Wedding Etiquette Forum

Getting remarried- name change dilemma

I was previously married for 15 years.  I have had my current last name for my entire adult/professional life.  My two kids have my last name.  I want to take my new hubby's name but don't want to "lose my identity" for lack of a better term.  Would it be weird to keep my ex husband's last name as my middle name?  Then people will still recognize my name if I write all three.  What do you think?  

Re: Getting remarried- name change dilemma

  • I think this is a very personal choice and only you can decide what's most comfortable for you. Personally, I see marriage as a blending of two, and I would prefer to change my name to take on my husband's. I like the uniformity, solidarity, and team-ness of having the same last name, and I have no qualms with the centuries-old tradition of the woman changing her name as opposed to the other way around. I attach no negative connotations to that practice and look forward to doing it myself one day. On the other hand, I understand that some people feel the exact opposite, and see their marriage as being no less solid or uniform while having different last names. Like I said, it's very personal.

    As far as keeping your ex-husband's last name in some way, a few things for you to consider: Does your sense of identity come from bearing your ex's last name? If so, would your new husband feel a certain way if you insist that you cannot give that name up entirely or else you'll lose part of your identity? Is it worth his bad feelings to do that?

    I know some people are very firmly attached to the concept of their personal identity and that their name reflects that. I, on the other hand, am more in the Shakespearean camp that believes a rose by any other name would still.... you get it. To me, a name is just what someone calls you, and there is so much more to me that makes up my identity than what my last name is. If being Mrs. NewHusband gives you a sense of pride and happiness, then why can't that be your identity now? If you feel you must remain familiar to others as Mrs. ExHusband NewHusband, then I guess you should start practicing a long signature.
    japrincess24
  • When are you planning on writing all three? In general, you're just going to get 2. If keeping your name is important do it. If it's not don't. But moving your ex's last name to your middle name isn't going to do much for you practically.
    PrettyGirlLost
  • huskypuppy14huskypuppy14 member
    First Anniversary First Comment 5 Love Its First Answer
    edited January 2015
    When are you planning on writing all three? In general, you're just going to get 2. If keeping your name is important do it. If it's not don't. But moving your ex's last name to your middle name isn't going to do much for you practically.
    Plenty of women move their maiden name to their middle name, so how is this any different? 

    OP, I feel that your name is YOUR name not anyone else's. Don't think of it as your ex husband's name, it's your name too,and your children's name and has been for 15 years. If you want to keep it, keep it. If you want to change it, change it. It's up to you. 

    A friend of my mom's kept her first  married name for professional reasons.She never had children with her first husband though, and her daughter has her (now) husband's name. 

    ETA: I didn't take my husband's last name when I got married.
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  • When my parents got divorced my mom kept my dad's name.  I have 2 younger sisters  - at the time we were 14, 12, 10 yrs old.  This was mostly to make it easier for us (school etc.).  When she got remarried, however, she dropped my dad's name and went back to her maiden name, as if this was her first marriage. At that time we were 18, 16, 14.

    For full disclosure: the divorce was amicable at first, but turned ugly pretty quickly.  Probably part of the motivation to get rid of my dad's name.......

    I'll echo the sentiments that it is your decision etc.  I would also say discuss it with your fiancee.
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  • When are you planning on writing all three? In general, you're just going to get 2. If keeping your name is important do it. If it's not don't. But moving your ex's last name to your middle name isn't going to do much for you practically.
    Plenty of women move their maiden name to their middle name, so how is this any different? 

    OP, I feel that your name is YOUR name not anyone else's. Don't think of it as your ex husband's name, it's your name too,and your children's name and has been for 15 years. If you want to keep it, keep it. If you want to change it, change it. It's up to you. 

    A friend of my mom's kept her first  married name for professional reasons.She never had children with her first husband though, and her daughter has her (now) husband's name. 

    ETA: I didn't take my husband's last name when I got married.
    I think what Starmoon meant is how often do you intend on actually writing out your full middle name?  Very rarely is that needed so moving her current last name to her middle name is not really going to help others recognize her, KWIM?

    OP, have you thought about hyphenating?

    PrettyGirlLostSTARMOON44
  • edited January 2015
    When are you planning on writing all three? In general, you're just going to get 2. If keeping your name is important do it. If it's not don't. But moving your ex's last name to your middle name isn't going to do much for you practically.
    Plenty of women move their maiden name to their middle name, so how is this any different? 

    OP, I feel that your name is YOUR name not anyone else's. Don't think of it as your ex husband's name, it's your name too,and your children's name and has been for 15 years. If you want to keep it, keep it. If you want to change it, change it. It's up to you. 

    A friend of my mom's kept her first  married name for professional reasons.She never had children with her first husband though, and her daughter has her (now) husband's name. 

    ETA: I didn't take my husband's last name when I got married.
    I think what Starmoon meant is how often do you intend on actually writing out your full middle name?  Very rarely is that needed so moving her current last name to her middle name is not really going to help others recognize her, KWIM?

    OP, have you thought about hyphenating?
    This.

    You could always keep your current name legally so that as far as HR is concerned and your professional contacts nothing changes, but socially go as Mrs NewLastName.

    "Love is the one thing we're capable of perceiving that transcends time and space."


    Maggie0829STARMOON44
  • My mom kept her first married name as a middle name and took her second husband's name as her last. All three names were written out on her checking account and checks so it would be easily identifiable when she wrote checks to our schools. And she used all three names when anything had to do with us kids. I believe she kept my dad's name for the same reasons you're considering - to keep some sort of connection to her kids. 

    If it matters, my parents had a very civil divorce and remained very good friends. 
    Image result for someecard betting someone half your shit youll love them forever
  • I agree with others - this is a very personal choice and there isn't really a "wrong" way to do it here. My florist/family friend kept her ex-husbands name and added her new(er) husbands name. She was very established as Jane Jones Floral Designs, but wanted to include her new husbands name so she became Jane Jones Smith. I can't remember if she changed her business name as well - but it makes sense. Her kids also have her first husbands names so there is still a name connection for her there. I think this is a conversation to have with your future husband and children if they are old enough.

    For those who say "you will never write out your middle name." Well that also depends on you. I actually use my middle name much more frequently than my surname. Maybe not legally - but my emails, social media accounts, work colleagues, work requests all refer to my middle name rather than my last. Lots of folks don't even know my last name. Actually now that I think about it, my checks omit my last name (though that was a mistake I just never bothered to correct) and I get so much mail that says Firstname Middlename. A cousin of mine always writes all three, legally or not, for no other reason than she prefers it.
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