Do any of you have strange relatives?


Please help me with this. My SIL is a strange person, whose beliefs are odd to say the least.When I first met her, 18 years ago, I disliked her because she tended to tell little fibs and had a leaning toward anything New Age. The lost City of Atlantis, Aliens building the pyrimads and, oddly enough, a love of discussing biblical prophecy are some of her interest. Plus logic is an unknown concept to her.

Over the years I have come to accept her and even admire some things about her. SHe cared for her invalid mother, for example and is a very good mother. Plus, she often goes out of her way to help others. But I have to admit that I often bite my lip when she begins speaking about religion. She combines a fundamentalist view on some issues in the bible with a belief in everything from UFOs to Eastern Spirituality. If it is strange then she believes it.

At one point she was even in RCIA but she quit and is very adament in her dislike of the Catholic church. Any corrections that I try and make over her confusion on Catholic beliefs is met with, “Well, I learned that in RCIA.”:banghead:

Tonight I was talking with her and she began to discuss how St. Paul hated women. I corrected her and told her that no, St. Paul did not hate women but…At which point she jumped in and told me that Saint Paul hated women because his mother was a harlot. I asked her where she had heard such nonsense and she informed me that it was a Roman Catholic belief. I realize that it is not true but can someone explain to me where she got this nutty belief from?:banghead:

Also, this spring she and my nephew are going to spend time with us. I do want to see her, but when I talk with her I feel like my head is going to explode. How do you keep patience with such people? Is there a special Saint to pray for strength in dealing with odd people? I try and keep a sense of humor when dealing with her, after all she is not mean, but I find that I have such trouble not getting impatience with this woman. I have no idea how I am going to spend two weeks peacefully with her.

It actually might give me comfort to hear about any strange relatives that you all might have. How do you deal with them?


St. Paul is the patron saint of patience…

Given your post, that’s a little ironic… :rolleyes:



I might suggest offering up all of your irritation and frustration with SIL for her intentions. This little technique has been helping me deal with the strange and difficult people in my life. I just wish I could use this more effectively—you know, “offer it up” BEFORE I get all exasperated.

Believe me, I’ll be keeping an eye on this thread to see what other suggestions there are.

Might I add what a fabulous SIL you are for having this lady and your nephew stay with you for 2 weeks!!! I think I’ll just call you “St. deb1”!!!


This is something I posted at another thread but I thought you may be able to relate.

I understand where you are coming from. I am the youngest of four. My sister is the oldest and I have two older brothers.

I was raised in a secular home. My parents were Anglican but turned to atheism/agnosticism after my father had a fallout with the church. As a result none of us kids were baptized or ever stepped foot inside a church growing up.

I was the first to turn to Christ in our family along with my wife about nine years ago. When we announced that we were going through RCIA and would be baptized together in the Catholic Church we were treated like total idiots.

My father started spouting out insults about Jesus I can’t dare repeat in this forum. My sister told me she thought the Catholic Church was only for poor, uneducated (stupid) people, and filled them with nothing but fear and condemnation to control and suck money out of them. Everyone else just acted dumbfounded. Not exactly an ada-boy!

Since then my two brothers have “found Jesus” through protestant means. So this is what our family gatherings look like:

Father - atheist
Mother - ???
Sister/Husband - atheist
Brother/Wife - Church of Christ
Brother/Wife - Evangelical Lutheran
Myself/Wife - Roman Catholic

It’s enough to make you just want to hide in the basement with the kids. However, it has also caused my wife and me to learn Apologetics very early on. I suggest you do the same.

There is a series of booklets called "Beginning Apologetics” we started with and found very useful. There is also a series of six audio CD’s by Scott Hahn called “Answering Common Objections” that is awesome. I even gave a copy of it to my COC brother and it stopped a lot of the questions.

Stay strong, it’s totally worth it.


[quote=deb1] Is there a special Saint to pray for strength in dealing with odd people?

If there were… that would be just awesome.

My boyfriend’s mother is similar to your sister-in-law. She is convinced that the dead, especially her departed father, are trying to communicate with her through the sounds her refrigerator makes. She is very New Age in her religious outlook.

So is his stepmother. Fortunately, his stepmother doesn’t believe anything quite as outlandish as the dead speaking through a refrigerator. She is, however, clinically depressed, unwilling to see that her son from a previous marriage is a dangerous drug addict who should be in prison, and unwilling to get psychiatric help.

