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Woman Walks Out After Husband Insists On Using Nickname Her Late Mother Gave Her

A woman walks away with a suitcase as a man grabs the keys on a table.

Content warning: abuse and suicide.

What is in a name?

For some people, everything.

Some people want only to be addressed by their given name.

Others love and embrace nicknames.

And that choice can often be disrespected.

Case in point…

Redditor Alternative_Gene4352 wanted to discuss her experience and get some feedback. So naturally, she came to visit the “Am I The A**hole” (AITA) subReddit.

She asked:

“AITA for telling my husband and his family not to call me a nickname?”

The Original Poster (OP) explained:

“So my name is Lucy 28 F[emale].”

“My husband 31 M[ale) has always been super fond of nicknames and has given me plenty of them.”

“They constantly change, and I have never minded any of the ones he’s given me before.”

“They’re all quite harmless, usually food or animal related.”

“But they tend to stick for a while.”

“His family also uses nicknames.”

“They occasionally give me one, too. It’s often the same one my husband uses if it isn’t too sappy.”

“Again, I don’t mind them. In fact, I usually find it quite cute and endearing. Until recently.”

“My husband started calling me Lulu – let me give you the context.”

“I was called Lulu growing up exclusively by my mother, and she passed away not long before I met my husband.”

“I took her loss pretty hard.”

“I told him that it has a lot of emotional significance for me and that it doesn’t feel right to hear anyone else say it.”

“He respected that for years, and so did his family.”

“But recently, his sister has been referring to me as Lulu whenever I wasn’t there, according to what I’ve been told.”

“And I guess he naturally picked up on it.”

“It’s irritating because it’s not like he forgot about my reasons behind it. He’ll hesitate before saying it.”

“Like he’s trying to see how I’ll react.”

“I’ve reminded him calmly a couple of times that I would appreciate him not calling me that.”

“There’s plenty of other things I didn’t mind him calling me.”

“Nothing that had emotional weight.”

“The other day, he said that he didn’t see the big deal anymore.”

“It had been some years, and I should be over it by now.”

“That it’s just a nickname.”

“He said it lightly like he was trying to let me down easy, but it stung.”

“Maybe I overreacted, but I was hurt by it.”

“I packed a bag, and I’m currently staying with my sister.”

“He and his family texted saying I’m doing a lot over a little nickname, and I’m thinking maybe they’re right.”

“I want to get past this because it feels petty at this point.”


Redditors shared their thoughts on this matter and weighed some options to the question AITA:

  • NTA – Not The A**hole
  • YTA – You’re The A**hole
  • NAH – No A**holes Here
  • ESH – Everyone Sucks Here

Many Redditors declared OP was NOT the A**hole.

“NTA. If nicknames aren’t a big deal, then why can’t he let this nickname drop?”

“Why do he and his family have to keep the ONE nickname that causes you pain?”

“Why isn’t that a big deal?”

“You are the person who gets to decide when you’re over your mother’s death. Not him.” ~ dunemi

“Certainly speaks to their good fortune (so far) in not having had to experience deep grief.”

“That her husband would say – it’s been long enough now… sets my teeth on edge.”

“Why is empathy in such short supply here?”

“My hope is that if they continue to push it, that OP gets up and leaves the minute that name passes their lips.”

“Let her husband find his own way home.”

“It’s basic respect. She asked them to stop. That’s it.”

“There doesn’t need to be any other reason or justification why.”

“She said No. full stop.” ~ DowntownKoala6055

“I mean it’s sort of a natural nickname for Lucy, and maybe SIL started saying it just in passing when OP happened not to be there, so I could see her saying it without any malicious intent.”

“But that doesn’t excuse the husband from not stopping her the first time and explaining why nobody should call his wife that, knowing how nicknames are infectious in his family.”

“And it certainly doesn’t excuse him starting to use it on purpose or any of the ensuing events.”

“I could be wrong, but I don’t love jumping to negative conclusions about potentially innocent things like this– Hanlon’s razor and all that.”

“Regardless, what a horribly inhumane hill to die on.”

“Not one of the in-laws has lost a dearly loved parent???” ~ PuzzleheadedBet8041

“THIS. And also, tho-it is never acceptable to call someone something they have told you not to call them.”

“Period and the end.”

“For any reason or for no reason at all, only you get to decide how 100% of people address you. NTA.” ~ Tiffany_Case

“This. I do not understand the logic of the husband here.”

