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5 minutes ago, Tanaqui said:

 

Another thing that comes to mind - and to be fair, Scarlett does not seem to have engaged in this, so I don't want to sound like I'm just jabbing at her! - her son probably had his reason for doing what he did too. I doubt it really was that analogous to "wanting to watch r-rated movie and getting pissy that Mom wouldn't watch with him". If we all are trusting that, whether or not we agree with her, Scarlett made her decision for some reason other than "I wanna get at my son and really hurt him" then I think it's fair to give him the same benefit of the doubt. Why did he have his wedding where he knew his mom wouldn't attend? IDK. He had a reason, and I'm sure it made sense to him. Given what all else we've heard about him on this thread, I'll bet good money that it involved HIS sense of morals, in that he felt for whatever reason that he could not, in good conscience, do what she would have liked here.

I could be wrong. Obviously he's not here to defend himself. But I just don't see him, based on what has been described, as deliberately choosing to spite his mom for no other reason than because he could.

(BTW, going back to my previous advice, slot this in. When you empathize with your son, Scarlett, try to focus on his reasons for making his choice rather than how hurt you felt. Because you care about him, you care about his reasons. Presumably he understands your reasons a heck of a lot better than I ever could, even though he doesn't agree with them.)

 

That’s a good point!

Scarlett’s son does seem to have a very strong sense of right and wrong. He doesn’t seem to be the type of person who would deliberately do something wrong or immoral, and he has always been close to Scarlett, so it seems highly unusual that he would have intentionally tried to hurt her. 

I think that’s a big reason why I’m having so much trouble figuring this out.

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Is doing the thing you will not do a major sin--that is, in the unmarried couple living together example, is entering the house of an unmarried couple a major sin according to your beliefs? Not is liv

If you don't attend events in your child's home because of their chosen living situation I would absolutely expect that to have an affect on your relationship.  You are basically choosing to cut them

My cousin's daughter married a woman.  No one in the family went.  Not her parents, grandparents, or aunts or uncles.  I wasn't invited and didn't even know it happened until after the fact.  

Yeah, I mean, we can't say how it should be handled, or if he will forgive her, or if he even should, or if she should forgive him, etc etc without knowing the issue at hand. 

I mean, if a fictional person named Barbaralla posted that she won't attend her son's wedding because they are white and the soon to be wife is black and it is against her personal moral code to mix the races and that according to her convictions God designed black people as inferior, we are all unlikely to start saying, "wow, your son is such a jerk to want you to go against your personal morality! Good for you for sticking with your beliefs - if he's upset he's a manipulative narcissist!"

Versus if Barbarella posted that her daughter is marrying a convicted murderer who got out on bail and has been physically abusing her daughter on the regular, and her daughter doesn't even like the guy but thinks if she marries him she can get her own reality show, make a bunch of money and then spend it on cocaine, and given all that she is not going to attend the farce of a wedding. In that case, yeah, we'd be likely to say she is right to hold firm. 

And a million scenarios in-between. 

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Just now, Catwoman said:

 

That’s a good point!

Scarlett’s son does seem to have a very strong sense of right and wrong. He doesn’t seem to be the type of person who would deliberately do something wrong or immoral, and he has always been close to Scarlett, so it seems highly unusual that he would have intentionally tried to hurt her. 

I think that’s a big reason why I’m having so much trouble figuring this out.

 

Is the girlfriend/now wife a JW?  I can't remember if she said she was????  I am reading that JWs often don't go to weddings if there is any part of the ceremony they feel is pagan or against their beliefs.  I don't know what JWs consider pagan/against teaching, but I am thinking maybe drinking?  Not having a Kingdom Hall wedding?  Having a wedding in a Christian Church?  

.  

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56 minutes ago, DawnM said:

 

Is the girlfriend/now wife a JW?  I can't remember if she said she was????  I am reading that JWs often don't go to weddings if there is any part of the ceremony they feel is pagan or against their beliefs.  I don't know what JWs consider pagan/against teaching, but I am thinking maybe drinking?  Not having a Kingdom Hall wedding?  Having a wedding in a Christian Church?  

.  

 

I don’t know very much about the JW faith so you probably already know more than I do, but I’m sure the new wife is a JW — or at least she was when Scarlett posted about her in the past. I don’t know if anything has changed since then, though. I assume she is still involved in the faith because Scarlett seemed to approve of the girl marrying her son.

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1 minute ago, DawnM said:

 

What do you mean own our own feelings?

 

I mean Scarlett doesn't owe us satisfaction, and anyone who is irritated by that needs to, in the words of the immortal Man in Black, "get used to disappointment."*

*Princess Bride reference.

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1 hour ago, Ktgrok said:

Yeah, I mean, we can't say how it should be handled, or if he will forgive her, or if he even should, or if she should forgive him, etc etc without knowing the issue at hand. 

