changing back to maiden name(21 Posts)
I'm recently divorced from a narcissist which has been (and continues to be) an exhausting experience. When we separated, he told the children that I didn't want to be part of the family anymore (no, I just didn't want to be married to him and his psychotic ways!). We have two small children.
I originally decided to keep his surname so that I had the same name as the children and so it didn't support his claim to the children that I didn't want to be part of "the family".
However now he is telling the children because we are divorced Mummy should change her name back to her maiden name.
I spoke to my eldest about it and explained that I thought it was good that we had the same surname (it will make it easier for international travel etc) and I would never have to explain why the name is different.
However having been coached by my ExH, she thought it was a good idea for me to change my name back.
Personally I would love to change it back because I don't want any connection to my ex or his mad family. The only reason not to was for the kids.
Any thoughts on this with respect to how children feel about having a parent with a different name?
I'm separated -can't afford to divorce at the mo but I plan to revert back to my maiden name eventually because my married name has similar letters as my first name so it's always sound silly when I say it ! With my maiden name shows my heritage which I'm proud of & my kids are aware . I've mentioned it to them , their response were OK with it because I have DD with my new partner and she has my maiden barrled with her dad's surname so my other 2 dc understand . I suppose it's about getting your kids to hear your reasons and clarify it's not that important to carry with yr married name and let them decide for themselves ? And in time they will understand later . I bet they have friends whosee names are different from their mum !...
I never changed my name because in the country my XH comes from, women don't do that. It does mean that you need to carry the DCs birth certificates, or copies, whenever you travel abroad but that's not really a big issue for reasserting your own identity?
I think this is probably one of those issues that parents think the kids care about more than they actually do.
I think you should do what makes you happy - it's important for the children to see that.
I use my maiden name professionally and my children know me as both names.
although I don't want any tie to my exh I am keeping my married name because I want the same name as my children, this is very very important to me. Never mind what your ex wants or your children, this is your decision alone and your children will go with whatever you want, don't be swayed by whatever anyone says, this is important as you can't change back to your children's name again if you revert to your maiden name and they can't change theirs unless your ex agrees.
So............................. even though you want nothing to do with him, like I don't this is different, it's for your children, especially whilst they are in school, as soon as they are in university it doesn't matter so much.
Good luck with your decision, think very carefully before you do anything though as it's not reversible.
I think all children will think differently. Mine want me to keep the same name as them. Only reason I haven't changed it is foreign travel as you say, contact with school and the fact I would have to pay to change it back by deedpool which I think is wrong. I use maiden name at work. Just renewed passport so will be this name until that expires and then I will go back to maiden name at that point unless get married before
Thanks everyone. So much to consider and your opinions all made sense. My children are very young so they don't really have their own opinion yet about the matter.
I think I need to think about it more (and talk it over with my therapist!!) but I think I'm erring on the side of keeping it for the children (for now).
I want to change to maiden name but in my professional life everyone knows me now by my married name - is it possible to have 2 surnames one personal or one professional? or does it cause confusion?
I use my maiden name professionally. Only when I travel do I meet potential problems as my passport is in my married name and so I have to be careful when my flights are booked (by someone else). Also hotels.
I intend to pay to change my passport back to maiden name once divorce is final. My maiden name is much better than my married name anyway!
I've been thinking about this too. I've had my married name for 12 years, I am going to keep it to be the same as my children however I will be a Ms.
It's strange your ex is discussing this with your children! What is he worrying them about that for? Idiot.
I changed my name back to my maiden name. I don't really understand why it is important to have the same surname as my children, apart from practicalities such as travel - they will always call me mum, regardless! I don't mean that to sound like a comment on those to whom it is important - it just isn't something I relate to, is what I mean.
I would have felt totally wrong keeping my married name. I felt physically lighter when I changed it back.
Neither of us changed our names on marriage. I've never had any trouble at all having a different name from my children , I've never taken birth certificates anywhere , no school , medical or travel problems .
I live in the UK and have only travelled with them in Europe , so maybe it's differently for those of you who live and travel elsewhere . Is it in the US where you've had all these problems ?
I'm not commenting on the emotional issues for those who want to have the same surname , just the practical issues - I've never encountered in 16 years
Ex got really hung up on this. Told me he and his family didn't want me to have "their" name and I had to change it.
I haven't. CBA to do it and the children have same name as me ( double-barrelled)
It annoys him intensely which is why I'm sticking with it. I may remarry in three or four years.....no idea what I'll do then.
I am known by my surname at work and I couldn't wait to change it back when I separated.
Having a different name from the children has never made any difference whatsoever to anything.
My name is an important part of my identity and I would hate to still have ex's name.
I know someone who finally changed back to her maiden name 5 years after the divorce and someone else who changed back after 20 years.
You don't have to make this decision now. It is none of his business.
I think you should keep your married name for now, simply because your exh wants you to change it and is using it as a weapon in his dealings with the dc.
You need to clearly and strongly send him the message that the decision is not his to make. By all means change it later when you are properly shot of him.
Oh and it is not ex's name - it is yours. You didn't take it out on loan and your 'claim' to it is equal to his.
I would tell my dc that it is not daddy's name, it is my name too. Stop him from claiming ownership. He only has the name because his parents gave it to him - it means nothing. A name is not an achievement iyswim.
The trouble is in your case the decision to change name is bound up in his manipulation. If you do it, you can bet your bottom dollar that (despite having pushed for it) he will use it as evidence that you don't want to be part of the family.
I think the way I would play it with your dd is "it isn't up to daddy to decide what name I have, that's my decision". And then do nothing on it for a year or so to reinforce the point that he can't push your buttons any more.
FWIW, I've never changed my name and never would. It's never been an issue. I do carry a letter of permission when I travel internationally with ds, I've never had to produce it, although ds has been asked who I am when we are going through passport control. You would also need to consider whether he would withhold that letter if you changed your name, just to make life difficult.
You don't want to put yourself in a position where you need t ask him for anything, like letters of permission, to travel with your own kids. Bugger that.
When I reverted to my birth surname after divorce I was advised by my solicitor that all I had to do was to start using my birth name. I changed my passport name back when the old one expired and that was that really. My reason was that I never wanted to change it when I got married but did so under pressure from ExH and his family.
I felt that it was entirely my own decision and should not be influenced by anyone, after all it was my own name and nobody should tell me what I should be called. Now, though, I am getting married again this year and I'm having to think about the same issue all over again in reverse! Whatever I decide, though, I know it's up to me.
Thorny issue, follow your instincts, OP. I have had issues before we even separated landing in UK off trans-continental flight as passport still maiden name. So food for thought, maybe easier from Europe.
Join the discussion
Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.Register now
Already registered with Mumsnet? Log in to leave your comment or alternatively, sign in with Facebook or Google.
Please login first.