Preparing to have a baby is a fun and scary time, full of important decisions.
One of the most divisive decisions can be choosing the baby’s name, pointed out the “Am I the A**hole?” (AITA) subReddit.
Redditor ExcitementHuge1491 was flabbergasted by how badly his future wife wanted to name their first child after an old friend she’d had.
But knowing what the history behind the name would be, the Original Poster (OP) was deadset against it.
He asked the sub:
“AITA for not budging in terms of a certain name for my son?”
The OP’s fiancé was adamant about their future baby’s name.
“I am 26 and I am engaged. My fiancé is also pregnant. She’s due in October. We are having a boy.”
“She really really wants to name our son a certain name. For sake of the story, let’s say it’s ‘Bob.’ My fiancé is dead set on naming our son Bob.”
“Now Bob is a very important name to her. A very good friend of hers name is Bob. Bob passed away tragically and she wants to name our son after Bob to honor him.”
“So before my girlfriend and I knew each other, I actually knew Bob. He was a pr**k. I never liked him.”
“This was also when we were in our late teens, so it’s fair to assume he’s changed and that’s when he was friends with my girlfriend.”
But the OP didn’t like what the story behind his child’s name would be.
“I bet you’re reading this wondering why I’m so against ‘honoring’ Bob by naming our son after him.”
“Well… the amazing and inspirational Bob… the saint that he was… actually died of a heroin overdose. Now call me insensitive, but I don’t really want to name my son after a guy who died from heroin. Much less a guy who I remember not liking very much, who then died from heroin.”
“My fiance is very upset and thinks I am being a huge a**hole.”
“But I’m sorry! When our son asks why he’s named Bob, his mom will explain he was named after a really special, really great person.”
“When he asks what happened to Bob, or why he’s never met Bob, then what? We say, ‘Oh yeah, he gallantly and triumphantly… did too much heroin and died’? Like f**king come on.”
The OP was at a loss.
“I don’t think I’m being crazy at all, but my fiancé is acting like I’m a member of SCOTUS or something.”
“I think my request is rational, there are many great men on her side of the family we can honor if she wants.”
“But why Bob?”
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 both parents need to agree on something as important as the name of their child.
“NTA. Whether Bob was a great man or the anti-christ really doesn’t matter. You both have to agree on a name together.”
“She should let it go and find something you both like together. It’s not your child’s job to carry the weight of Bob’s memory, your girlfriend is being super unfair to this kid who isn’t even born yet, giving him the job of carrying a light for a man he will never know.”
“Meanwhile, you’ll be reminded of a dude you didn’t like for the rest of your life.” – VixNeko
“My dad vetoed a name my mom likes because it was the name of an ex. My mom vetoed a name my dad liked because she knew he would make a nickname out of it that she hated.”
“Vetos can be way pettier than this one and they’re still valid.” – just_a_person_maybe
“NTA. Even without the cause of death, you shouldn’t have to live with your son being named in honor of someone you disliked.” – uninitiatedastronaut
“NTA. OP, ask your partner if you can name your future daughter after an ex-girlfriend. If she would enjoy you telling your daughter that you named her after a beautiful and inspiring woman you used to date. If your partner would enjoy saying a name she dislikes over and over again, a name she connects with your ex.”
“Then ask her why it’s fair for you to name your son after someone you considered an unkind person. Why you should have to hate your own child’s name.” – crystallz2000
“My father had a genuine interest in certain names for potential sons (an interest my mom didn’t have) so they came to an agreement that Dad would name the boys, Mom the girls, though they did discuss the names beforehand.”
“My dad’s main motivation was he was named after his eventual adoptive father (grandma met Papa with no hair when she was pregnant and married him after dad was born and he adopted him) and he often hated feeling like he didn’t have his own identity.”
“OP, seriously, it’s two yeses and a no for a reason. Stand firm. NTA.” – Childhood-trauma-87
Others even wondered if there was a deeper reason for the fiancé’s name preference.
“Am I the only one who thinks it’s totally bizarre to name a kid for someone they have no connection to? Bob was a friend, not an uncle or a cousin or anything.”
“Like, imagine finding out you were named for a guy you have no ties to, your father hates, and died of a heroin overdose.”
“My biggest question is why is OP’s wife so attached to this guy?”
