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Handling Parents At Christmas


Anonymous888
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Hi Everyone,

 

Any advice is appreciated. I need to know how to deal, respectfully, with my fundamentalist Christian parents (mostly my mom). Usually, I decline attending church with them, but this year, with Christmas falling on a Sunday, and me bringing my new husband home with me for the first time at Christmas, I'm afraid they'll be sad, feel disrespected, and that my mom will guilt me extremely. I also don't want them to have anything to hold against my husband--I can take it if it's just me, but I want to protect him. I know that logically, not attending an event should not be taken personally by normal people, but I keep worrying about this.

 

I thought about just sucking it up and going, but I feel so awful when I do. I get angry listening to sermons filled with lies and defamatory words towards other groups of people. I hate the judgmental looks of the church-goers. I don't want my husband to be sad on Christmas, either, by being forced to go. Even with all this, I was still thinking that it might not be worth the potential drama of declining, but then I had a random memory: several different older men at church who would force me to hug them when I was little. It was utterly creepy, and I never want to return there again.

 

I have not come out to my parents as a non-Christian, but I assume they know. It's something I'd never feel comfortable stating aloud. However, our relationship has been better in the past year, and I don't want to spoil it! I love my parents very much still. But I don't want to live in fear of upsetting them.

 

Many thanks.

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First, They may "know", but until you tell them, they will deny it. So, it would seem then that perhaps the holiday would not be the best time to let that slip out, if you want to keep the peace.

 

Second, talk with your husband. 1) he's a big boy and can probably defend himself just fine. 2) he chose you....not your parents. While I don't know your situation, I would assume he would stand with you and not them. 3) like First, he may have clue that this could be difficult for you, but he may not understand what your fears are, and what support you may need from him. My wife has sprung things on me a few times with her mother that could've been lessened had someone just told me what the f was going on.

 

Third, always remember that your life is your choice. It is your choice to go and visit them at this time year. It is your choice to go or not to the service. It is your choice what your beliefs are. It is also your choice on how to handle it. I would suggest again talking with hubby as you are not alone in this.

 

Finally, Parents love and want what is best for their children. Some are just really bad at expressing it. While it can be hard to remember when things get tense, try to remember that they really do love you, despite how it might seem at the time.

 

 

Ultimately, no one on here has a vested interest in the outcome. So our advise should be taken as observation by third parties with their own prejudices and experiences. So however, you chose to handle it, it is your choice.

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Welcome, Anon.

 

Many Christians seem to have a difficult time accepting the fact that other people may have differing opinions.

 

I have attended religious Christian (and other) functions out of respect, but never to fool anyone or just "get along." Parents seem to always be a pain in the ass. Good luck with your decision.

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Anonymous888, I'm in the same boat as you. I'll be visiting my parents for Christmas, and they're also fundamentalist Christians. My dad was a pastor of a church for a few years and has written several Christian books. And they have no idea that I don't follow their beliefs.

 

I agree with stryper.. excellent advice, especially his last paragraph. It's ultimately your choice. As for me, I'm a single guy, 30's (that has to be devastating to them), and I don't have anyone else to consider when I make the decision of whether I'll go to church with them or not. I'll probably go just to make them happy and not cause any drama. I feel the same way as you, I get sick when I hear those hate-filled sermons. Fortunately for me, I get ADD about 2 minutes into each sermon and block out everything he says.

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I have not come out to my parents as a non-Christian, but I assume they know. It's something I'd never feel comfortable stating aloud.

 

You can't expect them to accept the new you until you are comfortable with it yourself.

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