Not a very popular person right now - Need Advice


#1

Hello everyone, thanks for allowing me to become a member here…

I just made a decision that is placing tension within my family and need some advice. Here’s the cliff notes:
I’ve been married for seven years, have two children ages 5 and 2 (boy and girl), my wife’s sister moved into her boyfriend’s apartment (unmarried), she has a son and so does he, they all live happily ever-after as one big “family”. I’ve struggled and prayed over it and decided it’s in my children’s best interest that they not go over there anymore. Obviously my wife and her family didn’t take this too well so now I’m the bad guy. Am I really out of line? Deep within me I feel I’m doing the right thing but when my own wife tells me different I am seriously questioning my inner belief system. I made it very clear that I’m not trying to separate the family, that they’re more than welcome to spend time together anytime they wish, only not at the place where they choose to live in sin. By doing so, I feel as if I’m sending my kids the message that it’s ok to live like that, and it’s not.

So give it to me guys, am I out of line and should I go back on my stance or stand firm? Thanks, any guidance and suggestions are greatly appreciated.


#2

I think your children are too young to know their Aunt is living in sin. As far as they know the couple are married.

But if that is what you feel after prayerful discernment then stay strong. You are the leader of the home and that is what leaders do- make unpopular choices. :)


#3

My daughter is 2 so yes, she is too young to understand. My son is almost 6 and he fully understands. I know because not long ago he asked me why his aunt doesn’t live with “the other guy” anymore (her last boyfriend). – Yeah, she gets around , which is another reason why I don’t want my kids around it. It’s dirty. I have a daughter! I don’t want her growing up thinking it’s ok to whore around and live with different guys. My wife says “it’s my sister and they’d never do anything to harm our kids.” I digress… I would argue that by allowing them in that environment, you are condoning the behavior and even acting as an enabler for her sister. What when my daughter sees that it’s ok to be a ho-bag because her cool aunt did it and then she comes home with some funky std???


#4

Wow. that’s some really ugly things to say about your sister-in-law. Really bad. This is your wife’s sister. She may be doing some things you don’t approve of but geez. If this is your attitude, I can definitely see why you are coming across as the bad guy. Your name calling is probably getting in the way of the message you are trying to get across. You need to really step back and take a look at yourself. And I do think you are wrong. You shouldn’t punish your SILs kids (and your kids too) because of mistakes your SIL is making.

Also, are you a perfect person? You sure are judging your sister-in-law and calling her names as if you are a perfect person. Please be careful. You should not be saying these things about yoru SIL or any woman for that matter. It is not up to you to judge.


#5

noclevername-

This isn't about his SIL. It is about his kids. He is responsible for them. He answers for what happens to them. He must follow his conscience.


#6

But he has no business calling his SIL those names. Think about it. If he has that attitude on this forum, he has that attitude in real life. He should never call any woman those names. And the children didn’t choose to live in a marriageless household so why are they the ones he is making suffer for it? It’s the kids who are on the losing end. SILs kids should see what a home is like with a married couple who are devoted to one another. But instead he wants to call is SIL a whore. Hmmmm. Not good.


#7

So I’m supposed to hide the truth and not “judge” her and call her a saint? Wouldn’t that be lying to my own kids and teaching them the wrong things? I’ve NEVER called her names. I’ve called her ACTIONS and deeds names. I hate the sin not the sinner…


#8

[quote="noclevername, post:6, topic:223462"]
But he has no business calling his SIL those names. Think about it. If he has that attitude on this forum, he has that attitude in real life. He should never call any woman those names. And the children didn't choose to live in a marriageless household so why are they the ones he is making suffer for it? It's the kids who are on the losing end. SILs kids should see what a home is like with a married couple who are devoted to one another. But instead he wants to call is SIL a whore. Hmmmm. Not good.

[/quote]

As I stated before, I am not trying to separate the family and told them as much. That they are more than welcome to spend all the time in the world with the kids, and their kids with our kids - only not in their household while they're un-married.

Here's how I put it in perspective to my wife: It's not ME who made the decision for our children to not be allowed to go over there, it was HERS, the minute she decided to shack up with her boyfriend.


#9

Here’s how I put it in perspective to my wife: It’s not ME who made the decision for our children to not be allowed to go over there, it was HERS, the minute she decided to shack up with her boyfriend.