I mean, if a fictional person named Barbaralla posted that she won't attend her son's wedding because they are white and the soon to be wife is black and it is against her personal moral code to mix the races and that according to her convictions God designed black people as inferior, we are all unlikely to start saying, "wow, your son is such a jerk to want you to go against your personal morality! Good for you for sticking with your beliefs - if he's upset he's a manipulative narcissist!"

Versus if Barbarella posted that her daughter is marrying a convicted murderer who got out on bail and has been physically abusing her daughter on the regular, and her daughter doesn't even like the guy but thinks if she marries him she can get her own reality show, make a bunch of money and then spend it on cocaine, and given all that she is not going to attend the farce of a wedding. In that case, yeah, we'd be likely to say she is right to hold firm. 

And a million scenarios in-between. 

 

Exactly. I can't commiserate with her, because there simply isn't enough information and all attempts of "comparisons" were so overboard from what the situation apparently is in reality.

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1 hour ago, Ktgrok said:

Yeah, I mean, we can't say how it should be handled, or if he will forgive her, or if he even should, or if she should forgive him, etc etc without knowing the issue at hand. 

I mean, if a fictional person named Barbaralla posted that she won't attend her son's wedding because they are white and the soon to be wife is black and it is against her personal moral code to mix the races and that according to her convictions God designed black people as inferior, we are all unlikely to start saying, "wow, your son is such a jerk to want you to go against your personal morality! Good for you for sticking with your beliefs - if he's upset he's a manipulative narcissist!"

Versus if Barbarella posted that her daughter is marrying a convicted murderer who got out on bail and has been physically abusing her daughter on the regular, and her daughter doesn't even like the guy but thinks if she marries him she can get her own reality show, make a bunch of money and then spend it on cocaine, and given all that she is not going to attend the farce of a wedding. In that case, yeah, we'd be likely to say she is right to hold firm. 

And a million scenarios in-between. 

 

Yep. You are our resident novelist. 

😂

Seriously, though, good point. Details matter. 

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35 minutes ago, Rosie_0801 said:

 

I mean Scarlett doesn't owe us satisfaction, and anyone who is irritated by that needs to, in the words of the immortal Man in Black, "get used to disappointment."*

*Princess Bride reference.

 

While that’s true, her original post did solicit responses, which could vary substantially if the details were known. While I respect the OP’s right to privacy, this thread was kind of set up for failure. 

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I suspect she didn't want the blow back of choosing to skip her own child's wedding hence the lack of details.  She said she skipped the wedding.  The title says it was her decision.   She jumped on the posts right away saying something like that could drastically affect a parent-child relationship.  Honestly, both of them sound pretty hard headed.  Hope they can heal over time.  

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8 minutes ago, Seasider too said:

 

Yep. You are our resident novelist. 

😂

Seriously, though, good point. Details matter. 

 

Expect Barbarella's story to hit the bookstand soon, lol. Poor woman! Between her son and her daughter, she can't win, lol. 

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7 hours ago, Catwoman said:

 

Wow. I feel so sorry for that poor man. But good for him for attending his dd’s wedding despite knowing that most of the attendees wouldn’t talk to him, because it was more important for him to be there for his dd.

I can’t relate to the shunning thing at all. (I don’t know if the JWs call it that — sorry for not knowing the proper terminology.) If I was getting married and a lot of the guests were going to refuse to talk to my dad, I would choose my dad above all of them and tell them that they weren’t welcome to attend my wedding. I would choose my family over church members. (And ok, I wouldn’t be a part of a faith that would do something like that to someone in my family — or to anyone else, now that I think about it — so I guess I can’t relate to the situation at all.)

I personally felt sorry that her father turned up. In the weeks before the wedding he had run off with another woman. His daughter was still very much angry with him for what he had just done.

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9 minutes ago, Melissa in Australia said:

I personally felt sorry that her father turned up. In the weeks before the wedding he had run off with another woman. His daughter was still very much angry with him for what he had just done.

This kind of drama is why my husband and I went off and got married in Scotland without anyone there but the photographer and videographer. (and the priest, lol). 

But, we DID discuss it with family ahead of time, and come to the compromise of hiring that videographer and then playing the video at an event at our new home, etc. And our parents understood our decision. Had it been something that was going to drive a wedge in the relationship we would have done it differently. Which is why I just don't get not working this all out ahead of time. 

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2 hours ago, Catwoman said:

 

I can’t figure out what’s going on, but whatever it is, Scarlett has to decide if being what she considers to be right is worth potentially losing her entire relationship with her son. 

She says she is willing to forgive him, but she doesn’t seem to be willing to make any compromises, and that doesn’t bode well for the future, particularly because her son seems pretty stubborn, too. I’m concerned that neither one of them will give an inch, and that their relationship will be irreparably damaged. I would hate to see that happen. 

 

I don't think Scarlett has to decide if being right is worth losing her relationship with her son; I think she has to decide, and has decided, whether doing right is worth losing the relationship.

It's not like she's trying to prove something to him; she just has a moral/religious boundary she cannot cross.  It might not be one any of us share, but that doesn't make it less real for her.

