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 Fyn Angelot

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 Who is me

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 PigNewton

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



  


1 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 1 guests, 0 anonymous users

 

WIN an exclusive performance from Sam Moran!

To celebrate the release of children?s musical series Play Along with Sam, out now on DVD, we?re giving one lucky parent the chance to have Sam perform at their child?s pre-school or day care!

Toddler freed after getting trapped in escalator

A shopping centre escalator needed to be pulled apart to free a toddler's trapped hand.

Why I'm kind of excited about my daughter's nits

Is it weird to say that I am secretly thrilled to find that my daughter Edie has nits?

Baby born at 10:11 on 12-13-14

Well, it's actually 13-12-14 to us over here. But still, Clare Elizabeth Keane's consecutive numerical birth time is pretty special.

On holding tightly and loving fiercely

We can't live in fear. This post is about Christmas and how at this time we should be celebrating life and grateful for what we have: our loved ones who we cherish fiercely.

Babies, relatives and coping with Christmas day

Everyone will love your baby but your baby may not be so happy to be passed around a lot of new people - nor may you want to feed with an audience.

Why I won't be posting pictures of my baby on Facebook

There are pros and cons to this policy.

The myths and truths of gender swaying

Here are a few popular methods hopeful parents-to-be use to try to get a baby of their preferred gender – and what an expert says about whether they really work.

10 easy DIY Christmas decoration ideas

It's officially time to get into the Christmas spirit. Why not branch out when you put up your tree this year and add a personal touch with a few DIY decorations? We've found the perfect easy-to-make ways to put more festive fever into your home.

The dangerous new trend of glucose challenge test refusal

A dangerous trend is seeing more mothers-to-be declining a relatively simple and painless test to check for gestational diabetes.

Office of Fair Trading reveals naughty toys ahead of Christmas

The Office of Fair Trading has pulled seven toys from shelves ahead of Christmas after they fail safety tests.

Video: Baby boy's trouble with twins

These twin girls will no doubt have fun fooling people in years to come, but nobody will be as confused as baby Landon.

Long-term reversible male contraceptive on its way

Men could soon have access to an injectable long-term contraceptive which works in a similar way to a vasectomy but promises to be easily reversed.

'I tried to kill my baby': one mum's story

After bathing and dressing her three-month-old son, Amanda had a rare moment alone with her baby.

Attack of the 'mummy brain'

I feel that almost every day, someone in my life - be they a friend, family member or complete stranger - feels the need to excuse my behaviour as I have other things on my mind.

Mum of baby who fell ill after drinking raw milk speaks out

A Melbourne mother has described how her son turned grey when he became seriously ill after drinking raw milk.

Australian divorce rate lowest since 1976

Modern newlyweds are now well into their 30s and marriage still offers something powerful a new book argues.

The aftermath of a traumatic birth experience

In Australia, 30 per cent of women find their birth experience traumatic, with 6 per cent going on to develop post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

Young mum burns 'from inside-out'

A young mum is in intensive care after she took a friend's antibiotic and wound up with an ailment that is burning her body 'from the inside-out'.

The disagreement that can break a relationship

If he doesn't change his mind, all I can hope is that I will. It would be a waste to spend the rest of my marriage mourning a baby that never was.

Download now: Essential Kids Activity Finder app

Got bored kids? Quickly find the best activities for kids wherever you are in Australia with the Essential Kids app.

 
Advertisement
 
Advertisement
 
 
 

What's hot on EB

Co-sleeping or no-sleeping? Mum videos worst nap ever

One mother's futile attempt to sleep in caught on camera in a hilarious - and very cute - video.

Why children misbehave during the festive season

While we all like to imagine the holiday season as being a fun, loving and bonding experience; often our reality is quiet different.

I was fat-shamed by my doctor

The fear of being weighed is the most significant factor in women cancelling medical appointments - and now weight-shaming has happened to me.

End of an era: no more childcare

As we reach the end of 2014, we're closing the book on many things for another year, most notably childcare. Our last child has attended childcare for the very last time.

WIN an exclusive performance from Sam Moran!

To celebrate the release of children?s musical series Play Along with Sam, out now on DVD, we?re giving one lucky parent the chance to have Sam perform at their child?s pre-school or day care!

The 7-year itch is more like the 10-year itch: study

Contrary to popular belief, making it past the seven-year mark doesn't mean your marriage will be smooth sailing from there on.

Should children be forced to sit on Santa's lap?

We teach kids it’s okay to say no if they don’t feel safe, so why do some parents force their children to climb in to Santa's lap?

Stop telling us that parenting gets harder

I’m sure that parenting will get harder. But life isn’t exactly smooth sailing for many of us right now, either.

Baby born weighing almost 14 pounds

Yes, the bouncing baby girl was born by caesarean section. And mum says no more kids.

The dummy debate

I'm the first to admit that when I used to see tiny babies with dummies in their mouths, I thought "Hmm, lazy parenting." And now I apologise.

'I thought I was an only child'

Imagine meeting your double at a school sports event, or regularly being mistaken for someone you haven't met. Separated twins Margaret and Joy tell their story.

Carers admit to force-feeding children

As Sydney grieves the loss of Sydney siege victims Katrina Dawson and Tori Johnson, reports have suggested that both died as heroes.

 

How many weeks til Christmas?

On your To-Do list

Get the "Santa" shopping done without the kids in tow.

 
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.