(Closed) Confronting Christian parents?

posted 8 years ago in Family
Post # 3
Member
4824 posts
Honey bee

Maybe someone has real experience with this, but I think there is much you can do other than continue to show them that you love their daughter and will treat her well and make her happy.

Maybe writing a letter or sitting down with them, without your fiance present, to tell them this may help… but at the end of the day it seems you have already demonstrated this and its their choice to continue to push their daughter away. Its sucks, it hurts and its not your fault of course, but I am not sure there is much you can do.

Post # 4
Member
2538 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: July 2010

No ideas on what to do because I’ve never been in a situation similar, but I wish the both of you luck and love. I’m sorry that you’re both having to go through this.

Post # 5
Member
4137 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: May 2011

i don’t have any advice, but i am so sorry you have to go through this! it drives me crazy how unaccepting and judgmental some people who call themselves christians can be — isn’t the religion all about acceptance and tolerance? do they not see the irony in their behavior? i just DO NOT understand.

Post # 6
Member
1267 posts
Bumble bee

You seem to be really respectful and patient and that’s awesome.  I think a letter may be a good idea to kindly and gently let them know that even if they themselves may not agree with your relationship that to not accept it or push their own daughter away is going to have consequences.  You can try to remind them some parts of scriptures (I’m not religious so I don’t know exactly what they are, sorry!) that mention it’s a sin to judge others and a sin to not show your children love and also I believe, a sin to not show tolerance and to be prejudice.  Like I said, even if they are not agreeable to the relationship they maybe need some reminding that in their religion, it is unarguably NOT their place to render any judgements at all.  That could help if you relate scripture in that sense, you know.

You might also want to write that you two plan on having children in the future and that by pushing their daughter and her new wife away that they will not be having a relationship with their grandchildren, either.  That could hit home.  Good luck.

Post # 7
Member
3176 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: May 2011

I’m very sorry you are going through this but honestly it doesn’t sound like there is much you can do. Christian or not there are some people in this world that no matter what you do will not accept you for who you are. Confronting them won’t change their opinion it will probably just piss them off. If you continue to show what an amazing person you are hopefully things will get better. *hugs*

Post # 8
Member
5118 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: November 1999

I’m sorry you and your partner are going through this, @bellagio:. You said the letter may cause family drama, but maybe write one anyway just for yourself to practice getting those thoughts and feelings out. I’m a Lutheran, and a very accepting person and an LGBT advocate, so I can’t really figure this out from your girlfriend’s family’s perspective since I was definitely not raised in their fashion.

Does your girlfriend still attend a Christian church or do you two attend any type of services together? I beleive the Unitarian Universalists churches are very welcoming and inclusive. Perhaps meeting with one of their pastors could help you to find ways to talk with your girlfriend’s family and have a discussion on Christianity and acceptance (since another bee mentioned utiilizing scripture to help the parents relate more). I do think it’s important to either talk with them or write them a well-drafted and thoughtfully constructed letter to let them know how their treatment of your relationship hurts you, and also hurts them in the long run as it strains their ties to their daughter and the future grandchildren they may have. 

Some people will surprise you and eventually see the hurtful nature of their ways. Others, unfortunately, will never accept and love others as they are, even their own children. I think maybe counseling for you and your Fiance could be helpful, especially if it looks like this is the road to estrangement from her family. She will have a lot of emotions from that and counseling may help address those instead of letting them affect your own relationship as a couple. Best of luck, I’m so sorry you’re going through this. 

Post # 9
Member
2425 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: December 2009

@bellagio: Hey, just thought I would pipe in.  First of all, I’m sorry this is a struggle for you.  I have never been in your situation and can’t imagine how hard it must be.  I feel like I can’t offer great advice because I have never been in this type of situation.  I can say that I was raised in a Christian household like you, and I do consider myself to be Christian, but with slightly different beliefs than you…like, I do believe in sin and hell (although, I don’t refer to it as hell), and that God does judge (but I believe he does it in a loving way.)  With all that said, I believe the judging should be left up to God, not us mere mortals ๐Ÿ™‚  So, while I do have pretty conservative Christian beliefs, I don’t believe it’s my job to decide who gets to be together…does that make sense? 

I think the problem your ILs are running into is sin.  You grew up not believing it, but it sounds like they do very much believe in sin and this could be a big part of why you and your Fiance are running into the issues you are having with them.  Unfortunately, their beliefs are probably never going to change.  Maybe approach them from the angle of “let’s agree to disagree.”  You believe marrying your Fiance is the right thing….they thing it’s not ok.  Okay, everyone is entitled to their beliefs and the likelyhood of the two sides coming to an agreement isn’t probably going to be great..Sooooooo….maybe point out that it’s not their place to judge?  If they truly believe it’s a sin for you and Fiance to marry, then fine…let them believe that because in their eyes, you’ll answer to God for that.  If they could just get past the fact that they shouldn’t be judging you, it seems like a happy medium could be found.  And unfortunately, it could be a long time until this happens, but patience on your and your FI’s part could be the key to success.  I just wish they would re-evaluate their decision regarding the attendence of your wedding.  It just seems silly and sad to me. 

Post # 10
Member
7173 posts
Busy Beekeeper

Sorry if any of the following has been repeated – I didn’t read through the other responses.  

First, I’m curious how your FI’s relationship has been with her parents after she came out to them.  Did they try to ‘convert’ her back?  or have they been generally accepting of the fact that she’s gay?  As I’m sure you know, there’s the camp of Christians that believe it’s a sin to be gay (and a choice) and therefore changeable.  There’s another camp (myself included) that believe it’s not a choice or sin.  In any case, I’m assuming FI’s family falls into that first camp and I’m sure they keep hoping she’ll “come to her senses”.  

