Coming Out to My Mother: Part 1

When I write on my blog about the whole “struggle of being an atheist in a Christian family” thing, at least in my head, it starts to sound repetitive. Maybe the first time you read a post of mine, you thought, “Wow, that sounds like a difficult and unique situation,” but by now you may be thinking, “Okay, we get it, you’re the ‘Closet Atheist,’ you have to go to church with your family, it’s not the end of the world.” I definitely feel that way sometimes. It’s my story and I tell it so much that I get used to it. But it indirectly influences my life in ways that I can’t shake and is quickly driving a bigger and bigger rift between me and my family. In reality it’s not a joke or a quirky storyline that I can use to get views on my posts. This is my real life and it is a mess.In my last post I said this: “My fiance and I have a(nother) really long talk with my oldest sister. The situation in July has not stopped creeping into almost any conversation we have. In short, my sister is really concerned that we don’t feel any remorse about having premarital sex and we don’t seem to view it as a problem. This leads to a whole new can of worms that can potentially ruin my wedding and which deserves its own post…stay tuned.”

Here is the post about that can of worms! Hopefully my pain will entertain you.

You may remember that I announced that I got engaged in August of 2017. After five months, we still haven’t decided on much of anything in the way of a wedding date. I don’t think it should be a big deal, but this is why planning our wedding is so hard and why it relates to me secretly being an atheist.

I graduate college this coming May. Once I graduate, I’ll be moving back home until I get married and move in with my future husband which would ideally happen in January of 2019. I think it would be a waste for me to live in my own apartment for a matter of months instead of living either with my mom or my fiance. But I can’t live with him until we are married because cohabitation (which means having sex 24/7) is totally a sin. And premarital sex is obviously a worse sin, if not the worst sin ever.

Living with my mom is not that bad. Of course it will be hard, after living on my own and even having the freedom to stay at my boyfriend/fiance’s place whenever I wanted for four years, but it wouldn’t be impossible; I once lived with my mom for eighteen years. The only thing that is unbearable is that because we broke the law of God by having premarital sex, and last summer my oldest sister broke my trust by telling my mom about it, now my mother doesn’t trust me and my fiance to be alone without supervision for one second for fear of ripping each other’s pants off. I promise I am not making this up.

I’m not even that upset about not being able to have sex for eight months. Again, I lived without it for eighteen years. What really bothers me is that once I move back home, every ounce of freedom that I have in my life will be stripped away from me. My fiance and I can’t be alone in a room together. I can’t be home alone for a weekend because there is a chance that he could come over. We couldn’t watch the ball drop on New Year’s Eve because we weren’t allowed to be alone in my house together, and my mom and sister wouldn’t return from seeing a movie until 12:15. It’s like being grounded, but worse, and constantly, as twenty-two- and twenty-three-year-old adults. It’s embarrassing. It’s insulting. When I try to express the unfairness to my mom, she says she thinks it’s silly and unnecessary for her to have to do something like this, but we should have thought of that before we decided to have premarital sex three years ago.

This leaves my fiance and me with a bleak selection of options to save us from enduring a living hell where we can’t be together without a babysitter for eight months. My oldest sister had suggested that if we feel the need for sex so much (when it is really a need for adult independence, trust, and freedom), then we should just get married in a courthouse as soon as I graduate and move in together, and throw a wedding party later. You might see that as a reasonable option as well, but I want to have a real wedding and be a bride and get married. I’m aware that this costs money that we likely won’t have saved up until next January, but if I can just suck it up and live at home for eight months, it will all be worth it. Good things come to those who wait, right?

May not even then. There is yet another twist in the plot!

I have always known that there is something couples have to do before they get married called marriage counseling. What I didn’t know is that if you want to be married in a Lutheran Church by a Lutheran pastor then the pastor sets goals that you have to achieve before that pastor will agree to marry you. And of course, we want to be married by my pastor brother-in-law in the Lutheran church I grew up in and still go to.

My oldest sister, the pastor’s wife, told my fiance and me in our previously mentioned conversation that in our current sinful state, her husband would most likely not deem us fit to be married. I just figured that that was something that would sort itself out with time, but it slowly dawned on us that if the couple isn’t a pair of upstanding Lutherans, then the pastor probably won’t agree to marry them. So as far as we know, we are stuck between lying and pretending to be good sexless Lutherans and having to find someone else who isn’t important to us, to perform our ceremony–or just going to a judge.

