When my divorce was finalized in 2014, the paperwork said that I would go back to my maiden name. At the time I wasn't sure what I wanted to do, but my attorney suggested that I request that language be included in the divorce decree, otherwise it would be a hassle to do it later. So I did.
Friends and family just assumed that I would immediately change my name, given the unpleasant nature of my divorce. Mail started coming to me with my maiden name noted and it was a shock to them all that I wasn't in a hurry to go back to it.
Initially I felt that going back to my maiden name was indeed a step backwards and I only wanted to move forward.
I also thought that the girl who had that maiden name was now a much stronger and wiser woman and I wasn't sure I wanted to associate myself with the naivete of that young girl.
And, on a more practical note, my maiden name was ALWAYS mispronounced. My married name was a lot easier on bank tellers and restaurant attendants and even new friends and associates. Did I really want to go back to that constant need to repeat my name and spell it for those who needed it? It seemed to me that since I got very little out of my marriage, the least I could get was a name that was easily pronounced.
So time passed and I kept my married name and all was well. Until...
I wanted to get a passport. And I just couldn't see myself getting a brand new legal document in my married name. So I bit the bullet -- I changed my name.
The process was a lot easier than I thought it would be. But emotionally it was kinda tough.
It marked an end of an era. And even though in many ways, it was a much-needed an end, it was my era and I didn't know if I was ready to let it go.
It felt almost as if I was trying to erase my married life which is something I really didn't want to do. Toward the end it wasn't a happy marriage, and there were difficult times even during our years of courtship, but that was almost 20 years of my life. Was this name change an attempt to make that all go away? "Why do women change their names anyway?", I wondered.
So it was somewhat reluctantly that I changed my name.
Eventually I began to see it as an opportunity for a new beginning. A chance to start over with a fairly clean slate.
I'm ok with it now. It was the right thing for me to do, but I had to do it when it felt right to me.
Divorced friends, did you change your name? Why? Why not?