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'AITA for not wanting to name our son after my wife's late brother?' UPDATED 4X

'AITA for not wanting to name our son after my wife's late brother?' UPDATED 4X


Choosing a name for your kid is a major decision, and it requires full agreement from both parents.

"AITA for not wanting to name our son after wife's late brother?"

I was directed here upon the advice of a friend, after this issue escalated to a huge argument (approx. 3 hours ago) that resulted in myself leaving our home to go to a buddy's house. I am still here, and unsure how to go about resolving this with my wife.

Myself (28m) and my wife (26m) have been together for 10 years, and married for 4 of those. My wife is pregnant with our first child, a boy, and she is due in early July. Now onto the issue that has arisen.

My wife wants to name our son after her brother, who passed a little over a year ago. Her brother, we'll call him T, was her only sibling and they were very close growing up, as they were only 2 years apart. However, her brother was not the most pleasant person.

Her brother was a dr#g add*ct starting from age 14-15, he stole from everyone around him including myself and my wife, he was ab#sive to everyone of his partners and his child, and he served several years behind bars. T was also ab#sive to my wife, and her parents. He had a stay away order from our home because he broke in while we were away and stole our TV, my wife's jewelry box, and one of my h*nting r*fles.

T passed last year in April from a dr#g overdose, and it affected my wife very deeply. It was her first major loss she has suffered, and she still attends therapy to help cope. When we found out we were having a boy, she immediately wanted the name to be T's name. I heavily disagreed, and I have offered many replacements, other family names like her father or grandfathers, but she will not budge.

She wants our son to have the exact same name as her brother, first and middle. She has even gone as far to say that if we name him something else she will have it changed, or only call him by T. My final straw was when my wife ordered a blanket with T's name sewn into it for our son. I blew up, and I told her I was not naming our child after a dr#g add*ct who took advantage of everyone around him.

My wife blew up at me, she screamed at me to leave, threatened to call the police if I didn't, she called me a piece of s#$t for talking about her d*ad brother like he was trash. I did leave, I told her I would attempt to speak to her again about this once we had both calmed down, and I apologized for speaking about T in a negative way.

I'm getting calls nonstop from her family, calling me names for speaking about T and not wanting to honor him by naming our son after him. My family is on my side, her family is on her side, and my friends are split on the matter. So, strangers on the internet, I need your opinion on if I am indeed a massive AH for not wanting this name for our child?

TL:DR; wife wants to name son after brother who was a dr#g add*ct and serial ab#ser, I do not. We cannot come to reason with one another, huge argument ensued.

The comments came rushing in.

_Sniffin_ wrote:

NTA, naming someone after an ab*sive family member is never a good idea, especially if you both can't agree on it. Especially if she wants him to have the exact same first+middle name as him, I could understand one or the other but both seems like she's almost trying to replace him.

OP responded:

I have tried to approach that with her, but she is very adamant that she is only trying to honor her brothers legacy. I would be willing to give our son Ts middle or first name, but she is refusing. She wants both and she is...a force to be reckoned with.

jel0522 wrote:

Don't you and your wife want your son to have a clean slate? Why put the burden of someone else on a newborn child like that. I get the phrase (although I don't agree necessarily) "do not talk ill of the dead."

You also shouldn't angelicize the dead either. Imagine when your kid can talk and he asks who he's named after.

"Well son you're named after your dr#g add*ct uncle"

"Can I have a story about him"

"Hoho this one time he needed money for drugs so he broke in and stole our TV. Hahaha such an incurable trickster that one!"

Like what the actual fudge??? Can you imagine what that could do to a psyche of a child. He should have the chance to determine his own identity. If your wife wants to honor him there are better ways. Your son is not a replacement or chance of redemption for the failed life of her brother. This is not a unilateral decision.

ABeggyChooser wrote:

NTA. Idk why no one brought this up already but naming their son the exact same name as her brother, he’s gonna grow up in the brother’s shadow. I really hope your wife and her family don’t try to use your son as a replacement for the person they lost.

OP responded:

That is what I've worried about considering she wants the first and middle name, our son would have the same exact name as T. T's own son was not even named after him, so I also worry how it would effect the relationship between the cousins.

[deleted] wrote:

My brother died recently. If we have a son, his name will be his middle name. Is that something your wife would agree to? Kids should have their own identities. NTA.

OP responded:

I would be fine with his middle name or first name, but she wants both. I have tried numerous times to find names she likes to pair with either of those, but to no avail. She wants our son to have the exact same name as her brother, last name will be the same anyway since I took hers when we got married.

