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ag_NO_stic Needs a Margee Hug

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Hi, all. I hope everyone is doing well today. Today, a major bummer is the source of this post.

 

For those of you not all the way in the loop, Mr. ag_NO_stic was still a Christian (not too fundamentalist) when I started down my path of deconversion in early 2017. I was really worried about where life was going and how we were going to work since I love him and didn't want to end things based on religion. That was a couple years ago and, after taking some advice from this site, things have calmed down since. My husband is no longer in the Christian camp, though he's not nearly as far as I have come in my opinion, and doesn't feel a need to label his beliefs in general. We are so happy together, honestly. Sounds all good now, right?

 

Cue his parents. They just came over for dinner Sunday night and a VERY unplanned conversation on religion came up. I usually try to skirt around it, it's never worth it. We were discussing conversations we weren't looking forward to when our children come into the picture. Apparently, his parents still thought he was a believer and it was news to them when he defended a few of my comments. They are now devastated, his mom started sobbing, wouldn't look at me and said "This is what I was worried about when she started going down this road, that she would drag you down this path with her." His dad just looked grim the whole time. I started crying too, they said all the usual shit, "You're choosing this doubt, this is a CHOICE," "If you are unchurched of course you will go down this road," "the bible is FACT," "make an appointment with our pastor," and it ended with them essentially being happy that the conversation happened because "it is an answer to your prayers." It hurts so much because they have no idea how traumatic this has been, they think I don't understand their position (as usual), and they were essentially gaslighting us by trying to make us out as the arrogant ones (for deigning to question god) and them the humble ones (for their submission to Christ) when it's so obviously the opposite. Nothing I said even got through. I said a whole bit to them and got, "Regardless, the bible is fact." It is the most maddening thing to look at their condescending concern when I know how little they know about their faith.

 

Y'all, my heart is so very heavy. Not because I have been swayed, but because I am very susceptible to guilt/shame (thanks mom and dad) and I feel like the scum of the earth. Not for "being wrong," mind you, but for clearly being the reason their son is "going to hell now" in their eyes. I know it's their beliefs, I can't control that, but I hate it all the same. I am the kind of person who wants everyone to get along, everyone to be happy. Family is family. I try to be a good person and I want so badly to be openly accepted as their daughter-in-law. I'm sure they will be kind to me, but I feel they will never truly rejoice in our marriage as long as I am agnostic, it will be an elephant in the room. I just want to be left alone, is that so much to ask?

 

Thanks for listening, I love you all.

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@Margee

 

Maybe she'll check in soon. 

 

I'm sorry to hear this. I don't know if masculine hugs and sympathy's will do at this time, but you have them from me. 

 

I'm getting remarried early May and her parents are SDA's. I have similar prospects ahead. Where I'm in your position and she is in your husbands. They know that I don't attend church anymore but are more or less foggy on the details. They know that my grand father was dis-fellowship'd and that we all pulled our memberships from the Florida conference of SDA's years ago. It's a sore enough issue to keep them pussy footing around the issue of the church, for now. They're in their 70's. Let's face it, I'm just hoping to ride this out until they pass on. Beyond their generation it's over and done. Her brothers are agnostics and atheists. The kids don't believe any of it. And the old folks loath the fact that everyone's dropped out. So that's why the attention is on her because she hasn't drawn any line in the sand about the church with them. 

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6 minutes ago, Joshpantera said:

@Margee

 

Maybe she'll check in soon. 

 

I'm sorry to hear this. I don't know if masculine hugs and sympathy's will do at this time, but you have them from me. 

 

I'm getting remarried early May and her parents are SDA's. I have similar prospects ahead. Where I'm in your position and she is in your husbands. They know that I don't attend church anymore but are more or less foggy on the details. They know that my grand father was dis-fellowship'd and that we all pulled our memberships from the Florida conference of SDA's years ago. It's a sore enough issue to keep them pussy footing around the issue of the church, for now. They're in their 70's. Let's face it, I'm just hoping to ride this out until they pass on. Beyond their generation it's over and done. Her brothers are agnostics and atheists. The kids don't believe any of it. And the old folks loath the fact that everyone's dropped out. So that's why the attention is on her because she hasn't drawn any line in the sand about the church with them. 

