Need advice, problems with parents

I could use some solid advice from my fellow Catholics. I will try to be as honest as possible about myself in this process as well, although that can be difficult. I apologize for the length, but I believe the best advice will come that way. As with all families, everything can get complicated.

I am 25 years old and married for almost 6 years, on my own for 7. I have 1 sibling, a 24 year old, sister. She is single and has been on her own for about 2 years. My parents are 47 (dad) and 50 (mom). Married for 26 years I think. We are all technically “Catholic”.

My main issue is with my mother, but my father is just as much guilty, because he obviously enables her. I have never been close to either of my parents. Being honest, I remember mostly using them for what I wanted (to go somewhere, to buy something, etc.) and they allowed this type of behavior as “normal”. My dad worked part-time as a pastoral musician and also had a full-time job, so he was always working. Always. He was fun to be around when he was there, but to this day I do not have a real relationship with him. My mother was a SAHM, although she didn’t need to be. We went to parochial school until I was 10 and then we couldn’t afford it anymore. I remember that she mostly talked to her mother on the phone and watched soap operas and the Price is Right all day. She would take us to dance lessons, etc., but again, I don’t feel I ever have had a relationship with her.

During my childhood we moved a lot, starting when I was 10 until I was 16, every year we moved to a different state. It was very hard on my sister and I. I have difficulty in sustaining long-term friendships as a result of this (and of course other things play into it).

As for religion, it was a big deal that we go to church every Sunday and dress up, but we were NEVER taught the faith at home, nor did we see it lived out. I fought tooth and nail against having to go when I was 13 and they finally gave in and I never went again until I was an adult. I couldn’t have told you what being Catholic meant, or Christian for that matter. I experiented in other religions for a while until being drawn back to the Church about a year and a half ago.

When I was 16 I met and began dating (if you could call it that) the man who is now my husband. We were using each other, same thing for different reasons. We ending up liking each other, then loving each other, then finding God together and finally the Catholic Church (we were both technically “Catholic”). Today we live out our faith as best we can, attend daily mass most of the time, etc. I always say that Satan thought he had a great thing until God showed him the real reason for bringing us two heathens together. :thumbsup:

So that’s the history… Fast-forward to today.

I see now that my parents faith is and probably always has been lip-service only, even though my father is still a pastoral musician. I couldn’t tell you the last time (or any time in my entire life for that matter) I have known them to go to confession, but they sure are up there for the Eucharist ever Sunday. They swear, they don’t sleep in the same room and haven’t for years, my mother spends money like she’s Paris Hilton (and they are now filing bankruptcy which will be the 4th or 5th time)…

This in itself creates issues. My husband and I talk about God openly, about Catholic teaching, we leave EWTN on the TV almost all the time. Basically, our lives revolve around God, as we believe everyone’s should, especially professing Catholics. But now my mother considers this “shoving your religion down my throat”. My religion? What about the battles you had with me when I was a kid trying to force me to go to church? Oh, so now that the shoe’s on the other foot and I’m actualling LIVING my faith (trying to) you don’t want it?

I can’t talk to my mother about anything. She is incapable of having a “normal” conversation. For example, I could ask a complete stranger questions like “So, who are you going to vote for?” or “What do you believe about God?” or “Hey man, did you see the new picks for this year’s NFL team?”, etc. You name the subject, she has NO CLUE. Her life is literally as follows nowadays (and mind you, she is 50 years old): during a normal day she will do the every day things like dishes, laundry, house work, shopping, but her free time is used to listen to Hilary Duff, Miley Cyrus, watching Disney movies (we have no grandchildren in the family), shopping at what I would considers preteen/early teen clothing stores (she is at least 250 lbs), playing with her collection of realistic baby dolls (oh, and they have their own bedroom complete with bassinets and weekly sometimes daily outfit changes). She has no friends, and never has that I can remember.

I have tried to talk to her about it and encourage her to join a women’s group, to relate to women her age and find age-appropriate things to do. Her response is “I like what I like, and I don’t care if YOU don’t think it’s appropriate”. She says that I’m hateful because I don’t want to be around her or call her. I tell her we have nothing to talk about, which we don’t. We have nothing in common. Every time I’m around her it’s something I have to “put up with”. I don’t enjoy her company, and there’s nothing we can do together. All she ever wants to do when my parents do visit us (they’re a couple hours away), is go shopping! Or see some preteen movie. She’s not interested in adult movies at all (and I don’t mean porn, lol). She has no inclination to intellectual or culture pursuits. Her only ambition in life it seems is to induce me to have a child so that she can play with it.

