This Guy’s 24-Year-Old Fiancé Wants His Ex-Wife To Change Her Last Name Because It’s “Awkward” To Have The Same Name

This Guy’s 24-Year-Old Fiancé Wants His Ex-Wife To Change Her Last Name Because It’s “Awkward” To Have The Same Name

Divorces can get tricky, especially if one ex (typically a woman) took the other's last name and now must decide whether or not to revert to their birth last name.

That seems to be the case in this story about a 38-year-old husband urging his ex-wife to change her name after their divorce. He's marrying a new woman, and she's uncomfortable that his ex-wife has "his" last name.

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Here’s the full story in 39-year-old ex-wife, u/ThrowRAHappyLiving’s, own words:

"My ex-husband is insisting I change my last name back to my name before marriage because his new fiancé, a 24-year-old woman, feels it will be awkward for her and me to have the same last name. Am I the asshole for refusing to change it?"

For context, "My ex-husband, a 38-year-old man, has been dating this woman for three years. My ex and I were married for 12 years and have been divorced for five years. We have three kids together who are now teenagers. We 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."

"This has been the case until last year when his girlfriend moved in with him. Previously, we would do holidays and kids' birthdays together; now, when she is present, they won't even sit near me at our kids' sporting events."

Parent and child watching kids play soccer on a field

"I have always been nice to this woman, despite my kids expressing that they do not like her and feel their dad acts differently when she is around."

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She continued, "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 bitch face, and it makes her uncomfortable."

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"My ex called me yesterday saying he is giving me a heads up that I have a year to change my last name as his fiancé is expressing her distaste and concern that she and I will have the same last name when they get married."

Woman in a buttoned shirt looks confused while talking on the phone

"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."

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She continued, "He said I'm being unreasonable and refusing to see how this would make his fiancé uncomfortable. I told him I can'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."

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So, now u/ThrowRAHappyLiving wants to know if she's the asshole for refusing to change her last name. Safe to say, people had maaannnnny thoughts, and we're pretty much exclusively on her side.

One person wrote, "Not the asshole. Tell him you'll only consider changing your last name back to your name before marriage if you can change the kids' last names also." u/ThrowRAHappyLiving actually tried this as a solution, but it did not go over well.

She said, "He completely lost it, saying he is their dad and they deserve to have his last name. Yet when I said I wanted the same last name as our kids, he told me that wasn't a legitimate reason not to change it."

In response to her ex-husband's justification, one commenter replied, calling out the double standard, "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?"

Man with a smile slowly turning into a frown, looks pensive

And someone else said, "Just spin it back on him and say that you will feel uncomfortable if his fiancé has the same name as your children, so she can't change her surname to theirs. If he says you sound unreasonable, tell him that's how he sounds coming to you with that request."

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Many others provided solutions. One person said, "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."

Woman with expression of thought writing in a notebook

Another person echoed this sentiment, writing, "He can take his new girlfriend's name then! Problem solved. The future new wife and you won't have the same 'married name.'"

Someone in a similar situation wrote, "This is why I tell everyone 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."

Woman in a turtleneck with hoop earrings gesturing with her hand

u/ThrowRaHappyLiving actually provided an update to the post, writing, "To clarify, he gave me a year because they are getting married sometime next year and wanted my name changed before 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."

She also said her ex basically acknowledged that her reasons — from having the last name for 17 years to building a career with it — were legitimate. She said he apologized and admitted he was in a bad spot to make his fiancé happy. She said, "He also explained she feels that keeping his last name means I'm still in love with him, and this is my secret way of assuring we end up together again someday."

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In the end, she said, "He said he informed his fiancé 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."

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For OP's sake, I hope that's a wrap on this drama. And for the 24-year-old, I hope she gets help — whether that's from a friend, a therapist, or a wiser soul. But let me know all your thoughts below, and if you agree, no ex-partner can force the other partner to change their name after a divorce. I'm genuinely curious if this has happened to anyone else!

Note: Some text has been edited for length and/or clarity.