Should I keep this despised name for the sake of my children?

DEAR ABBY: After 15 years of marriage – some happy and some horrible – I am divorcing my husband.

We have two beautiful and incredible children together. I wish I had the same last name as them, but I can’t imagine keeping my husband’s last name. His family was awful to me throughout our marriage.

What should I do? Should I keep her last name to have the same as my children, or should I change it to use my maiden name?


DEAR, GO AHEAD: It’s not the 50s. There’s no shame in having a different name than your kids. Many women with children change their names after a divorce.

Because your marital name has painful connotations, do not hesitate to use your maiden name or adopt another of your choice. (Some women choose the name of a favorite city to adopt.)

DEAR ABBY: I am a 42 year old single mother who recently started a relationship with a wonderful man.

I have two children from my marriage to an ex who was not very nice. We did our best for 16 years (we were young when we met) and finally had to go our separate ways.

The man I’m dating is sensitive and kind. He’s great with my kids. He’s the first person I’ve dated that I’ve allowed to meet them.

His first wife died three months after they married 14 years ago. She was expecting their first child and it was a tragedy for everyone involved.

When he talks about her, I listen. He moved on after his death. He remarried and had another child, but it didn’t work out. He claims he never loved his second wife. He got her pregnant early and married her because it was “the right thing to do”.

He still carries a torch for his first wife, whom he calls the love of his life. He keeps a picture of her hanging in his rear view mirror and plans to be buried next to her as he passes.

While I understand that love doesn’t die when people pass by, I can’t help but feel crushed when he says, “If she were still alive, we wouldn’t even be talking right now.” He puts his memory on a pedestal.

How can I handle this? I’m not sure I can stay in a relationship like this.


DEAR HATES: His first wife may be “the love of his life”, but she is faded away!

If you want a future with someone who may never stop crying, you’ll have to do so with the full knowledge that you can’t compete with an “angel.” (No one can.) When this paragon of insensitivity tells you that if she were alive he wouldn’t even talk to you, you would be within your rights to respond by saying, “But she isn’t, and we are here. !”

Your question about whether to continue the relationship is good. Unless you have a spine of steel and can develop thicker skin, don’t.

PS In some states, objects hanging from your rearview mirror are illegal because they obstruct the driver’s vision. I believe your condition is one of them.

Dear Abby is written by Abigail Van Buren, also known as Jeanne Phillips, and was founded by her mother, Pauline Phillips. Contact Dear Abby at or PO Box 69440, Los Angeles, CA 90069.

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