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Friends and Family Everyone has disagreements, even best friends and family. If you need advice about a relationship, ask us here.

View Poll Results: should i go to church for my family, or stay home for myself?
family - go to church 1 14.29%
yourself - stay home 5 71.43%
other - please comment 1 14.29%
Voters: 7. This poll is closed

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  (#1 (permalink)) Old
Jess~ Offline
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for them or for me? - April 23rd 2016, 03:19 AM

i've posted before about my parents forcing me to go to church with them every week.
a lot of times my "faith" is discussed or treated in an extremely passive-aggressive and almost hateful manner... more passive-aggressive from my mom and more hateful and mean from my brother.
i'm constantly referred to as "the atheist", "antichrist", and "spawn of satan."

hilarious thing is i'm not even atheist. i'm not anything, i've just grown to despise religion.
however, i do still pray to the christian god, at times, and i'm not against believing in god, i just don't like structured religion. why should i have to share my beliefs with anyone else besides myself?
that's between me and whatever god(s) i believe in. that's how it should be.

last sunday, during the church worship, i was crossing my arms instead of clapping and singing along terribly like all the other annoying, happy-go-lucky people in there.
my dad leaned over and said, "you know, if you don't want to be here, you don't have to come. i'd rather have you stay home than stand here with your arms crossed like you don't wanna be here."
so i guess now i have a choice about whether i go to church or not.

the only thing is that i'm really worried if i stay home, i'll be treated even worse and that they'll still be even more passive-aggressive with me (giving me the cold shoulder, making lowkey remarks about atheists, being immature, etc.)
i talked to my friends about this and they thought the same thing -- that it'll just make things worse.

so my question is, should i go to church this sunday?
-i have no desire to
-i'm dreading it already
-i hate the mere thought of having to go again

but i want to make my parents proud and make them actually like me.

basically, do you think it would be easier to just suck up to them, fake being a christian, and put a fake ass smile on my face every sunday?
or would it be better to take advantage of my first amendment right and live my life the way i want?

what do you say, for my family, or for me??

i don't know what i'm supposed to do
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  (#2 (permalink)) Old
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Re: for them or for me? - April 23rd 2016, 05:56 AM

I could see this going a couple of ways. It might help for you to look at some pros and cons.

If you continue to go to church to please your parents, you might gain some approval but there is no guarantee they're going to stop being passive aggressive or rude overall. If you do go for the sake of pleasing them, I assume you will go until you move out and by that point, you will be free to do as you please. But, if you continue to go to church, you're doing something for your parents and not for yourself and it is important to put yourself first. It's not fair for you to have to sit through church if you dislike religion.

If you decide not to go, your parents and your brother might be rude to you, but they already treat you unfairly. While you don't deserve to be treated that way at all, you have to ask yourself if the possibility of being treated worse than you already are is worth not having to sit through church. You have to ask yourself if you think you can handle the possibility of being mistreated. If you don't go, you will be putting yourself first and that is a positive thing to do and this could be something that will help you put yourself first in future situations. It will give you some free time on Sundays and you might benefit from some time to yourself.

I am sure there are probably more pros and cons to this, so I think you should write out a list so you can see it all and then think about it and make a decision that feels right for you.

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  (#3 (permalink)) Old
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Re: for them or for me? - April 24th 2016, 05:43 PM

A therapist of mien once said, if you wanna do something do it, as long as your ready to deal with the rejection you might experience.
So, think about the negativ consequences and if you can deal with them, go for it! It's youre life and you should be able to do with it whatever you want. But think about the consequences first.
If it was me, I would probably go to church, just to get them of my back, but that's probably because I'm a people pleaser^^
The idea of Cassado with the pro and con lists sounds really great!

It's ok to give in to an urge or make a mistake. You are only human and we all have our flaws. We all have our weak moments and we all make mistakes. Thats what makes us human.
Thats what makes us unique and beautiful

Courage isn't always a loud roar. Sometimes it is a quiet whisper at the end of a day saying: Tomorrow I will try it again!

  (#4 (permalink)) Old
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Re: for them or for me? - April 24th 2016, 09:28 PM

It seems to me like this is honestly a two way road here.

The first road is you go to church with your family even though you do not like organized religion (trust me I know where your coming from, sometimes religious people tend to eh for lack of a better word scare me with their mannerisms). In a sense this will possibly relieve tension between you and your family, but then again perhaps it won't and you will just be doing something you dislike for no reason at all.

