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Woman rejects husband's request to name baby after his 'important' pet. AITA?

Woman rejects husband's request to name baby after his 'important' pet. AITA?


When this woman is frustrated with her husband, she asks Reddit:

"AITA for not wanting to name our baby after my husband's dead pet?"

Throwaway because my husband knows my reddit and frequents this sub. Although I'm pretty sure he'll be able to tell it's me because this is a super unique experience, but I'm banking on him not seeing this.

My husband, Ethan (27m) and I (27f) got married a year ago. We had been dating since we were 23 and got married last year. We knew that we wanted to have a family, and want multiple kids. So, a few months after we got married we started trying for our first baby. I got pregnant, and I'm about 24wks along today!!

At my 20wk appointment, they asked if we wanted to know the gender. We wanted to know so we could start planning names ahead of time. Turns out, it's a girl! I was overjoyed. The next day, we starting talking names and Ethan said that he already knew the PERFECT name for a girl- Zoe.

Here is where the issue begins: Zoe is the name of my husband's cat that passed away when we first started dating. Not only that, but the cat was a gift from an ex-girlfriend that they intended on taking care of together. When they broke up, they had "joint custody" until she died.

I gently let him know that I don't really want to name our daughter after his dead cat. He told me to think about it- reasoning that it fit our criteria (short names, bully-proof, cute, unique so that nobody else in her class will have it, but not so unique that people won't know how to pronounce it,) and he considered cat-Zoe like a daughter to him.

I jokingly responded, "So you want to name our baby after your kid from your last marriage?"

He didn't laugh. Instead, he got defensive. He said it wasn't like that. I said that I didn't really like the idea of naming our daughter after something that he associated with his last relationship. He started getting teary-eyed, presumably because he was thinking about his dead pet. He then responded with "Fine, it's your baby. Name it whatever you want."

Since then I've been here and there suggesting names I see elsewhere, and every time he responds with "I don't care. Do what you want." I can't help but feel like the AH; maybe I'm being too stubborn? I do like the name Zoe, it's just that I don't think I'd be able to move past the history behind it. AITA?

Let's see what readers thought.

princessbargier writes:

NTA, but give him some space before you bring up the topic again, or he's just going to get angrier.

Would probably help to acknowledge that you know Zoe the cat meant a lot to him, and that you can understand why he would want to use the name again for something even more meaningful.

Then ask him if he can understand why you might be uncomfortable using a name from his previous relationship for your child. If he and his ex named the cat together, he's asking you to let his ex have a say in what you name your (meaning you and him) child. Once he's calmed down from his initial anger at having his idea rejected, he should be able to understand that.

If he struggles with it, you could also try asking if he really wants Zoe the cat's memory to be overridden by Zoe the baby's, because more people are going to care more about the baby, making it a terrible "memorial" for the cat. When most people say "Zoe", they'll only remember the child.

With baby names, it's super important to follow the two yes/one no rule. This is a whole entire brand new person you two have made, and the next few decades of your life are going to be heavily focused on them.

If either of you is left feeling uncomfortable or resentful or unhappy with the name you choose, it's going to damage the relationship between the three of you, because it's something that will constantly be present in your day to day interactions.

If you're comfortable with it, maybe you could suggest you get a toy cat for your baby and name it Zoe? Keeps the name alive for him in a meaningful way without it having such an impact on you.

clevermind writes:

NTA. My boyfriend suggested we name our son after our dead cat. That’s a no from me dog (lmao). He was mostly kidding…. But he loved that cat so much.

Ethan: you’re an adult. Act like one. It’s a person, who will be an adult one day. That adult will find out why you named them what you named them. “So, you made mom name me after a cat? That… you shared with your ex?

The woman you dated before mom?” If that doesn’t tell your wife/OP that you’re pining over lost love (or have a weird cat obsession) then idk what does. Naming your HUMAN CHILD after a cat you shared with a previous significant other? Jesus dude. YOU are TA.

disneynerdmom writes:

NTA. It's weird and a little creepy too. I bet if your baby was a boy and you wanted to name it after a pet from an ex-boyfriend he'd be mad. And FYI...Zoe is not so unique that no one in her class will have it. There are a lot of Zoes out there. My grandson's daycare has 5.

Looks like OP is NTA. Any advice for him?

Sources: Reddit
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