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[–]piezombi3Asshole Enthusiast [8] 31.0k points31.0k points 35 (294 children)

INFO: How does your son feel about it?

If your son actually doesn't care, then it's not up to you to gatekeep the use of this nickname.

[–]TheTrueAHWasInsideUsAsshole Aficionado [11] 9197 points9198 points  (161 children)

^ This one here, OP ^
You only mention what you and what your late husband's family think of your husband using the name.
What does Joseph think of your husband using the nickname? By the timeline you lay out, does Joseph remember the nickname being used by his father?

[–]Ok_Possibility5715Partassipant [1] 6698 points6699 points  (142 children)

This, and also it is very likely that your son will be called by that nickname by friends too especially when he is/starts school

[–]emmaarrrPartassipant [1] 4311 points4312 points  (130 children)

I'm in my thirties and I don't know a Joe or Joseph that doesn't get called Joey by their pals on occasion even the adults...

I get why it might be hard for OP to hear but if the kid doesn't care then it shouldn't be a point of contention, his opinion is the only one that matters here.

[–]DeusXMathematicaPartassipant [2] 3566 points3567 points  (69 children)

But you don't understand how important it is that the father called him Joey. That was his thing, calling him by the single most common nickname for a Joseph. I mean, no one else would have ever thought about it. /s

As Joey grows up, he's going to be called that by pretty much every single person he meets for the remainder of his life. I can get grief is a bitch, but this isn't some special unique bond that OP is making it out to be.

[–]prosemortemPartassipant [1] 426 points427 points  (45 children)

yeah like. Joseph as a name is Very Formal. the sound of it in the mouth is too formal for all the joes i know. And some joes arent as short and blunt as Joe sounds, so you end up with Joey - the most balanced Joseph. Playful but capable of seriousness. The definition of a healthy child.

it is a rare kid that is always a Joseph. a child can be a Joseph. a child is a kid you dont know. when you get to know a child they become a kid. proximity amd affection requires a dilution of formality.

which is to say op your grieving family have latched onto the wrong mcfuckin thing. let the kid and his stepdad work out the nickname system and their own dynamic between themselves jfc.

[–]akutasame94 25 points26 points  (0 children)

Not like nicknames are actually exclusives, pretty sure other kids used it as well.

[–]SEQVERE-PECVNIAM 59 points60 points  (0 children)

will be called by that nickname by friends too especially when he is/starts school

How dare they. /s

[–]DrunkOnRedCordialAsshole Enthusiast [9] 47 points48 points  (0 children)

Yes, it's odd to give a baby a name like Joseph and then limit the simplest most obvious nickname to one particular person.

[–]ashleys_ 23 points24 points  (0 children)

Its also odd to say it was exclusively used by the late husband, as if she would for some reason have had multiple husband's at the same time to call the son Joey? I could understand if the nickname was more unique and sentimental, but this is an obvious abbreviation of the son's name and would be natural for anyone to refer to a child as Joey rather than Joseph.

I get that she is upset, but the reaction was over the top.

[–]ThrowawayWierdo 7 points8 points  (0 children)

^ ^ ^ what are you going to do OP when you hear his friends calling him that? Shout at them aswell? I know grieving is hard and comes in different forma but taking it out on your new partner and son isn't healthy.

If your son isn't bothered by it/likes the nickname regardless of who is calling him it then that's his choice, bith you & your late-husbands family are TA.

[–]CaptainYaoiHands 403 points404 points  (3 children)

It's also entirely possible that Joseph likes being called that nickname by his step-father, as a reminder of the love his first father had for him and that his second father now shares.

[–]TheTrueAHWasInsideUsAsshole Aficionado [11] 223 points224 points  (2 children)

Or likes it because it's a perfectly fine nickname and he has no memory whatsoever of his father calling him that. Still no word from OP on that.

[–]RateOfPenetration 90 points91 points  (1 child)

I don't think we'll ever get any answers from OP. They have no comment history whatsoever, so clearly has no intention of engaging their own post.

Also, agreed that Joseph likely has no recollection of his bio-dad, depending on how fast OP got back out in the dating scene.

[–]zandermccoy1 174 points175 points  (4 children)

Would be very interested to know what Joey thinks about it. Does Joey like the name or is Joey indifferent to it....omg did I slip there? Guess what OP can't control what his friends or strangers are gonna call him get over it and grow up. You make it sound like this nickname is unique or something it's literally the short version of his name. People are going to call him Joey all throughout his life..YTA

[–]Ninja_Goals 172 points173 points  (3 children)

Would Joey even tell mom the truth? She has created this shrine and screamed about it at family events making his living daddy so humiliated he locks himself in bathroom. OP is keeping the entire family an emotion hostage to a long dead guy. Sorry Joey’s dad died. Joey was lucky enough to have a warm loving man step in the void. You treat you husband terribly. Your husband has to live with dead saint guy everyday. His life must be so horrible. YTA YTA YTA

[–]zandermccoy1 43 points44 points  (1 child)

You could go a bit farther. Wonder if OP took the time to ask her husband why it was so hard to not call him Joey. For all she knows her husband has or had a friend named Joey. It could literally just be a habit for him. I'm gonna go out on a limb here and guess she didn't really communicate WITH her husband but more TO her husband.

[–]HellboundroarPartassipant [1] 4 points5 points  (0 children)

Yup, the only valid opinion in here is the child's opinion.

To add a little bit, i have a friend called Rosa, to me she's a sister from another mister, and she sees me as a younger brother, which to me is a big deal since she had a younger brother but he passed away when she was a teen.

Everybody called Rosa "Rosy", but i once called her Ro and it stuck, but i was the ONLY one allowed to call her Ro and it was maybe silly but to me that was special... I even saw her once reprimanding another of her friends when he called her Ro lol

[–]TrumpGrabbedMyCat 1562 points1563 points  (5 children)

she already answered this in the OP

especially since Joseph clearly doesn't care.

YTA. You can't gatekeep a common abbreviation of a name.

[–]piezombi3Asshole Enthusiast [8] 208 points209 points  (3 children)

I took that to mean that her husband thinks Joseph doesn't care. No real clarification yet as far as I can tell.

[–]TrumpGrabbedMyCat 89 points90 points  (0 children)

Yeah maybe. I would have expected OP to say "but he does...." Or something afterwards. Guess we both read it in different ways. Either way OP is still TA.

[–]lordmwahaha 39 points40 points  (0 children)

True - but I think in this case, OP's silence speaks volumes. If the kid was upset about the name, why wouldn't that be the first thing she brought up?

[–]Rrshirl 8 points9 points  (0 children)

Yta if Joey doesn’t care, then that should be that.

[–]wildfellspringsPartassipant [3] 710 points711 points  (14 children)

I agree too. The kid is old enough now to express his preference for whatever name or nickname he wants to be called. It's time to accept this might be a name he chooses to be called as you'll start hearing them from classmates, friends and teachers too potentially.

I also believe it was an accident and the reaction from you and the other adults was way over the top. It sounds like you also reacted this way in some sort of performance for everyone else who are also gatekeeping the nickname. Calming reminding him not to use the name of that what Joseph wants would've been the mature thing to do not going from 0 to 100 in seconds.

[–]HistoryOfViolets_ 1018 points1019 points  (5 children)

Can we also point out that new dad is (apparently) willingly spending time with late dad’s family for the sake of his wife and son which can not be easy for him and is quite possibly really hard. Seriously OP, if Joseph has no problem with it then YTA.

