Need Some Advice
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09-05-2014, 12:18 PM (This post was last modified: 09-05-2014 12:23 PM by Jasozz.)
Need Some Advice
I usually try to figure stuff out on my own, as I'm sure there's people in greater need than I on this forum, but this is getting to be too much.

I grabbed lunch with my dad, which I try not to do because we rarely have anything to talk about. He's extremely religious, about to be ordained as a pastor and such. My brother is basically the same, extremely religious, in seminary, etc. etc.

Pretty much my entire life I've always played second fiddle to him, since I've been pretty iffy as a Christian since I was little, and then basically stopped attending church in college and finally deconverting this last October. All my parents care about really is stuff that has to do with church, so whenever I see my parents, they never care about the stuff I do with my life, which is hurtful when I became an entire marketing department at the age of 21, am completely financially independent, have a house, you name it, while my brother is a janitor at a church (at the age of 26) with no money, still relying on my parents for everything, which they gladly give him, because he does stuff for JESUS. Seriously, they didnt help me out at ALL in college because I had a giiiirlfriend, so I paid for it all out of pocket. Even after we broke up. And this was a 2-year technical school. They basically paid his entire way through 7 years at a university, because he kept switching degrees, and even now still pay for everything for him.

Off of the brother rant (seriously, he's a homophobic religious zealot piece of shit),
today at lunch my dad finally expressed his feelings for the fact that my girlfriend and I are moving in together in August. He says that it really hurts his mom and him to hear me say that because that's not what God wants for us, how relationships don't last without God, how we should just get married first if we're so sure.

I won't marry someone without living with them first. Period. He thinks its an issue of "we want to live together so we can fuck all the time". We fuck all the time as is. We want to be sure that we are who we think we are. If we can't live together for a year, then we sure as hell won't do well in a marriage.

He also talks about how "your mom and I like Sarah, but we really want to see you guys find a nice church community together." and goes on to talk, again, about how marriages without faith are meaningless and will always crumble. He also talked about how he's concerned for our future children that they'll be raised in a church community.

I haven't actually told them that I'm not a Christian anymore. I figure that they must know somewhat. I haven't been to church in years, I never talk about gawd or jebus, and I have some pretty liberal views on some pretty touchy subjects.

So here's question one: How can I defend my life/relationship against this bullshit? I know that the whole "relationships-without-faith" argument is crap, but how do I defend myself against this claim that living with my girlfriend before marriage is just a one-way-ticket to hell?

Next, my dad is about to be ordained as a minister, and is looking to accept a pastorial position that will basically cut his salary in half. He's worked in the medical field his entire life and is honestly in a pretty prestigious position now, that he worked for his entire adult life. I already think it's stupid to take such a backwards step, but he's set on it. What exacerbates the problem is that my brother has been having medical issues, and they've had to shell out nearly $10,000 already just to cover his medical bills (since he's a pennyless waste of skin).

I found out today that my mom is having medical problems too. I love my mom, so this was already upsetting to hear, let alone finding out that she might not be able to work anymore if they can't figure out what's wrong. Her medical bills, along with my brothers, are really wearing thin on their finances, but my dad is still set on this massive pay cut.

What really pisses me off is he is just SURE that "God will take care of them", and I told him that maybe he needs to focus on taking care of his family in case God doesn't. He refuses to listen! They are going to be FUCKED if he takes a pay cut that big AND my mom stops providing income due to medical problems, which will CONTINUE to generate expenses? In addition to this, my dad is still really wanting me to come to his ordination ceremony, which is basically all of my family clamoring about how amazing it is that he's serving gawd when he is FUCKING OVER HIS FAMILY. How am I supposed to attend this and pretend that I buy into the religious shit, and moreover, that I in any way approve of him destroying his life?

I'm not even sure what the question is here. How do I deal with this situation? I've been able to keep quiet about my beliefs so far but I don't think I'll be able to any longer.

I'm sure someone out there has had some similar experience, so any advice you can give would be much appreciated. I'm out of solutions besides telling my dad that he's an idiot.
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09-05-2014, 05:42 PM
RE: Need Some Advice
I suppose you got no answers here because there is really nothing you can do, except be frustrated.

Your dad is dead set to become a minister and the delusion must be huge, you won't be able to do a thing about that.

He doesn't like your "living in sin" and there is nothing you can do about that either.