My own family is “odd” to me, mainly because they’re so darned Protestant. Right now, only my immediate family knows about my conversion to Catholicism, because no one is looking forward to the reactions from the rest of my thoroughly Baptist clan. I suppose they’ll notice when my wedding invitations have the name of a Catholic Church.

In short, if and when my boyfriend and I get married, we’ll have plenty of nuts in the family to deal with. We try to just pray for them and do our best to not give up defending the faith and speaking the truth in love.


all of my relatives are strange, we are a family, as my uncle once said, that places a high premium on eccentricity.


This is what I gathered on St.Paul’s early life, and I don’t see anywhere about his mother being a harlot
From St. Paul himself we know that he was born at Tarsus in Cilicia (Acts 21:39), of a father who was a Roman citizen (Acts 22:26-28; cf. 16:37), of a family in which piety was hereditary (2 Timothy 1:3) and which was much attached to Pharisaic traditions and observances (Philippians 3:5-6). St. Jerome relates, on what ground is not known, that his parents were natives of Gischala, a small town of Galilee and that they brought him to Tarsus when Gischala was captured by the Romans (“De vir. ill.”, v; “In epist. ad Phil.”, 23). This last detail is certainly an anachronism, but the Galilean origin of the family is not at all improbable. As he belonged to the tribe of Benjamin he was given at the time of his circumcision the name of Saul, which must have been common in that tribe in memory of the first king of the Jews (Philippians 3:5). As a Roman citizen he also bore the Latin name of Paul. It was quite usual for the Jews of that time to have two names, one Hebrew,or Latin & Greek. (Acts 13:9:It was natural that in inaugurating his apostolate among the Gentiles Paul should have adopted his Roman name, especially as the name Saul had a ludicrous meaning in Greek. As every respectable Jew had to teach his son a trade, young Saul learned how to make tents (Acts 18:3) or rather to make the mohair of which tents were made (cf. Lewin, “Life of St. Paul”, I, London, 1874, 8-9). He was still very young when sent to Jerusalem to receive his education at the school of Gamaliel (Acts 22:3). Possibly some of his family resided in the holy city; later there is mention of the presence of one of his sisters whose son saved his life (Acts 23:16). From that time it is absolutely impossible to follow him until he takes an active part in the martyrdom of St. Stephen (Acts 7:58-60; 22:20).
Just a suggestion: Purchase for your eccentric relative, a very good Catholic book on the lives of saints, since she seems so interested in researching things. Obviously, her sources seem to be tainted. And then pray very hard.
Join the club about wacky relatives.
I have a relative who claims to be an expert on everything, therefore knows everything. We have others who live very immoral lives, alcoholics, others who just complain about everything * also moochers. We call these kind of relatives
E.G.R. (extra grace required) relatives. I think there is a special place in heaven for all of us who are patient with them. Smile…nod your head and say…I wish I could agree with you but since I can’t I guess I will just pray for you instead.


Kristina, Ian and Deb

I will promise to complain less about my family having now read what all 3 of you have to go through. God Bless the 3 of you this Christmas.

My brother thinks everything on the Discovery Channel is 100% truth. His daughter (my neice) thinks everything Nostradamus wrote is 100% truth and he predicted everything from the creation until today including the war of 1812, WWI, WWII, 9/11, etc., . My sister thinks everything Dan Brown writes is 100% true. My nephew thinks everything on the Soprano’s is actually real. Makes for an intersting Christmas.


Are my relatives strange?

Is the Pope Catholic?

Most of my family are agnostic… but my sister is New Age and believes she can read palms. Whenever I see her the first thing she does is grab my palm… as if it changes between visits? Whenever she needs to make a major life decision she consults a psychic… I’m not sure why she doesn’t just read her own palm?

My Mom is really into astrology - can tell you all about your sign - your rising sign - your moon etc. She also believes that we were all animals in another life. She tells me I was a cat. (Go figure… I don’t even like cats) But she’s also into Jesus and of course has the velvet picture of Him hanging over her bed. She goes to mass fairly regularly but she never takes communion because “you just don’t know if those people handling the hosts have washed their hands.”

And don’t even get me started on the nut-jobs in my husband’s family…


[quote=mastda]Kristina, Ian and Deb

I will promise to complain less about my family having now read what all 3 of you have to go through. God Bless the 3 of you this Christmas.