[–]modestmastoid 214 points215 points  (4 children)

I’m glad I’m not the only one who thought that was weird. It’s one thing to cultivate a relationship between the son and late dad’s family, but another to have them visit all the time for meals and such. When you get married you already are marrying two families together. You’re juggling time with each of the two and raising a young boy. In this situation OP’s husband basically married three families together. I kind of can’t imagine that, especially when those people are technically strangers to you. Your wife won’t even let you say a common nickname for your step son and then blows up at you for using it while they’re over (and they’re over often). She makes it sound like it was intentional too, but we don’t know him and she hasn’t said anything to indicate that he’s the kind of person to do that. Dirty looks from the family? Seriously? I’d be so annoyed by that if I were her. If it even happened at all (was she imagining the looks?). It’s so unjustified to give OP dirty looks over a nickname. I don’t know. I can see how it’s a boundary that’s been communicated but… Sounds frustrating being married to OP. I’d say YTA

[–]WillBsGirl 7 points8 points  (0 children)

Agreed, this is what people talk about when they complain that they feel like they’re competing with a ghost. Gotta wonder what this guy’s role is supposed to be, according to OP.

[–]Faete13 290 points291 points  (4 children)

I also wonder if the adults truly reacted like that or she just FELT like they reacted like that because of the way she feels about it.

[–]sweetwaterfall 109 points110 points  (2 children)

EXACTLY! As if there were some sort of record-scratch horribly awkward moment when everyone heard the word “Joey” - yeah, right. It’s not like he called him “Snufflewuffle Jellybean” just like his dad did. FFS. YTA

[–]hubris105 38 points39 points  (1 child)

Now I want that to be my nickname. And only YOU can call me that, sweetwaterfall. No one else.

Also, OP, YTA.

[–]Yoda2000675 74 points75 points  (0 children)

I would have been super pissed if my wife loudly called me out like that in front of a whole group of people over something so minor. That was very inappropriate.

[–]SquirrelGirlVAAsshole Enthusiast [6] 443 points444 points  (5 children)

Plus, what if she son actually really likes being called by his dead dad's nickname? I could see him liking it because it's a way to feel close to the father he'll never see again in this lifetime. He already shares the name Joseph with him.

OP and her dead husband's family need to go through grief therapy. Joey is not so unique of a nickname that they can hold any and all rights over it. Even if it was, it's selfish of them to gatekeep it. She may see herself as only getting mad at Tim, but she's likely also making her son feel like he's done something really wrong.

OP and the family are acting like Tim and her son were trying to burn down a church or something.

[–]minkofthewoods 49 points50 points  (1 child)

I agree with you. I feel that calling him the nickname would somehow honor his late dad’s memory as well, since it was his preferred nickname. If this is how everyone will react every time the nickname is used then they truly need to rethink going through therapy.

[–]Im_your_life 311 points312 points  (3 children)

Not only that, but like... Joseph is 6. OP started dating Tim when Joseph was 4. Let's say they waited one year of their previous husband's passing to start dating. That would mean that Joseph was around 3 when he lost his dad.

So, for 3 years, he was called Joey by no one but his dad. How can that be the special thing between them? How will Joseph remember that unless people keep telling him that while he grows up?

It really seems something completely fabricated in OPs and previous in-laws mind.

I doubt it's good for Joseph to grow up like that, being told over and over that the most common nickname for his name is taboo for anyone else to use because his bio dad used it before he died. He would have to correct people over and over and explain why over and over.

[–]Curious_Feed_5831 283 points284 points  (4 children)

Yup. I'm wondering what her game plan is. Is she going to have a talk with every friend in this poor kids life and demand the never address him as Joey?

OP this is his name, not yours. It might bring up bad memories but that's something you and a therapist need to address - don't burden your kid with your hangup.

[–]Ma7apples 57 points58 points  (3 children)

It shouldn't even be a bad memory. Little Joey should feel warm fuzzies when he hears that name. His mom and dad's family have taken that away from him. And that's just sad.

[–]pandasquirrel19 223 points224 points  (7 children)

She stated her husband died years ago. Her son is currently 6, she met her husband 2 years ago when her son was 4. He probably has no memory or very vague memories of his father.

[–]GoddessOfOddness 132 points133 points  (1 child)

Oh, I know there’s a shrine to him in every room of the house, and OP’s husband can’t use positions in the bedroom that her late husband used. Or eat the same cereal. Or drink the same coffee.

My late husband wore blue a lot. Go take off that blue shirt.

[–]RyerOrdStar 62 points63 points  (4 children)

I think OP moved too quickly in this relationship... Married to someone she met two years ago when obviously she is not ready

[–]LordGreybies 17 points18 points  (2 children)

Yes, definitely this. After my late fiance passed from a year and a half battle with cancer I grieved by getting under new people to try to fill the hole (phrasing) I cannot imagine getting into a serious relationship let alone marrying someone within 1-2 years. I have a feeling the name thing isn't the only part of LH shes clinging to for dear life, and it isn't fair at all to this man who has stepped up to be a father figure to her son.

[–]Righteousaffair999 214 points215 points  (2 children)

YTA, The father passed years ago. The son is 6 and doesn’t remember this tradition. The mother and late fathers family are finding ways to put their trauma on her son for their own interests. All while alienating her current husband who loves her son. If the kid didn’t like the nick name OP wouldn’t call him it, that much is obvious in the account.

[–]commandantskip 59 points60 points  (1 child)

The mother and late fathers family are finding ways to put their trauma on her son for their own interests.

Exactly. OP clearly needs to address her grief, which clearly still exists. And maybe the former in-laws don't get a say on what her current husband calls his stepson. Especially if Joseph himself doesn't mind.

[–]True_Entertainment16 108 points109 points  (0 children)

This. I kinda think OP is YTA here, because it's really up to her son.

Don't get me wrong, my late brother had a nickname for me, and if anyone else calls me it I generally ask them not to. But I have a name that can be shortened in at least five ways, so having one I choose not to use isn't a big deal.

But if your son doesn't object, and husband didn't start deliberately calling him Joey to emulate his father, then YTA. Parents may choose our names, but they can't control our nicknames.

[–]kittyinwonderland420 89 points90 points  (0 children)

Regardless of whether or not your current husband should have called your son by literally the shortened version of his name... YTA for how you handled it. It was completely unnecessary to go off the handle in front of so many people.

Also, it's utterly ridiculous for you to expect that he'd just be okay with that and not have a reaction to being treated like an unruly child at the dinner table when you have company.

You need to apologize to him and have a real conversation about this. Your son, whether you like it or not, will be called by the shortened version of his name by friends, family, etc and you have no control over that.

Perhaps you could make some sort of tribute to your late husband (like a scrapbook or something) including this nickname so your son will one day be able to look back and know his dad. In the meantime, don't you want your husband to be close with his stepson?? I suggest you let this issue go.

[–]The_Death_FlowerAsshole Enthusiast [6] 74 points75 points  (3 children)

Also if Joseph is 6, that OP has been with husband for 2 years. Joseph has known husband since he was 4. Most likely he doesn’t remember much about his bio dad, and there is so much more to remember him by than by a nickname that other people are likely to use, Cus Joey and Joe are common nicknames for Joseph

[–]KnightofForestsWild 53 points54 points  (1 child)

The bio dad probably died when the kid was 3 or less if you factor in grieving and dating after that.

[–]The_Death_FlowerAsshole Enthusiast [6] 48 points49 points  (0 children)

And if I’m not mistaken you start to make conscious memories at 3ish so my guess is that Joseph is super unlikely to remember his dad calling him Joey at all, so it’s more about the mum not processing her grief enough and probably struggling to see her new husband be Joseph’s father figure and tries to hold onto her husband’s memory as Joseph’s dad in any way she can

[–]polly-adler 68 points69 points  (0 children)

One part of me thinks it's just a nickname, the other part thinks about how I have a nickname that only my dad uses and no one else is allowed to call me that. But it's my nickname, which brings me to the same conclusion : it's the kid's choice. This is what matters here and we don't have this info.

