Problems interacting with normal people as a family...

Discussions about negotiating relationships between faithful LDS believers and the apostates who love them. This applies in particular to mixed-faith marriages, but relations with children, parents, siblings, friends, and ward members is very welcome.
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jfro18
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Problems interacting with normal people as a family...

Post by jfro18 » Sun Jun 06, 2021 6:26 am

Our kid is on a youth baseball team and I've been coaching with two others this season and we got together a few weeks ago to go over lineups, positions, etc as the league transitions kids during the year to be ready for little league next year along with just hanging out since we've been coaching but don't really get to just sit around and talk about non-baseball stuff.

Anyway... the other two coaches are very into beer (they were talking about all sorts of specific beers and I had no idea what they were talking about) and had all sorts there and I drank one with them because I just don't feel like getting into the "I used to be Mormon and so I don't really like beer because it's bitter and I never drank them" thing.

Because school is ending here, they wanted to have families over next week for a "coaches meeting" with the kids and wives... and I am terrified to ask DW because I know they'll have beer there, and I know she'll flip out if I were to drink one and I don't want to get into the "yeah I don't drink because I'm Mormon" stuff.

I really hate how awkward even being in a mixed faith marriage can make life in areas where Mormonism isn't relevant in any way imaginable, and I really hate that I don't want to ask my wife to go because I know it'll just cause problems...

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Corsair
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Re: Problems interacting with normal people as a family...

Post by Corsair » Sun Jun 06, 2021 4:44 pm

That's a tough situation. I don't know of a way to have that kind of honest conversation with your wife. Perhaps bring along some craft root beer that only looks alcoholic so that no one offers you a beer since you already appear to be holding one.

But this plan only kicks the can down the road in what looks like an intractable situation. If I knew what a real solution would be I might have already done it.

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jfro18
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Re: Problems interacting with normal people as a family...

Post by jfro18 » Sun Jun 06, 2021 7:42 pm

Yeah there's just no way to have this conversation that doesn't end poorly... and it's really frustrating because these are super nice people and I'm stuck in this rut where I can't really invite my wife to come with or it's so awkward it's not worth it, or I do invite her and have her mad at me for having a drink or having to deal with the possibility of her feeling uncomfortable or having to explain herself there.

These are the things that just make me hate this situation so much - it impacts me all the time even though I walked away and it's just so silly.

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Angel
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Re: Problems interacting with normal people as a family...

Post by Angel » Sun Jun 06, 2021 8:13 pm

Half of my family are alcoholic Catholics, so I don't drink because trouble runs in my blood. People understand "family history" issues, and it is no big deal, can be good to have a designated driver and all that. Many people have dietary restrictions and preferences, it's not a big deal. Can be a good thing to get tbm's to mingle with others I think.
“You have learned something...That always feels at first as if you have lost something.” George Bernard Shaw
When it is dark enough, you can see the stars. ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

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RubinHighlander
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Re: Problems interacting with normal people as a family...

Post by RubinHighlander » Mon Jun 07, 2021 1:07 pm

It is super awkward, those mixed tribe situations with mixed faith marriages. There's no easy answer here. So you make excuses as to why you can't get together and life moves on, but there might be another approach to try.

"Guys, look, I'd probably be into beer, but I'm in a mixed faith marriage. To support my wife I just don't bother with it, keeps the peace. I don't give a crap if you guys have a beer at some party or function, but it's her belief and faith and I support her. This would make it a bit awkward if we got together. Would you be okay with hanging out with the families if it's without the booze?"

I think most guys would respect you for it and they would be totally cool with that. If they are former members or lived in Utah a while, they should be understanding and empathetic. I think for most of us it's a non-issue.
“Sir,' I said to the universe, 'I exist.' 'That,' said the universe, 'creates no sense of obligation in me whatsoever.”
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jfro18
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Re: Problems interacting with normal people as a family...