The second road is where you decide to stay home and practice religion the way you choose to and not have to deal sitting in a church for an hour or two listening to sermons and singing (again I feel you I have almost fallen asleep in church before, sometimes it bores me to death). In this sense it will possibly cause more strife and thus cause your family to keep ridiculing you harshly because of it, then again perhaps it won't get any worse then it is now.

Now in the vote I chose other and thats because I believe there might a third road you might take (as I am a rabid inventor of alternative options that make my life easier). What if you alternated between going to church and staying home? Maybe certain Sundays out of the month you will go and others you stay home, that way they can't really say you don't go and you can have more time to yourself at the same time.

Every road has its down falls and upsides, if it was me personally I would just stick some head phones in my ears and not even pay attention to the ridicule because you are who you are an no one has a right to ridicule you for it. That or I would give them a reason not to ridicule me (but thats the path you don't want to take so forget I mentioned it entirely.) Most importantly though is you need to do you, your more important then force religion, its your happiness in the end and its your life, do whats right by you.

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Re: for them or for me? - April 25th 2016, 12:22 AM

It sounds like no matter you're choice, there might be negative repercussions. Maybe there is something that can be done for it and maybe not. It sounds to me as if your family doesn't think that you're being the right kind of Christian even when you do go.

Honestly, I had a friend whose families actually kicked them out of the house and shunned them for refusing to practice Christianity the way that the parents expected them too. My one friend is still extremely religious, but they just didn't want to deal with religion with the way it was forced on them. -- note that this has all been resolved.

Fortunately, it doesn't sound like your family is going to that extreme, but the bullying / abusive / unfair treatment of you is still obviously a horrendous way to treat you. They're clearly blinded by their extreme persistence / need for you to go to church (I find that people who might otherwise be reasonable, decent humans will react badly if you poke the wrong button - and it's obviously an unreasonable button and so it's disappointing).

A lot of my friends had really negative experiences with religion because of their church or because of their family but later (generally as young adults) found a different community that positively reaffirmed their Christianity and that didn't force certain practices or ideals on them. Bear in mind that I am an atheist and am no way pushing you toward religion but I'm just thinking that it's completely reasonable that you'd be angry right now given how you've been treated as a direct result of your religion (or lack of it).

Ultimately, you have to do what is best for you. They're probably going to treat you badly no matter what you do because they know you don't really want to be there. Ultimately it is your choice, but it sounds like you might be better off just not going. Maybe you can go on the high holidays or something too, whatever suits you. Maybe you just go every few weeks.

I think that going could cause just as much mental harm to you because your family is being nasty and you're being force to pretend like this situation is ok with you when it's not. At least by removing yourself from the situation, you're taking control over the part of it that you can. Sadly, you can't control the bad / abusive behaviour of your family because they're choosing to be cruel despite the fact that they must know better. If that continues or if it escalates, there are channels that you can reach out to in order to get help, such as a guidance counsellor at school, child protective services, a therapist, or a trusted adult who might be able to help you mediate things.

Feel free to PM me if you ever need to chat or have questions
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  (#6 (permalink)) Old
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Re: for them or for me? - April 25th 2016, 01:14 AM

Hey there,

I don't know if I have much to add with everything else that has been said but I do want to say that pretending to be religious to make your parents proud is only gonna cause more stress for you. If practicing a religion you don't believe in the only is the only way to make your parents proud is that what you really want? You deserve to do things that make you happy and if going to church is impeding on that happiness you have the right to stop going and do what makes you happy.

Your religious preference isn't anyone's business. Who you choose to worship or not worship is no one's business. And, the thing is that your parents can't force religion on you forever. They can make things difficult for you but they can't force you to believe in something that you don't believe in.

If it would be dangerous to your well-being to stop going to church then you should keep going until you are not under your parents roof.

I hope this helps in someway.

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Re: for them or for me? - April 29th 2016, 02:15 PM

I think everyone need to live their life in a way that makes themselves happy. If going to church brings someone happiness then they should go, just as if going to the beach makes someone happy, then they should go to the beach.

I also think that being happy at home is important to. In family, and I'm sure like any relationship, friendship, what ever, people do things they don't like to help someone else or make them feel better.

I don't think you should do something that makes you look like someone you are not. I think that's wrong. And you clearly don't believe in structured religion. So like someone else posted, alternating, or maybe even just go once a month and on special occasions like Easter Sunday day and Christmas Eve and times like that?
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