Daughter in a religious cult?

Leigh - posted on 09/24/2015 ( 1 mom has responded )




My daughter married a man in a fairly strict religious sect, similar to Amish. They have three children, and because we are not religious, we are considered "outsiders" and have been told by my son-in-law that we can't be too close to the grand kids because we aren't going to heaven. That was the first heart-breaking realization of what was to come. I know that people grow and change as they mature, but I see my daughter changing into someone I don't even recognize. My son-in-law's family is very large and influential. They all look the same, talk the same, say the same phrases and have the same ideas. My daughter is starting to conform and leave the independent self she used to be. We are all in the same geographical area and attend the grand kids' birthday parties, soccer games and other events (it's sort of like a token gesture on my daughter's part to invite us). When we do go, we are shunned and are not spoken to unless we speak, and then it is very brief, like they just can't wait to get away from us. If any of our grandchildren come to speak with us, all eyes are on us and they are whisked away ASAP. We have been told by my daughter that, if we join the church, we will not be outsiders. I feel like we are being blackmailed. We are not allowed to have the grandchildren spend the night. Our oldest grandson is starting to ask why he doesn't see us very often and I don't know what to tell him. I don't understand my daughter's behavior. I could understand if we were bad parents, but we were good parents. Our other kids are so appreciative. Right now, my daughter does not return my calls or texts and it is breaking my heart. I am not sure if I should keep contacting her or just wait it out. It's very painful to be part of their lives with each encounter cutting your heart out.


♫ Shawnn ♪♫♫ - posted on 09/24/2015




The Amish community is not a cult, no more than the LDS community. The only difference is that the Amish live an entire LIFESTYLE of non-materialism, etc, and their church is a big part of their lives. Perhaps your daughter saw something in that lifestyle that appealed to her?
How negative have you been about the relationship, and her choices, from the beginning? That is the only reason that I can think of that her inlaws and community would 'shun' you. Generally, most of the folks involved in the Amish communities are very loving, giving people (otherwise they wouldn't allow what you term to be 'outsiders' to associate with them at all...and lo & behold, they DO associate with people I guess you would term 'normal'...

Whil you may not want to hear this, quite often adult children will choose to limit contact with their parents. This can be because they feel that their parents are pushy and controlling, or that their parents are unnecessarily disapproving of their choices, or that their parents were abusive during their childhoods...there are MANY reasons that people distance themselves from others.

When your grandchildren ask you questions, answer honestly. You don't know, and they'll have to ask their parents. If your daughter won't communicate, you cannot force her. You can let her know that you will always love her, and let her make the next move. However, I'd really watch what you say. It is highly likely that you have been upset about her choice of spouses since the beginning, and haven't hidden it very well.

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