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Name Change After Marriage

A friend (I'll call Mary Louise Smith) married John Merrell. Mary L. Merrell is on her driver license and credit cards. Another friend says when a woman marries the middle name is dropped and replaced by maiden name, making her Mary S. Merrell. Is that correct or only used in upper class circles?

by Anonymousreply 5806/04/2013

My old girlfriend uses her maiden name in between her first name and her married (2nd husband) name, including in its initial form. No hyphen.

I was reading about a gay marriage here in which one of the husbands took the other's last name. No hyphenation there, either.

by Anonymousreply 205/18/2013

The truly ladylike thing to do is drop one's former name in its entirety.

by Anonymousreply 305/18/2013

What does a same sex couple do? And if they have children, what is the child's last name.

by Anonymousreply 405/18/2013

The bottom legally changes to last name of the top. This way the kids don't have to explain.

by Anonymousreply 505/18/2013

R1 is an idiot. I do not know a single married woman, up to and including my mother, who kept their maiden middle name after marriage. Unless they don't change their last names at all -- increasingly common these days -- women invariably use their maiden surname (last name) as their new middle name.

by Anonymousreply 605/18/2013

[quote]What does a same sex couple do? And if they have children, what is the child's last name.

Depends on the couple. Many keep their own last names. Many also adopt a hyphenated version of their original last names. A small number take the name of one spouse, but that's usually in cases where one of the partners is extremely femme and sees himself as "the wife."

Children almost always get a hyphenated last name.

by Anonymousreply 705/18/2013

I know quite few married lesbians, some of whom have children. Most of these ladies kept their own surnames following the marriage. Only one has taken her partner's last name, and she's a femme married to a wealthier butch. The children all have both parents' surnames, hyphenated.

by Anonymousreply 805/18/2013

OPs friend is correct. Jacqueline Lee Bouvier became Jacqueline Bouvier Kennedy, later Kennedy Onassis.

by Anonymousreply 905/19/2013

[quote]OPs friend is correct. Jacqueline Lee Bouvier became Jacqueline Bouvier Kennedy, later Kennedy Onassis.

No, Jacqueline Lee Bouvier became Mrs. John F. Kennedy. If Jack had lived, but they later divorced, it would have been Mrs. Bouvier Kennedy.

In the 1994 Social Register, she is Mrs. Aristotle Onassis, still.

by Anonymousreply 1005/19/2013

Yeah, it was used in upper class circles -- in 1959.

by Anonymousreply 1105/19/2013

" I do not know a single married woman, up to and including my mother, who kept their maiden middle name after marriage."

You might want to consider leaving the house more often.

by Anonymousreply 1205/19/2013

I fucking hate when brides hyphenate. Either use your maiden or your husbands and be done with it. Actually, I see a lot of brides keep their maiden now.

by Anonymousreply 1305/19/2013

Awful sensitive, aren't you R13? Who gives a fuck? A woman can use whatever the fuck name she wants, REAL name, husband's name or hyphenated.

by Anonymousreply 1405/19/2013

I like the idea of hyphenated names in theory. It clearly indicates that a new family unit has been formed that is separate from the two original family units. But what happens when a Bixby-Rogers marries a Ingeborg-Gomez? Do they become Bixby-Rogers-Ingeborg-Gomez?

And actually, I know of no gay couples with hyphenated names, nor do any of the children have hyphenated names. And, yes, I know quite a few gay couples with children.

by Anonymousreply 1505/19/2013

If a woman takes her husband's last name....that's all that changes - she doesn't change her middle name....

unless she decides to use both last which case the choice is between hypenating, not hypenating or using maiden name as middle name.

by Anonymousreply 1605/19/2013

Go fuck yourself with your hyphenated name, R14.

by Anonymousreply 1705/19/2013

There are no rules for this, OP, unless you're some conservative freak who thinks all adult women should style themselves Mrs. John Husband's Name.

