Woman Slammed for Demanding Fiancé's Ex-Wife Stop Using His Surname

A recently divorced woman is being urged to stay strong after her ex-husband's new fiancée asked that she switch back to her maiden surname.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the divorce rate in the U.S. stands at around 2.7 per 1,000 population, with over 746,971 divorces reported in 2019 alone.

When a marriage breaks down, it's not entirely uncommon for the ex-wife to retain her husband's surname. Some see their married name as more grown up than the one they were born with. Others feel they earned it through the many years of matrimony.

They could still be friends with their ex or feel like part of their family. It may also be the case that it's just too much of a hassle to change. However, for one woman posting to Mumsnet, it was for several entirely sensible reasons, which she was happy to explain.

"I have never changed my name because I don't want to have a different surname to my daughter," she wrote. "Also, I just can't be bothered with the hassle. I see it as my name and my identity really. It would be strange to go back to my maiden name now."

Though she separated from her ex-husband four years ago, the divorce was only finalized last year. But while she insists both her and her ex are "happy" and experience "no conflict" over shared parental rights, his new partner is posing something of a problem.

According to the post, the woman was recently contacted by her ex who asked if she would change back to her maiden name as his fiancée "would be more comfortable" if she did.

His ex-wife, however, does not think she needs to switch back though and others on social media felt she was entirely within her rights to retain his surname.

NotMyGenderGoblin said her choice of surname had "absolutely nothing to do" with his new fiancée, adding that there was "nothing to stop" her taking the name anyway. DirtyDancing agreed, writing: "I wouldn't even enter into a discussion about it."

Opti2021 couldn't believe the "audacity" of the fiancée to make this kind of request. "It's your name, you didn't borrow it from him, you changed your name once married and that became your new name," she said.

Sayitaintsoiwillnotgo wondered whether there was more to the fiancée's request, asking: "Is there a reason she is so insecure?" WeirdlyKind concurred that the woman was definitely being "weird about it."

Onlywomengivebirth, meanwhile, offered up an alternative viewpoint: "I think it's odd to keep it. But I think it's odd to change it in the first place when you marry. But for what it's worth, I think it's odd of the new wife to ask you."

Newsweek has contacted the original poster for comment.

Research suggests that women who do choose to keep their maiden names after marrying are perceived differently to those who take their husband's surnames.

In a 2017 study published in Sex Roles, women who retained their maiden name were found to be perceived as more authoritative in their relationship. By contrast, their husbands were viewed as "submissive," "caring," "understanding" and "timid."

The debate follows on from another viral discussion centered around a woman who decided not to share her late husband's inheritance with his new partner.

Another debate centered on a disgruntled ex-wife and her steadfast refusal to sell the house she co-owns to her cheating former husband.

Two women arguing on a couch.
Stock image of two women arguing on a couch - a divorcee has been told to give up her ex-husband's name by his new fiancee. monkeybusinessimages/Getty