mother in law

Jeci - posted on 08/25/2010 ( 27 moms have responded )

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how do i deal with a mother in law who is always telling me I'm going to hell because of my religion and who also constantly saying shes going to hate the baby When he is born? All this because I'm pagan and not Christian.

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Laura - posted on 08/26/2010

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I'm sorry you have to deal with this--people suck sometimes, don't they?

One question: How does your husband handle his mom and what does he think of your religious beliefs? Okay, that was two questions. These are important questions to answer because they will help determine what the best coarse of action might be for you. In the meantime I will make an assumption that he is not involving himself in this issue.

First of all, you cannot control what other people believe, say or do. You can try to persuade them to choose differently, but ultimately people choose on their own. You will more than likely never persuade this person to change their beliefs--your mother-in-law's Christian beliefs give her comfort and provide security to her worldview. You have come along and complete disrupted her way of thinking about her religion and the world, like a pebble tossed into a pond. Way to go! : ) She is trying to find her comfort zone and the best way she knows how is to try and get you to believe HER way; this way she doesn't have to try and justify why she believes what she believes and she can remain with the status quo. The very thought that her religion is "wrong" or not the way is very disconcerting and even frightening to her. It has been my experience that many conservative Christians are really scared people and their faith makes them feel secure. That's what you are dealing with here--a scared person.

It has also been my experience that actions will truly speak louder than your words--especially in this case. Discussing, talking, arguing and pleading will not change her mind about you. What will slowly change her view about you is how you act towards her. Jesus was right on when he preached about compassion towards the "meek" (as was Buddha!). Though it's hard, the best thing you can do is show her compassion and understanding--she is a scared person and fears for your soul. She thinks she is trying to help you by scaring you as well with damnation and hell. As Nicole points out, calmly assure her that you do not believe in hell and then change the subject. Do not feed into any religious discussion with her: agree to disagree and move on. Draw on your own faith for strength.

As for her soon-to-be grandchild--Nicole is also on the right track. I also see this as being a hollw threat by her as a means to manipulate and scare you into changing your religious view. If she chooses not to want a relationship with her grandchild, then so be it. You will be better off without her influences in your life. This is all based on the assumption that your husband is not involving himself in any way. Now do you see why it will be important to answer those questions about your husband's point-of-view? If he is involved in any way then you need to communicate openly with him about your concerns and feelings. You can control YOUR responses and actions towards your MIL and your husband and that's all you can control. Goddess bless and good luck!

Ginger - posted on 07/01/2011

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Your MIL is ...well...not a very good christian.... no offense intended but to 'hate' a baby before it's even born is not a very christian attitude now is it?

people who are afraid of the unknown are most likely to lash out in anger. I'm sorry that you are going through this because it's not very fair nor right.

I would simply tell her in no uncertain terms that as long as she holds hate in her heart she cannot be around your child.

Personally I find it very hard for you to go to hell when you are pagan as hell is a very christian term - and was not even described until Dante wrote of it.... but I digress.

This time in your life, becoming a new mom is wondrous and should be enjoyed as much as you can.

Just make the move to keep her out of it until she changes her attitude. Hate has no place in a childs life- regardless of her 'good' intentions *though only in her mind.*

Laura - posted on 08/26/2010

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He sounds like my husband! My husband considers himself Agnostic--he believes in a creator-type diety, but it isn't neccessarily the Judeo-Christian/Islamic god or Pagan. At least both of you are on the same page with this issue.

Don't focus on the explaining part--as you've discovered your MIL won't listen to what you have to say. Stay focused on your actions--show her the love, kindness and compassion that ALL religions have at their heart. Remember, the base emotion from her is fear--fear for her, fear for your souls (as she sees it) and fear that what she knows and believes may not be as solid as she once thought. She may also be feeling like she somehow failed with her son since he doesn't consider himself a Christian.

Let me make a suggestion to you and your husband (and I'm not trying to sound like an ad!): If you are able, try attending the closest Unitarian Universalist church, unless you already belong to a Pagan group. There you will find like-minded people of many faith backgrounds and beliefs. It really is a pluralistic church! Both of you will be free to pursue your own spiritual paths while at the same time gaining a support system, which it sounds like you could use. If you are lucky, there may be a CUUPs (Covenant of Unitarian Universalist Pagans) chapter for you to join. My husband was actually the one who wanted to start going to church and I told him that this was the only church I would consider. We have been members at our local congregation for almost 10 years! I am and always will be Pagan and we have a CUUPs chapter that hosts Sabbats and Esbats so I have a spiritual support system. Not all UU churches have a Pagan group, but at least you won't be chastised for your beliefs! Mind you some congregations are a little more "churchy" than others, but the idea here is for you two to find a spiritual support group. It can really help to know that you are not alone with your beliefs and to have people to go to directly who may have had similar experiences. Good Goddess, it does sound like an ad...

[deleted account]

Well you can always calmly look her in the eye and reply that in your beliefs you don't have a hell.

