iVillage Member
Registered: 05-26-2003
Sun, 10-26-2003 - 8:56am
Hi there- my family seems to be divided up into two equal halves- the far left and the far right. There is not a whole lot going on in the middle.

So you can imagine thanksgiving dinner with our family. IT's usually a debate over abortion, or the bible, or homosexuality. People get violent, nasty.

Lately, it seems like the only thing everyone CAN agree on is that I can't ever date or get married. I am 25, and well, from the left, you get feminists who think that all men are abusive, that having a family will ruin your life, that the only way to LIVE is to spend your days climbing a corporate ladder, and that marriage equals prostitution and even illegal slavery.

From the right, I get born again Christians telling me that the single state is more holy, that I can get to know God better if I didn't have a distracting husband, that a marriage and a family is an earthly thing and that I should be pursuing holy things, etc, etc.

Well here's the problem- I am getting married. No one knows yet and I really don't care what they say, but I was engaged 5 years ago (which ended) and they all put me through hell back then.

I don't want to feel forced to break up with him, we are very much in love, but at the sam etime I feel so guilty about loving him and wanting to be with him. My wedding is another story. I want a wedding, but I know that most of my family doesn't believe inmarriage.

Does anyone have any advice for getting what *I* want out of life? (And I don't know if I should be asking this on ivillage- Ivillage is feminist in nature, right?

Try to be as nice to me as you can. Thankyou
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-30-2003
In reply to: the_boss_plus
Sun, 10-26-2003 - 5:48pm
"And I don't know if I should be asking this on ivillage- Ivillage is feminist in nature, right? "

Sweetie, Ivillage is as far from feminist as you can get. There are goups for every conceivable thought/group/woman. I would dare say that the only mantra that Ivillage has is "to each woman her own"

If you don't think your family will/can share in the joy, then why don't you elope? Then move away so you can start your new family in peace.

Ejkdmom Come visit my store: www.leorra.com
iVillage Member
Registered: 08-14-2002
In reply to: the_boss_plus
Sun, 10-26-2003 - 8:32pm
Oh my, you did come to the right place. No, we are not feminists here - but some of us are, and some are not, and most are scattered somewhere in-between. We are all ages, all walks of live, and many different cultures - but granted, most are women on this board. Doesn't mean we are feminists - from what I've seen during the year I've been posting here and on other boards, most are just caring, intelligent people who want to share what they've experienced and learned from life, and offer a bit of wisdom or moral support to others who are struggling.

That said, I am having a bit of a problem understanding why your family (right side) would believe that marriage is earthly and takes you away from holiness... Did I get that right? This is NOT how I was raised, nor how I believe. So if you'll forgive my sharing religious beliefs on this board, here's my take on the issue:

I can't immediately quote Bible verses (assuming you are Christian - if not, no offense is intended to your beliefs), but I believe there are verses to support marriage as a holy estate ordained by God, and He has given us the commandment to bear children within the estate of marriage. (Please no flaming from those who would disagree - I'm just stating values under which I was raised.) There are some Christian faiths who believe that marriage is a step CLOSER to holiness, and one who chooses to remain single is refusing to follow ordinances set forth by God.

Marriage to me is not an easy task - it requires give and take from both sides, and many personal sacrifices to maintain a happy and healthy marriage. You DO give up much of your own desires and passions in an effort to build a holy and harmonious marriage with your spouse, and he does the same. It is exactly this kind of commitment and sacrifice that makes marriage Holy, because in doing things to please your spouse you are pleasing God.

Sorry this is so vague - I would advise you to speak to your pastor or religious leader about your choices and the family opinions, to get his/her spiritual input on the matter. And do your own research into religious materials that explain the holiness (or lack of it) in marriage. What the family says makes no difference in the end, and I'm willing to bet your spiritual leader would give you more accurate information than your family on what makes a person or marriage Holy. Then you and your fiance should pray (or whatever your faith proposes) for guidance, then do what matters to the two of YOU and what makes you happy.

