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Author Topic: another thread on parents and intermarriage
hunnybunny888
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so it seems that every time I come home my parents and I have the discussion about intermarriage, and how they want me to marry jewish and have a jewish family and its important to them and yada yada. I can respect that it's important to them, but it's just not something that's important to me.

So my moms new thing is that she can accept me marrying outside of the faith and will still love me, but will always be upset about it, will never really be happy except with my dad, and won't want to hang out with most of her friends anymore because it will be too hard for her to see them with Jewish families.

I said thats a terrible thing to say, and that I realize it's not what she wants but she can't have such a narrow view for us, and that I'm sure we will still be happy to come over for the holidays, because spending time with family will be important even if the meaning of the holiday isn't. My mom said that wasn't possible we would stop coming the grandchildren wouldn't want to come because it won't mean anything to them (apparently spending time with family isn't a good reason to get together).

Anyways I can understand them being a bit disappointed that I don't share their values, but I wish they could be happy that I've grown enough to think critically and think and act for myself. Just for the record, I have a Jewish education and know much more about the religion than either of the parents, I'm just not sure about it and probably never will be about Judaism or any other religion, and I would hope to be with someone with the same values.

My dad then goes on and on about how there are so many problems relationships have to go through and religion is just another one (but literally goes on and on with all the examples and analogies)

I suggested we go to therapy, since this is obviously something they (especially my mom) needs help to deal with if she thinks she can never really be happy with our family. To this she says I can't change the way she feels. I said no I can't but you can and how do you think it makes me feel to hear you say those things, anyways it goes on and on.

This has been on the table now for the past 3 or 4 years, and more than that with my sister...not to mention my mom constantly blames my sister for anything wrong in our family. And I just don't know what I can do to deal with it. I suggested therapy but my parents said they don't think it will change anything, I said that then I wanted to see a therapist myself about it and they said that was fine so I guess that will help me a bit...but I'm also just really worried about my mom, she has so many health problems already she doesn't need dysthmia or something on top of it...Even my brother isn't good enough for her because he's too relgious. She told me I was her only hope for a "normal" wedding...I also told her today she was being manipulitve and she said she was just saying how she felt...I don't really know anymore...

Posts: 246 | From: canada | Registered: Jul 2006  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
eryn_smiles
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Hi hunnybunny,

(Sorry that your post sat for awhile!)

This sounds like a really difficult situation for you. Unfortunately, I don't have much wise advice but can say that these kind of conflicts over culture and religion are so common in families. Including in my own family.

Regardless of what your parents say, I think it's great that you've had a Jewish education and considered how it fits into your own values in life. It sounds like you've approached the religion with an open mind and decided it's not quite right for you at the moment. That's all that any of us can do.

The therapy idea sounds like a good one. For the time being, you may want to start with some therapy for yourself. Your parents don't sound so receptive to it at the moment. Have you talked to your mom about how worried you are about her? Does she have other poeple to talk with, such as a religous leader or even friends in similar situations?

quote:
Originally posted by hunnybunny888:
She told me I was her only hope for a "normal" wedding...I also told her today she was being manipulitve and she said she was just saying how she felt...

My mother has said quite similar things in the past. It may not apply to your situation but my feeling about these kind of comments is that perhaps she is just saying how she feels and doesn't see it as being manipulative or guilt-tripping. Or perhaps, with good intentions, she sees it as a way to influence you towards what she thinks will make you happy.

I know it's not easy but I wish you all the best in reaching a happy compromise with them. I also hope for you that their acceptance and understanding will improve with time.

--------------------
"Caring for myself is not self-indulgence, it is self-preservation and that is an act of political warfare."

Audre Lorde

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hunnybunny888
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Thanks for your response. I decided to hold out on the therapy until i go back to school where i can get free counseling since money is tight right now but I'm still finding it really hard. I know she doesn't view it as "manipulative" because she sees that as something negative. But she says it in hopes that it will change what I do because she always says that she does so much for me it would be nice if I could think about her feelings for once (in relation to marrying someone jewish) But I don't really know what shes thinking, she could just be expressing her feelings, but it really seems as if she is saying stuff in hopes that it will make me change my mind.

It seems like they are getting more unaccepting over time...possibly because they see at as something more serious now that weve been togetehr for a few years, whereas she is really hoping it is all just a phase.

We are long distance from may-sept and I'm busy with work and hes busy with school so we don't have much oppurtunity to visit. He is coming here in July for 2 days but since he stays with us there is not much oppurtunity for anything, as well as more "innocent" things like cuddling in bed and watching tv. I have a few days before I start work so i wanted to go out and visit him for a couple days. I found a really cheap flight (half what I usually pay) I'm going to pay for it myself, and my mom just flipped out on me. First she started saying I couldn't go because I would get in at 1am, then when I convinced her that was fine she said I couldn't go because I come back to early at 7am when I tried to tell her that was fine she just said your breaking my heart and stomped off in tears. Now I'm not sure what to do. I really want to go visit but I know he wouldn't want me to if he knew it was causing all this trouble (in fact he would feel absolutely terrible if he knew how much my mom and i actually fight about this). I know I can fully just go by myself without her permission, and she'll get over it sort of...I know she'll still hold it against me. She already said how come you can go visit him for a few days but when I want you to come home for a weekednd from school you say its too much and you can't. When I tried to explain it was because when I come home for a weekend during the year I will get really behind on my school work she didn't believe me saying I just leave everything until the last minute anyways I can't have that much to do. I know shes a bit on edge right now because my sister is home and my grandmother (dads mom) just died a couple weeks ago so it might just be a reaction to that, but then again everytime I want to go somewhere with him its a big deal (this one just seems a little worse) Now I just have to decide if I should go or not and I really don't know what to do. I'm afraid if I go I'll just feel bad about myself the whole time. It's honestly at the point where after this relationship, I don't think I will tell my family about anyone else I date until I am getting married. Its just upsetting because other than this we have been getting along much better than usual lately. I've really been making an effort to open up and talk to her more but this sure isn't helping.

Posts: 246 | From: canada | Registered: Jul 2006  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
eryn_smiles
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Hello again [Smile]

Sounds like a good idea to try and access your free counseliing through college. How are you doing for support until that time? Are you able to talk with your friends?

I'm sorry it seems like they're becoming more unaccepting. How much does your boyfriend know about your parents' feelings? What would he think about it?

So anytime you want to travel somwhere with your boyfriend, its a really big deal for your mom. Hopefully you know that as her daughter, you can't be responsible for her feelings. Only she can control how she feels. It's very unfair and hard on you for her to project that responsibilty onto her children. You're also an adult and it's ultimately your decision where you spend your weekends.

You talk about a time "after this relationship"- do you think continuing the relationship over the next few months is worth the stress you're going through at the moment? (I'm not saying it's not worth it, just asking what you think).

I'm not sure whether my questions have helped, but regardless, good on you for trying to be open with your family and keep them on good terms as well. It's not easy at all.

--------------------
"Caring for myself is not self-indulgence, it is self-preservation and that is an act of political warfare."

Audre Lorde

Posts: 1326 | Registered: Nov 2007  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
   

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