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Old 07-04-2007, 06:13 AM   #1
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His family getting in the way of our relationship!!!

Ok, I am a 29 year old female getting married in 4 months. My fiancee and I have been together for 4 years. I met his family relatively shortly after we started dating. We live in Florida and his family lives in NY, but they make frequent trips here for visits/vacations. When I first met his family I thought they were fantastic, they were extremely welcoming and warm. As time went on I started to see there true personalities, which are not bad, but certainly flawed in my opinion. I don't really feel like I should be judging because my family is definately "dysfunctional". My fiancee and I had started talking about marriage about 1 year int our relationship, and felt very confortable being open about it. We are both incredibly similar in personality and have no issues talking openly about our future. Well about 2 or 2 1/2 years ago we were in NY and having dinner with his entire family, (mom, stepdad, sister, brother and there significant others), and something came up at the dinner table regarding our relationship. So as open as I am, had made a comment along the lines of, "when **** and I get married". Everyone kinda got weird and quiet and quickly changed the subject. Since then I feel that I have been treated very differently by them. My fiancee later brought up that what I said at the dinner may have been a bit innapropriate. I have a hard time understanding this because my family is so open and had been awaiting our engagement 1 year after we started dating. They love him!!! Things have never been the same and we are now getting married in 4 months. His mom is very nice to me, but I get a strong vibe that she has some issues with me. Now as far as his sister goes, that is another thing. She is a very nice person, but has a huge bag if issues that she needs to deal with herself (that's a different story)!!! She never makes me feel like part of the family, and she to lives in NY and comes down to Florida to visit often. So for the past year or so I have been very frusterated about this family situation, because we are getting married and do plan on having kids, so I really want our families to blend. So his sister is getting married about 3 months before us and I have several issues with everything she is doing. So she is getting married in NY on a friday (that is fine), but her rehearsal dinner is the prior "wednesday" (yes I said wednesday)!!! When we found this out we were very irritated and decided we could not take 3 to 4 days off of work to attend the rehearsal, (my fiancee and brother are not even in the wedding), well being the way his mom and sister are he was minipulated into being there, but I put my foot down and said I will fly in Thursday evening. Then 2 weeks ago I get a bridal shower invitation that states her shower is 3 weeks from receiving (on a tuesday)!!!.Nobody called me and gave me a heads up to start looking for tickets to fly up, so again I felt very shunned, almost like they did'nt want me to come. So when I called to RSVP I said I was sorry that I would'nt be able to make it, his mom said, no problem we figured you would'nt be able to attend. I really co uld go on about this forever, but I won't!!! All and all, I have really been putting my fiancee in the middle, because of how frusterated I am with all of them. He finally snapped yesterday and said he could'nt deal with it anymore, and was sick of arguing with me about his family. He thinks I need to write a letter seperately to his mom and sister and wants this to be done before we get married. Oh yeah another very important factor. My fiancee and I are of different faiths. Both non practicing, though he has more religous roots than me. I was brought up with no organized religion, and to just be a good person. He had a little bit more than that, but defiantely has a non religous take on life. His family has never really been around many people of my faith and is truly ignorant to our background. Though they never really ask me dirrect questions about it, I have always tried to volunteer small facts here and there. It may sound weird but I really thinkthis may be an issue for them. They know we don't plan on raising our children with a spacific religion, but if when they are old enough they choose to practice mine or his or any for that matter , we will be more than supportive. So right now i am trying to figure out how I can connect with them and let them know that we are forever and want our families to get along. Especially for our upcoming family (babies). Now that i've given you somewhat of an overview, can anyone post a suggestion of how or if they think a letter is agood idea? Or other suggestions would help too...thanks

 
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Old 07-04-2007, 06:36 AM   #2
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Re: His family getting in the way of our relationship!!!

