Adult name change

I was in a very volatile and toxic abusive relationship. I met him while we were in the army and I have gotten out while he stayed in. I reported his physical, verbal and emotional abuse in feb 2019. Then with an advice, I went through a move, a phone number and name change, changing my last name (it was a married name though I’d been divorced for 12 years by then) to my maiden name I used when I lived in Japan (so I’m the odd one in the family). My family doesn’t know this change cause I was embarrassed to even let them know about the abuse. In addition, my family was on his side telling me I deserved it cause I was probably a hothead and caused his anger. I stopped speaking to my parents in 2016. I stopped talking to one of my sisters two years ago. They never visited me, even though I said I would get them airline tickets.

Anyways, his elimination board was in October this year. My army counsel informed me that his lawyer might call me. I was shocked that these information was shared with my perpetrator. During the board, his lawyer verified my new name and the area I live (city and state) with my abuser sitting next to him. I was devastated. Since the board, I’ve been getting a lot of phone calls from his area code. I’m extremely scared that he would come here with his guns and harm me if he were to find out exact address.

Now I can definitely change the spelling of my maiden name so it won’t look the same though pronounce the same (e.g eau/au instead of an o). But I feel that I should change my first name as well. I have a baptismal name but I’m an atheist now. So I feel bad using that name. However I could slightly change it.

Do you think it’s pretentious? My sister, the one I talk to doesn’t seem to care much, stating that it may be awkward at first but it would be fine in a few years. The probate court said they could do unpublished name change. I feel like picking a completely new last name since I no longer speak to my family. I was also advised to anglicise my last name so they won’t know or won’t get any info by gathering asian names (my city doesn’t have that many Asians, I think I’ve seen two including myself).

So what do you think? Should I change my first name even though it means I will have to explain to my potential employer (I’m applying for jobs now) that my military discharge paper has my current on it while my first name is changed and why even though I feel it’s none of their business?

And should I pick a completely new last name instead of changing the spelling of my maiden name (yes I have two last names, one I’m using now and the other he knows. But the latter I can change the spelling of it).

Thanks for reading a long story and for your input in advance.

I would change it but I wouldn’t talk about it publicly like on nameberry for my protection.


Thanks that makes sense. I have edited so no name will be said.

I’m relieved. Probably overprotective, but best to be safe. All good wishes!


Thanks. So would you change both first and the last name?
If so, would you change the spelling of it or pick a completely new name?

Sorry…I really have no one to ask :frowning:

It’s hard to say and I’m sorry you have to go through this.

I think if I were changing any part, I’d change the whole thing.

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I’m so sorry that this happened to you, it sounds like a really awful situation. I would say it’s probably a good idea to go for the full name change, not just changing the spelling, especially since you aren’t close with your family anyway. Again I’m very sorry and I wish you all the best!

I’m sorry this happened to you.

If it were me, I would pick a new last name. [name_m]Even[/name_m] though anglicising your current last name could work, I personally would do a complete change for a fresh start. Pick something meaningful to you for each of your new names (fn, mn and LN), whether it be for someone important to you or the meaning it has.

Good luck.

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If you feel safe to wait on any name changes until you’re employed, I would suggest doing that.

You can pick a new first name while you are applying. When you secure a job, you can ask them to call you by your preferred name, which you will later change to your legal first name.

I think an employer would find it odd to have a work history under a different name for no apparent reason (I understand that you have a very valid reason, but they won’t).

However, your safety is more important. So if you don’t feel safe waiting until you’ve secured a job, then change it ASAP. If a few employers overlook you when they notice the name discrepancies, then so be it.

Changing your last name raises less eyebrows. I think you can change that whenever you’re ready.

I’m so sorry you’re going through all of this. I hope this forum is able to help!

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I agree completely with this! Change it if you feel it’s best for you, but wait if you can. If not, then don’t worry about employers! You’ll end up exactly where you need to be without compromising your safety, and that’s more important.

I wish you all the best as you start this new chapter in your life. [name_f]May[/name_f] you have only healing, happiness, and health moving forward. You are more than what happened to you. :heart:

So sorry that you’re going through this.

I’d change the whole name, first-middle-last. It sounds like you don’t have a connection with your family so you don’t have to keep their last name, with any spelling. And it would be harder to find you with a new name, and you can have a fresh start.

I’m sorry to hear that you’ve been through such an awful experience. In your position, I’d change the full name for the sake of a fresh start.

I think changing it and having a completely fresh start would be a good move

If you’re actually worried about someone coming to harm you I would change both names right away. And also change your phone number. Potential employers should understand with minimal explanation without getting into the emotional aspects. Good luck! :green_heart: