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One Year On - Time To Reveal My Relationship?


Habiba
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A year ago (today actually), I joined this site and wrote my extimony. The support from people on this site really helped me face up to my emotionally abusive mother some months later and tell her about my deconversion. Since then there has been a surprising truce. No attempt is made to discuss the matter and I do not take part in any religious activity in my own time or when visiting her.

 

My final hurdle in many ways is not directly linked to my deconversion but for me it really feels like the last step to freedom, as it were, and I would really value some advice.I feel that both my strict upbringing and religiosity of my parent have complicated an otherwise straightforward issue. Perhaps people here have been in similar situations? I am sick of lying and hiding the fact that there is someone in my life.

 

The ludicrousness of my situation dawned on me when I turned to trusty Google for help and was faced with results from teen mags and 12 year olds asking the same question that I, a 25 year old also pose -  "How do I tell my mum I have a boyfriend?"

 

 I have a stable, loving boyfriend who I have been with for a year and a half. In many ways he gave me the confidence to face up to my mother regarding my deconversion. I would dearly like to tell my mother about him, and, in time have them meet. However, apart from one boyfriend my mum met when I was 18 - I have not told her about any other "love interests" in my life.

 

Why? Because her reaction to my having a boyfriend was as explosively unpleasant as her reaction to my deconversion. Sadly, I was so cowed by this that I decided it was easier/safer to keep the existence of future relationships hidden from her. In the last year I have undergone some talking therapy which has helped me gain confidence with dealing with my mum, so I feel in a better and stronger position now, though this is still daunting.However, I  do find this issue embarrassing that a dilemma faced by tweens is still defeating me!

 

One of the issues that is hampering my coming clean about this is that I cannot decide how much information to divulge.

I have hidden the relationship for 1.5 years - do I admit that, or not mention any specific time? Should I reveal how we met ? As we met online, that would be another "bombshell". I am also unsure how to react if she asks if we have sex - of course my gut reaction is to tell her that it is none of her business! In addition to this I have a lied to her about my whereabouts on numerous occasions when I have been visiting him, and going on holiday with him.

 

I am currently spending some time with my mum over the summer though I normally live away. I am unsure whether it is better to address this issue face to face, or as with my deconversion - do it in a month or so, over the phone. Another point I am bearing in mind is that the somewhat surreal "truce" may break as we spend more than a few days together, and she may well ask me about my relationships as she does do from time to time. Therefore I feel I need to be armed with an answer/ statement if asked, before a knee jerk lie comes out which I later have to backpedal on.

 

 

I suppose from all the above jumble I'm asking for any advice people could give about:

  • When to tell - face to face or not
  • What to tell/ what to hold back
  • How to justify the secrecy/lies
  • Dealing with unwanted fallout

 

 

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"Mom, I've refrained from telling you something because, frankly, you overreact and go on the attack if you're not happy with the decisions I make as an adult and equal. I want to tell you about my boyfriend. You may or may not like or approve of him, but I do hope you accept the situation because I'm tired of hiding simple, normal things from you out of fear. I need for us to have an open and honest relationship, and I also need to live my life as I see fit. Now, shall I tell you about my relationship with this wonderful guy?"

 

Seriously, you can't live your life cowering in fear of your mother's disapproval. She must shape up or take a seat far, far in the back of your life. Love is not manipulative or judgmental, so make a stand before you get any older.

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I don't know that it's the best advice, but since you're pretty sure she'll eventually ask, just tell her at that time. That way, you'll be sharing the information because she's interested, not because you were trying to break some big news to her. You'll seem a lot less nervous that way. If you seem fearful, she'll automatically assume that she has reason to be unhappy about it.

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You're an adult and have equal rights the same as her. You can enter into a relationship with another adult. She can choose to accept that, or not. If she would like to be involved, participate and know about your life she's going to have to accept the choices you have made. Even if she doesn't agree with them, it's on her to be the conciliatory one. The onus is on you to behave how people in relationships usually behave - you have a boyfriend, you have been dating for some time, you have feelings for this person, you have mutual friends...and so on. Her responsibility is to be happy that you have found someone, you like this person, they treat you right...

 

She may explode at you, call you names etc...but the same happened with your deconversion. And if that does happen, just remember that eventually a "truce" was attained and will probably be again. You can choose how diplomatic you want to be. Mentioning the partner in question in a gradual nonchalant way worked for me, ripping the band-aid off may work for you. Just depends on your relationship with your mother, your comfort level, and how much success you may have with any way of telling her. 

 

Good luck smile.png

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Habiba: The above is good advice, to be sure. The bottom line is that you have got to take a stand with her that you now make the decisions governing your own life. Every child must, when she grows up, draw a circle (figuratively) around yourself that says "come no farther". That circle, of course, must be a different diameter depending upon the person you are dealing with. You want to draw this circle with as much diplomacy as practical, but draw it, you must.

