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AIBU to be surprised that in 2013 people are up in arms about a woman keeping her surname on marriage?

(239 Posts)
ComposHat Thu 31-Jan-13 23:45:48

For clarity's sake, it is worth stating that I am a gentleman mumsnetter who is due to get married in the spring.

My fiancée is keeping her surname after the marriage. It wasn't something we'd discussed, it was just something both of us assumed that we would both keep our surnames on marriage.

Anyway over the last few weeks I've been shocked at some people's reaction to this.

My fiancée met her Aunt who was over from Australia who asked her what her surname would be after marriage, to which she responded 'same as it is now.' her Aunt was a bit dumbfounded and her Aunt's husband who is a bit of a stereotypical unreconstructed Aussie male, starting going on about 'what sort of bloke would stand for that' I'm amazed he hasn't put his foot down' etc etc.

A male friend of my parents had a similar reaction. He asked my mum how she felt about there being another Mrs Hat in the family and when she explained there wouldn't be, he was beside himself.

Am I really surprised that people have such definite opinions on such things and feel entitled to express them to us in quite vehement terms?

PenelopePipPop Sat 02-Feb-13 11:50:48

LRD there has been a slight increase in marriages in recent years, partly attributable to the licensing of civil venues. But a large proportion of those are remarriages making this a difficult social trend to read. The proportion of children who are born to couples who are not married at the time of the birth has continued to rise sharply in the same period but birth rates have also risen.

So it could mean that people who have been married once are more likely to marry again. But people who have never married may be more likely to never marry. In any event there is nothing to suggest a resurgence in marriage as an institution will happen any time soon. Hence repeated attempts to get parliament to sort out a statute which will allow courts to allocate interests in the family home between longterm unmarried partners who split up, especially if they have children. Or, if you are a massive optimist, give people £3 a week to get married and stay married!

babanouche Sat 02-Feb-13 11:56:11

we're not married but I would keep my own name, without a doubt. However, our kids have DP's surname. My justification at the time was that the law sees the mother so strongly as the main parent, and by having DP's name, DP would feel more 'linked' to them.

I now feel this is truly bollox and kick myself for not giving them my name. Gah!

LRDtheFeministDragon Sat 02-Feb-13 12:03:04

Ahhh, thanks penelope, that is interesting to know.

Btw, I don't think anyone's mentioned the best reason to change your name (have they?).

If you change it and move to Germany, and your DH is about to become Dr something, you get to be Dr Mrs Whatever.

I like the idea of stacking up titles. grin

13Iggis Sat 02-Feb-13 12:11:24

So if you are a Dr in your own right, you'd be Dr Dr Smith? I like that smile
I would wait till thank you card time, and then just make sure there's an address label or something with the corrrect form of your names and address.
Not many people have "changed" my name for me, strangely it's mostly cards from my side of the family that do it. I haven't bothered to correct them, maybe I should.

LRDtheFeministDragon Sat 02-Feb-13 12:12:24

I guess so. I know you can be 'Dr Architect' or stuff like that, where you stack up one title with another job description.

ComposHat Sat 02-Feb-13 12:28:14

So if you are a Dr in your own right, you'd be Dr Dr Smith? I like that

In which case I would by changing my surname by deed-pole


EuroShagmore Sat 02-Feb-13 12:41:00

I'm always surprised when people change names upon marriage. It's 2013! I'm baffled as to why this tradition didn't die out in the heady days of feminism in the 1970s!

(I am a "militant name retainer" (or at least I was referred to as such on another MN thread on this topic... I think it was supposed to be an insult but I take it as a compliment). I didn't change my name upon marriage and if we have children I want them to have both our names. I was quite unsure about getting married but actually love being married. The only time I get sad about it is when I am addressed as Mrs [Hissurname]. I feel like in the eyes of certain people I lost a bit of my identity the day I walked down the aisle. Mr Euro has now taken to opening cards addressed to Mr & Mrs Hisname and disposing of the evidence before I get home to stop me getting annoyed about it!)

13Iggis Sat 02-Feb-13 13:40:45

'Militant name retainer' - love it! Shall we get badges made? grin

RevoltingPeasant Sat 02-Feb-13 14:32:20

Ha! DH and I got married in a registry office this summer just gone and the registrar asked if I would be keeping my name.... I said yes.... 10 minutes later we picked up the envelope with our marriage certificate, with our different names on, with 'Mr and Mrs Wotsit' on the front.


Also, I booked us in for an appt with a mortgage consultant recently and so the appt was in my name. When the woman came to the waiting room to call us in, she said 'Dr Peasant?'

DH and I both walked up and she held out her hand to him and said 'Nice to meet you, Dr Peasant!'

Mind you, we do live in the Victorian period Devon. Things move slowly here...

Hobbitation Sat 02-Feb-13 14:35:22

I'm surprised that people get upset about someone not changing their name. I'm also surprised that people get upset about people wanting to change their name. I can respect either decision, personally.

PenelopePipPop Sat 02-Feb-13 14:40:03

I get introduced as Frau Professor Doctor PenelopePipPop when I go to conferences in Germany. And all I had to do was go to university for approximately a thousand years. Oh and some other women (now dead) had to pitch up at university demanding to be let in to the lectures, and then demanding to sit the exams, and then demanding that if they passed the exams the bloody universities should give them the same degrees they gave to the men...

pointythings Sat 02-Feb-13 15:32:01

I took DH's name, but only because mine is Dutch and awkward - think impossible to spell, impossible to pronounce for English-speaking people. So given that we were going to make our lives here, it seemed logical. I just didn't fancy endlessly sending back official and essential documents until they were spelled correctly, nor did I fancy the endless telephone conversations ("Could you spell that? Could you spell that again? Are you sure? Double what?").

So I changed. (And people still ask me to spell my (DH's) surname, but at least they can pronounce it when they read it).
My mum double barrelled herself, but she completely understood my choice.

And if anyone had told my DH that I had to take his name and to put his foot down, he'd have put his foot somewhere. Firmly.

BegoniaBampot Sat 02-Feb-13 19:10:41

a close female relative is getting married next year, now curious as to whether she keeps her name or not. very traditional area, bets are she changes. I did as well, at least ai considered it and we talked about it.

nickelbabe Sat 02-Feb-13 21:35:56

I have to admit to being secretly disappointed in dh's niece changing her name thi summer.
and the reporter from our local paper did too- she keeps posting on a local facebook board inher new name and having to explain who she is. it's weird.

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