Best of luck to you both. And congratulations on the engagement! :)



iVillage Member
Registered: 06-01-2003
In reply to: the_boss_plus
Mon, 10-27-2003 - 7:46am
I can somewhat understand what you're experiencing, despite the fact that my family, fortunately, is all pretty middle-of-the-road, for example we all lean left but no extremists; we're all pro-choice, no problem with homosexuality, no one is extremely religious, either. So it's easy to get along. My in-laws are also this way, for the most part.

I experienced something similar to what you describe, during college. I majored in sociology and EVERYONE in the department at BOTH universities I attended was extreme left. They were the type who had burned bras in the 70's, their husbands took THEIR name or something like that, they talked about "herstory" instead of history, and volunteered building houses for Habitat for Humanity, supported welfare increases, etc. Next to them I felt like this big conservative Republican LOL, which I am not! Then of course you run into the opposite, the right-wing people...which I don't identify well with either. I really do feel for you, trying to imagine both extremes within 1 FAMILY! Yikes.

However their views amaze and surprise me. Not to throw anyone in a "slot" but in my personal experience, many "born again Christians" are out there preaching to singles that the thing to do is get married and make 100 babies ASAP. What people are telling you "that the single state is more holy, that a marriage and a family is an earthly thing and that I should be pursuing holy things, etc, etc" sounds almost Buddhist! I have also never met ANYONE from the leftist POV who spouted advice on "climbing the corporate ladder"! That sounds very right-wing to me...

Your family sounds like a real piece of work, no offense! Good luck to you! I agree with the post that suggested you elope, move away, and start your life away from these people!


iVillage Member
Registered: 03-27-2003
In reply to: the_boss_plus
Mon, 10-27-2003 - 9:15am
I'm trying to figure out why it matters what either side thinks. The only way for you to get exactly what YOU want out of life is to simply live life the way YOU want to. Everyone has an opinion, but I dissagree that everyone is entitled to spew forth their opinion to whomever they want to share it with. Let me restate that--they can say what they want, or try to, but you don't have to listen. Their opinions are just that, and there is no reason why you must let those opinions dictate the way you live your life. I am sure that each side wants you to be an independent thinker who comes to her own conclusions about life given your own experiences, even if those conclusions are not exactly the same as theirs. When you tell them, you may want give a little speach about how growing up in your family has affected how you see the world, along with your other experiences, and that you have come to different conlcusions about life, love, and marriage than many in your family. You hope that this will not affect your relationship with them as you respect and love them so much, however, even if it does, you will continue to live life true to your own beliefs as each of them has done. Then let them know that you are getting married, and that you hope that they can share in your happiness even if they dissagree with your plans. If they attack, you can always leave. If they phone, you can always hang up. If they write you letters, you can always burn them. They can choose to be a part of the life you have chosen, or not.

I tend to be on the left, Atheist/liberal, and most of the rest of my family tend to be on the right, Christian/conservative. You can imagine what our T-days are like. After the last one we had here, DH swore that we would never have my family here for another one, and I refuse to attend any family function that my sister does. Most of my family has not approved of any number of my decisions, but I have come to trust myself, and just forge ahead anyway. It is very important to me to be internally and externally consistent, and I feel that I am the closest I have ever been to that ideal. I would never have gotten here if I made my decisions based on what other people thought was best for me. I am also the happiest I have ever been. Ironically, if you ask my family what they want for me, they would say that they want me to be happy. I am, but they are not satisfied. One of the most difficult lessons I have ever learned is that I am not responsible for their emotional well-being.

You can have a wedding, just think small. If I had to do it over again, I would have made arrangements to get married at one of the beautifull chapels in the mountains they have in Kentucky. Some of them provide everthing, even the flowers, others provide only the chapel, and the pastor. I would have invited only those who really supported DH and I. A freind did this, and it was beautiful. They had a wonderful party a couple of months later, and it didn't hurt so much when certain family members didn't show up. There was no fuss, no one had a chance to use the wedding to make a statement, there weren't any bridezilla or mother/MILzillas, and it was so totally about these two wonderful people getting married.