I have heard of worse family situations than this. There seem to be communication difficulties here more than any real animosity towards you. All families are different and it is fairly self-defeating to let his family's quirks and oddities get in between you and your fiance. A letter may be a good idea, not so much A LETTER, but write chatty catch-ups to them from time to time and keep a bit in touch. Do not take the wedding arrangement stuff too much to heart, obviously they cannot plan it all around you and your fiance, living so far away, you will get lost in the shuffle. The invitation to the shower was a courtesy, they didn't even have to do that, knowing it would be an effort for you to get there for one event. That is what I mean about different families. They are probably a lot more casual about that sort of stuff. Bottom line, you live far away enough to not really bother about getting upset with them. Unless you move closer and see them on a more day-to-day basis, you probably won't get a lot closer except by mail etc. Don't jeopardise your happiness over this sort of stuff. Just be yourself and be nice to them, and don't worry that they are not as close to you as your own family. They are just different people.

 
Old 07-04-2007, 06:54 AM   #3
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Re: His family getting in the way of our relationship!!!

Wow!

First off, congratulations on your engagement

I don't know if a letter is a good idea. A phone call, maybe, but I don't know that I'd want some piece of paper floating around someone else's family with my heart all over it. Just me, tho.

Please don't take this the wrong way, but I think you're expecting his family to be something they're not. You said you have issues with everything the sister is doing. She's 1,200 miles away from you and involved in her own wedding plans. So you can't make it to the rehearsal dinner and shower <shrugs>. I couldn't make it to my SIL's dinner & shower, either, when DH & were dating (we'd been living together for six years at that point). I love her to death, but it just wasn't the end of the world because the dinner was in the middle of the week (I thought this was common) and I couldn't make it. You say your fiance was "manipulated" into being at his sister's rehearsal dinner. Was he really manipulated or just told he should be there? It's his sister for crying out loud!

I also think you need to find some middle ground with your fiance. No, you can't keep putting him in the middle. I mean, he can't really control what date his sister picks 10 states away to have a rehearsal dinner, can he? I know my DH had no control over his sisters' dates. DH was told when and where he needed to be; I was invited. If I could make it, great; if not, oh, well <more shrugs>.

Is it possible that between the STB in-laws' stress over the sister's wedding, mixed with your stress planning your own wedding might have clouded your thinking a bit? I just know how stressful my own wedding was, especially on my mom. Your fiance's mother has two weddings for her children going on at the same time. I don't know. A letter or phone call from her STB in-law might be the final straw that makes her just go nuts, you know?

Just trying to throw some thoughts out there I don't think this is cut and dry, black and white. And I do think it should be handled delicately. It sounds like these folks are very nice to you, but you're getting some "v i b e s." My "v i b e s" were all out of whack in the 14 months while I was planning my wedding. Hindsight being 20/20, I'm so glad I didn't put my foot in my mouth over something that was really my own issue/problem and just a result of lots of stress.

I'm confused about the religion thing. Is this really an issue for them, or is another "vibe" you're getting? You say neither family is very religious, but his more than yours. You've offered information about your faith, but you feel this is an issue for them. More info, please?

I was just getting down to the end of your post, and -- again, please don't take this offensively -- it seems like you're really jumping the gun. All this talk about babies and religious upbringing ... you're not even married yet! I agree these things should be discussed before the marriage, but between you and your fiance. You say you need a way to let them know you are forever. Again, cart before the horse. You will do that at your wedding.

If I've misunderstood anything, please let me know. I feel like my blood pressure went up reading that obvious stress you feel in your post. Weddings = stress. I would hate to see you do or say something you might regret later during such a stressful time.

Happy 4th from a fellow Floridian -- just across I-10

 
Old 07-04-2007, 01:02 PM   #4
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Re: His family getting in the way of our relationship!!!

Well, I can tell you I freaked a bit over my hubby's family when we were getting engaged too. Probably more than I was previous to our living together... they are definitely no more or less dysfunctional than my own family (lol) just... very different! We have the different religions thing going on to, but I imagine they'll likely start getting a little more pushy with it come the pregnancy (hopefully later this year, for hubby and I).

I did at one point have to write them a letter, but it was specifically because of a pointed thing they were doing (sending me evangelical religious pamphlets that I wanted nothing to do with). I explained in a letter to them how uncomfortable it made me to feel pressured and unaccepted despite what I was certain were their 'best intentions', but being comfortable in my own skin and religion-free life, I didn't wish to receive any more, and if there ever came a time where I had questions or interest, I would plan on going to them at that point.

