Jump to content

Name change after marriage in regard to Christianity
Is it expected


25 replies to this topic

#1 wombat

Posted 19 February 2013 - 10:33 AM

Just as the title says, in your experience is it expected that Christian women will automatically change their surname to that of their husband?  I ask because it has never entered my mind that my faith would be questioned due to DH and I having different surnames, but within a new circle of friends I have that is what is ocurring.  Anyone else have similar experiences?  Not upset by it, just curious.

Edited by wombat, 19 February 2013 - 10:34 AM.


#2 Z-girls rock

Posted 19 February 2013 - 10:42 AM

I didnt change my lastname.

some people (I'm looking at you mother-in-law - in fact kind of all my in-laws) have given me a hard time about it. It doesnt have anything to do with Christanity because I am Buddhist and they are all either nothing or non-practicing Christians.

I think if people dont like your choices they will use whatever 'reasons' they want to try to make you feel bad about your choices and pressure you into conformity. Christian or non-Christian.

#3 Bernard Woolley

Posted 19 February 2013 - 11:06 AM

I think it's probably common in Christian circles for women to change their names when they marry. But you can tell 'em from me: if they think that's how you know if someone is genuine in their faith, they're doing it wrong rolleyes.gif

#4 elizabethany

Posted 19 February 2013 - 11:11 AM

I would say that it is traditional to change your name, and there is a correlation between religion and conservatism.  That being said, I would NEVER judge someones faith on whether they changed their name.

Actually, I would never judge anyones faith at all.

#5 opethmum

Posted 19 February 2013 - 11:11 AM

I guess it is expected in Christian culture for women to change their name. The idea of being one flesh and the role of marriage in creating a family unit and being united under one name is why most women change their names or there is expectation for them to do so is there. For some churches it is the done thing and depending on their leanings of their understanding of marriage and the roles of husband and wife it is seen as poor form on the woman if she does not change her surname.
For some churches and cultures the surname is not the be all and end all of all things and happily get on with life.
I know in some Orthodox cultures that where in absence of a male to carry the surname to the next generation some women do not change their names and if they have a son then the surname is given to him and they give the father's surname as a middle name.

I say do what you feel that works for you and your situation in life and if you don't change your name post marriage that's a personal decision and I don't judge you at all.

#6 jill1972

Posted 19 February 2013 - 11:19 AM

I'm a Christian & I don't think changing your name has anything to do with Christianity.  I think it may be a bit of an outdated view & if you decide to have different surnames is no one's business but your own.  



________________

#7 Hypnic Jerk

Posted 19 February 2013 - 11:21 AM

I'm a Christian and I changed my name because DH is uber-conservative, not because of religion.  I'm a feminist.  Interestingly I made this decision after having too many drinks - made it easier to digest.

#8 Apageintime

Posted 19 February 2013 - 11:25 AM

We're Catholic and I kept my own name.

In our circle of religious friends most people seem to keep their names on marriage and double barrell the kids.

#9 Jekaho

Posted 19 February 2013 - 11:28 AM

My desire to change my name had nothing to do with my faith. But I can understand how people think of tradition being intertwined with religion.  
I wouldn't even think of "questioning" someone's faith just because they don't take their husbands name. How bizarre!

#10 HGL

Posted 19 February 2013 - 11:44 AM

I don't think an expectation for women to change their surnames is exclusive to Christianity. I think a number of people expect women to charge their name regardless of their religion.

Of course, I could open a can of worms and say 'some' religions and churches still have an idealogy that woman are second to man (Christian & non Christian religions) and expect women to obey their husbands, raise the children, change their name etc, but I won't. wink.gif

#11 MrsLexiK

Posted 19 February 2013 - 11:54 AM

QUOTE (wombat @ 19/02/2013, 11:33 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Just as the title says, in your experience is it expected that Christian women will automatically change their surname to that of their husband?  I ask because it has never entered my mind that my faith would be questioned due to DH and I having different surnames, but within a new circle of friends I have that is what is ocurring.  Anyone else have similar experiences?  Not upset by it, just curious.