Not sure of your age or background but does the word "feminism" ring any bells?

by Anonymousreply 1805/19/2013

[quote]I do not know a single married woman, up to and including my mother, who kept their maiden middle name after marriage. Unless they don't change their last names at all -- increasingly common these days -- women invariably use their maiden surname (last name) as their new middle name.

You should try to meet more people.

I know women who keep their full maiden names professionally, use their married names exclusively for school and child care issues (to match with the kids), and use one or another variation on the above as a catch-all for friends/ family. Plenty of women chose their own variations on these conventions, besides hyphenating even. In the social media age a lot of married women use full maiden names with the married name tacked on the end, as a catch-all for friend searches.

Replacing the middle name with the maiden name is one popular variation, but it's by no means exclusive or even the expected norm. There is no expected norm, other than that very few educated women erase their surname totally in favor of their husbands'. The norm these days is almost anything but that.

by Anonymousreply 1905/19/2013

You're not allowed to arbitrarily change your middle name. You have to go to court to do that. Your legal middle name is whatever middle name you were given at birth, unless legally changed in court.

When my sister got married in NYC, she was given the option of hyphenating her name at the time she obtained a marriage license. She signed a piece of paper saying that if she wanted to hyphenate her last name and her husband's last name, then she legally could. She chose to keep her maiden name only, but she legally has the option of using both.

My husband's sister just got married for the third time. Her maiden name was a huge, clunky Jewish name. Her first two marriages were to Christians and she took the husband's last name each time. This time she married a Jewish guy and I'm wondering if she'll change her last name or keep her 2nd husband's WASPy last name. Time will tell.

by Anonymousreply 2005/19/2013

R13 / R17 = proves my point.

by Anonymousreply 2105/19/2013

The idea of keeping both surnames is Spanish/Portuguese I think. In those cultures a child gets a composite surname made up of his father's family name followed by his mother's family name. It can get quite long-winded. My formal surname is Ferreira da Costa Pinto, although I usually just call myself Ferreira.

by Anonymousreply 2205/19/2013

Even as a kid when I was unaware of the ways of the world, I thought a woman taking her husband's name was the craziest, oddest and most subservient thing to do. I could never understand a woman willingly, unwillingly or even by tradition basically losing her identity.

by Anonymousreply 2305/19/2013

I hear you, R23. I found it absolutely CREEPY that women were referred to as the "former" Jane Doe in wedding announcements -- and that was way before women's lib.

No wonder they revolted!

by Anonymousreply 2405/19/2013

My mother, her two sisters, and my three female first cousins all have no middle name, it being assumed that they'll use their maiden name for that upon marriage.

by Anonymousreply 2505/19/2013

Your legal name is on your birth certificate. The only legally recognized name change you can have without going to court is to assume your spouse's last name.

Obviously some women are now substituting their maiden names for their middle names after marriage - if they take their husband's name. But it's not your legal name. It is a fairly recent practice.

by Anonymousreply 2605/19/2013

As a person who knows and understands the traditions of post-marriage naming conventions, I am amused by the numerous inventions presented here and claimed as proper or appropriate.

Conventionally, in the United States and most parts of the United Kingdom, women upon marrying have traded the surname they had from their fathers for the surname of their husbands.

No change was made in the bride's middle name.

Upon divorce, a woman usually would retain her ex-husband's last name, and instead of being called, "Mrs. John Smith" for formal purposes, she would be called "Mrs. *Her Maiden Name* Smith.

Widowhood created no change in a woman's name. She remained "Mrs. John Smith."

No woman EVER was referred to by "Mrs." with her own first name. EVER. She could informally be called "Mary Smith." A middle name, if used, would be her own middle name.

Upon remarriage, a woman took her new husband's name, regardless of whether widowhood or divorce provided the opportunity for a fresh shot at matrimony.