I really don’t think telling FI’s family how it’s going to be if they keep up their behavior will really help anything.  They have to come to terms with the reality of who their daughter is in their own time.  

The best thing you can do for the relationship is continue to love their daughter, extend invitations to them, and cope with your feelings of frustration and disappointment.  One can only hope that time will help them to be more accepting, but there’s no guarantee.  I always try to expect the worst case scenario in hopes of being pleasantly surprised if there’s a different outcome.  And, when you really think about – it’s THEY that are missing out on sharing their daughter’s life and future grandchildren.  There’s nothing ‘ok’ with that kind of behavior, but, unfortunately, it’s their decision to make.  Your responsibility, IMO, to them is to be kind and polite.  That would also be the best thing you could do for your Fiance, who must be so disappointed in the manner in which her family is reacting.

 

Post # 12
Member
937 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: September 2010

First, hugs to you for what you’re going through. I am Catholic and one of my sisters is gay. My parents found out when she was in college, and our Dad had a REALLY difficult time accepting it. As a Catholic who was raised in a very religious home, and in a different era, our Dad just truly didn’t “understand,” and thought that my sister was “confused” and simply “hadn’t met the right boy yet.” He didn’t understand that she was born this way, and that she had no more choice over being gay than she did being born with curly hair and brown eyes.

Fast forward 10 years, and my sister is in a wonderful relationship with her partner, and they are raising an amazing family in a loving home. It took time, but I think the more my Dad actually SAW that their relationship was as stable and loving as a heterosexual one, he came around. We didn’t FORCE it on my Dad, but we also didn’t act like there was anything strange or weird about it, either. We weren’t going to reward my Dad’s behavior by making my sister feel like she needed to hide who she was just to make him more comfortable. We still went to church, had family dinners, celebrated birthdays and holidays- and my Dad either had to get over it or not attend. He wasn’t always thrilled, but the alternative is that he would be missing out on a lot- so he got over it. He sees how happy my sister is now- she has family and friends who accept and love her- and my Dad sees that she is truly LOVED. I’m not a parent, but I imagine that every parent wants to know that their children are loved and taken care of more than anything. My Dad SEES that my sister has that now, so he’s become more accepting. Also, I think my Dad’s issues had to do more with what OTHER PEOPLE would say about my sister, and how OTHER people would treat her- than how he actually felt.

The only advice I can give you, as someone who has a gay sister (whom I LOVE to pieces), and who understands where you’re coming from and how you feel- is to keep doing what you’re doing. You can’t allow someone else’s behavior to change who YOU are. Keep loving each other, keep living healthy, happy lives. It sounds like your Future In-Laws are like my Dad, and are just having a hard time accepting who she is. THEY are going to need to decide for themselves if it’s worth it to them to lose their daughter completely, and I don’t know if it’s wise to force it on them. If you want to write a letter, if only for yourself to get your feelings out on paper, do it. If they really are closed minded though, and are really struggling with acceptance, your letter might only make the situation worse. At a minimum, I would discuss it with your FW before sending it. You don’t want her to find out about it after the fact, and then have everyone upset with you. Whatever you decide- best of luck and blessings to you both for a beautiful wedding and a wonderful future!

“And the day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom.” ~ Anais Nin

Post # 13
Member
7173 posts
Busy Beekeeper

@bellagio: Not that it justifies their behavior in any way, shape, or form – know that FI’s parents are likely in their own turmoil of not understanding their daughter.  They are coming from a point of having their deeply rooted religious belief’s questioned.  Instead of being loving, they feel like putting her at an arm’s distance until she ‘comes to her senses’ is the morally right thing to do.  Just like a romantic relationship – you can’t make anyone love you or desire to spend time with you.  They are making choices, just like you are.  

They know they are estranging you – they are doing that in hopes their daughter will change.  Remember that their point of view is from thinking she’s making a choice to sin and hope that she’ll see the error of her ways.  Sending them a letter telling them about the consequences of their actions isn’t going to make them come to an understanding of who their daughter is any faster.  If anything, if they DO come to their senses, I would think it would make reconciling the relationship all that much harder…. because, as reasonable and patient as you sound – I’d guess that if they wanted to restore a relationship with you guys down the road, you’d be more than open to it.

And, I totally agree with you on the judging people comment – the only problem is, most people DO judge and project their own desires on others.  I’ve found this to be true in my own family as it relates to my husband.  It’s a really selfish thing, when it all boils down to it.  My advice is to protect your soon to be family, continue to nurture and care for your FI- as she’ll continue to need a ton of your support in this matter.

I also think if she needs to put space between herself and her mom (ie: the b’day party) it’s not a bad thing.  She’s leaving her family of origin and making a new one with you.  Why should she put up with the abuse of her mom and ‘celebrate’ her mom’s birth, when her mom hasn’t been very accepting, loving, or motherly?   How did it go at the party?

Post # 14
Member
937 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: September 2010

VERY well said, Oracle! I totally agree.

Post # 15
Member
279 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: July 2011

this makes me so mad! I’m Christian, and am so embarassed when I hear of people acting this way! I believe it’s not anyone’s business to judge other people….about anything they do! I’m SO sorry that you are going through this, and for the record…I think it’s AWESOME that you’re getting married….love is love…and I believe that love is a blessing.  They may never fully accept this, but I certainly hope that they can accept you both and be supportive. ๐Ÿ™

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