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Woman's FIL offers her $1K to change baby's name to one that offends her family. AITA?

Woman's FIL offers her $1K to change baby's name to one that offends her family. AITA?


"AITA for breaking my fiancé's family tradition by naming my son what I wanted?"

Throwaway because I have in-laws on Reddit. Myself (25F) and my fiancé (27M) have a 2 month old son. We are overjoyed at being parents, but most of my in-laws are refusing to even see our baby because of a decision we made concerning his name.

My in-laws have a tradition of giving the first-born son of every generation the same name. Let's say it's 'Peter'. This has been going on for about seven generations already, and they're very serious about it.

My fiancé's eldest cousin was the latest person to get named Peter. Every one of his cousins has only had daughters so far, so our baby is the first son of his generation, and consequently should get the name.

I have no problem with the name Peter, and would've been okay with naming my son that. Unfortunately, that was also the name of my uncle, who died before I was born. I won't get into details, but it was tragic and traumatizing for my family. My father never got over losing his younger brother.

My grandmother asked the family not to name any of our future children Peter during her lifetime. My MIL and FIL knew about this promise, and at first seemed to not only be okay with us avoiding the name Peter, but also supportive of the one we chose.

However, my grandmother sadly passed away when I was 7 months pregnant. We traveled for her funeral. On our last days there, my in-laws called to offer me their condolences. Then my MIL asked me if I was willing to 'think about the name Peter now.'

Suddenly, they were insistent that the name we chose was awful and we had to honor their tradition. According to them, they had only agreed to make an exception for us for my grandmother's sake, and had no obligation to keep it now that she had passed.

My family agrees that while it's true we don't have to avoid the name anymore, it still doesn't feel right to use it. My fiancé agrees with me as well, but his parents spent the last weeks of my pregnancy trying to convince us to change our minds about the name.

When our baby was born and we named him what we wanted, my in-laws were furious that we had broken a 7-generation-old family tradition. Some of them hadn't previously wanted to name their sons Peter, but did it anyway for the family's sake. They said our decision was selfish, and that my family 'should have moved on by now.'

This has truly nothing to do with whether my family has moved on or not, it just felt like a betrayal to my grandmother and uncle's memories to even consider using the name.

My FIL offered us $1000 to change our son's name to Peter after he was born. That was two months ago, and neither of my fiancé's parents have met the baby or seen us since I was pregnant. Most of my in-laws are on their side, and this is causing a huge rift between my fiancé and his family. He assures me he's fine, but I'm starting to feel really guilty about this. AITA?

EDIT: The tradition started, as far as I know, when OG Peter died and his son, also named Peter, named his firstborn after his father. Peter III ended up having the first son of the following generation, and did the same thing.

That one died before having children, so his sister gave the name to her son, and so on. The name “Peter” is very common in my country, so none of them ever got bullied over it, and the fact that it was also my uncle’s name isn’t as unlikely as one might think.

Also, middle names aren’t used in my country. Most people get the maternal surname before the paternal one instead.

EDIT 2: It wasn't 1000 dollars. Different country, different currency. It's still a lot of money, but would probably translate to about 200 USD.

EDIT 3: I posted an update two days ago, but it got removed. I've reposted it on my page.

Here were the top rated comments from readers after this initial post:


NTA. After 7 generations I think it's time that their family 'moved on'.

The OP responded here:


I've always been surprised it even lasted that long.


And like no offense but that’s a pretty vague tradition? Like how do they keep track of each new gen to determine this? I have cousins 15 years older than me and 15 years younger. My husband has cousins 25 years younger than him. At some point this has got to get more confusing than it’s worth, right?

The OP again provided some more clarification:


Generation basically means 'line of cousins' to them? I only kind of get it, but I think basically every first time a cousin has a child, he or she is the first of the generation.

My maternal family kind of works like that, too: I'm 20 years older than one of my youngest cousins, but we're still from the same generation. His uncle, while only 4 years older than me, is from my mom's. Sorry, I'm really bad at explaining this.


NTA. Family name traditions are weird and you can do whatever you want and name your baby whatever you want. Keep pushing the “I’m honouring my late grandmothers final wishes” hard so they see how unhinged they sound asking you to flout that.


And as a gramma, the idea of rejecting a child based on a name is simply triflin'. It's downright shallow, petty, and a real ugly representation of one's integrity.

Honestly, the longer these people avoided my child, the less their value would be worth in my child's life. Who would want such people around after a while? What would they bring to the table for my child? How would people like this positively enrich his or her development?

