“Honey, I love you, but I want my name back.”
They’re not exactly the words a husband wants to hear on the eve of his 10 year wedding anniversary.
But, after a decade together, three children and a career forged under the name Connolly, I am returning to my maiden name.
Before you jump to conclusions, we are not divorcing. The marriage isn’t in trouble. We are happier than we’ve ever been. I plan on growing old with Adam and I cherish our marriage.
But, I miss my name. Sloane is the name I was born with, have a blood connection to. I am proud of my heritage and as I grow older I miss it more.
While being Adam’s wife is undoubtedly the best decision I’ve ever made, being Mrs “Connolly”, has never felt quite right.
Every time I had a professional victory, a career highlight, a newspaper column under the name Connolly, I felt like an imposter. The young girl who dreamt of this life as a journalist and TV host was Kellie Sloane. She would have been miffed.
My great grandfather William, after whom our little boy was named, won a military medal under the name Sloane. In fact, there are three MMs in our family. Stories I’m unearthing about our history draw me closer to my roots.
Before I met Adam I was adamant I would never change my name. What an absurd idea, I thought, to change your identity and give up the name you were born with.
Adam never asked nor expected me to change my name, but I thought he’d be chuffed if I did. He was a guy with a lot of old fashioned values and I knew it would make him happy if we shared a family name. It was the best gift I could give him and a sign of my absolute commitment.
I made the decision to change my name, professionally and personally. I didn’t tell him at first. I planned to surprise him when I returned to work after our wedding and did my first TV sign off as Kellie Connolly.
I remember my boss trying to talk me out of it. “Sloane is such a great name for a journo,” he argued. “And what will happen if you divorce?!”
I ignored his cynicism and it was an easy transition. As a TV presenter there’s little confusion because people identify you’re your face and voice as much as your name.