I can’t (choose not to) bring her around any of my in-laws or friends or coworkers because she is an embarrassment to me. That may or may not be a “Christian” thing to say, but this is how I feel! sigh…

I am beyond fed up with this woman. I know that she’s my mother and I’m supposed to love and honor her, but I don’t know if I can. She “hates” my husband although she won’t say it, (can’t really blame her given our history, but he is an AWESOME God-fearing, loving, kind man), and he is just as fed up with her and her behavior as I am. I cannot get her to understand that she has serious psychological issues that need to be dealt with (probably stemming from a molestation when she was 13, she related that info to my sister and I when we were younger). Granted, you may have a reason to be a certain way, but get help! She says there’s nothing wrong with her. And now she claims to have contracted Sjodren’s disease and fibromyalgia, and can hardly stand for 10 minutes at a time, but then she’ll tell me how they just went skiing last month! And about how they are going on a vacation to Cape Cod (didn’t I just tell you they are filing BANKRUPTCY?). She starting getting “sick” after I moved out of the house, and it seems like she can do anything if it’s what SHE wants to do.

I am beyond frustrated and I don’t know what to do. I feel like it is just so much easier to say “Screw it”, and just not talk to her at all. I guess I don’t know what my question is, except how do I deal with this?

Thanks for anyone who has taken the time to read ALLLLL of this. I’m sorry! :shrug:

Your mom is 50 years old. It’s unlikely that she is going to change, just because you want her to. She is who she is. It’s up to you to decide the type of relationship that you want to have with her given the fact that she is unlikely to change.

You do seem kind of judgmental about your mom and her interests. I think you need to be careful about seeing yourself as being the one in charge of the state of your parents’ souls. They absolutely don’t need to report to you when they go to confession, and it is probably not a good idea for you to keep a laundry list of things that they should be confessing. Remember, you can’t read her heart or her mind, and yet through out your post it sounds like that is what you are doing.

It doesn’t sound like your mom is harming anyone. While she is unusual and doesn’t live the kind of life that you want to live, I think you need to respect the fact that it’s her life and she is her own person.

I also think that your mom is not going to change.
If she needed psychological help, it was when she was 13, or may be a little bit latter.

My suggestion would be that you treat her with Catholic charity as if she were a stranger. This might sound funny, but it is the place to start.

Think about this. What if she were a member of your church community. Wouldn’t you be so compassionate, helpful and loving?

You have it easy. You don’t live with her.

Love her, pray A LOT for her and leave everything else in God’s hands.

Try it and I can guarantee you that you both will feel much better immediately.

Feel free to contact me directly if it helps. I would love to know things are getting better.

You’re right; I am a bit judgmental in this regard. However, given the situation I believe I am entitled to expect more from her as a human being. This goes beyond the “I like white bread, you like wheat” or “You say tomato, I say tomato” kind of differences. While I understand that my parents will ultimately make the decision about whether to lead a holy life or not, I feel obligated to ensure that they fully understand the state they are putting their souls in, how I do that would be the issue. I cannot say whether or not they are headed to heaven or hell, but I can make a assessment based upon my experiences with them and viewing their lifestyles, habits, etc, just as I could of anyone else. If my parents don’t truly understand the faith I feel an obligation to show them. I’m not perfect, and I don’t claim to be. Nor am I the most compassionate person when it comes to my mother, which is something I know I must work on and pray about.

Things do get complicated with family, as I stated in my original post, and one thing I neglected to mention is how judgmental she has been to me about MY life and lifestyle since I left home. Granted, sneaking about to see a 30-some year old man when I was 16 was inappropriate, but when I turned 18, got married, stayed married, joined the church and started trying to live as a Christian woman the best I could, all I got from her was judgments and condescension. She would always tell me how bad the place we were living was (because it was an apartment, not a house), about how I shouldn’t have pets because they’re “dirty”. Three Christmases ago she and my father came down here for us all to open presents together and she suggested that we go to a hotel instead of being at my home!! I finally had to tell my father (because she says that she’s not doing anything wrong) that I was going to cut ties with her completely if she didn’t stop putting me down and accept the fact that I married who I married and that’s not going to change. My house is cleaner than hers and always has been, and my cats are like my babies. Her views on these issues are 100% baseless, and arise from what makes sense in her own world. She has no tact or sense of social grace, which is another reason I find it very difficult to be around or talk to her. She will say the most horrible things to me for no reason, and then when I bring it up later she will say that she doesn’t see anything wrong with it. Both my sister and I have tried to talk to her about her attitudes and lack of tact, but she refuses to accept that she has ever done or said anything wrong. Now, once I told my father I would cut ties she did lay off me, so somehow he was able to get through to her.

