marriage and name-changing

E. Wijsman wijsman at u.washington.edu
Wed Sep 3 14:48:43 EST 1997


I kept my name when I got married, and have never regretted it.  It is a
rare name and the spelling is unusual so that people remember it, which I
think has been to my advantage.  The issues that people sometimes claim
are concerns - different names within the family, etc. - have never been a
problem.  And yes, I not only have a husband with a different name, but
a son as well, and that has also been no problem, either socially or
legally.  

I have also known a number of female scientists who changed their names,
only to divorce after establishing a name who then felt that they could
not then go back to their maiden names.  I even know one who married
again, but then felt she couldn't change her name on the second marriage,
so the man and woman still ended up with 2 different names, but the woman
had the name of her first X-husband! 

But it is still (for either the man or woman) a personal decision.  A
relatively unique name is good - if I had started out as a Smith I would
have been a lot less interested in keeping the name.  A name change after
establishing the name in publications is bad.  If you don't change your
name you will find yourself sometimes addressed as Mrs. Hisname, but only
by those who don't know.  And if you con't change your name you can screen
the telemarketers a lot easier.  (them:  "May I speak with Mrs. Hisname?" 
you:  "Oh I am sorry.  She's dead.", or "She's in Florida.  May I take a
message?") 
 
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Ellen M. Wijsman			Express mail address:
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