Frustrated/ambivalent about parent relationship

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acmeist
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Frustrated/ambivalent about parent relationship

Post by acmeist » Wed Jun 10, 2020 12:32 pm

This is just a vent post. My relationship with my parents since I announced to them I don't believe (8 plus years) has been not great. We are cordial at the best of times, but very distant. They are very TBM. My dad has kind of stopped trying to have anything to do with me, and I guess I kind of feel the same towards him. So, I took my mom's birthday present to her house with my kids this morning. We stayed outside and visited with her. I took him a Father's Day card and gift figuring I could just get that out of the way too. He said thanks from the patio door, but no other acknowledgment or anything. My kids were with me too. I visited with my mom. My older brother was inside the house the whole time and he never came and said hello either.

Anyway, I didn't really want to visit with either person, but it still makes me grumpy and angry when things like this happen. I wonder if it's even worth giving them gifts or anything. He has told me in an email he will always have a different kind of relationship with my kids than his other (Mormon) grandkids. I don't know if it is worth my kids seeing this or me trying to pretend there is anything happening here any more. I don't really know what I'm looking for by posting this, but I mainly just wanted to vent. Thanks!

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Red Ryder
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Re: Frustrated/ambivalent about parent relationship

Post by Red Ryder » Wed Jun 10, 2020 1:13 pm

Vent away.

My relationship with my parents has always been long distance since I live a state or two away. It’s always centered on church life and what not so strained at times.

I’ve learned to listen then ask what else is going on besides church stuff. Then try to build on that and it takes effort to continue.

I’m also a believer that just because someone is biologically related doesn’t mean you have to have a relationship.

So choose who you want relationships and pursue those. Life is to short to try to make things work when you’ve tried and know they don’t

It’s ok not to have a relationship. Find a surrogate if needed.
Those who do not move do not notice their chains. —Rosa Luxemburg

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Hermey
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Re: Frustrated/ambivalent about parent relationship

Post by Hermey » Wed Jun 10, 2020 3:31 pm

Personally, I would go over yourself and have an adult conversation where you set boundaries and expectations. Then I would cut them off until they grow the F up.

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alas
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Re: Frustrated/ambivalent about parent relationship

Post by alas » Wed Jun 10, 2020 5:04 pm

So frustrating to have your dad act so indifferent. The brother too.

Do you want to show them that exMormons are still good people, or do you want for them to write you off as now you no longer believe you have become a jerk too? I don’t mean that to sound like I am judging you or suggesting that you have to take the high road, because I have TBM relatives that I would just as soon have them think that I have become the Epitome of evil, so they stay away.

So, that is your first question. Is the relationship one you would like to improve?

You could even put a time limit on trying.

If you want the relationship to improve, then you basically show them that you love them and that you still have morals, you know, there is righteousness outside the Mormon church. The second thing you work on showing them is that you respect them. One of the reasons TBMs pull away is that they are afraid the nonbeliever is looking down on them, they are afraid you are judging them for being stupid to still believe, you know, the things we here DO think about believers. Well they are afraid you think they belong to a cult, because they “know” how us apostates look down on them from that great and spacious building. So show that you still respect them. Ask for advice on things, even if you FEEL like you don’t need advice, ask anyway. Say for example, you want to demonstrate that apostates are still good people, so ask them to advise you on a good charity you can donate to now that you don’t pay tithing to the church. Say that you still feel you should donate to God, and he said “feed My sheep”. Then, even if they say LDS humanitarian fund, you make a donation to that organization. Doesn’t have to be your full 10%, just a donation. Then you let them know that you donated to the one they recommended maybe among others.

Parents like to feel older and wiser, even if they are just older and more narrow minded, but you make your dad feel special by taking his advice, and his ego will help him like you better.

Especially if there is something he prides himself on, or that you honestly respect about him, it will help rebuild the relationship.

See if you can include your parents on activities with your kids. Going to the zoo, take the grandparents. Grandchildren have been known to heal many an estranged parent child relationship.

