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Women Asks If She Is Wrong For Refusing To Drop Her Ex-Husband’s Last Name

“Breaking up is never easy, and the aftermath can be even more complicated. One woman recently posed the question on Reddit asking: If she is wrong for not wanting to drop her ex-husband’s last name. She explains that due to time and social pressure, she added her husband’s last name to her name on all her documents and it would suck to have to change the last name on everything again.

My ex-husband (who I’ll call him by his fake name Tony) and I broke up 2 years ago after 26 years of marriage. We have four children together.

Due to the stupidity of the time and social pressure, I added my husband’s last name to my name. So all my documents like identification, driver’s license, passport, all credit cards, voter registration card have his last name at the end.

We ended amicably even more due to the circumstances (he is gay) and we divorced.

Honestly, it would suck to have to change everything, go to government agencies, pay for everything new, go to the bank to change everything, so I didn’t want to take out his last name, but I introduce myself by my maiden name, only in the documents is it this name. ~ u/TAlastname

She further revealed that her ex-husband is now engaged to another man and he wanted her to change her last name but when she refused to do so he called her a jerk.

Tony started to ask if I really hadn’t changed my name, if I didn’t think that being engaged to someone else isn’t the best time to change it, and he insisted that it was weird of me.

I just replied: “Unless you can go in my place, spend hours and hours in lines, pay hundreds for it, I won’t do it in the near future”.

Later, he called me and said I was acting weird and a jerk by refusing to change the name, which he said was uncomfortable.

She posted a question asking if she was wrong for refusing to drop her ex-husband’s last name on the Reddit community called Am I The A**hole where people post a question about things they did and ask the users to rate if they are A**hole for that, and here are some of the responses she received.

1.

If having his ex share a last name with him bothers him that much, then maybe he should take his fiancé’s name after they marry.

~ simAlity

2.

In part this speaks to male privilege. We’re expected to go through the rigmarole of changing our name and then expected to change it back but it’s actually a massive pain in the arse. Also what if you have built a career under that name? Your hesitancy is completely understandable.

~ StoreyTimePerson

3.

OP, it’s your name. It’s not a name that was loaned to you. It’s yours. You get to decide when or if you ever want to change it. If the convenient weighs in favour of keeping it, so be it. It’s yours.

~ peeKnuckleExpert

4.

I hate that logic that implies that women never get to own our own surnames.

The people pressuring us to change our names on marriage say that our birth-surnames are really our father’s names, so it should be no big deal to take our husband’s name.

Then, if we do change our surname and then divorce, they say that our surname was really only a loan and that we should give it back. It’s such a bullshit proposition that we’re pressured to take on all the sacrifice to have a single family surname, and then not even get to keep the benefit of sharing a surname with the kids.

The whole thing is frustrating and sexist.

~ snorkellingfish

5.

It is quite normal for someone to not change their last name after a divorce. I know women who have gotten remarried and didn’t change their name even then because they wanted the same name as their children.

~ Euphoric-Zucchini-18

6.

It’s not up to men to tell women what name they’re supposed to use. It’s your legal surname as much as it is his.

~ YMMV-But

7.

I’m kind of puzzled by Tony “being uncomfortable with his ex using HIS last name.”
You had the name for 26 years – did Tony not consider it your name during that time? Was he just loaning it to you on sufferance?

There are plenty of perfectly good reasons to keep his last name – your kids have that last name, all your documents are in that name, maybe you’ve used that name in your career, and yes, it is expensive and time consuming to change it.

The patriarchal concept of women taking their husband’s last name bugs the crap out of me, but you’ve been that last name for 26 years. No one gets to tell you when or why to change now.

Esmereldathebrave

8.

Apparently women just go through their lives borrowing last names but they never actually get to have any ownership over it.

~ Comprehensive-Sea-63

9.

 Sometimes people like to share a common last name with their kids. After 26 years, it’s your name, do what you want.

~ PennsylvaniaDutchess

11.

It’s not “his” name. It’s your name unless you don’t want it to be anymore

I guess if your ex really wants a different name from you, he could pick a new one and legally change his. Why doesn’t he take his boyfriend’s last name?

~ MonicaHuang

12.

Holy crap! It’s been your name for 26 years. Why does everyone think your name doesn’t belong to you anymore?

Can people get any more sexist? It’s 2023. Everyone seems to think that you were your husband’s property and he had stamped his name on you, and now that you don’t belong to him….he gets to wipe his name off of his ex-possession? Does no one know you are a PERSON?

~ Mysterious_Bridge_61

13.

I’m assuming your son has your ex-husband’s surname so why shouldn’t you have the same name as your offspring?

It’s not as if it’s unknown for divorced women to keep their married name. Just look as Susan Sarandon.

~ RichSignal7022

14.

He doesn’t own the name. You used it for 26 years because (as I gather from what you wrote) you were pressured to do it by people including your ex. It’s your name now, so do whatever you want! Keep it forever, change it tomorrow… Doesn’t matter what anyone else thinks (specially someone you divorced), you don’t even need a reason.

15.

you had to go through the work to change your name initially. Some women never change their names after divorce and they don’t have to. It’s your legal name and it’s not preventing your ex from getting remarried. He’s the one being weird.

~ Smolfeelings

In the end, it was concluded that she was not wrong for refusing to drop her ex-husband’s name. The original post and all the comments can be found here. Reddit

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