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Am I married or adopted or wha’? Marriage and name change can be touchy subject

By Guest Post | June 29 2012 | 135 Comments

She’s just ditched the “Cole” element of her name along with her lyin’, cheatin’, dirtbag husband.   Ashley, many of us thought it was Karma when you missed that peno against Italy during the week and who knows? I know my inner goddess was smugly somersaulting.

Cheryl is free and single again – and has decided to call herself by one name only.  Thereby elevating herself to the status of Jesus.  Or Madonna.  But the rest of us don’t have the luxury of a one name option and if we get married we have to make a decision to either take His name or keep our own.  And to make it even easier the whole world seems to have an opinion on what name we decide to call ourselves.  

So today Karen from Beating Myself Into a Dress gives us her opinion of this thorny issue: take it away Karen!


You know what phrase I really hate?

(No it’s not ‘current economic climate‘ though that runs a close second).

It’s ‘I got married, not adopted and is said by some women who don’t change their name after marriage.  I hate that patronising phrase because children get adopted, women get married.  By using that saying you’re implying that any woman who changes their name is getting adopted by their husband. That they’re no longer a woman in their own right and only exist as extension of their husband.

Bullshit. Pardon my French. I didn’t get adopted, I got married and I just happened to change my name.



Women change their name after marriage for a whole host of reasons – their new name is easier to spell, they’re moving to their husband’s home country where a local name will be more easily understood or perhaps, shockingly, because they simply want to.  That was my reason. I wanted to. I like the tradition, I liked the idea of us both having the same name, so I changed my name.

I thought about it for a while of course, I weighed up the pros and cons as at the time of our engagement I was working as a journalist and my maiden name was my ‘professional name’ for want of a better phrase. But in the end I just thought, sure why not?  Other friends and relatives of mine haven’t changed their names. They used their names for work, or they simply liked their own name and didn’t like the tradition of the woman taking the man’s name.

Fine by me because I have literally nothing to say on another woman’s choice of name.  Put simply, I couldn’t care less.  But somehow, others do. Others care that I’ve changed my name, they justify their own choice by belittling mine. And NOTHING is guaranteed to raise my blood pressure more.

Human beings have opinions of course – opinions are healthy and sometimes listening to someone else’s opinion can change your mind, or give you another perspective. But you have to have an inner filter! It’s vital.  If YOU don’t want to change your name after marriage, DON’T. But don’t pass judgement on those who do. And don’t use their decision to justify your own.

Have you changed your name and got attitude over it?  Similarly have you kept your own name and been looked at like you have eight heads?

And what do you think you’ll do if you do enter into wedlock?  I’d really love to hear all sides!

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