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by Abigail Van Buren

Teenager Stuck in 'Park' Needs to Get Up and Go

DEAR ABBY: Is it standard procedure for a woman to keep her husband's name after a divorce? It bothers me that the man I plan to marry already has an ex-wife with his last name. He says it's because of their children. I would like her to go back to her maiden name. -- HE'S NOT YOUR HUSBAND ANYMORE, COLUMBIA, S.C.

DEAR "HE'S NOT YOUR HUSBAND": The kindest advice I can offer is to accept the fact that your intended has baggage. You cannot make his first marriage "disappear." Many women retain their husband's name after a divorce for the exact reason she is doing so. If you marry this man, your name will be "Mrs. John Smith." His former wife is now "Mrs. Linda Smith." You'll all be happier if you just get over it.