marriage and name-changing

Deb McDonough donough at UCSUB.COLORADO.EDU
Wed Sep 3 14:01:25 EST 1997

And, once again, I'll present some pro name changing arguements.

It can be nice and unifying for a family to have one name.  Especially if
there are/will be children.  Their schools often have the same multi-name
problems that some insurance companies do.  Sometimes all the way through
college.  You'd think they'd get better, but MIT couldn't manage my
husbands multi-name family at all while they handled my single name family
just fine.  Not a disaster, but a hassle.

Some people will assume that married people share a name.  They may use
Mrs. Hisname if they met him first.

I changed my name 5 years ago at the time of the marriage.  Got used to it
very quickly.  Sure, I'm still Debbie Allison to my high school friends,
but everybody else uses Deb McDonough.  (The Debbie part has actually been
harder to change. . .)

It probably depends on how established you are professionally and whether
there is a location change coming up.  My move at the time of the marriage
certainly made the switch easier.  I needed a new drivers licence already.
. .

So pick your hassles.  Chose what makes sense to you.  And then try not to
get annoyed when people call you by the wrong name or question the choice
you made.  They will.  Doesn't much matter what you do.

I wish people wouldn't hate the decision I made, but it works for me.

And. . . be careful about the assumption that such a change comes from
bowing to tradition or any such thing.  After deciding that we wanted to
share a name, we flipped a coin to see which one it would be.  Heads was
his.  So it is. Wouldn't have to "defend myself" nearly as often if we'd
flipped tails. . .  Shouldn't have to defend myself anyway. . .


Deb McDonough
Krauter Lab
Molecular, Cellular and Developmental Biology
University of Colorado at Boulder
Boulder, CO 80309-0347

Phone: (303) 492-6568
Fax:   (303) 492-5105
Email: donough at

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