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2 hours ago, Ktgrok said:

Yeah, I mean, we can't say how it should be handled, or if he will forgive her, or if he even should, or if she should forgive him, etc etc without knowing the issue at hand. 

I mean, if a fictional person named Barbaralla posted that she won't attend her son's wedding because they are white and the soon to be wife is black and it is against her personal moral code to mix the races and that according to her convictions God designed black people as inferior, we are all unlikely to start saying, "wow, your son is such a jerk to want you to go against your personal morality! Good for you for sticking with your beliefs - if he's upset he's a manipulative narcissist!"

Versus if Barbarella posted that her daughter is marrying a convicted murderer who got out on bail and has been physically abusing her daughter on the regular, and her daughter doesn't even like the guy but thinks if she marries him she can get her own reality show, make a bunch of money and then spend it on cocaine, and given all that she is not going to attend the farce of a wedding. In that case, yeah, we'd be likely to say she is right to hold firm. 

And a million scenarios in-between. 

 

Right, and because JW religious laws and personal convictions are often fairly out of the norm in the USA today, I can see why she wanted advice or sympathy from people undergoing a similar situation from their perspective without talking about the specifics of the situation, because, as you just said, a thread started about a specific situation that many posters here disagree with would veer sharply into "you don't have a right to feel that way because your values aren't modern enough" territory.

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I guess it's just that if you have fairly mainstream views, you have the privilege of being a completely open part of the community and can discuss things with people frankly.  If you're not within certain bounds on various topics (for Scarlett, evidently, JW religious convictions) then either you can't talk at all about various topics or you have to be vague and hope for people to have experiences to which you can relate, even if the exact circumstances are different.

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When the teachings of a faith drive a wedge between parent and child, for me, the relationship with child takes precedence.   Honestly,  if I were Scarlett's son and learned of various people giving their sympathies to her in regards to my behavior (which sounded like "concern trolling" to me), I would high tail it out of that town and probably that faith first chance I get.  Hopefully son will let bygones be bygones and work on restoring the relationship. 

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9 minutes ago, Ktgrok said:

You can talk about them, but people may not agree you are right. 

 

Of course, but if you don't want to debate about whether you're right, but want to talk about another aspect of the situation (the emotional effect of the conflict, in this case), you can't talk about the specifics because people will not be sympathetic to you or even be willing to talk to you about that aspect without castigating you about the thing they disagree with. (as you explicity said in an earlier post)

which, I dunno, whatever

It works if you're normalish (for this board)

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1 hour ago, Melissa in Australia said:

I personally felt sorry that her father turned up. In the weeks before the wedding he had run off with another woman. His daughter was still very much angry with him for what he had just done.

 

Oh, wow! Now that you added that part, I totally agree with you!!!

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And it is true that on the whole I really don't belong here, and I guess this thread has me feeling it.  I was happy to talk with people about the different ways we've had trouble with kids growing up and rejecting us, or becoming independent, and reflecting on ways we did the same thing to our parents; it's given me some perspective for (very mild) issues we're going through now in my family.

But if I were explicit about the issues, I would absolutely not be able to talk to much of anyone about it, because the overwhelming response to me would be "you don't have the right to feel that way as your moral beliefs are backward and evil."  

I've gotten great book recs here before, listing the more mild of my criteria (which I still have to JAWM and still get blowback about); if I said what my actual criteria were there would be no recs, no discussion, just condemnation.

 

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11 minutes ago, moonflower said:

 

Of course, but if you don't want to debate about whether you're right, but want to talk about another aspect of the situation (the emotional effect of the conflict, in this case), you can't talk about the specifics because people will not be sympathetic to you or even be willing to talk to you about that aspect without castigating you about the thing they disagree with. (as you explicity said in an earlier post)

which, I dunno, whatever

It works if you're normalish (for this board)

 

The problem is, though, that if you feel the need to be too vague about what happened, maybe this is a topic best saved for PMs with trusted friends or a private social group of likeminded people. If you don’t trust people to genuinely try to help you, it may be best not to start a thread at all. It’s very stressful to worry that people are going to be mean to you!

I think people wanted to sympathize with Scarlett and try to help her figure out how to repair her relationship with her son, but I can’t say that I blame people for having gotten annoyed after a while, because it started to feel like a game of cat and mouse, where Scarlett was adding a tiny detail here and there, just to keep people interested and curious. Don’t get me wrong — I don’t think she did it intentionally, but I can see how people may have thought she was messing with their heads by withholding important information while posting confusing and unrelated analogies. Again, I think she was just upset and worried and she wasn’t sure how much information she was ready to share, not that she was actually trying to dupe anyone.

I can definitely understand why she didn’t initially want to say that she hadn’t attended her son’s wedding, because that would be a big hot button issue for many of us, but on the other hand, it’s hard to answer a general question about whether or not a relationship can be saved without telling people what actually happened. The abortion analogy in the OP had no relation whatsoever to not attending a wedding, so the whole thread started on the wrong foot.