I am catholic but my DH's family is christian and some are very christian.  Not one has a double barralled surname nor have they kept their own name.  I am trying to rack my brian where the wife is breadwinner as well (expect for my DH's mum, thankfully I meet one of the lapsed religous ones in the family) I think they are more traditional so taking the name, not living together before marriage, the women taking the time off work, the men providing etc are not always a show of faith but a show of how backward they are. (After spending 4 years not having them speak to me at functions to suddenly speaking to me in the last 2 years has soured my view of many of them.  Once we were getting married it was all ok, but before then well there is no way we should have brought our house or done what we did. My DH would have been the oldest to have gotten married in his family on the strict side, he was 33 so IMO not old at all. Most of his cousins were married before they were 25)

The fact that I held onto my name and basically kept part of my name does not mean my faith is not as strong as some of his family members.

#12 Ymarferol angel

Posted 19 February 2013 - 12:28 PM

As others have said, I think it depends which flavour of Christianity you're talking about.

There is no Biblical imperative to change names, nor has it been a "thing" through most of Christian history.

But it is true that some Christians get hung up on perceptions of marital unity (you should hear the flak DH and I get for worshipping separately!), or even of male headship/wifely subservience and would see taking a man's surname as important for those reasons.  On the other hand, some Christians have a strong feminist, socially liberal streak and might be horrified at the change of name!  

It sounds like you've ended up with a group who might lean a bit in the former direction.  Is this the only issue you're encountering, or am I right to suspect that it's a bit more than that?



#13 rose888

Posted 19 February 2013 - 12:39 PM

Christian Chinese do not change their family name unless they live in the west and even then many do not. In Taiwan it is not usual. I think it is a western tradition rather than a christian tradition.

#14 a letter to Elise.

Posted 19 February 2013 - 12:46 PM

I suspect it's more related to culture then religion. My DH is Asian, and the majority of women in his family have not changed their name as its not traditional to do so. This is despite many of them having converted to Christianity. The ones who have changed their names tend to be of younger generations and have married Caucasians.

#15 FEdeRAL

Posted 19 February 2013 - 12:49 PM

QUOTE (rose888 @ 19/02/2013, 01:39 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Christian Chinese do not change their family name unless they live in the west and even then many do not. In Taiwan it is not usual. I think it is a western tradition rather than a christian tradition.

This. Most Chinese women retain their maiden name, even those who live in the west and are Christian by faith. Funnily though, those I know of who change their surnames are the ones married to Caucasians. So definitely a cultural rather than religious tradition.

ETA: Lol Snap Matthias' mum!

Edited by Leeloomina, 19 February 2013 - 12:51 PM.


#16 Lokum

Posted 19 February 2013 - 12:49 PM

QUOTE (opethmum @ 19/02/2013, 12:11 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I guess it is expected in Christian culture for women to change their name. The idea of being one flesh and the role of marriage in creating a family unit and being united under one name is why most women change their names or there is expectation for them to do so is there. For some churches it is the done thing and depending on their leanings of their understanding of marriage and the roles of husband and wife it is seen as poor form on the woman if she does not change her surname.
For some churches and cultures the surname is not the be all and end all of all things and happily get on with life.


In very Catholic Spain and very Catholic Portugal and very Catholic south America  it is not usual for women to change their names/ take their husbands' names.

It's cultural, not religious, but some religious/conservative people might try to make the link.

#17 Furfeathersfleece

Posted 19 February 2013 - 02:17 PM

I'm a Christian and kept my last name. My dad is a Presbyterian minister and had no issue with it. My ILs on the other hand are atheist and seemed a little put out that I didn't want their name.

#18 Bart.

Posted 19 February 2013 - 02:28 PM

I kept my name, too.

#19 Mrs Bunny

Posted 19 February 2013 - 02:35 PM

In my experience, faith has nothing to do with it. I'm not religious and I did change my name. I remember two colleagues - a strident Catholic and another woman - having a loud discussion when I got engaged. They were both horrified that "in this day an age, can you believe it, she changed her last name to her husbands! Can you BELIEVE it?!" (discussing someone else, not me). Neither of them had changed from their maiden names and they were aghast that women "still" did it.

To me, it's a matter of personal preference, impact on career etc.

#20 Imaginary friend

Posted 19 February 2013 - 02:44 PM

I am a Christian.

I changed my name when I married.


But  I see no correlation between the 2 things.


As I have said in other such threads I am not bothered by whether others do or do not change their names, nor do  I read anything into whether they do or do not.

#21 Mrs Dinosaurus

Posted 19 February 2013 - 02:57 PM

I don't think it's unique to Christianity - I come from a large family of 3rd, maybe 4th gen athiests and there is a definite expectation that the women-folk change their name.

Now I have a major dilemma, because obviously it never occurred to me that I would ever change my name however now I am getting married next year and if I hyphenate mine and DH's name it will (IMO) be HILARIOUS every single time.

