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Woman Scoffs After Ex Demands She Go Back To Her Maiden Name Due To His New Fiancée

Woman with her arms crossed
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When two people get married, they generally will do something to celebrate and symbolize their love. In addition to wedding receptions and an exchange of rings, sharing the same last name is incredibly common.

But it’s becoming increasingly common for divorced people to express reluctance about changing their name back, pointed out the “Am I the A**hole?” (AITA) subReddit, simply because of all the hurdles they have to go through.

Redditor ThrowRAHappyLiving was among those who didn’t want to change her last name after building a career with her husband’s last name, and also sharing the name with her children.

But when her ex-husband’s future second wife accused her of wanting to get back together with him, and that was why she wanted to keep the name, the Original Poster (OP) wasn’t sure if she was creating more problems by keeping her legal name.

She asked the sub:

“My ex-husband is insisting I change my last name back to my maiden name because his new fiancée feels it will be awkward for her and I to have the same last name. AITA for refusing to change it?”

The OP had a positive co-parenting relationship with her ex-husband.

“My (39 Female) ex-husband (38 Male) has been dating a woman (24 Female) for three years.”

“My ex and I were married for 12 years, and we have been divorced for five years. We have three kids together who are now teenagers.”

“My ex and I got divorced because we were young when we met and got married, and we grew apart as people. It was a mutual decision, and we agreed our kids came first and have always co-parented very well.”

The OP’s children didn’t have such a positive relationship with their future stepmother.

“This has been the case until last year when his girlfriend moved in with him.”

“Previously, we would do holidays and kids’ birthdays together, but now when she is present, they (my ex-husband and his girlfriend) won’t even sit near me at our kids’ sporting events.”

“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.”

“My ex told me early on she wasn’t a fan of me and felt I intimidated her.”

“When I asked him for examples of how I intimidated her, he said it’s my face, that I have a resting b***h face and it makes her uncomfortable.”

“My ex and her got engaged over Christmas and my kids were less than thrilled, my daughter especially. She feels her dad made a major life decision without even talking to them about it first.”

But then the OP felt her ex-husband’s girlfriend intruding on her life, too.

“My ex called me yesterday, saying he was giving me a heads-up that I have a year to change my last name back to my maiden name as his fiancee expressed her distaste and concern for her and I to have the same last name when they get married.”

“I told him we agreed in our divorce that I could keep his last name until I felt the need to change it, and that is what is listed in our paperwork.”

“I also told him I don’t want to have a different last name than our kids.”

“He said I was being unreasonable and refusing to see how this would make his fiancee uncomfortable.”

“I told him I couldn’t see it from her side because I am a grown-up, and not an immature child like her.”

“He told me I could ask anyone about this situation, and everyone would agree with her, so here I am.”

“AITA for refusing to change my last name to make her happy?”

Fellow Redditors weighed in:

  • NTA: Not the A**hole
  • YTA: You’re the A**hole
  • ESH: Everybody Sucks Here
  • NAH: No A**holes Here

Some reassured the OP that sharing the same last name with someone wasn’t a big deal.

“NTA. Tell him you’ll only consider changing your last name back to your maiden name if you can change the kids’ last names also…”

“If he doesn’t agree… He can sit on it and rotate.”

“He needs to come to terms with the fact that this isn’t HIS name, it’s YOURS now too.”

“I’m sure other people exist in the world with the same last name. He needs to get over it.” – anonymoust9090

“In my grade school in a town of maybe 5,000 people, there were four students and one teacher with the same last name. None of them were related in any way.”

“There are over 500 people in America with my exact same maiden name (yes, first, middle, AND last name.)”

“In fact, I’ve only known two people who had a unique last name, as far as they’re aware anyway, and they are both first generation immigrants.”

“I can almost guarantee that if OP’s name is unique enough to be a problem/weird (or whatever the fiance thinks) for them to both share it, then the fiance won’t want it anyway because it’s going to be different enough that nobody can pronounce or spell it.” – needween

“My mother has been divorced from my father for a little over 50 years. She still has his last name and he has no problem with it.”

“NTA. They’re both acting immature. That is your legal last name. If it’s not stated in the divorce decree that you would change it, they can both kick rocks.” – ImportantTart6086

“I have my children’s last name, not my ex-husband’s.”

“It honestly makes sense to have the same last name as your children. For every time you have a dr appointment and have to deal with insurance, for every school everything (pick up early, drop off late, conferences, even the order of who to contact first, permission slips), for driver’s ed and licenses and adding them to your auto insurance, college applications and financial aid.”

“So many more reasons but these are all huge ones. It just makes so much sense to have the same last name as your children legally.”

“Having said that, my kiddos know that when the youngest has graduated and left to start their own life I will be going back to my maiden name. That’s a personal choice and my kids are all fine with the current arrangement. My ex and his wife are the only ones who have an issue but their issues are not my concern, lol (laughing out loud).”

“NTA.” – seanmphcalypso

“Does he not realize that this is OP’s legal name now? Changing a name is not like changing your underpants. It takes a bit of work and time.”