A few months later, OP shared an update.

Hello internet humans, not sure if any of you remember my first post a few months back but I just logged on and saw I had a few messages so I figured I would post an update, sorry in advance for the length.

So, if you recall in my first post, me and my wife were expecting a baby boy in early July, and our conflict was occurring over my wife wanting to name our son after her late brother. We got into a huge fight, some names were called and threats were made, and I was led to this subreddit to ask advise and opinions of internet strangers.

Well, a week after the post I sat down with my wife and we had a very long and difficult conversation. She broke down and admitted she was struggling more than she let on with the loss of her brother, and she told me she felt uncomfortable talking to me about it due to my feelings towards him and how he lived his life.

I was devastated to say the least, I have never felt like such a horrible partner. I was selfish, I failed to see him as anything more than his mistakes, and I failed to support my wife through his d*ath. It was a long talk with lots of tears, and we both agreed to be more open in the future and less judgmental.

We started attending therapy together less than two weeks after that, and we have been going ever since once a week. It was rough at first, but it has helped tremendously in dealing with the bumps in the road of marriage. As for our son...we came to an agreement on a name after lots of long discussion, a first name we both adored and her brother's middle name, just spelled differently.

A good compromise for both of us, and it was my son's own name that no one before him had carried, we were both happy. Then on July 3rd, 2022, my wife delivered a beautiful, healthy, 8lb baby GIRL! To say that we were shocked would be an understatement.

My daughter came home the next day, and since then I am still in awe of how we created something so perfect. We didn't figure out a name until she was a week old, but I am happy to share that Eleanor Shae is what we came up. We are still adjusting to life with an infant, but so far it has been nothing short of amazing.

Thank you for your past advice internet friends and strangers.

TL:DR; Wife and I made up, went to therapy, found a name that was a compromise and we loved for our son, had a surprise baby girl instead, we are overjoyed.

The comments kept coming in.

eraval wrote:

Mom and Dad fighting over a boy's name.

Child in womb, "This is bad, hold my beer."

majesticogopogo wrote:

Congrats on the baby girl! Hope you and the wife continue to grow together.

OP responded:

Thank you!

Artemis9781 wrote:

Legit burst out laughing. So happy that you and your wife were able to communicate with each other, only for the cause of this whole fight to become irrelevant. Love that for you.

OP responded:

Yes it was absolutely hilarious to us when we got over the shock, and it's definitely going to be a story I tell our daughter when she is old enough!

kebar9 wrote:

Congratulations ❤️❤️❤️ Do keep up the therapy the first 6 months of a new born are extremely testing on a relationship.

A year later, OP shared a very different update.

I am just here to vent my frustrations and scream into the void about my current situation. I can’t talk to anyone in my personal life about this. My wife is cheating on me. My wife is cheating and she has been for the past two months.

I just don’t understand? I don’t even know where to start to begin to understand. We have a beautiful home, stable careers, we’re not financially struggling, no drug or alcohol abuse, we attend therapy together. Our daughter is healthy, perfect. Our 6 year wedding anniversary is 3 months from tomorrow. We’ve been together 11 years.

I have spent the last two days examining everything about us under a microscope, trying to find a crack. Where I went wrong, when did she become unhappy, when did this life, OUR LIFE, become unsatisfactory for her?? For her to step outside of our marriage with some random guy she met on Facebook?? For her to throw our family away? I just don’t understand. I found out on Monday, completely by chance.

My daughter's tablet was dead, I grabbed my wife’s iPad so she could watch her night time videos and go to sleep. Wife isn’t home right now, she’s on a trip and won’t be back for another 4 days. I keep hearing message notifications dinging on her iPad while my daughter has it, so I took it to turn it on silent only to see a man's name I didn’t recognize with a little winky face next to it.

I went through EVERYTHING. They’ve done it all, met up, spent the night together, went on dates, they even have a romantic cruise planned for next month! The same cruise she told me was a bachelorette trip with one of her friends. All of these outings that I ENCOURAGED.

She told me they were with friends, I encouraged her! I was so proud she was getting out there and becoming more social, since she expressed motherhood made her feel like a recluse. And after digging a little deeper, all of these new “friends” she’s been out with don’t even exist. All lies. They are characters she’s created to continue her relationship with this man.