 

I believe I knew somewhere that you were engaged and to be married soon, congratulations! I'm so sorry to hear the rest of this news. I feel like you and I are in a similar boat and it's a really shitty place to be. Maybe, deep down, I said something that they'll think about, but I have no plans to apologize for where I am or how I got there or how we will raise our children. I truly dread that conversation with every fiber of my being, I am prepared to make a very painful (and ultimately unnecessary) choice to cut out my entire family if they try to indoctrinate my future children. I wish they could see what dickbags they are sometimes lol. Best of luck to you and thanks for the encouragement, truly. Keep us updated!

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@ag_NO_stic,

 

It's too easy, writing anonymously, to simply state that this is all the believer's fault/problem/issue(s), and that you can simply turn around and walk away. That is not reality. That is not how people really behave, nor should it be. We'd all be a bunch of psychopathic buttheads if we could simply turn off the emotions. How grand it would be if Mrs. MOHO would simply listen  to me, read the books I recommend, and stop surrounding herself with Jesus Freaks.

 

Too, I'm sure you're thinking, that it would be so wonderful if your in laws would have an epiphany and pull their collective head out their collective butt. They likely will not and you have no obligation, I'm sure you know, to placate their superstitions in any manner. So what you have is what you have. I will say that, just as my significant other has done, they just might justify things by telling themselves that "well, she and Jr. DID believe once, so she's good-to-go." Or "since we prayed for the two of them they'll make the cut just fine as god answers all prayers!"

 

We're here for 'ya. I can't hug like @Margee but here you go.. <HUG>Hope you feel better</HUG>

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Congrats, @Joshpantera!!!

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2 minutes ago, MOHO said:

@ag_NO_stic,

 

It's too easy, writing anonymously, to simply state that this is all the believer's fault/problem/issue(s), and that you can simply turn around and walk away. That is not reality. That is not how people really behave, nor should it be. We'd all be a bunch of psychopathic buttheads if we could simply turn off the emotions. How grand it would be if Mrs. MOHO would simply listen  to me, read the books I recommend, and stop surrounding herself with Jesus Freaks.

 

Too, I'm sure you're thinking, that it would be so wonderful if your in laws would have an epiphany and pull their collective head out their collective butt. They likely will not and you have no obligation, I'm sure you know, to placate their superstitions in any manner. So what you have is what you have. I will say that, just as my significant other has done, they just might justify things by telling themselves that "well, she and Jr. DID believe once, so she's good-to-go." Or "since we prayed for the two of them they'll make the cut just fine as god answers all prayers!"

 

We're here for 'ya. I can't hug like @Margee but here you go.. <HUG>Hope you feel better</HUG>

 

Oh, all hugs are welcome, you know that. :) There's just a thing on this site about Margee hugs lol, I'll take all the hugs I can get, every one helps. ❤️

 

Thanks for your feedback. I'll keep you updated as things happen of course, but all I can do is leave them to their own beliefs and carry on with my life. Just so painful and unnecessary if they could just see it.

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59 minutes ago, ag_NO_stic said:

Y'all, my heart is so very heavy. Not because I have been swayed, but because I am very susceptible to guilt/shame (thanks mom and dad) and I feel like the scum of the earth. Not for "being wrong," mind you, but for clearly being the reason their son is "going to hell now" in their eyes. I know it's their beliefs, I can't control that, but I hate it all the same. I am the kind of person who wants everyone to get along, everyone to be happy.

 

Sorry to hear this. It's always tough to deal with fundy family. But keep this in mind: it's not on you. Their beliefs are theirs. There's nothing you can do about it. It's unfortunate,  but they believe that their son is going to hell. You didn't make them believe this. It's not your fault,  and you shouldn't feel bad about it. 

 

But I know.  It's one thing to say "I shouldn't feel bad", and another entirely to actually not feel bad. Sucks.

 

Hugs from me. Hope things are alright.

