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Feminism: chat

Regret changing my name on marriage - change it back?

21 replies

littlepeas · 13/12/2021 10:32

Thought this was a good board to ask this question.

Happily married for 15 years - changed my name and wish I hadn't. I am thinking of adding it back in - so still keeping dh's surname, but putting my maiden name in front of it. I would probably take my two (ridiculous, pretentious, never used, impossible to fit onto forms) middle names out at the same time. I am not remotely attached to my middle names and miss my maiden name - it is a very commonplace name from the country I am from and want to maintain that connection. I regret taking this part of my identity away when I got married.

Is this a strange thing to do when not separating/divorcing? Will people read more into it than there is?

OP posts:

CrispAndFrosty · 13/12/2021 10:42

I don't think many people will notice. I think if I'd known Mike and Susie Smith for a while, and then I noticed Susie's name written somewhere as Susie Rossi-Smith, I'd just assume that had always been her full name and that she was known as Smith socially.

Then again, there's social media.... I suppose that's the one place that your nearest and dearest might suddenly come across a name change in black and white, and wonder why. Perhaps you could do a quick post on social media explaining it, if you're worried about rumours? A bit like the time Thandie Newton reclaimed her missing W and went back to Thandiwe.


AssassinatedBeauty · 13/12/2021 12:23

It's not a common thing to do, but it isn't strange. Your reasoning makes total sense, it's your life and your name. You could give the explanation to your close family and friends. Everyone else will probably just assume that they hadn't noticed the first part of the double-barrelled bit before and not think much about it.


Skeumorph · 13/12/2021 12:27

You know you don't have to do anything to 'change it back', don't you?

It's a courtesy title. You never actually 'lost' your maiden name.

To remove the middle names 'officially' you would do a deed poll. But deed polling your name 'back' to your maiden name isn't quite correct. You'd be overlaying your actual, legal surnames (which are BOTH your married and maiden ones and legally you can choose to use either any time you like) with a second 'change' to a name you actually already still have.

Admittedly - it's probably going to be a headache for your average bank person, for example, to get that. But you should simply be able to say that you're going back to your maiden name and just change everything.


Southtrainer · 13/12/2021 12:31

I’m thinking of doing this too OP. Still with my DH and very much in love but regret rushing into the name change.


CrispAndFrosty · 13/12/2021 12:34

Yes, I would think if they don't take your word for it, then your marriage certificate should suffice, as it will show both names. However, companies and institutions (or at least their customer-facing staff) often don't understand the law (or lack of) around name usage, and might demand a deed poll certificate anyway. The deed poll companies are basically selling old rope - there's no legal reason why you can't just write it yourself on a piece of paper - but again, companies don't always understand this.


ftw163532 · 13/12/2021 12:39

Does it matter what people think? How do their thoughts affect you?

Most people give very, very little thought to what anybody else is doing anyway.


LobsterNapkin · 13/12/2021 14:24

No, it's not strange. I'd just be prepared that a lot of people will get it wrong for a while, and some will probably never get it right.

I've sometimes thought of doing the opposite, adding dh's name, but after 20 years of marriage it seems like it might just be too much trouble. Plus, I am cheap.


LittleWingSoul · 14/12/2021 21:10

You don't need to pay for a deed poll either, it is just a bit of paper you can print off yourself. I've done it for both myself and my eldest DD over the last decade, and once your chosen name gets used in enough places it has a domino effect. We even have it on our passports. Deed poll was printed out by me and signed by a teacher friend. As easy as that!

So yes you might get some raised eyebrows on social media, if you use it, but who cares? It raises eyebrows that I didn't take my DHs surname at all, at least if it is double barrelled you are not completely losing his.


SingingToMySeeds · 15/12/2021 09:55

I miss my birth name too. I have been happily married for 14 years, so we are in a similar situation. I worry that changing my name back now means I have a different name to my children though, which causes all sorts of awkwardness. I might wait until they are adults (my youngest is 5, so that is a bit of a wait!)


TheTurn0fTheScrew · 15/12/2021 10:00

same TBH
when I got married in the early noughties I was desperate to get rid of my already deceased but problematic father's name. I also knew I wanted DC, and wanted to share a name with them.

Nowadays, I have a bit more perspective on my birth name and would have kept it. I would have double-barrelled the children.I haven't changed back mostly because it's a ballache, and partly because of the children - I do still want the same name, and it's not fair to ask them to change because I made a mistake.


Topseyt · 15/12/2021 10:03

I don't think it is strange. It was part of your identity for a long time, and always will be.

It's an idea I have toyed with myself.


Leaveitonthefloordrobe · 29/12/2021 18:35

I've been thinking about doing this too. I've already changed my name on SM because I don't want clients from work being able to look me up. Thought about keeping my married name for work purposes but changing everything else back to my original name.

Those in the know, how do we do this? I'd presumed that it would need a deed poll application but I'm getting the impression that that's incorrect?


LiveFromNewYork · 29/12/2021 18:38

A colleague at work did this, we quickly forgot the married name. Do it!


JeremiahObadiahJackanoryJonez · 29/12/2021 18:47

I did this 3ish years ago as my married surname never really felt like my name plus it is very unusual and no one can ever spell it! Only thing left in married name is 1 bank card and passport. We’ve been married over 20 years.

I downloaded a free certificate off the internet and had 2 friends witness it. No issue anywhere with combination of birth cert, marriage certificate and deed poll.

Still very much married (happily) to dh, family all indifferent (to my face). Older DC sometimes double barrel, sometimes don’t. Younger DC still use dh’s surname but they are still at school.

It possibly helps that I don’t take offence to being called by either name.


DorothyZbornakIsAQueen · 29/12/2021 22:47

I kick myself sometimes for not keeping my own name. Not sure I would change it back now, but I wish I could have a word with my younger self when I got married, also 15 years ago OP.


backtolifebacktoreality · 29/12/2021 23:03

I use my maiden name on social media so that work associates can't find me!


ViceLikeBlip · 31/12/2021 08:35

I've been thinking about this for a while- I even started a post about it a few months ago. Married (mostly happily!) for 12 years, no thoughts of separation. I was just young when I got married, and changing my name was part of the "romance" of it.

I mostly regret it because I hate my specific married name, and I really liked my original name. I thought it would settle, but it never has. I'm a teacher though, so a change of name would be (temporarily) a source of much gossip, and whilst I don't especially care about that, the whole thing feels weird and attention seeking (because so many hundreds of people I barely know would very briefly be talking about it)

And also, I don't know if this makes me a bad feminist, but I feel more like a "Mrs" than a "Ms". The two names double barrelled together would be horrendous though, even worse than my married name on its own!


GoodnightGrandma · 31/12/2021 08:38

I double barrelled on marriage, but dropped it years later for his name, as I felt that people judged me for it.
I’m actually considering going back to it.


ViceLikeBlip · 31/12/2021 08:40

Sorry, quick question for those in the know: if women automatically have the legal right to use either name once they're married, do men have that same right? Could my husband legally start using Mr Blip without any extra paperwork?


GoodnightGrandma · 31/12/2021 08:42

And a thing I’ve done already is double barrel on SM and things like my Tesco/Boots/Sainsbury’s accounts so you get used to it and see how it feels.


GoodnightGrandma · 31/12/2021 08:44

The good thing about doing a deed poll is that the bank etc accept it. I’m not sure if they would otherwise ?

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