Everyone handles grief in different ways, and it’s always totally unexpected.
But sometimes even unexpected coping mechanisms will surprise some people, pointed out the “Am I the A**hole?” (AITA) subReddit.
Redditor Friendly_Shift_8103 was at a loss when his wife repeatedly demanded to name their future baby after her coworker who had passed away.
Seeing her grief, the Original Poster (OP) wasn’t sure how to handle the situation.
He asked the sub:
“AITA for not letting my wife name our baby after her deceased coworker?”
The OP and his wife were attempting to pick names for their baby.
“I cannot believe I have to bring my grievances to Reddit, but as a long-time Redditor and someone who keeps getting insults hurled at them, I really need to know if I’m the crazy one.”
“My (30 [Male]) wife (30 [Female]) is pregnant with our first child. We recently found out that we’re having a little baby boy.”
“A few weeks ago, we decided to write down all the boy names we like, make a priority list, and then let the names simmer for a couple of weeks before we make any judgment calls.”
“Now, I know the names my wife likes. If I’m being completely honest, they are usually very Southern and attempting to be ‘modern’ (think the name Kaysen or Braxton, both names were on the list).”
“However, at the top of her list and one with a high priority was the name Scott.”
“Now, no hate to the name Scott, just very out of left-field for her.”
“She told me how much she loved it and how it meant a lot to her and when I questioned her on it, she didn’t really say much more.”
“I actually loved the name Scott so we kept it #1, and it was also at the top of my ‘simmer list’ as we had been calling it.”
The OP discovered the story behind the name.
“Well, yesterday we ended our simmer period and both decided on the name Scott Kainen.”
“Both names were #1 on our lists and we were over the moon.”
“As we were going to bed, I asked how she thought of the name Scott, and she admitted to me that now that I ‘set it in stone’ that she felt more comfortable telling me.”
“There was an older man she apparently worked with, who I had never heard of before, that she really loved named Scott.”
“She said he was 66 and gave her a lot of life advice and guidance but died last year due to being immunocompromised.”
The OP wasn’t sure how to feel.
“After she said this to me, I became completely uncomfortable.”
“I don’t want our baby named after a dead coworker of hers I’ve never met.”
“I asked if she asked his family if it was ok and she said she’s never met his family and doesn’t think it’s necessary.”
“The whole thing is just so bizarre to me considering I’ve never heard of this guy before.”
“She mentioned the passing of a coworker last year, and I knew she was sad, but she never said much more than that.”
The OP decided to change his mind.
“Long story short, I told her were not naming our baby Scott because I don’t feel comfortable with it.”
“She immediately got mad at me, and it turned into a big argument.”
“I had her mom and sisters call me today, saying I liked the name before, but that I was being a jerk over some old dude, and my wife won’t even talk to me now.”
“I like, even love, the name Scott.”
“I just don’t like naming our baby my wife’s dead coworker I don’t know.”
The OP tried to compromise by getting more information.
“Just for clarification, I would not mind keeping the name Scott (and I have communicated this to my wife) if she would tell me about him so I know who we’re naming our child after.”
“She won’t tell me anything past that he was a mentor to her – no other details.”
“As well, I was mainly upset because I felt like I was tricked into the name because she withheld obvious intent with its meaning.”
“I would have probably been a lot less confused or weirded out if she would have just explained that before.”
“But since she will not talk to me about Scott and is essentially stonewalling me until I give in, I feel as if I may not be the AH here.”
“I will take my judgments as they come, but there’s more of my side of the story.”
The OP was concerned about another detail, as well.
“I want to clarify the permission from the family thing, too.”
“She wants to actively make posts linking to his Facebook page about our child’s growth and development.”
“I feel like it was a little… weird to do without asking his family if they’re comfortable with that, especially since they’ve never met.”
“That’s why I thought she knew his family, because she was telling me the hashtag she created for it and everything.”
Fellow Redditors weighed in:
- NTA: Not the A**hole
- YTA: You’re the A**hole
- ESH: Everybody Sucks Here
- NAH: No A**holes Here
Some said the OP was right to want answers.
“I(F) was named after one of my Dad’s co-workers and I hate it. I agree without the context of who this person was, the name is both inappropriate from the father’s POV and from the future adult child’s POV.”
“What will Scott think when his mother refuses to speak about his namesake, but still publishes all his personal info on the late man’s FB in a really invasive way. I wonder if the future adult might even consider a paternity test.”
“I believe Pre-Partum Depression can happen and really mess up someone’s sense of normal. OP you guys desperately need to communicate, but also consider that your wife may have a serious untreated mental illness.” – SubtleCow
“I thought that op was exaggerating until I read the FB thing… and reread it… and read it again…”
“And OP’s wife doesn’t know Scott’s family??”
“Were they lovers before he died?”
“This is beyond creepy to me…”
“Try to see it from Scott Sr’s family’s point of view: they are mourning in peace, suddenly a random woman starts posting on their deceased father/husbands FB page that ‘you don’t know me but I named my son after Scott weeee’… on their place I would be scrambling for a restraining order” – AnimalAccomplished33
“It’s weird as h**l. People will be doing the math between the co-worker’s passing to the baby’s birth.”
“When it doesn’t match, they’ll think Wife was involved with Co-worker Scott and WISHED her baby had been his. But then had to settle for OP, because, you know, he’s alive.”
“Jinkies, gang, something doesn’t add up here!” – AQualityKoalaTeacher
Some even wondered if there was more to the Scott story.
“I’m with you. As soon as the FB linking to the dead guy’s profile edit showed combined with her never really having talked about the guy, it went moved into affair territory, especially since OP had no idea the guy had been important to her.”
“You may decide you like the name because you had this nice coworker who died, but once that social media stuff comes in, she’s going way past him being good to her at work.”
“For it to not scream relationship, she would have at least talked about him quite a bit when he died plus have gone to the funeral. Plus, wanting to name the boy after him but not inform his family?”
“Oh yeah, something has happened there. Maybe it was before she was with OP, but still. Something happened at some point.”
“OP, NTA” – Spinnerofyarn
“Is it just me or is anyone else thinking there might have been more than a ‘mentorship’ role happening here.”
“Her refusal to share any material information about her coworker, even now, seems like a major red flag.” – legal-eagle8207
“I seriously think she was in love with the guy. Nothing wrong with saying the man was her mentor at work and helped tremendously in her career.”
“The fact that such an important person wasn’t ever mentioned is a huge red flag. ESPECIALLY since she wants to post on his family Facebook.” – Murray_dz_0308
Though his wife and her family didn’t want to actively talk to him about it, the subReddit understood the OP’s concerns.
Not only might it be weird to name a baby after a coworker, but for his wife to be so adamant about not sharing information with her own husband, and for her to want to share the news with her late coworker’s family, something clearly wasn’t adding up.