 

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14 minutes ago, moonflower said:

And it is true that on the whole I really don't belong here, and I guess this thread has me feeling it.  I was happy to talk with people about the different ways we've had trouble with kids growing up and rejecting us, or becoming independent, and reflecting on ways we did the same thing to our parents; it's given me some perspective for (very mild) issues we're going through now in my family.

But if I were explicit about the issues, I would absolutely not be able to talk to much of anyone about it, because the overwhelming response to me would be "you don't have the right to feel that way as your moral beliefs are backward and evil."  

I've gotten great book recs here before, listing the more mild of my criteria (which I still have to JAWM and still get blowback about); if I said what my actual criteria were there would be no recs, no discussion, just condemnation.

 

 

I have to say that, even in the threads where people have been tough on you, you have always been gracious. You aren’t nasty, and I admire that about you. 

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14 minutes ago, moonflower said:

And it is true that on the whole I really don't belong here, and I guess this thread has me feeling it.  I was happy to talk with people about the different ways we've had trouble with kids growing up and rejecting us, or becoming independent, and reflecting on ways we did the same thing to our parents; it's given me some perspective for (very mild) issues we're going through now in my family.

But if I were explicit about the issues, I would absolutely not be able to talk to much of anyone about it, because the overwhelming response to me would be "you don't have the right to feel that way as your moral beliefs are backward and evil."  

I've gotten great book recs here before, listing the more mild of my criteria (which I still have to JAWM and still get blowback about); if I said what my actual criteria were there would be no recs, no discussion, just condemnation.

 

Well, I mean yeah..people are going to think some things are wrong. If someone asked you about the best way to say, lure a young girl into a situation where they could take advantage of her, you wouldn't be all "well, everyone has different morals" and just give advice, right?

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2 minutes ago, StellaM said:

 

It would be as if I decided to have my 50th birthday in the - I cannot believe this is a thing - sausage factory restaurant and cafe the next suburb over, and invited vegan dd2, and said 'Hey honey, it really matters to me that you can make it!'

Well firstly, that would be a major jerk move, because I would have failed abjectly to consider my daughter and her values as a person, placing my own need for her attendance before anything else. But secondly, I could hardly be surprised or angry if she said 'I'm really sorry Mum, but you know that I'm vegan, and it's an ethical choice for me, and I can't support the cafe with my presence or money.'

She's not telling me, in that hypothetical, that she is right - she is telling me that there are some things she ethically cannot do, even for me.

I have no idea what the actual scenario is, and Scarlett doesn't owe us the actual scenario - no-one is obliged to post in this thread if they don't like that. But if it was that son and dil held wedding in a place they knew (or did not check) that Scarlett could not go - not because she is 'right' - after all, she's not picketing the venue, making sure no-one else can get in either - but because she found it lay so heavy on her conscience that she could not - well, what have they got to be surprised or angry about ? 

I bet that I share very few of Scarlett's religious boundaries, if any.

It's still not difficult to see the sense in what you assert here. 

And it IS difficult for me to see ds and DIL not responding to 'oh, Mum can't come to that venue' with 'let's find somewhere else'. 

As in my comparison above...dd can't come to my sausage factory 50th 'cos morals ? Ok, no big deal...change the freaking venue and now she can come. Magic!

 

 

 

This assumes that there is no moral or compelling reason for them choosing the venue. I mean, if the ONLY place she would attend is a JW Kingdom Hall, not anywhere else, and they are no longer practicing that religion, then well, they can't just pick another place. 

Or if it doesn't matter where they got married, just that they say, left the church and have been disfellowshipped, then really, that is her saying "believe what I believe or I won't have anything to do with you". Which yikes. Not sure what can be expected to happen there other than what did happen. 

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2 minutes ago, StellaM said:

 

I feel that this board disproportionately acts out a sort of collective trauma from their own young adult years, in weighting the rights and experiences of young adult far more than they do the rights and experiences of mothers. I feel this board is disproportionately fetishising of youth, and has insufficient respect for age. You may disagree entirely with my feelings, and that is fine, but I do see this group dynamic play out over and over again. It's my opinion that a man old enough to marry, and take on the responsibilities of family, is old enough to effectively manage his own emotions, without needing his mother to violate her conscience, however inexplicable he may see that line in the sand. Other people's mileage may vary.

I actually don't agree with this.  I think this board tends to side and sympathize with whoever is presenting the story.  Which is normal human nature.   The OP got plenty of sympathy in this thread. I actually think in plenty of situational posts where a poster is posting as upset by a situation, it would be fascinating to hear the story as presented the other side.  It is highly likely that is not nearly as clear cut as many people would like to present.   I've been involved in mediation situations in real life and rarely are things as clear as one side would present.  

