We don’t choose the names we’re given.
For most of us, this hardly matters, as we don’t feel terribly strongly about our names, or even like them.
Those whose parents tried to be a little more adventurous, or strived for something unique, however, might jump at the first opportunity to change their name, or at least go by a nickname.
As their name proved a source of bullying for the majority of their lives.
The wife of Redditor ThrowRA_Names12 wanted to name their son after her brother, who had recently passed away unexpectedly.
Unfortunately, doing so would result in their child sharing the name with a less-than-admirable historical figure, resulting in the original poster (OP) firmly putting his foot down.
Even though his wife was still reluctant to take no for an answer.
Wondering if he was being unreasonable, the OP took to the subReddit “Am I The A**hole” (AITA), where he asked fellow Redditors:
“AITA for not wanting my wife to name our son after her brother?”
The OP explained why he felt adamant that he and his wife couldn’t name their soon-to-be-born son after her late brother.
“My wife Melissa (31 F[emale]) and I (31 M[ale]) have been married for 4 years.”
“Melissa is 8 months pregnant with our son.”
“Melissa and I both use my last name (she changed hers to mine legally), as she does not want to be associated with her last name as she has a lot of trouble with her parents.
“Unfortunately, our last name is Manson.”
“As in Charles Manson.”
“It really sucks but it’s what I have.”
“Neither of us have ever had a problem with that until now.”
“A few weeks ago her brother unexpectedly passed away of a heart attack at the age of 35.”
“We were both shocked and devastated.”
“He was a great man who was always healthy, and we were very close to him.”
“Nobody saw it coming.”
“He left behind his wife and three kids.”
“Melissa now wants to name our son after her brother.”
“I would not have any issue with this, if her brother’s name wasn’t Charles.”
“I told her I was not okay with naming our child Charles Manson, and she insisted that nobody would notice or care.”
“She is calling me an a**hole for disrespecting her brother like that.”
“Note that her brother’s last name was not Manson, that is mine and Melissa’s last name.”
“So, should I let this go and just name our son after a guy who has been so important in Melissa’s life?”
“I really do not want our kid to have to go through life having the same name as a serial killer.”
“Imagine how hard it would be to get a job.”
Fellow Redditors weighed in on where they believed the OP fell in this particular situation by declaring:
- NTA: Not the A**hole
- YTA: You’re the A**hole
- ESH: Everybody Sucks Here
- NAH: No A**holes Here
The Reddit community unanimously agreed that the OP was not the a**hole for refusing to name his son after his wife’s late brother.
Everyone agreed that the OP was only thinking of the well-being of their son, and knowingly naming their son after a well-known serial killer and cult leader was a terrible idea.
“You are truly protecting the kid.”
“Use Charles as a middle name if you must, or maybe honor her brother using his middle name?”
“A nickname she used to call him?”
“But seriously, don’t call your kid Charles Manson.”
“Or after any particularly well-documented serial killer.”- sitnquiet
“Everyone still knows who Charles Manson is. There was a movie made about him with Brad Pitt just a couple of years ago.”
“Your son will be seen as weird and picked on constantly with that name.”
“What was her brother’s middle name? Maybe that would do?”
“Your wife is grieving and irrational, be kind but firmly no.”
“I wouldn’t even use the middle name Charles.”
“Imagine having to go to graduation and hearing ‘Robert Charles Manson’ called out.”
“What is her brother’s middle name?”
“Perhaps a compromise would be to honor him by using that as a name or a middle name?”-avocadosdontbite
“You’re protecting your child from being associated with a monster.”
“It’s like naming your child Adolf.”
“Does she hate her own child?”
“Is she seriously so short-sighted that she doesn’t see the issue?”
“OP, this is a hill I would die on.”- IamIrene
“Oh, everyone will know and care.”
“This kid will be bullied mercilessly.”
“Charles can be a middle name, AT BEST.”
“Not the first.”
