Finally told my theist parents...
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02-08-2013, 08:57 AM
Sad Finally told my theist parents...
Well, after being an atheist for over a year (agnostic for the prior 2 years), I finally told my parents last night, albeit in a way that I honestly didn't care to. I'm 26 with a college degree and job (just to preemptively answer the inevitable question on whether I'm a teen or whatnot). Long story short, about 10 weeks ago I found out that my GF (now fiancee) was pregnant. She decided that she didn't want to have an abortion (she had previously told me before we started having sex that she didn't want kids and was taking birth control. I used condoms at first but after a while was pressured by her to not use them, as she prefferred the no-condom sensation...I know, stupid for me to relent but what can I say?). Anyway, after she decided to not have an abortion, we decided to not tell my parents until we had found an apartment to move into together.
Let me digress and say that while I was upset about the situation, I think it is important to own up to mistakes, so rather than just up and leave, I chose to stay, and as a result have come to a more deeper and profound love than I previously had for her. She has told me that she has come to the same realization, so I'm not scared to share a future with her. Also, I didn't want our child to grow up with a peripheral father. Back to the story...
So, in early July we found an apartment that we could move into on 8/3 (tomorrow). Since we weren't moving just yet, I decided to hold off telling my parents about that. However, I did tell them about our engagement and my mom was super thrilled. I found out yesterday that they would be going out of town, so I realized I had to tell them before they left so that they wouldn't come back to a new reality without warning.
I went ahead and just told them that we were moving in together and did not say anything about the baby (our thoughts were to ease them in rather than throw it all at once). I could tell that they were both taken aback (they are both super duper conservative evangelicals to whom the Baptist church isn't conservative enough so they attend a 'Bible church'. Needless to say, they bury their heads in the sand when evolution ever comes up and mutter reassurances to themselves like "god created it" if a program on TV ever mentions evolution. They openly condemn gays and sex outside marriage, etc...typical fanfare for their beliefs). Anyway, they did a little verbal thrashing as I had anticipated but then started talking morality and then digressed to saying that they "knew I was angry at god but to let god show me how to do this differently". My mom went further before I could even respond to that and asked directly if I still believed. Checkmate. Rather than keep that to myself as I had been, I felt I had no other choice but to say yes, actually I am an atheist due to choosing to verify my beliefs and ultimately coming to the conclusion of atheism, as that was what the evidence pointed towards. I was surprised that there was a lack of shouting, but neither of them really has big outbursts, instead deciding to passive aggressively get back at those who offend them (personal observations over my life). If you have ever watched Ray Comfort or Kirk Cameron, imagine a less informed version of either and that was basically how my conversation from then on went. To make things worse, rather than actually logically discussing and listening to my journey/evidence, my dad resorted to flaunting his PhD in chem engineering and saying that if he was that smart then why did he still believe in god, as "so many" other PhD's and MD's did? I could tell that they were both saddened/hurt and that conversation wasn't going anywhere. I then decided to just 'agree to disagree' and move on. Anyway, all this bit of a rant to help blow some steam and then also inquire if any of you have any advice on the situation/when to tell them about the baby and whether I made a mistake in not disclosing it all last night? Thank you for your time and consideration.

Regards,

Will
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02-08-2013, 09:55 AM
RE: Finally told my theist parents...
that sounds like your stuff is all over the place Tongue

Move, get settled, take a deep breath and then tell them, don't wait too much. Babies usually make theists joyful and happy with the all miracle of life thingy, so you could use that in your favour to calm things down.

Don't forget to talk things with your fiancee first, about how you'll raise the kid and stuff, otherwise you might get in cross fire between her and your parents and everybody looses. If you're going raise it free thinker or religious will make a difference on how your parents take it and how you'll have to handle the situation... And food, this things are usually better talked about after dinner and with a few (just a few) glasses of wine on Tongue


Congrats on the family!!

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02-08-2013, 11:33 AM
RE: Finally told my theist parents...
Excuse my limited imagination, but I really cannot fathom anyone less informed than Kirk Cameron.

What are your fiance's beliefs? Sound like she's on the same page as you, but you don't mention anything about it.

Good luck with your parents. Since they didn't threaten to disown you or anything like that, it sounds like they're not THAT bad.

“One of the painful things about our time is that those who feel certainty are stupid,
and those with any imagination and understanding are filled with doubt and indecision.”

- Bertrand Russel
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02-08-2013, 11:50 AM
RE: Finally told my theist parents...
nach_in: Yes, I've talked about it with her. She's agnostic and thinks that raising the baby as a 'freethinker' is a good thing and isn't keen on religion. Thanks for the kind thoughts. Big Grin I wish I could do the wine thing, but unfortunately they are teetotalers :/

eksyte: Believe it or not, they do exist....they essentially take Kirk Cameron/Ray Comfort/Josh McDowell's nonsense (without comprehending any of it) and toss it out there. When I refuted their points, they couldn't see how because they never understood what they were throwing at me in the first place. *facepalm*
She is agnostic and is more an apathetic one, in that she cares neither about religion or my lack thereof. I honestly don't think she will end up ever being religious given how she is seeing what its downsides are given the current situation.
No, they aren't that bad, but they sound very similar to how Seth has described his family in his podcasts, though I am glad that they haven't given me the finger like a lot of other folks have gotten.
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02-08-2013, 01:20 PM
RE: Finally told my theist parents...
Good on you for being a responsible guy Smile And congrats to you both on the kid.

