Change Your Last Name To His Last Name When You Say I Do

by Yvonne Chase on May 25, 2017

Change Her Last Name
Do you think it’s necessary for a woman to change her last name? That was the question posed on Twitter by Married At First Sight. One of the participants Ashley is not on board with changing her last name. While she likes her husband’s last name, she also likes her last name and sees it as a part of her identity. She also threw the feminist word in the conversation and suggested him taking her last name. He doesn’t get it and neither do I.

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The New Mrs.
Necessary is a strong word. I don’t know if it’s necessary or not, however, I do know it’s what you do when you marry. Women have been doing it for ages and it was never even a conversation. Why is it a conversation now? Taking his last name is a long standing tradition. A man takes pride in giving his wife his last name. It means something to him when she agrees to change her last name to his. She is no longer operating as she was. She is now operating as she is; the new Mrs.

Hold On To Her Identity
Today, it’s an issue because we are now living in a feminist world where a woman is adamant about holding on to her identity. I remember having a conversation with a colleague about this when she was about to be married. She did not want to change her last name. In an effort to hold on to her identity, she took his last name then added her last name. For example, if I were to do what she did, it would look like this; Yvonne (husband’s last name) Chase. Why? What is this thing about holding on to your identity?

You Were Single
Just because you take your husband’s last name doesn’t mean you are losing your identity. And guess what, maybe you do need to lose that identity and take on the new identity of being his wife and all that comes with it including a new name. You were single, now you’re married. You were a Ms. now you’re a Mrs. Your identity has changed even though you, the person, hasn’t…yet. 

Loves Being Married
Some women hold on to their last name for career reasons. For example, Wendy Williams uses that name on TV even though she is married. That’s how the world knows her based on what she does, however, she will tell you in a NY minute that outside of work, she gladly proclaims her husband’s name and goes by Wendy Hunter. It’s a name she wears with pride. She loves being married and she loves being called Mrs. Wendy Hunter.

She Should Stay Single
Marriage consists of a man and woman playing on the same team. Most teams I know have one name and operate under that name. Marriage exemplifies unity. When a man and woman marry, they become one flesh. Taking his name is a sign of unity. In addition, when you take his name, it shows a deep level of commitment. There’s something permanent about taking his name. If a woman wants to be so independent from a man, maybe she should stay single.

Old Fashioned Woman With Traditional Values
For me, there is no conversation. Whenever that day comes, if it comes, I’m changing my last name. I love my current last name Chase, as a matter of fact, it’s what most people call me; Chase. I come from the school of thought that says a woman takes her husband’s last name when she marries. What can I say, I’m an old fashioned woman with traditional values. Future husband, this is one conversation we can skip. My identity is in Jesus Christ, not my last name.

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Something to think about…

What say you? Is it necessary for a woman to change her last name when she marries? Does she lose her identity when she marries and takes her husband’s last name? Did you take your husband’s last name? Why? Why not?

Here are 2 things I’d like you to do now:

1. Leave a comment below

2. Share this post if you like it

{ 27 comments… read them below or add one }

Rebekah May 26, 2017

I LOVE this! Absolutely love it!
I write about staying in a struggling marriage, and regarding this specific topic, one thing seems very clear. Our society has become “cut and run” when things get tough. There is not a lot of “staying in it when things are tough”. So the necessity, or even the idea of, taking a husband’s last name has been dumped so that “if we split” everything is easier.
It’s quite sad, actually. We, as a society, commit to each other in marriage – but only to a point.
Thank you for this encouragement! I’ll be sharing this post!
Stopping by from Grace & Truth.
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Yvonne Chase May 26, 2017

@Rebekah,

You’re right…our society has become “cut and run” when the going gets tough. People are no longer interested in sticking it out and figuring it out.

I’ve actually heard women say they’re holding on to their name just in case it doesn’t work out. What a way to enter marriage!
Yvonne Chase recently posted…Differences Are A Gift To Our Relationship If We Handle Them With CareMy Profile

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Heather Hart May 26, 2017

This. Marriage is about two becoming one, and we can’t do that if we aren’t willing to let go of our individuality.
Heather Hart recently posted…Let’s Be Real (we all struggle with something)My Profile

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Yvonne Chase May 26, 2017

@Heather,

Agree 1000%! We cannot become one if we aren’t willing to let go of our individuality.
Yvonne Chase recently posted…Divorced People Need Love Too But I Don’t Know If You Should Marry OneMy Profile

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Trina Taylor May 26, 2017

You knocked the ball out the park with this post. I love everything about it.

I agree with you when you say this; if a woman wants to be so independent from a man, maybe she should stay single. No maybes about it. We go from independence to interdependence in marriage.

My favorite line in this entire post is this; “My identity is in Jesus Christ, not my last name.” You go girl! You will do well in marriage as long as your identity remains in him. God bless you.

