Maiden name vs. Married name

Upon checking my google voice inbox I found a voicemail from my ex wife about my son. When seeing her name it occurred to me how strange it is that she is still using my last name, even though we’ve been divorced for a year now.

Of course one of her excuses for even wanting to get married to begin with was because she said “I would like to have the same last name as at least one of my children.” Thinking about it that makes her look kinda trashy as if she has all kinds of kids with all different fathers and last names, but there is only one other. It’s a legitimate excuse all the same.

My girlfriend also still carries the surname of her ex husband for whom she has been divorced from for nearly two years. Her excuse is that her maiden name was too plain and people never believed whether what she was telling them was her real name. With a maiden name like “Smith” I can’t say I disagree with her.

Still all of this has me wondering whether it’s proper or not for someone to keep their ex’s last name even after they’ve divorced. Perhaps proper isn’t the right word, maybe “tacky” is more like it.

I think that if I were to get married again I’m not sure I would not to marry someones “ex” so much as marry a maiden. In the sense of last names that is. I know it’s probably silly and irrelevant thinking. But it does bother me sometimes to know my girlfriend still carries around the weight of her ex by continuing to use his last name. It’s almost as if in some way they are still connected. With my ex it’s a little different since she does in fact have a child with my last name, so it probably makes things a little easier for her in some ways. But I still find it odd to see her attached to my last name even if we are no longer attached to each other. But I can sort of pass the thought off if I think about it another way and say “she’s not attached to my last name, she’s attached to my(her) sons last name.”

I think the ultimate insult for anyone would be if some woman who was married and had taken her first husbands surname and kept it after divorce, decided to either keep her it  going into the new marriage or hyphenate it with her new husbands surname. As the new husband I would take that as a great insult. But then I’m a little old fashioned and would take it as an insult for any woman I married to not fully and completely take my last name over any name, including her maiden name.

What are your thoughts on all of this?  

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0 thoughts on “Maiden name vs. Married name

  1. I want to keep my maiden name even after I’m married, but that’s just me. My family last name’s very important, and on my dad’s side there aren’t any grandsons, so if I don’t keep it and give it to at least one of my children, it dies with my generation.

    Most of the divorced women I know have kept their ex-husband’s last name. It’s probably just easier. You don’t have to fill out any paperwork to keep the name you already have.

  2. I think it depends on the situation. It’s a pain to change your name. I’ve been married for 7 months, and I’m still trying to change stuff over. It’s ridiculous. I’d keep my husbands last name unless I just absolutely hated him. That said, if he wasn’t okay with me keeping it then I would change it back. I think it would be disrespectful not to in that scenario.
    My parents have been divorced for 8 years. My mom kept my dad’s last name until she got remarried. It was for me. I didn’t want her to have a different last name than me, and it wasn’t really a big deal to either of them. She said she would change it back if he got remarried because she wouldn’t want the same last name as his new wife, or if I got married because then she wouldn’t have a reason to keep it. Oddly enough, the three of us got married around the same time so it didn’t really matter.
    Why anyone would hyphenate an ex-husband’s last name with their new husband’s last name is beyond me. That’s just weird. 

  3. It’s funny, because I was actually thinking about this the other day.  I was thinking of changing it back to my maiden name and wondering how much it would cost.  Basically the reason I gave was the prime reason, however another reason is because it is a lot of work to change one’s name.  All the different places I’d have to go and all the paper work…  I’m still considering it… 

  4. My ex still has my last name, but like you, I think it’s for my (our) son.  Now if she got remarried, I’d expect her to drop my last name just like my Mom did when she remarried.  My fiance hasn’t decided yet on how she’ll do her name, although I’m 90% certain she’ll take mine over her own.  She’s all about moving up from ‘W’ to ‘D’ in the alphabet.

  5. I find keeping an ex-husband’s last name kind of strange, since taking another person’s last name in the first place is supposed to be a symbol of binding yourself to that person.  I also think keeping a maiden name when you get married is kind of strange, because marriage is supposed to create a oneness, which once again is symbolized in the name change (and the rings, and theoretically in the consummation, although that last bit is barely applicable these days).