As far as the wedding-date-and-money problem, my mom told me that she’s willing to chip in about half of the total that we need, but I see how disgusting it would be to get married using someone’s money only to turn around and tell them you’re an atheist once you’re free from their influence on your life. And as for the marriage counseling problem, I’ve always thought that my days of outright lying and saying I’m a Lutheran were behind me, and if my brother-in-law just knew that my fiance and I are atheists then it could be up to him to marry us or not.

So because of how deep in over our heads we are with this situation and how it is directly impacting all of our lives, I did the only thing that made sense in an attempt to clear the air.

I told my mother I’m an atheist.


Read next:

I Am an Atheist (59)

81 Replies to “Coming Out to My Mother: Part 1”

  1. Very good post.

    You really bring the reader (at least this one) into your situation. It is a shame when in life two things we desire are incompatible, but I feel life is just like that.

    I have planned to write a blog post on the inconsistencies and contradictions our lives harbor.

    I have not read part two yet, so I will refrain from asking a question (as hard as that might be for me) I have.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Hi CA,

    I’ve thoroughly enjoyed following your blog. I’m a Christian, but I have atheist brothers and some atheist friends. I love to learn about the different perspectives we each share without screaming at each other or shoving our different beliefs down each other’s throats. One question I’ve wondered on a few occasions after reading some of your posts is if you believe Jesus existed. I know you’re an atheist, and I’m not asking if you believe Jesus to be the son of God, I’m just curious as to if you believe he actually existed? One of my brothers believes he existed and one does not.

    I know the question may seem random and a bit out of context for this particular post, but it’s been on my mind and I figured any time is a good time to present a question. 😉

    Taylor

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Taylor! That is a great question. The existence of a historical Jesus is something I haven’t looked into too much. The most research I’ve done was falling down a Wikipedia hole on the topic after a conversation on this blog about the Shroud of Turin. From what I saw, it seems like there probably was a person who was Jesus of Nazareth, but it looked like the historical consensus was that he existed but that the gospels weren’t an accurate description of his life. But I don’t know, and I’d like to look into it more at some point.

      What are your brothers’ thought on why he did or did not exist?

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  3. You are a good writer, and I enjoy reading your blog.
    It hits me pretty deeply, though as a dad and as an LCMS member.
    But somewhere in this comment stream, it was remarked that you can’t make yourself believe anything. I agree 100%. I’m so glad you were honest with your mom. No matter what the future holds, please continue to share your life with all of them. I hope they treat you with love like they should.
    If you were my daughter, I’d tell you to never stop seeking the truth in all things. And one of the truest thing in your life would be my love for you.

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  4. Keep in mind that anger is a secondary emotion. One doesn’t just get angry, something happens first. Of course your mom is angry, but that anger is a result of something else. There is real pain in her life. She loves you, AND she now believes this girl she raised is going to burn in hell forever and there is nothing she can do about it. Of course you don’t believe that, but she believes it with every fiber of her being. Any words of anger she throws out at you are coming from that place and that place primarily. Just remember that.

    Your anger towards your mom, if there is any, comes from something else as well.

    Keep in mind that She also probably feels like a huge failure. She’s questioning what she did wrong, what she could have done different, why she sent you to THAT school etc. My advice is to explain to her how she didn’t fail. Aside from the “I don’t believe in god” thing, she probably thinks you are a great daughter with all kinds of incredible qualities that make the world a better place. Remind her of those things, and tell her the only thing has changed is “I stopped hiding who I am from you.” That in and of itself is praiseworthy.

    Give it time…AND plan the wedding you always dreamed of. Don’t settle for a courthouse wedding if that is not what you want.

    Now….Where is part II?

    Liked by 2 people

  5. You came out sooner than I thought but . . . good move.

    If not your parents and extended family would take a whole lot of things for granted. Clearly, you cannot stay in with your family. The atmosphere is too charged for that. I hope your mum, sister and in-law are mature to attend whatever secular wedding you want to plan, not doing so will tell that thier bitterness runs deep. I wish you all the best dear.

    Here’s what I find ironic. I am from a VERY religious country and my experience and those of some Nigerian atheists have not been as negative as yours. Pretty much shows what stereotypes ignore, cases exceptional or more-usual-than-known that don’t conform to it

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  6. I’ve not had a chance to read all the comments.