 

My wife had a very domineering father, who we both had a hard time dealing with until we each drew this circle. That was the end his controlling. But be sure to understand that you must not bluff. I can't predict what will happen. It depends on your mother, not you.

It will be her choice to honor you as an adult or not. You must be prepared to deal with either case. But you don't have a choice on whether to make this stand. You either assert yourself or let her continue to drive you nuts with her controlling. I wish I had learned that lesson at your young age. And good luck. bill

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A year ago (today actually), I joined this site and wrote my extimony. The support from people on this site really helped me face up to my emotionally abusive mother some months later and tell her about my deconversion. Since then there has been a surprising truce. No attempt is made to discuss the matter and I do not take part in any religious activity in my own time or when visiting her.

 

My final hurdle in many ways is not directly linked to my deconversion but for me it really feels like the last step to freedom, as it were, and I would really value some advice.I feel that both my strict upbringing and religiosity of my parent have complicated an otherwise straightforward issue. Perhaps people here have been in similar situations? I am sick of lying and hiding the fact that there is someone in my life.

 

The ludicrousness of my situation dawned on me when I turned to trusty Google for help and was faced with results from teen mags and 12 year olds asking the same question that I, a 25 year old also pose -  "How do I tell my mum I have a boyfriend?"

 

 I have a stable, loving boyfriend who I have been with for a year and a half. In many ways he gave me the confidence to face up to my mother regarding my deconversion. I would dearly like to tell my mother about him, and, in time have them meet. However, apart from one boyfriend my mum met when I was 18 - I have not told her about any other "love interests" in my life.

 

Why? Because her reaction to my having a boyfriend was as explosively unpleasant as her reaction to my deconversion. Sadly, I was so cowed by this that I decided it was easier/safer to keep the existence of future relationships hidden from her. In the last year I have undergone some talking therapy which has helped me gain confidence with dealing with my mum, so I feel in a better and stronger position now, though this is still daunting.However, I  do find this issue embarrassing that a dilemma faced by tweens is still defeating me!

 

One of the issues that is hampering my coming clean about this is that I cannot decide how much information to divulge.

I have hidden the relationship for 1.5 years - do I admit that, or not mention any specific time? Should I reveal how we met ? As we met online, that would be another "bombshell". I am also unsure how to react if she asks if we have sex - of course my gut reaction is to tell her that it is none of her business! In addition to this I have a lied to her about my whereabouts on numerous occasions when I have been visiting him, and going on holiday with him.

 

I am currently spending some time with my mum over the summer though I normally live away. I am unsure whether it is better to address this issue face to face, or as with my deconversion - do it in a month or so, over the phone. Another point I am bearing in mind is that the somewhat surreal "truce" may break as we spend more than a few days together, and she may well ask me about my relationships as she does do from time to time. Therefore I feel I need to be armed with an answer/ statement if asked, before a knee jerk lie comes out which I later have to backpedal on.

 

 

I suppose from all the above jumble I'm asking for any advice people could give about:

  • When to tell - face to face or not
  • What to tell/ what to hold back
  • How to justify the secrecy/lies
  • Dealing with unwanted fallout

 

 

Why is having a boyfriend bad? Not sure I'd want to go visit her if this is something you have to worry about her exploding about.

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"Mom, I've refrained from telling you something because, frankly, you overreact and go on the attack if you're not happy with the decisions I make as an adult and equal. I want to tell you about my boyfriend. You may or may not like or approve of him, but I do hope you accept the situation because I'm tired of hiding simple, normal things from you out of fear. I need for us to have an open and honest relationship, and I also need to live my life as I see fit. Now, shall I tell you about my relationship with this wonderful guy?"

 

Seriously, you can't live your life cowering in fear of your mother's disapproval. She must shape up or take a seat far, far in the back of your life. Love is not manipulative or judgmental, so make a stand before you get any older.

 

Good advice, Florduh.

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My mother was also very controlling and manipulative, and I was scared to death of her. At age 20 we had a bit of a blow-up, and I cut ALL communication with her until I was 36. That did the trick! Now she treats me like her favorite child (out of three), rather than the one she could not stand (which I endured until age 20). She is oh-so-careful not to piss me off now, and chooses her words wisely. Maybe she has mellowed with time and she now sees me as the wonderful person I am (if I do say so myself, lol), or maybe she is afraid I will bolt again -- I don't know. She lives far away, and I only talk to her once a month or so, and send her photos of my daughter quite regularly. I see her once or twice a year, and she is always very supportive and charming. I definitely have a boundary. Anyway... I can say now, at age 42, I actually like and appreciate her.

 

OK, so this is obviously a little extreme. I'm just saying, a tough boundary makes a world of difference.

 

I will admit that 16 years without a mom was pretty scary and lonely in some ways. Those were formative years for me as a woman. She missed out on planning both of my weddings. (Hey, 16 years is a long time, no regrets there, LOL.) She missed me buying my new house. She missed my master's degree graduation. She got no postcards from my three trips to Paris and my weeks in Italy. She missed the birth of my baby, her only granddaughter. (My sister has three boys, and my sister was always the favorite -- I hate that shit.) I reached out to my mom when I was in the depths of my post partum depression (baby was almost a year old), because I needed someone to give a shit and do something, and I was hoping she would feel a bond and give me the love I needed. She did. Oh my, what pain and drama I endured.

