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Old 08-25-2011, 09:36 AM   #21
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It really all comes down to what I consider the hardest stricture in the Bible - judge not, lest ye be judged. Your wife should be able to understand that any possible consequences of your daughter's lifestyle is going to be between the daughter and God. She can love and accept her daughter's life, whether choices or genetic dispositions, knowing that that is what God asks her to do. All the rest of it is just human prejudices and control issues. I always say, the last thing I want from God is justice. I would far prefer mercy. Hopefully over time your wife can understand this too. It makes such a difference in how you deal with your fellow man on a day to day basis. But as I said, it's hard. I hope things get better with time.
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Old 08-25-2011, 09:40 AM   #22
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I would look into a Jesuit (S.J.) or Franciscan (O.F.M.) priest as a counselor. They both tend to be compassionate and stupefyingly overeducated as well as steeped in Church doctrine.
+1
I was once (long ago) a very religious RC, and this advice is spot on.
There are still plenty of casuists who can square a circle.

Still, it would be best to move very gradually in this direction.
Acceptance is never forced, only submission.
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Old 08-25-2011, 09:42 AM   #23
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I can totally identify with this thread . My son came out after college .It was extremely hard to accept . You basically go through the grieving process and finally come to acceptance . I am Catholic like you a lapsed Catholic but my family is very Catholic , My sister is a nun. ( Which by the way there is a lot of gays nuns and we already know about the priests ). The thing that helped me was seeing my friends losing their children to drugs . I really thought about would I rather deal with that and the answer was a solid no . I realized that I wanted my son in my life . For his thirtieth birthday I took him , his partner and my daughter to Disney World . We had a great time and it really healed a lot of things . . Your wife is wasting precious time trying to change something that is impossible to change .
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Old 08-25-2011, 09:47 AM   #24
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I have two nephews that are gay, married and have children. The families attitudes run from total acceptance to hostility. The ones that have reached out and accepted them share in the joys of seeing their grandchildren grow up and of seeing their kids truly happy. The hostile ones have retreated into their own vindictive little lives.
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Old 08-25-2011, 09:50 AM   #25
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It really all comes down to what I consider the hardest stricture in the Bible - judge not, lest ye be judged. Your wife should be able to understand that any possible consequences of your daughter's lifestyle is going to be between the daughter and God. She can love and accept her daughter's life, whether choices or genetic dispositions, knowing that that is what God asks her to do. All the rest of it is just human prejudices and control issues. I always say, the last thing I want from God is justice. I would far prefer mercy. Hopefully over time your wife can understand this too. It makes such a difference in how you deal with your fellow man on a day to day basis. But as I said, it's hard. I hope things get better with time.
+1
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Old 08-25-2011, 09:54 AM   #26
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It really all comes down to what I consider the hardest stricture in the Bible - judge not, lest ye be judged. Your wife should be able to understand that any possible consequences of your daughter's lifestyle is going to be between the daughter and God. She can love and accept her daughter's life, whether choices or genetic dispositions, knowing that that is what God asks her to do. All the rest of it is just human prejudices and control issues. I always say, the last thing I want from God is justice. I would far prefer mercy. Hopefully over time your wife can understand this too. It makes such a difference in how you deal with your fellow man on a day to day basis. But as I said, it's hard. I hope things get better with time.
Well said. And Jesus didn't command us to "love your neighbor as yourself unless they are gay."
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Old 08-25-2011, 09:55 AM   #27
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I guess I don't follow RC doctrine closely enough to know whether it requires the mother of a gay child to shun that child? From a theological standpoint, could not the mother (Cato's DW) maintain her disdain for the daughter's lifestyle, yet accept her daughter, flaws and all, as a human being? I don't pay attention to the Jesus stuff much, but I seem to recall that he was pretty big on forgiveness and accepting and loving others. Would the priests at her church tell her to shun her daughter in this case? I would suggest that there is plenty of biblical arguments that would allow your DW to accept her daughter for who she is, but that may be more apt for protestants and not so much for RC's?