Wonderment
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Re: Frustrated/ambivalent about parent relationship

Post by Wonderment » Wed Jun 10, 2020 6:23 pm

Anyway, I didn't really want to visit with either person, but it still makes me grumpy and angry when things like this happen. I wonder if it's even worth giving them gifts or anything. He has told me in an email he will always have a different kind of relationship with my kids than his other (Mormon) grandkids. I don't know if it is worth my kids seeing this or me trying to pretend there is anything happening here any more. I don't really know what I'm looking for by posting this, but I mainly just wanted to vent. Thanks!
This is heartbreaking, when you try to be friends and bring a gift to show that you remember things like birthdays and Father's Day, then they act cold and distant. Their holding a grudge like that is hurtful.

This incident reminds me of our daughter-in-law who despises us because we will not attend church; and therefore, keeps our grandchildren as far away from us as possible, as if we might talk them out of church. We try always to be friendly, upbeat, never criticize her, never give advice, always compliment her, always bring gifts on her birthday, Mother's Day, etc. -- but nothing but coldness from her. We really have to beg to see our grandchildren, who are forbidden from visiting us, but always over at the other grandparents' house ( her parents). Truly, I can relate to this family dynamic. My heart goes out to you, because the same thing (shunning) happens to us, and it costs us our relationship with our grandkids. - Wndr.

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Palerider
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Re: Frustrated/ambivalent about parent relationship

Post by Palerider » Wed Jun 10, 2020 7:28 pm

Acmeist,

Your family, especially your dad, sounds like they are carrying a ton of disappointment and hurt feelings regarding your leaving the church. To talk to you is probably a painful thing. Better for them (they erroneously think) to just avoid what brings them pain...which is you.

You might try sending your dad an email expressing that you would like to have a better relationship. You could say you were reading a church sponsored article the other day and thought you might share it with him and that it has information he might find useful or enlightening as you did.

You might mention that it appears to you that the church doesn't support shunning family members anymore when they leave the church and that in light of the article and it's counsel "do you think it's better to have a loving relationship with a child if possible or is it just better to avoid them?"

https://www.ldsliving.com/When-a-Loved- ... d/s/80170/
"There is but one straight course, and that is to seek truth and pursue it steadily."

"Truth will ultimately prevail where there is pains to bring it to light."

George Washington

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alas
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Re: Frustrated/ambivalent about parent relationship

Post by alas » Thu Jun 11, 2020 7:48 am

Palerider wrote:
Wed Jun 10, 2020 7:28 pm
Acmeist,

Your family, especially your dad, sounds like they are carrying a ton of disappointment and hurt feelings regarding your leaving the church. To talk to you is probably a painful thing. Better for them (they erroneously think) to just avoid what brings them pain...which is you.

You might try sending your dad an email expressing that you would like to have a better relationship. You could say you were reading a church sponsored article the other day and thought you might share it with him and that it has information he might find useful or enlightening as you did.

You might mention that it appears to you that the church doesn't support shunning family members anymore when they leave the church and that in light of the article and it's counsel "do you think it's better to have a loving relationship with a child if possible or is it just better to avoid them?"

https://www.ldsliving.com/When-a-Loved- ... d/s/80170/
Love this. Send him some church sponsored guilt.

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græy
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Re: Frustrated/ambivalent about parent relationship

Post by græy » Thu Jun 11, 2020 10:10 am

That is a tough situation. I am sorry you're going through this.
Palerider wrote:
Wed Jun 10, 2020 7:28 pm
Your family, especially your dad, sounds like they are carrying a ton of disappointment and hurt feelings regarding your leaving the church. To talk to you is probably a painful thing. Better for them (they erroneously think) to just avoid what brings them pain...which is you.

You might try sending your dad an email expressing that you would like to have a better relationship. You could say you were reading a church sponsored article the other day and thought you might share it with him and that it has information he might find useful or enlightening as you did.
Good ideas there, Palerider.
I'm better than dirt... well most dirt. Not that fancy store bought stuff, I can't compete with that... full of nutrients and everything. -Moe Sizlack

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Hagoth
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Re: Frustrated/ambivalent about parent relationship

Post by Hagoth » Thu Jun 11, 2020 8:28 pm

I wish Nelson or somebody would stand up to the pulpit and explain that being the "chosen people" isn't a license to be rude, stupid, hurtful, and thoughtless. It should be exactly the opposite.