This is an extremely diverse board.  I think everyone is an insider and an outsider in some way.  I am not Christian and have certainly felt piled on at times and  have quietly stepped away during certain threads.  If someone does not want a diverse opinion set, maybe this isn't the board for them.  I have been here on and off for many many years and I have seen minds open and hearts change by intelligent but respectful discussion and an open mind.   There are other boards - faith based, etc that might be more appropriate.  

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26 minutes ago, Ktgrok said:

This assumes that there is no moral or compelling reason for them choosing the venue. I mean, if the ONLY place she would attend is a JW Kingdom Hall, not anywhere else, and they are no longer practicing that religion, then well, they can't just pick another place. 

Or if it doesn't matter where they got married, just that they say, left the church and have been disfellowshipped, then really, that is her saying "believe what I believe or I won't have anything to do with you". Which yikes. Not sure what can be expected to happen there other than what did happen. 

The point of Stella's analogy is that the specifics don't matter if you're going to answer the questions in the OP. They really don't.

All we know is her son asked her to do something her conscience would not allow her to do, some place she would not go, or whatever it was. There are a lot of people in this thread who keep saying they can't understand why she wouldn't give up her morals for her son for whatever it was. There are a lot of people saying they would never hold to any kind of morality that would keep them from doing something or going somewhere for their kid. 1) I find this very difficult to believe because everyone has a line they won't cross, even for their own kids. They may just find that other lines that other people hold to are silly; and 2) It is not fair in any sense for someone to say, "If you don't violate your conscience in this way it means you don't really love me and I'm going to be angry at you indefinitely." That isn't okay, no matter if it's painting pink polka dots on a t-shirt or eating pork or attending a wedding or hopping on one foot. It isn't fair to ask someone you know has a strongly held belief to violate it for you or else. It isn't mature. It's manipulative.

So, hypothetically, if you wanted to have your wedding a venue you know that your mother cannot go to, that is absolutely fine. It is your choice. However, it is not fair to hang that over your mother's head and be angry that she wouldn't do what you wanted knowing that she couldn't go there. It isn't fair to say, "She could have gone if she really loved me," or, "She could have gone if she really wanted to." That's manipulation. Even if they had a super good reason for holding the wedding somewhere Scarlett couldn't go, that's okay! But it means she can't go there and part of being a mature adult is recognizing that in a mature way, which doesn't include being angry and holding a lifelong grudge. It might be a super sad situation where everyone is grieved that things didn't work out and mom couldn't be at the wedding. But it's not okay for either party to hold the other person in contempt and be angry for not violating their consciences, especially if that was a known quantity long before any of this ever came up. I would say the same if Scarlett were the one getting angry and holding a grudge at her son for having his wedding somewhere she couldn't go. He gets to have his wedding where he wants. People (even mothers!) can choose to attend or not based on their own boundaries. The relationship needs to be mended on the idea that it is okay for people (even mothers!) to have lines they will not cross, even for their kiddos. I guarantee everyone has one or several, even if you (general) think Scarlett's are silly or unreasonable based off of what you know of her religion.

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4 minutes ago, StellaM said:

 

As I said, others are free to disagree with my perspective. It's just my own perspective, and matters no more than yours.

I - an atheist, progressive, unmarried, interracial family with gay kids - am more than happy to have Scarlett here, and have her share as much or as little of her story as she wants. I don't feel the need to shunt her off to a JW board or somesuch. I am OK to have Scarlett and moonflower here, just as I am OK the other way round, morally and politically. 

I personally have found greater growth in an ability to listen to, and consider someone like maize, who disagrees with me on some close moral issues, and is still a good, intelligent, and kind person, but other's mileage, as I said above, may vary. It's all good. 

I don't disagree.  I like the diversity of this board.  It's why I return and I think everyone is welcome. 

But I really don't think anyone choosing to be here is a "victim" of the board.  Pretty much everyone is the minority view at some point.    

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My DH always says, “do you want to be right or do you want to be happy?” When we are fussing at each other or over our kids. Rarely can you be both at the same time when a major conflict occurs. If you prefer to be ‘right’ that’s fine. You just need to find another way to be happy because it’s not going to come from the opposing party. 

I don’t think age necessarily gives anyone any special wisdom. My mom has been making some of the same mistakes in her personal and professional life for decades because she never learned to do things differently. This she admitted to me just last month as part of the very first apology/acknowledgment I’ve ever received from her.

In this as in most things, time will tell.

 

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As to Scarlett's situation, I don't know. However, I have found it a bit ironic that on a board where we are always talking about boundaries, and the Boundaries book is often recommended, it doesn't seem to apply if it is one's child rather than someone else. I love my kids with all I am, but if I had one who was trying to manipulate me to do something I felt I couldn't (thankfully, that hasn't arisen thus far), I would have to put a boundary there, The speculations have been interesting, and sometimes entertaining, but I must not have read as carefully as others, because I keep seeing people insisting that Scarlett said things that I don't recall reading that she said. If this really had to do with her son's wedding, it seems as though things must have moved really quickly, and talking things through to a compromise might not could happen as quickly as the wedding did. Hugs to you, Scarlett. I hope you and your son are able to find a healthy, loving way forward, with mutual respect for each other and your points of view.