    Well done on this big decision and I hope it’s not made life worse. My view is I think it’s a good move to get it out well in advance of the wedding. It lets her know there are others things you and she can talk about beside the childish approach she has to sex.

    You might even find that it means she speaks up for you to the brother in law, after all she probably wants that church wedding too.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Let me offer some encouragement. Give this some time to allow the initial shock to subside and don’t sell your family short without giving them a chance to love you for who you are. If you continue to love them without reservation, they may very well respond in kind. If you really want that family wedding, don’t give it up just yet. At this point the whole pre-wedding counseling and living arrangement thing has become moot. Tell them what you want, how much you love them, and how much it means to you for them to be part of this chapter of your life. It will be difficult and they may resist, but you shouldn’t give that up without trying, if its really what you desire. The time immediately after coming out is the hardest, but if you stay strong, and show your continued love, and keep your interactions peaceful, the whole apostasy veneer will start to fade and they’ll see you for the person they’ve always loved. And, hopefully, from that perspective, they’ll want to be part of your wedding and your life and will be willing to meet you on your terms because they love you, regardless of what you believe.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you. Coming out to my roommates at college over a year ago showed me that even though I express that I haven’t changed, I’ve always been an atheist but now they just know it, but they view me differently anyways. It colors their vision. I act the same as I always have, but I am more removed and isolated from them anyways. I can only hope that my mom understands that I haven’t changed too. I think it will take a while for recovery.

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      1. Yes, it takes a while. You’ll have to be patient and diligent in reaffirming your love for them and in showing that you’re still the same person.

        It took a few months before anything close to normalcy returned with my wife. At first she thought that I would stay home watching football while she drug the kids to church kicking and screaming. Instead I went to church with her whenever she wanted (the kids were still kicking and screaming) and have continued to do so for five years (she’s still a Christian – though more progressive and less interested in religious dogma). Our relationship is no worse for the wear now, and probably stronger.

        My dad spent maybe 6 – 9 months trying to proselytize me, and I calmly answered all his questions and never expressed resentment, or argued back, or even really presented objections. I know he was doing it out of love. It doesn’t really come up anymore and our relationship seems to be fine, though I can still sometimes tell that he’s concerned for my eternal well-being.

        So hang in there. Be strong, be a peacemaker and be patient. If your family isn’t loco – and I gather that they aren’t – then it will probably work out better than you’ve imagined.

        Liked by 1 person

  8. A good friend’s father is a devout Catholic and has been his whole life, but it wasn’t until he was ready to get married that he stopped going to church. Every Sunday he put some money in the plate, but when it was time for him to meet with the priest that would perform the ceremony, they told him they couldn’t because they had no record of him giving any money to the church. When he said he always did so anonymously, they didn’t care.
    The point is that the Bible or Koran or Talmud are only guidebooks. Unless someone is a fundamentalist and follows every rule and regulation, they make some decision as to what is right or wrong. For example, I know of no Christian that would accept slavery as something that is moral in any way, shape or form (even though they may justify it in the context of the Bible). If your family chooses to ostracize you, then that is their decision. They have equal power to accept you (and find some passage that justifies it).
    I want to say BRAVO!, but I think it’s a sad state when skepticism and critical thinking is something that would be condemned by anyone. Nevertheless, it is.
    If you need help, there are groups like Recovering from Religion and Apostasy Project that do exactly that, but I think you’re strong enough to overcome whatever comes your way.
    I hope this all works out for you in the end. There may be some short term pain, but long term gain. I think you did what was necessary and it was eventually going to happen. I’m sure you’ll rise above it all and be happy in the end.
    Keep us all posted.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. They have equal power to accept you (and find some passage that justifies it)

      Do you mean a passage like this … “Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins.” ~1 Peter 4:8?

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    2. Thank you. When I talked to my mom (this isn’t mentioned in Part 2 so it’s not a spoiler), we both agreed that even within our congregation, no one agrees on their beliefs anyways. Religion doesn’t create a unity of beliefs; if it did, there would only be one religion.

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  9. Congrats on coming out. I’m sorry you’ve had to deal with all of this.

    I’m still in the closet as an atheist (to my mom/dad and wife’s family). Whenever the bible comes up, I like to imagine that it’s like talking about any work of fiction. I’m not theoretically opposed to all forms of religion.

    Your story has inspired me to come (fully) out….soon. I’ve already been dropping hints for a long time.