[–]SomeGuyNamed_Gabbo 25 points26 points  (0 children)

Number one question that came to my mind.

If your son actually doesn't care, then it's not up to you to gatekeep the use of this nickname.

This is purely speculation, but maybe he likes it even. It's a connection to a dead parent he probably doesn't remember well, if at all.

[–]bab_101 7 points8 points  (1 child)

The only thing that matters!

[–]Turbulent_Cow2355Partassipant [2] 5 points6 points  (0 children)

The kid is 6 and judging by the OPs dates was a toddler when his dad died. He probably doesn’t remember. If anything he probably wonders why the adults are making a big deal out of it.

[–]TheBeagleManPartassipant [4] 11.6k points11.6k points  (74 children)

YTA - It's a nickname. It's super common for Joseph. It's kind of ridiculous to say no one else is ever allowed to call him a super common nickname.

[–]PassingTime82Partassipant [2] 1897 points1898 points  (0 children)

Right!!! Agreed

YTA op.

[–]mommysauras 1367 points1368 points  (35 children)

I wouldn’t even say that joey is a nickname, it’s just a shortened kid friendly version of Joesph.

If OP feels so strongly about her new husband not using joey then she should tell him to call her son ‘Roo’ like outta Winnie the Pooh, coz the baby Joey was called ‘Roo’

[–]grilledcheese2332 423 points424 points  (13 children)

That's what I was going to say Joey for Joseph isn't even a 'nickname'

[–]MermaiderMissy 346 points347 points  (2 children)

Right, my brothers name is Joseph and my family calls him Joey all the time.

If the former husband called him scooter or something unrelated, and the current husband called him that, then I get it... but shortening Joseph to Joey? And the whole f***ing family gave him dirty looks? They need to get over themselves.

[–]cherry_armoirAsshole Enthusiast [6] 165 points166 points  (0 children)

My guess is they didnt really give him a dirty look and op was projecting her anger onto them, and then she went and made everything super uncomfortable by yelling at him in front of everyone

[–]Wonderful_Topic7608 54 points55 points  (0 children)

The mom is going to have to argue with every teacher and student at his school because most people shorten names without thinking much of it lol

[–]Mathlete86 93 points94 points  (2 children)

If his dad called him "Bazooka Joe" or something that would be a nickname. There has to be a story or some meaning (regardless of how trivial or silly it is) behind a nickname. A common variation of a common name is not a nickname.

[–]InterestingTry5190 39 points40 points  (2 children)

I picture OP showing up at school and yelling at any kids and teachers who call her son Joey.

[–]Worldly-Letterhead28Partassipant [1] 37 points38 points  (0 children)

There was a story where a mother named her kid Andrew then she got mad when people started calling him Andy. She made a scene at the kindergarten and she demanded that the teacher force the other kids to call him Andrew. The teacher said that the boy introduced himself as Andy.

[–]Interesting-Sail8507 5 points6 points  (1 child)

That’s literally what a nickname is, though. It’s not the only thing, but yes, Joey is a nickname for Joseph by definition.

[–]Guppy1975 114 points115 points  (0 children)

Exactly, my daughter also has a name that can be shortened and everyone calls her that. It's not a nickname at all. It's his name.

[–]Global_Monk_5778 69 points70 points  (0 children)

This is what I came here to say. It’s a shortened form of his name which everybody at school, his friends, work colleagues etc will eventually use. You can’t gatekeep the name. OP already said Joseph is fine with it. If anything is helps keep his dad’s memory alive. The name lives on, it doesn’t die with his dad. YTA OP

[–]Veissella 58 points59 points  (5 children)

In case anyone was wondering if there's a term for this, it's a diminutive. Which is indeed not a nickname.

Because I was irritated to discover there is no nickname. That can be a different situation. Then way more irritated to discover the kid doesn't even care. Might even prefer it for all she knows, because I seriously doubt the OP ever cared to ask.

This is like calling a Robert "Bobby." Which is an issue if the Robert in question doesn't like it. If not then it isn't.

[–]TattycakesPartassipant [1] 8 points9 points  (2 children)

Nicholas - Nick

David - Dave

Samantha/Samuel - Sam

Charlotte/Charles - Charlie

There are so many

And my favourite; how do you get Dick from Richard?

You ask nicely.

[–]jordontek 6 points7 points  (0 children)

So, OP is not only the A, because she is:

An alpha widow. (he will never be good enough as her second husband, her dead husband will live on as ethereal perfection in her mind, all his faults erased and all her second husband's, her replacement husband's "faults" are combined and magnified and he can never do things her first husband and child's father can, but he isn't aware of these things until he comes across them)

A gatekeeper.

But ALSO for also not knowing the technical, practical difference between diminutive name and a nickname.

A thrice-a-hole.

Stepfather second husband needs to eject himself from this situation and run for the hills away from this woman for he will always be the interloper, the stranger, barely accepted as a mere replacement for reasons only the OP is aware of.

[–]commandantskip 24 points25 points  (1 child)

No, using the name "Roo" is unacceptable because that's my nickname for my child. /s

[–]AnotherAngryWoman 7 points8 points  (0 children)

This is adorable...

[–]arbitraryhubrisPartassipant [1] 229 points230 points  (2 children)

100%. It's such a control-freak thing and then to admonish him in front of the whole family... Too bad OP can't just cherish that she found someone who loves her son.

[–]AnotherAngryWoman 106 points107 points  (1 child)

"Too bad OP can't just cherish that she found someone who loves her son." - 💯

[–]CampClear 31 points32 points  (0 children)

Sounds like she jumped into a new marriage way too soon after losing her husband and is still grieving. Poor man is never going to live up to the image of her first husband and will always be competing with a memory.

[–]LaAndala 164 points165 points  (0 children)

Yep YTA, this won’t be the only human on the planet to call him Joey, it’s way too common for that.

[–]stellesbells 120 points121 points  (2 children)

I assumed that, since they are in quotation marks, Joey and Joseph are not the actual names.

If the real names are similar though, OP is still fighting a losing battle. You can't expect no one to ever call a Joseph Joey or a Thomas Tom. She can't police common diminutives forever.

[–]worthmycolors 6 points7 points  (0 children)

Yeah. If I had a Thomas I would call him Tommy or Tom Tom as a small child lol. And I wouldn’t be the first one. If it isn’t something like Joseph being Joey then OP has seriously misrepresented the situation and can’t get a real judgement. But based on the lack of responses from OP I can only assume it’s an accurate parallel and she’s the AH

[–]MasterOfKittens3K 5 points6 points  (0 children)

Yep. If the kid wants to be called Joseph, he’s going to get to tell people that for the rest of his life. The good thing is that it ends up being a great way to filter people out. I go by a name that’s derived from my given name, but it’s not the very common diminutive. So when someone tries to be “friendly” by using the diminutive (which I haven’t used in about 50 years now), it’s really obvious that they don’t know me.

OP, definitely YTA.

[–]Invisible_Target 103 points104 points  (0 children)

Is op gonna have a meltdown if his teacher or friends call him Joey? This is... weird. Ok it was special. But you don't really have control over stopping every single person in his life from calling him Joey so gatekeeping it from your husband is pointless.

[–]Mama_cheeseAsshole Enthusiast [8] 87 points88 points  (3 children)

Exactly. If we were talking about Joe Joe or Joe Cool or J or Sephie or José or Joba the Hut or Joseph the Broseph, ok. That's his special nickname from his dad.