Those were and still are the basic conventions. However, a woman or man may, of course, not apply those conventions and assume any name formation she or he wants.

"Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis" is an example of a made-for-the-occasion name. She died as "Mrs. Aristotle Onassis" in conventional terms.

The OP's reference to "upper class circles" is absurd. Class awareness would dictate use of proper conventions. It was only when class-shifting, women's equality in education and careers, and self-assertiveness grew in impact that women began playing with other ways of adopting names after marriage or other life events. That this occurred first among well-to-do women is more a reflection of their wealth than of their establishing any new naming traditions for their sex (or class).

The rather nasty screeches against women adopting husbands' names - accusing posters of being pre-lib fossils - merely state the obvious in a patently judgmental way. Yes, we all may take any name we want when we want. However, these - I believe "cunts" is the convention here at the DL - appear ignorant of the fact that about 80% of women today adopt their husbands' names, up from 10 years ago.

by Anonymousreply 2705/19/2013

[quote] . . . the fact that about 80% of women today adopt their husbands' names, up from 10 years ago.

And a disgusting fact it is indeed. Typical of the younger generation - they seem to learn nothing from history.

by Anonymousreply 2805/19/2013

R27: my divorced grandmother used Mrs. + (maiden name) + (ex-husband and kids' surname), which I always thought rather stuffy.

R26: recent? My mother and aunt took their maiden name as a married middle name back in 1959. I suppose now the DMV/TSA wouldn't like it much.

by Anonymousreply 2905/19/2013

R25/29, that's interesting about your grandmother. She is among the very few people I have encountered (in her case, through you) who used the formal convention. It may have seemed stuffy but it was painfully correct. I trust she did this for more formal communications and contacts.

Also, it's interesting that females in your family do not have middle names. The use of the maiden name as a post-marriage middle name, as you described it, always has been acceptable, if at times unconventional. But usually it is a matter of suppressing the original middle name, rather than filling the void. Most people in my family have at least two middle names. I (male) have three.

Finally, it occurs to me that, applying traditional naming use, Elizabeth Taylor died as Mrs. Larry Fortensky.

by Anonymousreply 3005/20/2013

Excuse me. Wrote too fast. Mrs. Taylor Fortensky.

by Anonymousreply 3105/20/2013

Those women who do not take their husbands' last names tend overwhelmingly to be highly educated and with successful careers.

by Anonymousreply 3205/20/2013

I love, love, love those of you who insist on pretending it is still 1953 and you're addressing letters to Mamie Eisenhower! LOL!

Clearly Grandma's copy of Emily Post made a HUGE impression on some of you.

by Anonymousreply 3305/20/2013

R30: My best friend from childhood always used his RC confirmation name as a second middle name, though I doubt he added it legally. we lost touch, but all of the names were in his obituary heading.

My grandmother's entry in the phone book was indeed: JONES Mrs. Smith (not Anna, or Mrs. Anna). She would never permit containers on the dining table either (such as ketchup bottles).

by Anonymousreply 3405/20/2013

My great-great grandmother divorced two husbands back in the early 1900s (not exactly common) and took back her maiden name. It's on her tombstone. Fuck convention.

Women taking the man's name stems from property rights. He was literally putting his name on his newly acquired property. Some of you need to study up a little on history. This convention is disgusting.

For anyone arguing that it's just tradition or convention, I call bullshit. You want to know when we'll know there's no real meaning to it beyond simple convention or tradition? When 50% of the marriages have the men taking the woman's name.

Go ahead, suggest that to almost any hetero male and watch his reaction. Not going to happen. They know what it means, even if they won't admit it.

by Anonymousreply 3505/20/2013

[quote]Unless they don't change their last names at all -- increasingly common these days -- women invariably use their maiden surname (last name) as their new middle name.

LOL What complete and utter nonsense.

Also, I love, and completely agree with, everything R35 says.

by Anonymousreply 3605/20/2013

President Hillary Rodham Clinton.