Post by jfro18 » Mon Jun 07, 2021 6:27 pm

RubinHighlander wrote:
Mon Jun 07, 2021 1:07 pm
It is super awkward, those mixed tribe situations with mixed faith marriages. There's no easy answer here. So you make excuses as to why you can't get together and life moves on, but there might be another approach to try.

"Guys, look, I'd probably be into beer, but I'm in a mixed faith marriage. To support my wife I just don't bother with it, keeps the peace. I don't give a crap if you guys have a beer at some party or function, but it's her belief and faith and I support her. This would make it a bit awkward if we got together. Would you be okay with hanging out with the families if it's without the booze?"

I think most guys would respect you for it and they would be totally cool with that. If they are former members or lived in Utah a while, they should be understanding and empathetic. I think for most of us it's a non-issue.
This is great advice and on some level I wish I had taken it before we met the last time.

Honestly I'm in an area where mormons are just not relevant and as weird as it sounds I'm embarrassed to be associated with the church, so I never mention it to people who I'm not close to. It's just awkward and talking about it with people I'm not close to and they have no real idea of the culture of Mormonism here at all.

I think I'll just mention it to her and give her the out... it's going to suck but I don't know what else to do.

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alas
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Re: Problems interacting with normal people as a family...

Post by alas » Mon Jun 07, 2021 6:42 pm

My husband and I spent 20 years with him active duty military, so we had lots of socializing with norm....well, I won’t call military people normal because the marines are their own kind of weird and none of the military cultures are “normal, but they are for sure drinking cultures. So we had lots of experience interacting with people who drink.

First thing to remember, unless you make a big deal out of it, nobody notices. Mormons tell each other how people notice them for not drinking, but it is a bunch of bs. Nobody notices who drinks beer and who grabs a Diet Coke. There are enough people who don’t drink for dozens of reasons, than nobody notices whether you have a beer or soft drink. Mormons are not the only ones who don’t drink for religious reasons. Then there are the ex-alcoholics, your children of alcoholics or other relatives who have been traumatized or disgusted by an alcoholic. Then you have health nuts, diabetics (alcohol hits the system as high blood sugar spike quicker than straight sugar.) or a whole bunch of people who don’t drink for better health. Then there are all the thousands of people who don’t like beer, but might drink wine and if the party has beer, they drink coke. We noticed at military parties, over 50% of the people did not drink. And much of military socializing is based around booze. My spouse man was even taught “drinking etiquette” as part of officer training school. Things like, “At a formal dining in, the toasts follow this order a. b. c.” And “if you are a non drinker, make sure you have your water or other beverage ahead of time, because when the toasting starts, it is possible to get more booze, but you can’t run out and grab another coke.” But the funny thing was, we purposely volunteered for the social committee, so we could remind the planners that at the last three parties, they ran out of diet drinks for the ladies and the soft drinks for the kids, but there were three cases of beet left over. And the rest of the committee would go, “oh, yeah. We did run out of the Diet Coke and Diet Pepsi and root beer, but man it wasn’t just three cases of beer left over. There were three more in my car.” We would tell them the proper ratio is two cases of diet for every case of beer, one case of sugared Coke/Pepsi and three of the kid stuff, because every couple has 2.5 children. We explained about 5 times per party, that while one beer drinker will drink 4 beers, between the non drinkers and the kids, you have 4 -6 times as many people who will have zero.

Second thing to remember is all those stories you hear the Mormons tell each other about being mocked or forced to drink and then gaining this wonderful respect for standing up for your beliefs are all a bunch of bs. People are more shocked that Mormons don’t drink coffee, and it isn’t that they mock or try to get you to drink coffee, they just think it is mildly stupid to avoid coffee.

So, a simple, “my wife is Mormon so we don’t have alcohol, tea, or coffee at our house, just so you know what to expect. But she makes an amazing (whatever you want to serve)” If they are the kind of people who don’t think it is possible to socialize without booze, then let them make an excuse. But at least you have done the friendly thing and offered an invite.

Most people know two things about Mormons, they don’t drink and polygamy, so just the simple “My wife is Mormon.” usually explains enough. And if that is new to them, Muslims don’t drink alcohol either.

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