Is Disagreeing on Baby Names Grounds for Divorce?

Choosing a name for your baby is obviously a big decision—but are disagreements surrounding it grounds for ending a marriage?

Probably not.

In a recent "Dear Prudence" submission (Slate's weekly advice column), a father-to-be wrote in detailing his recent argument with his wife. The couple is expecting a child together and when they discussed possible names, he was disappointed that she "showed up with a few names scribbled on the back of a grocery list as if she hardly even cared."

He was also upset that she dared to have chosen such offensive names such as "Taylor" and "Lauryn."

"Honestly, this episode has me questioning the foundation of our relationship, let alone raising a child together," he writes. "Obviously, I can't just leave now because I am committed to the child, but how can my wife and I get past this major red flag in our relationship?"

Overreaction: party of one.

As a person who considers not liking Beyoncé a character flaw, even I am appalled at this.

The advice columnist, Mallory Ortberg, rightfully put this buffoon in his place, point out the fact that a woman presenting her list of baby names on a piece of paper and not a PowerPoint presentation (like he did) is not indicative of a harmful parenting style.


"For my own well-being, I'll assume you were joking or exaggerating about having contemplated, even for a minute, ending an otherwise loving marriage because your wife thinks 'Bethonie' is a cute name," Ortberg replied. 

From where I stand, if you immediately turn to divorce when something as superficial and ultimately unimportant as this argument crops up, there are probably larger issues at hand here.

Even so, it would be, ahem, prudent to follow Ortberg's advice:

"Apologize to your wife profusely for your unkind overreaction, then have another brainstorming session—have several—and try to bring a great deal more generosity of spirit and open-mindedness to the process."

H/t: Slate