Inspiration, Encouragement & Strength
join a community of support ›

Community Talk

Community Talk makes it easy for you to find relevant, informative articles from First Wives World's leading contributors, all in one place. All content is hand picked by First Wives World and covers a wide range of topics important to you.

Back to Article List

Filter Articles By:  

A few months after leaving sam, I reclaimed my name professionally.  I was on the verge of filing for divorce (which I never did) and I was starting to write again (which I'd done very little of in the second half of our marriage), and I didn't want his name in print above my work.

A few quick keystrokes and I was back to the woman I'd been forever, the woman I swore I'd always be. Sure, it was just a symbolic change. But there's a big lot of truth in symbolism.

When I got married, I didn't give much thought to giving-up "Goodman." I figured I'd always write under it, so no big deal if I became Blacksmith for everything else. Huh! What total crap. Or as my good friend says, TFBS — you can figure what it stands for.

I had the foresight to recognize and to tell Sam my writing comes from all the people who came before me. Even if they didn't publish or do this for a living, I come from generations and generations of writers and the name on my work should honor the family it comes from. "Blacksmith" had nothing to do with it.

Funny thing, though: The further I got into marriage, further I got from myself, the less it mattered. "Goodman" became "Goodman-Blacksmith" in print and eventually, when I discovered it wouldn't fit over a single newspaper column, I dropped Goodman. By then, I was so far away from my original self, I didn't care what I was called.

I know a lot of women who regret taking their partner's name, and a few who have recently taken back their own. They've incorporated it with a hyphen or reverted to it for professional purposes while keeping their partners name for personal matters.

Those of us who changed our names in marriage, I don't think we had any idea what's in a name. The subtle way that trading our names for another disconnects women from themselves.

I like the continuity of sharing a surname with my kids, identifying us as a clan that way. But I'm not us, I am me.

Maybe it is just a symbol, but reclaiming my name was the single most empowering thing I've ever done. 

Back to Article List

Leave a comment