 

You're in a delicate time in life, my dear. You have rapid growth coming your way. It's OK to cut the cord. It will be painful at times, but you both will be better for it. I don't recommend my 16 years of silence, which is pretty damn extreme, but I think you get the picture.

 

Is that you in your avatar? You are gorgeous! Be strong, love your boyfriend, have faith in yourself, take risks and grow, become the amazing independent woman you are meant to be. You will figure it out, my friend. Peace to you on your journey.

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I am dealing with similar issues, so I quite understand what you are going through. And to answer one of the commentator's who asked why having a bf is bad..well it is if your mother has had a certain plan for your life and was hoping to basically "help" you choose your future husband, preferably a high-ranking member in the church, and you refuse and finally find one yourself out of the community, it's bad! At least this was the case for me. I live with him and she does not know yet because she will of course flip. She knows I have a bf but not that we live together. She was very upset when I told her about him and sounded depressed over the next few days when I was talking to her. Finally she told me that this was probably a "fling" and that God has plans for me and that she's going to be praying for me. Sigh, it's pointless to talk to her about it. Anyway, thanks for starting this topic, the above recommendations were very helpful and I feel for you as well. Good luck with your mother!


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...She knows I have a bf but not that we live together....

 

Ah yes, the dreaded "living in sin." I got married young to avoid that stigma. Luckily he was a good guy, just not right for me, and we had no kids. The split was amicable, but then I had the dreaded "divorced" stigma. At some point I just said fuck it. I lived with my current husband for 6.5 years before marrying him, and we've been charmingly happy together for over 19 years now.

 

If you are living with your bf, you are obviously having premarital sex (gasp!), and you might be on the road to a long-term / lifelong relationship (double gasp!). I, for one, support you. It's your life, and you are living it. Good for you.

 

Premarital sex (as long as it's safe and consenting adults) is a good thing, in my opinion. I test drove many of those cars, so to speak, than I should probably admit to, but I am better for it now. I found the right guy for me, and life is good.

 

Carry on, ladies. You are doing what's right for you, and I applaud you. Yeah, I'm not your mom, just some stranger on the internet, but maybe it helps you to know that there are other perspectives, and you are not alone.

 

Live strong and free!

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Frankly, I don't get it. I don't tell my folks stuff like this. Quite on the contrary, I snap at them if they get too nosy about what is my own and most personal business.

 

Then again, I don't have family or friends that would try to guilt me for not disclosing stuff with them. Even if they did, it would not work on me.

 

So, if you're liable and vulnerble to such attacks, yeah, prepare you must, i guess.

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It's very normal to have a boyfriend in your 20s. Was she upset the first time because she felt you were too young? Wouldn't finish school? Might have sex? I'm not sure what part of your having a boyfriend the first time set her off, so I'm not sure how to advise whether or not it would be best for you to tell her now. 

 

I think though, if you focus on happy stories of sweet things he's done for you and how happy you are together, she might be happy for you this time. I DO think you should keep some boundaries here though. She isn't entitled to any personal information that you don't feel comfortable freely volunteering. If she presses you and asks if you or he have ever had sex with each other or previous partners, I'd say, "I don't feel comfortable kissing and telling, but we are really happy." I find evasion worked fine with my parents, and once they realized I was NOT going to tell them anything about it, they stopped pushing. They could assume all they liked, but they weren't getting any confirmation from me, and I would change the subject if they ever got too nosy about it. You can be more direct with, "I appreciate your concern, but that's private." I found it helpful to assure my mother that my boyfriend was treating me respectfully and never pushed my boundaries, which I appreciated. I think my mother found that reassuring. 

 

I'm also not sure what you mean by "flip out" so I'm not sure if it's better to have this conversation over the phone or in person. If she screams or throws things, do it over the phone. Because she can't hurt you physically over the phone, and if she gets too verbally abusive, you can say, "I'm going to hang up now. You can call me back when you have a chance to calm down and be more rational about this."

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...She knows I have a bf but not that we live together....

...

 

You are doing what's right for you, and I applaud you. Yeah, I'm not your mom, just some stranger on the internet, but maybe it helps you to know that there are other perspectives, and you are not alone. Live strong and free!

 

Thank you for your words of encouragement and support. Isn't it funny when they tell you that if you choose to "test-drive" and "live in sin," it will be impossible to find fulfillment, the relationship will inevitably end (because both God and your parents who are to be honored and obeyed are not going to bless it). They also tell you that you'll spend yourself and have nothing left for your future soul-mate. I used to agree with all of this. I can't believe I did not realize how obvious it is that these rules were enacted to keep women subordinate and their sexuality under control. 

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