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7 minutes ago, StellaM said:

 

Exactly the same thing could be said to the son. 

Age doesn't bestow wisdom; it does bestow life experience, and frequently, people do mature in the light of that.

Being older doesn't automatically disqualify your point of view, that's all. And there is no 'young adult wisdom', available only to post-millenials, which negates the combined wisdom of every other generation currently on existence on this planet.

Dealing with our experiences of our own mothers is a good thing to deal with in therapy; I think it's less effective when we use our own personal experience of mothers to extrapolate to other mothers here on this board. That my mum made some grievous mistakes in her raising of me doesn't mean Scarlett is any more likely to be making the same or other mistakes. I think I would be wrong to take my own experience of being mothered, and project that onto Scarlett's situation, without a vast degree more information.

In general (not just on this board) I think mothers are incredibly devalued, and often act as community scapegoats, so it wouldn't be surprising to see that echoed in any environment, even one composed of mothers.

 

To the bolded, of course, no one said otherwise. Therapy is always beneficial. My mother only apologized to me after a year of it. I’m glad it helped her. My experiences weren’t extrapolated to Scarlett except to say that she cant control her son’s response and has to find a way to live with/find peace with where things are. That’s it. 

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3 minutes ago, StellaM said:

 

Yep, I agree. 

And this is great advice for Scarlett's son and DIL also; a shame they aren't here to hear it. I hope they are hearing such moderate advice elsewhere.

 

 I do too. I just think that, ultimately, you have to be prepared (on both sides) for the fact that their peace may not include you (or in a very altered way) going forward.

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3 hours ago, Rosie_0801 said:

 

I mean Scarlett doesn't owe us satisfaction, and anyone who is irritated by that needs to, in the words of the immortal Man in Black, "get used to disappointment."*

*Princess Bride reference.

 

That seems like an odd thing to need to own feelings about, but to each his own.

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There is a truth that is not about bashing mothers or disrespecting religious convictions, and that truth is this:

The child of a parent who has chosen their conviction over supporting their kids, might not ever actually fully forgive their parent or reconcile with them. Especially if the parent has no intention of apologizing or finding middle ground, in fact, the parent finds religious or prideful satisfaction in never backing down or softening. It doesn't matter if it happens to the child when they are 12 or 32, it is a devastating hurt. Even if the child always knew their parent was capable of that. It feels like abandonment.

I'm not going to gloss over it or blame it all on the son's immaturity. If he doesn't share his mother's conviction, and especially if he disagrees that her faith necessitated that conflict with him, the anger makes sense. It's not a good or happy situation. But it plays out for a zillion families, around the world and down through time.

The child learns to live without the support of their parent, and also has to address difficult questions about how they're going to deal with their parent's aging and death, when the time comes. They have to face the fact that their child will not be fully accepted and embraced by their grandparent, that even if there's a relationship, it's going to be just as likely that the grandchild will be left out in the cold, too. (Some of us regret letting our children even know their grandparents, because sure enough, that happened.)

The parent learns to live without a good relationship with their child. They cry a lot. They commiserate with other parents of their faith who have had the same outcome. They reassure each other that they are doing the right thing and some kids are just going to reject the faith. They worry about their belief that their children and grandchildren will be in a literal hell. After these anxiety episodes, they reassure themselves for the hundredth time that they are holy and suffering these things for the cause of Christ, and they pray that their kids will repent, and then they stiffen their chin and say, "But he made his decision. I'm not going to let this ruin my life."

Truth.

The flipside of this truth is that the parent/child bond is very strong, and if the parent would just apologize. Just soften somewhat, meet them halfway, tell them that they love and accept them...the child would probably forgive them and be so glad. Whether they were 12 or 32 or 62 when the parent came to that decision.

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10 hours ago, Scarlett said:

.  I wondered if others had been through something similar and managed to regain the relationship.  A few people answered. (The poster who told about her sister trying to get her to watch an R rated movie and becoming angry when she refused—that was similar to my situation).  

 

I have been through something similar, though with a sibling. He was married with a three year old and it came out that he was having two affairs. When his wife decided to file for divorce and he found out he wasn’t going to get sole custody, he decided to walk away and never see the boy again.  The rest of my family stood by him, though they thought he was crazy. I did not. I told him how selfish he was to walk away from his son. In the end, he told his kid he’d never see him again, but after several years he did decide to be a parent. This was 15 years ago and my relationship with him is not healed. We were together when mom passed away and were fine around each other, but we make an effort to not be at Dad’s at the same time. It’s pretty sad, but it is what it is. 

I hope your situation will be different, and it might because a mother/son bond is stronger than a sibling bond.  Also, we have complicating factors because at the time he was getting divorced he did some pretty awful things to my parents and to dh. (Called my folks and shot his gun a few times and made them think he’d died by suicide, and told dh he was on the way to our house to burn it down)

Hang in there, Scarlett. We’ve had four kids go through young adulthood and they have all become less rigid in their thinking as they matured. I pray your relationship w your son will heal. 