That aside, try and take the angle of explaining tolerance of beliefs to her. Jesus was a very tolerant individual so she should be taking a page of one of the Gods in her own religion's beliefs.
Agree to disagree, and that she is going to have to accept the fact that you aren't going to change your beliefs no matter how disrespectful she is and that it is truly her loss if she chooses to hate her own grandson because if she does choose to follow through on what I see as a hollow threat, then she doesn't deserve to have a relationship with her grand baby.
Unfortunately if she is intolerant and close minded, there isn't much you can do other then try to find neutral ground.

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27 Comments

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Kris - posted on 05/24/2011

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Tell her that if she doesn't stop saying such mean and hateful things, that she won't be allowed to see the baby.

You don't need someone like that adding their negativity to your days - and certainly don't need someone saying such things about you in front of your child!

Kimberly - posted on 05/17/2011

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i would say do you really want that kind of attitude involved in your life. i have been there, i just had to tell my mom, that i dont want her around, i dont want my child being afraid of god that he will send you to hell. just my thoughts

Amber-Lee - posted on 05/11/2011

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I'm sorry you have to deal with that, like being prego isn't hard enough.
I would treat her like the toddler she is being. Ignore her tantrum and don't let her get the better of you.
Blessed Be

Nikki - posted on 04/20/2011

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Maybe try explaining to her that even though you are Pagan, that doesn't necessarily mean that your child will be. Let her know that you would be open to your child learning about all religions and belief systems, even hers, and you would like her to be involved in that education, when the time comes, provided that she doesn't speak ill of you or your beliefs to the child.

See if she will be willing to compromise if she sees that she and her beliefs will have a place in the child's life.

If you are planning a wiccaning or blessing for your child, see if you can do a ceremony that incorporates SOME of her ideas. Have her say a prayer before hand for her God to bless the child and keep him safe from all evil. And incorporate some of you beliefs too. If you have to, do a private blessing at home.

I think taking the high road is always the best first approach.

√v^√v^√♥ - posted on 04/16/2011

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Was watching the comedian Bill Hicks last night. He made a Christian joke at one of his Stand ups and afterwards a bunch of rednecks came up to him and said "Hey buddy, we're Christians, we don't like what you said." So Bill said "Then forgive me." Haaaaaaaaaa tell your mother in law that Jesus is supposed to love and you feel sorry she hasn't figured it out yet.... ok I'm just mean :) I wouldn't put up with it. I'd never see her, tell her I didn't care and banish her from my life if she couldn't at least be civil as there is no reason for her to be mean to you everytime she sees you. No way. Oh, and if your husband starts to stress about this conflict, quit nagging at him (marriage counseling 101) then he'll start to just hear his mom complain all the time and stick up to it for himself and you'll be the goody good one who doesn't nag at him about it ever. Don't know if it helps, just thought it was funny :)

Lin - posted on 03/16/2011

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Thank her for her opinion about your post mortem destination and let her know it has been noted. Also let her know that it is her choice in regards to her relationship with her grandson, but you won't tolerate anyone being hateful to your son.

In regards to her cutting you guys off from the family, she really can't do that unless she has legal power over them or you let her do so. Every adult in the family has the option to continue a relationship with you two-almost-three if they wish and if they are given the opportunity. Have your husband explain the situation to the rest of the family, and while you won't be attending family events his mother hosts (as you obviously won't be invited), let them know you are willing to continue having a relationship with them if they wish to do so. Make sure they have your contact information. (My uncle (or more accurately my grandmother's oldest) tried to do the same to my cousin, but fortunately my mom was in contact with his mother and we got to continue having a relationship with Bryan and his kids, despite Norm's demands.)

With the threats of having the baby taken away, see what you can do in getting those threats documented, and see if your doc can refer you to a social worker who can help calm your fears about DHR responding to her reports.

Ashleigh - posted on 01/08/2011

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Now as for her threats to take the child away, I can guarantee you that child protective svcs won't take him without probably cause. Just be prepared for her to make a lot of falsified reports. It happened to me with our hospital out here cuz of the circumstances of my daughter's birth. And it happened to my friend Hakim. His wife's aunt made a bunch of false statements and that combined with the childs health issues did cause a lot of shit. But they have him back if worse comes to worse, don't give up.

Ashleigh - posted on 01/08/2011

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She sounds EXACTLY like my father's mother. What I do to deal with her is I sit there and listen to her rant, and then spout off with "Well, your God says judge not lest you be judged. You're judging me based on your beliefs.What do you think my gods would say about you?" As for her saying that about your baby, look her straight in the eye and say, "Jesus says love the children, right? Seems to me your threatenting to do the opposite of his teachings. What will that say about you when you go to the gates?"



Maybe not exactly the nicest thing in the world, but there are points there that make my grandmother think. Shuts her up every time too. Persuading and taking the white road so to speak is good, but if push comes to shove be ready to shove back to defend yourself and your child. Besides, I bet money that as soon as the kid is born she'll forget all about it.

