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The Best Way To Tell Your Family


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Well I am really wanting to come clean with my family and tell them the truth that I don't belive. I have hinted with some things to my mother who is pentecostal in fact practically my whole family with the exception of one uncle is all pentecostal or fundamentialist evangelical christian.

 

I am tired of pretending something to be something that I am not, just because that is how they percieve me to be. This also goes way beyond just the religion question but how my family relates to me an idependent person no longer someone they can manipulate and control.

 

I am useto picking my battles carefully and not wasting time or energy on futile or trite things. I also try to avoid overly upsetting my mother with things she does not need to know..lest she obsess and worry and then make my life misery by her worry....I know she already worries about me which leads me to not give her much info about my life. She has not given me reason to trust her.

 

I keep thinking about the holidays, christmas season coming around the corner and I know I am going to get a bunch of junk and religious parapanalia that I didn't want as a christian let alone now...since my family has no idea who I really am they buy things that they think I would like because they do... which I really do not about getting things.. I really just don't want to get a bunch of relgious junk and pretend that it is exciting...

 

I also want to stop hearing all the church gossip and stuff about bible studies and I should go...and yahh da yahh daahh.. though I don't know if my family will ever stop doing that... but I am just getting tired of nodding and smiling when I have to listen to this crap and dribble...

 

I know my family will be deeply sadden and concerned about my eternal soul... my friends have already sad as much and get this really really sad look and voice when I have told them.. There is nothing I can do really about how they feel... they can keep their belief just as long as they don't impose it on me.

 

I really would love to maybe write a letter or do it over the phone... don't really want to do it in person..if I did I would do it in a open place or with some outside buffer people.... NOT in a moving vechile or on my moms turf.. I am tempted to pick up the phone and just tell her...but I want to do this the right or the best way possible.

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I hear you. I'm so fucking fed up with making excuses for why I don't want to go to church or just "faking it" when Xian religious stuff comes up.

 

It won't be long before the wolf is out of the bag, though. Hopefully, I can make it a peaceful event...

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Truth, I wish that I had some good advice to give you about this. However, my family still doesn't know that I'm no longer a Christian. Despite the fact that I've not thought of myself as a Christian in many years, they still don't know. It's not that I pretend mind you. I just don't engage them in matters spiritual or religious. I don't feel an overwhelming desire to proclaim my atheism.

 

If and when you decide to tell them, I hope it goes well. I've heard stories on this very site where it went both ways. Some families apparently adapt to such information better than others. In some cases though it seems to have caused a permanent rift in the family. I hope that the relationships in your family are strong enough to weather the announcement.

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I also wish I had some good advice to offer. But the manner in which my family reacted was terrible. Eventually everything did come out and now, a few years later, things are mostly settled. But don't think it will change anything or make it easier or less uncomfortable just because they know the truth. In some things you will get relief but in others you will find greater distress.

 

I wish I could advocate being open. I like being open for so many reasons but not because it's easier for anyone.

 

As for the influx of religious junk you'll be getting shortly... accept it. You're going to get it one way or the other. On the one hand it will be cheesy junk you don't need and on the other it will be cheesy junk you trying to convert you back. I could probably cover a few doors with just the religious cards I have gotten with sappy messages about how God is waiting for me to come back to him.

 

I guess it comes down to why you are telling them. But there's no "good" way to do it. At least not in my experience.

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Hey truth,

 

Welcome to ex-c!

 

There is really no easy way to tell True Believers that you do not believe as they do any more. Apostacy is not a "casual" topic of conversation.

 

But it's a rite of passage really. You are creating your own independent space w/in your family/friends structure. It's deep, it's significant, and it changes the dynamic of these relationships for good. Whether or not your relationships improve or not depends on the character of every person involved, including you. It's one of the few times in life when you can see in very clear terms what the people in your life are made of. Good and bad. Sadly, I predict you'll see a lot of bad behavior during your revelation.

 

The phone may be a good way to do it. It gives you some physical distance, away from people getting right in your face and screaming about demons, etc. :wacko:

 

I would not write any of this down. Your thoughts and philosophy(ies) will probably develop/evolve over the next years, and why write something down for others to refer to and use to attack you in the future, particularly if you've changed your mind about atheism, deism blah blah blah.

 

In other words, writing down this stuff gives you LESS options in the future to maintain or recover a strained relationship. Also it frees you up to mature and evolve without feeling like you've cast it all in bronze.

 

I gather from your post that you don't live at home - that's good. If you are still under your family's roof, your ability to act independently is lessened, since there ususally is a financial relationship involved. Whoever is flipping the bill usually has a Bigger Voice. It may not be fair, but that's the way it seems to be.

 

The only other advice I can think of is let the True Believers go off the deep end and rant. File these rants away for the future, and thank god you're no longer in their weird, brainwashed cult.