I agree with you that she is not harming anyone, but our relationship is very strained because of this, and I don’t know what to do about it anymore. Pray? Yes, but I also need practical advice.

Sorry if I sound rude or mean, I don’t mean to be; this is just very, very frustrating! Sigh… :rolleyes:

I tried to edit my post but it wouldn’t let me… Something else I wanted to mention is that while I was growing up, my mother never taught me anything: right from wrong, how to choose one thing over another based on morals, how to discern who I should date, what I should do, etc. That may sound odd, but it’s very much true, and my sister agrees with that (I try to get her perspective as well on these issues, and it ensures that I am not in any way personally biased when she sees and feels the same way I do). I was taught by school, friends and MTV literally. My father was no help because he was always gone.

This brings me to my point: I wish that she could be a mother to me. Mothers are supposed to teach, nurture and guide their children. I can’t talk to her or go to her for advice about anything because she has no life experience (literally). She doesn’t understand what it’s like to want to live a Godly life and try to avoid the temptations of the world, or to work a full-time job and hope for advancement, or to have intellectual pursuits and goals, etc. Now I’m not judging her in the respect of having those things or not, but I just wish she could be a mother to me the way I see others’ mothers are to them! She can’t understand anything I go through in my life AT ALL. :confused:

Sarah…my heart goes out to you. It sounds like your mom never got past the age of 13 and has been going through motions of lost youth ever since. Your dad, you and your sister…“just happened” in the path of her life. Getting your head on straight is something that comes from “within”. Your mother isn’t “there”. You made the decision to get “your” head on straight and are following through.

I taught CCD many years ago and one of the questions I asked my confirmation candidates on the very first class…was, “Are you here because “you” want to be, or are you here because your “parents MADE you” attend to make your confirmation?” Out of the 30 kids in the class 18 raised their hands stating that their “parents” MADE them come. I see where you are coming from. These are the same parents that I could not get cooperation from, with regard to chaparoning “lock ins” or “trips” or participating with other parish youth gatherings.

I am 50 and what I remember about my generation is that we were “MADE” to go to CCD and to Church. There was really no reason given other than our parents telling us to go. I don’t recall my dad ever talking about our faith or helping us with a youth project. My mother, a Baptist was the encouraging factor…but she had to ask the priest alot of questions…so she could help us.

It’s called “apathy”. You go to Church, because well, you’re supposed to…it’s a mortal sin if you don’t. I too have struggled with going through motions, because you have to. I believe that is where your dad is at.

Your mother needs some serious counseling. It may be best for you at this juncture not to discuss religion around her. I know, I know I will get lambasted about this…but my family and I do not discuss politics for the same reason. Evil likes a “negative” atmosphere…it feeds off of it.

When she cuts you to the core with her remarks…make your visits less and less. If it is on the phone, “gee mom, got to go…great talking with you.” She doesn’t sound like she is stupid, manipulative, maybe…stupid, no. If she lives in filth to her eyebrows and fills the house with dolls…there is nothing YOU can do. You can’t change her…you can only change yourself.

Stop punishing yourself for not being a good daughter. You just came back from hell. Relax, pray. Be good to your parents…toss out the negative…

Find a good Catholic therapist to discuss the grief you feel over not having a mother as you see it. What you are expressing is anger at her for not being the person you think she should be and a mother as you think she should be. Granted there are great mothers out there. Sometimes we don’t get them. The therapist will help you work this out. You may need a spiritual director as well to help you with issues of religion and charity. This will help you learn to love her as she is but also help you set boundaries for your own sanity.

Usually I am very good with verbalizing what I’m feeling/needing/wanting except on this issue. I think you have put it wonderfully! And I feel that what you suggest is exactly what I need to do as well. Thank you very much! :thumbsup:

Thank you also to everyone else who has responded so far, as different perspective are usually the most helpful. I would appreciate anyone else’s comments as well.

I can relate to your feelings very well. I was there once as well. I think many of us go through this stage and it’s part of separating from our parents and becoming an adult and making our own way in the world. To become a practicing Catholic makes it more important and intense because you’re now dealing with the fact that you understand the grave danger in which your parents have been living your entire life and the fact that you believe that they didn’t protect you morally and spiritually.

