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Has anyone had a child named after you or your spouse that was NOT a relative.  My DS was named after DH, and great nephew was also named after DH.  Our friends, a couple, good friends we have known about 3 years but we no longer live in the same state, just texted to ask what we think about them naming their child after DH (she’s pregnant).  What would you say were you in my position?

Honestly, I feel a little weird. Mostly because they asked what we would think - how do you respond? And that it is “after” DH (not simply that they like the name). And that my friend has had a really hard time getting pregnant (he other child is 7.5 dd and they’ve been trying since she was 1, lost 2 pregnancies in the 12 wk range during that time) and is 38 and this will probably be their last child.  Does this come with extra expectation of our relationship with them, or their child? Is it significant that it’s after DH and not after the husband of this couple? That seems, I don’t know, a bit akward?

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I wouldn't think much of it personally. Having a Jr/Sr isn't a naming trend I particularly care for, so their choice of not naming the child after the father, makes sense to me.  It leads to lots of confusion, and in our case, the father's name isn't one you would want to pass on.  Dh has a non-gender specific name, but is more commonly a female name, same for his middle name.  (his mom wanted a girl) My own father has a very uncommon biblical name that he personally hated.  

It sounds like they admire some personality traits your husband possesses. That is a positive, not a negative in my book.  

When we named our son, we picked a biblical first name and common middle name.  The middle name happens to be the same as another male in our family and we had to specifically let people know that we were Not naming him after him.  It would have been less awkward if we liked this family member, but alas...we just liked his name.  LOL (He was a boyfriend on the way out of the family at the time, but pregnancy ended up keeping him around permanently)

 

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My daughter is named after a friend. She calls my daughter her “mini me”. I don’t understand what there is to feel weird about. As another poster mentioned, I admire some things in my friend. And I like the name. (There are plenty of other friends that I admire. I would not name a child after them if I did not also like the name. ). 

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My husband’s middle name was given to him after a family friend. It does not seem weird to me. DH did not have a particularly special relationship with this man, though. I remember when the man died, DH was like, “Oh, I didn’t realize his name was Eugene. (Because the man always went by a nickname.)” And MIL said, “Yes; that is why your middle name is Eugene. We named you after him.” 

OTOH, it’s not hard for me to imagine a parent thinking the named-after friend should have a particular interest in the child, in the manner that some have with Godmother/Godfather. I barely ever saw my Godmother my whole life long, but some godparents are very close to their godchild. 

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In college I had a roommate (one of 3 roomies) with the same name as me. We all got to be very good friends.

Sadly, Chris passed away from Lupus in her 30s. Our roommate named her daughter Sarah Christine. When I found out she'd done this, I said, "Oh, how sweet to name her after Chris!" She told me she was named after me, too.

I found it very touching. I don't think it's odd at all. 

Just wondering--do you get a weird vibe because it's a woman naming her child after YOUR husband? I mean, is there a tinge of discomfort because it seems...like she thinks extra-highly of him in a way that makes you feel...well, see where I'm going? 

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OP,

I'm in the "I think it's a little bit weird" camp, especially if you've only known the other family for three years.

I probably wouldn't say anything, and they can name their child what they want, but I think it's a little bit weird.

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I think the weird part is that they asked.  They don't have to ask your permission to name their kid.  Is the  name really unusual?

So, I think I'd feel a little weird about it. I wouldn't know how to respond other than "uh, sure, name your kid whatever you want." Which of course would come off rather rude.

 

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9 hours ago, katilac said:

Unless these people are weird or boundary-crossing in general, I'd say you're over-thinking it. 

Not weird or boundary crossing, but the dynamic in the relationship has sometimes been uneven and  akward for us. They say things about how much they look up to us and how we are closest thing to family (there’s major issues that make them not able to be close to their family on either side). They have on a few occasions approached us for moral guidance, not so much how you approach a friend for their $.02 but more like how you would approach a parent for counsel. We love them, enjoy their company, want to help them, but feel a bit uneasy when that dynamic is in play.

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8 hours ago, Liz CA said:

Would you feel the same way if this child was a girl and they would name her after you?

I’m not sure, but probably similarly because the friendship dynamic is still the same. It sometimes feels unbalanced and I feel pressure to take on a more pastoral role rather than a mutually supportive one. I’m having a hard time describing that.

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4 hours ago, Quill said:

My husband’s middle name was given to him after a family friend. It does not seem weird to me. DH did not have a particularly special relationship with this man, though. I remember when the man died, DH was like, “Oh, I didn’t realize his name was Eugene. (Because the man always went by a nickname.)” And MIL said, “Yes; that is why your middle name is Eugene. We named you after him.” 

OTOH, it’s not hard for me to imagine a parent thinking the named-after friend should have a particular interest in the child, in the manner that some have with Godmother/Godfather. I barely ever saw my Godmother my whole life long, but some godparents are very close to their godchild. 

Yes, I suppose I’m wondering if this is the case.  They do not follow the custom of Godparents, but they do not have any reliable/safe extended family (except one cousin who lives a great distance away). I guess the naming, in the context of them seeing us like family and often putting us up on a pedistal (like we have never made big mistakes - which we have - or that our family is so perfect - which it’s not), worries me there are unspoken (perhaps even unrealized by them) expectations that we might not live up to.

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3 hours ago, OKBud said:

I'd feel weird about it too. Like they are giving both the name and the relationship too much meaning by naming him after DH instead of just being like 'we loved the name .," and letting it be a little coincidence that they have a friend with the same name as their son.

OTOH I was pretty emotional all through one of my pregnancies, and I can easily picture myself being awkward like this in that time. 