My brother thinks everything on the Discovery Channel is 100% truth. His daughter (my neice) thinks everything Nostradamus wrote is 100% truth and he predicted everything from the creation until today including the war of 1812, WWI, WWII, 9/11, etc., . My sister thinks everything Dan Brown writes is 100% true. My nephew thinks everything on the Soprano’s is actually real. Makes for an intersting Christmas.

Wow! I feel for you too. All of the atheists in my family bow at the altar of the secular media and National Geographic.

I have a feeling my blessed Christmas will be spent in the basement.


I think a better question for me would be, “Do you have any normal relatives?” :smiley:

Mine get into that New Age cr…stuff too. :wink: But they’re still “practicing” Catholics. Riiiiiiiight. :rolleyes:


[quote=Celia]I think a better question for me would be, “Do you have any normal relatives?” :smiley:

Mine get into that New Age cr…stuff too. :wink: But they’re still “practicing” Catholics. Riiiiiiiight. :rolleyes:

I have relatives like this too!!!

Firstthing I did when they started calling me too much was splurge and get caller ID on our phones. Now I just avoid the temptation to sin and blow up at them when they call. If it is important they can leave a message.


Shew! It is so comforting to know that others have very eccentric members of their families. I like the thought of giving up my annoyance to God. That might help me not get sarcastic with her. She isn’t a mean spirited person and I don’t want to be cruel with her. SOmetimes, I feel that simply using logic on her is cruel.

Sometimes she will begin talking in a very sane manner only to reach an insane conclusion. For example she was discussing the fact that she needed to guard what she said. I agreed that the bible does say that we should watch the words that come out of our mouth. Then the conversations proceeded down a weird turn and went like this:

SIL: We can speak things into being
ME:I am not certain what you mean.
SIl: At work there is this woman who bothers me and I jokingly said that I wish that I could hit her with the stack of newpapers that I was carrying.
ME:Well, that isn’t so bad
SIL: I put the papers down and they fell on her.
ME: Um…coincidence?
SIL: No, I said it so I spoke it into happening. I didn’t want to actually hurt that woman
Me: Couldn’t it be an accident?
SIL: No, its in the bible. You can speak something and it will happen
ME:Can you give me the chapter and verse?
SIL:WHy do you have to argue?(Delivered in a hurt voice)
ME:I’m sorry. How is my nephew?

The conversation then went on about mundane things like her son’s band membership. Ah well, at least her visit won’t be boring.:stuck_out_tongue:



Why on Earth are you having this SIL visit for two weeks? What about a long weekend visit instead? Is she your husband’s sister? Is she married? What is motivating the two week visit?


Wow, you did better then I would have done. Saying things are in the Bible when they’re not is a pet peeve of mine. False statement that a person feels no need to back up with facts in general make me nuts. Actually it sound the the woman make have psycological issues.

My mom is not quite as bizarre but she has the most annoying habit as stating her opinion as if they were facts.

Just yesterday we had a minor disagreement. My parents had taken our daughter out. I get a call from her cell phone last night. Instead of bringing our daughter home before Mass they wanted to meet us at Mass (we have a late evening Sunday Mass).
My mom was annoyed because our 10 year old daughter insisted she had to come home first because she wasn’t "dressed up for church."
So my response was "Yes, she should be dressed for church."
My mom replies with "Jesus said, ‘Come as you are.’ in the Bible"
I laughed and said "Mom, when’s the last time you read the Bible?"
She says “I have.”
“Ok mom.” I say, "Where in the Bible does it say that?"
She repeats "Jesus says ‘come as you’ "
“Where in the Bible does it say that?”
“Well it says it in the Italian Bible.” (My mom is Italian.)
I laugh “Ok mom. Mom I’m trying to teach Gabrielle to dress up for church, why are you going against that.”
“That’s fine but we’re not dress up.”
"Mom, you can where what ever you want. I want Gabby to dress up for church."
They brought her home. Our daughter is very stubborn, she wouldn’t have given in. It was making my mom mad that she couldn’t convince our daughter to listen to her. That was really the problem. She’s also put her foot down on no meat on Friday during lent when they want to take her to Burger King. (Very proud mom here by the way.:wave: )

This was actually a light hearted exchange. We’ve gotten into some pretty heated discussions because my mom insist on things without any facts, and logic seems to be foreign to her too.

You’re pretty brave to deal with this woman for 2 weeks.


ALL of my family is wacky (I mean put your sil in the extreme normal kind of wacky) - so I guess that means I’m the strange one in the lot as a Catholic, married, homeschooling parent of almost 8.

