It’s not uncommon to honour special people in our lives by naming our children after them, but is this taking it a step too far?

A 30-year-old father-to-be says before he and his wife, Anna, got together, she was married to Caleb.

“They were high school sweethearts, got married at 20,” he explained.

“And when they were 23, he was hit by a drunk driver and passed. Anna and I have been together for 5 years, married for two. We are going to have a son very soon here and we have agreed on a first name.”

But it’s the baby’s middle name that’s causing issues for the couple.

“She wants his middle name to be Caleb, after her late husband. I told her I am uncomfortable with this as she is married to me now, and we should not be naming our kid after a previous partner that she had.

“She said that Caleb was a very large part of her life and she isn’t going to budge with that middle name. She said that since our son is going to have my last name, she should be able to choose the middle name.

“We have come to an impasse and cannot agree with this. She is calling me insensitive and that I knew how important Caleb is to her. Am I the a**hole?”

Share your opinion and advice in the comments below. 

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  • He will only be known by his first name anyway. She could have hyphenated her last name when she married you to keep her previous husband’s memory alive but she didn’t. Is it really worth all the hassle just for a middle name?


  • not an easy one, I can see both sides


  • Hmmmm. This requires understanding on both sides and communication. What is it that bothers the husband now? It’s not the first name, that would be weird. But it is a nod to someone who was very important to her. An interesting one, but what is it worth to you?


  • The fact she’s opened her heart again to you is such a compliment. Her ex is part of her history and made her into the woman you love today. You should thank him for his contribution and you made a promise to love, honour and protect her. What a lovely way to thank him.


  • I can understand you not feeling comfortable, but in the same token – her first husband died, and it was very tragic. I think if the wife wants this as a middle name you should try to be accepting of it. If it was any other family member, you likely wouldn’t have a problem, so why should this be different? You are allowing yourself to have feelings of jealously towards a memory, a person who is gone.


  • I can understand how uncomfortable it can be and hard to accept being a previous partners name. But in this situation, the name should be part of the middle name. Maybe give your son two middle names, one you could select in honour of another male and she can have her ex hubby as well. Her life was ripped apart when she lost her first hubby. Still grieving is a hard process. And for her to find new love and is happy with you, she will always have a part of her heart with him.
    Definitely nitot an a-hole of a partner, you need to be in her shoes to understand.


  • I doubt your wife will ever forget the name of her first husband who was tragically taken from her. Just maybe giving your son his middle name will be a way to deal with her grief and make your lives happier. I am sure that if your son’s middle name was after either your or your wife’s father who had tragically died, this question wouldn’t even come up. It certainly doesn’t mean she loves you any less.


  • I can understand her wanting this. He isn’t an ex, he was a big part of her life and still loves him.


  • Its the middle name and only in memory of someone that was a huge parh of her life. Its only a middle name, not the first.


  • I understand her reaction, I guess, but I think she’s wrong.


  • This is a tough one as so many emotions are involved.
    Firstly you need to understand that there was no big break up. Her first husband was taken from her. I know what that feels like. She loved/loves him. That doesnt mean that she doesnt love you just as much. its like when you have another child. You dont love the first one less so you can love child number 2. Love multiplies, it doesnt divide.
    I am involved now with a wonderful man who lost his wife so we are both in the same boat. He has photos everywhere of his wife and he asked me if it bothered me. I told him that it honestly didnt as it was his home and thats where he lived with her. He talks about her often and I talk about my husband. They are both part of our lives. I know his love for her will never leave and thats ok. its not a competition and its totally different to getting involved with someone who is still in love with their ex.
    You need to understand that your wife will never stop loving him and he will always be a huge part of what makes her her. Just love her and get over being jealous of her dead husband and understand she loves you but she will love and respect you even more if you can go to her and tell her that you have thought about it and if it makes her happy then you understand. You will drop the silly jealous feeling and understand that it doesnt mean she loves you any less. Show her what an awesome Man you truly are.


  • If it were me, I’d disagree as well.
    I think it would just hurt thinking that she might be wishing the child was the late hubby’s – I know a lot of friends who get called more often by their middle name rather than their first.


  • lol maybe the baby is her late husbands? That’s so strange to do that!


  • I think I’m with dad here. How weird will that be to explain to their son?


  • I had read that Australians own Business woman and model Miranda Kerr named her first born son – Flynn – after her high school sweetheart whom she lost in a car accident. Understand it’s may not be exactly the same situation, but at the time it was love and loss.

    • It does show that we’re all different in feelings and opinions


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