Why I'm Keeping My Married Name

Love & Learn 19

I got married pretty young, which means I'm among the first of my friends to join this new "divorce club" (kinda crappy club, by the way. The food sucks and the company is non-existent). But I remember hearing about other people who'd been through a divorce and kept their married names.

It baffled me. Why would you want to tie yourself to someone you are no longer legally bound to? Why would you want that daily reminder that "hey, things didn't work out, you big failure"?

Turns out? I get why people keep their married names now. I'm one of them.

Back when I was a freshly engaged, "my life is just beginning," dew-eyed girl of 22, I got into a fairly heated (for us at the time) debate with my soon-to-be husband. I'd always been partial to my maiden name -- I'd had it for 22 years, I'd always gone by it, and I'd never been one of those girls who liked to combine her first name and her crush's last name in swirly script.

Not me.

I was happy with my maiden name and I didn't really see any need to change it. I didn't want to become Mrs. (Husband's First Name, Husband's Last Name) because it kinda squicked me out. Mrs. So-and-So was my mother-in-law, a matronly woman who taught Christian elementary school.

Not me.

I was a fresh-eyed girl who had big plans for her future. I'd go back to school after I popped out a few kids, I'd change the world with my research into viruses and bacteria, and I could do it with my very own name. I wasn't Mrs. So-and-So.

My husband-to-be disagreed and I could see his point -- it would be obnoxious to have to constantly correct our future children's teachers, doctor's offices, really everyone we knew. And how do you say, "My name is So-and-So" without sounding like a bitch?

Now I'm staring down the barrels of a divorce and the option of changing my name back to my maiden name (which is my middle name now) seems silly.

I've lived as Becky Sherrick Harks for nearly 10 years, and I have no need to go back to my former name. I go by my full name and I like the way it sounds. It's, quite frankly, become part of who I am.

And while I've had to change many other things about my life since the "d" word was first brought up, my name isn't something I'm planning to give up.

Because it turns out? It is me.

Would you change your name after a divorce?


Image via weelakeo/Flickr

breakups, divorce