Wedding Woes

Keep walking away from the conversation.

Dear Prudence,

I lost my best friends in a car accident when I was 19. We had literally known each other since we were in diapers. We had all these plans: travel, college, careers, and kids. All that was cut short by some a-hole who ran a red light. Since then, I vowed that if I had a daughter, I would name her after them. I am married with a son. My husband’s family has a tradition of using the grandparents’ names, especially the boys. I didn’t have a problem with this, but I am pregnant with a girl now. I have spoken at length with my husband over the years about wanting to honor my old friends. He also agreed and said he understood.

But recently, at a family event, he let slip to his mother what we were going to name our daughter. She has never been my biggest fan, but I thought our relationship has mellowed out over the years. She later cornered me and asked me if I was “really” going to name my daughter that. I was taken back and told her that I had been holding onto the name for years. I wanted to honor my friends. My mother in law told me that was “bizarre,” that you name children after family, not “some dead girls” I knew in high school. That hit me hard and I started to cry. She backed off and didn’t say anything else for a while. I thought that was the end of it and didn’t mention it to my husband. I didn’t want to start anything.

Only my MIL had other plans. She went around the family and told people what happened—only making me out to be crazy. Since then, I have had everyone from my sister-in-law to other relatives bring up the topic of the name. They all think it is weird, awkward, and “way too ethnic” (one of my friends was Spanish). Even with my husband shutting his family down, it’s like swatting flies. It doesn’t help that my hormones are all over the place and I don’t know if I am going to burst into tears or bust someone’s lip. I have repeatedly said the topic is over and physically have walked away. We all live in the same neighborhood so avoiding everyone is hard. Plus, my husband works at the family business.

— Rose by Any Other Name

Re: Keep walking away from the conversation.

  • His family sounds awful. I’m glad he’s standing up and shutting them down- he needs to keep doing it. 

    If they corner you again I’d be very clear that what you and your H name their child is none of their business. I might even go so far as to say that if it keeps happening toss out the “blood talks to blood” and tell them just how hurtful they are being. 
  • This is a decision between your hubby and you.  Also… first name, middle name?

  • It sounds like two friends passed so the child will be first and middle name after the two friends? 

    The LW's H needs to nicely to tell his family to pound sand.  They have a child named after family honoring the dad's side which was already more than they needed to do.  

    If I was pregnant and my MIL was bringing up this kind of thing over and over DH would have to be in the uncomfortable position of telling the family that the naming of children is up to the parents and if they continue to bring this topic of conversation up they may find the lights off on the front porch when the extended family goes for evening walks. 
  • I think, if LW's IL's are this toxic all the time, that LW's larger conversation with their partner should be about how they can try to extract themselves from being in their family's pocket all the time.  Maybe they look to move off the block and across town or something if H not working for the family isn't a viable option. Because if they're this hell-bent on a name, then it's not going to get any better and getting some separation is a route worth considering.  

    In the meantime, LW needs to keep shutting it down and also pushing their H to intervene and tell them to knock it off.  Every. Damn. Time. 
  • ei34ei34 member
    First Anniversary First Comment First Answer 5 Love Its
    Wow, LW's ILs are awful.  It's no one's business what expecting parents name their child.  Beyond obnoxious...I'm glad that the H is shutting them down.
  • This would quickly turn into a situation where I cut the in-laws out completely. They’re racist fucking assholes. 

  • I've heard advice before that friends/family shouldn't be told the name of a baby, until after it is born and the birth certificate is filled out.

    I wish I could go back in time and give this advice to the LW and her H!  There's a lot less to complain about, when it is a done deal.

    FWIW, it sounds like the LW is doing everything she can to get some peace.  Saying the subject is off limits, walking away, etc.  Might be time to start blocking phone numbers and e-mail addresses also, if she hasn't already.
    Wedding Countdown Ticker
  • I've heard advice before that friends/family shouldn't be told the name of a baby, until after it is born and the birth certificate is filled out.

    Yup.  This is what DH and I did each time.  We did tell people what Chiquito would be but it was to people who weren't going to say that to our parents and we knew they'd love the name because he's named after his grandfathers!
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