Respecting my parents - FamilyEducation
Respecting my parents
02/09/2009 at 10:24 AM

My parents raised me in the church. Let me say I am very thankful for this. However, there were a lot of rules, for example: Wedding rings/bracelets/necklaces were a sin - it was pride, Women wearing pants was a sin. I am now 30 years old and married. My parents live 6 hours away. I do not follow those rules anymore. I do not believe these things are a sin. My parents are coming to visit and I do not know if I need to "pretend" to still live that life. My Dad is very judgemental and I do not want to feel condemned. I do not want to respect him. Yet I do not want to feel like I need to live a double-life. I feel like I deserve the respect of living my life the way I believe and not worry about pleasing people. Can anyone relate? I would love some advice.

I said that I do not want to RESPECT him - I meant to say - I do not want to DISRESPECT him. I love my dad very much. I needed to clear this up.

I think you need to be honest with your parents about who you are what you believe. I would not flaunt a bunch of "bling" but I would cerainly keep my wedding band on. I would also wear pants if that is what I usually do. I think it might be a good idea to speak with your parents on the phone before the visit and explain how you feel. Tell your father that you would never want to disrespect him and you don't want him to be surprised by your lifestyle. It's important to be true to yourself if you want to have an honest relationship with your parents.

True respect goes both ways. Be gracious, and show gratitude for any benefits that came to you being reared in that lifestyle. Then focus your attention on the things you can share. Do some activity you can all enjoy, so you are not all just sitting there wallowing in the things that divide you.

In your home, your parents need to respect you. Unfortunately, this can be very difficult for your parents. Behave as you would normally in YOUR home and hope for the best. You are their daughter and are now an adult and have the right to live your own life the way you see fit. Be yourself.

My parents raised me Catholic. My mother was always a church goer and always stressed to us how important it was to have a faith. Both of my parents were very strict w/ us in their own way. Still, I grew up w/ my own values and beliefs. My husband and I got married in the Catholic church, and we plan to raise our children Catholic. When they grow older, we hope all the values we instill in them will help them make good decisions for themselves. Who knows. Our children may chose not to follow the Catholic faith all together. We're ok w/ that, as long as they're happy and fulfilled in their lives. We don't go to church on Sundays b/c we believe living a good life and being a good person doesn't mean having to abide by every rule of the church. We lived together before we got married b/c we wanted to really get to know one another before we made that commitment. These things don't make us bad people, and we don't look at them as sins. As long as you're a good person and you're happy, that's all that matters. My mom didn't always agree w/ every decision I made in my life, but she still accepted me for who I am. If you're parents are not willing to do that, then they're not being very fair. This is your life now. Live it as you see fit. Respect your parents for their views, and hopefully they will come to respect you for yours. Never pretend to be someone you're not. Be true to yourself or you'll never be happy.