If you allow me to put on my Dr Phil pants for a minute, from a psychological perspective your DW is probably experiencing cognitive dissonance. She loves the RC church, its beliefs, traditions, and teachings, and the values they instill. She loves her daughter but loathes the lifestyle her daughter lives. The conflict is so strong that she denies or avoids dealing with this conflict between her beliefs and her feelings for her daughter.
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Old 08-25-2011, 10:01 AM   #28
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Religion does some good in the world, but on balance, considering wars and wedges driven between people (as in this case), I see it as a negative.

I saw this movie a few nights ago:



In it, the Dad (a widower) meets a woman, and they plan to get married until the woman finds out that his son (Russell Crowe) is gay. So, she breaks it off, only to find out later that she made a big mistake.
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Old 08-25-2011, 10:14 AM   #29
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My sister came out almost a decade ago. She entered a civil union with another woman soon after and they had a child in 2004.

My parents are non-practicing Roman Catholic, but they grew up in strict RC households and still abide by RC principles.

My parents and grandparents had a very hard time dealing with the situation. My dad blamed my sister for choosing to be gay. If my sister said she was born this way, then my mom would become really defensive (are you saying I gave you the gay gene?). This was a no-win situation. Either my sister was responsible to choosing to be gay, or my parents were responsible for making her gay. This blame game really did hurt their relationship.

But, over times, things have really improved for the better. I wouldn't say there is total acceptance, because there is still some occasional consternation among family members. But my sister is in a stable relationship, she leads a quiet family life, and her kid (my niece) is well adjusted and has become her grandparents' pride and joy.

I think you need to give your wife some time. When something tears into your core beliefs, it takes time to heal. In the meantime, you can lead by example and show her the way.
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Old 08-25-2011, 10:28 AM   #30
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Religion does some good in the world, but on balance, considering wars and wedges driven between people (as in this case), I see it as a negative.

I saw this movie a few nights ago:

In it, the Dad (a widower) meets a woman, and they plan to get married until the woman finds out that his son (Russell Crowe) is gay. So, she breaks it off, only to find out later that she made a big mistake.
That's a young Russell Crowe!

Cato,

I'm sorry you're going through this with DW.

Two of my cousins (sister and brother, ages 57 and 61) are gay and have been since they were teens and young adults. Their mom, my aunt, loved them unconditionally and found joy in seeing them live their lives happy and fulfilled. My uncle lived in a world of disgust and disappointment that they didn't live up to his expectations. He surrounded himself in denial and avoidance of the topic.

I can understand this being a very difficult struggle for your DW. She's the one that has to reconcile her religion with her reality. I hope she can come to terms with this and love your daughter (and her family) unconditionally.
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Old 08-25-2011, 10:44 AM   #31
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The use of the word "chosen" in my post was not meant in the way it was interpreted. I "chose" my husband did I not? We all "choose" our spouses.
The daughter has chosen her life long partner. That's all that was meant. What other word would you have had me choose given the context of what was intended.? No one these days, especially me....would ever intimate the daughter had a choice as to sexual preference. Of all the sentences in my thread...that's the one you chose to take issue with- given the context of the entire post? Please allow me more credit than that.
I'm sorry if I misconstrued your intention. This is the quote I responded to:

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Your daughter has chosen to move in a direction that is so very foreign to your wife. That is her right...but it does not come without repercussions to both of you perhaps in very different ways.
I saw your phrasing as applying to a "choice" of lifestyle. If you meant that her particular "choice of partner" (i.e. a female) had repercussions my reaction is the same. She is gay, any partner she chooses will be female. So the repercussions you refer to would arise if she has a life partner at all. I don't see any repercussions as running from the daughter's choice to have a life partner but from the mother's refusal to accept her daughter as she is.

In any event, I agree that the bulk of your post counsels coming to terms with the daughter, not rejecting her. I agree with you that the daughter may be able to help her mother come to grips with the situation but the central "problem" (i.e repercussions) derive from the mother's attitude, not the daughter's decision to have a life partner.
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Old 08-25-2011, 10:51 AM   #32
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My guess is that you're probably out of luck trying to change DW's attitude from the outside -- it will have to change from within her.
Just be the bridge between the two of them by showing that you care equally about them both. That's as much as you can do, IMHO.
I agree. This is very well put.

