Should You Take Your Name Back?

new beginningsAn interesting topic I tackled over at DivorcedMoms today…  Should or did you go back to your Maiden name after divorce?  First, what’s in a name?  This was famously answered by Shakespeare’s Juliet…”A rose by any other name would smell as sweet.”  I beg to differ, Juliet.  We might be the very same person inside but changing our name can change our whole perception.  Why else do actors and musicians take on a ‘stage name’?  To empower themselves…

A name change can incite hurt, anger or confusion in others.  A name change empowers.

What’s in a name? Plenty; there’s title, connection, legal ties, power and even emotion.   Some women opt to keep their name at marriage but for  us traditional gals, the question becomes do we keep his name after the union is over?  I know a few women who have.  I have a friend who kept her first husband’s name after re-marrying…it sounds strange but when you understand her desire to stay connected to her children in every way possible, it made sense for her.

Heck, some women keep their married names indefinitely even after a bitter divorce.  She may no longer speak to her ex or his family but she remains symbolically tied to them.  It might simply be that she dislikes her maiden name.  In some cases, the men want their ex’s to give their name back.  Isn’t it ironic?

Taking back your nee (birth name) can mark the final break and for some women, the ultimate freedom.  It’s a symbolic way to put the past behind them.

Will you take back your nee?

Either way, it’s a personal decision.

What’s in a name?  It’s complicated…

Should you take your name back?

Come on over to DivorcedMoms and weigh in.

Leave a comment, I LOVE ’em!


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22 Replies to “Should You Take Your Name Back?”

  1. I took my name back…I didn’t like Michelle [Married Name] because she never stood up for me. 🙂

  2. I’m still hitched to a nighttime mouth breather who makes me have to build a pillow wall in order to deflect his gross breath….sexy….I think that I would change my name back. I always wonder what other women would do especially ones with kids. I do know couples who have had divorces and they took back their maiden names.

    1. Kimberly, you made me laugh with your description of a pillow wall 🙂 as for name change, i guess we don’t know until the time comes. It is such a personal decision either way. TKS for sharing!

  3. Interesting topic! I think that, just how women decide when they get married whether they will change their name in the first place, changing your name back is also a very personal decision and depends on a variety of factors. I bet there are some interesting stories to be heard!;-)

  4. I still use my maiden name & I always SHALL!!!!!!!!

    Would I keep Robinson?

    No. Absolutely not.


  5. I’m glad I took his name when we got married, but i couldn’t wait to get rid of it once we divorced. It just felt to false to walk around with my ex-husband’s family name. (We didn’t have children and there is no bad blood between me and my ex.)
    If I ever get married again, I will NOT change my name. I’m back to my given name, and that’s that!

    1. That’s great, Kat. I like that you’re so decisive about it! Like you, I don’t think I would change my name if I were to re-marry.

  6. Oh lordy, I’m sorry I’m getting here late, Lisa! As an observer I’m always fascinated by the whole last name taking with women. Do they/don’t they when they get married? Then when they get divorced and still have kids involved. Or those hyphenated names! Such a personal choice, isn’t it? 🙂

    1. Yes, the hyphenated thing was a big deal in the 80’s and 90’s and now I don’t hear much about it. You’re right, it is such a personal choice. TKS for stopping by, Mike. No such thing as ‘late to the party’ here.

  7. I kept my married name after the divorce. Despite thinking that my maiden name sounds better and despite disliking that my name will forever & always have two “flower” names now. I cannot stand my family of origin (I haven’t spoken to them in the better part of a decade), so I’m not particularly attached to my original name. Furthermore, my married name keeps me attached to our son in a different way. When he was younger (and his father and I weren’t married), he was bothered by us having different names. No, I didn’t let him dictate what my name would be, but it’s nice to have that small added connection. For him and for the both of us.

    It’s a personal choice, and ladies should be allowed to do what they wish and what they feel best for them in their situation.

    1. Interesting perspective, Goosebug. Welcome to the blog, by the way 🙂 That’s cool that you feel that connection with your son and you having the same name. Thanks for weighing in!

  8. Hi Lisa,

    I have a friend who has kept the name even after divorce, but that’s for her kids and she doesn’t have any problems at all. Usually one wouldn’t, and we would prefer to keep our maiden name, and perhaps retain that even if we re-marry (once bitten twice shy!) – at least that one name is yours and doesn’t have to change – it’s your identity I guess.

    Thanks for sharing. Have a nice weekend 🙂

  9. Time is also a factor. If a woman has had her husband’s last name for many years 10+, she may not change it because she’s used to it. My mom divorced my dad when I was fourteen, but they had been married for 20+ years. Although she hates my dad, his last name is now part of her.

    1. That’s a great example of how a woman can adopt the name in every way and not even consider her nee name ever. Interesting. TKS for stopping by, Chrys.

  10. Names are very important. Many times after a transfer to a new identity in healing, people take a new name, or go by their middle name to signify the new person they are. This can be very powerful. Other people don’t need this and have other ways to make meaning around the change.

    1. Wow, I can imagine that a name change would really help in letting go of the past and the healing process. Thanks for sharing, Jodi!

  11. Yes totally we can take the name back. Infact recently one of our relatives did so. The girl who was given a new name after her marriage changed it easily.

    1. Hmmm, I’m assuming you mean the bride took her husband’s name? Traditional, but many choose to do so. TKS for stopping by, Charmie. 🙂

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