Before we got married, my wife decided she would change her name to officially become Mrs. Daniel Mitchinson.
That was over a year ago, and we're still dealing with the name change on credit cards and a new passport. I left it up to her if she wanted to keep her maiden name, or take mine (but secretly I was very happy she chose the latter). I don't know if it's because I'm a traditionalist, sentimental, or it just made me feel more secure. I know if she had chosen to keep her name, I wouldn't have loved her any less, but because she chose to take mine, I love her that much more.
It can't be easy to give up that piece of your identity. And I have to say, after stumbling across an article online that told me "Men who insist you change your name make terrible husbands," I felt a little guilty for even asking her. It's not an easy process. There's a lot of paperwork and standing in line (three hours at the DMV). Before we said "I do," she asked me "Would you have taken my last name if I had asked you?" I had to think about it for a few moments, but I said "Yeah, I probably would." After all, I should consider taking her name as seriously as she considered taking mine. That's what marriage is about, isn't it? You give a little, and you get a little.
I suppose it's also nice to know that a bit of my family history will be passed along. My name, British in origin, goes back hundreds of years on my dad's side. He was born in England. And while my new family includes two wonderful kids who I call my own, they don't share my last name, which means the family bloodline, at least on this side of the Atlantic, stops with me. I'm OK with that. I've come to terms with my choice. But it sure makes me happy and proud to know I have a wonderful wife who will share my name for the rest of our lives.