I Thee Wed…With A Hyphen

Ladies listen up! Did you know there are rules in marriage? Yes you heard me right, I said rules! I’ve never been married, so of course my perception of marriage is from the outside looking in, however, I thought I would have at least heard about the rules. If you are just as oblivious as I was about these rules, then allow me to give you the scoop. I had the pleasure of talking to a few men, who will remain nameless ;), about dating and relationships. They so passionately informed me about at least one rule in marriage. No it’s not an obvious “no cheating” rule. It’s actually a lot less complicated than that, or at least I think so. One important rule in marriage, according to “these men,” is that a woman must change her last name when getting married. Now I know you’re probably saying “Duh I already knew that!” What you did not know, however, is that you are NOT allowed to hyphenate your name if you want to…of course that’s according to “these men.” Hyphens break the rule in marriage. Yes ladies it is so simple! Take your husbands name in its entirety and all will be well. Sooo can you guess what I think about this rule? It’s BULLSHIT!!!

Let me first say that I didn’t know men cared so much about a their wife hyphenating their maiden and married names. With all the other aspects of marriage to think about, some men probably don’t focus on the name so much, however, “these men” that I spoke with were adamant about their displeasure in women breaking the name rule. If you’re like me, you’re probably asking “What’s the big deal?” The men felt women require men to follow the other rules in marriage, so likewise women should follow should change their maiden name in its entirety. I was, and I still am baffled by this theory because I didn’t know marriage had or required rules. If there were marriage rules, then marriage would be easy as pie; just don’t break the rules. It’s not that simple though. There are no rules in marriage, and each marriage will be different because it involves different people, different values, and different opinions. In my opinion, the name rule is downright stupid. So what if I want to hyphenate my maiden name with my married name? Why would something so minimal become so significant in the beginning stages of a marriage? Does hyphenating names mean the woman loves her man any less? Does it mean she doesn’t respect the marriage? Absolutely NOT!! A woman can hyphenate her names for several reasons, which I agree she should discuss the matter with her husband, but she should not feel obligated to change her name in its entirety for the sake of a rule.

Some feminists might argue that a woman taking her husband’s last name is powerFUL to men and powerLESS to women. I am not a feminist, so I don’t necessarily agree or disagree with feminists theories. However, I do believe in women having a choice, regardless of the reasons why. Nowadays women are keeping their maiden name and marrying, or their husbands are taking their last name. I personally don’t want either choice for myself, but the reality is that we ALL have choices. There are no rules! Cheating is not a rule, rather it’s a choice. If cheating were a rule, then there’d be no such thing as “open relationships.” People choose to be in certain relationships and people choose to perform acts of betrayal. For those who want to talk religion, well, be careful before you judge. I’m sure there are more serious beliefs and sins to be concerned with in your relationship rather than a name change. So to the men I spoke with, I guess you won the battle in your marriages. For the men who have not yet entered marriage territory, choose your battles wisely. Think about all the reasons why you want to marry your woman, and if it’s really real, the hyphen won’t matter.


Rasia Middleton ??? 🙂



  1. Hmmm where do i began. The hyphen is something I never considered before because typically I would naturally think my wife would take my last name. If she wanted to hyphenate it I’m sure it will be thorough discussion. Is it a deal breaker, No but as long as he has a valid reason for it then we can work it out I’m sure. You can’t get on the men in your article because you made a debate that women shouldn’t propose to men.

    Playing Devil’s Advocate is fun

    1. I agree that it’s a conversation a couple must have regarding the ‘hyphen.’ I could only imagine that a woman would have a good reason for wanting to hyphenate her name, but like you said, either way it’s not a deal breaker so what’s the big deal?

      You got me Stevie! I did have a ‘rule’ that women should not propose to men. However, I also made the argument that women should not propose to men for stupid reasons such as, he’ll never propose so I will, or matters of insecurity. Either way though…you got me! LoL!

  2. Ok so this is a very good subject and yes, I am going religion on you. I must admit it is a no brainer for me but I am going to have to hit on both. Now depending on your concept of marriage would make a difference because yes, there are rules to marriage. Now to go biblical, yes there are rules in the Bible to honor, one is and I am not going to quote the Bible but I will summarize basically, when you get married (you become one) with your spouse therefore you take on his last name and let go of your birth last name as a sign of you and him becoming one. That is the biblical side that people will argue.

    I have found that many “hyphenated-sisters” as they are called do it if they have established themselves and their name carries some type of weight that they have worked hard to obtain and are known for either in entertainment/corporate america, etc… I also find alot of people I know who did it for this reason heading for the divorce court now that I think about it because they come in with an I have done this, this and this mentality and not understanding how to be a team.

    My sister in law actually hyphenated her name at the request of my brother because her father’s last name would die with her since she has no brothers. He did not want the name to die so he actually suggested her to hyphenate and hyphenated one of his sons name. I thought that was a very brilliant idea to keep the name going and very unselfish but he is rare and the most thoughtful person I know…kudos to him.