Hubby (fiance at the time) was willing to make a phone call (and has had to once or twice since regarding religious-spam email that was highly insulting, to me, I feel, again despite their good intentions they didn't think very much about me reading it from my perspective..oops!) to ensure that they understood we stand on different sides of the fence and that some of the things were pushy and disrespectful. Thankfully he's been very good about backing me up in these cases...

Sorry to digress, but I can definitely understand your wondering at perhaps them not being entirely happy about the different belief systems thing going on in your relationships - mom's seem to have a hard time with that!

But I think... for now, until your wedding has passed and you have something more solid than ***** it may be best to wait it out. Seriously, wedding stress made me imagine purple elephants in the room that just didn't exist, I was just more wary and probably more suspicious than I needed to be (and why not? you're going to be around this family forever now... it's okay to find it a little scary lol).

Anyway... good luck either way, and congrats I wouldn't stress over the bridal shower - they probably didn't want you to feel like you had to buy tickets to fly out but still wanted to be sure you knew you were welcome. I would've assumed, as a bride, that you probably wouldn't want to spend extra on tickets so close to the wedding again (and not in a negative way!).

 
Old 07-05-2007, 07:31 AM   #5
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Re: His family getting in the way of our relationship!!!

I am so sorry , i was unable to finish the rest of the post but breeze through it. As soon as you say of different faiths. YOu are heading for disaster anyway an dnow you havent even planned on what religion these kids will be. do you know how many people come onto these boards and say OH wow we are fighting about what the kids will be!? These are things you both shoudl have talked about a long time ago. Just because you arent "practicing" doesnt mean that when you have the baby that you wont want it baptised or other once baby is here.

HIm saying to you that you need to write a letter , what is that garbage. Write a letter? You have a mouth, call her and ask her "Mrs. ___ may I ask if there is a problem and if there is what is it?" YOu need to put your foot down NOW because if not you will be like the rest of hte girls that come on here and get all manipulated by their in laws and then cry about it.

I'm not saying that you are, i am just trying to warn you. This is a bad thing waiting to happen. Your families do not mesh and they never will. You see thier side to things and you have all the warning signs. You love him I know this but it is not worth it when it comes to you being close and open and they arent. He gets suckered in and that wont change.

See the signs are there! Realize that this wont change and if you marry him you knew this before hand.

Good luck dear, i am so sorry that this is happening but rather it happen now then later after you marry.

 
Old 07-05-2007, 07:58 AM   #6
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Re: His family getting in the way of our relationship!!!

StenoLady1 ..thank you for your imput...i guess I really did leave alot out, and there is obviously alot more to the story than I first posted. His sister really has nothing to do with her own wedding, because mom is doing it all, and I guess that is the way they like it. His sister got engaged early December and she had known that my fiance was going to be asking me soon. Here is a huge part of my frustration with his sister. For 7 months before we got engaged my fiance had been trying to make contact w/ his sisters fiance. Her fiance does not have a cell phone, so my fiancee had been having his mom continuously ask her fiance to call him. Well 7 moths came and went and he never once returned the call, but the message was given to him multiple times. The reason for the call was because my fiance knew that her fiance would probably be proposing to his sister very soon, and because his sister is very much a princess and likes the spotlight on herself, my fiance her brother wanted to avoid stealing her thunder by proposing around the same time. To me it was a very nice gesture to her to try and avoid any thunder stealing. I myself don't really care about that stuff. So when we got the call that they were engaged, my fiance was very upset, because of the lack of respect from her fiancee. "trust me guys it gets better"!!! So I gave her a call the next day to congradulate them and left a message that she never returned. A couple day later she called her brother (my fiancee) and asked when he was going to pop the question to me, she said she wanted to make sure that we don't plan our wedding with in the same year because it will take away from hers and if people know that they are both getting married close to each other that they may not attend her wedding. Well my fiancee made the mistake of telling me this and I was outraged!!! I did nothing though. The best part is almost every guest at her wedding lives in NY so there will be minimal travel reqired, but our wedding is 2 1/2 months after hers and "all" of our guests are from out of town, so we would actually be the ones to not have people come.