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  10. Wow! Congratulations! Can’t wait to hear about it. The world didn’t end, you’re still alive (& presumably not out on the street) & writing, but I’m sure things can’t be easy. I suspect ‘coming out’ will just be the start of the process of moving towards freedom of belief and independence – be strong!

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  11. As usual, i’m late to the party here and everyone’s already said it!
    I think you held out for as long as you could, but when push came to shove, you didn’t have a choice anymore. Your options were too pressed tight and you couldn’t do it.

    Now I doubt your borther in law would approve doing such a ceremony anymore, or that the church will accept it either. Which is a extraordinary bummer. I’m really sorry and wish you weren’t going through such deep pain. Yet you did the right thing, you tried to wait for a better time to tell her but that’s not how things worked out, so you worked with what you had. So good job on finally making yourself clear. I hope it went over well, I really do, yet if they didn’t, you can do better then them.

    I am interested to see the rest of your story, this is most certainly a rough time for you and I know these are just words but for what their worth, I hope it works out in the best possible way for you.

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    1. “Just words” actually help a lot. It’s good to have comments reinforcing that I made the right decision… it was really difficult; the next post will show you just how hard it was for me to work up the courage to do it.

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  12. I think you need to take a hard look at what you truly value. You may need to have a “come to Jesus” with your family. If they are the good Christians they purport to be, then they will love you despite your life choices. I’m glad you have taken the first step in embracing the life you want by telling your mother.

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    1. Why on earth would you want to get married in a Church if you are so militantly atheist. The truth is people have little awareness how attached they are to theistic ideas. Take meaning – conventional meaning is completely absent from a biological-reductionist worldview. Yet no-one lives like that. It takes the courage of your convictions to live faithfully your creed. It takes commitment.

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  13. Right here is how I believe Part 2 of this story will unfold: You sit down with your mother and somehow blurt this out. Either you say it calmly or ramble for minutes with your mother staring at you.
    Then your mother starts asking questions like when did this happen, why did you lose your faith etc. Eventually your mother breaks down into tears and you also cry with her.
    Now either you have a long talk or your mother goes away to gather herself and then you have the talk about everything later.
    I think your mother was probably shocked but she still wants you in the family.
    I can’t guess much more than that, but I’m looking forward to Part 2 anyways. Let me know if I hit the mark or not hahaha but I honestly wish you a happy wedding and that you are able to live contently with your husband.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. When I saw the title of this article I was hooked in. I’ve personally felt being a closetted atheist to be a cowardly position that causes more agony than not. So I was made up to find that you are coming into the light. Just make sure to wear singlasses, because your eyes aren’t used to the bright light of sun yet haha

    Joking aside there was something personal I wanted to relate to you. I have recently gotten married in Kuwait about half a year ago. We got married in the court by the Sharia and my wife and I had some sweet time together before I had to come back to England due to an expiring visa. I spent 4 weeks in kuwait, 3 weeks of which were spent in the frenzy of getting married, and the final week spent married. In the whole 30 days I perhaps had 5 days with my then fiancee and later wife.

    There was a moment where we were soooo close to engaging in premarital sex. It was incredibly close. But I can still remember why I did’t go through with that and it was because I didn’t want that sin on my Life Record. I actually visualised doing the act and then I thought did I actually want that on me? By the Mercy of Allah, I was strong enough to resist that temptation.

    Now here’s the thing for an atheist. What difference does premarital sex make to a person who doesn’t see a spiritiual sacredness in the contract of marriage? In fact one would wonder what does an atheist value in being called a wife or husband since they don’t have any divine law to follow (or so they think)?
    But people in general don’t understand the significance of marriage and the significance of the sin of fornication. The wisdom in the institution of marriage is that it is the glue of society. Society is made up of family units, and the family unit revolves around the married couple. The act of marriage creates a bond equal to that of blood-bonds and is something special from God. Marriage is also a protection of lineage and allows people to trace their ancestors and family trees.
    Now fornication is something a bit different. Why doesn’t God want us to fornicate? Simply because He wants us to have intercourse within the bounds of marriage. In fact to not commit fornication is one of the rights of God. Just as humans and animals have rights, so too does God have his rights, and one of them being that we don’t commit fornication.

    But you are already breaking another of his right which is to be acknowledged, so there is a lot for you to sort out on that area.