 

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52 minutes ago, Dotwithaperiod said:

maybe it’s just me, lol, but it’s a bit freaky reading this last page of posts, and seeing that Scarlett is online right now, clicking thank you to those ‘defending’ her, all the while not bothering to explain anything. 

Its almost as if she’s getting off on it, or perhaps she knows she’s partly to blame and is trying to make herself feel better?  Either way, I think I’ve had enough of the circus antics. This seems to be much more than a religious drama.

I have thought that sometimes, but it's not any weirder than me reading along and seeing who liked my posts or other posts, I don't think. Just part of the nature of message boards. I could tell this thread was going downhill from about page four when people started speculating about what the specifics *must* be and the, "if you don't tell us, I'm going to assume the worst" comments. Curiosity is a heck of a drug, though, lol.

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1 hour ago, EmseB said:


So, hypothetically, if you wanted to have your wedding a venue you know that your mother cannot go to, that is absolutely fine. It is your choice. However, it is not fair to hang that over your mother's head and be angry that she wouldn't do what you wanted knowing that she couldn't go there. It isn't fair to say, "She could have gone if she really loved me,"

 

1 hour ago, Jaybee said:

 I love my kids with all I am, but if I had one who was trying to manipulate me to do something I felt I couldn't (thankfully, that hasn't arisen thus far), I would have to put a boundary there, 

But we don't know that the truth isn't that she was the one manipulating him, saying he needs to stay in her religion or she won't attend his wedding, interact with him, etc. If he's left the church, and she's chosen to cut him off over that, why isn't that manipulative, rather than him being the one manipulating her by wanting her to attend his wedding? If he is no longer in the JWs, the only way he may be able to have a wedding she could go to would be to cave and go back to her faith. 

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4 minutes ago, StellaM said:

Anger often makes sense. No-one think that son can't feel angry.

I am feeling real angry with my parents right now for things they did 30 years ago; I am, as he is, completely entitled to have my feelings.

Being angry doesn't give anyone - and especially not a young man - the right to dump it all, aggressively, on a woman, even if that woman is mom. 

I agree that the son should not be aggressively dumping his anger on his mom and acting disrespectfully towards his parents. But this just happened and he is young and passionate. Hopefully with time, cooler heads will prevail and constructive and healing conversations can take place.

At least in my family, the sibling who exploded in anger like this on more than one occasion and then later apologized and reconciled now has a wonderful relationship with my parents and is so helpful to them. Whereas the one who held all of the anger and resentment in let it grow and fester and deepen and now there is estrangement. Both hurt my parents at different times and in different ways, but the ultimate outcomes were also very different.

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4 minutes ago, Frances said:

I agree that the son should not be aggressively dumping his anger on his mom and acting disrespectfully towards his parents. But this just happened and he is young and passionate. Hopefully with time, cooler heads will prevail and constructive and healing conversations can take place.

 

Yes, and realistically speaking, if the argument was about something as important to both sides as the son’s wedding, I would strongly suspect that there were some raised voices on both sides of that heated encounter. I doubt the son was the only one who wasn’t exactly at his best that day.

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On 9/13/2019 at 5:23 PM, Scarlett said:

But..,,,what if it is faith issue.  

 

My kids come before my ideological beliefs. If one of my kids came home and suddenly held religious views I find abhorrent, I would let it ride unless someone’s health or safety was at stake or there was something criminal going on.  It doesn’t mean I wouldn’t set boundaries with my kids (I do that a lot), but it does mean my relationship with my kids does trump most things.  

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3 minutes ago, Ktgrok said:

 

But we don't know that the truth isn't that she was the one manipulating him, saying he needs to stay in her religion or she won't attend his wedding, interact with him, etc. If he's left the church, and she's chosen to cut him off over that, why isn't that manipulative, rather than him being the one manipulating her by wanting her to attend his wedding? If he is no longer in the JWs, the only way he may be able to have a wedding she could go to would be to cave and go back to her faith. 

Aside from the fact that I have no idea if this is the case and have no reason to speculate on this hypothetical as if that's what happened, I'll say: It's not manipulative because he doesn't have to do that.  No one is saying he has to. If she was demanding he rejoin a faith that he found objectionable in order that she could go to his wedding, I would have a different take on this thread. No one here has said that would be ok for her to do. I think she flat out said somewhere that's not what happened (but I admit to losing some of the bubble somewhere in there), and I don't gather she's the type to try to manipulate her son into a JW wedding or into a religion he doesn't want to be a part of. AFAIK, she other relatives that aren't JW that she associates with.

But the question in the OP was how do you handle a situation where a DC wants you to do something you find morally objectionable and is angry at you if you won't? How or can you mend the relationship?

