Dear Wendy
Dear Wendy

In Other Words: “I Want to Name Our Baby After My Recently Deceased Father, but My Husband Want to Name Him after His (Living) Father”

This letter was posted on Reddit this week:

My husband and I have been happily married for four years, together for six. We’re expecting our first child, a boy, due in six weeks. We’ve honestly never been happier with each other.

When we found out we were having a boy, my husband requested we name him after his father. I had no problem with this, though his father’s name is not one I like at all. But we both agreed to make his father’s name our son’s middle name. For clarity, let’s say the name we agreed on was Thomas Shaun.
Two weeks ago my father died very unexpectedly. I have had a wonderful, close relationship with my father and I have never felt anything like this pain and devastation in my life. It’s made worse by the fact that he’ll never even meet his grandson. So I asked my husband if we could reexamine the name situation.

Let’s say my father’s name was Gregory. I have proposed that we name our son Gregory Shaun (we still keep our original plan regarding the middle name but we honor my father with the first name). My husband refuses. He says he won’t have Gregory as any part of the name because he dislikes it. I told him that I felt that way about Shaun but I knew it was important to him so I put that aside.

A few days later I broached the subject again. And this time I think I got him to tell me the real issue; he thinks his dad would feel less special if the baby is named after my dad too, especially if my dad’s name is the first name. So I offered to name the baby Shaun Gregory. He still said no and reiterated that he wants his dad to feel special. I got a little frustrated and snapped at him that, if he needs his dad to feel special, he can just wait and name the next child after his father.

Since then we haven’t been able to have a constructive conversation about it and my husband continues to refer to our son as Thomas. And the worst part of all of this is that I’m hurting so much right now but I can’t turn to my husband for comfort because of this tension over the name. What should I do?

Most of the advice on Reddit, at least when I last checked, fell along the lines of: “Tell him how much it would mean to his father to share a name with your father, whom he admired so much.” FUCK THAT. How about, “Tell him how much it would mean to YOU, who have been carrying his baby for the last eight months, to name your son after your father who just died.” Honestly, that should be persuasive enough, and, if it’s not — if this asshole is still carrying on about how important it is to make his dad feel special by naming your baby after him and only him — tell him that, if you have another baby, you can discuss the topic then, but the death of a parent trumps all informal agreements on names and that would go for any unfortunate death of his parent(s) in the future, too.

And speaking of the death of a parent, tell your selfish, clueless husband that he needs to step up and give you some emotional support instead of laser-focusing on the name issue, which, as far as you are concerned, is as settled as sediment on the ocean floor.

***************

Follow along on Facebook, and Instagram.

If you have a relationship/dating question I can help answer, you can send me your letters at wendy@dearwendy.com.

81 comments… add one
  • avatar

    bcamber May 26, 2016, 8:18 am

    My advice would be to not have any more babies with this man-child who cares more about his daddy than his wife.

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    • avatar

      for_cutie May 26, 2016, 12:39 pm

      Yes. And then name the kids whatever you want because you’re the pregnant one.

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  • honeybeenicki

    honeybeenicki May 26, 2016, 8:20 am

    WWS. My grandfather, who was the man I measured every single other man to (and no one measured up), passed away a month and a half before we had our baby. We had agreed on a first name that I loved and I let him pick the middle name. He picked his dad’s name, who has been deceased for about 10 years. That was fine with me. When my grandpa died, I asked my husband if we could his name add a second middle name and you know what he did? He didn’t bitch and complain and say he wanted his dad to be special. He said “absolutely. I know how much he meant to you.” Ta-da. Communication and compromise.

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    • honeybeenicki

      honeybeenicki May 26, 2016, 8:21 am

      Uh… words are hard…
      “I asked my husband if we could his name add a second middle name”
      = “I asked my husband if we could add his name as a second middle name…”

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  • Portia

    Portia May 26, 2016, 8:40 am

    Oh /r/relationships… I’ll put it this way, I discovered yesterday that that subreddit is blocked at work (along with other sites with questionable content, but not all subreddits).
    .
    Anyway, WWS. The husband is basically saying his family is more important, in so many words, which is terrible. At 8 months pregnant I would not be as diplomatic as the LW. I’m glad there’s a Jewish tradition to draw upon, of only naming after decreased family members, smaller pool to name after.