    Anyways, what I personally find fascinating and I’ll write an article about this point is that you thought you broke free of the shackle of a “non-existent god”, but you then place personal shackles which are so binding on your conscious that you are in agony and constant turnoil. You have the shackle of wanting a fancy wedding. You have the shackle of wanting specifically the pastor husband of your sister to hold the matrimonial ceremony (you are an atheist but want a Lutherian priest to preside over the wedding). You have the shackle of being in your mother’s home. And most importantly you had (though you’ve broken this one now) the shackle of upholding your fake faith.

    You said in an earlier article that your family mean a lot to you and they are not something you want to just throw away and cut. That is the most admirable thing I find about you. Indeed, you should do your best not to cut ties with them, but having a superficial relationship with them was actually you keeping them out of your heart and putting an invisible wall between you anyways. I’m glad you are coming out and that at the very least you will see how your mother truly loves you. I already know how the rest of the story went. Which I’ll detail in the next comment.

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  15. A decent definition of love might be “to will the good of the other as he presently is.” It sounds to me as if your family is failing in their Christian duty to accept who you are, and that is their fault, not yours. They seem only to want you to be what they think is good, and that is not very loving. I am glad that you have taken this step of being honest with your mother and will pray that she obtain the grace to accept you as her Lord would.

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      1. You make a good point, which is that from the parents’ perspective, they are protecting their child. But do you remember the Quranic verse which says, “There is no compulsion in religion, for truth is now distinct from error?” Those who choose to deny what God has shown them make a free choice, if indeed God has shown them anything. I do not know what The Closet Atheist has been shown, but it does not seem to be anything good. If God does not compel her to believe, then neither should her parents.

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        1. Yes you are right, there should be no compulsion. But is your parent asking you to get the milk or take out the trash compulsion? Or parental encouragement? Likewise coming to church and all that will seem normal to the parents (because they believe their children are christian).
          And preventing their kids from fornicating is actually good. If you followed God, but let your kids drink alcohol under your own roof then what are you doing? God expects parents to be guardians over their children.
          Having said that she’s an adult and she should be allowed to live her life as she pleases in my opinion since she doesn’t want religion in her life. But the parents’ hearts should always be open to welcome her back into the fold.

          Liked by 1 person

  16. Remember this. It is Your wedding! Everything should be the way you want! If you love your parents and want to keep it that way, don’t move back unless the streets is your only choice. I have many regrets doing things to please others. Now that they know momentum is with you and that’s huge. Get everything out and live your way.

    Liked by 5 people

    1. Thanks for the suggestion. It’s a hard pill to swallow, but I’m starting to figure that out. I’ve never really lived with the freedom to make my own decisions, and when my fiance assumed that breaking free should have been the obvious choice, it was hard for me to understand, but as it turns out, he’s right.

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      1. In the end it is really better to just clear the air. They’ll move on and grow too as you need to. My parents were super homophobes but my brother coming out changed that for the better.

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  17. Yes, your pain is entertaining, in a comical sort of way.

    Here’s a question for ya: Has this ever had a chance of turning out well, you being a non-theist? ( Atheist always sounded to me like a theological curse word. Null-theist? Hmm…)

    Once you realize that, no, this whole “outing” would never go well, then the best thing for YOU (and the alleviation of your obvious agony) is to just go for it. The hell to your family. Beeee yourself.

    And if that whole $$$ thing for college and living and life and “you owe us your fealty!” shit is too much for you. Well, get over it — it was never gonna be an amiable transition anyway.

    Luck.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. First of all, your “beee yourself” comment sent me on a whirlwind of trying to remember where I’d heard that before (it was Aladdin! What a funny movie.)!

        Anyways, no, I never really thought this would turn out well, which is why I planned for so long to never tell anyone about either the fornication or the atheism. I also never thought that having the beans spilled on one would directly lead to a need to come out regarding the other.

        It’s almost kind of a cop-out but no we’re just thinking of having a courthouse sign-the-paper wedding just so that we can live together and have everyone out of our business as we do it. We shouldn’t have to, but at this point we’ve gotta pick our battles and we can just have a celebration later.