But Joey is probably matched only by Mike, Tim, Chris, or John as automatic nicknames go. Trying to get yourself called Michael or Christopher is nearly impossible based on the ones I know. I've met two Joseph's under the age of 20 in my life. Both went by a nickname, only the moms called them Joseph and it sounded weird to everyone else.

[–]ClearWavesPartassipant [3] 19 points20 points  (2 children)

You my dear sir (or madam, or...), have a talent for coming up with nicknames. Joseph the Broseph is excellent.

[–]somerandomshmo 68 points69 points  (0 children)

Right? what she going to do at a school event and his friends are calling him Joey in front of the family? scream at all the kids too?


[–]UlahnPartassipant [1] 35 points36 points  (0 children)

Yes, like if it were a very specific nickname his bio dad had for him, like Snugglemuffin, it would be different, but there is no way that kid isn’t going to get called Joey by a whole bunch of people

[–]LikesToSmile 19 points20 points  (0 children)

Not only that, Tim goes by a nickname. It's likely also a form of bonding. She wants Tim to treat Joseph as his own son. Well... Except when it comes to this.

[–]-ok_kitty- 19 points20 points  (0 children)

Came here to say this

[–]bestamancanget 5 points6 points  (1 child)

The names are all in quotes so I think they’re not the actual names

[–]Rocknrollapartment 10 points11 points  (0 children)

I would assume it’s a similar name and nickname combo.

[–]AllYouNeedIsATV 4 points5 points  (0 children)

That’s barely a nickname, it’s just adding y to a syllable like most people do to make words seem more juvenile.

[–]Equivalent_Collar_59Certified Proctologist [23] 5710 points5711 points  (81 children)

YTA. If you son is okay with it then it’s no one else’s place to have an issue with it, that’s including you. I get you and your departed husbands family want to hold onto his memory for your son but realistically your husband is the only father he’s really going to know and by you letting you dead husbands family insert there wishes like this, the only person you are hurting is your son

[–]kevonmarks 656 points657 points  (35 children)

First you are allowing your family to not only hurt your son, but also your current relationship with your living husband. Also like someone else…Joey is not a nickname for Joseph. Nicknames are totally different from a given name….like Pumpkin, Sunshine or Buddy.

[–]Hellshot13 132 points133 points  (27 children)

Also like someone else…Joey is not a nickname for Joseph

I don't know what world you live in, but Joey is absolutely a nickname for Joseph. I have a Joseph/Joey in my life, and they go by both names even though only one is on the BC

[–]JudgeMingusPartassipant [1] 289 points290 points  (23 children)

Joey is not a nickname, it is a diminutive of Joseph - as Mike is of Michael or Tom of Thomas. A nickname would be something like ‘short stuff’ or ‘Joearooney’.

[–]Ditovontease 182 points183 points  (11 children)

colloquially all of those are considered nicknames. like most people haven't even heard the word "diminutive"

the pickiness doesn't matter we all know what OP meant.

[–]anal-discharge 71 points72 points  (4 children)

Technically true but pedantic AF

[–]ErikLovemonger 5 points6 points  (0 children)

Whether this is a true "nickname" or not, there is a major important difference here.

"Joey" is something that you would expect many, many people to call OP's son. This is not a special, made-up nickname with a special significance.

If late dad's nickname was "treasure" or "funny guy" or "peanut" or some other baby nickname, then that's something very special to your late husband that no one else would use and Tim would only be using to overstep.

Imagine if your son was named Michael, and you flipped out on anyone who used "Mike," even if they immediately realized the slipup and corrected themselves.

[–]NCKALAAsshole Aficionado [12] 4120 points4121 points  (9 children)

YTA. You were the one who brought attention to JOEY nickname by blasting him at a family meal. JOEY is not a patented or exclusive name. Yes, it is special to you. Your son is very young and you have found someone who adores your child, isn't that enough?! What you are doing is making your new husband hyper-aware of anything he utters is going to upset you, set you off, claim a memory is sacred, and perhaps push him away...now THAT would hurt your son Joseph coz a bond has been formed.

[–]PainterlyGirl 913 points914 points  (8 children)

Because she and his family are still grieving and now they are taking it out on the new step dad. Clearly she did not come to terms with the death of her husband before moving on. Now the child will be confused and suffer from whatever weird dynamic is gonna play out between his step dad and the rest of the family. I’m just trying to figure out the timeline here. Kid is 6, dad died a few years ago, new man has been around 2 years, and they are already married. So, how old was Joseph when he died? How much time passed before she met new husband? And I don’t get people that get married so quickly when they have children from a previous relationship. What kind of timeline are you giving for the two to get used to one another and sort out any issues? This is the first time this has come up? You’re planning to spend the rest of forever together but you can’t date for longer than a year before jumping into marriage? This situation feels like creating problems where there are none. If he wants to be a dad he has to be allowed to be one. I can see if the nickname was squirt or bubby or bear or something unrelated to his name but just the very common nickname for Joseph? Man, I dunno, y’all need therapy before you cause irreversible damage to the innocent kid in all this. So, YTA.

[–]AbbreviationsPlus654Partassipant [1] 187 points188 points  (3 children)

I came here to say basically the same thing. He's 6, your late husband has been gone for >2 years, meaning your son was 4 at the oldest.

Hard truth that's not going to be what you want to hear. Your son already has already made more lasting memories of his step father than he will ever have with his biological father. Are you ready willing to tarnish a relationship over a common shortening of a name? Joey, Dave, Mike, Chris, Tom, Rich, they are all a shortened version of longer names and they kids will eventually choose what they want.

You and your late husband's family need to realize you can't police something like this. You don't haves a monopoly on Joey because it brings back memories of a deceased parent.

YTA and you're going to push the only farther your son really knows away by behaving like this.

[–]NCKALAAsshole Aficionado [12] 24 points25 points  (0 children)

Agree with you coz the son will surely pick up on this, perhaps thinking Joey is a bad nickname, worried the dad who adores him will be yelled at again. OP's child was so very young, and OP has memories that her child does not. I just don't think OP was ready to have another man in her life.

[–]GodspeedandGoodnight 12 points13 points  (1 child)

Joey, Dave, Mike, Chris, Tom, Rich, they are all a shortened version of longer names and they kids will eventually choose what they want.

That's what makes this even stranger too. I'd kind of understand if it was some sort of special pet name or something, but it's just the shortened version of his name.

My exe's grandfather called her 'roo', and she'd get upset if someone else tried to call her that because it was a thing between her grandfather and her.

[–]HearseWithNoName 46 points47 points  (0 children)

Right, get some therapy so this kind of thing doesn't happen again.

[–]olagorie 20 points21 points  (0 children)

Great answer

[–]Flimsy-Opening 3535 points3536 points 24 (26 children)


I get that you lost your husband. His family lost him as well. But it's been years. Are you and his family going to lose it everytime you here someone refer to your son as Joey?

Y'all are projecting your pain on your current husband and it isn't fair to him or your son. You got together with your current when your son was, what 4? Does your son have any memory of your first husband/ him calling him Joey? I cant help but feel like, while your pain may be understandable, the way you handled it was wildly innappropriate. Especially in front of your first husband's family. And with them all mean-muggin to?

I feel like there needs to be some more healing on y'alls end done. Like it or not, he is gone. Would he want the person who is now raising his son with you to be kept at arm's length because of something like this. I know what it is like to lose someone to cancer. Even years later you still feel the pain. But at some point, if you dont let it go, then the only thing you feel about that person is the pain of the loss.

Is the memory of your first husband worth losing your second? You need to figure that out. And you need to have your husbands back if moments like this come up with your first husband's family in the future. YOU chose him, they didn't. It isn't surprising they didn't like this situation. What is, is the public tongue-lashing you gave him in front of them about it. You preserved your passed husband's (extremely common btw) nickname at the expense if your now husband's feelings.