“If you think something isn’t a big deal… and your partner disagrees and it hurts them… then f**king stop doing that thing.”

“Because while it doesn’t matter to you, it clearly matters to them, and their pain seems like it would very obviously trump your indifference?”

“Like, my desire to avoid inflicting unnecessary pain and hurt on my partner would pretty much trump anything??” ~ PaladinAsherd

“This is what I don’t understand.”

“OP was upset enough to leave.”

“Like, she’s gone and hasn’t returned.”

“And instead of apologizing and asking his wife to please come home, he just says he thinks she’s overreacting.”

“So, you’re OK that YOUR WIFE feels strongly enough that she packed a bag and left.”

“And his main takeaway is that it’s not that big of a deal.”

“OP, you’re most definitely NTA.” ~ LJMesack22

“That’s what I’m thinking.”

“They didn’t use it for years. Why would his sister randomly start preferring to use her nickname when they were never introduced to her using it and know the context of its meaning?”

“It sounds like they were talking about it and all decided to take the piss out of OP for some f**ked up reason.”

“I’m sure Lulu is a fairly common of nickname, but no Lucy I have known went by it, so I wouldn’t even think to slip and accidentally call her that.”

“It’s not like her name is Jessica, and Jess is a natural shortened version that they genuinely keep slipping on.”

“And then for her husband to keep doing it, something is really off here.”  ~ Patient_Way552

“I think it is really weird and bizarre that they’re even texting her about this at all.”

“I couldn’t imagine my BF’s family texting me that I need to essentially ‘stop being dramatic’ after we had a fight, no matter what that fight may have been about.”

“Sounds like OP’s husband’s family is almost looking to cause problems.”

“Also really gross how OP’s husband is also okay with that and allowing them to almost gang up on her.”

“I’m sorry OP, definitely NTA, and that behavior is super alarming and odd.”

“The only time I could see it being appropriate for someone’s significant other’s family to be interfering like that is if maybe kids were in the mix and it was trying to figure something legal out.”

“They can choose to side with their son, but texting OP about it is not normal and a huge red flag.”

“You have every right to be called whatever you want to be OP.”

“My mom is my best friend, and there are 2 nicknames she has for me that no one else would ever be allowed to call me and would bring me to tears if someone did and she was no longer here.”

“Don’t beat yourself up, and don’t let his weird family influence how you feel.”  ~ missmaya1220

“Yep!! I was talking to my F[ather] I[n] L[aw] and said it feels like I’m getting s**t on as I’ve had five deaths, including my mum, the non-s**t parent, in 5 years.”

“I said I just want a break.”

“He said look on the bright side.”

“Then my husband agreed.”

“Needless to say, when the call was over, I unleashed on my husband.”

“Time doesn’t make the hurt go away.”

“Mourning isn’t a set time period.”

“You might be fine talking about it etc, just not the nickname.”

“That is completely normal, and it’s your grief, not theirs.”

“NTA. Plus, you get to decide what people call you.” ~Nix85Newton

“My name is Allison, so naturally, everyone wants to call me Ally.”

“I hate it. Always correct people. My name is Allison.”

“If they persist, I will tell them that, like you, only one person called me that nickname.”

“My dad was the only person who called me Ally. Ever.”

“However, he was horrifically abusive, and called me that because he knew I and my mother hated it, and it brings up so much trauma.”

“He killed himself 11 years ago.”

“Usually that shuts people up.”

“But I also get the idiotic ‘it’s just a name, get over it.'”

“Well, it’s my name. Not yours.”

“And if you have such a problem with that, I can make this easy, and you just don’t need to say my name anymore because I won’t be in your life.”

“NTA. No matter what your reason, it’s your name.”

“They need to respect that. Hugs.” ~ Relevant-Ad6288

“NTA. It carries a sentiment, and it’s understandable that you want to hold on to that.”

“BUT, regardless of your reasoning, a simple no should be enough.”

“I don’t understand why so many people disrespect simple requests this way.” ~ ElishaAlison

Well, OP, Reddit is with you.

You get to choose what you want to be called.

No matter how cute, harmless, or harmful, people get to have thoughts about what others call them.

The nickname has a different meaning for you.

That should be respected.

If you or someone you know is struggling, you can contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 988.

To find help outside the United States, the International Association for Suicide Prevention has resources available at