Nicknames can be intimate. Do you think Dr. Dre lets anyone but his most intimate friends call him doc? Still, the question is — at what point is a nickname so common, it's fair game no matter the relationship?
When one stepdad kept using a nickname for his stepson most associated with the child's late father, the mom stepped in to set a boundary.
I'll preface this by saying that I (F,34) lost my late husband years ago to cancer. I have a 6 year old son named 'Joseph'. I met my now husband, 'Tim', (M,37) 2 years ago and got married recently.
Tim loves Joseph, considers him as his own and he has shown that many, many times. We don't normally have any issues except for this: Tim started a habit of calling my son a nickname 'Joey'.
My problem with this nickname is that it was used by my late husband for Joseph and it is kind of special to him. I asked Tim to not use this particular nickname and he at first fought me off about it then came around and stopped doing it.
Days ago, I hosted dinner with my late husband's family (they visit regularly). We sat down for dinner and suddenly, Tim said, 'Hey JOEY! Could you pass me this plate please?'
The whole room went quiet. I got all sorts of dirty looks from my late husband's family because they know this nickname was exclusively used by him. I looked at Tim and then lashed out at him loudly — and in front of everyone — telling him that what he did was not okay and was a major overstep.
He seemed shocked and said that he really wasn't paying attention and it was a slip up. I responded that I already warned him about it a million times yet he chose to ignore it. He was red in the face. He got up, excused himself to the bathroom and stayed there.
After the guests left, he started arguing that I embarrassed him, hurt his feelings and went too far for scolding him publicly over a slip up.
I said that I already told him about how me and my late husband's family feel about this, but he said that we should get over ourselves especially since Joseph clearly doesn't care. We argued some more, then he and I stopped talking to each other.
So what was the prognosis? The Reddit jury didn't look kindly on the mom's actions. After all, 'Joey' might be a nickname, but it's not exactly the most intimate of pet names.
INFO: How does your son feel about it? If your son actually doesn't care, then it's not up to you to gate keep the use of this nickname. . - piezombi3
YTA - It's a nickname. It's super common for Joseph. It's kind of ridiculous to say no one else is ever allowed to call him a super common nickname. - ReactionEuphoric5362
YTA. If you son is okay with it then it’s no one else’s place to have an issue with it, that’s including you.
I get you and your departed husband's family want to hold onto his memory for your son, but realistically your husband is the only father he’s really going to know and by you letting your dead husband's family insert their wishes like this, the only person you are hurting is your son- Equivalent_Collar_59
YTA. You were the one who brought attention to JOEY nickname by blasting him at a family meal. JOEY is not a patented or exclusive name. Yes, it is special to you. Your son is very young and you have found someone who adores your child, isn't that enough?!
What you are doing is making your new husband hyper-aware of anything he utters is going to upset you, set you off, claim a memory is sacred, and perhaps push him away...now THAT would hurt your son Joseph coz a bond has been formed. - NCKALA
I get that you lost your husband. His family lost him as well. But it's been years. Are you and his family going to lose it every time you here someone refer to your son as Joey?
Y'all are projecting your pain on your current husband and it isn't fair to him or your son.
But the verdict remained the same: a name's a name.