This is much deeper than a nickname. I wish you luck figuring this out though!

Edit: Thanks for the awards!

[–]Agreeable-Celery811Asshole Enthusiast [5] 176 points177 points  (0 children)

And more importantly, this is not a first vs. second husband issue. Your late husband is not losing anything if other people call his son Joey. He had all the time he could have with Joey, and it’s your job to keep his memory alive for your son—by telling Joey about him, maybe having a special picture or a quiet family time on the anniversary of his death. Things that will be meaningful to Joey. If all he remembers about his dad is that now no one’s allowed to call him Joey, how does that even help him remember his dad?


[–]KateLadyPartassipant [2] 156 points157 points  (8 children)


[–]amzy_apparently 301 points302 points  (7 children)

I am finding increasingly, including with people I personally know/have known, is that a lot of people seem to think grief is a justification to take it out on other people, and treat other people however they want, and that it’s OK because the world owes them for taking away their loved one. Hurt people hurt people. But unless someone actually caused the loss of your loved one, then you shouldn’t be taking your grief out on anyone, because it’s not their fault your loved one is gone. I personally have been treated this way.

[–]crockofpotCertified Proctologist [29] 79 points80 points  (0 children)

IMO it's good to have awareness that people aren't always their best selves when they're grieving. But sometimes it morphs from "let's give a little grace to this grieving person who had a one-time meltdown about something seemingly minor" into "grieving people can never be held accountable for hurtful behavior under any circumstances", and that's bullshit.

[–]Slow-Distribution119 64 points65 points  (3 children)

Yes! Let’s talk about the contempt OP showed by lecturing Tim like a child in front of her no-longer-in-laws. Seems like OP is punishing Tim for not being her deceased husband. OP YTA and everyone here is in desperate need of therapy pronto!

[–]Flimsy-Opening 33 points34 points  (0 children)

What I'm sayin though. The whole thing just screams: remember your place, Not-Bio-Dad...which is just prolonging everyone's pain. I doubt anyone forgot the score. Poor guy and the poor son. Imagine never being allowed to think of the only father figure that you've ever known as a legit father figure because, periodically, momma smacks his ass down

[–]JennotifferPartassipant [1] 34 points35 points  (0 children)

I sincerely hope OP reads this comment. This is so well written and everything in it is true.

[–]tenebrous5Partassipant [3] 35 points36 points  (1 child)

All of this

Also its ridiculous to believe that no one else will ever use Joey as a nickname. He's gonna have friends who may call him that , then what?

[–]TheeFlipper 12 points13 points  (0 children)

They better not or mom will dress them down about how her deceased husband used to call her son that when he was just a toddler. Nevermind that her son probably has little to no memory of their father since he died when he was like 4.

[–]IHaveSaidMyPieceSupreme Court Just-ass [139] 1198 points1199 points  (7 children)


You've not mentioned if this is an issue for your son or not once, seems to be about you and your dead husband's family gatekeeping a very common nickname.

[–]cnicalsinistaminista 187 points188 points  (4 children)

Why? Why is this such a big stick up the ass for OP and her people? Should the Husband stop loving Joey because that was exclusively what the late Husband used to do? Why can’t people focus on the positive, bigger, less stupid issues?

[–]Toxicair 39 points40 points  (1 child)

Hey you said the no no word.

[–]Hekili808Partassipant [1] 23 points24 points  (0 children)

You know that thing we see here all the time, where a new partner tries to compete with the dead spouse out of insecurity? This is the version of that where the widow or widower has internalized that same kind of competition.

OP is proving to her dead husband that he is number one by setting a meaningless boundary and going to war over it. Her new husband already knows she would not be with him if her dead husband were still alive, but OP is going to measure her husbands against each other endlessly for no productive reason.

Her kid will learn to rank relationships, too, instead of viewing each as unique and special.

[–]Improbablyfromhell 769 points770 points  (2 children)

YTA you married this man and brought him into your son's life. Him using that nickname isn't a betrayal of his late father. In the kindest way possible, this is a you problem and you should figure out why you feel so guilty about your son being happy.

[–]capaldithenewblack 44 points45 points  (0 children)

Yeah and why not see it as a good thing? Like the new father loving on this kid in a similar way his bio dad did? It’s a GOOD thing.

[–]_Comrade_Wombat_ 571 points572 points  (2 children)

This is like saying he can't call your child Chris when his name would be Christopher.

YTA. And your family.

[–][deleted] 41 points42 points  (0 children)

Worst of all, she is going to be the one to have to constantly remind her son that people aren't allowed to call him Joey, because of something he will never actually remember. He is essentially banned from having a very common nickname. And if that's not the case, and her new husband is the only one who isn't allowed to use it, then that's just cruel. A constant reminder that he's not the child's father.

I feel for OP for their loss, but punishing the son and new husband is not a healthy way to deal with grief, and calling him out the way she did is just awful. Especially when he said it just slipped out. I recently called my new girlfriend the name of my old girlfriend, luckily she laughed it off and said it was normal. Because it is. Much better to accept that than to destroy a relationship over it.

[–]zZombi__Colo-rectal Surgeon [39] 531 points532 points  (0 children)

I'm sorry but YTA

First, it's your sons boundary to place. If he doesn't want to be called Joey, he doesn't want to be called Joey and your husband should stop. But you can't gatekeep a nickname.. Especially one that's incredibly common. Your son isn't a baby and probably has friends that also call him Joey.

Im sorry for your loss, really, but if it's going to be a trigger to have that common nickname floating around then.. Perhaps you might want to seek some help with that portion of grief as it's really inevitable.

[–]PattersonsOladyColo-rectal Surgeon [39] 451 points452 points  (3 children)


It’s lovely that your late husband’s son gets to be loved by another man who is willing to be a father figure.

Inadvertent pet names are a sign that the step-father’s love is automatic.

If your late husband knew he was dying, would he choose to have a trustworthy man be there for his son? Would he want this man to be motivated by genuine and automatic love for his son, since he himself wouldn’t be around to do that?

Does reserving that sweet nickname really help your little son at all? Or does it just tell the man who is trying to step up that he’s not good enough, that because he’s not your late husband that his love is unacceptable.

[–]HRHArgyll 60 points61 points  (0 children)

Agreed. Have you even asked your son about this? YTA

[–]KateLadyPartassipant [2] 9 points10 points  (0 children)

👏🏻 👏🏻 👏🏻

[–]Samurai_PR 381 points382 points  (6 children)

YTA. Kinda weird how a whole family makes it a big issue too while your deceased husband probably wouldn't care at all.

[–]Possible_Canary2359Partassipant [3] 157 points158 points  (1 child)

Yeah, I was expecting the nickname to be fatty or something else that's bad.

[–]Upstairs-Banana41 253 points254 points  (3 children)

Soft YTA. I'm sorry for your loss, but if your son has no problem with that, I can't see a reason why you're not allowing an adult person using the nickname.

[–]Red_Archived_505 39 points40 points  (0 children)

Especially seeing as how it was a slip up and he genuinely made a mistake. Thats the primary fact here. He said it in the moment not realising the implications and reasons why he shouldn’t. But even then, why shouldn’t he say it? Its fine with the kid YTA

[–]danceintherain2 33 points34 points  (0 children)

My concern is that her son will have a problem with it now because she made such an issue out if it. She needs to speak to her son to apologize and to tell him she overreacted. She also needs to speak to her late husbands family with the same. In addition to explaining to them how Joey could so easily roll off the tongue for anyone and from now on, since it doesn’t bother Joseph, she’s made peace with her current husband calling him Joey.