I feel like a complete and total idiot. I never second guessed a lie she fed me. I gave her my 100% trust. We’ve been doing couples therapy for a year, we communicate, we go on dates, we get each other gifts, our s*x life was great, I never not even for a second would have suspected this. I don’t know how to confront her with this, I don’t want this. I don’t want to split up our home.

But I know that this isn’t something therapy can fix, I know myself well enough to know I’ll never be able to trust her again. Do I just let go? Let her go be with this man who clearly makes her happier than I can? My entire existence is intertwined with her, how do I even begin to untangle that and separate? I have 4 more days to sit and overthink this. I genuinely don’t know what to do.

The internet offered words of support.

Low_Yak1719 wrote:

You have 4 days for a lawyer to draw up your divorce papers.

At least have them ready, and show them to her.

Doesn't mean you have to follow thru. But be ready to kick her to the curb.

OP responded:

Thank you for the advice. Calling a lawyer tomorrow.

aethanv wrote:

Get copies of all evidence that she can’t get access to or delete. To save your reputation and it may be needed in legal issues.

Don’t chase her or try and change her, if you know yourself and this is a dealbreaker, no need to inform her yet.

Get an appointment with a lawyer(s) and get the best advice on divorce and what to do to protect yourself financially and in the event of child custody. It is unfortunate that in these situations the wife you once know becomes combative, makes false accusations of ab*se, wipes all money from your accounts and tries to take your rights to child custody from you. Hope for the best, prepare for the worst. Trust me.

I know this doesn’t make sense, but she’s not the person you knew, like a cornered animal cheaters will do anything to save their reputation and not take accountability for their actions. Do not confront. Prepare and execute to your advantage based on your lawyers advice. Please keep us updated, there is much advice that can be given as you move through this difficult process.

Do not accept her trying to blame her actions on you. This is ALL her and she had options that didn’t involve cheating. She clearly doesn’t respect you or care about the damage this will cause you or your child. Your “wife” has been deliberately lying to you, having s*x with and being romantic with another man, it’s time for you to take your power back and show your value as a man.

Fsmertz wrote:

I am very sorry. The advice to secure an attorney ASAP and have divorce papers waiting for her is exceptionally sound. People who deceive your daughter and you like she is doing do not love either of you.

You will have more than enough time to overthink, but taking action will put you more in charge rather than being only a victim. You will want to check with your attorney about access to property and financial accounts. I'm sure she has zero qualms about spending your child's college money on her love cruise and more.

Your story is fairly common for this sub. Some spouses have cheated for years without their spouses having a clue. The person you married is vastly different from the one you call your wife. She lacks a conscience, which is scary when you play that out over the years. You also don't know if this is her first rodeo, or whether you've been snookered for years.

Reconciliation is most futile as you'll be a prison warden for a decade and still never trust her again. Plus, she may just up and leave you by Monday anyway for this other person. After you serve her with papers follow your attorney's advice and ask him or her questions about what you can do. Each state has its own process and rules. This totally sucks.

OP responded:

Thank you. I feel a little less alone knowing other people have been through something like this before, on the other hand I feel horrible so many people have the displeasure of experiencing this. It really does suck.

No_Statement_9192 wrote:

Stay calm, take a deep cleansing breath and call a lawyer. Next call a friend or a close family member to come stay with you and get everything your personal documents, lease, mortgage etc. you’ll need all your ducks in order there are so many helpful people on this site who have dispensed valuable advice and will provide step by step instructions on your next steps.

I know you’re feeling a wide range of emotions, but you are truly not alone. Please take care of yourself.

OP wrote:

Thank you everyone for the advice.Since posting and reading the comments I’ve been working on getting all the messages/pictures/videos into a folder on my personal computer. I went through our home cameras and she’s had him at our house several times, either picking her up or them swimming (among other things) in our pool together.

The more I find the sicker I feel. I have a lot of phone calls to make in the next few days. And an appointment to get screened for STIs. I do want everyone to rest assured my daughter is mine. We had a DNA test done when she was an infant to scan for hereditary diseases I carry. I’m going to reach out to my parents and fill them in so they can babysit while I handle this for the next few days.

A month later, OP shared another update.

I’m here with somewhat of an update, but mostly more venting. My life is upside down and it feels good to get it all out somewhere.

Sorry if a lot of this is rambling, and sorry for the length. After making my post, I took the advice of everyone and gathered up all evidence and contacted lawyers in my area. I found a really great one and went ahead and started on divorce papers before my wife got home. I also got tested for any STIs, and told my parents/best friend about the situation.