It will get very iffy if he asks you to tithe, and you know that it is directly supporting your parents under the cover of helping god (who always seems to be out of money)...

You obviously care a lot about your family or this would not bother you so much. It would be a lot easier if they were just acquaintances.

What would you do if they were just acquaintances , if anything?

[Image: dobie.png]Science is the process we've designed to be responsible for generating our best guess as to what the fuck is going on. Girly Man
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09-05-2014, 06:47 PM
RE: Need Some Advice
Man, that is a tough spot. Like Dom said, not a whole lot you can do. He seems pretty dead set on doing what he believes is god's work, even if it's plainly a dumb move.

One thing they'll have going for them is that church communities do tend to take care of one another, so his ordainment will put him in a favorable position in front of the other believers in the community.

Not much advice, I'm afraid. Sorry.

But now I have come to believe that the whole world is an enigma, a harmless enigma that is made terrible by our own mad attempt to interpret it as though it had an underlying truth.

~ Umberto Eco
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09-05-2014, 07:32 PM
RE: Need Some Advice
The living in sin part, oh yeah, BTDT. I don't have much time to post right now. But don't fall for that line o crap. I will talk more on that later.

And I know a way to possibly stop your Dad but it won't be pretty, it will crash the family world around you and you will be considered a demon, but he will probably keep his job and your family keeps the money they need for medical expenses.
You could out yourself to the group ordaining him, and talk about how he sucks at converting people-- because even his own son is an, out and loud atheist. Then you could say all that to his face and make him doubt himself about his superpowers.

It would get real ugly, but you are also talking about health, and those bills can cause you to lose everything.


"Life is a daring adventure or it is nothing"--Helen Keller
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09-05-2014, 07:50 PM
RE: Need Some Advice
(09-05-2014 12:18 PM)Jasozz Wrote:  I usually try to figure stuff out on my own, as I'm sure there's people in greater need than I on this forum, but this is getting to be too much.

I grabbed lunch with my dad, which I try not to do because we rarely have anything to talk about. He's extremely religious, about to be ordained as a pastor and such. My brother is basically the same, extremely religious, in seminary, etc. etc.

Pretty much my entire life I've always played second fiddle to him, since I've been pretty iffy as a Christian since I was little, and then basically stopped attending church in college and finally deconverting this last October. All my parents care about really is stuff that has to do with church, so whenever I see my parents, they never care about the stuff I do with my life, which is hurtful when I became an entire marketing department at the age of 21, am completely financially independent, have a house, you name it, while my brother is a janitor at a church (at the age of 26) with no money, still relying on my parents for everything, which they gladly give him, because he does stuff for JESUS. Seriously, they didnt help me out at ALL in college because I had a giiiirlfriend, so I paid for it all out of pocket. Even after we broke up. And this was a 2-year technical school. They basically paid his entire way through 7 years at a university, because he kept switching degrees, and even now still pay for everything for him.

Off of the brother rant (seriously, he's a homophobic religious zealot piece of shit),
today at lunch my dad finally expressed his feelings for the fact that my girlfriend and I are moving in together in August. He says that it really hurts his mom and him to hear me say that because that's not what God wants for us, how relationships don't last without God, how we should just get married first if we're so sure.

I won't marry someone without living with them first. Period. He thinks its an issue of "we want to live together so we can fuck all the time". We fuck all the time as is. We want to be sure that we are who we think we are. If we can't live together for a year, then we sure as hell won't do well in a marriage.

He also talks about how "your mom and I like Sarah, but we really want to see you guys find a nice church community together." and goes on to talk, again, about how marriages without faith are meaningless and will always crumble. He also talked about how he's concerned for our future children that they'll be raised in a church community.

I haven't actually told them that I'm not a Christian anymore. I figure that they must know somewhat. I haven't been to church in years, I never talk about gawd or jebus, and I have some pretty liberal views on some pretty touchy subjects.

So here's question one: How can I defend my life/relationship against this bullshit? I know that the whole "relationships-without-faith" argument is crap, but how do I defend myself against this claim that living with my girlfriend before marriage is just a one-way-ticket to hell?

Next, my dad is about to be ordained as a minister, and is looking to accept a pastorial position that will basically cut his salary in half. He's worked in the medical field his entire life and is honestly in a pretty prestigious position now, that he worked for his entire adult life. I already think it's stupid to take such a backwards step, but he's set on it. What exacerbates the problem is that my brother has been having medical issues, and they've had to shell out nearly $10,000 already just to cover his medical bills (since he's a pennyless waste of skin).

