Children are not easy.
The bathing, feeding and rearing of children can be incredibly challenging.
Not to mention the Naming.
So, what happens when the parents-to-be not only can’t agree on a name, but one of the suggestions outright insults the other parent?
That was the issue facing Redditor and Original Poster (OP) T hrowawaytoisy when he came to the “Am I the A**hole” (AITA) for judgment.
“AITA for telling my wife I don’t want to name our child after her late husband?”
OP started with the background and some joyous news.
“I’m 41 Male, my wife is 38 Female.”
“She is pregnant with our first child together, and he was a big surprise.”
“She is due in November.”
“She has a daughter from her first marriage (18F) and goes to college now. I have a nephew (16M) who has lived with me since he was a toddler and I consider him my kid.”
“My wife and I got married 8 years ago. Her first husband died 15 years ago.”
Everything was fine, until…
“We are finally making a shortlist of baby names for boys and my wife has her heart set on Thomas (her first husband’s name).”
“I don’t want to name our child after a deceased person, because I feel that it’s just so much baggage to put on a child. I don’t want it as a first or a middle name.”
“I told her that I am fine with whatever name, as long as he isn’t named ‘after someone’ (anyone).”
“She likes other names too: Daniel, Chris, James,… I like them all, I will love my son with any name.”
“I just don’t want to name him after her late first husband.”
“We talked about it the other day and she told me all the reasons why she wants to name him Thomas.”
“It will be her way of honouring him, of remembering him, it’s a great name, etc. I think some of her reasons are super valid.”
“I told her I really don’t want our son to be named after her late husband.”
“She said I am being insecure and jealous of a dead man.”
“I said that’s unfair to say.”
“His picture is on the wall of our family pictures, we visit his grave together sometimes, his parents still come over to visit my wife sometimes.”
“She still has her wedding ring from their wedding (she doesn’t wear it though), and wears a necklace he bought her. I am okay with all of it.”
“She said I am being a petty a**hole for not even wanting to use it as a middle name.”
OP was left to wonder,
“Am I an a**hole here?”
Having explained the situation, OP turned to Reddit for judgment.
Redditors weighed in by declaring:
- NTA – Not The A**hole
- YTA – You’re The A**hole
- NAH – No A**holes Here
- ESH – Everyone Sucks Here
Redditors decided: NTA
Some saw the logic in OP’s argument.
“And considering his memory is included already in your family life I don’t think there’s any jealousy.”
“Not naming your kid after a dead person is perfectly sensible.” ~ Visualhighs_
“Not naming your child after a partners former partner is sensible.” ~ Consistent-Owl-7849
“Not wanting your child named after her dead husband is a perfectly reasonable position.”
“It’s manipulative of her to say you’re being jealous and insecure.” ~ CrystalQueen3000
There were also personal stories.
“I’m named after one of my dad’s ex-girlfriends. He told me as an adult.”
“My mom doesn’t know and he asked me not to tell her. They divorced when I was 2.”
“I don’t dislike my name, but I do wish I hadn’t been named after my dad’s previous partner.”
“It’s sh*tty he even told me, IMO.”
“I would feel bad for the kid being named after a previous spouse who had died.”
“Heck, when we were choosing names for our kids, my husband, who is a teacher, vetoed names left and right because of former students having the same name.”
“NTA” ~ mjfx28
“My aunt is named for her dad’s childhood girlfriend.”
“Our whole family has known for a long time, but he definitely didn’t tell my grandma that was the origin of the name he gave their daughter during the planning of it.”
“My aunt does not love that her name comes from her dad’s lingering fondness for another woman.”
“Then again, her dad also didn’t tell my grandma about the kids he had with other women before and during their marriage, so there were a lot of secrets floating around that marriage.” ~ themiscyranlady
Others pointed out that there might be deeper issues here.
“On the one hand, this is definitely a case of ‘She didn’t break up with her late husband; he isn’t an ex, he died”‘.
“On the other hand, if her response to you saying that you’re drawing the boundary line at naming your first child together (and your first child in general) after her late husband is to immediately begin lashing out and making accusations… “
“That’s a major red flag that she has a lot of unresolved residual feelings about her late husband beyond just lasting grief.”
“Someone who is coping well with and who has fully accepted that loss and is truly ready to move on would not react that way.” ~ DumpstahKat
“I’m so sorry that your wife is unable to see how inappropriate her insistence on this name is. This is insensitive to you. If she’s lucky, perhaps her daughter will name a son Thomas.” ~ skerrols
Some pointed out that there’s more then one way to honor someone.
“I think a very good response is to tell her as much as she loved her late husband, and you love the person she and her daughter are in part because of him, your child is not a replacement person to love in his stead.”
“You are not jealous of a dead man, you just want your child to be loved and respected as their own person and not a living memorial for someone else, especially a person that is no relation to them.”
“Make this a hill to die on, it’s completely inappropriate to put this on a person that’s not even born yet.”
“She either names the child after his father or any other name in the world, or she’ll be raising this one alone too.” ~ sandwichcrackers
Commenters found the whole thing uncomfortable.
“I think it’s weird also.”
“I wonder by naming him after the first husband she is wishing this is his child or at least pretending this is his baby.”
“But it is so disrespectful to op.”
“I also kind want to know how their son will fill to know that he is named after his moms first husband.”
“And not his dad. I wonder if he will feel that him and his dad are the 2 place prize since she can’t have her first husband.” ~ evillittleperson
“‘I wonder if he will feel that him and his dad are the 2 place prize since she can’t have her first husband'”
“I was trying to think of what doesn’t sit right with me about it and this is exactly it.” ~ yesnomaybe123
“NTA – She cannot honor her late husband by naming her kid from her new husband with his name.”
“You are also the father of this child, his name should be chose by both parents.”
“By trying to enforce her choice to you, and that’s disrespecting you. You are not in the wrong at all, try to talk to her again about it and hope she will come to reason.” ~ BZH_LeopoldinE
Some were concerned for the child.
“I feel this kid will have to deal with this emotion plus the humiliation of everyone finding out his mother named him after her first husband.”
“I really feel like their son will grow to resent his mom.”
“Plus I wonder how this woman’s daughter feels about her mom naming another man’s child after her father.”
“I can imagine that maybe a name the daughter would want to use if she chooses to have children someday.”
“Plus I can only imagine how op’s family feels about this.” ~ evillittleperson
“You’re right, your wife is treating your future son like a replacement Thomas and that’s NOT fair to him, or to you for that matter.”
“This kid won’t even have any blood connection to the previous father. Name the kid something else and get a dog named Thomas if she needs that so badly.”
“Like, I’m just imagining this conversation when the kids like 15 or something – ‘Mom, where’d my name/middle name come from?’ – ‘Oh sweety it’s from my previous husband who died 30 years ago at this point that you have no connection to.'” ~ Virtual_Bat8130
“That was then – with him.”
“This is now with you and YOUR baby – not his.”
“This is very strange of her to even request let alone dig her heels in over. It’s like YOUR baby would live his life in this dead man’s shadow, a man he neither knows nor is related to.”
“(If it were her brother or dad, maybe…) Your reasons are valid!” ~ Spike-2021
Children are not easy.
Naming things is not easy.
Naming children is downright difficult.