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» Scarleteen Boards: 2000 - 2014 (Archive) » SCARLETEEN CENTRAL » Relationships » interfaith relationships

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Author Topic: interfaith relationships
hunnybunny888
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Does anyone know any good articles or resources on helping parents understand that interfaith relationships work out just as well as same faith relationships, and they are not the end of the world, and won't damage their grandchildren forever?

I have had many long talks with my parents about this. While my dad is rational about it, he just thinks I could avoid some problems by marrying of the same religion, and he personally thinks I should. My mother is completely illogical and says things like " I would never do this to my parents" or "I would never think of dating someone outside the faith" and "mixed marriages never word" and "interfaith children don't have any identity"

I have looked up psychological articles that debunk these myths. My mother says "I'm reading too many psychology books and think I know everything, what can I know when I'm 19" and "a bunch of wackos write those peer reviewed psychological articles" My dads response is "one wise mans word is no better than a hundred idiots" (or however that saying goes)

I know my mom will never be happy with anything her children do because she is too inflexible with what is considered and okay way to live your life. My sister is engaged to someone of a different faith and my mother is convinced it will fail and my sister will be unhappy forever.

I just don't really know what to do at this point. Of all the stuff I have read up on it, the biggest challenge intermarried couples have faced is disapproval from family.

Is there anywhere I can send my parents to help them understand?

Posts: 246 | From: canada | Registered: Jul 2006  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
JamsessionVT
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You know, at 19, it really isn't necessary that you try and seek your parent's approval on any of this. (I can see you're trying to do what you can to help them understand, but with stuff like this, beliefs can be pretty deeply embedded, and the chance of them all the sudden understanding or accepting is pretty low.)

To be honest, from the sounds of it, since your mother has already declared your sister's interfaith relationship a future failure, chances are no article or resource will change that. At 19 years old, you're already a legal adult, so nothing your parents say can really have any significant effect on what you do with your relationships unless you allow it to.

I commend you on trying to work with your parents on this one, but from the sounds of things, you may be better off letting it go, and taking care of yourself, rather than trying to please them.

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Abbie
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hunnybunny888
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I know I don't need their permission or anything, it's just that I know it will tear apart the entire family.
My sister is a bit of a different case because her and my mom have so many other issues (to which they are both at fault)

It's gotten to the point where I don't even think I would tell my parents (or at least for quite some time after)if I broke up with my current boyfriend, just because I could not handle them being so pleased over it.

I think at least my dad could try to have an understanding since he is trying to be logical and reasonable about all this. I don't know about my mom, she said we could go talk to a therapist about this when we got home, but she is convinced they will agree with her. She has also said nothing will change her mind, but it seems like a therapist is the best choice, or if not maybe I will search for a book.

It just frustrates me so much, because my mom is so upset that we aren't closer, but she doesn't realize it's because I can barely talk to her because she can't accept my own desicions, thoughts, and actions, unless she agrees with them herself.

sorry I guess this is just kind of a rant now

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-Jill
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You know, going to a therapist together sounds like a great idea. It will give the two of you a chance to talk in a safe space and it might give both of you some perspective on where the other is coming from.

I hear you giving some pretty valid reasons to be frustrated with your mom, but it also appears that she does want to improve things between the two of you and is willing to do some things (like joint therapy) to make that happen. It sounds like you would like to have a better relationship too so I hope you two can find some common ground.

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hunnybunny888
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Thanks for the response, I do hope therapy will help but I am hesitant, not to mention the fact that my family is very low on money right now due to my sister.
But my mom says she will go for ME and when she went with my sister she was going for HER and she refuses to admit she has issues to deal with, but she will come with us if we want her to go. She doesn't have an open mind going into these things.
She has also said I will go with you to see the therapist, but nobody is going to change my mind.
We both want a better relationship, but the difference is she wants a relationship on her terms, when I'm doing what she wants me to do. I want a relationship of her accepting that her children have grown up and can think for themselves and make their own desicions, and she can be there to offer guidance or be a friend, but can no longer try to control us.
I also think it ruins some of my relationships with other family members. It's hard to explain, but I know they will tell her things, and I just don't know, it makes me feel removed from the family, like I can't really tell anyone much.

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JamsessionVT
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I would highly encourage you to take your mom up on this offer and go, and see what happens, but I would also bear in mind that this may be something that really cannot be repaired or turned around, and that you may, in the end, have to accept your mother for who she is and do with your relationship what you can. I've had to face a somewhat similar situation with my grandmother, and on the whole, it's been a lot healthier for me accepting her as she is than trying to change 70+ years of stubborn beliefs.

(ETA: hunnybunny, I'm seeing you having to deal with a lot of things, and I'm wondering if some of this is connected. How are you doing dealing with all of this on your plate?)

[ 11-21-2008, 01:17 PM: Message edited by: JamsessionVT ]

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Abbie
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hunnybunny888
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I'm not sure if it's all connected, and I'm not really sure how I'm doing, it keeps changing and such.

I'm more concerned about my mother accepting me. I don't know, I would just find it hard to have a one way relationship.

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

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