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Zoe Saldana and husband Marco Perego- A

Zoe Saldana has been trending on the net recently – and no its not because one of her latest blockbusters is about to hit theaters. Its because her husband and father of her twins has decided to take on her last name and become Mr. Saldana! Once again bringing the name game debate into question. Are there hard and fast rules about surnames once married? A close friend once asked me if I’d take my boyfriend’s last name when we got married. She decided to keep her maiden name, and her husband of two years hasn’t been too happy about it. I’m not even engaged, but my reply to her inquiry was “I’m going to take his last name”. My reasons, I don’t have a real relationship with my father, so I don’t have an attachment to Gonzalez. But not all women are alike; many have different reasons for keeping or shedding their apellido. So for all those guys who may be looking to tie the knot some day, but want to know what Latinas may think about the name game? Are we tied to this tradition? The reasons for and against may surprise you. Here are just a few.

Do It for The Children

Many women take their husband’s last name because they feel it’s important to be “one” family. This is why Joanna, an Assistant Principal from New Jersey, did so. “I wanted to have my kids name, and part of marriage for me was forming my own family.” So she decided to become Team Cartagena. Five years of marriage and one child later, she is thrilled with her choice.

Your Husband Wants You To

Many men expect women to abandon their maiden name after saying “I do,” and some women follow suit. Christy, a nutritionist from Tucson, Arizona, thought she would keep “Rodriguez,” but when she mentioned it to her now husband “he was utterly offended,” said Christy. “I got the evil eye and a minor lecture on how our last name represents our family unit,” she continued. “I had a little PTSD as a result of losing my maiden name, but Rodriguez-Wilson was too long and I am too traditional not to change my name after marriage”.

All About The Hyphen

Some gals want to be as traditional as they are modern – enter the hyphen. Many women said they’d take this route if and when they marry. Nydia, a single New York photographer, wants to keep Mata due to its connection to her father. “My dad has only girls and while there are other males (cousins and such) that can carry on the family name, I’d rather have a hand in keeping his particular line going,” Mata stated.

Others also wanted to keep their maiden name because they married a non-Latino. “I really identify with how common my last name is in the Latino community,” said Claudya Martinez, a digital writer from San Francisco who is married to a white man. “I didn’t want to give it up for a non-Latino last name”.

Keep It Professional

In the age of the Internet, some women like Claudya Martinez also keep their maiden name for professional reasons. “I do business and joined unions as Claudya Martinez,” she continued. Ultimately, she doesn’t want her identity erased on Google.

Pull A Hillary

Many Latinas don’t want to strip themselves of their maiden name, but they do want to keep their husband’s last name for all the reasons stated above. Thing is a hyphen can elongate a last name like the apellido of a telenovela protagonist. So women are taken pointers from Hillary. “I took Lopez and made it my middle name,” said Marielin, a stay-at-home mom from New York. She’s happy to have her daughter and husband’s last name, and keep a part of her identity.

There you have it gents. If and when the discussion of the surname arises realize that it’s no longer clear-cut and there are many reasons why a woman may want to keep or shed her maiden name. Irrespective of the decision realize that it’s a conversation to have with your partner. In the end, that is what truly matters.

About The Author

Sujeiry Gonzalez

Sujeiry Gonzalez is a vibrant writer, author and on-air talent that tells it like it is -- with just a little more sass and a ton of laughs. Coined the ‘Latina Carrie Bradshaw,’ she is the host of “The Sweet Spot with Sujeiry” on ChicRebellion TV. She’s rocked the relationship market since 2006, sharing her pearls of wisdom with CNN Latino, Cosmopolitan for Latinas, Latina Magazine, and more. Author of Love Trips: A Collection of Relationship Stumbles, the 2013 Love Guru on Exitos 93.9FM owns LoveSujeiry Magazine – a community for women to dish on love, dating, sex and The Power of Self-First.

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