DH thinks it's a bad idea but really, how can you walk away from a running joke?

It'd be like having the last name Power and NOT calling your kid Will. Should practically be illegal biggrin.gif

Anyway OP - I think your friends are just judgmental, ignore them!



#22 balancing.act

Posted 19 February 2013 - 03:18 PM

Changing your name is traditional in western society, it doesn't have anything to do with religion. I've lived in a number of countries with Christian women who do or do not change their name. It's never caused an issue in their religion but sometimes an alternative choice has caused some issues in their cultural group. In Vietnam even the most devout Christians don't change their name. Culturally women don;t change their name and children take on the mother's name. Religion doesn't come into it at all.

I haven't changed my name and lots of people don't now. There are lots of reasons, including:

1. The changing of names used to symbolise a change of ownership from father to husband which isn't relevant any more.
2. If you've got an established career then changing your name can cause difficulties for career development
3. Paperwork, paperwork, paperwork

Make a decision that suits you, it's completely up to you and you shouldn't be judged. Just make sure you're making the decision for the right reasons and not because of religion, because using religion as a reason just isn't valid.

#23 somila

Posted 19 February 2013 - 04:36 PM

Absolutely nothing to do with Christianity.  Zilch.

#24 HandsOnNewton

Posted 19 February 2013 - 04:45 PM

Nothing to do with Christianity.

My church has quite a few married couples where the wife has kept her name. It's a city church with a pretty high percentage of university educated professionals, so I think most of the time the decision was made due to being known in their chosen profession/having publications under their maiden name, so changing surnames wasn't even thought of. There is also a pretty strong feminist presence in this particular church (which is also agitating for women's ordination) which may have something to do with it.

So by no means universal OP

#25 Isolabella

Posted 19 February 2013 - 04:52 PM

I don't see it as a faith item.

When getting her Italian passport mum has to go back to her maiden name for the first time in nearly 35 yrs. the Italians keep their maiden name. So I have Aussie in double barrel surname and Italian in maiden name. Italians being nearly 90% Catholic.

German SIL kept her name as that was the norm there.



Reply to this topic



  


0 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users

 

11 things that will happen when you're breastfeeding

After having three children and various degrees of success feeding them all, there's one thing I can tell you: virtually nothing will go as planned.

Surgery for baby born with a tail

A baby born with a tail has had it removed after doctors feared the birth defect might cause long term damage to his lower body.

When 'skin to skin' becomes a family affair

An adorable photo of a little boy and his dad enjoying skin to skin contact with newborn twins is melting hearts everywhere.

35 hilariously weird 'top tips'

Who would have thunk it? We never knew there were so many uses for feminine hygiene products. 

Pregnancy skin woes: acne, dry skin, itchy skin

Here are some of the most common skin complaints in pregnancy and how to tackle them, face on.

Watch this fun dance class for babywearing dads

Is there anything sexier than a babywearing dad?

Parents, this is how to cut grapes to avoid choking

One mum has learnt a harrowing lesson about the best way to cut grapes to make it safe for toddlers and little kids to eat.

When your kids have totally different temperaments

Sometimes it has felt like whiplash parenting. She perches watchfully while I vacuum; he tries to climb on and go for a ride.

How do our stress levels influence our baby?

Since having my second baby a number of people have commented on how placid, content and settled he is and, similarly, many have commented on how this is a reflection of how I am with him.

Separation anxiety isn't just for kids

Despite its prevalence, most doctors tend to be reluctant to diagnose adult patients with separation anxiety.

A charm bracelet, a boy, and my beliefs questioned

I was staring at the face of my son, realising that my once steadfast decision to be open minded was quickly unravelling at the seams.

Why I'm so grateful for Hayden Panettiere's PND honesty

There are baby steps and giant leaps forward. But there are steps backwards, too. And, oh, how they can hurt your heart.

The heartbreaking story of little Moko

The mother of 3-year-old Moko Rangitoheriri said she should have picked up on the signs. {Warning: distressing content}

Kate Beckinsale and teen daughter recreate birth photo

Kate Beckinsale has recreated her daughter Lily's birth photo, 17 years after she was born.

The adult-size stroller you'll want to test drive

It's one of the biggest baby related purchases they will make, so it makes sense that parents-to-be get a chance to road test a stroller.

Pregnancy announcement shows the reality of IVF

It's a long way from baby booties or bump shots people have become accustomed to in social media pregnancy announcements.  

