Create A Post-Divorce Identity

Create A Post-Divorce Identity

After a divorce do you go back to your maiden name... or devise a new one?

Changing your name is something we associate with getting married—should you keep your maiden name or take his name? But there’s another LoveStage that deals with shifting monikers as well—getting divorced. If you took your husband’s name when you married, you may want to slough off his name after the breakup. But what do you change it to?

At Love Buzz’s Thanksgiving dinner yesterday we heard an interesting story from one of the guests, whom we’ll call S.  S was divorced and after she’d separated from her husband she’d changed her name. But she didn’t go back to her maiden name, which she had never liked because it rhymed with her first name. Instead, she took an entirely new last name.

Before S took her new surname she went to church, and spoke about changing her appellation. To help S feel comfortable with her new title the church leader had the entire assembly, about 300 people, say S’s new name over and over. S loved it.  

When S told her sister about the name change at first sis objected, saying the new designation made it seem like S was alone and didn’t have a family. But then her sibling came around by imagining the family tree and saying “Here’s everyone, and here’s my independent sister.”

What an interesting ritual, we thought! Going back to your old name might seem like stepping backwards. Devising a new name, one that you’ve created yourself, is like fashioning a completely new, post-divorce identity. It’s the ultimate way to start over.

Readers, do you know anyone who has changed their name after divorce? What did she decide to do?





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