Tuesday, 14 June 2011

What’s in a name?

Over the last couple of years, a number of people have asked me, in a rhetorical tone, whether I was going to change my name when I got divorced.

I have to say that it hadn’t even occurred to me until they brought up the subject.  And it really took me aback.

Firstly, I was surprised that I hadn’t even thought about it, and secondly, I was amazed that they seemed to think it was a matter of course that I would do so.

I had no issue with changing my name when I got married.  As far as I was concerned, I was forming a life-long partnership, we planned to have children and share our lives.  Therefore, it seemed appropriate to share the same surname. 

I am now no longer married – so it would make logical sense to revert to my maiden name.  But, I have no wish to do so.  And I find it odd that people should think that my identity is impaired by retaining my ex-husbands’ surname.

We are all the sum of our parts.  And the most significant part of my life has been my marriage and children.  To me, a change of name would be like trying to erase the time spent in my marriage.  It suggests regret – and I don’t regret my marriage.  What I regret is that it failed.  But it did leave me with two wonderful children, who share not only my genes but my name and their fathers.

I almost find it sad that some women go to the trouble of a Deed Poll application, as if trying to eradicate all trace of their past.

I have no wish to eradicate mine.  I wish it could have turned out differently, but life happens to us all.

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