Naming a child can be a fairly contentious issue.
Much as couples may try to deny it, it’s very rare that two parents can decide on the name of their child without a hefty back and forth.
Then too, it’s not at all uncommon for parents to question if they made the right decision after the fact.
Redditor Ok-Toe-5157 thought he had chosen the perfect name for his baby girl.
But he would find out in a rather unpleasant manner that his wife thought otherwise, leading to an unexpected confrontation with his wife and mother-in-law.
Having doubts about how he handled the situation, the original poster (OP) took to the subReddit “Am I the A**Hole” (AITA), where he asked fellow Redditors:
“AITA for sticking to my guns when it came to our Daughter’s name?”
The OP first explained that he and his wife thought they came up with a fine solution to naming their child, with his wife believing she had a slight upper hand.
“When my wife(31F[emale]) and I(29 M[ale]) were trying to get pregnant, we had a deal that if we have a boy, she would get to choose the full name and if we had a daughter I would.”
“I was fine with this deal but we both had a veto in case we didn’t like the name the other had chosen.”
“Once we got pregnant, my wife was completely sure that we’re having a boy because ‘a mother knows’.”
“Her entire family was convinced of it too.”
“During baby shower, everything was blue and all the gifts were demanded to be masculine.”
“Her mother had already started knitting things with the name my wife had chosen.”
But when their little bundle of joy arrived, it wasn’t what the OP’s wife expected.
“Once the baby came, we saw it was a girl and I was ecstatic because, although I wanted both a boy and a girl, I always imagined my first born to be a girl.”
“My wife, though seemingly exhausted, was happy too.”
“When I wrote the name in the birth certificate, I let her know I was using the name I had already run past her.”
While the OP thought that the situation of their daughter’s name was settled, he had a rather unpleasant surprise roughly a year later.
“Now, a year later, I come home from work and I find my mother-in-law (MIL) and wife there talking about my daughter, only they are using another name.”
“When I inquired who they were talking about, they kinda went deer in headlights and blurted that they were talking about daughter.”
“When I asked why they were using another name, my MIL said because that’s what we decided to name her.”
“Then she went on a rant about how it’s unfair that I chose the name and how it’s completely unsuitable for her, etc.”
“I was shocked because this was the first time anyone had claimed any objections to the name.”
“So now I realize that the reason my daughter has trouble recognizing her name is because we have been using two different names the entire time.”
“My wife later came to me suggesting we officially get her name changed and I stuck to my guns and told her we are not doing that and she needs to stop.”
“This led to a fight about how unsupportive I am and stole her right to name the child she gave birth to.”
“I told her that the opportunity to veto any name is long gone and she can’t expect me to support something this stupid.”
“Here’s the worst part.”
“I could be convinced to change the first name but the one she wants is a very odd feminine version of the name she wanted for her son.”
“Imagine using a female version of the name Drake or Thomas.”
“She got angry and left both my daughter and I and went to her parents.”
“Her entire family except my FIL is calling me controlling and how it’s unfair I chose the entire name and made it all about myself.”
“Honestly, this is so out of left field and creepy that I’m considering divorce.”
“My parents and friends said they understand why I’m upset but should come to a compromise and change the name to something we both like and that divorce is overkill, but I don’t think so.”
“I feel it in my gut that she may be trying to recreate this son by sacrificing our daughter.”
“If she can use a different name to address her for a year!”
“What else has she been doing to her?”
“So reddit AITA for not compromising with our daughter’s name?”
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 agreed that the OP had every right to be angry, and was not the a**hole.
Just about everyone agreed that what the OP’s wife and mother did was creepy and wrong, and if she didn’t like the name he chose she should have said so before the child was born, or shouldn’t have made the agreement in the first place.
“It is creepy.”
“Your wife in cahoots with your mother-in-law over the name and they didn’t bother to tell you anything is a big betrayal.”
“And yes you should be pissed off, because it speaks of their character, and from the sounds of it they don’t have a good character.”
“You’re the father, your mother-in-law is not the parent.”
“Any name discussion should be between you and your wife and you both need to be in agreement.”
“Your wife is 100% wrong for going behind your back, and your mother-in-law is way out of line.”-ladygreyowl13.
“Honestly, I feel like this is a hill to die on.”
“How is it controlling and unfair to insist that your daughters name is her name.”
“You not only had an agreement that she’d choose a boys name, and you a girls, but that you both had veto power.”
“She had every opportunity to have input into the name.”
“The only person being controlling here is the one trying to insist that twelve months later she gets to change your daughters name.”
“To basically the boy name she’d chosen.”
“Thats weird, and mildly disturbing.”- shontsu.
“But OP, I would check with your daughter’s medical records with her doctors office, to make sure that her legal name is on them, not her fictitious made up name from your wife, or this could cause issues in the future.”
“If your daughter has a sitter, do the same.”
“Be sure to make sure that everyone knows that your daughter’s name is the one originally chosen.”
“If you do divorce, have your lawyer put it somewhere in writing that your wife (and her insane family) must use your daughter’s legal name (the one chosen at birth) when she has custody of your daughter, otherwise suffer legal consequences.”
“She is confusing your daughter.”
“She is not a puppy she can just rename on whim.”
“The baby is a year old.”
“If she had a problem with the name she should have tried talking to you when the baby was born.”
“Divorce might be a good second choice but couples therapy is a must.”
“Just remember though if you do get divorced you will have to split custody and depending on how that goes you might lose this battle anyway.”-Pristine-Antelope-23.
“You guys had a deal, and it sounds like she didn’t veto the name when you ran it past her before.”
“So she shouldn’t be running around confusing the child now about what her name is.”
“But your wife and her mama are both AHs.”-Fine_Following_2559.
“Your wife and MIL are messed. Up.”
“For a whole year?!”
“To really screw up your daughters development!?”
“Over a freaking name!?!”
“Omg what else do they keep from you?!”
“Well it doesn’t matter bc your baby girl needs you.”
“Put your daughter first.”- Human-Ad2370.
“The name on the birth certificate is her legal name.”
“You obviously have no control over whatever nickname your wife’s side of the family chooses to call the girl.”
“In my culture, it is very common to be referred to by two or more separate names.”
“In time, your daughter will learn to respond to all the names that are applied to her.”
“She may in time develop her own preference.”
“My suggestion here is to keep the legal name as-is and just roll with the rest of it.”
“You keep calling her what you want.”- mildlycynica1.
Other’s wondered how strong the OP’s marriage was in the first place if his mind went so quickly to divorce.
“If your first instinct is divorce, then maybe it’s not just the name that’s been troubling you.”
“Listen to your gut.”
It is rather unsettling that the OP’s wife didn’t think to say anything before or around the time of their daughter’s birth, and that she would call her by a different name behind his back for over a year.
Here’s hoping they can come to an understanding.
And if they do, here’s hoping they are a bit more careful when naming their second child.