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Dear Wendy

Husband has “brain farts” about simple things like my middle name…

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  • This topic has 16 replies, 4 voices, and was last updated 1 week, 5 days ago by avatarDear Wendy.
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  • #998608 Reply

    My husband used to be married before. They were married a couple of years and divorced in 2015. We have been together since 2016 and got married this past May. When we first started dating he accidentally called me his ex wife’s name and didn’t even realize it until I told him. He apologized but It’s happened a few times. When talking about my mom he has called her “Donna” (which is his ex mother in law) when my mothers name is Rhonda. He has “brain farts” all the time and can’t remember my middle name. Tonight we were driving around and being goofy and asking each other questions and I couldn’t think of anything else so I said what’s my middle name? Of course he said the wrong one…his ex wife’s middle name. He instantly got mad at himself when I told
    Him that wasn’t right. He apologized of course but this is getting old. Why can’t he remember simple things about me? They have no communication for over 4 years. Does this happen to anyone else?

    #998636 Reply

    You are making way too much of this.

    #999226 Reply

    I am bad at names too. A lot of people are. Sometimes I get confused and mix my brothers’ names and my kids’ names! It is unconscious, probably just neurological: it is like a tree with the function “wife” or “MIL” and the brain got the wrong branch. So don’t set up your husband by asking him questions about your names. That is just self-defeating – and defeating him. Perhaps he can call your mother by an other nickname than Rhonda – too close to Donna. The same for you, find a nickname. Stop dwelling on such a minor thing. He might as well get confused through all his life, and worse and worse as he ages. So just let it be and simply correct him when he gets wrong, or call him an other random first name in response as a joke, not in an angry or aggressive way. Him: “Hey, ex-wife-first-name, …. – You: “Thanks, random-first-name.” Him: “So sorry, your-real-name.” Done.

    #999254 Reply

    It’s annoying but I wouldn’t worry about it. My partner for some reason calls me by his sisters’ name if we are all together for more than 5 minutes, she lived with us for a while and it was chaos working out who he was talking to.But then I have also accidentally called him by our dog’s name when shouting him into the house for coffee.Unless he is mixing up your first names in bed or something, I’d just laugh it off if I were you.

    #999273 Reply

    It’s a very serious symptom of a larger problem called CRS.

    Can’t. Remember. Shit.

    You just lose words or mix up names. It’s not because he’s thinking about her or wants to be with her. Your brain just gets crowded. I’ve lost words like “worse” and used “not gooder”.

    Just remind him until he gets the new pattern.

    #999281 Reply

    People mix this stuff up all the time and it doesn’t mean anything. I work with really smart people who not only forget details all the time but have sincere but incorrect memories of past events. It doesn’t have anything to do with his feelings for you.

    There have been times when I was filling out forms and whatnot and it took me a minute to figure out what my wife’s middle name was.

    #999285 Reply

    Per @hazel’s comment, my wife (who has two doctoral degrees) occasionally says the dog’s name when she means the kid and the kid’s name when she means the dog’s.

    #999435 Reply

    This is definitely not, in itself, a big deal. It’s only a problem if it’s part of a larger pattern that points to cognitive decline or a low level of engagement in the relationship.

    Also, Donna and Rhonda are two pretty similar MIL names.

    #999438 Reply

    TBH sometimes I do forget my husband’s name when I’m talking about him to other people. I never actually call him by his name, we use a nickname.

    #999545 Reply

    I call my sons by their brother’s name all the time. If my husband is around his nephew he’ll start calling our son by the nephew’s name. It doesn’t mean a thing.

    #999564 Reply

    Why/how do you know so much about his ex wife? Seems kinda odd to know her middle name and her mom’s name.

    Anyway, my mom once called my sister by the cat’s name. I’ve called my dog my boyfriend’s nickname before, and my boyfriend by the dog’s nickname. I’ve worried I might call someone my boyfriend’s nickname but so far it hasn’t happened. My boyfriend has so many brain farts with words, I’ve heard him say Bed, Bath & Beyond when he’s talking about Banana Republic.

    You write that the mix-up with his ex’s name has only happened a few times in five years. I can see why it’d feel annoying, but it’s not a big deal. From what you’ve written it sounds like he really IS one of those people who flubs up words and names often.

    #999588 Reply

    My mother used to just run through kids names until she hit on the right kid she was trying to yell at. I mean, if your own mother can mix it up I think a spouse can be extended a little grace.

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