How to decide whether to change or not to change your surname after marriage

How to decide whether to change or not to change your surname after marriage

Have you ever found yourself in a situation where you wanted to do something or let’s say wanted to go on a trip with your friends, and you basically went up to your parents to take their permission like a good girl, and all they did was basically turn it down, and not just turn it down they went ahead to say this: shadi kay baad apne husband kay sath jahaan jana ho chali jaana!  Please read the article about all the things every single women must do before getting married.

Needless to say hearing this shoot up your blood pressure, even needless to say, you took the trip with your friends! Which is what you should have, but wait, is it actually so easy when it comes to the real deal? I mean the things that you actually have to compromise on once you get married. One of those things is changing your name.

Changing ones name after marriage is one of the biggest dilemmas facing the modern Indian women. On one hand we are liberal, which makes us not change the name, on the other hand we cannot completely break free from our culture, which makes us change it. So what shall one do, well let’s look at the pros and cons of it.

Before we move on, just want to maintain that I am going to be neutral here. Just letting you know why or why not should you change your name. The decision is yours to take!

How to decide whether to change or not to change your surname after marriage


The reason is love

You may not have the pressure to change your name, but your husband will love you more, if you do. Show him that want to be part of him and his life. Now some of the feminists might say, this should not be a measure of one’s love for the other, but let’s face it; even you know deep in your heart that it will make a difference. Plus it is a visible way to let them know, you love them. So why not act on it.

Family name

Okay, so if you do choose to change your name you, your husband and your children will all have the same family name, which if you think, is kind of cool. People will know you are married because you will be ‘Mr. and Mrs. Smith’. Plus, it would be a lot easier to explain to your children than to explain why it is different.

One less issue with the in laws

We live in the part of the world where if you do not change your name, you get frowned upon by your in laws. This is not true of all in laws, but we talk about the majority. Since the in laws are already fraught, one less issue sounds like a good deal. This is something that you can share with your friend but not with your spouse.

Do not like your surname? Go for it!

Another good reason you can change your surname is if you do not like it. I mean some of us do have weird surnames and while some of us may seem to be okay with them, others are not. So marriage is one good opportunity for those of you. Also, if you think your husband’s last name goes well with your first name than your own surname, do not miss out on this opportunity to change it.

Although you have the above reasons to change your name, research shows there are women who are not big on it. So the tradition is basically on a downswing. Thinking why people do not change it, here is why:


You like it

This is a good enough reason for you to keep your name. Seriously, no one should be able to force you into doing what you do not want to. Plus, if you have a cool name that stands out than do not change it.

Your identity

Many of the women do not want to change their names because they cannot let go off a part of their identity. Apart from the fact that it is unfair that only the woman has to change name, you have had it for 20 to 30 years. Just like I is okay to change your name, it is okay not to change it at all.

Some women have said that they did not want to change their name not because they want to prove a point but only because it is their name and their identity since they were born and changing it now does not seem all logical.

Last branch in the family tree

Some women said they did not want to change their name because they are the last ones carrying their family name, which if you look at it, becomes more of a moral obligation than choice. Those even being the only torch bearers of the family name changed their name admitted that they felt guilty for not keeping their last names. So yea, if you find yourself in a situation like this, might as well keep your name, does not matter in the least what society says.


While some of the women may be big on traditions and ritual, others think there is no place for them in the 21st century. If you identify with this group, you are good with your own surname.

Working women

Many of the women get married in their mid twenties or late twenties, so chances are they have already started a robust career in their birth name. So changing it now would mean a lot of hassle.

The paperwork

Although you can change your name if you want, there is a lot of paper work involved. Any woman who has changed her name would know the struggle. The identity card, the passport, the medical record, and the list go on. If you are someone who hates bureaucracy, this option is not for you. It can be a nightmare.


If you are a feminist then changing your surname would be going against your ideas. Changing your surname is reinforcement of the historical idea of women being her husband’s property before marriage and her husband’s afterwards.

In addition, women tend to sacrifice a lot by leaving their parents’ house and moving in not only with her husband, but at times even with his family. After doing so much why can’t she have the option not to change her name? She totally should!


As much as many of us do not want to think about divorce, it is a possibility. I mean, no one gets married to get divorced, but you never know. If you chose to keep your name when you got married, you would not have to go through the same hassle of the paperwork, once again.

All in all,

Should change Should not change
If you love him. Show him Why give up your yeas long identity
Common name, easier to explain, lesser confusion Do not change it if you like it
Do not want another row with in laws If you are the only name bearer, who cares about traditions
Good option to change a name you do not like If you work changing name could be an issue, you could lose business
  Bureaucratic nightmare.
  Hold up a true feminist image
  Keep everything in mind, even divorce

So, now, hopefully, you know in your heart what you want to do.

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