DEAR ABBY: Your advice to "Sad Mom-to-Be," whose husband insists on naming their firstborn son after both his grandfathers, missed the point completely. The problem is not that Mom and her husband can't agree on a name; the problem is that her selfish, inconsiderate husband has decided he doesn't feel like being flexible on an issue that his wife considers very important. What a cruel way to treat a pregnant wife!
I have shared this bitter experience, Abby. My now ex-husband also insisted on naming our baby for his relatives, and I foolishly gave in. What I failed to understand at the time was that my husband's controlling, domineering behavior masked his underlying hostility toward me.
In the years after our baby was born, his mistreatment of me turned physical, and I had to get a court order to force him out of our home. (By the way, the relative for whom my son is named all but abandoned the child after our divorce.) My son is now stuck with a name that means nothing to him. What a shame. -- BEEN THERE, DONE THAT, NEW HAMPSHIRE
DEAR BEEN THERE: You are not the only reader who disagreed with my answer to "Sad Mom-to-Be." I have received a mountain of mail from men and women who were appalled by the husband's attitude. Read on:
DEAR ABBY: I am frankly astounded at the attitude of the husband -- and I say this as a husband and father, not as a fellow mom-to-be. Of course, we're getting the information secondhand, but somehow I seriously doubt that the man is flexible on many things at all. He seems pretty much like a control freak. Unless the situation is far different than pictured, I'm afraid that "Sad Mom-to-Be" is in for a long and difficult road. -- VICTOR H. JUNG, M.D., YUBA CITY, CALIF.