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Yvonne Chase May 26, 2017

@Trina,

I like that; from independence to interdependence. Well said and thanks for your kind words. I’d be lost if my identity were in anything or anyone else but Jesus Christ.
Yvonne Chase recently posted…Slouchy Pants Men Are Too Weak To Lead Strong WomenMy Profile

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Tiffiney May 26, 2017

Amen to that, Chase! 🙂 I read you loud and clear and I appreciate your position – and I agree! Visiting from one of the linkups. Tiffiney

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Tiffiney May 26, 2017

From Grace and Truth! (Arabah Joy)
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TaVon May 27, 2017

Great post Ms. Chase. I’m in the “change the name” camp. I see it as a matter of covering. Just as Christ covers His bride (the Church) and we take on His name (Christ-followers, Christians), so it is in marriage… which is a picture of Christ’s relationship with the church. Once united in marriage, the wife is under the headship/covering of her husband so it would be an honor and privilege to also be called by his name. That’s my take on the matter.
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Yvonne Chase May 29, 2017

@Tavon,

Great comment! This is why we need to keep God in the conversation of marriage. Leaving him out of it creates all kinds of confusion.

When we know marriage is a picture of Christ’s relationship with the church, then we understand the husband covering his wife and changing our last name is a part of that covering.
Yvonne Chase recently posted…Divorced People Need Love Too But I Don’t Know If You Should Marry OneMy Profile

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TaVon June 3, 2017

Exactly!
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GP May 27, 2017

Great post, in what has become a hot topic and cause for some marriage hold up. I agree with your position 100%. There is something about giving a woman your name. It does not make the woman any less of who she is and make the man an more of who he is. Its tradition and a sign of coming together as one. I am all for using your name for work and business purposes. If this is an issue before you guys get married than you ultimately may have bigger problems.

Thanks again.

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Yvonne Chase May 29, 2017

@GP,

Great point; changing her last name does not make her any less of who she is nor does it make the man more of who he is.

Traditions are flying out of the window left and right. Everyone wants to do their own thing and create their own rules. Some things need to remain the same and this is one of those things.
Yvonne Chase recently posted…He’s Your Son Not Your Surrogate HusbandMy Profile

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Kathleen - Bloggers Lifestyle May 27, 2017

There is a sense of commitment to take your husband’s last name, it is a new family unit that any children will carry as well. It is an attitude that we are one, this is our family under one name, one team. A new identity that together with God we will make our team strong.
Kathleen
Blogger’s Pit Stop
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Yvonne Chase May 29, 2017

@Kathleen,

Yes, it is indeed an attitude that we are one and that together God will make our team strong. Well said…
Yvonne Chase recently posted…Slouchy Pants Men Are Too Weak To Lead Strong WomenMy Profile

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Joanne Viola May 29, 2017

I loved my name when I was single. But I was also very excited to take on my husband’s name when we married. I wanted us to be one, a unit held together with as many bonds as possible. I also desired that when children came, we would all have the same name. It was not a hill for me to die on as I truly know that ultimately my identity is found in Christ. But I have not regretted my choice not one day. Glad to be neighbors!
Joanne Viola recently posted…A Family Shaped by GraceMy Profile

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Yvonne Chase May 29, 2017

@Joanne,

I like this: “A unit held together with as many bonds as possible.” Taking his last name strengthens that bond I believe.
Yvonne Chase recently posted…Marriage Is Like Getting A Root Canal And A ColonoscopyMy Profile

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Michele Morin May 29, 2017

I was happy to take my husband’s name and see it as a unifying element in our family. I do see why some women choose to retain or hyphenate their names for professional reasons.
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Yvonne Chase May 29, 2017

@Michele,

Me too, I totally understand why some women choose to retain or hyphenate their names for professional reasons.

My issue with this is the feminist messaging and the adamance of being independent and holding on to her identity. As GP said up top, changing her last name doesn’t make her unless of who she is.
Yvonne Chase recently posted…Marriage Works Best When The Man Is Older Than The WomanMy Profile

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Penny May 29, 2017

Great question! Without giving it too much thought, I would say that there are plenty of positives about the woman changing her maiden name. There would be no such thing as Mr and Mrs which would be a shame as they’re a partnership. Also, it could be very confusing for children if their parents had separate surnames. However, if a woman wants to keep her maiden name, or needs to for career purposes, then she should be allowed to do so.
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Shana May 29, 2017

The hit the nail on the head. I completely agree. I don’t see an issue with a hyphenated name, but I also don’t see it as necessary. There is something beautiful about joining with one’s husband by taking his name.
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Yvonne Chase May 30, 2017

@Shana,

Perhaps much of this contention is cultural. In my culture, it’s not even a conversation. None of the married women in my family hyphenated their name. It’s an automatic decision; when you marry, you take his last name…period…case closed…end of discussion.
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Blen May 30, 2017

Excellent post, Yvonne! I can still be “feminine”and take my husband’s last name. It should be a badge of honor rather than a point of contention.

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Blen May 30, 2017

Excellent post, Yvonne! I can still be “feminine”and take my husband’s last name. It should be a badge of honor rather than a point of contention. Well said!!
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Yvonne Chase May 30, 2017

@Blen,

Perfectly stated; “I can still be feminine and take my husband’s last name.” Being feminine really has nothing to do with a last name.
Yvonne Chase recently posted…Worrying About His Future Is Another Reason Men Use To Delay MarriageMy Profile

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Gretchen Fleming May 30, 2017

Enjoyed your thorough analysis for taking a husband ‘s name and I applaud this thanks for discussing a trending question for women. Great post

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Sarah Koontz June 2, 2017

I struggled with this when I married. I was a professional athlete and my last name was very much connected to my identity. I prayed about it, though, and truly believe it was the best way to honor my husband and my God. I’m so glad I did!
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