The debate about "the name change" has gone on for centuries. There are many different reasons for a woman to change her name including for either children or marriage. However, men don't seem to have many complex reasons to change their name.
I had an Uncle that changed his name back to his mother's maiden name. For him, it was about his stepfather wanting him to carry his name. Once he was older he changed it back. I assume it was easier to keep his stepfather's name as a child because the rest of his siblings had that name, as an adult it didn't matter any more. I've only seen a few men offer to change their name for marriage. It is usually to combine their name with their wife's name. It seems to be a rare option.
My mother has kept her married name after getting divorced from my father when I was five. She even married again during my teen years and hyphenated her first husband's name. She has gone through a combination of names even after her second divorce but she still has the same last name as her children (her first husband's).
Going to college I took a sex roles and relationship course. I completed that class horrified to find out how many legal issues arise around a woman's name and in some instances her rights. I left determined to NEVER change my name. Over the years I've gone back and forth about it. I've seen women in comprising positions and in other situations there were advantages. Today, my name is my identity. It is who I am.
As I plan on walking down the aisle for the first time we've had to discuss "the name change." There seems to be only two potential choices. One, he doesn't agree with hyphenations, from his perspective it means your indecisive. My perspective is both our names are just too long and ethnically different. Second, we both agree that our children will have his name. That leaves me with choosing his identity or my own. Of course, I'm leaning towards my identity.
Ultimately, no matter how long this debate goes on, you have to be happy with your name. Otherwise, how will you respond when you hear people say your name? Will you cringe or smile? I have always been in love with my name. I know that isn't true for everyone and that can be a determining factor. What I am certain of is that it's ultimately my choice, even though I believe that women are asked more frequently to give up or change their identity.