My fiancee asked his sister during this conversation if she knew why her fiiancee never called him, and she actually seemed to know all about it. I guess he just did'nt want to have to tell anyone his engagement plans, which is fine, but he could have let my fiancee know that.. Really my fiance was just trying to respect his sister because she is already mid 30's and never married, so he thought she should get the spot light first.

And when we found out about her wednesday rehearsal dinner, it was my fiance who said he would not go, but yes he did get minipulated. He was very firm in his dicission, but his mom and sister used there minipulative "guilt" to have him there. In my opinion, if you are not included in the wedding party (which is an issue that my fiancee and his brother are not, but different story), than being at the shower is not a must..I too am getting married and realize that there will be people in my family that can not attend my rehearsal, and that is fine. In the end my fiance is doing the right thing by going, but I certainly don't think it is his obligation.

Now for the religion quesstion. They have just made several ignorant comments over the years about my family's faith, purely because they don't know any better, but have never asked me about it. I am more than willing to explain our beliefs to anyone that asks me, but they hav'nt!!! We do talk about having a family alot and I guess that may be weird to some, but I happen to be with the most paternal guy in the world..He loves kids and can not wait to have them. We plan on taking that step about a year after our marriage. We certainly talk about how they will be raised and religion and stuff. I think it is very important for both of our families to understand how we want to raise our children, so there is no shock value when we decide not to do some of the traditional ceremonies that both of our religions hold after the baby is born. Our biggest issue with religion is all of the hypocracy around it. We will not live our lives as disshonest or bad people and then go to a church/temple/etc and repent. We live as good people and treat others as we would want to be treated and want our children to be this way too. We need to put it out there now so the families will not be upset when we don't do what the rest of the family has done and still do. My family is very liberal and ok with any decision we make, but his family tends to do what they consider "the right thing". My fiance has not been to church once since I have known him, except for the christening of his 2 neices by his brother. Other than that he has no interest in it. His family may go once or twice a year on Easter or X-mas, but it seems to be more out of obligation and trcition than for actual religious purposes.

I want to say to who ever may read this, that I have no problem with anybody's religious beliefs, I do though have a problem with people living disshonestly and thinking that it is ok to do so because they can repent whenever they want and continue to live the way they do. And I also want you to know that I do not think that my fiance's family are bad people, because they are wonderful to there family. I do love them, butjust want the communication to open up. I do not want to feel shunned for a reason I am unsure about. And I do on many occasions.

I hope this answers your question

 
Old 07-05-2007, 10:48 AM   #7
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Re: His family getting in the way of our relationship!!!

K his sister does sound a bit of the pre-Madonna ;P What a pain, I think it was pretty sweet of him to be so respectful and actually consider that she may feel slighted if he were to get married or propose around the same time. Most guys wouldn't really think about that sort of thing. Good for him.

And I don't think it's a bad thing that you talk about raising a family so much with them, I find we do the same thing with our families. My guy is super excited to start the baby-train too, and we've been married for almost a year as well. No surprises there I think it's good you're open about how you'd like to raise them, because you're right - the expectations could be unmet and that could cause bigger issues down the road. As much as they'd like to have a say, it's really not up to them how you raise your child(ren) - only you and your husband. And you two can decide that however you like, together. They have zero say. Period. I feel the same way.

Good luck to you, truly he sounds like a catch. The family thing may take some time, I've known my now in-laws for about 4 and a half years and it's getting a little easier in some ways, and harder in others. Total learning curve. I imagine there will be a little more issue once grandchildren are born but... I've no problem putting my foot down as to who the parent is, and it doesn't sound like you two will either.

I'd still suggest waiting until after the marriage before writting or calling out anything, again heightened stress could shift a few things right now and what would it really solve at this very moment? No reason to have it shadow your good time - maybe they're just as stressed as you are and being a little distant as a result.

Congrats, again

 
Old 07-05-2007, 12:08 PM   #8
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Re: His family getting in the way of our relationship!!!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Destea View Post
K his sister does sound a bit of the pre-Madonna ;P What a pain, I think it was pretty sweet of him to be so respectful and actually consider that she may feel slighted if he were to get married or propose around the same time. Most guys wouldn't really think about that sort of thing. Good for him.