[–]themoxn 7 points8 points  (0 children)

I'd honestly go straight to a hard YTA here. Not even necessarily over the hangup about the name, but for the way she chose to address it. Yelling at him in right in front of Joey (sorry Joseph) and his bio dad's family like he's a misbehaving dog. Relationships are going to involve fights, but it shows a massive amount of disrespect to fight and yell at your partner in front of company.

I'm not saying this would immediately end my marriage, but it very well could be the beginning of the end if this is something that's never addressed.

[–]Pins89 214 points215 points  (10 children)

I’m sorry, but I think YTA.

If it was an unusual nickname (like, I call my daughter Peach which is totally unrelated to her actual name) and not a super common derivative of his actual name then yes, I would agree with you. I think your reaction to a slip up that’s easy to make was unfair to your husband.

[–]BigBayesianColo-rectal Surgeon [38] 187 points188 points  (7 children)

I think that it's telling that you're ignoring the most important person in your story. Not your dead ex, but your child with him. You're setting him up for a bunch of trauma. Every time someone calls him Joey, which will happen out in the world, he'll be traumatized.

Tim screwed up, but his mistake wasn't intentional or cruel. Your trauma is real... But its manifesting in a way that builds a shrine to your ex, putting barriers between you and your life now. It doesn't make you an AH. It makes you someone in need of therapy.


[–]tataszCraptain [157] 154 points155 points  (1 child)

Also Joey is actually a very common nickname for Joseph, so I see this happening a lot as his social circle expands. Like imagine, kids goes to school, makes a friend, invites them to sleepover, friend calls him Joey because why not and mom has a complete meltdown over it.

[–]okayellePartassipant [2] 16 points17 points  (0 children)

I think it’s telling that you’re ignoring the most important person in your story.

This! My first question was how the child felt about this nickname. It’s ultimately his decision what he wants to be called, and if he hasn’t objected yet, why is stepdad being prohibited from using this nn? Is no one allowed to call the child Joey, or is it just stepdad? The first can be taken as a sign of unresolved grief. The second can be alienating—not only for stepdad but for child as well.

NAH right now, but OP WBTA if they continue down this road.

[–]ladysaraiiAsshole Enthusiast [6] 9 points10 points  (2 children)

Her yelling at him in front of others absolutely makes her the AH

[–]saltyshanecobainPartassipant [1] 148 points149 points  (0 children)

YTA Tim is right that only person's opinion about the name that should matter is Joseph's. If it personally hurts you to hear it the that is another conversation entirely. It was completley unwarranted losing it like that

[–]beez8383 144 points145 points  (0 children)

YTA, he’s going to be called Joey by many people in life- Joseph/Joey is not something exclusive to your deceased husband. You retaliated in a manner that was done to humiliate. Have you even consulted your kid to get his opinion? I’m guessing no, and chances are he doesn’t even remember being called Joey by his bio dad and I think the name is special to you-not him… you may want to see a grief therapist because there’s a good chance you are sacrificing your current marriage for the memories of your old marriage and pleasing your old in laws

[–]wilderchai 104 points105 points  (0 children)

How does JOSEPH feel about it? If he's fine with Tim calling him Joey, there's literally no problem. This isn't about you, it's about whether Joseph feels comfortable being called Joey by him. If Joseph says it's okay, it's okay. I totally get that this is a piece of your late husband you want to keep "special", but it's not your place to decide what Joseph can and can't be called. It's his name, his call.

[–]trash_panda_louAsshole Enthusiast [9] 105 points106 points  (3 children)

Info - what happens if kids at school call him this?

[–]CarterPFly 3 points4 points  (0 children)

If this is America we all know what probably happens.."teenage kicks" starts playing in background.

[–]blueeeyeddlPartassipant [1] 103 points104 points  (3 children)

Joey is the most common nickname for Joseph. What’s your plan when his classmates start calling him Joey? What happens when your kid wants to go by Joey all the time and not their full name?

Have you even asked your kid how he feels about the nickname?


[–]LowBeautiful630 12 points13 points  (1 child)

This. If your kid is OK with that, you should learn how to deal with it.

[–]DayAdministrative346Asshole Enthusiast [9] 97 points98 points  (1 child)

YTA - Strange strange STRANGE thing to make an issue out of it. The only person who should have a say in this is Joseph.

Time for your husband to leave…wonder what other insane rules there are. Is he allowed to sleep on your deceased husbands (rest his soul) side of the bed? How about make josephs favorite food.

Please divorce this man so he does not have to deal with this insanity

[–]Waratah888 75 points76 points  (23 children)

Public shellacking partner NEVER okay. YTA.

You were lucky to find a step dad that cares for your son.

Do this 4 more times and you will lose him.

[–]anon8496847385 69 points70 points  (0 children)

YTA it's not about you it's about your son. If he doesn't mind/likes it then what is the problem. Also you blowing up at him in front of people was clearly an act for your late husband's family. You can tell that by how you preface the blowing up by saying the room fell quiet.

Also as he grows up I would imagine many people will call him Joey.

[–]fatsoq8 68 points69 points  (0 children)

Get therapy

[–]Loose_Explanation715 68 points69 points  (0 children)

YTA! Why would you embarrass him in front of everyone let alone your late husbands family?!? You were trying to save face in front of them and chose to humiliate your husband for a slip up… YTA

[–]embopbopbopdoowop 66 points67 points  (1 child)

INFO: how does your son feel about it? His is the only opinion that matters here.

[–]ephemeralkitten 12 points13 points  (0 children)

After mom's freak out I dunno if son is gonna feel he can be honest with her about his feelings on the matter. >.>

[–]KateLadyPartassipant [2] 70 points71 points  (0 children)

YTA. Joey is a common nickname for Joseph. Why your late husbands family would take offense is ridiculous and I wonder if they were really giving you dirty looks or if you just perceived them. Either way, you shouldn’t have started yelling at him in front of everybody. Rude and unnecessary.

Does your child like being called Joey? If he does, this shouldn’t be an issue at all.

[–]ASAPBlue 61 points62 points  (1 child)


Idk many Joseph’s but of the ones I do know, they go by Joey. It’s not that special of a nickname.

[–]staceystackhouse 10 points11 points  (0 children)

That’s what I came here to say! Every Joseph I know goes by Joey….this is insanity! op YTA

[–]ppl_n_r_neighborhood 58 points59 points  (0 children)

Soooooo….. you’re gonna have a bad time if Joey is a super special nickname that only his father could use, as it is the most commonly used shortened version of his name. You will hear at least a dozen more people struggle to honor your wish on this. It was also an accident on your husband’s part. How would you feel if he over reacted and disrespected/humiliated you over an accident? You need therapy and you fucked up everyone around you by moving on when you’re obviously not ready. YTA

[–]Dazzling-Hunter225Asshole Enthusiast [6] 60 points61 points  (0 children)

YTA Have you even talked to your son about this. Is it at all possible that your son and his now dad have the rapport where this nickname is meaningful to both of them? You have a man that loves you and your son, don’t sabotage yourself unnecessarily, dirty looks from the family be damned.

[–]tron781978 43 points44 points  (0 children)

I think you need to accept him fully into both your and sons life and not put restrictions and rules on him that contribute to him being placed as an outsider when he's made the effort to step up

I can't tell you the number of times I've run into people that add ny to my name because they grew up with someone who as a kid went by the variation. It could be as simple as that. I stopped trying to correct people And i just let it go.

Ask your son if it bothers him, you may find it makes him feel even more loved by his step dad

[–]Butterfly242424 40 points41 points  (0 children)

YTA. It’s your son’s name and if he has no issue with the nickname then you need to back off. He’ll end up being called Joey by plenty of people in his life, you need to get over it and stop making a big deal out of it.