Thread closed.

by Anonymousreply 3705/20/2013

The term maiden name is creepy. How about birth name or real name?

by Anonymousreply 3805/20/2013

[quote]Those were and still are the basic conventions

What century are you posting from? Those conventions fell out of favor over 30 years ago. I know not one woman married after 1970 who styles herself "Mrs. John Smith". You sound absurdly out of touch.

[quote]about 80% of women today adopt their husbands' names, up from 10 years ago

Link, PLEASE. And just to be clear: we aren't discussing women who use their husbands name situationally, such as with their kids' teachers or to appease conservative family members on Christmas cards. You are claiming 8 out of 10 newly married women in 2013 take their husband's name. Prove it.

by Anonymousreply 3905/20/2013

[quote]The term maiden name is creepy. How about birth name or real name?

Not going to be happy when she finally buys that trailer lot and the deed refers to her as a spinster.

by Anonymousreply 4005/20/2013

"Maiden" does make it sound like she spends her days milking cows while wearing a dirndl, or perhaps being saved from the clutches of fire-breathing dragons.

by Anonymousreply 4105/20/2013

No, really, what do the already hyphenated do when they get married? Add another hyphen?

by Anonymousreply 4205/20/2013

R33, just because you are smugly ignorant and have no need to participate in formal correspondence or oral communication, it does not follow that the rest of the world must join you on your new-come, monied version of the old Tobacco Road.

Enjoy your low level of living. But do not expect everyone to want to sit there with you calling older women "guy" and thinking that politeness is a somehow a form of tyranny. You are the only person here being tyrannical, asshole.

by Anonymousreply 4305/20/2013

I worked with an guy who said "When someone calls herself Ms, you know she's a lesbian."

by Anonymousreply 4605/20/2013

And here's something more current than the data I was using.

Really. What a bunch of reflexive and ignorant little twats here. As if their biases can change the realities of tradition and fact.

by Anonymousreply 4705/20/2013

The only women I knew with hyphenated last names were low-level employees who were puttin' on airs. No one cared who they were before hyphenation or after.

by Anonymousreply 4805/20/2013

It is a choice of the woman. Some women don't like their middle name or their last name. If they don't like their middle name, they can substitute their last name for the middle name. Those who don't like their last name can keep the middle name and drop the maiden name. Even if they divorce, they often keep the former husband's last name when they don't like their maiden name.

by Anonymousreply 4905/20/2013

For a while I worked as a court clerk, including divorces. The judge I was assigned to thought "maiden name" sounded a bit much, so he asked whether the woman wished to resume a "former name" instead.

by Anonymousreply 5005/20/2013

r50, Maiden Name is correct for a woman who has never married. Don't you remember women being called "Old Maids?" Your PC judge probably also wanted to change Executrix to Executor.

by Anonymousreply 5105/20/2013

R43, 45, 47 and all - you have sooooo much invested in this thread that its peculiar.

by Anonymousreply 5205/20/2013

I was born Mary Louise too....but I didn't want to play "frumps and virgins" all the time.

by Anonymousreply 5305/20/2013

R45 is particularly funny when you trolldar him and realize he's the cuntiest poster in the thread.

by Anonymousreply 5405/20/2013

So I'm bored of all this discussion about what straight women are doing. What are gay men doing when it comes to names? Renaming? Hyphenating? Creating entirely new names from scratch?

by Anonymousreply 5505/20/2013

Anyone hear that NPR story recently about people with hyphenated names marrying one another, and essentially having four surnames or making up one altogether?

by Anonymousreply 5605/20/2013

r55, if Jose Rodriquez married Juan Rodriquez, they'd both be Rodriquez Rodriquez, a common usage is Spanish-speaking countries.

by Anonymousreply 5706/04/2013

How the f' should we know - this is a gay site!We can only get married in 12 states and D.C.

by Anonymousreply 5806/04/2013
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