A recent study in the U.S. showed that 94 percent of women still take their husbands' last names when they get married, and half the population believes that lawmakers should require women do so. In recent years, hyphens and blended couple names have become more popular, but men still seldom take their wives' last names.
While it's still taboo for men to take their wives' names after marrying them, some men have broken the boundaries for very different reasons. Three men spoke to Fairygodboss about why they've taken their wives' names, and here's what they had to say.
1. Moony Victoire-Nijjar wanted to carry on his wife's family name.
"My name before I was Married was Moony Nijjar and my wife's name is Carlette — my name is now Moony Victoire-Nijjar," Victoire-Nijjar says. "My wife is an independent person and she has her own identity. Her father is a strong figure in her family's lives and, as her brothers aren't married, their children did not take their name forward. Her sisters are married and have taken their husbands' names, so the Victoire name will have been lost. I decided to because 1. I love her 2. I think the marriage is equal and 3. her surname is beautiful and exotic. I joined the names and have Victoire-Nijjar as my surname, and our children would carry on the Victoire-Nijjar name.
"This has been infectious as her sister Jennifer, who is married to Trevor Carter and took the name Jennifer Carter (married well before me) has decided to name their two boys surname Victoire-Carter. I hope that my two daughters Anaya and Alisha retain either Victoire or Nijjar when they get married demonstrating their heritage and background in their partnership, just like we expect when a company merges with an equal company."
2. Spencer Jones had little attachment to his own last name.
"I was married to my beautiful wife just over 11 years ago," says Jones. "At that point I had rarely heard of a husband taking the wife's last name. However, because of some family issues I had no attachment to my last name and my wife didn't want to take it. I wanted us to have the same last name and did not want to deal with hyphns or any of that. After a few months of thinking and talking with my wife I made the decision to take her last name. Her family supported me and most of my friends were quite supportive. The few family members I still kept in contact with either respected the decision or disagreed it with it. It was water under the bridge because I was happy. Overall, it was one of the best decisions I have ever made. It feels great having the same last name as my wife and the name is something I can be proud about. Now I have heard of a handful of other men taking their wives' last name. It's great to see that it isn't an assumption that the wife must change her name."
3. Sam Brooks wanted his wife to be able to keep her identity.
"I'm a teacher and my wife is a mommy blogger full time," Brooks says. "She wanted to keep her last name so that she didn't have to change her identity, which would confuse her readers and require her to have to change her domain name. So I took her last name because we wanted our children to have the same as us, as one family. It didn't mean that much to me and it meant a lot to her, so it was an easy decision."
AnnaMarie Houlis is a multimedia journalist and an adventure aficionado with a keen cultural curiosity and an affinity for solo travel. She's an editor by day and a travel blogger at HerReport.org by night.