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Guilt sounds correct. I mean, you probably played a role in how his beliefs evolved? Aint no shirking that responsibility. Your part of the blame shouldn't be too big unless your husband can't think for himself.

Shame seems unnecessary, unless you played dirty somehow. I guess there's often something we do wrong or weaknesses we subconsciously abuse even without intending to do so.

 

My first girlfriend was vocally suspicious of my previously religious background, and I tried to placate her by defacing my Bible, lol. I think I should be ashamed of having been that easy to make dance, as I've since learned it's the nature of women to test their man's backbone with some unfair play.

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3 hours ago, ToHellWithMe said:

Your part of the blame shouldn't be too big unless your husband can't think for himself.

 

This and other comments remind of one of the lesson points worked into the new Point Break film: 

 

 

The minute someone follows a path, it becomes their own path, their own choice. I didn't see clips that extend into the following section but those are the points made - if anyone has seen the film then they know what follows. The points are somewhat relevant to this thread. Utah kept wanting to blame himself for other peoples choices and Bodhi brought in a wider perspective. Johny Utah was finally able to let go and find peace of mind. 

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@ag_NO_stic Sorry to hear this, love and ((hugs)). It hurts so much to be labeled and misunderstood that way, it's the one thing that keeps getting to me with family. I do not care about their beliefs but I care that they can't even try to see things from a different perspective. I don't expect this to change. Also, I've been thinking I may have similar prospects for myself, dating an atheist whose parents are fundamentalists and may very well put some blame on me for being a bad influence on him (they're not aware of his beliefs). One thing that I have decided is, if the conversation comes up, I'll tell them they will have to decide which is more important, their views on religion or having a healthy relationship with us. 

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7 hours ago, ag_NO_stic said:

I try to be a good person and I want so badly to be openly accepted as their daughter-in-law. I'm sure they will be kind to me, but I feel they will never truly rejoice in our marriage as long as I am agnostic, it will be an elephant in the room. I just want to be left alone, is that so much to ask?

 

Going forward, never forget "It is always about THEM.  Always.  

 

Unless you reflect THEM, nothing will change.  Your "wants" are totally not relevant to THEM.  It is not about you.  It will never be about you.  It will always be about THEM.  

 

Emparhy, honest true empathy, is something they will likely never have.  

 

You need to decide who you are going to love and respect the most.  THEM, or yourself.  

 

In my opinion, you seem to be the most valuable human in this bunch.  Got lots of hugs waiting for you in Oregon.

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Hi Agnostic,

 

Thanks so much for sharing.  I totally get what you are saying - I'm the one who has ruined my wife's dreams for having a strong Christian husband and I battle that guilt you describe.  Not guilt for landing where I do, but sadness for having to be the "problem" for those I love.

 

And I too have been told that unbelief is a choice!  Ahhh.  And I totally feel you on the pseudo-humility by THEM + allegations of pride against US.

 

I think it takes an insane amount of humility and courage to admit that we were wrong for so long, to own that, and to expose ourselves to rejection by our closest loved ones...

 

Their worldview doesn't have a nice option for us.  We're to be pitied, blamed, shunned, or converted...  =(

 

And I agree that Margee-hugs are something special!  She could charge for them.  Maybe the website here can add "Home of the Margee-hug" as a tagline ;=

 

All the best to you.

 

 

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13 hours ago, disillusioned said:

 

Sorry to hear this. It's always tough to deal with fundy family. But keep this in mind: it's not on you. Their beliefs are theirs. There's nothing you can do about it. It's unfortunate,  but they believe that their son is going to hell. You didn't make them believe this. It's not your fault,  and you shouldn't feel bad about it. 

 

But I know.  It's one thing to say "I shouldn't feel bad", and another entirely to actually not feel bad. Sucks.

 

Hugs from me. Hope things are alright.

 

I'm doing my best to move forward and not let them hold me back or be shamed into doing what they want. 

 

It's so sad. Thanks so much, disillusioned, I so appreciate your encouragement here. Appreciate the hug too :)

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13 hours ago, ToHellWithMe said:

Guilt sounds correct. I mean, you probably played a role in how his beliefs evolved? Aint no shirking that responsibility. Your part of the blame shouldn't be too big unless your husband can't think for himself.

