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Debate couples ignore before saying “I do”

By By ZAWADI LOMPISHA | August 24th 2013


It’s amazing the way each new couple has a problem that seems to be unique to them. The group that got married a few years before us have had such a high divorce rate that it is common to find us asking others which year they got married hoping to find a couple from that year who are still married.

The last two years, if you allow, have been the ‘name-changing’ years. We have met more couples who are having all sorts of discussions about changing names. When I had just began working, my colleague who had children in mid-primary had just separated from her husband with no hope of reconciliation. But she was still using his name.

When I asked her why she didn’t revert to her maiden name, this is what she said: “When I got married, I was so excited and at the first opportunity, I dropped my dad’s name and took on my husband’s. I use his name on my passport and ID and the hustle of changing them back is just too much. This is one of those things I regret doing.”

So there is this lady whose wedding we attended last year who came to see us over the name change business.

Apparently since they tied the knot, her husband keeps asking her when she is going to change her name.


 I asked her why he wants her to change her name and she wasn’t too sure. For me it just sounds like an ego — trip for the husband, which I can’t stand. The days of buying wives and owning them are long gone.

Your wife isn’t a car you buy, then register in your name as part of your assets. She is a companion with whom you agree to walk with for the rest of your life. I can assure all husbands that your wife can change her name but if she isn’t interested in the marriage, that won’t make the marriage work.

Changing from your maiden name to your married name is totally up to you. However, it is something that you need to discuss with your husband to be before you get married. Don’t assume that because you’re having a beach wedding, he is open-minded on everything.

I have met happily married people who 30 years later, the wife still uses her maiden name. She uses her husband’s name socially and is referred to as Mrs so and so but, when it comes to official documents, she still uses her maiden name.

Her husband had this to say when I asked him why he didn’t demand that his wife change her name: “My wife can call herself all she wants, what matters is the how committed we are to each other.”

The boys who are insisting that their girls change their names don’t understand that changing the name has no bearing on the marriage. Would you rather have a happy marriage to a wife who still uses her father’s name or an unhappy one with a wife who uses your name?

It is not the name that matters but the attention and care that you give to the marriage.”

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