I'm tired of people expressing their religion in various forms of tantrums and self-pity. I'm just so damned tired of it. And then the people they are discriminating against have to be extra nice and gregarious to prove that the foregone conclusion that they are hard-hearted and bitter is not true. It's an unwinnable battle. If they have the courage to ask or listen to any of your reasons they always switch on the filter that reinterprets your honest concerns into anger and hatefulness, even when there might be absolutely none of that in what you said. And even though you have very good reasons for being angry about being deceived, maligned, gaslighted, whatever.

But yeah, all we can do is take the high road, try to be who we really are, and let it roll off our backs.
“The easy confidence with which I know another man's religion is folly teaches me to suspect that my own is also.” -Mark Twain

Jesus: "The Kingdom of God is within you." The Buddha: "Be your own light."

acmeist
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Re: Frustrated/ambivalent about parent relationship

Post by acmeist » Thu Jun 11, 2020 8:44 pm

Thanks everyone. I talked to someone IRL about this who is out like I am, and I feel better. I think I don't really want to salvage anything here, but I won't sever it completely. But, I really related to Hagoth's post because I too am tired of having to be the sane, decent person in scenarios like this.

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moksha
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Re: Frustrated/ambivalent about parent relationship

Post by moksha » Thu Jun 11, 2020 9:16 pm

Wonderment wrote:
Wed Jun 10, 2020 6:23 pm
This incident reminds me of our daughter-in-law who despises us because we will not attend church; and therefore, keeps our grandchildren as far away from us as possible, as if we might talk them out of the church.
I hate it when they get like that. It is bad enough that they are afraid of crosses, but that inability to see their reflection in the mirror is downright eerie. Hopefully, the grandkids can break free of that and form a bond with you when they get older.
acmeist wrote:I talked to someone IRL about this who is out like I am, and I feel better. I think I don't really want to salvage anything here, but I won't sever it completely. But, I really related to Hagoth's post because I too am tired of having to be the sane, decent person in scenarios like this.
Glad you are feeling better. Sanity and decency is its own reward.
Good faith does not require evidence, but it also does not turn a blind eye to that evidence. Otherwise, it becomes misplaced faith.
-- Moksha

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Not Buying It
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Re: Frustrated/ambivalent about parent relationship

Post by Not Buying It » Fri Jun 12, 2020 5:28 am

Hagoth wrote:
Thu Jun 11, 2020 8:28 pm
I wish Nelson or somebody would stand up to the pulpit and explain that being the "chosen people" isn't a license to be rude, stupid, hurtful, and thoughtless. It should be exactly the opposite.
Yeah, I am actually really angry at the Brethren - they are well aware there are a large number of mixed-faith families in the Church and the amount of pain many in that situation are feeling, and they couldn't care less. Keeping people in the boat is far more important to them than easing the pain of families with some in the boat and some out. For every one tentative statement that might address the situation in a healthy way, they make 9 that make the situation worse. They could make things better and consciously choose not to. Bastards.

Look, just because your parents were an important part of your life at one point, doesn't mean it is always healthy to have them in your life now. You may need to just accept that, accept the distance. I have. My parents and I had a lot of great years where we were close, but my religious views have distanced that relationship, and that's just the way it is. And that's OK. I could carry a lot of angst about it, but I've opted to just accept it and get on with my life. Me worrying about it isn't going to change how they feel.

