Should You Keep Your Maiden Name? What do you think?

In our culture, it’s typical for a bride to shed her last name on the day of her wedding. That’s exactly what I did when I got married. I did it without a second thought. But a year or so later, I began to really mourn the loss of my last name. I had no idea how much of it was tied to my own personal identity and how anonymous I felt with my new last name.

As my own friends have debated the dilemma, I realized just how many women struggle with the idea of changing or not changing their last name. How will everyone look at you strangely if you don’t change your name? What will your children do? If you hyphenate your name, will your children be saddled with a long name or will it not even be an issue for them?

I decided to contact as many women as I could to learn more about what choice they made and how it had worked out for them. The results were surprising.

Check out my article here: Should You Keep Your Maiden Name?

Let me know what you think and what you’ve done or plan to do! I’d love to hear your story or ideas.

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11 thoughts on “Should You Keep Your Maiden Name? What do you think?

  1. Kelly says:

    So true, such a tough subject. I never liked my maiden name but know have a hard time picturing myself without it.

  2. Hi Brittany –

    I definitely struggled with this, right up until the wedding. In the end, I did opt to take my husband’s last name (he really didn’t understand why I didn’t want to change it, but when I asked if he’d change his to mine, you should’ve seen his face!)…it’s been almost 6 years now.

    HOWEVER. All of my writing – regardless of what it is (blogs, websites, writer’s groups, crit groups, etc.) – is under my first name, middle initial, and maiden name. And in fact, I don’t even think some of my crit partners know my married name! 🙂

    I know others might disagree and say that taking a husband’s last name is tradition. An honor. Blah, blah, blah.

    Don’t get me wrong, I get all that. But I also feel strongly about tying all the blood, sweat, and tears I’ve put into my writing – writing which started many years before any boyfriend, and before the boyfriend became my husband – and bonding it to a name that’s all my own. A name that honors my family – those who were there from the very beginning – even though I have a new family, too.

    My husband completely understands. And in the end, everyone is happy. I hope you’re able to figure out what you want to do!

    • Erin, it’s good to know I’m not the alone! I also once asked my husband what he would think of changing his name and I know the face you speak of! Lol!

      I am glad I changed my name but it did take time getting used to!

      I totally understand using your maiden name for writing–it’s such a core part to your own existence. I have yet to decide what I’m going to do when I get a book published since its so big, I’m not sure what name I want to use!

      I also agree that while I have a new family, my family didn’t disappear and their name holds my own personal history of our family and their beginning too.

      Thank you for commenting and sharing your story!!

  3. HA-HA! Just realized that my comment lists my maiden name only, because that’s the name I write under. So, in terms of my professional life, I just use my maiden name. Hyphenation adds a lot of extra effort for the reader when your maiden name is already hard to pronounce.

    • I’ve heard of a lot of writers doing that. I write under my full name, Brittany Roshelle Davis, to add a bit of variety to my married name so I don’t disappear amongst all the Brittany Davis’s. 🙂

  4. I hyphenated my name – I am still the person I was, with the addition of my life-partnership with my husband, and I wanted my name to reflect that.

  5. Both of my married daughters were well-known professionally by their maiden names and didn’t want their accomplishments to get lost in the name change. They both went to court and had their names legally changed, making their maiden name their middle names, and they use all three names together.

  6. Linda says:

    Both have merit. It’s tough for women when they want to keep their maiden name for professional reasons and to carry on family names.

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