(Closed) Religious parents will never approve: what to do?

posted 5 years ago in Relationships
Post # 3
4523 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: September 2014

@6thousandmiles:  this is a tough one :-/ I have a very religious dads side of my family that, on more than one occassion, has voiced their distaste with my life and cited religious reasons.  I’m not really sure how you get around this…I’ve just continued doing my thing but still being kind to them when we interact. Some have had a change of heart and others are still not pleased :-/

Post # 4
1420 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: September 2014 - Turf Valley

That’s tough.  I’m glad I didn’t have quite that problem… My parents were accepting. I have to admit though, I haven’t told FH’s family that I’m not religious.  They just assume I’m a “Little Lost Catholic,” as they call me.  Ugh.




I know the fear of judgment, so I can relate.  It’s hard when the people you love (or want to love) judge you for your beliefs, and do not/will not accept these things.  For me, if FH’s family knew that I was not catholic, they would likely condemn our marriage and never want to have anything to do with me.  It’s a sad thing.  I’m sorry you are having to deal with this conflict! 


Post # 5
849 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: October 2015

Unfortunately, they probably won’t ever get to the point where they won’t feel like they need to “fix” you. I also have a religious family, they are all Southern Baptists. My guy was raised Episcopalian but considers himself to be an atheist now. But have I told my family? No because that will raise all kinds of stink. But I felt bad about hiding that part of my Boyfriend or Best Friend and I didn’t want him to feel like I was ashamed of him. So I offered to tell my family the truth but my Boyfriend or Best Friend shut that down. He knew it would just start a lot of drama in the family and he didn’t want me to deal with that. Plus he doesn’t care what my family thinks in general. He doesn’t mind going along with the lie. Right now, this course of action is right for us. We don’t want to deal with the drama so we are not saying anything. But as for you…

There’s really no good answer to this. Only you can decide what you can live with. If you’re completely open, be prepared for some major disappointment. Which you might have to deal with for the rest of your life.

Or you can elect to not tell them the truth and deal with the unpleasant feeling of not being accepted for who you are. Can you live with that feeling? Only you can decide that.

I’m sorry that you’re going through this. It does suck to not have a family that is not open-minded. 

Post # 6
2375 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: June 2014

If it makes you feel any better, my mom is still convinced that I’m Catholic.  She’s Japanese, and my Dad is an ex-Catholic.  She’s convinced it’s sort of like reverse Judaism, passed down through the father’s line instead of the mother.  I don’t know who told her that, but I swear I’m going to knock his teeth out if I find him.  I haven’t been Catholic since I was about 10.  For 20 years, she’s informed me that I was Catholic, and she wanted me to marry one.  My fiance is atheist, and we’re having a totally secular ceremony, with no mention of any gods.  She was not happy, but she got over it.  I’ll be honest, we totally bulldozed her over.  We informed her that was how it was going to be, after it was already a done deal. 

Post # 7
9139 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper
  • Wedding: November 2013 - St. Augustine Beach, FL

@6thousandmiles:  Unfortunately, Evangelicals are called to convert people so their religion promotes this type of communication style and disagreement with intermarriage between Evangelicals and non-believers.  I don’t think you are ever going to be totally comfortable with your family and your personal religious beliefs as a result.  It will likely affect your wedding if you marry someone not of the faith and want them to attend the wedding and God forbid if you have a secular wedding!

The best way to handle this is to come to terms on your own with your own personal religious beliefs and realize that your family does not share those beliefs and may not accept you and your future husband and children as a result of your beliefs.  You may end up having to choose between your family and your spouse (and your own children).  You may need to distance yourself from your family in the end in order to avoid their judgment.  I’m sorry.

Post # 8
1475 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: July 2014

@6thousandmiles What you are dealing with is difficult especially because you are close to your family and value your relationship with them.

If you tell them how you feel and your personal beliefs two things will happen 1) they accept it and you 2) they reject it and you.  Be prepared for either scenario or even some type of variation in between where they feel maybe you “lost your faith” and then they continue to try to bring you back to it.


For the record i’m Christian, raised in a strong Christian home my whole life, but I also believe each person has to find their way in life and in religion or their faith.


As an adult i’m sure you are at the point now where you want to stand on your own two feet and be accepted and respected for whatever you choose to do with your life and to believe.  I suggest that you gather the courage if you can and just have an open and honest talk with them, if will be difficult for you to say and for them to hear but I feel in this case honesty is the best policy and hopefully love will win out and nothing significant will change in your relationship with them.


I know this is difficult for you, so my prayers are with you girl, good luck with whatever you decide to do and I hope it works out.


Post # 9
1251 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: March 2009

@6thousandmiles:  I have been in this exact situation. My parents, evangelical pentecostal christians, often asked me when I was dating Darling Husband if he was “a man of God” or if he “served the lord”. When I told them he was atheist, they completely freaked out. However, they love Darling Husband, so they (thankfully) haven’t mentioned anything to him, and only tell me, “We will continue to pray for yours and DH’s salvation”- which won’t happen, but it makes them feel better.