I feel badly for OP's partner, as this behavior surely has hurt him; otherwise, I would consider this behavior a possibly important reveal to who these people are and what kind of chaos they could be capable of.

A little over a month later the OP returned with an update:

Hey guys, I posted over on AITA a couple months ago about refusing to take part in my in-laws' family tradition while naming my newborn son. I wrote an update afterwards, but it got removed because I mentioned a violent encounter in an edit I made, so I reposted on my page.

My son is now 5 months old (almost six!). We're still NC with my fiancé's parents, who haven't seen us since May. We've both blocked them everywhere. His relatives who were on our side still are, and most of the ones who weren't haven't come around. If anything, they're even more pissed now.

I remember someone suggesting that my fiancé's family might stop using the name after we decided not to. Well, you were right. Last week, one of my fiancé's cousins announced she was pregnant with a boy. She included her baby's name in the announcement, and it's not Peter.

What followed was a string of aggressive Instagram DMs from both MIL and FIL. They both created accounts for the sole purpose of contacting me. I didn't see them until two days later. They sent me almost an hour worth of voice messages about how I'd 'ruined their family'. They wish their son had never met me, that he'd see me for 'who I truly am', and that I'd never gotten pregnant.

Many of the messages ended with 'I hope you're happy now', as if they thought they were getting the last word, only to think of something else they wanted to say. There was name calling, an accusation of me cheating, and the persistent refusal to refer to my son as their grandchild.

My fiancé and I listened to the messages together. He hadn't gotten any. As much as I tried to distance myself, I was in tears by the time it was all done. I still don't regret anything, specially after the stunt they pulled back in May, but I'm not completely free of the guilt yet.

Not to mention their complete disregard for their grandson. I was already having an overwhelming week, and this just seemed like the final straw.

I must have spent close to an hour sobbing in my fiancé's arms. Once I was calmer, he unblocked his parents just to scream at them for a while. I only heard his side of the conversation, but it was more than enough. He finished the call by saying he didn't want to hear from them again.

We had a long talk afterwards. My fiancé opened up about the emotional blackmail by his family before and after my pregnancy. My in-laws were close to threatening him with anything they could if we didn't name our son Peter.

I told him about my guilt, and how awful I feel for putting him through this. We reassured each other, cried a bit more, and had a mostly pleasant evening with our baby.

We contacted his cousin. The family is giving her sh*t for breaking the tradition again. They're being way less aggressive though, and I think many of my in-laws are finally learning to let go. We're not expecting any apologies anytime soon, but we'll be glad if they come.

Our wedding will be in September 2024, and whoever doesn't give us a sincere apology until then is uninvited. My fiancé's parents are banned either way. We came to that decision together.

Also, I'd like to address some comments on my previous update about how I was 'letting my family's trauma win', or how the name wouldn't be hurtful now that my grandmother has passed.

I can't stress enough the damage my uncle's death caused. He was only 30 years old. He had a fiancée, a great career and his whole life ahead of him. I don't know many details about what happened, because I didn't want to upset my family by asking.

My grandmother wasn't the only person hurt by this, my entire paternal family was. And if I remember correctly, the person responsible isn't even in jail anymore. It was more than 20 years ago, but the wound never truly closed.

So yeah, I think it's safe to say the tradition is over. The next Not-Peter will be here in January, right before my son's first birthday. It was never my intention for this to turn into such a s%$&storm, but I'm so incredibly proud of my little family.

Thank you so much to everyone who shared their stories and offered advice during these last few months. I'll be forever grateful for all the support I got from y'all.

Here were the top rated comments after this final update:


The in-laws: Well your grandma's dead, so screw her wishes.

Also the in-laws: Why is no one willing to honor my dead ancestors' wishes?


While completely ignoring the wishes of OP and her fiance, who's preferences are the only ones that really matter...


'I hope you're happy now' lmao you bet she is. They could not have made it any easier for her to 'win' than with those awful messages. In the end, OOP got her name, their grandson, their son, and topped it off with one of their nieces and her son too. I hope she lives rent-free in their heads for the rest of their miserable lives.


Why does the MIL even care? She married into the family.


I don’t understand why people like OP’s in-laws let tradition rule their life. I’m so glad her fiancé is on her side and supporting her.

So, wow. The escalation here is insane. Do any readers have a very strong tradition with child naming? Would you have taken it this far?

Sources: Reddit,Reddit
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