Press "Enter" to skip to content

Family, Money, Names & Coercion?

Slightly odd question, perhaps, but I’d like people’s perspective on this as it is a bit awkward to ask people I know given the details.

I am posting it here as I worried that if I asked an “Am I the Asshole” type forum, and mentioned the Jewish aspect, I might foment some antisemitic thoughts or comments, so I am trying to keep this “entre nous”!

Okay. So. I am a man married to a woman. We have a 2-year-old son who has, like my wife, taken my family name as his family name. My wife is also currently pregnant.

My wife’s father, my father-in-law, is wealthy and, frankly, rather egotistical and even narcissistic. (He’s actually slightly notoriously so, in his professional circles at least, for being a bit of a selfish, duplicitous person.)

We were speaking on a video call earlier and my father-in-law mentioned that he wanted to set up a trust for our son (and any other grandchildren) as he had for his other grandchildren. Then he went on to say something like: “I am a pretty laissez-faire or hands-off grandparent, but I am a proud Jew and since October 7th, feel this even more strongly…”

At this point, I thought he was going to say that the trust was to pay for a Jewish education for our son or perhaps for our son’s bar mitzvah – ie that it would come with some kind of religious stipulation…

But no!

Instead he continued to say that his eldest daughter’s son and daughter don’t have his surname – or the eldest, the daughter doesn’t and the youngest, the son, was given it as a middle name (after he pressured the parents to do so) – and that his son’s two daughters have his surname (but presumably they may marry and take their future spouses’ names; a point he has made before).

He seemed kind of bummed out about this — and again, somehow tied it to October 7th and being a proud Jew because he said that it was important to him that his name, which is Hebrew (and somewhat rare) and from the bible, lives on and is reflected in his grandkids.

He has mentioned this before – that he is upset that our son does not have his name (and he was very upset my wife changed her name on marrying, too).

He made it clear that he wants:

a) our future child or children to have his name – not sure if he means as a middle name; knowing him, I think he meant and would push for his name as their surname – and

b) for our 2-year-old son to have his name somewhere, even if that means changing his name legally.

He said he’d like that to be arranged/cleared up so he can have the trust fund for our kid(s) be accurate.

To me, it was a crude and rather distasteful way of trying to tie leaving money for our son (or any other kids) to having his name be given to our son, a quid pro quo that does not feel completely dissimilar to the naming rights of a concert hall or art gallery.

For the record, our son is not Lincoln Center! (Although maybe we should change his name to that instead?!)

Anyway, I was not surprised, knowing my father-in-law, but I was a bit shocked and affronted.

My wife felt sad that her dad was upset that our son does not have his name, although she thought it was ridiculous to propose that we legally change his name and passports (plural!) and everything else.

Please can you give me your read on this situation?

I want to gauge if I am being overly sensitive or what others might make of this situation.

I don’t want my wife and/or I to feel pressured by my father-in-law into the names we give our son and/or future kids.

And it seems like my wife’s dad is trying to guilt trip and/or bully and/or financially coerce us into doing what he wants based on his ego.

But what do you think is a fair read of the situation here?

And what the heck should my wife and I do??

submitted by /u/HowAmIResponsible
[link] [comments]
Source: Reditt