Your anger is understandable, but you have to pray to God for the grace to move past it. You have to pray to be able to forgive them (remember, the Lord will forgive you in the same way you do or do not forgive others), and to pray to have charity towards them.

My parents were teenagers when I was born. I was conceived out of wedlock and while they were “forced” to marry, they were separated by the time I was 18 months old. This was the late 60’s and they jumped feet first into the “revolution” that was sweeping the country at the time.

Promiscuity, drugs, rock and roll music was the focus on their lives. I had to grow up in that. When I was 7 they got back together although didn’t remarry through my growing up years because mom was on welfare and didn’t want to give that up. My father was a drug addict who worked infrequently and created a home life filled with lies and secrets, shame and anger.

My parent’s continued to subscribe to the liberal ideals that are the very antithesis of Christianity. They were very negative unhappy people. They estranged many people from them over the years and they seemed to create the very things they were most afraid of. They created their own dark reality by their thoughts and choices.

They had no religious faith, no Christianity at all. They rejected that as a religion of the past, something associated with less enlightened times. My mother dabbled in eastern mysticism, new age stuff and towards the end of her life she was playing around with voo doo and the pagan death worship aspects of the Mexican culture.

My mother died of breast cancer at the age of 45 in 1994.
My father committed suicide this last April at the age of 60.

My H’s mother was abused as a child and she had a nervous breakdown when she had had my H and his younger sister. She was having hallucinations and took to her bed. Finally they put her on anti psychotic drugs, and she stayed in a drug induced state for 35 + years. She had an eating disorder, gorging and gorging and gorging, then sometimes she’d starve herself or vomit it up and then lose a bunch of weight. She was an uncaring, uninvolved mother, who said and did hurtful things to my H and her other children.

His father is a unemotionally distant human being that I’ve known for 23 years and don’t know any better today than I did when I first met him. He was passive person and often gone working away from home for his work. He was unavailable to his kids and every single one of them got involved in drugs, drinking and promiscuity.

These parents also “forced” Sunday mass attendance on their family. They didn’t live it out Catholic faith and didn’t life one finger to protect their children from the ugly immorality of the world outside their door.

So their kids brought it home to them. They’re first daughter conceived a child out of wedlock under their very roof while they slept, their other daughter was allowed to “date” at age of 12 and had a steady boyfriend 5 years her senior for the majority of her adolescence. Then their first daughter married a 50 year old man when she was 18 whom she’d met the year before as her tutor to help her get her high school diploma. Her parents acted as though it was not a concern that a 50 year old man was a “friend” to their teenage daughter. This man put a ten dollar bill in the waist band of the second daughter’s jeans (she was 14 at the time) irght in front of the father and HE DID NOTHING!

The youngest brother, the baby of the family, was a terror on the playground, and his mother did his homework for him. He was involved in drinking, drugs, early on, dropped out of school, been involved in petty crime, unable to get and keep a driver’s license or a job and has “anger management” problems.

My own H was heading the wrong way when he and I met . He was the first born and he actually got the best of the parenting because in those early days, the parents were actually very strict and tried to instill values and discipline. Unfortunately, they overdid it, forgot to care about my H as a human being and their son, and they hurt him terribly.

With the other children there was a gradual hands off approach, an overcorrection that failed even worse than with my H.

My H’s sisters and brother are immersed in hedonism and secularism. One sister did actually marry in the Catholic Church and is still married – but she married a bad guy who is not now nor has he ever been a practicing Catholic and they’ve been involved in almost every immoral and illegal thing you can think of.

The other sister has been married three times outside the church and is a vocal and passionate proponent of homosexuality, abortion and euthanasia (and fornication and adultery…well, she doesn’t think she supports adultery…but it is what it is) And the brother has had lots of hook ups and shack ups. He’s a perpetual child and his currently living with yet another together “mom-type” figure…He is a proponent of drugs alcohol and pornography.

Now my H’s mother has a brain tumor. She has changed completely. She’s off her psycho-active drugs and she’s a totally different person. She’s talking non stop, she’s confessing all her sins and the sins of her family and everyone else to anyone who will listen. She’s lost 50 pounds and is exercising, she’s happy and engaged in life…and she’s totally freaking my H out.

Anyway, life is really crazy and painful and ugly and disappointing. It hurts unbelievably at times. But the point I’ve come to realize is that these examples are what peoples’ lives look like when they live without Jesus in their lives! THIS is what Jesus came to tell us! He said DON’T DO THESE THINGS! Don’t try to live your life and make decisions without turning toHim and seeking His will.