    As for me no matter how established I am I will take my husbands last name without the hyphen. I must admit if my last name was my mother’s I may have because to me the name carries weight for me personally but, I will have to submit biblical and take his last name and do it the biblical way.

    Doesn’t make you more religious then someone if you do or don’. I do however, see a different swag from the “hyphenated sisters” even when they say there name though…lol.

    It is funny that back in the days I never heard of hyphenated women and although there were problems in marriages people worked at making it work through good and bad. New concepts in marriage, new outlooks, I am woman and I have this on my own mentality, we as woman did a great deal of concentrating on growing academically and in corporate america and here arises the hyphen and a higher divorce rate…I am just saying

    1. I hear what you’re saying, however I still think it’s all about choices. Even the very religious choose what “rules” they want to adhere to in the Bible. What I am saying is the choice of hyphenating names should not be discredited because a soon-to-be husband has a problem with it. People talk religion and tradition, but I’m sure within their lives they have already sinned and lived non-traditionally (if that’s a word :)). If they’ve turned a new leaf and want to live strictly by the Bible, then don’t fall in love with someone who wants to hyphenate their name lol. I’m just saying…

      I’d like to see statistics and some studies that the divorce rate is higher because of “hyphenated sisters.” I’d argue that maybe a woman’s independent attitude leads to more divorces, rather than the ‘spirit’ of the hyphen. I agree some women go into a marriage with a funky attitude where their know-it-all mentality overpowers the marriage, and leaves their husband feeling unwanted. That’s a different issue than the “hyphenated sisters” because not all women hyphenate because of academia or corporate America.

      Women hyphenate their maiden and married names for various reasons. My personal reasons are that ‘Rasia’ does not blend well with just any last name lol. My most important reason to hyphenate my name is that I want to keep the ‘Middleton’ name. I am proud of my family, and I want to represent it. Although I have a brother who holds the Middleton name, I don’t see why I can’t hold onto it too. I guess I never realized the hoopla about changing names, so it’s possibly something I will never understand, or more like something I don’t care to understand. It is what it is.

      What’s in a name? That which we call a rose
      By any other word would smell as sweet;
      – William Shakespeare Romeo & Juliet

      I love the dialogue! 🙂

  3. You are correct. It is all about communication and dialogue. You do have a great last name. Mine however is OUTTA HERE…lol sorry Dad…hahaha. I may just change my name for better options anyway…lol, I posed this to 27 male friends ages 38 and up and the comments were HILARIOUS! 20 point blank said I was crazy for asking that question because there was no way there wife could hyphenate their name. 4 got smart and said if the girl can hyphenate her name her father can pay for the ring, wedding and bills. 1 said only if her name was Halle Berry. 2 actually started a crazy discussion the bible telling women to submit to their husbands like the Bible and this is the first sign of danger to come.

    What I gathered from personal study is that now I am going to look for 27 hyphenated sisters and ask them why they did it hahaha .

    Way to much time on my hands but this is a very good question that I am about to email a few preachers about. Sorry for hogging the post. I really liked this!

    1. You really looked into this huh? Well get your stats from the 27 hyphenated sisters, and write a follow-up post (my shameless plug for guest writers :))

      My Mom said right now I may think I want to hyphenate, but my mind may change when the time comes. She may be right, but I thought it was an interesting subject to discuss since I didn’t know men cared one way or the other…and men say we’re hard to please. HA! LoL

  4. I believe these men and others group the “type” of women that wouldn’t or don’t want to change their name as one in the same. Right or wrong, they have their right to view it as important just as much as the women have their right to not want to change. I’m married and personally I wouldn’t have continued dating her and of course married her if she was one of those women who had to hyphen or keep their last name. I look at it as a bad start and early separation from being ONE. Some may compare it to having a pre-nup signed.

    I’m just saying!!!

    Also, with the divorce rate being so high in the last 25 years, I would opt to copy what the older generations did in the past; it worked!

    1. You are absolutely right that a man has a right to view the ‘name change’ as important, however I do think it sad it is a deal-breaker for you. It is your opinion, so I would only hope that men who feel as you do would ask this important question before investing time with a woman. I think the hyphenated name is a happy medium, but I do understand your thoughts. It is hard out there to find a mate who posesses all the characteristics a person desires, so it’s interesting to me that a hyphenated name is such a big deal. Compromise is a part of marriage, and each party cannot always win. There are going to be some things you either can deal with or not, and I assume for you the ‘name-change’ is something you absolutely cannot deal with. I respect that!

      The divorce rate is high because some people use it as a cop out. Rather than people working to fix marriages, they run. I doubt a woman’s hyphenated name is the cause of the high divorce rate. Also, I know 3 couples who have been together for 30+ years, and the wives names are hyphenated. So far no divorces, and the only separation was caused by death of a husband. Every relationship and every marriage is different, so what may not work for you, may work for others.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s