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    • Portia

      Portia May 26, 2016, 8:43 am

      Oh, and if I were naming kids, I would start with initials first then decide on names from there.

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    • honeybeenicki

      honeybeenicki May 26, 2016, 8:43 am

      I’ve always thought it was considered bad luck to name a child after a living relative, so my husband and I both agreed to only ever name ours after deceased ones.

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      • kare

        kare May 26, 2016, 9:22 am

        I had always heard this to.

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    • avatar

      SpaceySteph May 26, 2016, 11:36 am

      Decreases the pool AND makes it so the namesake can’t *feel* honored or slighted because… they’re dead! Of course you can still get everyone chiming in with opinions as if it’s warranted.

      In my own family, my mom got shit because my sister and I have common Americanized names and my brother has a biblical name. Apparently my grandmother told her she couldn’t do that because it wouldn’t be fair to my sister and I somehow. Idk, she did anyways, and I think the only one of us who isn’t particularly fond of their name is my brother.

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  • avatar

    Brise May 26, 2016, 8:41 am

    I don’t agree on this subject. If during the whole pregnancy, the parents got used to a name, then it is difficult to change at the last minute. The boy exists already as “x”. The idea to name a kid after a grand-parent is, in my opinion, the source of many problems between the parents, and a burden to the kid. Often, those names are outdated or ugly. I wear as my second name my grand-mother’s name which I hate and never use. The same with my brother, afflicted with a bad second name after our grand-father.
    So my advice would be: keep “Thomas”, and drop “Shaun” and “Gregory”. Problem solved. If you can’t agree on a second name (I believe there is more in this, probably the husband didn’t like especially his FIL), then forget about it and don’t spoil this beautiful baby expectation with an unnecessary problem. So the LW can focus on her grief, ask for support to her husband, and both can rejoice in their baby.

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    • honeybeenicki

      honeybeenicki May 26, 2016, 8:46 am

      I don’t know that its “difficult” to change it at the “last minute” (this isn’t really last minute though…). Hell, my kid is 10 months and I still have 2 months to change his name without any recourse in our state (not that I would though). Both names are obviously meaningful to the parents so there’s no reason to drop both (or either one). And she shouldn’t have to ask her husband for support after her father died. That should just happen.

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    • avatar

      Vathena May 26, 2016, 9:02 am

      The problem isn’t the name. The problem is that the husband is being a huge dick.

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      • avatar

        artsygirl May 26, 2016, 10:45 am

        Exactly! The LW has suggested that multiple different variations of the name in order to include both her father and FIL – it isn’t like she is demanding they drop her FIL’s name in favor of her father’s and even was willing to put the FIL’s name as the first name and her father’s as the middle. The LW’s husband is being a jerk to a woman that is carrying his child and just lost her father.

        And just as an aside, my parents had decided on a name for me (actually two since the doctors had thought I was a boy and just to be safe, they also picked out a girl’s name). When I was born my father decided that the name didn’t ‘fit’ me so he changed it – he failed to mention this to my mother, who luckily is very laid back and just was happy to be done with the 28 plus hours of labor so she didn’t beat him to death.

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    • avatar

      dinoceros May 26, 2016, 9:17 am

      That’s not really the issue, though. The husband didn’t say that he feels confused because he thinks of the baby as some other name.

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      • honeybeenicki

        honeybeenicki May 26, 2016, 9:18 am

        Right? We called ours Geronimo or Baby G for most of my pregnancy, even after we knew his sex and name. And we’re not confused at all. Most of the time 😉

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    • Portia

      Portia May 26, 2016, 9:28 am

      My parents were convinced that I was going to be a boy and had all the boy named picked out and settled by the time they found out I was going to be a girl. They found a way to pick all new names (didn’t even go with the girl version of the name they’d picked). And there was never any problem with calling me the right name as far as I could tell.
      .
      But that’s really beside the point, the husband is being petty and inflexible, so I doubt he’d agree to drop his dad’s name anyway.

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      • honeybeenicki

        honeybeenicki May 26, 2016, 9:46 am

        I was going to be Ronald because apparently I was a boy. Surprise! They picked my name because it was the only one they could both agree on when I was born and was a girl.