        Also I’ve always considered how they love their god and their religion more than me or even each other, but even so, I think her reaction went better than expected…

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  18. I agree with what everyone has already said. Good for you! You did the right thing to tell your mother and of course that action will by and large prevent the Lutheran church wedding plans. Given the truth of your situation, I think the love between you and your fiancé is far more important than a ceremony. And too, you can do the wedding ceremony at some later date. As for now I’d go for the humanist with a ministerial license, which is what my Japanese wife and I did. I have to say though, we didn’t have the family pressures that you face.

    Oh, I am interested in Pt 2. I hope you’re okay! Please stay strong. We are behind you.

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  19. Wow, I know that is really rough. My wife and I had a similar issue when we wanted to get married. While my wife was always fairly apathetic about religion, I still considered myself a Christian until shortly after our wedding. For various reasons, my wife and I ended up living together for some time before our wedding. Once the marriage “counselors” found out about this(from someone I considered a friend!), we were talked to as if we were children and removed from counseling. Without the counseling, the pastor of the church we attended would not marry us. Thankfully for us, I had a family friend who was able to perform our wedding without worrying about counseling. Looking back though, I wish I had never worried about getting married through a particular church in the first place. Your wedding should be a happy event that is all about you and your fiancé and only what you want. Don’t let others push you into doing something you don’t want to do, although I know it may not necessarily be possible in your situation. I hope everything goes well.

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    1. Wow… that sucks. Although it is helpful for us to see how that situation can turn out, because that’s something we were sort of considering, but seeing this makes us cautious towards it. Living together without getting married in a courthouse would mean we could save up and get married later, but, as was the case for you, “premarital cohabitation” can be frowned upon (and for what reason, anyways?) by clergypeople and their congregations.

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  20. I understand your situation and your want to have a traditional ceremony in the church you were raised in. While some here will find that idea completely foreign for the atheist, nostalgia can play a huge role in how we would like our marriage to go. I’ve been in the same situation as you in the past and it’s rough.

    I would say that coming out as an atheist will more than likely make things easier but also harder for you. It will be easier because you are now being open and honest, no longer needing to deceive anyone about your fake faith. It will probably be harder in getting your Lutheran brother-in-law to marry you. From my experience, all sins are bad but to deny the existence of god is the worst of the worst in most faiths. I would think one of his requirements might be a clear renewal of your faith.

    Anyway, I hope everything goes well for you. If it doesn’t work out with your brother and you still want to have a ceremony, there are several options outside of going to a judge. You could find a humanist with a ministerial license to marry you or you could get a close friend to bet a marriage license through the universalist church, it’s cheap and very easy to get. When my fiance and I get married we are going to have my best friend get his certificate from the universalist church and marry us.

    Anyway, good luck and I wish you the best.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. I’m glad you understand my reasons for wanting to get married in my home church (you’re right, it is a foreign concept to a lot of atheists).

      Another option for someone to marry us, which even my mother said when I told her the truth (spoiler alert, I guess?), was to have the pastor at my home church do it. We’d be on his turf anyways, plus he doesn’t know us as well and may not be as much in our business. I’m not too fond of that option, though, because we joke about him being crazy, and having a crazy pastor giving us marriage counseling just doesn’t really make sense to me.

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    2. I’ve never understood how, according to some faith communities, denying or doubting God’s existence is some great “sin” or vice. Afterall, even the Bible says that demons know that God exists. Would demons somehow be more wicked if they denied God’s existence? That makes no sense. And, believing propositions isn’t a matter of mere willpower.

      I can’t just believe that I have a billion dollars in my bank account by sheer will.

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  21. I know women want to have a formal wedding. I get it about your brother-in-law. But if he will not marry you under the lutheran guidelines, have you considered a smaller formal wedding somewhere else? My wife and I did a wedding renewal service at a local event center. She wore a wedding dress, her dad walked her down the isle and a friend did the service. We had food, drinks and a DJ right there also. Something to consider.

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  22. I must admit I was more than a little shocked that you were willing to move back in with your mother and that the motivation was money. I was doubly shocked that you were considering a Lutheran wedding. I hope that coming out as you have will clear your mind as many of the things you espouse as they seem more than hypocritical.

    I also suggest that a grand wedding is a fairy tale taught to little girls. Ask around of any older women you respect about their grand weddings and what they mean to them now. I suspect very little. It is, after all, only a ceremony. A marriage is an entirely different thing and a source of much greater satisfaction if created well.