It's OK to let go of a close relationship with your parents. It's what they have chosen after all. Why put yourself through mental anguish about it? Call them from time to time, give them gifts on their birthdays and stuff, be friendly with them when you do talk, but just accept the relationship won't be what it was before. You'll spare yourself a lot of unnecessary pain.
"The truth is elegantly simple. The lie needs complex apologia. 4 simple words: Joe made it up. It answers everything with the perfect simplicity of Occam's Razor. Every convoluted excuse withers." - Some guy on Reddit called disposazelph

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alas
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Re: Frustrated/ambivalent about parent relationship

Post by alas » Fri Jun 12, 2020 6:39 am

Another thing that is important to remember Is that you do not need their approval. You did as a child, but you are no longer a child and do not need their approval. If they only have approval or disapproval to offer, then you don’t need anything from them. If they cannot give you love, you know the unconditional kind the Rusty doesn’t believe God gives us, then as an adult, what do you really need that they can give you? So, like others have said, continue to be kind and show them the love that is due parents for having raised you, and if you continue to drift apart, then so be it. They have a responsibility to maintain this adult adult relationship and accept that you are now an adult, not a kid they can shame into being what they want you to be.

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Hagoth
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Re: Frustrated/ambivalent about parent relationship

Post by Hagoth » Fri Jun 12, 2020 9:07 am

Not Buying It wrote:
Fri Jun 12, 2020 5:28 am
Yeah, I am actually really angry at the Brethren - they are well aware there are a large number of mixed-faith families in the Church and the amount of pain many in that situation are feeling, and they couldn't care less.
They probably also have statistics that show that once one spouse emerges from the illusion it is more likely that the other spouse will follow them, than that the awakened spouse will choose to put the blinders back on and live the rest of their life in denial and cognitive dissonance. From the church's point-of-view it is better that such a family gets destroyed, a villain identified, and a cautionary tale created to help keep others terrified of asking questions, pursuing scholarship, or engaging in critical thinking.
“The easy confidence with which I know another man's religion is folly teaches me to suspect that my own is also.” -Mark Twain

Jesus: "The Kingdom of God is within you." The Buddha: "Be your own light."

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jfro18
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Re: Frustrated/ambivalent about parent relationship

Post by jfro18 » Fri Jun 12, 2020 9:18 am

And this is why I am working so hard to either keep my kid from going to church *or* if he does go that I can talk to him about my beliefs.

Because talks like the "Sad Heaven" talk by Nelson last year are really harmful to families and to the relationships between those who leave and those who are doubling down to hold it together.

And the really frustrating thing is that these people who are discriminating against those who leave and marginalizing their reasons for doing so are the first to marginalize other groups who have the *exact* same flaws with their claims that Mormonism does.

Keep talking to that person IRL... odds are they don't have many other people who can vent on their end as well. :lol:

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deacon blues
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Re: Frustrated/ambivalent about parent relationship

Post by deacon blues » Sun Jun 14, 2020 6:37 am

....And in the end the love you take is equal to the love you make.-- John Lennon (Who may not have been the best example of this, but he wrote some nice songs.)
God is Love. God is Truth

Anon70
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Re: Frustrated/ambivalent about parent relationship

Post by Anon70 » Sat Jun 20, 2020 5:23 pm

Wonderment wrote:
Wed Jun 10, 2020 6:23 pm
Anyway, I didn't really want to visit with either person, but it still makes me grumpy and angry when things like this happen. I wonder if it's even worth giving them gifts or anything. He has told me in an email he will always have a different kind of relationship with my kids than his other (Mormon) grandkids. I don't know if it is worth my kids seeing this or me trying to pretend there is anything happening here any more. I don't really know what I'm looking for by posting this, but I mainly just wanted to vent. Thanks!
This is heartbreaking, when you try to be friends and bring a gift to show that you remember things like birthdays and Father's Day, then they act cold and distant. Their holding a grudge like that is hurtful.

This incident reminds me of our daughter-in-law who despises us because we will not attend church; and therefore, keeps our grandchildren as far away from us as possible, as if we might talk them out of church. We try always to be friendly, upbeat, never criticize her, never give advice, always compliment her, always bring gifts on her birthday, Mother's Day, etc. -- but nothing but coldness from her. We really have to beg to see our grandchildren, who are forbidden from visiting us, but always over at the other grandparents' house ( her parents). Truly, I can relate to this family dynamic. My heart goes out to you, because the same thing (shunning) happens to us, and it costs us our relationship with our grandkids. - Wndr.
This is heartbreaking.

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