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    • Dear Wendy

      Dear Wendy May 26, 2016, 9:28 am

      Yeah changing a name six weeks before a baby is even born isn’t “difficult” in the least. You know what CAN be challenging? Labor, carrying a baby for nine months, losing a parent, losing massive amounts of sleep raising children, to name a few. Changing someone’s name before he’s born doesn’t even register anywhere near “difficult” endeavors by most reasonable people’s measures.

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      • avatar

        Bondgirl May 26, 2016, 10:49 am

        PREACH IT Wendy!!

        My aunt and uncle had a name all picked out for their first baby, but about 6-7 weeks before the due date, another uncle of mine (uncles are brothers) passed away after a long battle with cancer. And then I guess due to possible stress of the circumstances, my aunt went into labor early and my little cousin was born one week after the funeral. They ended up naming him after my recently deceased uncle.

        Very rarely does your initial plan ever go as expected. Circumstances change. Man the f*ck up and let your wife have a say in naming the baby. Or do as a coworker of mine did and just be the first person to the birth certificate. LOL. I kid. But seriously, that happened. The wife ended up getting to name the second kid tho.

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      • avatar

        Taylor May 26, 2016, 11:36 am

        I <3 you Wendy.

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    • avatar

      Vathena May 26, 2016, 9:34 am

      Also, how is an outdated middle name an “affliction”? I guess at most, it’s kind of a bummer. Does anyone actually “use” a middle name besides a mom, when she is trying to Mean Business? “FIRSTNAME MIDDLENAME LASTNAME, get in here RIGHT NOW!” is pretty much the only time I’ve ever heard my middle name spoken aloud.

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      • honeybeenicki

        honeybeenicki May 26, 2016, 9:48 am

        And when you add a 2nd middle name, you can have varying degrees of trouble. I use FirstName to get his attention, FirstName Middle1 to “scold”, First Middle1 Middle2 when he’s really up to no good (going through the cat door!) and all 4 names when I’ve had it up to here ^!

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      • avatar

        ktfran May 26, 2016, 9:56 am

        My two sisters and I all start with the same letters. My mom would often run through the names before she settles on which one of us she wanted… EXCEPT WHEN WE WERE IN TROUBLE! That’s when she used first name and middle initial and she got it right the first time.

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      • honeybeenicki

        honeybeenicki May 26, 2016, 9:59 am

        My dad would run through all the names even when we were in trouble and rarely got it right. Once he was yelling at my brother for who knows what and said “NICKI! I’VE HAD ENOUGH!” and my brother (Ron) was like… wha?

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      • avatar

        ktfran May 26, 2016, 10:09 am

        That’s funny. Nice!

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      • avatar

        shakeourtree May 26, 2016, 10:26 am

        My brother is quite a bit older than me, but my mom frequently used to/occasionally still does cycle through all of the pets’ names before getting to mine. “Stormy*–I mean Bob*–I mean Shake!” She also does the first-name-last-name thing to the dog when the dog is in trouble. My mother and I have different last names, and while the dog has her last name when it goes to the vet, it has my last name when it’s in trouble.
        .
        *Names changed to protect the anonymity of the kitties and puppies.

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      • avatar

        artsygirl May 26, 2016, 10:52 am

        The only time I heard many of my friends’ middle names was during high school graduation.

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      • avatar

        RedRoverRedRover May 26, 2016, 11:04 am

        Yeah, does anyone really care about middle names? I don’t have one (technically I do, but I use both names as my first name) and it’s never made any kind of difference in my life. Both my kids have the same middle name – my last name. I didn’t change my name when I got married and I wanted my kids to have my last name in their legal names, so I gave it to them as a middle name. Am I dooming them to a horrible name for life? I don’t think so. How many people do you even know the middle name of? I only know my parents’, siblings’ and husband’s.

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      • avatar

        dinoceros May 26, 2016, 11:15 am

        I don’t pay much attention to mine either. When I hear that someone has my first name, I think, “Oh! That’s my name too.” When I hear that someone has my middle name, it doesn’t usually register that it’s my middle name. If someone I see a lot, I’ll think about it eventually, but if it’s someone I meet in passing, I don’t usually ever make the connection.