And I don't think it's a bad thing that you talk about raising a family so much with them, I find we do the same thing with our families. My guy is super excited to start the baby-train too, and we've been married for almost a year as well. No surprises there I think it's good you're open about how you'd like to raise them, because you're right - the expectations could be unmet and that could cause bigger issues down the road. As much as they'd like to have a say, it's really not up to them how you raise your child(ren) - only you and your husband. And you two can decide that however you like, together. They have zero say. Period. I feel the same way.

Good luck to you, truly he sounds like a catch. The family thing may take some time, I've known my now in-laws for about 4 and a half years and it's getting a little easier in some ways, and harder in others. Total learning curve. I imagine there will be a little more issue once grandchildren are born but... I've no problem putting my foot down as to who the parent is, and it doesn't sound like you two will either.

I'd still suggest waiting until after the marriage before writting or calling out anything, again heightened stress could shift a few things right now and what would it really solve at this very moment? No reason to have it shadow your good time - maybe they're just as stressed as you are and being a little distant as a result.

Congrats, again

 
Old 07-05-2007, 12:14 PM   #9
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Re: His family getting in the way of our relationship!!!

DESTEA...thanks for the encouragment. I guess it may be a little hard to really explain family dynamics in a thread. There is always so much more to the story, but have to cut it down not to bore everyone. I'm not really sure about the letter to his family yet, but I think in the end it will all work out. Like you said I defianately have a good catch with my guy. He is absolutely one in a million, and thank god every day for having him in my life. We can pick our lovers but not there families!!!..lol...Thankfully they live far enough away that I don't have to deal with it regularly!!!

 
Old 07-05-2007, 12:36 PM   #10
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Re: His family getting in the way of our relationship!!!

See now THAT is a saving grace!!! We're about 15 minutes from my family, and about 3 HOURS from his. So long 3-day weekends to his folks place almost once a month, and a dinner here or there with my parents... oof. Plus his brother, sister, and their families (6 nephews/neices to boot!) It takes a lot of energy to do extended visits as great as they all are LOL.

My parents are pretty laid back, come on over when ya want, we'll play some pool have a nice dinner, chill out. His family is more hands on, ask a million questions (it's endearing sometimes, overbearing other times haha) about ever aspect of everything, kinda team. It's interesting shifting dynamics, but I guess you adjust.

Hang in there, I know it'll work out - I'm happy to hear you've found such a good guy either way. I'm sure it's hard to hear "YOU DEAL WITH IT!", but we all have moments of weakness and family is a touchy subject... we're allowed to have problems with our own family but forget it if you think you can openly agree with me or add conclusions to my frustrations. LOL.

 
Old 07-05-2007, 01:30 PM   #11
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Re: His family getting in the way of our relationship!!!

destea...THANK GOD FOR THE DISTANCE BETWEEN!!!!! I feel for you and your long weekends. That is kinda how we are with my family, they are actually coming in for a long weekend this one coming up. They love my fiance, and he knows it. We both kinda have high strung families. They are very similar, but very different!!! Thanks again for your advice.

 
Old 07-05-2007, 01:47 PM   #12
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Re: His family getting in the way of our relationship!!!

Ravyn8, Greetings again Hope your holiday was a good one!

Okay. More info is always good.

I still think you should hold off on something in writing about this. A phone call to the mom, sure, but I don't think I'd do a letter.

I also can't help but wonder, since the mom is so involved in her daughter's wedding at present, if even the phone call should wait a bit. I'm just trying to see things from all sides here and certainly don't want things to become even worse for you and your DF by picking an inopportune time to tell your STB MIL that you're feeling shunned. You would know better where the "stress-O-meter" gauge is for her, tho.

Like Destea said there above me, at least they're far away and your DF sounds like a wonderful catch. You can't turn water into wine, you know? They've definitely got their little quirks. You bringing something up like this might even make things more awkward. I'm wondering if it's one of those things that will just take time for both you and his family to become more accepting of each other.

