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A Wife By Any Other Name

26 Responses

  1. maria5125 says:

    I would have loved to change my name back, but I wanted to have the same last name as my daughters so I kept my married name..

  2. Anonymous says:

    I changed my name back. I’m also a teacher and had to finish out the school year with my former name. It made my skin crawl each time someone said that name. I’m happy to have my maiden name back.

  3. I’m keeping my married name for professional reasons. It’s also in part because I want to keep the same last name as my kids. And changing names is such a hassle! 🙂

  4. I kept my married name until I got remarried, then I went back to my maiden name. It was SUCH a hassle to change it! And now, to try to explain to people that yes, I am divorced, yes, I am remarried, and no, this is not my husbands name. They normally cock their head sideways and squint their eyes as they try to follow along. People who have never been through it can’t understand what it all means to have your name back, but also to have to let that part of yourself go…
    Such a nice gift from Brock with the name plate. That made me smile.

  5. I am also a teacher. I changed my name when I got divorced back to my given name. It feels strange and right at the same time. The kids at school get confused at times. I just tell them to call me just Miss if they can’t remember. Whatever they do, please don’t call me by my former name. When I hear it, it all comes crashing back in on me.

    • My former students (many of whom I’ve in touch with after my recent publicity) only know me by my former name. To them, I will always be Mrs. B-. I don’t like it but I get it. I’m totally cool with the “Miss.” 🙂

  6. Anja says:

    20 years of married is about to end for me and changing my last name has been a debate. My children are both about to leave school and enter into adulthood…so I asked them if they preferred I keep my married name to match theirs. Both said they wanted what made me happy. So I am going back to my maiden name on the big day. Feels freeing and helping me rebuild.

    • I like that you consulted them and I love their answer. I, too found it freeing to lose the name. It was symbolic.

    • I *love* this idea! I’ve dilly-dallied about which name, married or maiden, to go forward with and the idea of a different name than my kids bothered me. Thanks for showing me the forest when all I was seeing were the trees!

  7. I changed my name BOTH ( yes both) times I married. After my second divorce, I decided to go back to my maiden name and have zero intention of changing it again ( if my bf and I decide to marry, which is not at the forefront of either of our minds or hearts) My last name is different from my daughters ( first marriage) and sons ( second marriage) While confusing for teachers sometimes, it hasn’t seemed to be an issue for my kids. ( except they always forget how to spell my last name lol) Ideally of course I would like us ALL to have the same last name, but that just wouldn’t work in our situation. It is what it is. 🙂

  8. candidkay says:

    I’m right there with you. Divorced at a time when I can’t change my name because of my career. Which really bothers me–until I remind myself that it’s just a name. I am who I am (now I sound like Popeye). Hopefully, I can do this name prouder than he did.

  9. I married in my early twenties and was eager to change my last name. I had never really cared for my maiden name and wanted to begin a family with my husband.Years ago, I told a friend that a name is just that, a name. Letters and sounds do not create your identity–you do. My maiden name carries very little identity to me, maybe because it was before my children. When I discovered my husband’s affair I did think about what I would do if we decided to divorce. I thought of all the women I know who have divorced and kept their married name or the ones who remarried and took their second husband’s last name. What I realized is that I have an attachment to my married name because of my children. But, yet, I would most likely not want his name attached to my identity if we split. So then what?

  10. I was quick to change my last name after marriage, a decision I did not regret till the abuse, violence and infidelity started. Since my marriage was short, I had the luck of not having the name changed on my legal documents. Hence I could immediately revert to my maiden name, something that I intend to keep now irrespective of what my marital status will be.

  11. Changed my name twenty years ago when I married. I actually continued to use my maiden name at work, since I had been hired while single. It was easier. I had two last names (without a hyphen) and always signed my full last name T… M….
    When I got divorced I insisted my maiden name be restored. My kids had no problems about that. They knew I had worked under my maiden name, and always recited my full name to friends, teachers, etc..
    I re-married three years ago and my husband fully supported my decision to not change my name. He is very proud of the fact I use my “professional” name and takes care to introduce me by my full name so people don’t get confused and call me Mrs. M…

    I am going to encourage my daughter to keep her full name. It’s an outdated concept, in my humble opinion.

  12. Interestingly I have been pondering that myself as we head towards official divorce. I do not want to carry his name with me. I do not want to go back to my maiden name as consider that name part of my childhood and I have moved on. I have been browsing databases of names, trying to choose one suitable. It is not easy. Some women choose to simply drop their surname; take Cher, Madonna, and Nancy Ruth (Canadian Senator) as examples. However, I have read that can become a nightmare as bureaucracy expects everyone to have a surname. I read one blog by a woman who did that and she kept getting mail for Mrs ‘None’.

  13. DFB says:

    I took back my given name after my husbands affair and our divorce. I couldn’t stand the idea of people thinking we were married when I filled out school forms for our daughter, and I was repulsed at the idea of being Mrs. Same Last Name as the harlot. I recently remarried and really stressed about another public name change (I’m a teacher too) AND the endless paper trail. I also found it easier to tell my daughter that we all have our fathers last names than to explain why she is the only one without the new married name. My husband supported this, but was still a little bummed not to share a family name. Maybe some day we will, but right now I’m really happy that I kept my personal and professional identity. It felt like the one part of my life that my ex couldnt shatter.
    Sometimes people accidentally call my new husband by my name, which I think is a great reminder to him as to the reasoning behind my choice! After divorce, it’s messy any way you slice it so I say do what you want and forget what “they” say.

  14. EBeal says:

    I almost kept my married name, I thought that after having it for 25+ years, since I was 19 years old- that it would be easier to keep it. But then I realized nothing about my divorce was easy.. he left me on the other side of the country after he went to a family BBQ back in Ohio and never came back, he didn’t help financially, and he left me with two dogs that had cancer I took care of until they died. He wouldn’t respond to my attorney and made the divorce more difficult than it needed to be- then I realized I never wanted to hear his name again, especially not after my first name. It’s a pain to change your name on every legal document and account, but nothing felt as empowering as taking back the only thing I could- my name.

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