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      • avatar

        va-in-ny May 26, 2016, 11:51 am

        My fiance doesn’t like his middle name, and he’s had it completely redacted from all legal documents. He just never wrote it in. I made him put it on our wedding invitations and told him that it would be the last time he would ever have to use it.

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      • LadyinPurpleNotRed

        Ladyinpurplenotred May 26, 2016, 6:36 pm

        What was the point of forcing the issue on wedding invites?

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      • avatar

        K May 26, 2016, 1:32 pm

        In college our email addresses were “initials#” so for example someone’s would be “bwj6”. And when we sent emails to each other the full person’s name would come up. So I know the middle names of my close friends from college, which was kind of fun. But post-college friends? Don’t know any of their middle names.

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      • Pamplemousse Rose

        Pamplemousse Rose May 26, 2016, 4:16 pm

        I knew a girl in high school who had the same first name as me, and somehow we ended up talking about middle names. Turns out that our middle names were Helen and Ellen, which we found to be hilarious.

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  • avatar

    dinoceros May 26, 2016, 9:19 am

    I get the feeling that the husband is just trying to be a dick for some reason. Because his logic doesn’t make any sense. I don’t see how someone would feel less special if their namesake had someone else’s middle name compared with some random middle name. It’s not like the LW wants to scrap his father’s name anyway, so for him to make a big fuss seems to be just because he wants to be obnoxious.

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  • avatar

    keyblade May 26, 2016, 10:04 am

    I think if they both like the name Thomas then they should stick with that as a first name.

    I think as far as the middle name goes they should not go with Shaun. The letter writer should insist that it feels unfair.

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  • Amanda

    Amanda May 26, 2016, 10:14 am

    Just one quick question – who the fuck ARE these people who have to be told to support their partner while they’re grieving?

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    • Addie Pray

      Addie Pray May 26, 2016, 10:27 am

      hell if i know!

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      • Addie Pray

        Addie Pray May 26, 2016, 10:29 am

        ^ this is the answer to my lame joke below. i feel like i’m commenting everywhere but making no sense.

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      • avatar

        Taylor May 26, 2016, 4:43 pm

        Heeee!

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  • avatar

    Nancy May 26, 2016, 10:26 am

    Names are hard. I would step away from the name topic for awhile. Take time for yourself and go on a date with your husband. Enjoy the last few weeks of being pregnant – as much as you can. There is no rule you must name your baby right away. Take time to meet your baby enjoy those first few hours with your husband. Men don’t normally get the we have a baby coming till they see and hold it. I think if you guys focus on the joy of the baby, enjoy your last few weeks together and also go through the grief process you will both see things differently. We named my daughter with a name that sounds like my passed grandfather. It suddenly came to use and w both loved it. Names are hard, death is hard and pregnancy is hard. Take a break from the name.

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  • Addie Pray

    Addie Pray May 26, 2016, 10:27 am

    ^ oh that reminds me, what do you get when you cross an elephant and a rhino?

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    • Addie Pray

      Addie Pray May 26, 2016, 10:28 am

      ^ oh that joke was supposed to be in a reply to its answer … (better told orally than in writing).

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  • Cleopatra Jones

    Cleopatra Jones May 26, 2016, 10:34 am

    Does anyone else have a hard time believing “we’re sooooo happy together but there’s this little disagreement we’re having…” BS?
    .
    I imagine that any man who is this big of a dick, about a naming an unborn child after his wife’s recently deceased father, is a dick in other areas of their relationship. IJS

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    • Dear Wendy

      Dear Wendy May 26, 2016, 12:14 pm

      Seriously. If the LW had written to me for advice I’d be very tempted, solely based on this story, to say MOA. This guys just HAS to be a major dick. I don’t see this marriage going well at all.

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  • avatar

    Ron May 26, 2016, 10:34 am

    Another of those “My husband and I have been happily married for four years, together for six. We’re expecting our first child, a boy, due in six weeks. We’ve honestly never been happier with each other,” immediately followed by a detailed description of the husband acting like a total asshole. I have to assume husband is used to always getting his way and now that LW has asked for something to ease the pain of the sudden death of her father, he is confronting his wife standing up for what she wants on an issue of importance to him for perhaps the first time in their relationship. The resulting shit storm is not a pleasant thing. LW’s marriage clearly is not nearly as good as she thinks it is, or pehaps more accurately, as she thought it was.