 

Hehehe, sadly there is no way out of receiving tacky, proselytizing gifts...all in the most questionable of taste. You'll probably start getting even more of them after they know how badly you need their death-cult god. :twitch:

 

Take care.

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It sounds like you have a really legitmate reason for "coming out" and have given it a lot of thought. I applaude you for that.

 

I would try to insert it in if the topic comes up already, it's much easier to open a leeway that way. When they start asking you about Christmas or ask if you want to go to church or start talking about church gossip, you can tell them Then tell them gently and politely about your deconversion. You might get a lot of backlash over it, so try to remember that you're the eye of the storm.

 

This thread might also help you. Lamont got some really good advice that might be applicable to you too. Good luck.

 

http://www.ex-christian.net/index.php?show...=13125&st=0

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I don't pretend. I've told my folks about my deconversion a while back. The only problem? They still think I'm a Christian, regardless of what I've said. It's like, "Oh, okay." Two days later, they're back to being like, "There's a new preacher at the church. You should go." I was so pissed that I plugged my ears and said, "I don't believe in that crap." Every now and then, they'll bother me with it. Whatever, there's really nothing I can do about it.

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Well I had it easy because my parents are liberal christians (and to be honest i doubt they'll be christians at all by the time they're about to die), and so telling them was certainly no big deal. For those of you struggling in telling your family, your situation is a bit foreign to me. On one hand, I get quite frustrated with the stories of people who are reluctant to tell their families, partly because I think in some ways you should be honest in situations like these, and partly because I just wish it wasn't so potentially difficult to tell family.

 

My personal view is that you should, where possible, bite the bullet and tell your parents, unless they are in a situation which could see their health affected if they found out. Because becoming 'unborn again' if you like, is an important thing, and your parents should in normal circumstances know about things this important.

But on the other hand I suppose if your parents are gonna be worried about you going to hell, I can understand your reluctance. Having been through the fear of hell myself, it is the most terrorising experience. And yeah it could affect them in a bad way.

 

God, I wish it was easier for you guys to tell your families, I really do. :shrug:

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The best primary advice is to do it sooner than later.

The longer you wait, the more likely it is to come out because of emotions bottling up inside you. That means it's much more likely to be negative when it comes out. You've already professed that you want to avoid that. So I'd say find an earlier opportunity.

 

"The ideal moment" almost never happens. So either you have to strike while the iron is hot if given a window, or create an opportunity by taking them out to dinner in order to get them on neutral ground.

 

Either way, the best way to tell someone is by showing them how much you love them still, and that it's just the religion you don't care for anymore. Down play the anger & negativity, keep things humble and empathetic. They can't combat that as easily as the negative emotions.

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It might be an awkward time, the holidays and all, to spill the beans to family all at once. You're comfortable in your own mind, so although you don't have to fake anything, you might want to just downplay this issue for now and take baby-steps with the family. Coming out right now might make you the center of unwanted attention, and your family may never forgive you for it...taking things a step at a time might be more easily digested.

 

It's a mine-field only you can navigate, but hopefully you'll make it without too much of a trauma.

Good luck to you...

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Hhhhmm some great input,

 

I do not live at home, and have no financal ties whatsoever to my family. If anything my mother owes me money. The only thing that I have tied to my family is that she occasionally gives me rides, I don't yet have my drivers licisne or a vechle though I am working on both of thease at the moment..I am however fully idependent and able to get around on transit.

 

My family knows that I flat out refuse to go to anything at or held by the church she goes to, and she knows that I do not attend anywhere else.... the odd time I was going to gasp a Baptist church that my friend attends.

 

I do want to come right out, but I can see her saying that I have ruined christmas for her and everyone by not believing anymore... Though maybe there is enough time for her to get over it and into denial before the holiday actually comes.

 

She will most definitly worry but she always worries and worries about everything...so I can't really prevent it.. she has pulled the old blaming me for her high bloodpressure because I have upset her telling her how I feel about our relationship... this all within the last six months too. I won't get into all the other crap that she has tried to pull either.

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Hhhhmm some great input,

 

 

I do want to come right out, but I can see her saying that I have ruined christmas for her and everyone by not believing anymore...

 

she has pulled the old blaming me for her high bloodpressure because I have upset her telling her how I feel about our relationship...

 

Hello!

 

You know, I believe the best thing you can do is be true to yourself. That is the only way to truly being peaceful in your life.

 

This may sound a bit cold, BUT....

 

Your mom may be upset for a little while and she is entitled to that, but it's not fair to blame the holidays being ruined because of this. That is emotional manipulation.

 

It sounds as if you are struggling a little with some guilt over this, but please remember, no one has to live your life but you and if you are happy or not depends on your choices. You are entitled to your own thoughts and beliefs no matter what....

 

I wish you the best...please let us know how it goes.

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