I would also like to say that there is much to recommend the way gays live. During the 80s and all the period before AZT and the rest started helping men with AIDS gay communties suffered enormous grief and loss. Death was everywhere. But these men, and their female friends pulled together and worked together and supported on another and nursed one another and buried one another such that I at least felt that it was likely better to be sick as a gay man than as a straight.

Ha
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Old 08-25-2011, 11:02 AM   #33
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My question is simple - and I do not want to get into the pro's and con's of the LBGT lifestyle - how do I mend the rift between my daughter and my wife - I could strongarm it, but that would not be my first choice and I would like her to contine to hold on her faith but be more broadminded and less judgemental. O by the way, I'm also RC , but would be considered a lapsed church member.
It's not a simple question at all, and I'm not sure that it's yours to ask.

It's also not your daughter's problem to solve. She has tremendous courage and pride to explain her family plans to you guys, yet somehow your spouse has made it all about her instead of supporting your daughter. Thanks a lot, Mom.

As Ann Landers used to say, you'll both have to tell your spouse that you'll miss her at the wedding... can it be presided over by a member of your daughter's faith?

Your spouse has to decide if she wants to deprive herself of this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to support her daughter, and perhaps eventually to hold her grandchild. It's sad to see a church policy "forcing" a parent to have to contemplate this sort of decision.
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Old 08-25-2011, 11:33 AM   #34
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Cato, sorry to hear about your family problem and the stress it is causing between your daughter and DW. On a recent post regarding my grandson announcing he is gay, I tried to convey the fact that I'm not taking it very well but am learning to live with it. Please don't try to force the situation through with DW. She will have to take her own time in deciding when and how to face it directly with your daughter.

Unless your DW is a very strong Catholic and would put a lot of faith in what a priest would have to say, that method turns me off. I'm Catholic, but knowing what I know and how I feel about priests, I don't think they know anymore than the next guy about how to handle the situation. It's a flip of the coin as to what type priest you get to talk to. What if the priest is anti-gay, follows the teachings of the church and gives your DW something to ponder that would harm a reconsiliation. I'm not saying some consultation is not warranted, but I would be careful who you choose. Any close friends you can talk to? The two of you should make the decision about who to talk to with 60% of the vote going to DW because she is one having the most trouble accepting.

Best wishes for a successful resolution in the family.
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Old 08-25-2011, 12:27 PM   #35
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I can totally identify with this thread . My son came out after college .It was extremely hard to accept . You basically go through the grieving process and finally come to acceptance . I am Catholic like you a lapsed Catholic but my family is very Catholic , My sister is a nun. ( Which by the way there is a lot of gays nuns and we already know about the priests ). The thing that helped me was seeing my friends losing their children to drugs . I really thought about would I rather deal with that and the answer was a solid no . I realized that I wanted my son in my life . For his thirtieth birthday I took him , his partner and my daughter to Disney World . We had a great time and it really healed a lot of things . . Your wife is wasting precious time trying to change something that is impossible to change .
Moe, lots of wisdom in your words. Time with loved ones is precious.
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Old 08-25-2011, 01:29 PM   #36
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Moe, lots of wisdom in your words. Time with loved ones is precious.
I totally agree with this. However, my mother doesn't. I have seen her once in the last 2 and half years and it was me reaching out to her. SHe has never liked my husband because he was not the "right" religion. I ended up eloping because of this. I think the only reason "we all got along" was because of my father. SHe would have disowned me if she had her way.

About 2-3 years after he died she started doing "weird" things and almost died a couple of times from not taking care of herself. Ironically, my husband is the one who saved her life and sat in the hospital room with her every day (so I could go to work and not worry).

About 2 and half years ago I went through a few "life altering" events, including losing my job and seeing the company I had worked for 30 years be bought out by foreign owners. THey let go of thousands of people in December 2008 and since then the blood is still being spilt. THis community is very bitter about it so she knows somewhat of the story since she reads the newspaper,

Anyway, sorry for the post being much longer than I wanted. I will try to get to the point. She left 8 horrible messages on our answering machine, wanting to buy off my husband of 32 years, etc. (told him he was "young enough to experience other women") so that I could sleep on her couch and take care of her. Turns our my mother is a narcissist and I never knew it because I was shielded from a lot being the youngest.