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  • Addie Pray

    Addie Pray May 26, 2016, 10:39 am

    LW, I’d bet a lot of money that took your husband’s last name and your child will also have your husband’s last name? Remind your husband that the child’s last name is already honoring his father. It’s only fair that your father’s name make its way into your child’s name. That your father just died makes it all the more appropriate. And if your husband can’t see and respect that, then he must really be stubborn and selfish and insensitive and a list of other adjectives. But, really, the last name; remind him – that’s already a huge honor. That’s the way I see it. Plus, in many cultures, naming your child after someone who is still alive is not done. … Play that card!

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    • Diablo

      Diablo May 26, 2016, 11:03 am

      What if they murdered his father to even things up?

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      • avatar

        Vathena May 26, 2016, 11:10 am

        Then he would have to share the mourning period for LW’s father. And there will be no sharing.

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      • honeybeenicki

        honeybeenicki May 26, 2016, 1:26 pm

        No sharing, ever! Especially not in marriage. That’s just not how it works.

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      • avatar

        Vathena May 26, 2016, 1:31 pm

        LW’s FIL is too *special* to be sharing things with her recently deceased father. His widdle man-feewings will be hurt if another person’s name is also given to his grandson. (As someone else said, I wonder if the real issue is that FIL is an asshole?)

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      • Lady_Red

        Lady_Red May 26, 2016, 4:38 pm

        Is it wrong to laugh so hard at someone mentioning murder? ‘Cuz that’s the funniest thing I’ve read all day.

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    • avatar

      RedRoverRedRover May 26, 2016, 11:10 am

      I think this too…. the mother should get a bit more of a say if the baby doesn’t have her last name. Both my kids have my husband’s last name. For my son, we agreed easily on a first name, but for my daughter we didn’t have any overlap on our lists of names. We ended up with a name from my list, which I do think is fair since she gets his last name no matter what. It wouldn’t be right if she had his last name plus he picked the first name, right?

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  • muchachaenlaventana

    muchachaenlaventana May 26, 2016, 10:49 am

    Yeah I am willing to bet that your husband has some sort of machisimo thing where since this is the first born son, it has to have the name of HIS father, because patriarchy.

    Also this is total bullshit and I feel awful for this LW that on top of dealing with the death of her father, she also has to deal with man-child husband who is clearly a selfish, stubborn, self-centered dick.

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  • Diablo

    Diablo May 26, 2016, 11:03 am

    Oh, this is easy, because an old friend of mine went through the same thing. After a disagreement about grandfathers’ names, he was given a neutral first name and then his two middle names came from his grandfathers. I and most of his school chums mainly knew him by his neutral first name, but had to get used to the idea that his mother and father each called him exclusively by the name they would have preferred, not his first name. In this small way, his whole life was turned into a sniping ground for his folks’ petty disagreements. His mother is among the most unpleasant people I have ever met, perpetually unhappy with everything and angry with everyone. Despite the fact that he was pretty much the best looking guy in school, and really smart, chased after by girls, he never developed the self-confidence to have a relationship. I wondered for a while if the explanation was that he was secretly gay (as no one was out in my redneck smalltown high school), but I think he is just broken emotionally. Even now, decades later, I don’t think he has ever had a relationship. A REALLY good compromise can leave even subsequent generations unhappy. If this woman was writing in to DW, I’d wish her luck with her divorce.

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    • Cleopatra Jones

      Cleopatra Jones May 26, 2016, 11:38 am

      That story just makes me sad. 🙁
      .
      I’m really sad for him because he never sought help to deal with the obviously painful relationship with his mother. Or maybe he just thinks are women are as horrible as his own mother.

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      • Diablo

        Diablo May 26, 2016, 12:04 pm

        Equally sad is that his older sister has turned into a carbon copy of Mom. She has also not found happiness, because the men in her life have not been willing to submit to the bullying relationship style that she learned from ol’ Mom. She has also moved from job to job, usually under two years each time, because all of her employers have been wrong wrong wrong about some issue that was worth quitting, going to arbitration etc. She sees herself as a moral crusader, the only person left with any integrity, when in reality she’s mostly a pain in the ass. She has lots of skills but her personality is a dealbreaker. Sad all round. Her bro is now an air traffic controller, so it’s a good fit – no personal life and wound tight as a clockspring.

