Marrying the Man and Taking His Name (or Not)

Marrying the Man and Taking His Name (or Not)

Should wives take their husbands' names in marriage?

by Janelle Harris, November 20, 2012

Marrying the Man and Taking His Name (or Not)

second piece of it is, my father had me and two boys, who both died when they were in their 20s. So of that little nucleus of the Plater family, I’m the last. I started to feel strongly about hyphenating my name to preserve the Plater lineage and respect my father and uncles, knowing that there are no sons to carry on that name. I was trying to build myself professionally too, so my name was out there as Ericka Plater. So if I was trying to stay in the profession, I wanted to be able to create a link back to that name and my byline.

"When I thought through all of that, I became adamant to my fiancé and said, ‘I will add your name but I’m not giving up my name.’ Once I explained to him where my thinking was, he respected that. As long as I was taking his name in some way or another, he didn’t mind that I was hyphenating and keeping my maiden name. My kids just have his last name, but now that I think about it—especially since my two girls were born before I met him—I kind of regret not giving them the Plater last name and letting them continue the lineage, too. I feel like they lost some of that. They act like them—people will say, ‘Oh you act just like them Platers. You got that temper, you got that mouth.’ [Laughs]

"It took me about two years to get comfortable in the Plater-Turner, but I definitely don’t regret it at all. It’s who I am, who I’ve been for so many years. I saw getting married as adding on to who I was instead of taking away or removing the old me to add on a man’s name. I’m kind of a feminist anyway."

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