Shame seems unnecessary, unless you played dirty somehow. I guess there's often something we do wrong or weaknesses we subconsciously abuse even without intending to do so.

 

My first girlfriend was vocally suspicious of my previously religious background, and I tried to placate her by defacing my Bible, lol. I think I should be ashamed of having been that easy to make dance, as I've since learned it's the nature of women to test their man's backbone with some unfair play.

 

Appreciate your feedback. It's just such a bummer.

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9 hours ago, Joshpantera said:

 

This and other comments remind of one of the lesson points worked into the new Point Break film: 

 

 

The minute someone follows a path, it becomes their own path, their own choice. I didn't see clips that extend into the following section but those are the points made - if anyone has seen the film then they know what follows. The points are somewhat relevant to this thread. Utah kept wanting to blame himself for other peoples choices and Bodhi brought in a wider perspective. Johny Utah was finally able to let go and find peace of mind. 

 

Haven't seen this yet, not sure what you're talking about, but will watch soon! 

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9 hours ago, TruthSeeker0 said:

@ag_NO_stic Sorry to hear this, love and ((hugs)). It hurts so much to be labeled and misunderstood that way, it's the one thing that keeps getting to me with family. I do not care about their beliefs but I care that they can't even try to see things from a different perspective. I don't expect this to change. Also, I've been thinking I may have similar prospects for myself, dating an atheist whose parents are fundamentalists and may very well put some blame on me for being a bad influence on him (they're not aware of his beliefs). One thing that I have decided is, if the conversation comes up, I'll tell them they will have to decide which is more important, their views on religion or having a healthy relationship with us. 

 

I'm sorry you're looking at rough seas ahead then, it sucks because it doesn't have to be this way. But you know, it helps to know I'm not among here. The more isolated you are, the worse it can be. Thanks for your encouragement and support.

 

EDIT: ((hugs))

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6 hours ago, ConsiderTheSource said:

 

Going forward, never forget "It is always about THEM.  Always.  

 

Unless you reflect THEM, nothing will change.  Your "wants" are totally not relevant to THEM.  It is not about you.  It will never be about you.  It will always be about THEM.  

 

Emparhy, honest true empathy, is something they will likely never have.  

 

You need to decide who you are going to love and respect the most.  THEM, or yourself.  

 

In my opinion, you seem to be the most valuable human in this bunch.  Got lots of hugs waiting for you in Oregon.

 

Thanks for this, I'm trying to....consider the source....of their hurt. I really do understand them, I'd be upset too if I were them. I just looking for understanding anyway, and acceptance.

 

Hugs in return, thanks for the encouragement

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I've already shared my sentiments with you via message but will do so for anyone else reading this and experiencing a similar scenario.  Your in-laws are thoroughly infected with the god virus and their beliefs are immutable.  There isn't really much you can say or do that's going to change their mind and frankly, it isn't worth your time or emotions.  You both need to live your lives to their fullest and let these religious ramblings fade into background noise.  You might have to put your foot down and tell them to fuck off at some point, I certainly don't shy away from doing that to certain family members myself.  Once you are beyond caring about this, the sense of liberation is priceless.  I know you are a naturally caring person but you have to learn to shut that off for people who drag you down.  

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6 hours ago, Insightful said:

Hi Agnostic,

 

Thanks so much for sharing.  I totally get what you are saying - I'm the one who has ruined my wife's dreams for having a strong Christian husband and I battle that guilt you describe.  Not guilt for landing where I do, but sadness for having to be the "problem" for those I love.

 

And I too have been told that unbelief is a choice!  Ahhh.  And I totally feel you on the pseudo-humility by THEM + allegations of pride against US.

 

I think it takes an insane amount of humility and courage to admit that we were wrong for so long, to own that, and to expose ourselves to rejection by our closest loved ones...

 

Their worldview doesn't have a nice option for us.  We're to be pitied, blamed, shunned, or converted...  =(

 

And I agree that Margee-hugs are something special!  She could charge for them.  Maybe the website here can add "Home of the Margee-hug" as a tagline ;=

 

All the best to you.