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  • avatar

    Katmich15 May 26, 2016, 11:16 am

    WWS x 1000! What a tool!

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  • avatar

    SpaceySteph May 26, 2016, 11:41 am

    I’d like to point out that the root of this argument is a grown man thinking another grown man will not *feel special enough* when his grandson is partially named after him, because he has to share namesake status with a dead guy.

    Does the husband actually know this about his dad and tolerate that sort of crappy attitude? If someone I knew pulled that shit I would snap like “You get to MEET your grandson. He didn’t. Doesn’t that seem like the biggest honor here?” or maybe a more polite “Gregory is going to know you, but he never got to meet his other grandfather, so we want him to have something to remember him by.”

    Unless the husband is projecting for some reason, in which case, as Diablo said, good luck with the divorce.

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  • avatar

    MissAnneThrope May 26, 2016, 11:44 am

    I also wonder if this has less to do with the husband being an ass than the FIL, and the husband just not sacking up . They might have already told the FIL that they are naming their son after him. And sometimes the living are more of a PITA than the dead. My husband and I were lucky/unlucky with regards to this as his brother and one of my best friends both passed away unexpectedly right before and after our wedding. Both men had the same middle name, so we were both able to honor them with the same name.

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  • avatar

    Ria May 26, 2016, 12:15 pm

    I honestly think you need to step away from naming thing right now. Wait until the baby is born and when you meet him he might not be a Gregory or a Thomas or a Shaun at all.

    I do think the baby’s first name should be nuetral though. I am a child who was given two first names because one grandmother insisted on a family English name and the other in response insisted on a Chinese name and I got saddled with the longest name ever for forms just due to something similar.

    I go by my middle name which both my parents chose.

    My point being wait until you meet your kid and then decide together. And I would strongly suggest a name you both pick probably without any family connection for a first name.

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  • Monkeysmommy

    Monkeysmommy May 26, 2016, 12:37 pm

    Omg. Wendy nailed it! This guy is a selfish prick. I would be out of that marriage if that is how he shows his support for me during my father’s death!
    I would also be playing the “I carried him so I will name him” card.
    I am so logging into Reddit next.

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  • Ettakit

    Ettakit May 26, 2016, 12:40 pm

    Two. Middle. Names. Name him Thomas Shaun Gregory Smith

    Seriously, this is common in many places, and it’s not like it is hard to deal with. Both my boyfriend, aunt, and nephew have two middle names because they were names of loved ones who passed. I’m glad it’s a normal thing for both my boyfriend’s family and mine because it will make naming our possible-future children a lot easier.

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  • avatar

    saneinca May 26, 2016, 1:01 pm

    Since a baby gets its family name from father (most of the time), it is only fair that mother should get to pick the firs name.

    The husband is being a big jerk. If by any chance the LW is actually reading this thread, she needs to put her foot down. If not right now, definitely in a few more weeks. I wonder though, if the father had some plan to get money out of grandfather by naming his child after him.

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  • avatar

    Bailey May 26, 2016, 1:25 pm

    This is my first ever comment on DW (after many years of lurking)… I lost my dad a couple yeas ago, he was 54 and absolutely adored my sister’s little girl and it kills me that he will never get to meet my possible future kids. I would be beyond LIVID if my spouse refused to give our child my dad’s name, especially as a middle name. Middle names are barely referenced anyway!! If I have a boy, I am 100% giving him my dad’s name as his middle name and quite frankly, it wouldn’t even be up for discussion. If my spouse also wants a family name in there then the kid will have TWO middle names.. done and done. Who cares who’s is first or second. Your husbands actions pisses me off and I don’t even know the guy. Losing a family member way too young is extremely difficult and the fact that this death JUST happened to you and your husband is being this much of a jackass and not being sensitive to this huge even in your life is very telling of his character… Honestly, If you don’t give your son your dad’s name (first or middle) you will resent your husband for it and you really need to put your foot down with this. I’d even go directly to his dad and talk to him about it.. I bet he’d be perfectly fine with both names being incorporated. I just can’t even get over your husband’s lame ass excuses…

