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She wants to combine our family names

By Bunmi Sofola

Dear Bunmi,

My fiancée and I are set to get married. She has told me she sees no reason why she should take my surname. I believe she should be proud to, but she says she doesn’t see any reason why she has to give up her “individuality.”

She has offered to hyphenate our surnames, but I think that’s just ridiculous. I am a traditional man and I find her attitude irritating. If she’s not going to be proud to take my name, I’m not sure I want to go through with the wedding.

Muazu, by e-mail.

Dear Muazu,

Is there more to this relationship than a name change? You need to really sit with your fiancée and have a heart-to-heart about your expectations of marriage and of each other, before setting a wedding date.

It looks as if there might be a major mismatch here that could cause problems in future.
You described yourself as traditional (and I’m guessing also quite conservative), which usually means you have set ideas on how a wife should behave.

Your fiancée wants to maintain her independence and may see marriage as more of an equal partnership than the conventional man-is-boss model.

This is not a good sign for future happiness, when you’re not prepared to compromise by hyphenating your surnames. It is, after all, a meeting-in-the middle solution. You’ve got a lifetime of decisions to make together, which are far more important.

All should be made as joint decisions with each of you prepared to meet in the middle.


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