I found out today that my mom is having medical problems too. I love my mom, so this was already upsetting to hear, let alone finding out that she might not be able to work anymore if they can't figure out what's wrong. Her medical bills, along with my brothers, are really wearing thin on their finances, but my dad is still set on this massive pay cut.

What really pisses me off is he is just SURE that "God will take care of them", and I told him that maybe he needs to focus on taking care of his family in case God doesn't. He refuses to listen! They are going to be FUCKED if he takes a pay cut that big AND my mom stops providing income due to medical problems, which will CONTINUE to generate expenses? In addition to this, my dad is still really wanting me to come to his ordination ceremony, which is basically all of my family clamoring about how amazing it is that he's serving gawd when he is FUCKING OVER HIS FAMILY. How am I supposed to attend this and pretend that I buy into the religious shit, and moreover, that I in any way approve of him destroying his life?

I'm not even sure what the question is here. How do I deal with this situation? I've been able to keep quiet about my beliefs so far but I don't think I'll be able to any longer.

I'm sure someone out there has had some similar experience, so any advice you can give would be much appreciated. I'm out of solutions besides telling my dad that he's an idiot.

Whew this is a tough spot.

I am sorry that your parents obviously favor your brother. That's not right!

You are going to have to decide if you want the relationship with your parents to be, as it is now - a bit uncomfortable - or tell them the truth, and wait for the possible bomb to drop.

They already know and see the changes in your life religious-wise, so it's not as if it would be a complete shock, if you told them everything. Obviously this is having a huge impact on your life. I think you need to sit down with them both, and "gently" tell them the truth.

Even if they have a total meltdown, it's possible they will come around to the idea of you being an atheist, later down the road. Or, they may not ever fully except your choice, deciding to believe that your just "backslidden", and hope you will come to your senses. Rolleyes

No matter what, when it's all said and done, I think you will feel nothing but relief, that you don't have to hide anymore.

Best of luck to you!

It's easier to fool people than to convince them that they have been fooled. ~Mark Twain
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09-05-2014, 08:24 PM
RE: Need Some Advice
Thanks for all the replies.

I understand there's not much I can do at this point, and yeah that sucks.

I was really looking for if anybody had any words or statistics or anything I can use to throw the "relationships without god always fail" thing back in his face, because I get this all the time and it infuriates me.

The only thing that's kept me from blowing up at them and cutting them off is that I really care about my Mom. She still cares about what I do, and doesn't always try to tell me I'm living for Satan, and I don't want to hurt her.

Unfortunately, stopping my dad from becoming a pastor won't help me either. My mom "supports" what he's doing, which pisses me off even more because I know how my mom would never voice her concern about herself to stop him from doing something that would make him happy, and while I UNDERSTAND that selflessness, this isn't just her having to work extra hours, or cut back on spending, this is her HEALTH that she's putting at risk.
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09-05-2014, 09:10 PM
RE: Need Some Advice
(09-05-2014 08:24 PM)Jasozz Wrote:  Thanks for all the replies.

I understand there's not much I can do at this point, and yeah that sucks.

I was really looking for if anybody had any words or statistics or anything I can use to throw the "relationships without god always fail" thing back in his face, because I get this all the time and it infuriates me.

Okay, I gotta address this because it's so eerily close to my own experience.

My dad is a pastor, and my wife (who's name is Sarah, I know it's fucking weird) moved in together before we were married too.

My parents made a special visit to take us out to eat and try to dissuade us from doing so, saying all of the same things yours are, I'm sure. They even brought along a whole bunch of articles they had printed off about the statistics of relationships lasting if they lived together before marriage. I can't tell you exactly what they said because I unfortunately lost them in the trash shortly after they left. Angel They also even offered to help pay for a seperate apartment if we would wait until we were married.

Long story short, I politely told them that I appreciated their concern, but we were going to do what made sense to us. Eight happily married years and two adorable grandkids later, and I haven't heard a single peep about whether or not it was right for us to do so.

If, perchance, you two don't end up together in the end, I'm sure you'll hear some "I told you so's". But whatever. If you end up happily married in the future, then they'll be eating crow. Either way, you gotta do you. Simply tell them that you have to do what you feel is the right thing to do and they will have to deal with it. I know that doesn't make it easier now, but know that it's only now and the future will be different.