We rarely discuss much other than the weather.

If your sil brings up religion again - you might just say something like, “I know what the church teaches because I happen to actually be Catholic and you’re insulting me in my own home. Why don’t we both keep to other discussions so we can enjoy each others company better?”

Now, I have young children so someone comming into my home and trashing the faith I’m working so hard to mark their souls with would be a line I wouldn’t allow crossed. This has been an issue with my Wiccan sister, my atheist brother, my “death-bed” nondenom. sister, and my ignorant in general father.


Mmm. I had to deal with a little altercation with my father, who I normally get along pretty well with, a couple weeks ago after Sunday dinner.

We got into a discussion of the church and my mom (who is Lutheran) mentioned that “this pope doesn’t seem to do anything” which is ridiculous but with my family if it’s not on the 6:00 news it’s nothing, but anyway, the letter regarding homosexuals not being permitted in seminaries had just come to light a couple days before so I said, “I think he’s doing just fine, he just outlined such-and-such in this letter and I think it’s a good thing for the church” to which my dad - who is supposed to be catholic but fell away from the church long ago - started a tirade about how 50% of all priests are gay pedophiles and the church will “die out in the next 50 years, mark my words” etc. Basically a bunch of baseless nonsense. (He had “read an article” stating the above :rolleyes: )
He thinks that because he grew up in a catholic family and went to catholic schools that he knows everything there is to know about the church, even though he hasn’t been to a mass that wasn’t a funeral or a wedding in about, gosh, 30 years? Oh, he went to our First Communions too, like, 15 years ago…

But yet - he still makes the sign of the cross when we say grace, I bought a St. Christopher medal for my brother when he went overseas and he said it was nice and automatically, “you should have it blessed” well- why would he say that? If this church is dying out in a few years and is riddled with gays and pedophiles, why would I want their blessing? He makes no sense…

My best friend and sister are both baptized and raised as Catholics but hold the view that “God doesn’t care about going to church every week or what I do with my boyfriend, as long as I’m a good person”…you know, that stuff. I’ve yet to convince them otherwise. My sister and my mom are big into the psychic thing and my sister now thinks her cat is sensing a spirit prescense in her hallway…I wouldn’t be surprised if something bad is going on in her apartment, though, with all the psychic-tarot new age stuff she’s always dealing in…

Wow, long post. Don’t get me wrong, I love my relatives, but sometimes, it’s so frustrating. You just want to shake the Truth into them but you can’t.



Why on Earth are you having this SIL visit for two weeks? What about a long weekend visit instead? Is she your husband’s sister? Is she married? What is motivating the two week visit?

She is my husband’s sister and lives all the way in Alabama while we live in NC. It is a long drive and would only be worth taking if she stays more then a couple of days.She supports herself and her son in a minimum wage job, so she doesn’t have any funds and I can’t send her money to help with the trip. It will be a major expense for her.

Also, my hubby and she see one another rarely. He loves his sister and is grateful that she took care of their mother. My hubby is in the military and we have spent many years either overseas or in transit. Although my hubby wanted his mother, it was deemed by many family members that moving constantly would not be good for her. SO, there is a guilt factor.

My SIL’s husband just died. He was an abusive alcoholic, although my SIL left after several years of marriage, she was still devastated by his death.(Just happened) My husband wants to be involved in our nephew’s life because we worry about him.

Because my SIL’s deceased hubby had little to do with his own family, my Sil is eager to meet with them and have her son form a connection with the large number of them that live here in NC. So, from what I gather they have offered to let her stay with them for part of the time that she is here. My nephew has adult siblings that he has never met. I don’t think that the full two weeks will be spent solely at my home but a good portion probably will.

My husband especially worries about his nephew who does not have may positive male role models. WHen we visited my SIL last spring, the boy followed my husband around all day long plus he calls us constantly.

So, there are a lot of issues playing out here other then my SIL’s kookiness.


That’s nice of you to take her in for such a long visit, Deb. I’m sure God loves ya for it. :slight_smile: I wish I had that kind of patience.


I drove from Dallas to Chicago, about 1,000 miles, for a Thanksgiving visit to my family. We were in the car for 18 hours each way, and only stayed for three days. I’m posting this because I wanted to say that a little visit can go a long way. Fourteen days is a long time to spend with someone you don’t see eye to eye with. However, it sounds like she needs a tremendous amount of support.God bless you for including them in your life.

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