Mother - posted on 01/04/2011

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Eeeeeeeeeeep....she said she'll hate the baby??? Then with all due respect she'd never see the baby. What a heinous thing to say. BTW....next time she says you're going to hell, tell her you don't believe in hell so you have no worries.

Jeci - posted on 09/01/2010

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i do understand that she believes what she does just like i believe what i do but i dont really think its such a big deal. everyone is entitled to their own beliefs and such and i honestly have nothing against the lady but this is getting out of hand and my husband keeps telling her to stop being so mean to me and to stop judging other people that its not very Christian like but she just dont stop. Im hoping maybe she will eventually give up and let it go.

Pink - posted on 09/01/2010

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Beware of the threat as some people are really sick and would do anything to be evil, if she tries anything like that I would move far far away

Leanne - posted on 09/01/2010

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i also agree with the others who have encouraged you to limit the contact she has with your child. they're right-her ignorance and intolerance will just alienate her from everyone. continue to be loving and positive when you are around her, but when it comes to YOUR child, don't let her bully you. you're right-no judge is going to take a child from a parent based on a religious belief. take comfort in the support you get from your husband and from the rest of the family. and enjoy your first child. congratulations!

Leanne - posted on 09/01/2010

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wow-i feel so sorry for your mother-in-law! she's going to hate her grandchild? that's terrible! my gut instinct would be to ask her if this line of conversation makes her feel like a better person, and if jesus would really be okay with her hating anyone? you could also comment that you understand what her viewpoint is, and that you're sorry she feels that way, without getting into a religious faceoff or continuing with that thread of conversation. how does your husband deal with this? it is his mother-perhaps he could intervene?

Jeci - posted on 08/31/2010

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Thank you. it means a lot to hear that. ^_^ his dad likes me and so does all his siblings. Ben says that his Mother did this same thing to his eldest brother and now Mark dont talk to anyone. I cannot understand what the big deal is with religion. It does not matter what anyone's religion is I dont judge them for it. I love all people. ^_^ I told his mother today that if she was going to treat me like dirt then i didnt want her around my baby and she said that if she ever does keep him then shes going to try to take him away and report me to DHR. I asked her for what and she replied "Because they won't let a devil worshiper" lol im not a devil worshiper. they wont take the baby from me unless im unfit and so far im feeling im going to be a good first time mother.

Pink - posted on 08/31/2010

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Jeci i feel for you, just leave her to her destiny, she'll be left alone if she keeps on this line. Forget about her alltogether and just think of love and positive things for all of you, I think it's a blessing if indeed she cuts him of the "family". I'm sure someoneelse is more considerate than her (his dad? his brother or sister?) and will not cut him or you from their life just because of your religion.Hugs.

Jeci - posted on 08/31/2010

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She told him last night that she is cutting him off from the family unless he divorces me and leave the baby. but he said hes not going to leave me.

Pink - posted on 08/31/2010

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I agree with Nicole (first one I read I must say I'm in a hurry) if that does not help just ignore her and don't deal with her at all, if she really will hate the baby and obviously you as you're a Pagan, your husband has to understand that it's not good for you or the baby to have anything to do with her and her hatred.
She is pretending to be a Christian but she obviously is just a bigot and an ignorant as the values of Jesus were all good stuff as I can recall and there was no intolerance or ignorance or hatred. I'd tell her if anybody is going to hell is her for hating with such vigor anything different than her and her beliefs =)

Chelsea - posted on 08/30/2010

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Things like that make me so angry - Tell her if she will hate the baby then i guess she wont want to see them.... if she doesnt like it then she will change her ways. Also make it clear that you don't want your baby to be closed minded when it comes to religion so you don't want any religious influences.
BB x

Jeci - posted on 08/28/2010

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Ya'll are so awesome ^_^ thank you for the help ^_^ i greatly appreciate it. I hope good things for all of you.

Janelle - posted on 08/26/2010

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Oooo.. That's mean. If it were me, I wouldn't let her see her grandchild. Someone like that could be a potentially toxic influence in a child's life. It's close-minded, ignorant and disrespectful at the least. I would inform her that her blatant disregard for your feelings and personal beliefs is unwelcome. And that you don't go bashing her beliefs and would appreciate it if she could keep her negative and hurtful comments to herself. And if you're feeling mean about it, you can remind her that paganism is older than Christianity and that many Christian celebrations are based on pagan holidays. Best of luck to you and I hope this gets resolved at some point in time.

Dyane - posted on 08/26/2010

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Look at her, smile, and tell her, "It's your hell, not mine. I'm not afraid of what I don't believe in, please be as tolerant of my beliefs as I'm being of yours. If you can't be, I'd rather not discuss it with you anymore, it damages our relationship."

Jeci - posted on 08/26/2010

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Well my husband isnt christian either but hes not pagan either. his religion is difficult to explain. We have tried explain to his mother that theres no reason for her act the way she does. we have tried explaining to her that Paganism came way before Christianity. And that we are all entitled to our own religious beliefs but shes too headstrong to even take the time to even listen or let us try to explain it.

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