“Don’t do this to your child.”
“Fight for him.”
“Maybe tell the hospital ahead of time to tell her that you aren’t allowed to name children after infamous people.”
“In fact, check your local/state laws.”
“Some names/word are actually not allowed to be put on birth certificates.”- KronkLaSworda
“NTA Trust me, people will notice and care.”- hotironskillet24
“Perhaps you could name him Charles Marilyn Manson, so he could be mocked for eternity.”-Comfortable-Focus123
“Your wife is extremely naïve if she thinks that no one will notice or care that the child is named Charles Manson.”
“Kids will make fun of him; trying to get a job later in life with that name could prove extremely difficult for him.”
‘It’s not fair to subject your child to a name that has so much negative association with it.”
“Would you be open to having Charles as a middle name?”
“Do you think that could be a compromise?”- ariesgal11
“She is setting your son up for a life of torture.”
“And yes, people will notice and care.”
“They will also judge you, as the parents, for giving that name and question your morals and values.”
“Lastly, kids names are a two yes, one no scenario.”
“You both should agree and have veto rights.”- bmoreskyandsea
“I’m sorry, but your wife is incorrect.”
“EVERYONE WILL NOTICE.”
“Even younger generations know who Charles Manson is, and if they don’t, all it takes is for your kid to get invited to a birthday party and to overhear a parent talking about how “Charles Manson was a cultist murderer, how could they name their kid that?’”
“And your kid is getting picked on.”
“Even as a middle name, this is not a good idea in this situation because people will put that together also.”
“It’s very sad, and I understand where your wife is coming from, but your baby will have a rough life with that name.”
“What about using the brother’s middle name as a first or middle name?”
“Honestly, this is a hill I would die on.”
“Please do not let this happen.”
“Your kid will actually hate you for this someday, I have no doubt of it.”- Midlife_Crisis_46
“First, use it as a second name.”
“Never a first name.”
“Second, don’t let the word ‘Charles’ get into any official documents.”
“If she’s so fixated, offer her derivatives: Charlie, Chuck, Carlos, Carl, Charlemagne, Carlo, Karl, Kalle, Chalot, Karsci, Freeman.”
“Third, get her family behind you.”- MX-Nacho
“Your wife should not sacrifice her child on the altar of her grief.”- Revolutionary_50
“NTA – and I 1000000% would not let this happen.”
“A child’s name needs two yeses.”
“Even if his peers may not recognize the name (and that’s doubtful in my opinion), his teachers, doctors, coaches, and other adults in his life will.”
“Adults talk and kids listen, and the history of the name will come to light.”
“I agree with other posters that your wife is deep in her grief at the moment, and using his uncle’s middle name may be an option.”- RayofSunshine_27
“I wouldn’t want my child to be Charles Manson, either.”
“Does her brother have a middle name you can compromise on?”- MauserGirl
“Do not set your kid up for a lifetime of ‘Oh, like THE Charles Manson’.”- PerplexdJ
“Grief is rough, but definitely don’t do this to your kid.”- zoomzoom90
“People will definitely notice.”
“It’s unfortunate but true.”
“You should show her all these replies which agree with you.”- StonewallBrigade21
“So sorry for her loss.”
“She is grieving the loss of her brother, which is likely clouding her judgment.”
“Naming your kid after a very famous serial killer is so very cruel to the child, and you were right to point that out.”
“Plus, it’s two yeses, one no when it comes to naming a kid.”
“I would suggest giving her brother’s middle name as your son’s first name.”
“Or a different C first name and same middle name as her brother so he will have the same initials without the unfortunate connotation.”- MissPeskyFace
It’s understandable that the OP’s wife would want to pay tribute to her late brother, especially after he died so unexpectedly and tragically young.
Hopefully, though, she’ll take some time to think and realize that their son sharing a name with one of the most notorious serial killers of all time ultimately won’t be good for anyone.
Something one could even assume her late brother would agree with.