I took my daughter to my parents so I could have alone time to mentally prepare to face my wife with this discovery. I rage cleaned and cried a lot those last two days before she got back. I packed some of her stuff, but then unpacked it and cried more. I had it planned to lay out all the screenshots along with divorce papers on our dining room table and just sit and wait for her. I didn’t get the chance to do that.

She was supposed to get home later in the afternoon on Sunday, but she ended up getting back around 6:30 that morning, she didn’t call or text in hopes of surprising me. I was up drinking coffee, and you guessed it, crying, when she walked into the house.

I didn’t greet her, I just went and got the folders of evidence and divorce papers and gave them to her. I don’t remember anything she said that day, but I just said I knew, I wanted a divorce, and I would keep the house as it was in my name solely. It hurt a lot, I wanted to hug her, but also scream at her.

Lots of tears from her, lots of yelling at me, I didn’t say anything. I told her we could discuss it at length with lawyers present once she accepted the situation and calmed down. I think someone called it “grey wall” in the comments of my last post, not entirely sure but I tried my best to do that and not show emotion/argue with her. It was really hard, hardest thing I hope I’ll ever have to do.

She betrayed me, but I still felt awful making her cry. She left that day with some clothes/personal belongings and went to her parents, and my parents and best friend came to stay with me and my daughter. I had my lawyer arrange a meeting between us to discuss custody/belongings/money/everything else that following Tuesday.

Well, Monday I got a call from my clinic to come in to review results of ST! tests, and as it turns out her parting gift to me is HSV-2. I cannot describe in words how angry, sad, shattered I am. I’m still accepting it, I don’t think I have yet, but I am working on it. I know it’s common, very common, it’s not going to kill me, but it doesn’t make it suck any less. I joined a support group on Facebook, those people are great.

Going into Tuesday with that knowledge was awful. I felt so much shame bringing that up in-front of not only her, but both of our lawyers. I knew if I tried to discuss it with her privately it wouldn’t go well, not with the amount of anger/sadness I had in my system. She never apologized, she was a different person that day.

I felt like I was looking into the eyes of a complete stranger, no emotion whatsoever. Divorce wise everything is cut and dry. We separated finances, the house is mine, we are just waiting the 90 days for it to finalize. There were no objections on her end but one, she wants to terminate her parental rights over our daughter.

I say “wants,” she IS terminating rights, at-least trying to. She doesn’t want her anymore. Our daughter, our baby. I was f#$king blindsided. I’m still blindsided.

My daughter is 1, but she loves her mama. Mama was her first word.

She is ONE. It’s been 3 weeks, and the pain I have felt, the pain for my daughter, for my family, has been indescribable. I don’t know who she is anymore, I don’t know what changed or when it changed but it terrifies me. I feel like my entire life was pulled out from under me. I haven’t talked to her, per lawyers advice and my own fear of what I would say.

She hasn’t seen our daughter, she told me that day she didn’t want to. She didn’t want any pictures from our home, any memories. Just her clothes and electronics. I don’t understand any of it, I don’t think I ever will. We have to go to court for her petition to terminate rights, and I don’t want to look at her. I just can’t accept this as reality right now, not after everything.

I’m trying as hard as I possibly can to keep a positive outlook on everything and be strong for my family and my baby, but this has been so hard. I hope a year from now I can look back and say “I survived that,” but right now it feels impossible to even see next week. I’m not s*icidal, so don’t take it as that, I’m just emotionally, mentally, physically demolished. Absolutely demolished.

The comments came rolling in.

JustFaissL wrote:

So you got the house, your daughter and supportive family and friends plus get rid of a cheating wife full of disease, it seems like a pretty good deal to me.

Hairy-Knee-8997 wrote:

Your STBX is deep in the affair fog. It is horrible to read that she doesn’t want your daughter. Obviously, she can not be bothered with her in this period of her life. She is in the way of her relation with AP. This is gut wrenching to read.

She will regret this the rest of her life, but does not know this yet. You are doing great. Finalize all the legal stuff before the affair fog lifts, and find support with your relatives and friends. Stay strong 💪

Normal_Sky4569 wrote:

I know what I say will sound weird but what if she doesn't want her custody because the kid isn't yours and leaving her to you so you can't leave her with the baby. Can you test your kid just to be sure?

Months later later, OP jumped on with another update.

It’s been around 8ish months since I posted here about my upside down situation, and a LOT of people messaged me in that time wanting to know how I was and what unfolded, and I really appreciate you strangers for all the kind messages.

