How to deal with father?


#1

I am in visit with my parents and somehow we managed to open again the subject of my conversion from orthodoxy to catholisism. This is a subject that i thought is already closed and i hoped he understood my reasons and my decision. However yesterday he called me a renagate. He said that i left my religion only because of husband and asked me again what happened, what did the Orthodox Church did to you. I told him that they did nothing to me and i again explain my reasons and the fact that i felt more attracted to the Chatolic Church since i was a child. I had to tell him again what made me change and give my reasons: what i like about the Catholic Church and don't like about the Orthodox Church, what i believe and don't believe. He said nothing to me but then in private he shouted at my Catholic mother that "your daughter is making fun of my religion"
This was sad for me since i thought i already managed this situation and apparently my father will never agree with my decsion. Can you advice me about how to futher deal with this?


#2

No, you did not **have **to do any of this. You did not have to discuss the topic or defend your decisions. You chose to do so.

Next time, you simply choose not to. You tell him that the subject is not open for discussion and change the subject. If he continues to press you, then you give him the choice to change the subject or end the visit. If he chooses to continue on the topic, you leave.

It’s all about choices.


#3

[quote="1ke, post:2, topic:238289"]
No, you did not **have **to do any of this. You did not have to discuss the topic or defend your decisions. You chose to do so.

Next time, you simply choose not to. You tell him that the subject is not open for discussion and change the subject. If he continues to press you, then you give him the choice to change the subject or end the visit. If he chooses to continue on the topic, you leave.

It's all about choices.

[/quote]

He is my father and he loves me behind all this theater, if i leave he will be sad. I thought i will appeal to reson. He used to teach me that thoughts are free.

What is surprising is that they never really give a religious education even if they say they are believers. They just told me to believe. I looked myself because i wanted to learn. I knew there is a difference between my mother's and fathers religion and i wanted to know more about it. And now they are surprised of my decision.


#4

Cristyd, your father probably feels betrayed. Whether either of you was a strong believer or not while you were growing up, you were raised in the Orthodox faith. That faith is a part of who your father is, and he thought it was part of who you are as well. Now that you have left Orthodoxy for what he probably believes is heresy, he probably feels hurt, angry and confused. You need to give him time to come to terms with his feelings and with your decision. That doesn’t mean that you have to constantly be on the defensive and justify your decision; just recognize that he is having a very hard time accepting it. Maybe the next time he brings it up you could ask what specifically he is having a hard time with. Ask him if it is that he feels betrayed, is he worried about your soul, or is it something else entirely?


#5

Cristy, you are not responsible for your father's feelings or beliefs, only for your own.
Parents often feel disappointed regarding their children's choices.
He isn't coping well, but it might be best not to allow his emotion to dictate how you think and feel. Pray that your Dad will find peace and acceptance, but remain calm and secure in your honest choices. Remember, 'love God above all' is the first of the two great commands of Jesus. Loving others is the second.


#6

[quote="cristyd, post:1, topic:238289"]
I am in visit with my parents and somehow we managed to open again the subject of my conversion from orthodoxy to catholisism. This is a subject that i thought is already closed and i hoped he understood my reasons and my decision. However yesterday he called me a renagate. He said that i left my religion only because of husband and asked me again what happened, what did the Orthodox Church did to you. I told him that they did nothing to me and i again explain my reasons and the fact that i felt more attracted to the Chatolic Church since i was a child. I had to tell him again what made me change and give my reasons: what i like about the Catholic Church and don't like about the Orthodox Church, what i believe and don't believe. He said nothing to me but then in private he shouted at my Catholic mother that "your daughter is making fun of my religion"
This was sad for me since i thought i already managed this situation and apparently my father will never agree with my decsion. Can you advice me about how to futher deal with this?

[/quote]

Tell your father that you love and respect him, and want him to love and respect you. Tell him that your choice of religion had nothing to do with him personally. Try to be patient as he adjusts to this new way of living for you.


#7

[quote="Trishie, post:5, topic:238289"]
Cristy, you are not responsible for your father's feelings or beliefs, only for your own.
Parents often feel disappointed regarding their children's choices.
QUOTE]

I know this so well :) :):):)Now he is OK for 2 days. It's only from time to time that he has these outbursts.

[/quote]


#8

[quote="cristyd, post:1, topic:238289"]
I am in visit with my parents and somehow we managed to open again the subject of my conversion from orthodoxy to catholisism. This is a subject that i thought is already closed and i hoped he understood my reasons and my decision. However yesterday he called me a renagate. He said that i left my religion only because of husband and asked me again what happened, what did the Orthodox Church did to you. I told him that they did nothing to me and i again explain my reasons and the fact that i felt more attracted to the Chatolic Church since i was a child. I had to tell him again what made me change and give my reasons: what i like about the Catholic Church and don't like about the Orthodox Church, what i believe and don't believe. He said nothing to me but then in private he shouted at my Catholic mother that "your daughter is making fun of my religion"
This was sad for me since i thought i already managed this situation and apparently my father will never agree with my decsion. Can you advice me about how to futher deal with this?

[/quote]

How about writing him a email. Somethings are better explained in peace and calm. Prove your points one by one, and where orthodox church has dissented from the truth... eg. in marriage and divorce teachings which are really quite sad.


#9

My father likes to make subtle/passive aggressive jabs at the Church from time to time. (I am a convert from Southern Baptist.) Most of the time I will offer a simple explanation and quickly change the subject, or just not respond at all if the answer would be complex and take a lot of time. If I felt my father was truly interested I know that he would start reading or ask me for book suggestions - then want to discuss the book with me. As is he isn’t interested beyond seeing how my husband and I ‘defend’ our faith. He sees that we love it and do nothing to hide it in front of any protestant family, but I am not willing to get into a debate about it when I know that he has already made up his mind.

I just tell him that I respect him enough not to argue with him and leave it at that. We are at a mostly comfortable place right now. He had no problem with attending or participating in my Catholic wedding or children’s christenings. When my grandmother was in town for Easter years ago DH and I made it a point to attend Mass at the Easter Vigil so that we could go to a protestant service with all of them Easter morning. My very large MM and I got a few sideways glances, but it was fine and our one child at the time was young enough that I wasn’t worried about him being confused.

I am blessed that I had been showing an interest in the Church for a few years before meeting my DH and converting or else I am sure my father would blame him in some fashion for brainwashing me. :frowning: I’m sorry that I have no advice about how to react to that.

Bless you and I know it is hard. I am so thankful to have my DH to lean on. Mostly I try to think about how sad it must make my father (and mother as well) that their daughter left the faith that they cherish and brought her up in for one that they feel is wrong and possibly not even Christian.


#10

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