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  • avatar

    Baccalieu May 26, 2016, 3:14 pm

    A baby’s name seems to me like a ridiculously trivial thing to have an intractable argument over, but everyone else here seems to think it’s terrifically important.
    I get that it seems insensitive of the husband not to give in considering the wife’s recent loss and he does seem unamenable to compromises but I am surprised at some of the violence of the criticism and nobody suggesting that the wife might need to consider that naming a grandchild after him won’t bring her father back and there are many other ways to commemorate him. It is not absolutely imperative that the child be given her dead father’s name. (I would say the same thing to the husband too.) Instead Wendy and the other commenters call him all kinds of names and suggest she should leave him over it! Granted it may be a sign of lack of consideration in other spheres but that is pure speculation, and it seems like a little extreme response. Also, Wendy mentions twice that the wife is the one delivering the baby. True, but is that the reason that the wife “wins” the name argument. That means that in every case the woman gets final say on the name because the woman is always the one delivering the baby. It also works with any other argument: “I get to choose what religion the child will have because after all I’m the one who bore him/her for nine months.” “I get to choose what school he/she goes to because I had to go through labour and you didn’t.” Isn’t it her loss that gets her more consideration here and not the fact that she is giving birth and the husband isn’t. I realize that I’m the one that choses to be on a mainly female site and that on many other sites it’s the women that feel out of place, but damn it’s lonely out here sometimes. If she really does want to win the name debate all she has to do is leave him now and she can name the kid whatever she wants.

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      saneinca May 26, 2016, 3:53 pm

      It is not just about the name. It is the lack of consideration he is showing his pregnant, grieving wife. She agreed to naming the child after his dad before her own father passed. That means she was compromising (she did not even like the name).
      But he seems to think the same co-operation is not due to his wife.

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    wobster109 May 26, 2016, 4:09 pm

    Sorry to say, I don’t agree. The husband is going to be hearing the baby’s name for the next 50 years, so it impacts him too. Grief is not a free pass to unilaterally make what should be a family decision.

    Yes, he should emotionally support her. But he also has an opinion. LW is mourning, and husband dislikes “Gregory”, and those are both true. Emotional support means listening and caring and making meals or planning visits with friends. . . it does not mean you have no voice in family decisions for the next year. If LW and husband had decided on a house, and now LW wanted to move into her father’s house, she would not get the final say on that.

    I am opposed to the “women birth so women decide” argument. I am opposed to any final, end-all argument that gives total control to one person, and throw to the winds the other person’s wishes. It strikes me the same as “the breadwinner decides what to buy”, in that it’s setting up a marriage where instead of compromising, the two squabble over who has the high ground this week. Family decisions are made together.

    Perhaps there is a compromise to be made. Perhaps this child is Thomas Gregory, and the next one is Firstname Shaun. Perhaps his father will be sympathetic and say, “of course Thomas Gregory is ok with me”. But I can see nothing good coming from one person saying “your opinion doesn’t matter because of X reason”.

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      dinoceros May 26, 2016, 4:42 pm

      As has been discussed above, people hardly use their middle names, so he wouldn’t really be hearing it for 50 years. I don’t know the last time my parents have actually heard my middle name spoken. I don’t know the last time I have heard my middle name spoken.

      Unfortunately, the husband is basically saying “your opinion doesn’t matter ” himself. His reason is that his father can’t share a name with someone else. The LW has made multiple attempts to compromise and he has not.

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        ktfran May 26, 2016, 4:45 pm

        THIS. There are a lot of options, and the husband basically said that he doesn’t want his child to share a name with the LW’s father in any capacity what so ever because it’s not as special. To me, that’s a dick move.

        If it were me, I’d go with neutral first name and two middle names.

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        ktfran May 26, 2016, 4:46 pm

        That’s more than a fair compromise.

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        keyblade May 27, 2016, 8:12 am

        To be fair, the letter writer never suggested using the name Thomas Gregory until she was angry at the end.

        I keep thinking what if “Gregory” was something like “Horace” or “Buckly”. How many people would be willing to name their first born-child Buck or another name they hated? Because that is what the letter writer originally wanted (a first name).

