11/06/2007 03:12 pm ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

To Change or Not to Change my Name... That is the Question


As many of you know, Matt and I said "I do" exactly three weeks

ago. With ninety members of our closest family and friends looking on, it

was a gorgeous event at Tavern On The Green. We had an amazing time on

our honeymoon and are settling in quite nicely to married life (Though, I

really don't feel any different? Am I supposed to?)

But now that I am back, I am faced with a question that doesn't

seem to go away. Once people says congratulations to me and ask about the

honeymoon, the next question goes something like this, "Are you

going to keep your name?" When I say yes, the reactions I am getting are mixed.

When my parents were married, no one asked questions like this,

perhaps because it wasn't really an issue. The day my mother said "I

do," and her mother before her, it was automatically assumed that she was

going to change her last name. But today, aside from picking out the color

of bridesmaid dresses, the flavor of cake and the script on the

invitations, brides have another decision to make: To change or not

to change their name...that is the question.

I started to do a little research on the subject and came across a

number of different reasons women do and don't change their names,

ranging from personal reasons to business considerations. What do

you do if you are career woman who is known by her maiden name? Is it

insulting to the man if you don't take his name? Matt says he is

not insulted at all and completely understands that I have built my

career around a part of my identity that was around long before he was. But I

wonder if deep down that is really how he feels. One article I came across said all women should change their names when they get married and that it is a "slap to

marriage" when they don't! It went on to say that any woman who

rejects her husband's name is saying "I marry the person I love, but I

can end it anytime I feel like it." But, the woman who takes her

husband's name is saying, "I love the person I marry, and I have a commitment."

Is this really the case? Are all of us who are not taking our

husbands last names actually "slapping them in the face" at the altar? It

didn't seem like I had slapped him when after we said I do; in fact, he kissed

me. And, I certainly don't feel like I can end our marriage anytime I feel

like it just because I don't use his last name. And, what if I take his

last name in my personal life, but not in my professional life? Does this

mean I will only feel like "I can end it" when I am at the office

and at home "I have a commitment?"

So, what is the answer? Do I change it altogether despite the years I

have spend using my maiden name? Do I use my maiden name in my

professional life and hyphenate in my personal life? Or, do I do what

Madonna and Cher did to avoid the anxiety altogether?

I Now Introduce To You: Mr. Matt FADAL (?)

By: Matt Titus

As I threw Tamsen over my shoulder and took her into our brand new

cave on our wedding night, I took great pleasure in knowing that my bride was

Mrs. Matt Titus. Yeah, right! It was more like Tamsen telling me that

after 12 years of branding herself to her viewers as Tamsen Fadal, the

best she could do was Tamsen Fadal-Titus (only on our checks!). She also

informed me that this was a massive compromise on her part because

she was considering asking me to take her last name. Hmm, Matt Fadal . . .

I don't particularly like that. But, I would like to take this opportunity to

stroll down gender reversal lane and try to walk a block in her Jimmy

Choos in order to get a sense what all the fuss about changing names

is about.

Between the ring, the merging of the bank accounts and the new

pronouns "us, we and they," losing the identity of my name of 40 years

might be enough to throw me over the ledge. Not to mention, the daunting task of

changing my identity on paper and plastic, as well as training myself

to say my new full name in a fluid manner without sounding like Forrest

Gump. What an unappealing task.

Oh boy, I am starting to get the picture of what these lovely new

brides must go through. Especially those women who have built their careers

around a powerful name like-- Tamsen Fadal (I am so


So what's up with these men giving women a hard time about changing their names? And, who cares what she's calling herself as long as she's your life partner?