Husband Tries To Force His Wife To Accept A Nickname, She Packs Her Bags And Leaves
Nicknames can be affectionate and cute! However, not when another person doesn’t really wish to be called by one. Unfortunately, sometimes a person’s close environment proves to be inconsiderate enough to try to force them to simply accept it.
Such was the experience of this Redditor when her husband and his family would not drop it, driving the woman to pack her things and stay with her sister. The Redditor asked people online whether her response was reasonable.
More info: Reddit
A woman found most of the nicknames by her husband cute; however, there was one that she refused
Image credits: Ale Art (not the actual photo)
As only the woman’s late mother called her Lulu, she felt weird if anyone else did
Image credits: Alternative_Gene4352
Image credits: Matthew Fultz (not the actual photo)
Image credits: Alternative_Gene4352
For a long time the husband respected his wife’s wish not to be called by the same nickname that her late mother used
Image credits: RDNE Stock project (not the actual photo)
However, recently the man’s sister started calling his wife Lulu and he picked up the nickname
Reddit user Alternative Gene4352 shared her situation on AITA Subreddit, asking if she overreacted to her husband and his family picking up on her nickname against her wish. The woman was called “Lulu” only by her late mother and as she took the loss of her mother pretty hard, she explained to her husband that for her, it doesn’t feel right to hear anyone else say it.
While for the time they have known each other, the husband and his family have often called her various nicknames, which she found pretty cute and endearing, the husband respected his wife’s wish not to be called Lulu. However, recently, the situation has changed. The woman’s husband started using the same nickname that her mother used after picking it up from his sister, who started referring to her using it whenever the woman wasn’t there.
Even though the woman calmly reminded her husband a couple of times that she would appreciate if he did not call her that, her husband answered that “he didn’t see the big deal anymore”, as she “should be over it by now”. Even though the man said it lightly, the woman packed her bag and went to stay with her sister, later getting texted by the man’s family that she was “doing a lot over a little nickname”.
The woman reminded her husband calmly a few times, to which he replied that “she should be over it by now”
Image credits: JÉSHOOTS (not the actual photo)
The woman packed her bag to stay with her sister and was texted that she is doing a lot over a nickname
Suzanne Dehhes-White in her article for Psychology Today emphasized that pet names between couples are a good sign, as similarly to nicknames, they can be a way of being demonstrative, showing affection, and projecting tenderness, in such a way giving positive emotional charge to the relationship. On the other hand, she warned that nicknames can also be used to infer power over another person by those who choose to use them to their own advantage.
Similarly, in her article How Do We Know What To Call Someone? Professor of Communication Dawn O. Bralthwalte noted that what we call people and how they address us does matter because people tend to talk themselves into (and out of) relationships, developing, creating, maintaining, and altering them by using language.
Bralthwalte explained that the ways in which we address others often reflect the status of the relationship. The required or preferred terms of address give people clues into the closeness and distance of the relationship as well as the context or culture in which a particular relationship is embedded.
The researcher gave an example of two sons, from which one was estranged from his mother and left her a 75th birthday card in her mailbox, addressed to “Mrs. Starling”, while another son stopped in for a visit with a card with “Dearest Mom” written on the envelope, emphasizing the difference in relationships that was reflected in the choice of words for addressing their biological mother.
Bralthwalte discussed how to figure out what we are supposed to call other people, listing various strategies, which included modeling – listening and watching to what others around you say or do and modeling one’s behavior after those who seem to be communicating competently, as well as introducing your preferred ways to be addressed into a conversation.
She also suggested using indirect communication like introducing different terms into conversation and observing the response. However, starting more formally and being told to use the other person’s first name or nickname instead is a better strategy than starting too casually.
Naturally, using direct communication by simply telling other people how you wish to be called or asking them how they want you to address them might often be helpful as well.
Finally, Bralthwalte emphasized the importance of code-switching depending on the situation and audience, noting that while a person might normally use various nicknames for a friend, in a professional situation, it might be appropriate to code-switch to a more formal term of address.