I’ll be honest with you, though: if they aren’t open-minded now, they probably won’t EVER be open minded. They’re evangelical, as are my parents, which means they are inclined to evangelize, especially to their (in their mind) lost daughter and potential son-in-law. My parents cannot/will not accept the fact that Darling Husband and I simply aren’t religious. Fortunately, the topic isn’t discussed quite as often anymore, but they do bring God up quite a bit around us, and it IS kind of annoying.


As long as you and your SO are happy together, and share the same core values/beliefs, don’t worry about your parents. You won’t be able to change them, just as they can’t change you or your SO. You have to be happy with who you are, and your SO has to be happy with who he is, and that’s the most you can ever ask for. I know this, because I was the same way. Until I was truly happy/comfortable with my thoughts on religion, it was a nerve wracking experience around my parents.


Your best bet is probably to NEVER bring up religion around them, especially if it involves your SO. I know that sucks, and I wish it were possible for everyone to be open with their parents about religion, but with extremely conservative, evangelical christians, you can’t be open if you disagree with their way of thinking. It will save a lot of heartache/trouble if you keep mum on the subject of faith. If they begin to assume you are christian because you don’t disagee? Let them assume. Not because you aren’t sure about your opinion, but because they will continue to try to ‘save’ you- no matter how adamant you are in the other direction.


πŸ™‚ GL!


Post # 11
526 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: August 2014

I’ll just say that waiting until you are about to get married to reveal your own beliefs may cause them to blame your future husband for it. Ex: they are thinking you are a “good Christian girl” or w.e until you meet this new guy who isn’t and now you want to marry him.

I think you should start little by little showing them that you aren’t interested in Christianity or religion or w.e it is. And over time getting them to accept that you don’t attend church or believe xyz. Then after they are somewhat used to it, sit them down and tell them you know their belief is important to them and they hoped to pass it on to you and they did expose you to it but as an adult you do not feel connected to it and just as you aren’t trying to get them to NOT be Christian, you want their support in them not trying to make you Christian.

THey may not agree but hopefully it won’t be shocking by that point. Also, then they won’t blame your future Fiance for pulling you away from Christianity. 

Good luck.

Post # 12
342 posts
Helper bee

I don’t think you should wait until you get married to discuss this with them. If you wait, they may blame your entire “fall from grace” on your husband, and they will feel that way about him forever. If you discuss it NOW, it will make them realize that this was YOUR choice, not influenced by anyone else. No one is to blame. They’ll take TIME, but they’ll get used to it and will be excited when you find a man who makes you happy and treats you well. It may not fit into their dreams for you, and I’m sure they’ll always pray for you, but it doesn’t mean they can’t rejoice with you when your happy.

Post # 13
294 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: May 2014

My Fiance comes from that kind of relgiious family and my own is pretty darn religious as well. Whenever I am making choices that they deem “un-Christian like” – I remind them of who Jesus hung out with, how he behaved and what he valued. Nothing like using the Bible to argue with people who think it is the end-all be-all authority on everything.  Here are two good ones –

Matthew 7:1-5 : 

“Do not judge, or you too will be judged.  For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.“Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye? 4How can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when all the time there is a plank in your own eye?  You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.

1 Corinthians 7:13-14 :

If any woman has a husband who is an unbeliever, and he consents to live with her, she should not divorce him. For the unbelieving husband is made holy because of his wife, and the unbelieving wife is made holy because of her husband. Otherwise your children would be unclean, but as it is, they are holy.”


Post # 15
559 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: October 2014

My FI’s family are evangelicals.  He’s not anymore, and I’m a liberal Jew.  They tolerated my Judaism as something interesting and Biblical for a while, though FI’s mom often voiced fears that I might not be saved and will go to hell.  However, when Fiance told them we were getting married, they wigged out, gave him a dressing down about the status of his soul, and we really haven’t spoken since then.  It’s been tense and unpleasant.  When we went over there to petsit sine they paid us, there were evangelical books all over the place and all kinds of Bible stuff left out.  It’s uncomfortable, and I don’t know how it will play out.  Despite the fact that they seemed to really love me six months ago, I have no idea if they’ll ever be supportive of us again, and I feel like they blame me and my Jewishness for taking my Fiance away from their really, really evangelical ideas.  It’s unpleasant.  And it’s hard for me as the outside party, more or less.  So I sympathise, I really, really do.

Post # 16
12248 posts
Sugar Beekeeper
  • Wedding: June 2015

I have friends whose parents are like that, but it’s  really foreign to me. I was raised as a Christian, but we were taught never to judge others, and to respect other beliefs, so I just don’t get it. I’m so sorry you are going through this. The bottom line is that you can’t control their reaction, and so you feel like you are possibly risking your relationship by telling them the truth. How sad. If it helps any, you come across as really kind and level headed. I hope your parents can see what a great young woman you are, and be proud of how gracious and kind you are. They would sure be missing out if they shunned you over your beliefs. 

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