Soleil Moon Frye welcomes fourth baby

"Punky Brewster" is a mom again, for the fourth time. Soleil Moon Frye announced the birth of her baby boy, Story, on Instagram Wednesday.

Mum breastfeeds baby found abandoned on the street

A woman has been praised as a "beautiful mother" after breastfeeding a baby which had been abandoned at the side of a street. 

A birth with a difference: the 'natural caesarean'

We've shared stories of gentle caesareans before, but a new video shows a new option called a 'natural caesarean'.

Baby name inspiration by music genre

If you're all about the music, then you'll need a musical name for that baby. We've got all the lists for you by music genre.

Giving effective instructions to toddlers

One of the most common errors made by parents is in how they give instructions to their children.

 
Advertisement
 

Top 5 Articles

Advertisement
 
 
 

What's hot on EB

The babies who are one in 70 million

Bethani Webb was excited to find out she was pregnant, but the first time mum did not realise she was carrying four babies not one.

Cafe offers breastfeeding mums a free cup of tea

A Sydney cafe is offering breastfeeding mums free cups of tea in a bid to show support for the right of women to nurse their babies wherever they choose.

To snip or not to snip? When the decision is not clear cut

Jamie Oliver, who considered a vasectomy, is to be a father again. A fellow dad reflects on his own decision 11 years ago

Doctors stunned by rare twins born almost six weeks apart

To everyone's surprise, Kristen Miller "kept doing better each day", keeping her second baby safe.

Baby book ideas for modern parents

Before my son was born I was given a lovely baby book full of blank pages waiting to be filled with weights and heights and first words.

The adorable smile of a baby seeing his mum clearly for the first time

There is no doubt seeing their child smile for the first time is an unforgettable moment for parents everywhere.

Mum tells how toddler 'nearly hung himself' in cot mishap

When Alison Johnson put her 18-month-old Caleb down for a nap, she had no reason to believe her son was in any danger.

Babies are still switched at birth? Yes, it can happen

All my panic and tears aside, my biggest question looking back is about the kind of security measures used in the maternity ward.

Doctors slammed for taking selfie with newborn

Everyone who visits a mum in hospital in the days following childbirth wants to get a photo with the new baby.

ergoPouch Twosie Sleepsuit for winter breastfeeding

Finally, there's a way to keep warm while breastfeeding through winter.

Health check: How long does sex 'normally' last?

What to do with this information? My advice would be to try not to think about it during the throes of passion.

When breastfeeding sucks: fixing common problems

From niplash to tight boobs, biting to milk supply issues, Pinky McKay looks at common breastfeeding issues and how to solve them.

10 things I've learnt in my first six months with twins

Six months on we're all still alive, and the more we get to know each other the easier the days become.

Mum's loving kiss leaves baby fighting for life

Kirsty Carrington thought nothing of giving her newborn son a kiss, little did she know it would leave the baby fighting for life.

When doing chores is your new 'me time'

After children, 'me time' looks a little different.

Get going: 14 travel strollers for families on the move

A stroller can make or break travelling with a baby or toddler. Here are 15 great single travel stroller options.

10 ways toddlers are terrific

It always pays to remind yourself of how terrific toddlers can be - they're little like this for such a short time

 

Vintage Toys

The toys of your childhood

Take a trip down memory lane with these vinage and retro toys that you may have had in your childhood or your parent's childhood.

 
Advertisement
 
 
Essential Baby and Essential Kids is the place to find parenting information and parenting support relating to conception, pregnancy, birth, babies, toddlers, kids, maternity, family budgeting, family travel, nutrition and wellbeing, family entertainment, kids entertainment, tips for the family home, child-friendly recipes and parenting. Try our pregnancy due date calculator to determine your due date, or our ovulation calculator to predict ovulation and your fertile period. Our pregnancy week by week guide shows your baby's stages of development. Access our very active mum's discussion groups in the Essential Baby forums or the Essential Kids forums to talk to mums about conception, pregnancy, birth, babies, toddlers, kids and parenting lifestyle. Essential Baby also offers a baby names database of more than 22,000 baby names, popular baby names, boys' names, girls' names and baby names advice in our baby names forum. Essential Kids features a range of free printable worksheets for kids from preschool years through to primary school years. For the latest baby clothes, maternity clothes, maternity accessories, toddler products, kids toys and kids clothing, breastfeeding and other parenting resources, check out Essential Baby and Essential Kids.