I actually applaud you for what you are doing. Not many men take a stand against sexual immorality anymore and it may plant a seed in your SIL.

You are right to be disgusted by the behavior. If more people were disgusted by that kind of behavior it wouldn’t be nearly as common. Women tend to downplay the impact of sexual immorality and men tend to withhold comments in order to be politically correct. The result is that young women have no idea that their sexual behavior makes them lose all respect in mens eyes…because nobody tells them!


#10

I'd also like to note that the Bible commands us to "judge" others as admonishment. Not only is it ok to "judge", as Christians we are commanded to do so. If I were to allow my own flesh and blood children whom mean more to me than life itself the freedom to go to my wife's sister's place, I'd be an enabler of her behavior, which is probably just as bad as the sin she is committing... Right?


#11

[quote="violet81, post:9, topic:223462"]
I actually applaud you for what you are doing. Not many men take a stand against sexual immorality anymore and it may plant a seed in your SIL.

You are right to be disgusted by the behavior. If more people were disgusted by that kind of behavior it wouldn't be nearly as common. Women tend to downplay the impact of sexual immorality and men tend to withhold comments in order to be politically correct. The result is that young women have no idea that their sexual behavior makes them lose all respect in mens eyes...because nobody tells them!

[/quote]

Think maybe you could tell my wife that? Heh...


#12

How about these individuals with whom she lives, or has lived? The sister’s good intentions toward OP’s children has zero to do with the proclivities of the man she is currently living with. Before I retired, I spent several decades investigating sex crimes perpetrated by such men, who had little investment in their relationship. What do we know about this man? Is he an RSO? Who knows?

Does not SIL have a green light as long as the family enables such behaviors and raises no objections? We are talking automatic mortal sin here.


#13

I think you are making a good decision as long as you allow visits with your SIL at your home or other neutral location. Just explain until the relationship is a marriage that the relationship should not be portrayed as such to your children.


#14

[quote="BamaClark, post:7, topic:223462"]
So I'm supposed to hide the truth and not "judge" her and call her a saint? Wouldn't that be lying to my own kids and teaching them the wrong things? I've NEVER called her names. I've called her ACTIONS and deeds names. I hate the sin not the sinner..

[/quote]

  1. NOBODY suggested lying. YOU brought that up.

  2. NEVER called her names?? What's "ho-bag"??


#15

I feel you are making the right decision about your children not going there. If their parents do not teach them right from wrong then they will have a hard time learning it. Your SIL has made her own self the words you described her as, no one else. You have nothing to be sorry for, & your family should be proud to have a leader not afraid to be a leader. You won't win any popularity contests, but you will be able to stand in front of God on this decision.


#16

Sometimes standing up for what is right is a very difficult thing to do. You're definitely not going to win any popularity contests. That being said, I think that you're being reasonable in your requests. As long as you've made it clear that the kids can still hang out at your place or another location, so long as it's not SIL's home.

You are the spiritual head of the household, and it's up to you to lead your family in the way you feel is best. I'm sure your wife is upset about it, she feels like you are dividing her and her sister. But you and your wife should be first and foremost concerned for what is best for your kids, not hurting someone else's feelings. Your wife's duty is to her children before her sister. What are you teaching your kids about marriage if you let them spend time in your SIL's home?

Here's something to think about, though you don't have to answer it here. How long has your SIL known this man? How long have you known him? If you don't know him well or trust him, why would you trust your kids with him? Sometimes taking your SIL's word that he's a good person isn't the wisest course of action. (I'm not saying that he's trouble--just that if you don't know him personally, it might not be in your kids' best interest to be over at his house.)


#17

I think it is fine for you to limit visits from the children to neutral territory or your own home. A short, friendly and non-confrontative message will be enough.

That said, I am appalled by your language in describing your sister-in-law. It is uncharitable and unkind. She may be misguided and living in sin, most probably has low-self esteem that has led her to seek easy comfort with men who aren't willing to commit to her. She is just a sinner like the rest of us shambling around. She is beautiful in God's eyes and only one breath away from re-entering into a state of grace with Him. Remember, she is His darling, just as you are.

