Husband asks if he's being 'controlling' for rejecting his wife's 'ridiculous' baby names

He refused to name his daughter Caeleigh.

baby names, aith, couple fights

A couple debates whether to name their baby Caeleigh.

There has been a significant change in how Americans name their children over the past few decades. Years ago, parents gave their children names that helped them fit in, and now they want them to have names that stand out.

Laura Wattenberg, founder of the naming trends site Namerology, told The Atlantic that in 1950 the percentage of babies born that received a common name was around 28%. However, in 2023, that number has dropped to just 7%.

“We are deep in an era of naming individuality, where parents assume that having a [name] sound distinctive and unique is a virtue,” Wattenberg told The Atlantic. The competition between parents to come up with unique names means that they risk giving their child one that’s so outlandish it could cause them trouble down the line.

Multiple studies show that having an unusual name can hamper a child’s economic and social prospects.

baby names, aith, couple fighting

A husband and wife at odds over a baby name

via Cottonboro Studio/Pexels

A father-to-be recently fought with his pregnant wife over what to name their daughter, and it sparked a good debate on Reddit. A user named NeverlyLane asked the AITA forum if he was wrong for rejecting his wife’s unusual name suggestions.

“I suggested my all-time favorite name, Anna. My wife suggested Caeleigh (pronounced Kailey, and yes, she spelled it out). I vetoed it,” the husband said.

“She suggested another name, Ryleigh (Riley, and again she did spell it out). I vetoed it and suggested Riley spelled the normal way. She refused. She then suggested Novalynn. I vetoed, suggesting Nora as an alternative. She again refused,” he continued.

The mother may be trying to be unique by coming up with names where the “ly” is replaced with “leigh,” but it’s a popular choice nowadays. Replacing “ly” with “leigh” is one of the biggest trends in baby names over the past few years.

baby names, couple fight, reddit

A couple fighting over a baby name

via Cottonboro Studios/Pexels

The mom-to-be couldn’t handle the rejection, so she lashed out at her husband. “What’s the point in talking about it if you veto all my choices, you controlling a**hole!” she said. “Maybe if you picked something normal, we might get somewhere, but you won’t even try to compromise!” the husband responded.

Looking to see if he was right, he posted about the exchange on Reddit, and just about everyone agreed with him.

"You’re doing your daughter a favor by vetoing these names," Cautious-Spited wrote. "Thank you for standing up for your unborn child. People should really stop naming their children traghedeighs and consider the fact that they will be adults one day," Reb-Lev added.

"You should suggest brockleigh," throwaway6827206t joked.

"Yeah, mom may never see it this way, but maybe if she can imagine being her kid and having to either explain how to pronounce or spell their name correctly over and over for their entire life—substitute teachers, doctor’s appointments, as an adult meeting with new clients/staff/customers EVERY SINGLE TIME…that’s not a burden you should put on your child for a first name just because you think it makes the name cooler," RavenWood_9 wrote.

The husband showed his wife the thread, and she agreed that her spellings were a little “out there.” The couple then compromised by choosing uncommon names with a history. “Anyway, we eventually decided on Reya Annaliese as our working first choice, with Mercy, Freya, and Eloise as our backups,” the husband wrote.


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