 

 

 

Oh no, I'm so sorry to hear this. You just expressed exactly how I feel, but it's a lot easier to cut out in laws than to be where you are. I can't imagine, even my husband didn't make me feel that way when he was a Christian. Thank you so much, sometimes just knowing someone else understands and sends hugs can lift you up. 

 

You echoed exactly what I was just telling my husband about courage, that is also how I feel. You got this, I'm so sorry the one you feel this with is your spouse. Hugs

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6 minutes ago, RealityCheck said:

I've already shared my sentiments with you via message but will do so for anyone else reading this and experiencing a similar scenario.  Your in-laws are thoroughly infected with the god virus and their beliefs are immutable.  There isn't really much you can say or do that's going to change their mind and frankly, it isn't worth your time or emotions.  You both need to live your lives to their fullest and let these religious ramblings fade into background noise.  You might have to put your foot down and tell them to fuck off at some point, I certainly don't shy away from doing that to certain family members myself.  Once you are beyond caring about this, the sense of liberation is priceless.  I know you are a naturally caring person but you have to learn to shut that off for people who drag you down.  

 

Thanks for this, I know I have the capacity to let others manipulate me with emotion. And, as you already know, that will continue to come with time, I've only gotten stronger since I left my faith. I'll continue to do so with people like you in my life! :)

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So sorry Ag_NO_stic...I have sort have been where you are. You seem like a strong, intelligent woman...keep your chin up and don't let them get to you. Easier said than done, I know... at least I can give you guy hug :) ((hugs))

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I'm here sweetie but I can't stay right now because I have a very important appointment to go to. I will be back later. I have a few things to add to what everyone else is saying. I am so sorry for what you have to go through with the in-laws right now.

 

So for now, let's all have a group hug and  I'll get back to you later. My heart just breaks for what some of us have to go through when we lose our faith in the christian god. You're going to make it through this honey. I'll be back. florduh always said this to me after I wrote an upsetting post, ''Now,  go do something fun for yourself today.'' And I did. So go now and do something that makes you happy. We got your back hon.

 

Thank you all for the compliments about the 'hugs' but I tell you the truth...I could not have made it through this horrible bullshit of losing my faith if it had not been the love I received from all of you at Ex-c.

 

Love to all of you today. ((hughughughughughughughughughug))

 

Image result for group hug

 

 

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18 hours ago, disillusioned said:

Sorry to hear this. It's always tough to deal with fundy family. But keep this in mind: it's not on you. Their beliefs are theirs. There's nothing you can do about it. It's unfortunate,  but they believe that their son is going to hell. You didn't make them believe this. It's not your fault,  and you shouldn't feel bad about it.  

 

But I know.  It's one thing to say "I shouldn't feel bad", and another entirely to actually not feel bad. Sucks. 

 

Hugs from me. Hope things are alright.

 

+1 to all of this.

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So sorry you're in this situation. But I ain't no Margee.

 

You seem to understand that you are not responsible in any way for another's beliefs, feelings, disappointment or condemnation. You know that you have done nothing wrong, but have simply disagreed with someone's opinion. You just haven't really embraced that knowledge. Old habits are hard to overcome, but in time you will, just like the rest of us. Do your best to deflect any attempts at emotional manipulation, remember that you are entitled to equal respect and autonomy.

 

Thoughts and prayers.....

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11 hours ago, ag_NO_stic said:

I know I have the capacity to let others manipulate me with emotion.

 

Ag:

You might consider looking for something called "assertion training." Here's a definition:

"Assertiveness training is a form of behavior therapy designed to help people stand up for themselves—to empower themselves, in more contemporary terms. Assertiveness is a response that seeks to maintain an appropriate balance between passivity and aggression. Assertive responses promote fairness and equality in human interactions, based on a positive sense of respect for self and others."

 

I went through this and found it most worthwhile, and I recommend it. You will learn various ways to recognize and respond to people who try to manipulate you, and how to stand up for yourself without being obnoxious or aggressive. I'd also recommend an in-person course rather than something online.

 

 

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