Shit, dude. We gotta get together soon for some beers. I'll try to stop being such a busy bastard all the time. Maybe next weekend?

But now I have come to believe that the whole world is an enigma, a harmless enigma that is made terrible by our own mad attempt to interpret it as though it had an underlying truth.

~ Umberto Eco
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09-05-2014, 09:33 PM
RE: Need Some Advice
(09-05-2014 09:10 PM)evenheathen Wrote:  
(09-05-2014 08:24 PM)Jasozz Wrote:  Thanks for all the replies.

I understand there's not much I can do at this point, and yeah that sucks.

I was really looking for if anybody had any words or statistics or anything I can use to throw the "relationships without god always fail" thing back in his face, because I get this all the time and it infuriates me.

Okay, I gotta address this because it's so eerily close to my own experience.

My dad is a pastor, and my wife (who's name is Sarah, I know it's fucking weird) moved in together before we were married too.

My parents made a special visit to take us out to eat and try to dissuade us from doing so, saying all of the same things yours are, I'm sure. They even brought along a whole bunch of articles they had printed off about the statistics of relationships lasting if they lived together before marriage. I can't tell you exactly what they said because I unfortunately lost them in the trash shortly after they left. Angel They also even offered to help pay for a seperate apartment if we would wait until we were married.

Long story short, I politely told them that I appreciated their concern, but we were going to do what made sense to us. Eight happily married years and two adorable grandkids later, and I haven't heard a single peep about whether or not it was right for us to do so.

If, perchance, you two don't end up together in the end, I'm sure you'll hear some "I told you so's". But whatever. If you end up happily married in the future, then they'll be eating crow. Either way, you gotta do you. Simply tell them that you have to do what you feel is the right thing to do and they will have to deal with it. I know that doesn't make it easier now, but know that it's only now and the future will be different.

Shit, dude. We gotta get together soon for some beers. I'll try to stop being such a busy bastard all the time. Maybe next weekend?

Haha yes we do, but next weekend is graduation, and Sarah's graduating. I've got like 4 different parties to go to Laugh out load

That is eerily similar, and yeah, my dad was like "Oh I want to sit down with you guys sometime and talk to you about it"

Fat chance. No way I'd put Sarah through that.
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09-05-2014, 09:42 PM (This post was last modified: 09-05-2014 11:25 PM by evenheathen.)
RE: Need Some Advice
(09-05-2014 09:33 PM)Jasozz Wrote:  Haha yes we do, but next weekend is graduation, and Sarah's graduating. I've got like 4 different parties to go to Laugh out load

That is eerily similar, and yeah, my dad was like "Oh I want to sit down with you guys sometime and talk to you about it"

Fat chance. No way I'd put Sarah through that.

I forgot. Fucking graduation weekend, you're right, I'm staying home as much as possible. Rolleyes

Yeah, they were sneaky about it and took us out in order to have both of us as a captive audience. Luckily, my chick is cool and above and beyond all that my parents are pretty cool people. But I would have definitely kept her from that if I'd known what was coming.

Give Sarah a big congrats for me! We'll get together soon enough.

But now I have come to believe that the whole world is an enigma, a harmless enigma that is made terrible by our own mad attempt to interpret it as though it had an underlying truth.

~ Umberto Eco
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09-05-2014, 11:16 PM
RE: Need Some Advice
I would just like to say this...

If I am correct, you are and adult and you support yourself...right?

You cannot spend your life making decisions based on what others want or think is correct.

It seems to me that you are kind of being blackmailed into doing things your dad's way. How long are you willing to do that?

From what I have gathered you and Sarah have a plan and you love each other and it's time for you to begin your own family unit (I am not talking about kids here).

Remember that if you bow to the blackmail now and later have children then you have to deal with even more blackmail regarding how you will raise them.

It seems that you need to live YOUR life...not the one your father thinks you should have.

I know that it has to suck but the truth of the matter is sometimes people don't get what they want. Your father really needs to be father enough to realize that he has raised you to be your own person and not his puppet.

The best thing you can do is live your life and be happy.

Good luck and remember...you are a big boy and don't need to defend your actions to anyone.

And good luck and happy trails and happy for you and Sarah!

See here they are the bruises some were self-inflicted and some showed up along the way. - JF

We're all mad here. The Cheshire Cat
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