The Name Game

As y’all may remember I changed my name back to my maiden name when I divorced Jerry Lee. I didn’t want his name anymore. Or rather, I no longer wished to be associated with him anymore because let’s face it, once we got married and I changed my last name to match his it became my goddamn name.

There always seems to be discussion on changing your name back on the various boards I read. My stance is pretty simple. The last name is yours. Do with it what you wish. You want to get rid of it and go back to your maiden name? Get rid of it and go back to your maiden name; I did. You want to keep it? Then keep it. No one else gets to have an opinion. That includes the replacement, the cheating STBX, or even, sadly, the betrayed male spouse. Yes, my stance remains the same even then.

You think your new boyfriend’s/husband’s ex should change her last name back to her maiden name? You don’t like that she still has “his” name? It’s not your decision to make. It’s her last name now, not solely his.

You want your ex-wife to go back to her maiden name because you want to “bestow” that name upon a new woman? No one’s stopping you, Romeo. But you don’t get a say in whether or not your ex changes her name. Your choice was to be faithful or cheat. Now she gets to make choices.

Your ex-wife cheated on you and you think she should stop using your name? Again, I’m sorry. I really am. I know it must suck to have someone you despise share a name with you, but when you married her you gave her that name. It’s now hers. It was never a loaner.

Someone asked, “Why would she want to keep it when she cheated on me?” I can think of several reasons.

Practically speaking it can be a pain in the ass to change your name, especially now in the time of Covid-19. I just went through helping my son change his last name a year ago and let me tell you it was quite the process, and this was without having to change diplomas, credit cards, etc. I realize we probably had to take a few extra steps, like advertising in the paper, but it was still a lengthy, time-consuming process. Just getting the change at the Social Security office was a nightmare. Their offices are still closed so everything had to be sent in the mail- birth certificates, social security cards, high school transcripts, IDs. No one was answering phones so you had no idea if what you were sending in was correct (and in our case it wasn’t so we had to send in all new things). You needed to get everything changed at the Social Security office before you could do anything else- like getting a new State ID or driver’s license, or changing your medical records or updating your information at your bank. Hell, I still have credit cards in my old last name. My email address still has my old last name as well.

Many women also want to share a last name with their children. Most children are given the last name of their father. They frequently point out how travel and other issues can be more difficult when you don’t have the same last name as your child. It’s yet another slap in the face to think that your child’s stepmom can get information about your child or travel with your child with no one questioning them because they share a last name, while you, the legal parent, has to jump through hoops and prove your relationship to them if your name is different.

Also, as some people point out, they’ve had their married name longer than they had their maiden name. That wasn’t my situation but I’d still been Sam Jackass for 20+ years. Most of my adult friends knew me by that name instead of Sam Awesome.

Even with those three reasons listed above it still comes down to this: When you get married and legally take someone else’s name that name becomes your name. No one else gets to tell you to get rid of it. It’s yours to change if you choose. This isn’t semantics. It is your legal name.

In my situation I asked Jerry Lee how he would feel if I hyphenated my name when we got married. I know you will all be shocked to find out he was not happy with that idea at all. Oh no! I was to take his last name when we married.

Little Miss Harley hyphenated her name when she was married to The Saint. Now, I don’t know if she chose not to hyphenate it this time around because she just loved Jerry Lee so much she wanted to be all Jackass instead of Skank-Jackass, or if he pouted again and asked, “How could you not want to be all Jackass?”

So here’s my solution, fellas. Stop giving your name away! Seriously. When you’re getting engaged let it be known that you realize she’s her own person and you don’t expect her to take on a different name. She’s been Jane Smith for 20+ years and just because she’s marrying you doesn’t mean she has to suddenly become Jane Jones. If you’re insisting that she take your name then realize it’s now her legal name. She’s free to do with it what she wishes. She doesn’t have to give it back if things go south.

Personally, I think we should stop taking the man’s last name and we should start giving our children our last name instead of the man’s. As one person pointed out, “You have to do a DNA test to prove the children belong to the father. Not so with the mother.” And as another made note, ”So many times these men abandon their children and the woman is left either keeping a last name she no longer wants, or her name is different from that of her children, even though she’s the one raising them and he’s off doing God only knows what.”

One thought on “The Name Game

  1. “Sam Jackass…Sam Awesome” 🙂 … “…she wanted to be all Jackass instead of Skank-Jackass, or if he pouted again and asked, “How could you not want to be all Jackass?” <- seriously made me almost spit out my coffee 😀 bahahaha

    Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s