Hi there! I'm Danno49
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27-10-2011, 05:17 PM
 
Hi there! I'm Danno49
Howdy folks! I've been doing some research and I suppose I would be classified as agnostic atheist. I have recently 'come out' at a late age (I'm 46) and it is causing all kinds of mayhem in my personal life. I posted a comment asking for advice on an atheist blog - but I think my questions were off topic and might get ignored. I'd like to cross post my comments here. Does anyone have a suggestion as to which forum I should post it? Thanks.
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28-10-2011, 12:52 PM
 
Hi there! I'm Danno49 - help please!
I'm going to make a command decision and beg for some advice here in my own intro post. The comments below I made on an atheist blog will explain my situation. I can provide more information if I missed something. Thanks in advance!

***********************************************************

I recently came out to parents as an agnostic atheist. I kind of have been all of my life (I’m 46) but like a good son and husband, I tried to tow the line. I finally got tired of living the lies. I wanted to believe, in fact, I kind of envy those that can and do. Life would be easier if I could just assign a belief in the supernatural as an explanation for everything we don’t quite fully understand. But that’s not me. I have always been accused of being overly analytic in my thought processes. I’m sure anyone who has similar notions knows the drill.

The problem is that I love my parents deeply and I have unintentionally hurt them. Now they refuse to talk to me. I’m not sure if they ever will. Luckily, they still talk to my wife and their grandchildren. My wife has been supportive of me and she is a fairly conservative Catholic. While my ‘statement of non-faith’, as it were, has made it difficult between us – she still loves me and wants me to be happy. She is a very different brand of Catholic than my parents. She and I have been able to reach compromises when it comes to things of a religious nature. She is mostly open and understanding whereas my parents are quite the fire-and-brimstone pre-Vatican II types. I find it incredibly sad that they choose to voluntarily believe in something that requires them to accept that their son and anyone who is not a believer is going to H-E-double hockey sticks.

What I am searching for is some advice on how to re-establish a relationship with my parents. If they come right out and say I am dead to them, that would suck hard but I would just have to deal with it. And if we start our relationship up again, I don’t want them proselytizing to me every time we have a conversation. Parents have strong mojo and especially since they are the ones who planted the seeds of belief to begin with, I feel it is important for them to respect my wishes and not speak of god or any other religious thing if it’s in the form of getting me to ‘come back to the fold’. I asked this of them and they ignored me. I finally had to tell my dad to stop it. I did it politely in an email (he kept sending me religious information and lured me into a religious conversation by starting an email innocuously talking about his dogs, etc.).

Before I completely runaway with this post – I’d like to know if anyone else has had a similar experience and if you were successful in gaining back a loving relationship with your parents – how did you do it? Any comments, ideas, criticisms are most welcome. Thanks.
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28-10-2011, 02:04 PM
RE: Hi there! I'm Danno49
Prepare to see a demonstration of what a complete loser I can be:

The term, "toe the line" comes from boxing. Long ago, a line would be drawn on the ground (often matches were held outdoors, hence the term, "drawing a line in the sand") and the fighters would both stand with their toes up to the line, placing them close up, and face to face. A boxer who refused to "toe the line" was said to be afraid of following the rules and refusing to conform to the very rule that placed him in danger.

So it's "toe", not "tow".

OK, sudden attack of loser-ness seems to be passing. Carry on.

So many cats, so few good recipes.
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28-10-2011, 02:15 PM
 
Wink RE: Hi there! I'm Danno49
(28-10-2011 02:04 PM)Stark Raving Wrote:  Prepare to see a demonstration of what a complete loser I can be:

The term, "toe the line" comes from boxing . . .

Stark Raving,

Well, I did ask for criticisms as well as advice. Wink I love to learn new things and I'm actually somewhat shocked that I didn't know that. You see, I know all kinds of trivia myself and find it useful only in situations like this or game shows.

You certainly are not a loser. You just made my day. Thank you. Smile
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28-10-2011, 03:06 PM
RE: Hi there! I'm Danno49
Sounds like you and I are similar that way. I know more useless information that I'd like to admit. Kinda fun sometimes, but I sure wish I could use all that brain power for more useful stuff!

So many cats, so few good recipes.
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28-10-2011, 09:05 PM
RE: Hi there! I'm Danno49
We all have to make sacrifices from time to time. I had to cut ties with a number of childhood friends due to their constant nagging of my atheism. Loosing contact with one's parents is not something that I have ever expirienced nor hope to. I cannot understand fully what that must be like so bear with me.

The best advice I can give is to let things cool down for awhile before trying to re-establish contact. You said that your wife still keeps contact with your parents so use that to your advantage. Get her to relay messages to them in hopes of reaching a compromise of some kind. Or you could try a more direct approach and go to their house in person and attempt to talk to them but this will most likely end poorly form what you've said about them.

Keep us updated on the situation and we'll see what we can do to help.

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