When God says to honor thy father and mother that does not mean you have to approve of them or even like them. What it means and meant to me is that you are polite, respectful and you keep them in your prayers. That’s it.

You’re justifiably hurt and angry and disappointed. You’re not wrong for your feelings. But you have to let it go. You have to forgive. You can’t expect people who don’t practice their faith, not to have all kinds of problems and leave an ugly mess wherever they go.

It’s a cross that you have to bear. It’s going to be one of many. We are to carry this cross happily and gratefully because “there but for the grace of God go I.” For whatever reason, a mystery to us all, God has rescued us from the same fate! We have done nothing to deserve up but respond to His grace.

You may feel now that you just did the logical thing, or that it was YOU who are responsible for turning your life around. You were to the extent that you responded to His call. But He gave you the grace to do that. Those who are living in darkness due to their sins cannot SEE the truth, HIS truth, now.

You are to live the life of faith hope and charity and forgive constantly without counting the cost. You don’t have to like your mom, or live with her. But you have to stay in contact and be polite and don’t let her lash out at you…meaning don’t take what she says or does personally.

I have to live with the fact that I couldn’t get thorugh to my father. My only hope is that he was saved at the last because he was so mentally damaged that it wasn’t an act of a free man.

God Bless You…You can do this with God’s help. But you have to pray for the help. You have to ask God to help you get rid of the anger, hurt and resentment.

  • JMJ +

I think what you are feeling (i.e. frustration etc…) is very normal given your situation. I do know what it is like to grow up with a mom who resembles yours in some aspects. I have been there and I know how your heart feels. I know it was mentioned by a previous poster but at some point, you will have to love her for what she does bring to a relationship. Your eyes have been opened to many things when it comes to God and His Church. This is a wonderful grace. Not everyone will receive that gift. It is natural to want to share that gift with those we are closest to (or those we came from) and want them to “get it”. When they just don’t, it is very normal to have the reaction you did. But now that you have acknowledged that…it is time to decide what to do with these emotions.
I know the hurt that you feel when you don’t have your mom to rely on the way you would like. You can’t call her up and say something on your heart and her reply with some good advice or share an experience with you. It hurts. So my advice to you is that you are going to have to fill that void you feel with other things…prayer, girlfriends, (therapy is good advice but I don’t have that experience to share with you.) That won’t mean that it won’t always be a soft spot for you. You know that change comes from within…so you cannot change her but you can change the way you choose to look at things. Try to see her with the eyes of a grown woman and not a daughter…it’s not easy I know. But pray that God will give you that. To use my own example is that when I tried to do that with my own mother, I went from having this frustration and downright anger at how she was failing me as her daughter to seeing who she is in this world. I saw her for the first time with eyes that her peers may look thru. I saw a scared person who was just trying to make it thru the day. I saw a person who was/is battling addiction. I saw an angry person. A person who had inner struggles. I saw a woman who had alot of love in her but sure had a hard time portraying it on the outside. My mother also never had any friends and still does not to this day. To make a friendship work, both parties have to be givers. When you see no friendships, that tells you something right there. She isn’t capable of it on a normal level. It’s almost like that part of her is ill. If she was sick, you wouldn’t require her to give much at all. You would ask what you could do to help. People with these issues are in some ways ill. It’s not a physical illness but a part of them is not functioning normally.
You mentioned that you can’t call her up and ask her what she thinks of ____. Maybe try calling her up and ask her what she did today. And if it’s watching a disney movie, ask her what was her favorite part. Or which one of Miley’s songs does she like the best and how come. Or which baby is her favorite and why did she choose the outfit for this particular day. You want her to come to you and maybe she needs you to come to her. Not all of us are strong like we should be. Not all of us are nurturing like a mother should. But find out her interests and I am sure you will find something in there that you like about her…and when you do, focus on that. That can be your starting point. She must love you even though she is not giving you the kind that you need. The person you are today is in some way shape or form from her love. You are grown now. Whatever responsible parenting she did have while you were growing up, she may feel she has fulfilled that obligation. Maybe she feels you no longer need her in a mother role. Even though we feel like we are communicating that very well, sometimes our mothers just don’t hear that. You may have to express it in different ways and maybe a thousand times before she hears it.
I hope this is helpful to you. I will keep you in my prayers. Your experience and call out for advice is very close to my heart.

Mark’s Wife:

Thank you so much for sharing.Sharing your painful experiences, your perspective, and your coping mechansims.