        I agree that it is callous and insensitive for her husband to be talking about making his dad feel “special” when he knows the lw would like to do the same to honor her dad after his untimely, tragic demise. The letter writer is doing a lot of leg work trying to get at her husband’s real feelings, but if he made any effort to care about her real feelings, the letter writer didn’t include those gestures.

        Because she is suffering, I think she should back away from the middle name issue. Staring down the barrel of childbirth is scary enough without compounding her grief with this strife with her husband. I think they should still stick to Thomas as a first name. Perhaps after the baby is born her husband will have had time to reflect on what naming the child after her father would mean to her. If not, she should choose another name that doesn’t constantly feel like her husband’s selfishness. Whatever they name the child they will get used to it. First time parents sometimes place a lot of significance in what ends up being small details.

        I hope her husband has temporarily lost his mind and his not normally such an obtuse ass about things. That sounds exhausting and there is nothing like a child to test a couple’s ability to communicate and resolve their differences.

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      saneinca May 27, 2016, 1:02 am

      I see. In that case may be they need to discuss not just first and middle names but even last names as well. May be she wants to hyphenate their surnames for the baby now.

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    Taylor May 26, 2016, 4:53 pm

    Hey there LW,
    My condolences for losing your dad, especially while pregnant. Warm wishes for the rest of your pregnancy, and I hope you get some mellow time in with your husband. He may need to be told how to support you when you’re grieving, not everyone gets how to do that on their own.
    My dad, myself and my daughter have the same middle name (he passed away several years before she was born). We gave her a neutral first name, and she has my husband’s last name (which I do not share). I thought it was a nice solution.

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      Taylor May 26, 2016, 4:54 pm

      And I just realized it wasn’t a LW. Sigh. Time to go home…

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  • bittergaymark

    bittergaymark May 26, 2016, 5:04 pm

    Um…. If the OTHER grandfather was already told — and he probably was, it seems kinda rude to reverse on this. And honestly? Naming kids after dead (or alive) relatives is about as fucking corny as it gets. Be a little more creative, people. That you are both being so petty over this makes me less than thrilled with the fact that you are are procreating…

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  • bittergaymark

    bittergaymark May 26, 2016, 5:06 pm

    Um…. If the OTHER grandfather was already told — and he probably was, it seems kinda rude to reverse on this. And honestly? Naming kids after dead (or alive) relatives is about as corny as it gets. Be a little more creative, people. That you are both being so petty over this makes me less than thrilled with the fact that you are are procreating… He’s NOT respecting your feelings, but you’re not respecting his… It’s all just childish.

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    • Dear Wendy

      Dear Wendy May 26, 2016, 5:09 pm

      Both my kids are named after deceased family members. Guess I shoulda gone with something more creative… like MARK! 😉

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      • bittergaymark

        bittergaymark May 26, 2016, 9:02 pm

        Mark is a boring name to be sure. But then — I didn’t exactly name myself.

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        ele4phant May 26, 2016, 11:04 pm

        I like the tradition. I personally find it obnoxious when parents strain themselves to find the most crazy uncommon name they can think of (or worse, a common name with a crazy spelling – that is THE worst).

        Not everybody needs to be a special snowflake and get a name all to themself. And I personally like the sentiment of giving a name that is a family name or somehow reflects the family history.

        As for the redditor, if I’m not mistaken they originally agreed to give the child the paternal grandfather’s name as a middle name, which was still what she wanted to do. What she wanted to do was change the first name from something that wasn’t related to either grandfather to her recently deceased father’s name. Paternal grandpa would get the middle name either way.

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      • bittergaymark

        bittergaymark May 27, 2016, 6:58 pm

        I’m not big on special snowflake names. But for fuck’s sake reach farther than the limits of your own fucking parents. Talk about BORING. I would LOVE to know the names in question. Many names now sound simply dated and lame in the modern world. Horace springs to mind — did somebody else say that? Probably…

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    Amanda June 1, 2016, 9:23 pm

    Ugh this was difficult to read. My Dad died before we found out I was carrying a boy, which would have made him immensely happy. I would urge the LW to insist on her father’s name as the first name of her son. I would also urge her to figure out WTF is going on with her husband. His behavior and attitude is bizarre. Your Dad just died unexpectedly. Come on guy. Help your pregnant wife with some support.

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