It seems like for all their faults at least they're gritting their teeth and letting you get on with life. Just give them some time to adjust. I like that you didn't muck around with pretending either. IMO straightforward is the way forward... 'cos it's ya know... straight... and in front... Tongue
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02-08-2013, 01:22 PM
RE: Finally told my theist parents...
What makes you lucky from the point of view of many on this site is that you have a job, somewhere to live, and most importantly someone to share life with. It is still a shame that your parents are so narrow minded.

I'm lucky that my entire family from tip to bottom are all atheists; if my parents treated me like this, they would no longer be parents in my mind. But I hope you can find a way around this problem and not get a nemesis relationship with your parents.

Good luck.
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02-08-2013, 04:50 PM
RE: Finally told my theist parents...
Congrats on the baby Will Smile Good onya for stepping up to the plate and making the most of it. You seem quite capable. Pitty that your parents are reacting this way but I say give it some time. It's only been one day right? I imagine the emotional sway that religion has on them is pretty strong and I doubt logic and reason will help combat it. You're trying to make the best of something you didn't intend. Help them to focus on that important bit and perhaps they can at least feel okay about that. It may not be as bad once the whole situation becomes clear.

Good luck Thumbsup
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10-09-2013, 09:45 AM
RE: Finally told my theist parents...
Well, surprisingly everything went better than expected when my Fiance and I told them. I could tell that they were disappointed, but they at least were courteous about everything. I told them around 8/14.

Fast forward to around 9/2: we dropped in to my parents place to be nice and attend my younger sister's birthday before she left to go to Africa (that's a whole other can of worms, needless to say she didn't have the grades to get into grad school so 'god' told her to go with 'every village' to south sudan for 2 years...gotta love the craziness, right? As far as she explained it, they basically do minimal helpful work while maintaining a christian propoganda radio station and handing out solar powered radios to the villagers so they can be brainwashed by the only radio station that the radios they are given are tuned to (they can't switch it to any other station). To me it is quite despicable...anyway, that's a excerpt of the backstory)

So, while my fiance and I are sitting on the sofa talking, my sister comes out and from seeingly nowhere blurts that she has informed my loose lipped cousins about the pregnancy and that I needed to tell my grandmothers before they saw it on facebook. My fiance was livid and I wasn't much better. That was around last week when all that went down.
Over the weekend, I managed to call and inform my grandma on my dad's side. for being 88 years old, she took it very graciously and was kind. I tried calling my mom's mom (she is only 79 but is doing really poorly so she moved into my aunt's in CO), but my aunt said she was basically busy until yesterday (Monday). My mom and my aunt are both loose lipped about everything, so I have no doubt that my mom told her and she knew what I was calling about.
So, last night I called them back. I told my grandma, and immediately she said "can you handle it?" I replied that yes, I was 'handling it' well right now. Her tone of voice then went very cold and very harsh and asked "When are you getting married?". I replied that we were still trying to figure it out and that my fiance was still deciding on what time is appropriate, etc. She then said the following "I WILL NOT have a bastard as a great-grandchild". Shocked, I then said 'goodbye' and hung up. I was extremely upset and so was my fiance, who now wants nothing to do with my grandma or anyone who holds those antiquated religiously based views.
Later, I got a text from my aunt asking to talk. I ignored it and woke up with a missed call and a voicemail. It was my aunt, and she glibly said that my grandma had actually meant that she was concerned for the child and that we needed to be married so it wouldn't be dubbed a 'bastard'. I almost threw my phone at the wall. It was quite clear to me that with the verbiage my grandma used, she couldn't give a damn about the baby if it wasn't born under her terms.

This morning, I got a text from my mom saying that she wanted to meet me to "reassure" me about my grandma.
At this point, I honestly don't want anything more to do with her.

I guess the only good thing about situations like this is that you find out the true nature of people.

This being said, as my fiance observed, even if we got married now, they would still see it as a 'bastard' since it wasn't conceived in their magical term 'wedlock'. She said she really does want to get married, but doesn't want to be in a maternity bridal gown. I am completely on board with her on that, too.

Anyway, I guess this is more of a rant, but if anyone has any insight on how to handle the situation, I'm all ears.

Thanks,

Will
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10-09-2013, 10:00 AM
RE: Finally told my theist parents...
Interestingly, you seem to have gained the upper hand in these exchanges.

Your aunt and mother see the risk of estranging you ... access to your child.

Oddly, though, the concept of marriage / bastardy was not originally "religious-based" although it may be, of course, in your grandmother's view. It was more to do with security (birth right, inheritance, union of power) and still is from a legal perspective.
The early church sniffed a buck in it (probably a denarius, tbh) and claimed it as a godly thing.

All this will go away after the baby is born and they go all kinda coochy-cooey.

Step away and they will step forward.


p.s. it's often unwise to mention that you have a baby on the way when there are atheists around.
Just saying
Drooling

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10-09-2013, 10:18 AM
RE: Finally told my theist parents...
"I WILL NOT have a bastard as a great-grandchild" Laughat

Sorry, but that must be the funniest and most anachronistic reaction anyone can have in this situation Tongue

just laugh it off and never talk to the high horse lady again, when the baby comes she'll beg you to meet her/him

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