Yes, you should you take your husband’s last name because you BELONG to him
In an article written by a mother of two titled “I Kept My Maiden Name and It Was A Huge Mistake,” Jill Simonian learned the hard way what I’ve always known: The best thing to do when you get married is change your last name to your husband’s.
For a variety of reasons, she regretted keeping her maiden name when she married, and I sympathize with her. You see, when I got married there was no question at all as to whether or not I would keep my maiden name.
Back then, there were all sorts of iterations of married women’s last names and opinions of how the last times should be. Like today, there were hyphenated wives, standalone last name people, or just plain old “I’m keeping my maiden name” folks.
But there was a very simple reason that I chose to take my husbands name: I wanted the world to know that I “belong” to him.
Yes, I know it sounds offensive to people today and implies that he somehow “owns” me, but I don’t care. I am still of the belief that when you get married, although you belong technically to each other, a wife who takes her husband’s last name maintains a different kind of respect for him.
I am from, what is considered by many people to be, a very offensive school of thought; that a man’s home is his castle and he’s the boss. Although I am a strong woman in my own right, when it comes to many, many decisions in the home I defer to him because that’s what I saw my mother do many times to my dad (or at least she let him THINK she did).
The abbreviation “Mrs.” as a title for a married woman began to fall out of favor in the early 1970s at the dawn of the “women’s liberation movement” and the feckless demand for “equal rights.” It was the beginning of our deluding ourselves into thinking that men and women are the same.
What Mrs. technically means is “wife of.” In fact, until recently, it was incorrect to use the title “Mrs.” before a woman’s name. A widow, for example, is traditionally (and correctly) still referred to as Mrs. John Smith long after Johnny kicked the bucket.
Ergo, as a “Mrs.” you do in fact belong to your “Mr.” The day we dropped that pesky letter “R” from the middle of that abbreviation and turned it into “Ms.” was the day it all started to go downhill.
And so I keep the Mrs. and my husband’s last name as a reminder that I am indebted to him every day for taking care of me and my children in the traditional way that men should.
Does that mean he doesn’t do anything for me? Absolutely not, in fact the opposite is true. He probably does more for me than I do for him, but our roles are well-defined and are very similar to the ones that your grandmothers and grandfathers probably had in their homes.
So if it was good enough for my grandmas to take their husband’s last names, it’s good enough for me. After all, it looked to me like they were doing something (if not most things) right when it came to familial relationships.
The fact that men and fathers in today’s day and age are so emasculated and belittled that women won’t even take their names for fear that it would seem that they are not a 50-50 partnership, is misguided. I try to give my husband the winning vote most times.
And although we probably are really 50-50 when you extrapolate our power and partnership over the life of our 30 year marriage, I prefer to give him 55 or maybe even 60 so that he can feel like a man and more in charge and I think that that is what has made my marriage successful.
I’m a strong, powerful woman so I don’t need to feel like I have more power in a relationship by virtue of what my last name is. I know what I am and I know that a man needs to feel like his wife looks up to him. Keeping my maiden name would seem disrespectful to him.
Does he own me? Nope. Does he control me? Nah. But do I defer to him? Absolutely. So call me Mrs. (wife of) Mark. And if that’s a crime, call the feminism police on me. I’m guilty.
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