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First-time parents who named their baby boy in keeping with a family tradition have decided five months later to change their son’s name, causing a huge family rift.

The new dad took to a forum to explain the situation, and to ask if he and his wife are doing the wrong thing.

“My wife and I had our first baby five months ago,” he explained. “We’ve been together for six years, married for five. He is a beautiful little boy and we gave him the same first name as my wife’s father, ‘Keith’.”

But the 24-year-old dad says his wife’s relationship with her father is complicated.

“My wife grew up hating her father for cheating on her mother and abandoning the family. In the past decade, he worked tirelessly to improve their relationship. In her family, it’s typically tradition for the first grandson and granddaughter to be named after their grandparents and my wife was proud to name our son after her father.

“However, a few weeks ago, my wife and her father had a MASSIVE argument.”

The new dad explained that he and his wife became pregnant not long after she gave birth to their baby, and she opened up to her dad, saying she was worried about the unplanned second pregnancy.

“Turns out, her dad is convinced that for some reason, I am going to cheat on my wife. He thinks we got married too young and I’ll get bored of her now that she’s devoting all her time to our son.”

It caused a huge argument, and a few days later, she had a miscarriage.

“Essentially, he kicked her while she was already down for no reason. I had a friendly relationship with him but I know he wanted my wife to marry someone from her own background.

“Since the argument, my wife has not been calling our son by his name. She’s using nicknames, calling him ‘the baby’ etc. She said that she needs time to get over the argument with her dad, but she also blames him for the miscarriage which is something I don’t think she’ll get over. My father-in-law has made no attempts to apologise or reconcile.”

After a month of the new mum refusing to call her baby by his name, the couple decided they needed to change it, to help protect her mental health.

“If this argument continues or is ever brought up again, she can’t be too upset to use his name when he’s old enough to actually know it.

“We’ve started the process now to change the name and somehow it got back to my father-in-law AND he knows that I suggested it. He is infuriated. He said that I was supposed to be the levelheaded one since my wife is postpartum and recovering from a miscarriage and that I’ve just made their rift a million times worse since I’ve denied him the family tradition.

“My in-laws think I’m an asshole for insisting on the name change since now it’ll be even harder for them to reconcile. I don’t think I am but my brother said it would be a good idea to get an unbiased opinion. So, am I the asshole?”

What do you think? Let us know in the comments below. 

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  • Personally I wouldn’t care what anyone else thinks. Ultimately it’s up to you and your husband what you do regarding your child’s name.

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  • Ooohhhh, a really difficult situation. Looking at this see-saw of a relationship tho, it’s possible they’ll change the baby’s name and things with dad will improve

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  • Considering the fractious nature of the relationship between your wife and her father, these arguments between them are not going to get better. Change the baby’s name now before he lives to regret being called after his grandfather. Although I like the name of Keith, it is an extremely old-fashioned name these days and the child will probably thank you for not calling him this name for more than one reason.

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  • Personally i think if it was good enough to name bub with his name that you should stick with it. My Motto for life thanks to my grandmother is “Start as you mean to go on” It whould have been thought about before naming bub after someone…what if that someone did something to cause upset?

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  • In understand it can be hard to break with family traditions, but in the end of the day you need to make your own decisions. You’re adults and have now your own family where you create your own values and safe place.

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  • Your baby so your choice. But do it soon as it’s easier that way for your baby.

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  • I think it’s best to change the name now rather than wait.

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  • You have to do what’s right for your young family, you have every right to change your Childs name.

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  • Totally understandable. Easier to change it now than down the track. Start a new tradition with your own family.

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  • I think this is very sensible given the fractious relationship between Mother and grandfather.

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  • Honestly I’d definitely be changing it; the sooner, the better. Sounds like the relationship is pretty volatile and honestly the baby needs his own name anyway.


    • Being an individual with your own unique identity is so important.

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  • Your baby, your choice and no one else gets a vote!

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  • I think you are doing the right thing. Mental health is so important.


    • Exactly ! This father in law sounds toxic

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  • Sound like the father in law has a bit of an ego issue.
    You write “Essentially, he kicked her while she was already down for no reason.”
    When that’s true you have all reason to discontinue contact


    • A sad situation to be in, I totally understand their decision.

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  • Your wives well being especially her mental health is your top priority. So you did what was the best solution for your wife. Your family your decision.

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  • Their baby, their choice.
    The father in law doesn’t sound like a good person anyway so I wouldn’t want want the baby named after someone who doesn’t display good characteristics.

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  • You did it to protect her mental health. Sometimes that trumps any family tradition.

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  • What a terrible situation. Your reasons for changing your son’s name are so empathetic, kind and considerate of your wife’s mental health. You, your wife and baby are now one unit, one family and you get to make decisions based on that.. Her father etc are relatives and do not get to dictate or cause harm. Your poor wife has been through enough and she is lucky to have your love and support.

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  • It’s good to change the baby’s name so he doesn’t inadvertently end up in the middle of future arguments – and I bet there will be more.

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  • Your looking after your wife and son, something that from what has been said the father in law has failed to do and looking after them comes first everything and everyone else after

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