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A Woman Changing Her Surname To Her Husband’s Name Is Not In The Bible ~ Solomon Buchi


A man divorced his wife over the issue of name change after marriage. He asked her to change her socialmedia handles, bank details, to his name, but she refused. I frankly think that a woman should be the one to decide if she wants to pick her husband’s name after marriage or not.

The typical rebuffing argument that opposes this conversation is that it’s our African culture for a woman to take on her husband’s name after marriage. However, that’s fallacious. Maybe, prevarication. The concept of adopting a man’s surname after marriage is hugely western tradition.

From a Christian perspective, it is not scriptural. Women were often identified by their names and associated with their children and their husbands. Mary, mother of Jesus; Mary, wife of Joseph. Sarah, wife of Abraham, not Mrs Mary Joseph or Mrs Sarah Abraham. I’m not driving this conversation to establish an absolute answer. No, there’s no right or wrong. I’m trying to debunk the myths around it. I think it’ll aid people make informed decisions, no matter what they chose to do in the end as regarding name change upon marriage.

Fairly, I see the point of those who buy into the ancient culture of women adopting their husband’s names after marriage. It can foster oneness of identity in the social sphere of marriage. Though argued by some feminists, it’s a tool to express ownership over a woman. That is true in the essence of its origin, however, people can redefine things. Some women find it feminine to change their surnames to their husband’s after marriage; some find it romantic and sentimentally utopian, and for some women, they claim it’s a primordial hunch.

While, this practice is longstanding, I think that many men may need to reassess why they have a desire, I daresay, a dominating one, to have their wives take up their names after marriage? Is it control at play? Is it love? Because, I think it’s power play for some men. The customary practice of paying bride price heightens the expectation of a man that his wife is his property, so why not bear his name? This isn’t love. See, name adoption after marriage doesn’t make it better, more intimate or even guarantee gleeful marital longevity. You ‘have’ someone by how much of yourself you pour into them, but many times men try to impose the sense of territoriality. However, is it bad for a man to want a woman to change her name to his after marriage? Absolutely NO.

Just find you a person who is on the same page as you. I know some married women who retained their maiden names after marriage and are happy in their marriage. I know those who didn’t and are happy. It’s not hard and fast. Discuss it during dating please! Dating is a time to ASK! ASK!!!

For me as a person, my woman changing her surname to mine after marriage is the least of my concerns. It is her choice. If she wants to, cool. If she doesn’t want to, cool. It can be an arduous process for women to do all the name changes after marriage, to be honest. Some don’t mind going through the hassle; some do. I wouldn’t want to see my woman jumping around in stress just to change her surname to mine after marriage. To some men, it matters and that is valid. Some women fantasize about changing their names after marriage too.

In the end, all these things are peripherals. Marriage is in the bond, the intimacy, the mutual respect and service, the commitment and unwavering intentionality. It’s not in adopting names or wedding bands. Again, find your type. Find someone who wants same thing as you and you’ll have less stress.

~ Solomon Buchi


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