Post # 1
Hey there! I am new to Wedding Bee, just engaged. My fiance and I have been together three years, and he is my dad’s right-hand man at his business. The problem I am facing is that my parents have a very strong Christian faith – I am also Christian, but not nearly as zealous as they are.
For the past year, they have been inviting my fiance and I to Christian fellowships. At first he would go, but he began to feel like he was being forced into their beliefs, so he stopped wanting to go. He is agnostic and the fellowships were uncomfortable for him.
Now that we are engaged, my mother basically dropped the line that “if you’re serious about marrying our daughter, then you’ll start coming to these fellowships.” This made my fiance angry, because he feels like he’s proven himself tol be a good, respectful, honest man, but he still isn’t good enough because he’s not Christian. He is now even more averse to going to these fellowships.
We have a happy, healthy, supportive relationship and share all of the same values. We have talked about kids and how we will raise them. We’ve worked everything out, but now I’m stressed that my parents will throw a fit and not approve the wedding because he doesn’t want to attend the fellowships. They think he should ‘want to go’ if he really had a good heart.
It is a difficult situation and I am looking for advice. I am planning on sitting down and talking to my parents soon, but I thought it wouldn’t hurt to ask some others!
Post # 2
You need to tell your parents to stop. Full, complete, STOP. There is NO time when it is okay for them to push their religion on you, much less your fiance.
Religion twists people to believe certain things and obviously your parents believe that going to fellowships is a sign of true goodness and missing them is a sign of someone sinister in some way. You’re probably not going to change their mindset on that, but you should at least make your feelings known.
It’s not a difficult situation at all, IMO. Tell your parents to quit being so disrespectful to the man you’re marrying and to stop shoving their religious beliefs on other people because it’s inappropriate. He doesn’t want to go to fellowships because he is agnostic and they need to learn to respect that.
Post # 3
Your finace’s religion is none of their business. The problem is, however, that your fiance works for your father – he might have to find another job if things escalate.
Post # 4
“now I’m stressed that my parents will throw a fit and not approve the wedding because he doesn’t want to attend the fellowships.” — So what? If they throw a fit, that shows how silly THEY are. And what happens if they don’t approve the wedding — they’ll give you dirty looks? grumble about it? Who cares?
“They think he should ‘want to go’ if he really had a good heart.” — Well they’re wrong. There are tons of good-hearted atheists and good-hearted people of other religions.
I know you love your parents, so I’m sorry to say it, but they are the reason so many people have such a negative opinion of Christians. Maybe try to help them see that they’re doing themselves and their belief a disservice by being so narrow-minded.
Post # 5
savari07: Sorry but your parents are way out of line with this one. It’s 2014. Their daughter has the right to marry any man who loves her and treats her well, regardless of religion. You have to stand your ground with them. If they can’t be happy for you then shame on them.
Post # 6
I’ve been an agnostic since the age of 10. I’ve been a member of 2 different religions, during my life, the one of my birth (parents/family), and the one I joined at 35, which is well known for it’s social/charitible involvement. I stopped attending worship there 4 years ago, because I thought it was “false” of me to do so.
Other than my immediate family, no one knows this. When I left the mainstream Protestant denomination, at 35, I said I was so sick of the self-righteous and the hypocrits. There I was, in no way a Christian, and my life was a lot more Christ like than those who went to church every Sunday. Absolutely no one would know, especially because of my social conscience and moral ideals, that I’m not religious.
Luckily my mother raised me to believe that you never discussed politics, religion, and sports, in polite company, because it always started arguements. It sounds like your parents could benefit from that rule.
Good luck to you and your fiance.
Post # 7
Having been in your FI’s position, the only solution is for both parties to back down. Right now tensions are high and lines are drawn in the sand. “If he has a good heart, he should want to go” versus “I’ve proven myself to be a good, respectful, honest man”
These lines HAVE to be erased. No one gets to stand their ground. Both have to compromise. Your parents have to admit that a person can be agnostic and still have a “good heart.” Your FI has to admit that occasionally attending a religious service for social reasons can still be fulfilling and does not change anything about himself or his beliefs.
Your FI’s mind should be easy to change since he was doing this before they offended him. Your parents…. good luck! 😀
Post # 8
I think the best thing to do is just sit down with your parents and discuss it. Explain that he is not comfortable attending but is fully supportive of your faith and it does not mean he is not serious about marrying you.
They should be able to see that he is a good man and makes you happy and learn to be ok with it, but if it’s going to cause problems you are better knowing exactly what they think now, so you can try and work through it.
Post # 9
This is an unfortunate mess to be in. Your parents really have no business trying to convert your FI.
May I ask how old you guys are? And by not approving of the wedding do you mean they won’t show up or they won’t pay for it?
Post # 10
savari07: I would just explain to them that he is your FI and will be a major part of your life, and while he supports your beliefs he doesn’t need to believe them to be married to you. Religion is always a tricky siutation with parents, family members, etc. I would have this conversationd with your parents without your FI and explain to them that your relationship with your FI is not based on religion and is much more important than his faith beliefs.
Post # 11
You need to be clear with your parents that what they are doing is not appropriate. It is a little more difficult, though, because you live locally and your FI works with your dad.
Post # 12
I agree with PPs this is none of your parents business and you need to tell them to back off.
Post # 13
I agree with PPs that you need to tell your parents to stop their antics. Conversion is a deeply personal conviction and shouldn’t be pushed, demanded or expected of someone. However, it is not your FI who needs to stand up for himself in this case; since YOUR parents are demanding the change, YOU must be the one to stand between your parents and your fiancé and tell that for all intents and purposes they cannot keep disrespecting or disparaging the man you will tether your life to.
The truth is that it might not go well. Your parents may become very angry with you, your FI might have to get a new job, your parents might not finance your wedding, and your parents might choose to lose a daughter and a new son while favoring their beliefs. If this happens just know that it was unavoidable. People that choose religion over love, and teachings over experience (the experience of getting to know your man, seeing his true character, etc) are very difficult to resson with. However, if this happens then just know that if there was hope for you to grow independent and differentiated from them (healthy transition from adolescence to adulthood btw) this difficult period was needed and probably warranted.
It sounds daunting, I know: To defend an “outsider” and not follow the fourth commandment. However, the truth is you WILL be honoring your parents’ teachings (maybe not the religious ones but all the other ones) and their having raised you as a woman who thinks for herself and acts in line with her conscience instead of in line with external pressures or peer pressure.
In sum, put your “big girl panties” on, grab ahold of your ovaries and stand up NEXT to your chosen partner, not allowing others to disrespect him as a person or HIS beliefs and do what your good conscience is already telling you to do.
Edited to add: oh and congratulations on your engagement and welcome to the WB!
Post # 14
isn’t it up to YOU, how important his faith is to YOU since YOU are the one who is Christian as well? You will be marrying the man, not them meaning it is your choice ultimately, not theirs if his faith is a deal breaker.
however, I do not believe it is a good idea at all for an agnostic to marry a Christian. Not if a Christian is a TRUE believer, if you believe in your heart, you need to do some honest prayer and searching before you marry this man. Just take some time, it doesn’t have to be forever but just take some time for prayer.
Post # 15
username1014: You’re just as bad as her parents. Stop preaching. Have you considered maybe God sent her the man she’s with because he’s her perfect match, regardless of whether he believes or not?