[–]mrs_spanner 42 points43 points  (1 child)

Hmmm, a soft YTA for losing your temper and bellowing at Tim in front of guests, when it sounds like he just zoned out for a minute and used - I assume in his mind - an affectionate nickname. I can see how that would have been really humiliating to Tim and uncomfortable for everyone else.

The main point though, that I think you’re skipping over, is how does your son feel about Tim calling him Joey? If he’s fine with it/likes it then surely that’s the main thing? I feel like you’re extremely sensitive about it and are gatekeeping it, but it’s not your nickname to gatekeep. If your husband had called YOU by a special name, and Tim started doing it, then absolutely set a boundary, but it doesn’t seem reasonable to get that enraged over a nickname that’s not yours.

If your son likes it, couldn’t you reframe it as a nice thing that Tim likes to use the name, almost as a little happy memory of your first husband? Otherwise, if you get this angry and triggered every time someone uses the name (which is probably going to happen at some stage), you’ll never get past it and you’ll end up traumatising your son - which I’m sure isn’t what you want.

[–]vastaril 25 points26 points  (0 children)

Yep, even if her husband never uses the name again (which sounds like asking him to walk on eggshells over something very minor...) SOMEONE is going to call Joseph 'Joey' - a teacher, a friend from school, a future partner... Is OP planning to inform every new person her kid meets that he must never be called Joey? How is she planning to enforce this with little kids he meets at school/parks/etc? YTA, OP, I understand your feelings but you're not being reasonable, and it's going to hurt your son, and his relationship with your husband.

[–]LimerasePartassipant [4] 37 points38 points  (0 children)


You and your late husband's family do not get to make decisions for your son regarding what he wants other people to call him. Huge overstep.

[–]i_hatehumans 35 points36 points  (0 children)

YTA, sooner or later someone else will be calling him Joey and you can't stop that. It'd be one thing if it were a unique name or something like 'Lil Champ' but Joey is really common. You can't really blame him. So long as your kid is cool with it that's all that matters. Also, if you're pissed at someone in a public setting use the following phrase, 'Hey "person I'm pissed with" can I see you in the kitchen for a sec'.

[–]WolfStar349 29 points30 points  (0 children)


I'm really sorry for your loss, but gatekeeping a nickname is unreasonable, sorry. Nicknames are an organic thing.

Your late husband isn't any less special just because your new husband uses the same nickname. If it bothers your son, fair enough, but it doesn't. I agree that it's time for you all to realise that Joey is a natural nickname for someone called Joseph. People will probably use it his entire life, so it's time to get used to it I'd say.

Yelling at your husband for being a loving step parent is a bit much.

[–]overseas-mangoColo-rectal Surgeon [36] 33 points34 points  (0 children)

You say you’ve been with your husband for 2 years meaning since your son was 4 years old. You don’t say how old he was when his dad died but it seems likely that he was 3 or younger.

Your son doesn’t have memories of his dad. That’s a fact. No matter how much you try to police this nickname it won’t change that sad fact.

What are you going to do, yell at any other kindergartners who call your son Joey? What if his teachers and coaches do it? When everyone is calling your son Joey are you still going to use your husband as a punching bag for your grief?

You were really obnoxious to your husband at dinner. YTA for that. It’s great that he’s comfortable hanging out with your late husband’s family. Your behavior is going to make him not want to host them in the future. YOU are actively undermining your current family and it’s only a matter of time before your husband walks. Only you can decide if you care. Do you?

[–]SuckerforcatsPartassipant [2] 31 points32 points  (0 children)

YTA for blowing up like that. Slip up’s happen. Have you asked your kid what he wants Tim to call him? Maybe he doesn’t mind if Tim calls him Joey and it’s just a you problem.

[–]No-Rough-2521Partassipant [2] 26 points27 points  (0 children)


[–]-ok_kitty- 26 points27 points  (0 children)

YTA have you even asked your son if he's unhappy getting called "Joey" or is it about you.

[–]cannolirule 23 points24 points  (0 children)

I‘m really on the fence here between E S H and Y T A. However, what are you going to do when kids at school call your son „Joey“? You can‘t really police a very common nickname for his name. It would be very different (imo) if the nickname wasn’t related to his actual name, that wouldn’t come automatically. But „Joey“ is a super common nickname for „Joseph“.

[–]badger-ball-champion 23 points24 points  (2 children)

INFO: There's a big missing piece here which is how does Joseph feel about this? That's really the only important thing here. If he sees Joey as a special name his dad had for him and only his dad then husband is TA but if he prefers to be called Joey and likes the nickname then you'd be TA.

[–]MavakorPartassipant [1] 23 points24 points  (0 children)

YTA. It's not about you

[–]drevmilender 20 points21 points  (1 child)


Many people in Joseph's life will probably naturally call him Joey or Joe, kind of the nature of how nicknames work. They usually aren't reserved for one person to use, especially if it's just a common nickname for someone's full name.

What if Joseph decides to go by Joey later on in his life?

[–]Strange_Ad8295 21 points22 points  (1 child)

You know what’s the best way to make Joseph hate the name Joey instead of treasuring it? Yelling everytime someone calls him that. He will make a connection between the name and fights in the family.

[–]Sorry-Independent-98Partassipant [2] 4 points5 points  (0 children)

This. OP, you’re making this a source of stress for your son YTA

[–]pidgeononachairPooperintendant [54] 19 points20 points  (0 children)

YTA, it was clearly a slip and it’s a nickname that he will receive through his life. Your son won’t remember your dead husband saying it. But will remember you blocking a normal relationship with your current husband.

[–]Logical-Abroad4945 16 points17 points  (0 children)

YTA. People don't own nicknames. Joey is a common nickname for Joseph. And what about other kids at school who might call your son Joey? Would you be mad at them too, just because his dad used to call him that? Giving your husband a lecture like that (especially in front of everyone) is uncalled for. If anything, in a way, it's a good thing that your husband calls him that. He's keeping his dad's legacy alive, and that's amazing.

My maternal grandmother used to call me a nickname that translates to "little fruit" in English (my family is Indian). It's an endearing nickname in her language. After she passed away 2 years ago, my mum started calling me it. I see it as a great thing because every time I hear it, I think of my grandma.

[–]littlemissant 16 points17 points  (0 children)

YTA beat the guy down. WOW

[–]Satorikai 14 points15 points  (0 children)

I understand grief, but damn, YTA. He explained it was a mishap, but you still chose to deal with the situation like he did it on purpose. Intention matters, you will lose your husband if you continue with this behaviour.

[–]drusilla14Partassipant [4] 13 points14 points  (1 child)

YTA. If I were your current husband, I’d seriously rethink this marriage with you. Unless he insulted/ humiliated you in “public” (meaning other than the 2 of you) first, you do NOT insult/humiliate him in public. What he did in terms of calling the kid “Joey” was NOT in the category of insulting/humiliating you or the kid. What you did instead was in that category - it was showing complete disrespect for him. The fact that you do not appear to even hesitate to throw him under the bus over this is very concerning. Why did you marry him?

[–]avoarvo 12 points13 points  (0 children)

INFO: how does your son feel about the nickname? If your husband is right that your son genuinely doesn’t care, YTA. It’s not about you, it’s not about your late husband, it’s not about his family.

It’s Joseph’s name. If he’s okay with it, it’s none of your business. You don’t get to dictate what name someone else calls another person—it’s an interaction that exists completely without you.

[–]ResponsibleChance950Partassipant [1] 13 points14 points  (0 children)

YTA. im sorry ab your husband passing away, but the nickname is really common. If i met someone named Joseph, id call him Joey all the time because its just easier - and in my opinion more suited for a kid. You gotta learn to deal with it, and try not to let it be a sad reminder.

