Keeping my last name after marriage

Published 11:51 am Monday, April 8, 2024

Getting your Trinity Audio player ready...

Dear Aunty Pam,


I’m a woman in her early 50s who has never (by choice) been married. I’ve had several long-term relationships, but the idea of marriage has never really appealed to me.

Sign up for our daily email newsletter

Get the latest news sent to your inbox

Now, however, I have met and fallen in love with a wonderful man who very much wants to marry me, and I have agreed! The only stumbling block is that he assumed I would take his last name and when I said that, to me, that is patriarchal and that it’s important I keep my own identity, he was both hurt and offended.

I feel that before we move forward, he needs to fully understand and honestly accept that this is important to me as a woman—I don’t want to feel ‘owned’ by a man.

Any suggestions?


DV Greer, SC


Dear Helen Reddy,


What many couples do today is hyphenate— Mr. and Mrs. Cooper-Smith, for example. Not only does each person get ‘equal billing’ as a couple, it sounds rather posh! So why not suggest this?

And, er, have you ever considered that, unless your maiden surname is one you had legally changed, it is your father’s, so the whole patriarchal thing sorta flies out the window…


Cheers, dears!!

Aunty Pam