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  #11  
Old 03-23-2010, 02:38 AM
Quath Quath is offline
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If you want to point out the flaws in some of the stuff he said, you could point out that some Catholics would disapprove of remarriage (unless he was a widower). Would he want someone to be as judgemental of his relationship as he is being of yours? Would he accept some family member saying that he should never mention his wife because they object to his marriage?

It may give him something to chew on. I would not expect too much though.

When I told my parents, I let them know that this was part of my life. They either accept me or not. But I am not too close to my parents, so that was easy for me.

There are probably many other approaches. One is passive aggressive where you can answer many questions with "Well, I would tell you, but it may make you feel uncomfortable." (Not sure how well this would work.)

Or you could write him a letter. That would give you time to really think through what you want to say. Then it is optional for him to respond or not.
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  #12  
Old 03-28-2010, 08:51 PM
booklady78 booklady78 is offline
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So how do I maintain a relationship with my Dad now? My husband and I are invited to Easter dinner with my Dad, Step-Mom, brother and family, and I honestly can't decide if we should accept the invitation. My husband is greatly offended by much of what my Dad said and he isn't sure if he can remain civil. I'm still incredibly hurt by alot of what my Dad said but the middle of a family dinner is not an appropriate place to talk about it further.
How to set aside what he said and try to have a nice, family get together? Does anyone have experience of a disapproving family member that they maintained a relationship with? Can this work?
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  #13  
Old 03-29-2010, 04:59 AM
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redpepper redpepper is offline
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Well, I just suck it up personally. Suck it up for traditional occasions... To me there is no way into the future to create burning bridges by going off at a family dinner. That can be very difficult, for sure! Believe me I know! But it is worth it in the end to be the bigger person.
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  #14  
Old 03-29-2010, 06:22 AM
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SchrodingersCat SchrodingersCat is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by booklady78 View Post
So how do I maintain a relationship with my Dad now? My husband and I are invited to Easter dinner with my Dad, Step-Mom, brother and family, and I honestly can't decide if we should accept the invitation. My husband is greatly offended by much of what my Dad said and he isn't sure if he can remain civil. I'm still incredibly hurt by alot of what my Dad said but the middle of a family dinner is not an appropriate place to talk about it further.
How to set aside what he said and try to have a nice, family get together? Does anyone have experience of a disapproving family member that they maintained a relationship with? Can this work?
Oh god yes I have experience with disapproving family members, AND with being "forced" to "endure" family dinners at least 3 times a year, combined with multi-week-long stays out in the middle of butt-fuck-nowhere, Saskatchewan, stuck on a farm alone with my mother-in-law while her son was out seeding.

She hated me from the moment she first saw my blue mohawk, and never did learn to look past it, even after I let my hair grow out all brown and normal (for work). She was also a controlling, mentally/emotionally abusive parent, and hated that I was "stealing her son away from her" and encouraging him to stand up for his own rights and happiness.

But she loved her Easter and Christmas family get-togethers, and as much as she disliked me, she knew better than to tell her son I wasn't welcome. So I would sit there, surrounded by rednecks whose idea of good dinner conversation was the uselessness of indians on reserves, gossip about the neighbours, and put-downs behind the backs of the rest of the family... FUN!

So you expect your father to accept you the way you are. But what about accepting your father the way he is, with all his prejudices and Christian fundamentalism? Is he not entitled to his opinions and beliefs, whether or not you agree with them? If he's willing to look past your lifestyle, why are you not willing to extend him the same respect? It's only a few hours... I had to put on the act for days at a time...

Why doesn't your husband think he can remain civil? He graduated kindergarden, right? Be nice to your classmates, don't throw your toys, no name-calling... If you choose to behave like bratty teenagers by being too wrapped up in your own lives and righteousness to act maturely, then I can see how being polite would be a problem. But you're grown-ups.

We used to make it into a game. Smile and nod, challenge the occasional opinion just enough to get them riled up and then let it go... and later we would joke about all the idiotic redneck things they said, making ourselves feel all totty and superior. In hindsight, that was immature, but it did make the experience a bit more amusing, and certainly more tolerable...
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  #15  
Old 03-29-2010, 06:38 AM
Catichka Catichka is offline
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Its much harder then that. After everything we went through with my father, my husband felt the same way. When you feel that everything you are has been deeply and purposely offended by someone as close as a family member (and my father and I were incredibly close until he discovered we were poly), then it can be very hard to calm things down afterwards.

After about 4 months of pure abuse from my parents, we were basically told that we were expected to see them for a day or 2 before Christmas. As I was excommunicated due to poly, I am not actually allowed to attend any Christmas celebrations, but we were expected at my parentís home between certain dates, so they could see us before their official celebrations begun.

My husband came with me. He did it only for me and because he knows how important my family is to me despite the fact they have treated us so badly over that 6 month period. We went, and dad was in a foul mood for most of it, but he did manage to calm down and have a long conversation with my husband about the things they usually talked about (they did get along very well before this) and my mum was trying to manage the passive aggression between my father towards my husband and I.

It worked; we got through a whole 2 days together. And although I donít know if they will ever change their opinion, showing up and showing them im not scared of them and also standing up for my beliefs helped *me* get my head around excommunication and being dumped by my family.

You canít change his attitude. Just go, and try and keep the peace. Show him you are happy. He canít tell you how wrong you are and how immoral you are and how unhappy you must be if you keep showing him you are fine.

If you show him youíre not fine, then he will say: no your not sad cause im being an arse, youíre sad due to your filthy immoral life' and that will be that.

Go in with your shields up and show then you are fine and don't let the topic come up. If it does come up, and it gets aggressive, then DO NOT get into a fight. Simply grab your things, thank your step mother for a wonderful meal and walk out.

Repeat until things settle down. He wants to see you more then he wants to hate you, probably. But donít hold onto whatever relationship you had: itís gone, now its time to figure out what your new one will look like.
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