    Liked by 7 people

    1. I was thinking of that, too. Someone said, once, the posh wedding you have is the one your mother always wanted, not necessarily the one you want. I had a small in-the-rectory wedding with maybe ten people present. I wore a simple white dress had a maid of honor and best man. No muss, no fuss. No horrendous expense.

      Not once in almost 50 years have I longed to “renew my vows” (do they wear out?) or regret not having a fancy wedding.

      Liked by 4 people

    2. Money plays a role, but it’s not the primary factor because if there were some emergency where I couldn’t live with my mom, I could always move into my fiance’s apartment.

      The Lutheran-wedding plans stem from my original plan to come out after getting married and putting up with a Christian wedding, but now my plans suddenly seem a lot more flexible!

      I know the marriage is more important than a wedding, but a small, romantic ceremony and reception with close friends and family has always been a dream of mine. I can give it up because it seems almost too complicated, but I’d be pretty sad.

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  23. oh, my.
    One thought about the wedding. Get married, elope, just do it. It doesn’t HAVE to be a Lutheran approved minister, all you need is the paper and the judge. If your heart is set on a real wedding, you can have that too. Later.
    That way you can live in “legalized sin” with your husband and frankly what do you care what the Lutherans think, as long as you are where you need to be.

    I hope your mother took this well.

    Don’t let this color the rest of your life, or your fiance’s, as well. It’s not their life, it’s yours. Just remember that.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. So far this is looking like our best option. I know that the whole fairytale wedding thing is kind of unrealistic and not worth all of the pain, but a small wedding with a pretty dress and my sisters as bridesmaids and sweet vows is something I really want. But either way we go about it, it’s more complicated than necessary. He had to remind me that our ultimate goal is marriage however we have to get there. Once we’re there, this part of the struggle will be over and it will be time for the next thing.

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  24. At this point in your life, achieving your independence should be a primary goal. Living with your mom won’t help with that. Your honesty with her now will be best in the long run.
    Stay brave my fellow closeted friend! Sounds like we are both making huge strides forward this year.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. I think that I’m starting to finally realize that. I’ve been so worried about hurting her but I think I’ve given everything I’ve got, and now I should probably just remove myself from this house to make the situation less miserable.

      I’m glad you’re making strides! I will have to check on your blog to see what you’re up to.

      Liked by 2 people

  25. I’m sorry that you’re in this mess, but I am glad you that you decided to do what was right and tell your mother beforehand, though a nasty can of worms it is.

    Unfortunately, I can’t think of anything more to say that you would find helpful or uplifting apart that from E.I. is right. We’ve got your back, as do many others I’m sure. I’m not sure what all we could possibly do, but, Personally, if you need anyone to talk to or just vent, I’ll be there.

    Liked by 2 people

  26. I’m sure you love your older sister and she no doubt has many fine qualities, but wow, does she ever sound like a busybody! Most likely because Christians in general are appalling at respecting other people’s boundaries and privacy. They are taught to be that way. Other people’s souls are at stake; who cares about their privacy, dignity, or earthly happiness?

    “Not fit for marriage”? Oh please.

    A good mantra to help with dealing with feelings of anger is “everyone is doing the best they possibly can at any given moment”. If you find yourself getting angry with your family (like I am right now!) it might help if you remind yourself of this.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. What you’re saying is very, very true and relatable. I’m pretty upset with the unfairness they are exhibiting, too, but, like what you said, I know it’s not their fault. I blame this whoooole situation on religion.

      Like

  27. In all honesty, I think your oldest sister is right. You should just elope. Forget the idea of an elaborate wedding, because that will turn out to be an elaborate hell.

    I remember when my son was about to head off to college. And I remarked to someone (perhaps my wife), that he couldn’t stand living with his parents and that the feeling was entirely mutual. He had reached the age where he really needed that independence.

    You are in a similar situation. You are at a stage in your life where you really need that independence from your parents. Moving back home is something that you will find stifling. And your mother will also find it stifling.

    Liked by 5 people

        1. I think this is a normal relationship conflict with mothers and daughters, but I think it usually happens around age 16 and not age 22, which is what frightens me. Everyone probably says this about their disagreements with their parents, but I feel like it’s not normal.

          Liked by 1 person

  28. I applaud you for what you’ve done. It took a lot of courage to do that. Stay strong and know that you have at least one, but I’m willing to bet more than that, supporter and friend in your corner. Start living the life you want to and be happy with your fiancé.

    Much love and support,
    EI

    Liked by 3 people

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