Language is not just any old thing - words have power and they also reveal stuff about our own inner motivation, spirit and intent. Praying for her and loving her would have more effect than calling her names. Even if you don't say those words to her (oh dear, I hope you don't) or her sister, your wife (oh please Lord, let's hope you haven't let any of that slip), but the fact that you posted such foul language here means that is what Jesus is hearing. I'm pretty sure Jesus didn't call the woman at the well a "ho-bag". That is definitely not just hating the sin - that is labeling and hating the sinner.

I realize this sis-in-law has put you in a bad position so you have some anger involved in that, but if you truly want to model Christianity, you need to think this through.


#18

I respect your authority over your own household. Here is how I would respond.
I would go there, if invited, and tell the SIL ( privately ) that you don’t agree with her lifestyle, but that you love them as family, and as long as the kids are safe, and they don’t try to overtly influence your childrens’ morality, you will come over respectfully. Sadly in the world today, its impossible to completely shelter your children from the appearance and activity of evil. I would explain, whenever you think the children are old enough, that they are to respect aunt ___ and mr. ___ ( first name ), but they choose to live differently, and what they do is wrong. Tell them not to say anything about it, but not to live in the way they live. This would be a good opportunity to explain free will, and individual responsibility. And also the concept of ‘hating the sin, but loving the sinner’ I’ve had to do this with my son, for some family and friends. I tell him to pray for them. I only have two expections, one uncle and one brother. For personal reasons( explained elsewhere ) I’ve told my son to avoid those two people. They also know to stay away. The advice here, is only my opinion. As far as how you and SIL view each other, I would just try to be respectful, avoid arguments and name calling, and pray for her. I wouldn’t worry about her opinion otherwise, unless someone’s safety is concerned or she tries to teach your children against catholic teaching.


#19

Make your decision based on your integrity. Be willing to stand alone for what is right according to principles. Your decision is your decision. You do not need consensus, validation or our approval. These are your children. You have the responsibility and the authority. It is up to you to act with wisdom.

Whatever precedent you set now will be difficult to change. Being wishy-washy will only lead to continuing difficulties with your wife and in your life. Maybe you are right, maybe you are wrong, but stand by your decision and the storm will blow over.

Remember, your No should mean No and your Yes should mean Yes. Otherwise how can anyone trust your decisions.


#20

Well, are we only supposed to live our faith and values when it's convenient to us?

'Sis, we love you. But I truly believe what you are doing is morally wrong and I do not want my children to think I approve. Since I am trying to raise them in the Catholic faith it would send conflicting messages to them and make me appear to be a hypocrite. We love seeing you and the kids, but I just can't bring my kids here."

No, I would not want my kids over there. It is a horrible example and by being 'politically correct' and non-judgemental and 'looking the other way' you are tacitly approving and sending your children the message this is an option for them in the future. The SIL is being used, and she's using her boyfriend in their arrangement without committment, but that's actually not a religious issue but something for your kids to learn eventually on a practical level. I pray they stay together because of the bonds their children are developing. If the relationship ends that could be devastating to the little ones. But in our society, with disposable relationships, families form and disperse with step-brothers/sisters constantly changing and eroding a sense of stability in the young.

 I'll assume you used language here out of frustration that you would never use with your wife or SIL. Kind of venting here, ok. But bottom line, she is not treating herself with respect and not acting in a way worthy of respect. There's never an excuse to be rude, but one can certainly draw lines based on one's faith politely. Either your wife is onboard with raising the kid's Catholic or she's not, she needs to decide because her loving acceptance of her sister's relationship is sending the message to the kids it's ok. Does she  want her daughter/son shacking up with someone down the road? Does she want them to think of relationships as disposable? Scandal is misleading others into sin- and not clearly delineating what is moral/immoral to kids in their formative years, IMHO, qualifies. 

As to tolerance, Jesus said when we have a problem with our brother, try to correct them in private, if they don't listen, approach them with witnesses, if they still refuse to listen, go to the Church. If they refuse to listen- even to the Church- treat them as (an ancient Jew would have) tax collectors or gentiles.

Now, I wouldn't cut off all relations with the sister. Set a good example, as you said love the sinner but not the sin. Which means, you have to demonstrate that you believe what she's doing is wrong through your actions. And I think not going there, but visiting with her other places is a good method.

ETA: Christ wasn't very popular either, particularly to the Pharisees, a lot of folks didn't want to hear His words on how to live.


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