On Bad Baby Names, Immaturity, Alcohol and Drugs, and Rebuilding Trust with Parents

by on March 7th, 2015
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Question

My fiancé is being a brat. How can I stop his stubbornness? He is stuck on Brandon Elinor for our son’s name. The names don’t go well together, and I don’t like them. I’m 21 weeks pregnant, and he reminds me of that name every day. I am open to so many other names. Is there a way to bring him away from that name? It’s irritating me.

Answer

Let’s forget for a moment than Elinor is not a man’s name, just an odd spelling of the woman’s name, Eleanor. The problem you describe involves immaturity more than stubbornness, though there’s plenty of the latter as well.

Baby names are a sensitive topic, and in most cases, both parents need to compromise to hit on a name that works. You and your fiancé must discuss this like adults. In this case, it sounds as if he bears the brunt of the blame for the impasse. But the tone of your letter suggests that you are responding to his immaturity with immaturity of your own. Getting irritated or offended rarely solves problems, and I recommend a different strategy.

Approach him like an adult, and do not argue with him. Attempt to engage him in a discussion about baby names without raising your voice. You didn’t mention why your fiancé likes those names. Are they family names, ones he feels obligated to pass on to his son? If so, his insistence makes at least some sense.

If he has a reason for insisting on Brandon Elinor beyond “those are the only names in the entire world that I like,” be sure you give that reason due consideration. But barring a better reason than any I can come up with right now, you and your fiancé must eventually compromise on this one. There are literally thousands of possible names, and your fiance’s insistence on just two of them is irrational and unfair to both you and his son.

Question

How can I persuade my mother that I don’t do drugs and don’t drink? She’s lost trust in me and has gotten suspicious.

Answer

You didn’t mention why your mother lost trust in you, and I’d consider that information key to answering your question in detail. However, I can give you a general answer. You probably won’t like it, but it will work.

If you’re drinking or doing drugs, stop immediately. Get help if you need it, but make your last drink literally your last drink. Ever. Start spending most of your free time at home, with your family. If you spend your evenings and weekends at home and don’t drink or do drugs, over time your mother will realize you’re not making trouble. Treat your mother and everyone else in the family with respect and courtesy. Fulfill all of your responsibilities to the best of your ability. Do your chores well, and ahead of schedule. Get great grades in school. Save your money, don’t waste all your time on the phone or the Internet, and otherwise behave maturely at all times.

If you act in a responsible and adult fashion, and you stop hanging around places where your mother believes you will be tempted to stray from the clean path, over time she will have no choice but to believe you aren’t drinking or doing drugs.

And along the way, you’ll have taken all the steps necessary to rebuild lost trust – which, after all, the object of the exercise.

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