her last name because she liked it and wanted to keep a small bit of her Peruvian heritage.

It's really not a big deal.

I still consider her my property.


-t
     
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Dec 24, 2009, 06:44 PM
 
I took my wife's last name, but hey, I'm from Scandinavia*

The name was much cooler, I have no connection to my father or his family, but the main reason was really to have the same family name for both parents and kids. It somehow felt appropriate.

It's relatively rare here, too, but it used to be more common when a man would continue running their wife's family farm. The name of the estate defined the people running it.



* Well, Fennoscandia if you're picky.
     
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Dec 24, 2009, 07:13 PM
 
Originally Posted by Chuckit View Post
Originally Posted by besson3c View Post
- wife's career is much larger/more successful/more established
Not a good reason.
There are a lot of professional women whose established professional practices would suffer if they changed their last names when they married. Physicians and attorneys, for starters, often develop a pretty large following through word of mouth, so if "Dr. Jones" married a guy named Smith, the doctor's satisfied patients may not be able to recommend people to her because she's not "Dr. Jones" anymore. This has less to do with the individuals in question and more to do with stupid people in the overall population, but it's something that needs serious consideration.

Another situation is when the woman is a licensed, certified professional and the fees for changing licensing and certification documents are high. It could cost over $500 for a person to change his/her name on his/her OT license and certification in Texas, and the process is a huge hassle. Our professors stressed to the women in my class that if they anticipated marrying within the months immediately after graduation, that they should hold off applying for their certification (required for the license) until they married.

There is of course solution for this-having a "professional name." The person simply continues to go by his/her earlier name in professional circles and puts up with the daily hassles of having two separate names for personal and professional situations. That sounds like more work than anything else.

Glenn -----OTR/L, MOT, Tx
     
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Dec 24, 2009, 09:47 PM
 
My wife and I are both professionals, so she kept her name. For the kids, we gave them my last name and her last name for a middle name. It seems to work as well as anything else we've heard about. That way, too, we didn't have to worry about naming the kids "for" anyone in the family -- they're named after EVERYONE in BOTH families!!!!!

I'm always getting referred to as "Mr. [her last name]" and she gets "Mrs. [my last name]". With or without the kids makes no difference.

Another point: I have a "first" name for a "last" name.

No hyphens for us. Too many letters in a last name is a good way to screw up a database.
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Dec 24, 2009, 10:48 PM
 
Originally Posted by besson3c View Post
Why not keep your last names, and if you have kids the boys take the Dad's last name, and the girls take the Mom's last name?
I had a friend in high school/college whose family did exactly that. They were perfectly normal.
     
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Dec 25, 2009, 10:59 AM
 
Originally Posted by Judge_Fire View Post
I took my wife's last name, but hey, I'm from Scandinavia*

The name was much cooler, I have no connection to my father or his family, but the main reason was really to have the same family name for both parents and kids. It somehow felt appropriate.
These are the same reasons my wife used to take mine.

* Well, Fennoscandia if you're picky.
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Dec 25, 2009, 12:08 PM
 
My wife took my name because it makes us feel more like a family unit. We're currently expecting our first child, and all of us having the same name does make us feel closer to each other.

As in so many things, one size doesn't fit all, so do whatever work for you.
     
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Dec 25, 2009, 01:55 PM
 
We thought about keeping our own last names, but then the question of children came up and how we would deal with them not having the same last name as one of the parents. We also thought about creating a new last name made from a combination of our original last names, but then we found out how much more cost and effort was involved in changing the man's last name.

In the end, my wife took my last name simply because it was the easiest solution.
     
 
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