Mom Called 'Unreasonable' For Refusing To Go Back To Her Maiden Name When Her Ex's New Fiancée Doesn't Want To Share A Last Name

She doesn't want to have a different name than their kids. Is that really unreasonable?

frustrated woman michaelheim /

Whenever a divorced parent decides to remarry, there are almost always some challenging wrinkles to iron out among the various parents, step-parents, and kids involved.

But one divorced mom finds herself in a situation that's downright petty now that her ex is engaged again.

The mom won't go back to her maiden name to appease her ex's new fiancée and is being called 'unreasonable' for refusing.

People often have varying views on this topic—some women cannot wait to cast off any and all vestiges of their ex, including their name. Others can't be bothered to jump through the legal hoops to change it, which can often be frustrating and expensive.


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For divorced moms — this Redditor included — the name question often comes with emotional baggage that makes the decision far simpler: They don't want to have a different last name than their children.


This makes perfect sense in this woman's situation. She wrote in her post that her divorce from her ex was amicable, and they have always worked diligently to put their kids first and maintain a healthy, friendly co-parenting relationship. 

But that harmony is being threatened now that her ex has gotten engaged to his girlfriend of five years, who seems to have very different ideas about how things should go now that she has a ring on her finger.

Her ex's fiancée doesn't want to share a last name with his ex-wife because she is 'intimidated' by her.

The ex-husband's relationship has been causing problems for a while. When they moved in together a year ago, the mom said that their relationship began to interrupt things like birthdays and holidays. 

"When she is present, they won’t even sit near me at our kids' sporting events," she wrote. "I have always been nice to this woman, despite my kids expressing they do not like her and they feel their dad acts differently when she is around."


However, the new fiancée does not share this magnanimous attitude. "My ex told me early on she wasn’t a fan of me and felt I intimidated her."

But now things have risen to a new level. "My ex called me yesterday saying he is giving me a heads-up that I have a year to change my last name back to my maiden name" because his fiancée is "concerned" about sharing a name with her.

Given how unenthused their kids are about this impending marriage and the fact that they had it written into their divorce papers that when and if to change her name would be her decision and her decision alone, she is understandably bristling at their demands. 


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Some experts say keeping your married name can actually be helpful to kids after a divorce.

Regardless of any benefits or detriments, nearly everyone agreed that her ex and his fiancée were totally out of line, that her name should be her decision — and that the fiancée needs to get over it.

Her ex's response when she suggested she solve the conflict by changing the kids' names to her maiden name, too, just underlined how absurd this is.

"He completely lost it saying he is their dad, and they deserve to have his last name," she wrote. "Yet when I said I wanted the same last name as our kids, he told me that wasn’t a legitimate reason to not change it." Sounds like a good old-fashioned sexist double standard. 




The bottom line is that a person's name should be their choice and their choice alone. More importantly, some experts say that parents keeping the same name as their kids can actually help kids adjust to a new normal after a divorce.

Divorce is inherently confusing and upsetting to kids, after all, and experts say their mom suddenly having a new name can reinforce these feelings of division and upheaval. 

This couple's kids are teens, and their divorce was years ago, so it's unlikely to cause that much trouble for them now. Still, it's ultimately her choice, and wanting to have the same name as your kids is a valid concern. 




But most importantly, if her ex's new wife-to-be can't even handle sharing a name with another woman, is she even ready to be married — let alone to a man with kids? Blended families come with far bigger fish to fry than mere name anxieties, after all. Here's hoping this couple gives this a bit more thought.

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John Sundholm is a news and entertainment writer who covers pop culture, social justice, and human interest topics.