“To be so attached to this guy that she insists on naming her son after him? Maybe I’m reading too much into it but that doesn’t seem like a simple friendship.” – Flaky-Tip
“Looks like the wife had a huge crush on him.” – Delicious_Throat_377
“It sounds like your fiancée is perhaps still somewhat grieving her friend’s death and is pregnant, which makes everything feel so much stronger.”
“I cried over stuff I literally knew I didn’t care about when pregnant because I just imagined someone else would feel bad about them and then felt sad it was sad for them. Hormones can be rough.”
“So don’t accept the name, but approach her with empathy. Maybe tell her that you’d like to hear about the Bob she knew, and why this is so important to her. Empathize without judgment.”
“(You don’t have to agree Bob was the best either, just care about and validate her feelings/experiences, like ‘He really helped you out,’ or ‘It was such a shock to lose a friend so young,’ or whatever she was feeling.)”
“Try not to argue with her or tell her you don’t want the baby named Bob and let her do most of the talking.”
“Then, once that’s all done, tell her that you respect that [whatever you’ve learned about her feelings]. However, you’re not comfortable naming your child after Bob. Sadly, you never got to know the Bob she did, and the younger Bob you knew was unkind to you and [whatever problem you had with him].”
“Unfortunately, while you understand when she thinks of Bob she [feels whatever], when you think of Bob, you always think of someone treating others rudely/unkindly/whatever.”
“If you name your child after Bob, you’re always going to think of those things when you say your kid’s name, and that’s going to make you feel negatively. You don’t want to think about teenage bully behavior every time you hold and coo at your baby. (Or whatever it is you feel.)” – TheHatOnTheCat
The one matter the subReddit took issue with was the OP’s way of discussing addiction.
“You have the right to veto any name, so technically NTA, but you’re being an a**hole about people who die of overdoses. Some really really incredible people have died due to addiction, including heroin ODs.”
“And if you couldn’t explain heroin overdose to your kid in a compassionate way, if you couldn’t imagine any way to discuss that a person died tragically because apparently, they need to die triumphantly to have value, then that would be a failure of your morals, creative thinking, and parenting.”
“It wouldn’t be because it’s so impossible to explain such a thing to a kid. It would be you personally don’t have the capacity to do it, and would rather mock and avoid a subject than put in the emotional work to have the capacity to be a good parent who can explain difficult topics to your kid.”
“He mattered to your wife, and you can of course veto the name, but please be a decent partner and try to expand your understanding of this topic.”
“And in general think about how to explain to your future kid how to see and value the humanity of people who are dehumanized by society, before the conversations ever happen. If you don’t know how to explain that because you don’t know how to do it yourself, that’s something to work on.” – roadsidechicory
“No, not the a**hole, you should have a say in your son’s name. But your attitude toward ‘someone who died from heroin’ is kinda s**tty.”
“My best friend overdosed and died that way at 19. I’d love to be able to honor his memory like that. Sound very judgemental, to be honest… kind of a pr**k.” – Such-Cranberry-4479
“OP’s stance on the death really made me lose baseline respect for him. People who die from an overdose are victims, not perpetrators. Victims of the system, the drug ecosystem, and their addiction. Dying from an overdose is succumbing to a legitimate illness.”
“For the name, no is a complete sentence. You don’t really need a reason, but if you give a reason, it better be a good one. And ‘he did drugs’ is not a good reason. Far from it.” – Cr4ckshooter
“Having a substance use disorder doesn’t mean somebody is worthless. It doesn’t invalidate the good things about them.”
“I mean, look at Tom Petty. Amazing singer, who seemed like a fairly decent human, overdosed on pain meds because he was touring on a broken hip and didn’t know it. The OD at the end doesn’t erase everything amazing that he put into the world.”
“So, I’m not exactly sold either way on the name thing, but OP, YTA for being judgemental about overdoses and people experience substance use disorder.” – CaptainBasketQueso
“I would leave the whole substance abuse thing out of this when you push back on the name, it comes across as cruel and just a low blow.”
“Someone dying of an OD doesn’t make them a bad person. This really shouldn’t have anything to do with it.”
“That being said, you not liking the name is enough of a valid reason why you should name your child Bob.” – NoSpare7516
While the subReddit took issue with how the OP spoke of Bob and his death, they could understand him not wanting to select the name for other reasons.
Plus, naming a baby is one of those decisions that both parents have to adamantly agree on before moving forward, it’s not something that can be taken lightly or, worse, begrudgingly.