    There’s one thing that’s not been addressed, probably because it’s not in the original post- widows.  I’m 100% in favor of a widowed woman keeping her deceased husband’s last name if she desires to do so.  I’m pretty sure that if I die first, my wife will, as have both of my grandmothers.  One woman I know actually had hyphenated her last name the first time around, then her husband died and she remarried and kept all three names…  It’s complicated, but it shows fidelity to family, deceased husband, and new husband.  I like it.

  6. Why in the world would anyone go back to their maiden name? That just sounds ridiculous to me. You married, you took up the name, it’s a part of you. Who cares how long you’ve been apart? That doesn’t matter in the least. I think it’s entirely fitting to keep an ex’s last name, and personally, I don’t know why you’d ever do anything different. If you get remarried, by all means drop it and keep the current husband’s name, but why in the world would anyone revert back to their maiden name? That’s just beyond my comprehension.

  7. My mother got married at 15, was married for 16 years and kept her husbands name after the divorce.  Her excuses were 1. she lived with that name for longer than her maiden name and 2. her brother had married a very disreputable woman with the same first and middle name as her, she didn’t want the EXACT name of that very trashy woman.  So, i understand that.  However, when i came along there was no father to speak of, just some fleeting rebound romance she had during the final stages of her divorce.  She wanted me to have her name which really isn’t her name at all.  So now, my last name is some man whom ive never met and who blames me for their divorce. Even though i love my mom and i’m glad she did it (her maiden name is AWFUL), it still caused a lot of problems for me.  /sigh.  I’m going to be so relieved to lose that name when i get married.

    Moral of the story: don’t name your illegitament child after your ex-husband.  Now THATS tacky. As for keeping the ex’s name, don’t worry about it too much, it is just a name. 

  8. I’m really old-fashioned when it comes to that sort of thing, so I would just completely take my (currently) husband’s last name–unless it was really awful with my first and middle name. Then I’d try to work something out by either adding another middle name, or…I dunno. But I don’t plan on keeping my maiden name.

  9. I think that a woman should take the name of her husband for her last name without any hyphenation.  There really isn’t any real excuse to hyphenate a name (in my opinion)…even when it comes to kids, because that last part of the last name is usually what people relate to anyways.

    But unless there are kids that bind you together, that last name needs to be given up by her when you divorce…If you saw fit to square away it all down to the china & bath towels, then hey….why not the name? lol

  10. I agree with you… it does carry significance. I want to take the last name of my future husband, and if we ever get divorced, I would probably change my last name back to my maiden name. Of course, like you said, having kids makes things a little more complicated. 

    The situation reminds me of how my friend still wears this diamond heart necklace that her ex gave her, only because she thinks it’s pretty. I wonder what her ex would think if he saw her wearing it. Btw, she’s dating someone else. 

  11. First of all, i hate my last name. i’m definatly changing it for showbusiness.

    That being said, if i ever get married ( which is doubtful) i am NOT taking my husbands name. Why should i, he’s not taking mine! And if i ever have children, the children will have my last name, and i’m not marrying any man who doesn’t understand this. After all, i carried the baby, i pushed it out, my hypothetical husband’s contribution to the whole thing was basically a load of sperm and sympathy. That doesn’t warrent giving a child a name.

    I think after a divorce you should go back to your birth name, though i think, if you have a child, consider still using your married name, as it makes things easier for the kid if you both have the same last name. Of course, all this could be avoided if no one changed their name at all!

  12. I kept my ex’s last name partly out of convenience because it is a real pain to get everything changed back to your maiden name and also so I would have the same last name as my children. I never thought anything of it but I noticed that my boyfriend refers to my maiden name when asked. I don’t think he would ever say it, but I think it bothers him a little in the same regards that it bothers you. I have actually thought about changing it just for that reason since we have been living together for over a year now. But then again, we plan on marrying in about two years so I will prob just change it to his at that time. lol. : p 

  13. Maybe the names change should not take place until after childern. That is the real reason for it.

    I took my husband’s names so it is a bit late now for me. I went from so common I could tell you my name and you still never find me, to very rare and I best be careful

  14. When I marry I will take my husben’s last name. And I only want to marry once.

    What about the men that take the wife’s last name? I never understood that.

    What if you met someone with the same last name as you not related ? You woulnd’t have to file for any name change!

  15. It’s a huge pain in the ass to change a name. If my husband and I were to get officially and completely divorced, I would maybe keep his name just because it would be such a huge PITA to go to my maiden one, although I like my maiden one better.

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