There was a bit of comment this week when it as made known that Irish model turned foodie Yvonne Keating has now taken to formally using her maiden name again – she’s now Yvonne Connolly – following her divorce from her ex-husband Ronan Keating.
This shouldn’t have come as a surprise to many, as it’s a common thing to do when one gets divorced, but plenty of Irish media picked up on it nonetheless, and acted what we felt was surprise at the name change. We can’t say we’re surprised, both Yvonne and Ronan are in new relationships now (Ronan is engaged to Storm Uechtritz, and Yvonne is with partner John Conroy), so it seems like that natural final step to take as they both start new chapters in their lives.
But the simple act of changing your surname (especially if you’ve had you’re married name for years) can be difficult on an emotional level. Some get very attached to their married names, particularly if it means they will now have a different last name to their children.
Yvonne told The Herald that her name change was hard on her own children. “Unofficially I’ve been Connolly for a while, but I suppose when I first said it to my kids they hadn’t really come to terms with it,” she said. “One of them struggled with it. It seems like an obvious thing for someone to do, to go back to their maiden name, but for kids their mom isn’t going to have the same name as them so they did struggle with it a little bit.”
“So I just didn’t change it officially until they were ready for me to do that and had come to terms with it,” she continued.
Ronan added that he thought it was “great’ that his former wife had reverted to her maiden name. “It’s her decision – it’s great,” he said.
It’s a topic that people see both ways, while it’s considered the norm to revert back to your maiden name after divorce, a friend recently told me that despite the fact that she will be getting a divorce, she’s had her married name for so many years, that she couldn’t imagine being called by any other name, so she wanted to keep it. We’d say either is fairly normal, it just depends on what works and is right for you and your family.
It appears the times are changing though, and it’s now becoming popular to keep your maiden name when married. According to a recent study by The New York Times, 20 percent of women married in recent years, have decided to keep their last name.