My therapist suggested I talk to DS15 and ask him what are the benefits/how does it make you feel to be a ZEBRA (maiden name)? NOT to ask him why don't you want to be a BEAR (married name). It is such a subtle change in words but comes across much more smoother (lack of a better word).
I spoke to my DS15 and he would like to be a ZEBRA because he "wants to represent his clan" (we are mixed ethnicity but identify with Asian culture). We talked about the process ~ about how we would need stbx's signature. I explained the several ways this could all go down:
1. stbx signs paper and he can change his name after I do.
2. stbx does not sign paper and he waits 2 1/2 years to legally change his name AND we inform his school that he would prefer to go by the name DS15 ZEBRA (except on legal documents, report cards, etc)
He said he would feel disappointed and angry if stbx did not sign the paper but understood that in 2 1/2 years, he could legally do it without needing anyones signature.
Part of the reason I am sharing this for those of you who have teens. I had to stop worrying about the "drama" this may cause to stbx and focus on supporting my DS15. I haven't been purposely ignoring my DS15's request but I also hadn't given it my full attention. Now that I understand that it is developmentally appropriate to want to form an identity and he has been consistent in his request, I will now start filling out the forms.
If you have had experience with your teen changing last names before 18, I hope you will share your experience with me.
I hope X agrees but be prepared for a big reaction. These unremorseful WS don't take well to consequences of their action/inaction.
It was also a sign of solidarity with who we felt our true family was, and that we were still a family. A sign of solidarity with each other. The person who left had chosen not to be a member of that family, so we removed his name from it.
How the father absconding from his responsibilities felt about it did not cross any of our minds. If he wanted his name to live on, he needed to live up to it. Ironically, he remarried and had three daughters, so his name is dying out. His four grandchildren (my brother's kids), whom he has never met, all bear my mother's name.
Hooray for ZEBRAS!
[This message edited by Lyonesse at 9:38 PM, March 15th (Saturday)]
Years later, when WS cheated, I was damn glad I hadn't taken his name. Fathers and husbands come and go, apparently, but I will always have me.
hugs to you and your DS, I hope STBX will sign the paperwork needed.
Best thing I gained in my divorce - my freedom.
[This message edited by Bluebird26 at 10:18 PM, March 15th (Saturday)]
Stupid me for taking the name when we married. And now I don't even know if I'll change it back since I want to be the same as my boys.
STBX actually pleaded with me not to change their last names in the beginning. Guess he didn't realize I couldn't without his permission. But yeah, he's a slacker deadbeat piece of shit, and he doesn't deserve the honor.. I totally see how it's a developmental thing for kids. Hopefully I can be a rose that smells just as sweet no matter what you call me..
But I still might change I my last name to Buttercup just for the hell of it, lol.
SBB: I have to agree with you. Stbx will probably have a pissy fit and refuse but we have to at least try.
shiloe: I wonder if the son followed through and changed his last name?
solus sto: Trac-Fone is a douche.
Lyonesse: Thank you so much for sharing your point of view! Reading your response was such a gift for all of us. Here here to Zebras!
tesla: Hang in there mommy!
Bluebird26: Thank you for the hugs and I'm sorry your ex won't allow your son to change his name. Hugs right back at you! Even if he refuses to sign, at least we have a plan (inform school of preferred name).
ButterflyGirl: Hmmmm. Butterfly Girl Buttercup has a nice ring to it!
[This message edited by dmari at 11:04 PM, March 15th (Saturday)]
My 11yo asked about this (he also wants to know so he can tell my unborn DD how to change her name to Zia when she is old enough because he is sure I'm going to name her "something stupid"). My 11yo also understands its very unlikely his father would sign off on the name change. He's made peace with that possibility of waiting. Its funny what he chooses to have patience about.
I told him I'd keep my married last name until they were both grown then change it. If he can wait, I can too. SO it costs me another $100 later instead of free now.
As much as I want to be AWAY from stbxh, to me a name IS just a name at the moment.