I am in a no win situation. SHe has NOT tried to contact me in the last 2.5 years, let alone apologize for her behavior. I am lucky I have two siblings in town that "take care" of her but I can't go to any family functions that she attends. She has hurt me very deeply by not even trying to make amends or contact me even though I tried to meet her halfway by visiting her.

Now (finally) to the point of all this, you can't make someone else "behave" the way you think they should. About all you can do is say "I plan to behave in this manner, you need to do what you think is right. Just don't stop me from doing what I think is right." At least that is what I have learned from my experience.
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Old 08-25-2011, 03:02 PM   #37
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If your wife has time a good book to read is "Prayers for Bobby: A Mothers Coming to Terms with the Suicide of Her Gay Son".

It's a true story about a very religious catholic women (Mary Griffith) who's son came out to her in the 80's and eventually committed suicide because of not being accepted by his family. I'm assuming that your daughter is happy and not considering suicide....so I'm not suggesting the book based on that. But part of the book deals with the woman reconciling her catholic religious views with eventually accepting that her son was gay and that it's ok. It might give your wife some perspective from someone who had similar religious views. I wouldn't expect it to change your wife's views completely but just to add some perspective to having a gay child as it relates to her religion. You can probably find this book at the library. It was also recently made into a TV movie.

Prayers for Bobby: A Mother's Coming to Terms with the Suicide of Her Gay Son - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
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Old 08-25-2011, 05:11 PM   #38
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I'm sorry if I misconstrued your intention. This is the quote I responded to:

I saw your phrasing as applying to a "choice" of lifestyle. If you meant that her particular "choice of partner" (i.e. a female) had repercussions my reaction is the same. She is gay, any partner she chooses will be female. So the repercussions you refer to would arise if she has a life partner at all. I don't see any repercussions as running from the daughter's choice to have a life partner but from the mother's refusal to accept her daughter as she is.

In any event, I agree that the bulk of your post counsels coming to terms with the daughter, not rejecting her. I agree with you that the daughter may be able to help her mother come to grips with the situation but the central "problem" (i.e repercussions) derive from the mother's attitude, not the daughter's decision to have a life partner.
No problem donheff...I wasn't paying attention to my choice of words in that sentence and never meant it to come across to anyone as if the daughter had a choice. I think I was trying to focus more....on the fact that one can not force anyone and that a person has to come to terms with things on their own ..so to speak. When I made my recommendation for counseling...it was ...as a mechanism for the mom to be able to talk to someone and have her own feelings honored. In the process...she might gain a different perspective...etc. Because she has as much right to her feelings as everyone else in the situation. I "sensed" rather than read...that she might feel like odd man out so to speak....due to the wording "strong armed" that was used. I agree with the philosophy..."don't judge less you be judged".
Also...this..."if you have not walked in the person's shoes...you don't really have a clue".
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Old 08-25-2011, 05:35 PM   #39
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When I made my recommendation for counseling...it was ...as a mechanism for the mom to be able to talk to someone and have her own feelings honored. In the process...she might gain a different perspective...etc. Because she has as much right to her feelings as everyone else in the situation. I "sensed" rather than read...that she might feel like odd man out so to speak....due to the wording "strong armed" that was used. I agree with the philosophy..."don't judge less you be judged".
Also...this..."if you have not walked in the person's shoes...you don't really have a clue".
+1. I get worked up on the topic and fail to have enough empathy with people like this girl's mother. Most of us were raised the same way and would have agreed with her as kids or even recently. Views on the topic have changed but not for everyone.
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Old 08-25-2011, 05:49 PM   #40
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i have to agree with the recommendations for counseling especially if you live in an area where the subject is taboo . Let's face it . There are a lot of areas that are not open to these discussions . When I lived in New Jersey no one would have thought anything about a gay child but in Florida they would look at you as strange to even mention it .
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