It genuinely means a lot, and I’m sorry I haven’t replied or anything, my life has been such a whirlwind these past few months! It’s hard to believe that was that long ago. To sum up the sad stuff, first off my divorce was finalized without any hiccups or hold ups, I’m still in the works of trying to sell our old house but in the meantime we moved to a new state.

My ex is still in the process of petitioning for termination of parental rights, I’ve only seen her 3 times since moving and it has been to fly out for court. I was granted temporary full custody in the process, per her request and suggestion, and she was not mandated any visitation and has denied any offer of it. She has not seen my daughter in 7 months, she has requested not to.

I don’t know what else she’s been up to or if she is still with her boyfriend or not, since the divorce it has been in best interest of my mental health to keep the contact as minimal as possible, and she has done the same. I have offered many chances for her to visit with my daughter, whether it be video call or flying out, and before we moved I asked weekly but it was always a no.

Her parents still video call with my daughter and we’re hoping they can fly out over summer and spend some time with her. They’ve been cut off by my ex as well. I’m not sure what changed, but I can’t change it back, and I am accepting it mostly. I wish her well in all future endeavors.

Now for the happy stuff that has happened! Firstly, I am a proud Arizonan now! Never saw myself moving here, but we have loved it so far. My parents packed up and came with us and I don’t think I’ve ever seen them so happy. My daughter is doing AMAZING. She will be 2 years old in July, and she is the smartest, funniest toddler I’ve ever met!

She knows her ABCs, can count to 20 without help, loves animals and bugs especially, she thinks farts and a cow mooing are the definition of comedy, and she doesn’t know but she has been my biggest motivator to heal from this whole ordeal and be my best self. I genuinely don’t know how I helped make such an awesome kid, the more her personality grows the more in awe I am of how cool she is.

I could talk for days about her, so I’ll cap it here before this ends up being a Harry Potter length post lol.

As for myself, I’m in therapy and have been throughout these 8 months, and I’m in a much better headspace.

I’m working on getting back on-top of my health as I did put on about 30 stress pounds, I’ll get there eventually but I’m not sweating it too much. I have not dated or tried to, I don’t think I will anytime soon. I’ve adjusted to being a single parent pretty okay for the most part, I credit that to my family and friends more than anything because they have been a huge support system throughout this.

There are still really hard moments that have happened and I know there are more to come, but I will roll with it just as I have this and hope to come out on top. This is not the end of the world for me even if it feels/felt like it in the moment. The sun will rise tomorrow, birds will chirp, and all will be well.

Thanks to my therapist for that, those two sentences have helped me IMMENSELY. Sorry this ended up being so long, I should really pick up journaling. Maybe a blog or something lol. But thank you again to everyone who took the time to give me advice in the hardest time of my life, and thanks again if you read this. I genuinely appreciate it.

The internet was happy to hear another update.

grandmasvilla wrote:

It's hard to imagine a mom never wanting to see her baby again. Something must have broken inside of your ex, and she will regret it immensely when she wakes up from the fog one day. It's great that you have wonderful parents who are with you and support you. Children grow up fast, so enjoy every moment with her. It is good to hear that you are doing well. Wish you all the best in your future endeavors.

Critical-Bank5269 wrote:

My ex wife was just like yours. We had 5 kids. She didn’t care about the kids and just wanted to be with her AP. I got full custody. Though she didn’t have her rights terminated. The custody order allowed her visitation to be agreed upon. But she never bothered trying. I moved about a year after the divorce across the country.

The only time she ever saw the kids is when the kids visited with her parents and even then she’d show up for 1/2 a day and go again. My kids are all adults now and they hate her. (My youngest daughter was just 2 when my ex left). I’ll never understand why she walked away from the kids without a care. But in the end, I didn’t have to deal with her in coparenting so I guess it was a win.

Life-yogurtcloset-98 wrote:

You can sue your ex for $TDs and the child support.

But if you just want her out, then enjoy yourself OP.

OP responded:

I thought about it for a long time but decided I didn’t want to through a whole court fiasco about that on top of the terminating rights and custody stuff. She wants nothing to do with us, so I’m giving her that in the end. It’s better for my mental health.

CombinationCalm9616 wrote:

Congratulations on getting your divorce done. I’m sorry for everything that you’ve had to go through these last 8 months but you have a bright future ahead of you with your daughter and parents in your new home. Your ex doesn’t deserve you or your daughter and hope she come to realise this in the years to come and has to live with what she’s done.

Sources: Reddit
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