Keeping your family name or changing your name after divorce?
What about you, did you take on your husband’s name when you got married? Did you keep your family name? Or did the whole family take on your name?
Now that you’re going through or have gone through a divorce, what do you think you’ll do? Will you take back your maiden name? Would you rather keep your married name? What feels right for you?
I hope by sharing my story I can give you some more insights.
When I got married, I took on my husband’s name. I became Caroline Cameron.
I was happy. I never thought it could be any other way. I know of countries and cultures where the women keep their family name but I had the choice and I chose to take on my husband’s name.
I wanted to be called the same as my future children and I also wanted to make it official that I was now married. Yes of course I loved that name, it had a foreign feel to it, and some in Switzerland, where I am from, had trouble pronouncing it, which made it even more fun.
I especially loved, that I was CC (Caroline Cameron). Looking back, I think I never really put much thought into it at all. I just followed the normal rules, and took on my husband’s name.
15 years later.
We’re now separated.
I’m seated with my three children at the table, and my youngest, then 5 years old, starts to cry, saying ‘But Mom, when you get a divorce, then you will have a different name to us!’ He was so upset.
To be honest, I hadn’t even thought about this at all, for me it was clear, I am Caroline Cameron, and I will stay that way.
Again, I had the choice – do I to take my maiden name back or keep my married name. At that stage, I was sure I would keep my family name. I still wanted to have the same name as my children and I liked the name, even though I don’t have a crooked nose (Cameron means crooked nose in Gaelic).
Another 5 years later
While doing some Pranic healing on myself, I realized that I was calling myself Caroline Palmy. It was so spontaneous and so sudden and felt so true, that it got me thinking.
Where does this come from? Why now? Why me?
I took a deep breath and listened within, and called myself Caroline Cameron, and I realized, this is not true anymore, this does not sound true. I realized that I had outgrown my married name and I was ready to go back to my birth name of Caroline Palmy.
Thinking about this, I got this picture of myself unzipping a tight grey neo-preen like dress, and getting out of it, and feeling free, colourful and dancing, and I realized, that with this change of name I can really free myself. I felt happy and at peace, I have finally found myself or rather re-found myself.
I spoke to my children again, and asked them, how they would feel if I took on my maiden name again.
The oldest said, “Mom that was clear, I always knew you would do that.”
My girl was happy for me, and said she would love me either way and my youngest, who cried 5 years earlier at the thought of me changing my name, was smiling and said, that is very much ok so. He knows I am his Mom, no matter what. We have all grown so much.
Making it official
Changing the name officially was easy all I needed was to sign a paper at the official place followed by filling in endless forms of changing it everywhere and on everything else. It was worth it.
I was glad, I had 5 years to let this idea grow, and I didn’t make any rash decision. For me it is right to have gone back to my birth name. There are situations for each one of us, and we all have to decide for ourselves.
Do what is right for YOU
My only advice to you is to only do what feels right for you. Don’t let yourself be pushed either way.
It might sound like a tiny part of it all, and maybe it is, alas when I signed my documents to go back to my maiden name, I really made a step out there, and realized the impact such a decision can have and is having.
Wishing you all the best