Saturday, May 05, 2012


I find it interesting how many divorced women choose to keep their married name rather than reverting to their maiden name after divorce - whether it is a friendly (if such a thing exists, or acrimonious divorce). I would say, of the divorced women I know, more than 60% kept their ex-husband's name.

I reverted to Buchanan two years before my divorce came through. It was a hassle - I had so many different pieces of ID, places to contact, - banks, passports, driving licenses, mortgage agreements, car loans - you name it... I had to pay to change it by deed poll because my divorce wasn't through. But I had to lose his surname to be me. It wasn't that I didn't like the name - you know me by now - a complete Francophile, I'd move there in a flash. More than that - I loved the exotic. It suited my character and interests. It was also good for my career - I didn't need to explain, as I do now, why I am best placed to be your translator, interpreter or why my spoken French is a tad better than you'd expect from someone who graduated twenty years ago! I loved (and still love) my French family unconditionally, so it wasn't them I was distancing myself from either. But the name represented the marriage, my link to the man I no longer loved and whether I had remarried or not, it was no longer me and it felt wrong to be Mrs or Madame Gautier any more. I could understand staying the same name as my kids, but again, it was wrong in my mind. I had to lose the name that represented a period in my life that was over.

I think I am fascinated by it because I can't understand it. I could not have stayed Gautier without losing myself. It would have been a bit too Shirley Valentine for my psyche, I think that's why I wonder about those who manage it quite happily. I guess there are several types of divorcée.

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