What’s in a name? Did you change your name post-divorce?
A much asked female divorce question is Should I go back to my pre marriage name? (I hate saying “maiden”). There is much in a name!
I have always used both names! No not hyphenated – just either one! So for work I use one name and then my married name I used in my private life. It was easier sharing the same last name as the kids, or so I thought. I decided not to hyphenate, I worried that when my kids married, they would potentially have four hyphenated names. (Okay I know that was silly!)
Life was often complicated. For starters, my email was in my work name so the poor politically correct teachers would fumble over my name – sometimes hyphenating, sometimes matching it to the kids and then offering an apology! Once I went to pick up my children from a flight, they were unaccompanied minors, the flight stewardess wouldn’t let me take them as I had no ID matching the name on the ticket! Picking up parcels at the post office was also an issue.. I’ve often been seen standing at a counter pulling out all the cards (credit, health etc) in my wallet to prove it’s me! The list of problems is long.
My Drivers Licence still has my birth name, but my passport, I was so excited I changed it straight after the wedding! My interest had waned prior to changing the Licence. Do I have to change everything back now? The passport the credit cards, OMG all the paperwork for utilities, tax office, banks, medicare… (There’s a job for someone – helping women change their name back post-divorce.)
Well – of course I haven’t done all that! But now I also use my birth name in my private life. Really complicated. I make a reservation or book an appointment at the hairdressers – of course they don’t have it, I used the wrong name! Who can remember which name was right? And there’s that funny look on their face – don’t I know my own name? I don’t!!
My friend decided post marriage – to start using her middle name as her given name. A lovely idea, to embark on her new life with a beautiful, new name! As she puts it – half her life carrying one grandmother’s name and the next half with the her other grandmother’s! It’s those small things we can control in that bumpy period that give us meaning and strength. Ha, I think I had complications!
So whichever name you choose moving forward, for whatever reason – if it feels right do it! If you are stuck in no-man’s land, (ha ha – no pun intended!), then good luck and prepare yourself for those funny looks!