I could not possibly add better advice.

May God bless you and your family!

Your anger comes from grief. You want a mother. You don’t have what you want. And you are blaming her and your father, to a lesser extent. But let’s examine that generation. She came of age after Vatican II. The Church was in turmoil. Catholic education as we know it came to a shuddering halt. She probably doesn’t know her faith to the extent she should.

Back up a generation. Who were the people who gave your parents their faith? That generation didn’t talk about things. They sent the kids to Catholic school and church and CCD and left it to the priests and nuns to educate them. They often did not set an example of teaching the faith in the home. Your mother cannot give what she never received in her own life. She doesn’t have the capacity. Add to that her molestation as she became a teenager…

When you started talking about dolls, that was my first thought.

Your mom is suffering. She is taking refuge in a safe place with innocent shows that have no chance of sex scenes, violence or anything that might pop up on the screen and bring back bad memories. If you can see that an understand that, you can forgive it more easily.

You don’t have a mother. Not in the traditional sense. She gave you all she had. She planted the seeds of faith in you long ago. While she wasn’t the one to cultivate them, she did plant them. Be grateful for that. Let me tell you that while you do not have the perfect mother you want, she has the potential to be the most patient and awesome and fun grandmother. The kind who would patiently watch Little Mermaid 300 times with a toddler. “Let’s watch it again, Grandma!” “Okay!!!” The kind who would happily get down on the floor and dress dolls with your children till the cows came home. The kind where your daughters would come home happily after playing with Grandma’s special baby dolls.

I can assure you that seeing her love your own children like that someday will more than make up for what YOU didn’t get. Because someday when you have children, you will love them more than yourself. And anyone else who loves them will be your favorite person.

You will need to find your mentoring and mothering with someone else. There are lonely women out there who would love to take you under their wing, who have lost children or have been widowed, who have wisdom to offer. You can often find them kneeling at Mass in the morning praying alone. They have a mother’s love and wisdom to offer. You need love and wisdom from a mother. I’m sure you could find someone to solve this mutual need.

If you take the burden of being your mother off your own mother, you can see her maybe for the wounded person she is and an opportunity of grace for yourself. We are called to bind each other’s wounds. And in doing so we often bind our own.

When she mouths off, smile and say “Thanks for the help, mom!” “I’ll take it under advisement.” And say a prayer for her instead of being angry.

When you think of her, substitute her given name for the title of “mom” and see if that doesn’t help. If she’s just “Anne” it helps you to look at “Anne” more objectively. “Mom” is an emotionally loaded word!!! :wink:

She didn’t parent you the way you deserved. But she brought enough of God’s grace into your life to enable you to hop around till you grew your own spiritual wings and could fly on your own. Thank her for that.

No one protected her. She may have no idea that’s what is expected of her. You can’t make her get help. But you can love her. Even when she isn’t easy to love.

And when she enters your Catholic-infused home and comments on all the church stuff, thank her for the fact that you are Catholic. It may be the only thing she did right as a mother, as little effort as she put into it, but it was the most important thing, wasn’t it? :wink:

God is the one who will judge them, in whatever diminished capacity they have. He knows all and sees all. He will judge them by what they were given and the tools they had to work with. You received more gifts, so maybe more is expected of you.

And seriously, someday when you are a mother, you will be thrilled that you will have someone who will want to discuss everything about your child. At that point, you won’t care if she doesn’t want to discuss the election.

Good luck. Try to find the grace in this situation. It’s there.

I agree in everything in the previous post. Especially when it says that your mother planted the Catholic seeds in you.

I would add that you honor her as your mother always.

When God commanded us to “Honor thy father and thy mother”, he didn’t conditioned that to only if you agree with them.

God bless

you cannot change your mother
you cannot change your father
you cannot change their relationship
95% of what comprises their life alone, together, faith or lack of it, and spiritual condition you do not know, and cannot ever know, so leave it to them and to God.

you have a degree of control only over your own life and your own marriage and relationship so direct your energies and concerns in that direction. you have received a model of parenting, even if only a negative one, so learn from it, but even if it means getting professional help to do so, do your best to avoid perpetuating harmful attitudes you learned from them.

do not even get into those discussion when you know what the outcome will be. treat them with respect and civility and converse as you would with business clients or fellow parishioners to whom you owe the duty of courtesy, and leave anything personal out of it especially the button-pushers.

Patrick Madrid’s Search and Rescue is the best guide ever written for solid sincere Catholics dealing with family members who are not.

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