Should You Keep Your Maiden Name?
What does your last name say about you?
-Brittany Roshelle Davis
Names impact every part of our day. They’re our identity. Yet, many women still shed their last name on their wedding day and become someone new. I have to admit, the second I got married, I happily ditched my maiden name. I loved the idea of being Mrs. & Mr. Davis. I immediately went down to the DMV, Social Security office, and happily called everyone who bills me to tell them the joyous news. Once we had settled into our marital bliss and handled plenty of in-lawed unwedded bliss, it hit me.
With a name like Davis, I was now 100% anonymous. I had to blend in now as a Davis, which was easy, considering the thousands of us. I felt erased. The more I thought about my unique last name, the more I missed it. I had never considered the fact that my identity was wrapped up in my name. Each time I signed my new name I couldn’t help cringing. I braced my husband with the news. I was changing it back. After all, I wouldn’t dream of asking him to change his name. Why should I not want mine? Knowing how supportive my hubby was, I thought it’d be no big deal. But I could see it in his eyes: The same passion I had for wanting my name back was the same he had for wanting me to carry his.
While he was fully supportive of having a happy wife and helping me change it back, I could see the sadness in his face. He’d help me call up every place if it meant that much to me. It was that day I was proud to carry on as his name. However, it did take me time to grow into my new name and I wished I had considered the decision more carefully.
I wanted to know more on the subject, so I asked dozens of women their opinion. What had they done? We’re they happy with their choice? What are the options out there?
“I never changed my name when I got married for the first time, almost 28 years ago. It was unusual at that time but I had made up my mind when I was a little girl that I would never do it. My children have their father’s name and this has never been an issue for them. Keeping my name has worked out well both professionally and personally, especially after going through a divorce! The transition was a lot easier.” – Antoinette
“I chose to take my husband’s name. Rather than looking at it as a departure from my independence, I viewed the change as a step towards creating a single-family unit. I like that people will be able to stick an ‘s’ at the end of our last name and refer to us as a whole.” – Gina
“I simply made my maiden name my new middle name after marriage. SO glad I did! It’s a part of me.” -Bradi