“Plus, if she decides to keep his last name for the sake of their children, he has no legal recourse to make her change it. I would love to be a fly on the wall when he tells his lawyer that he wants to sue her to make her change her last name. He would be laughed out of the office.” – i_identifyas_me

Others agreed and pointed out that the OP wasn’t the only one who could change her name.

“It’s expensive to get your name and documents changed, too. When I changed my name, getting a new ID, passport, etc., and then having to change every card and bill and anything in my name! What a pain in the a**. Maybe he should take his new wife’s name instead.” – ladymoonshyne

“Wait, you wanting the same last name as your children is not legit, but him wanting his kids to have the same last name as him is? Double standards much?”

“I don’t think that legally he has a leg to stand on here. This is your name now. The 24-year-old can grow up and suck it up. Or he can sign off on the children having your maiden name along with you.” – InternationalBee3126

“OP, just spin it back on him and say that you will feel uncomfortable if his fiancée has the same name as your children so she can’t change her surname to theirs. If he says you sound unreasonable, then tell him that’s how he sounds coming to you with that request.”

“The second you said your ‘I do’s to him years ago, his surname became yours, and you will keep it and use it as you see fit.” – Evening_Relief9922

“You know who has no say about what your name is? The 24-year-old girlfriend that he’s been with for three years. So a 35-year-old dude thought it was cool to start dating a 21-year-old? Yeah, don’t worry about his opinions OP, he’s clearly got a weird definition of normal.”

“For the record, my parents have been divorced 23 years, my mom still uses her “married name” because it’s the same last name as her kids. No one has ever batted an eye about it to my knowledge.”

“On the kid side, I’m glad my mom had the same last name as me growing up because she was the primary guardian and I liked us having the same family name.”

“It became your name when you legally took it, it’s the name you gave to your family, and he doesn’t own your name. Wear it with pride. Fingers crossed the (very) young woman that is marrying into the family can learn to respect it. Otherwise, they both can kick rocks. They could also change their names if they want to be so distinct from you.” – Samabart

“Okay, print the page of the divorce settlement with the part about keeping your name. Highlight it.”

“Tell him that the moment that divorce was finalized he lost ANY right to have an opinion on your life choices and you are 100% within your right to keep your current name.”

“Tell him he has options here and his options are to take her name or to tell her to grow up and deal with it because you are not changing YOUR name. It is not his name. It is YOUR name legally, ethically, and morally, and you won’t allow an immature 24-year-old child dictate the terms of your life now or ever.”

“I’d also remind him that he is making his bed with his kids, and if he doesn’t pull his head out of his a** and begin listening to what his kids have to say, then he will effectively destroy his relationship with them all in his midlife crisis relationship. That you wish him well in his marriage and your ONLY concern is about your children.”

“If he continues to harass you about it, have your attorney send him a cease and desist letter. That will make your point.” – lovetotravelanytime

After receiving feedback, the OP shared a refreshingly positive update in another post.

“Several of you have asked for an update on my ex-husband giving me a year to change my last name back to my maiden name because his fiancee was uncomfortable with her and I having the same last name.”

“To clarify, the reason he gave me a year is because they are getting married sometime next year and wanted my name changed prior to their wedding.”

“Anyway, my ex called me yesterday and said he had done a lot of research on ex-wives keeping the ex-husband’s last name after a divorce. He stated he didn’t realize how common this is, especially when there are children from the marriage.”

“He also said this had been my last name for 17 years, my entire adult life has been with this last name, and I have built a career with it. He basically acknowledged that every reason I had to keep it was legitimate.”

The long and short of it, the OP’s ex-husband actually apologized for his demands.

“He apologized for the way he initially approached me about changing my last name, and explained he was in a bad spot trying to make his fiancée happy. He also explained she feels that by me keeping his last name must mean I’m still in love with him and this is my secret way of assuring we end up together again someday.”

“I informed him this was not, nor will it ever be the case. Yes, I care deeply about him because I was married to him for 12 years and he is the father of my children, and I want him to be happy in life. However, I fell out of love with him many years ago and that will not change.”

“He said he informed his fiancée that he would not bring this up to me again, and if she didn’t like it, the ball was in her court to decide if she wanted to continue their relationship.”

“Thank you all for the feedback on my original post. I never expected this kind of response and an overwhelming amount of comments and advice!”

Not only was the subReddit adamant that the OP could choose any name that she wanted as her last name, but she was far from the first or last woman to not change her name after a divorce, for countless reasons, including having children and the paperwork involved.

It was clear the new couple needed to evaluate why they were letting someone else’s name get in the way of their relationship and whether or not it was worth working through.

Written by McKenzie Lynn Tozan

McKenzie Lynn Tozan has been a part of the George Takei family since 2019 when she wrote some of her favorite early pieces: Sesame Street introducing its first character who lived in foster care and Bruce Willis delivering a not-so-Die-Hard opening pitch at a Phillies game. She's gone on to write nearly 3,000 viral and trending stories for George Takei, Comic Sands, Percolately, and ÜberFacts. With an unstoppable love for the written word, she's also an avid reader, poet, and indie novelist.