Sorry I can't be of more help! While I'm blessed with the majority of my in-laws, my FIL is quite the bear! DH even agrees with me, but there's just not much we can do about it. We know we have each other to fall back on and support each other when issues with the FIL come about. We just sort of grin and bare it, take a deep breath and relish in the fact that we don't have to spend copious amounts of time with him. We both agree to never let him "get in the way of our relationship!" You and your DF/STB DH might have to find a common ground to soothe each other from the family woes rather than trying to make it so there aren't any family woes with letter-writing and phone calls.

Best of luck to you! I hope you have a lovely wedding and an even better honeymoon!!!!!

 
Old 07-05-2007, 01:50 PM   #13
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Re: His family getting in the way of our relationship!!!

Hi, I just wanted to add my story:-

I have probs with my partners parents they are miffed at me because I only let them come and see us twice/three times weekly. I have had many problems with them treating me like a child because I was 18 when I met my partner, and he was 32 and I have had to set bounderies because they would just openly walk into my house whenever they wanted (had keys to place as I moved into bf house not our own home) and do as they pleased! I had his parents walking into my house and just making drinks, making my tea without asking? my bf's mum got moody because I wouldn't let her do my housework after telling me that it needed doing!! (it wasn't mucky) just very needy and I am desperate for us to move away! I have my whole bf's family live in this small town and it feels intimidating I feel pressurised by his parents thinking they will keep bugging me and I want space from them.

I wouldn't mind but my bf moans if I want to see my dad 45 mins away, and never sleeps at my mums 2 and half hours away how is that fair then?

Hayley

 
Old 07-05-2007, 01:55 PM   #14
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Re: His family getting in the way of our relationship!!!

I really have to agree with what Stenolady is saying. A phone call to his mother would be better and it would probably be best to wait a little bit.

Also, I was wondering if maybe your STB MIL is feeling left out of your wedding preparations? You said she is doing all of her daughter's and maybe she doesn't feel like she is doing enough for her son's? I don't know, my mom is all upset that she has no say over my brother's upcoming wedding but she completely dictated mine right down to every last detail.

But I also agree that is at least a good thing they live so far away that you only have to deal with them in small doses. I'm lucky that I adore my in-laws, but that wasn't the case with my first husband and they lived so close by we always saw them. Hopefully in time all of these things that really bother you now will be smoothed over.

The most important thing is that you sound like you have a wonderful fiance. Don't let all of that affect your relationship with him or your upcoming wedding. Wishing you all the best!

 
Old 07-05-2007, 07:34 PM   #15
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Re: His family getting in the way of our relationship!!!

Thnk you for clearing up some stuff. I would like to say that I am sure no one feels that you are putitng down any religion, that is certainly not what I got out of what you said . I agree actaully. I dont go to church either but not becuase I dont feel I shouldnt repent. I like churhc actually but 4 kids 3 of which are under 5 makes it hard. I love the organ and the singing and everything but no i dont think that if i do wrong i should have to be forced to go to my Priest to ask for forgiveness wehn I was taught that God was forgiving and full of Grace so why do i need to ask a Priest? Just ask God himself. I talk to God and have a lot of Faith. I have put my trust in God many a time and come out thanking him for everything. What i am trying to say is if you both are different religions you MIGHT think differently down the road after you have kids. You both might think you dont need to repent at church (i get that) but you might think that Baptism or Presenting the child at birht is something you want to do. As a couple who are from different religious back grounds you might want to speak about what religion the child will grow up as. My dh and I are and were raised very Catholic, the whole school thing and all. And we of course teach that but we dont say that you must go to church or dish out money for every single thing. I am my childs first teacher when it comes to God and although we are Roman Catholic doesnt mean that I have to teach everything that the RC church teaches. My kids know I am a very faithful woman and God fearing. Thou shalt do no wrong I am all for BUT if you do something wrong you ask God for forgiveness in teh privacy of yourown thoughts and prayers not at a cathedral with a man that you dont know.

I still think that if you are going to speak to her it shoudl be face to face. So she can see the sorrow on your face when you ask what you did wrong. Be humble and trusting. Dont be defensive. Ask her because you are truthfull and want to know. Tell her you care for her and would like to know if there was something you did wrong to make her keep you at arms length. Tell her you would like to know the truth so that you can make it right so when you call her mom it is for real. I am sure she will love your honesty .

Good luck dear.

 
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