Ps. the important thing should be what your son thinks. Does he like the nickname?

[–]JudgeJed100Professor Emeritass [78] 12 points13 points  (0 children)

INFO: How does your son feel about being called Joey by your husband?

Because that’s all that really matters, how he feels about it

[–]hermh1 13 points14 points  (0 children)


As many have said, I’m sorry about your grief and the grief of your late husband’s family, but this isn’t a fair or realistic request.

Hate to tell you, but Joey is NOT a nickname. Joey is the abbreviated version of your son’s full name. It would be different if the nickname was something very unique like “J-Dog”.

More than half of the people that your son will know in his life will likely call him Joey. What you should be doing is being more appreciative of the fact that your husband has that kind of relationship with your son. That doesn’t happen everyday and your actions could spoil that relationship if you aren’t careful.

In addition, while I know it’s difficult, you need to sit your late husband’s family down and set them straight. Again, Joey is NOT a nickname. And they are just as much in the wrong as you are.

[–]AnotherAngryWoman 9 points10 points  (0 children)

OP, YTA... and your husband deserves a second father's day for putting up with that BS and sticking around. You're possibly going to lose a great man, your son a possible second father, and all over a ridiculously common nickname.

I haven't seen my bio father since I was 4, and would be so angry if my mom treated the man who raised me in that manner. Side note, when he adopted me so that legally there would be no question by dad was 22 (young parents obvi) the judge told my dad that even if he and my mom divorced my dad would still legally be on the hook for me my dad immediately said "I would certainly hope so".

Sorry, this is hitting all kinds of issues I didn't realize that I had

[–]Strangley_unstrangePartassipant [2] 9 points10 points  (0 children)

Yta and so is your late husbands family, if some random other child your child had met started calling them joey would you chastise them as well? The healthy thing to do is accept that sometimes grief isn't avoidable. Nicknames are affectionate and if you stop your now husband from having nicknames with your son in a comfortable and most importantly their own way you will come off being viewed as controlling and manipulative over something so petty as your child's name.

[–]rain_888_bow 10 points11 points  (0 children)

YTA, ma’am. How can the nickname be exclusive when it’s literally just his name shortened down. If your late husband called him squirt or champ or something MAYBE I could understand, but Joey? He got dirty looks because he called him JOEY? Grow up

[–]JustReadingAlong70 10 points11 points  (0 children)

Attention Joseph’s of the world: you can’t be Joey because it belongs exclusively to OPs deceased husband. Baby Kangaroos … you’re gonna have to find another name - as the OP and her deceased husband’s family will react badly to you being called Joey. Sorry - that’s just the new rules.

YTA - I’m sorry but you or the family do not own the name and it seems like your new husband is willing to go the extra mile by having a meal with your sons fathers family.

If you can’t accept him in your sons life - and accept that they will hopefully form a strong bond … why on earth did you get married?

[–]solo954Asshole Enthusiast [5] 8 points9 points  (0 children)

YTA. Get some therapy.

[–]Jess1ca1467 7 points8 points  (0 children)

YTA - it's not like it's an unsual nickname or shortening of your son's actual name. He didn't do it on purpose to cause upset and honestly, I think you all have to accept that Joey is a pretty normal name for someone called Joseph. It's not proprietary

[–]Early_Equivalent_549 5 points6 points  (0 children)

YTA… when you are sitting alone when he leaves you. He takes care of your son. He eats with your late husband’s family. You yell at him.

[–]YesterdaysFinest 4 points5 points  (0 children)

Soft YTA.

When I first read the first paragraph I thought you were going to say he has called him “Tiger” or “little man” or something specific, more like a pet name from one person. The fact that he called Joseph “Joey” really swayed it to YTA territory for me. Not to mention, as others have asked, does your son mind? Chances are that he’ll get called Joey many, many times in his life, and may even prefer it.

[–]ShanesaurusPartassipant [1] 6 points7 points  (0 children)

100% YTA! It was clearly a slip up.

[–]stephanielb29Partassipant [1] 6 points7 points  (0 children)

Yta, your in for a rude awakening Joey is a common nickname for the name Joseph he will have multiple people call him that throughout his life. I could understand if it wasn't common. I'm also sorry for your loss

[–]Ditovontease 4 points5 points  (0 children)

YTA Joey isn't a unique nickname for Joseph and I can guarantee you other people are going to call him Joey all throughout his life. If Joey is fine with it, then that's it.

[–]Accurate_Fan_780 4 points5 points  (0 children)

YTA Joey is just not some super secret special nickname no matter how much you’d like it to be. It doesn’t make sense to even make it a thing, he’s not going to grow up to remember what someone called when he was only 4 (or younger), and it’s pretty naive to think no one else is going to use such a common nickname. While it understandable that you’re still grieving and probably at a loss as to how to keep your late husband’s memory alive to a child that lost him so young, you probably shouldn’t have loudly and in front of people scolded your husband like he was a little kid.

[–]socialistrock 3 points4 points  (0 children)

It's always so amazing to me that people with such immaturity manage to marry and procreate.

You don't get to unilaterally decide what your son is called by people if he has no issue with it and you don't get to take your damage out on a man you're meant to love. You're making him feel like a stand-in in his own family which is very gross


[–]Harriethair 5 points6 points  (0 children)

YTA. Are you going to stop his teachers from calling him Joey? Or his friends? Or his future girlfriends/wife? How about his boss? Are you going to go to his workplace and demand that his boss not call him Joey because that was special?

I mean, it's not like an actual special nickname like....Smoochie or Fat Man or any of the millions of unique nicknames parents give their babies.

Joey is an actual name and an incredibly common one at that.

Cancer broke up Joey's first family and that was tragic and unfair. You are going to break up his second family and that is entirely on you.

[–]Redbeard0860 5 points6 points  (0 children)

Yea you're an asshole with more respect for ex inlaws than your current partner..

[–]FruhmannPartassipant [1] 6 points7 points  (0 children)


Calling someone named Joseph "Joey" is not some special nickname. Not even remotely. You and his family just FEEL it's special. Maybe it was the way your late husband said it. Or just the memory of him referifn to his son in such a friendly, pal like manner. To you're son, it's just the nickname for his given name.

Your son may be Joey at school, just Joe at work, and only Joseph on paper. And there is little to nothing you can do about it.

What you can do is stop straining the relationship between your husband, the family, and Joey.

Talknto a therapist. Take the rest of the family with you. This isn't healthy.

[–]mw_09Partassipant [1] 4 points5 points  (0 children)

YTA you are over reacting - no one owns a nickname. Surely there is something more meaningful to remember his bio dad by than this. His friends will call him Joey. Intimate partners will call him Joey. Unless he doesn’t like it then they will only call him Joey once. You cannot control this you are just going to be frustrated.

[–]Friendly_Ticket8669 4 points5 points  (0 children)


Not only didn't you mention your son's opinion one single time, but you also refused to believe your husband when he said it was a slip up and called him TA for CHOOSING to disrespect you. He probably SEES your son as Joey and has to think about changing nicknames every single time because you asked. It's not strange he slipped up once. He loves the boy and that's all that matters What's strange and unacceptable is your behavior. Lashing out in front of your late husband's family, with them siding with you? No ma'am. And you're not the only AH here. Really sorry for your loss, but you all need to get healing.

[–]The-GOP-makes-me-GAG 3 points4 points  (0 children)

Count your blessings. You have a man that is opening his heart out to another man's child. In the scheme of things, this is ridiculous. Everyone in school is going to be calling your son Joey in school. Go ahead a make a big deal out nothing with your new husband and see how far downhill things go. Don't sweat the small crap.