Ultimately it's not a big deal. But my gut reaction is "hmmm awkward" too, OP. 

Yes, this is it.  We have been friends for about 3.5 years, but haven’t even lived in the same state for the last 1.5.  So in the two years that our friendships was active (we saw each other weekly at church and hung out for long game nights once a month, occasionally went to dinner) they had some terrible and terribly difficult things happen and we were also their confidants. It wasn’t the substance of the relationship, but because of these things (which estranged them from their families) it introduced that pastoral dynamic into the relationship. Then we moved, and that pastoral dynamic has lingered even over a distance.

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3 hours ago, Junie said:

OP,

I'm in the "I think it's a little bit weird" camp, especially if you've only known the other family for three years.

I probably wouldn't say anything, and they can name their child what they want, but I think it's a little bit weird.

I can’t not reply to the text (it was late enough last night that I can feign it was too late to reply, but now it’s no excuse), and silence I am positive would be taken personally.

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I want to say it’s no big deal, but since you feel uncomfortable about it - It’s obviously important.

Half of my family comes from the tradition that we don’t name children after living people.  Part of me always pauses and considers when I hear that someone has named a child for someone living.  I have an immediate reaction, and have to logically think it through.  If you have any background like that, then I doubly understand your feelings.  :)

Can you talk to your friends about how this makes you feel?  Or would that make it more awkward?

 

 

 

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4 hours ago, Chris in VA said:

In college I had a roommate (one of 3 roomies) with the same name as me. We all got to be very good friends.

Sadly, Chris passed away from Lupus in her 30s. Our roommate named her daughter Sarah Christine. When I found out she'd done this, I said, "Oh, how sweet to name her after Chris!" She told me she was named after me, too.

I found it very touching. I don't think it's odd at all. 

Just wondering--do you get a weird vibe because it's a woman naming her child after YOUR husband? I mean, is there a tinge of discomfort because it seems...like she thinks extra-highly of him in a way that makes you feel...well, see where I'm going? 

She does think extra highly of him - but I’m not worried on that front.  She thinks highly of him because of things he has done and accomplished, in particular because he’s a physician and she had always wanted a career in health/medicine and finished her CNA but then was not able to work in nursing. Also they both go to him for lots of spiritual advice (so does her husband), and look up to him as better understanding scripture and doctrine.  This makes the dynamic unbalanced, but I don’t fear romantic interest from her (or from DH).

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8 minutes ago, Spryte said:

I want to say it’s no big deal, but since you feel uncomfortable about it - It’s obviously important.

Half of my family comes from the tradition that we don’t name children after living people.  Part of me always pauses and considers when I hear that someone has named a child for someone living.  I have an immediate reaction, and have to logically think it through.  If you have any background like that, then I doubly understand your feelings.  :)

Can you talk to your friends about how this makes you feel?  Or would that make it more awkward?

 

 

 

More awkward. She’s very reactive. She used to think I hated her way back before I first invited them to Sunday dinner. Honest truth is she kept trying to talk to me in the halls at church when I was putting out fires in junior Sunday school and thought my brevity was hatred. We laugh about it now. But I’m afraid that saying “we feel a bit uncertain...” would crush her. And I’m afraid that not saying anything will deepen the imbalance in the friendship.

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Thanks for all the input. DH both agree that we won’t say anything to stop them - it is kind and flattering.  The thing I’m working out now is how to respond, since they asked for a response, without furthering the imbalance (eg no “we are so honored!”). 

ETA: I ended up with “You can name Baby whatever you would like - are you sure about DH though because he was a handful as a kid ? And we named DS after him and got a handful! All kidding aside, he's flattered. We're just excited for Baby, boy or girl, to get here!!”

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27 minutes ago, Targhee said:

ETA: I ended up with “You can name Baby whatever you would like - are you sure about DH though because he was a handful as a kid ? And we named DS after him and got a handful! All kidding aside, he's flattered. We're just excited for Baby, boy or girl, to get here!!”

Good response!

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I think it’s flattering & kind. However, if you feel there may be some expectation tied to it, I would simply call your friend. Tell her you are flattered but clarify what this means for them exactly. Let her know you and your husband feel honored but also humbled & being held with such high regard makes you feel a bit uneasy. I think gently communicating to them what you’ve communicated here is perfectly acceptable.  If they don’t have family, it may be just a simple way to feel connected to you all since they see you as the closest kin they have. But if you find out they expect you to play an actual role in the child’s life,  figure out what that is exactly and if you’re willing to take that on.  Overall though, I think it’s genuinely flattering.

 

ETA- just read your response to her. I think it’s perfect ?? 

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OIC. Well, I think you are handling it well and you must be a very kind person to be so considerate of her (their) feelings! 

I guess I wonder why you are uncomfortable with a friendship that has a pastoral/advisor type vibe. You call it unbalanced, for example. Do you feel...unworthy? THis is a funny question, but does it make you feel old? I know it is something I had to step into and realize at one point--that I was experienced enough to be able to offer some insight and some mentoring. Is this an odd feeling for you? My relationships that contain this aspect aren't unbalanced, necessarily, just ...well, it's hard to explain, but I don't find it negative, just different. I don't necessarily even think I have to constantly provide an example or stuff like that (watch my behavior in some way)--lol--I probably provide a negative example pretty often to everyone hahahha. 

Anyway, just exploring the idea further with you. Not meaning to be nosy. 

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I’m named after two of my parents friends at the time of my birth. I don’t remember ever meeting these people nor do my parents have any contact even 50+ years later. The only thing I don’t like about it is my first and middle names are rather unpopular and one is rather annoying because of connotations people assume from it. 

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