What you're speculating on is a totally different question; that is, "my child won't do X so I refuse to do Y, which of us is right?"  It's just a totally different issue based on a complete hypothetical based on...idk what. It doesn't even seem like a hypothetical you could get to from all the info given unless you make a ton of mostly negative assumptions about the OP, her actions, her motivations, her religion, etc.

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4 minutes ago, EmseB said:

Aside from the fact that I have no idea if this is the case and have no reason to speculate on this hypothetical as if that's what happened, I'll say: It's not manipulative because he doesn't have to do that.  No one is saying he has to. If she was demanding he rejoin a faith that he found objectionable in order that she could go to his wedding, I would have a different take on this thread. No one here has said that would be ok for her to do. I think she flat out said somewhere that's not what happened (but I admit to losing some of the bubble somewhere in there), and I don't gather she's the type to try to manipulate her son into a JW wedding or into a religion he doesn't want to be a part of. AFAIK, she other relatives that aren't JW that she associates with.

But the question in the OP was how do you handle a situation where a DC wants you to do something you find morally objectionable and is angry at you if you won't? How or can you mend the relationship?

What you're speculating on is a totally different question; that is, "my child won't do X so I refuse to do Y, which of us is right?"  It's just a totally different issue based on a complete hypothetical based on...idk what. It doesn't even seem like a hypothetical you could get to from all the info given unless you make a ton of mostly negative assumptions about the OP, her actions, her motivations, her religion, etc.

What I'm trying to say is that it could be seen as him expecting her to come to a wedding outside her religion and her expecting him to have his wedding within her religion, or she won't go. 

some have speculated that it was a case of "I know you can't go if I have it at a church, so I'll do that and then try to make you go"

But it could also have been, "if you want me at your wedding, you'll come to your senses and do it within my faith"

 

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Just now, Ktgrok said:

What I'm trying to say is that it could be seen as him expecting her to come to a wedding outside her religion and her expecting him to have his wedding within her religion, or she won't go. 

some have speculated that it was a case of "I know you can't go if I have it at a church, so I'll do that and then try to make you go"

But it could also have been, "if you want me at your wedding, you'll come to your senses and do it within my faith"

 

Yes, it could have been any number of things. They are each allowed to have their own personal moral or religious boundaries. However, I guess unless she was really trolling and lying about the whole scenario, I was taking her at face value when she said her son asked her to do something he knew she could not do according to some conscience issue he already knew she held to and then was/is angry at her for not doing that exact thing. 

IOW, I could assume she is lying and it's the second scenario you came up with, but that's not what she asked about, so I didn't answer as if that's what happened. I answered and continue to reply based on info she gave and general principles I hold to wrt religion and boundaries.

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3 minutes ago, EmseB said:

Yes, it could have been any number of things. They are each allowed to have their own personal moral or religious boundaries. However, I guess unless she was really trolling and lying about the whole scenario, I was taking her at face value when she said her son asked her to do something he knew she could not do according to some conscience issue he already knew she held to and then was/is angry at her for not doing that exact thing. 

IOW, I could assume she is lying and it's the second scenario you came up with, but that's not what she asked about, so I didn't answer as if that's what happened. I answered and continue to reply based on info she gave and general principles I hold to wrt religion and boundaries.

That conscience issue could simply be associating with him after he's been disfellowshipped. We don't know. 

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4 minutes ago, Ktgrok said:

That conscience issue could simply be associating with him after he's been disfellowshipped. We don't know. 

Of course we do. JW's are fine with civil ceremonies, but not with participating in ceremonies of other faiths.  The thing he wanted her to do was against her conscience and something he's been raised knowing she would never do, which is going to a religious ceremony in a different faith.  He was trying to force her. She still wants a relationship with him.  She said nothing at all about trying to get him to violate his own conscience and come back into the fold.  She never even said he joined another church, and joining another church would be strange when you are angry that your own church isn't strict enough with their own beliefs, beliefs that other denominations don't have.

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Boundaries work both ways. It’s fine for Scarlett to decline to attend something that she feels strongly about.  It’s also fine for her son to feel distance from her choice.  We all live with the natural consequences of our choices.  I can see how that would be heated on both sides.  

My FIL refused to attend my husband’s and my wedding because his ex-wife, my MIL, would be attending with her new husband.   We weren’t going to play the pick and choose game.  We weren’t going to exclude my MIL to placate my FIL.  We didn’t retaliate against him or even have it out with him but it definitely affected their relationship.  My FIL then died suddenly, before the proverbial air really got cleared.  After he died, several family members relayed that in his last weeks and months he talked about how proud he was as of my husband for making his own way.  Unfortunately, my husband only ever heard that second hand.   Not to be morbid but I don’t assume that there’s always time to make amends.  My husband and I married young but my FIL died when my husband was just 26.  

ETA: my FIL only met his grandson (my oldest) twice because he was so bitter about us not excluding my MIL from our wedding.  There was a bit of physical distance in the mix there- we lived about 280 miles away but mostly it was FILs stubbornness.  The first time we tried to visit with our 3 month old son in tow, my FIL was too bitter about the wedding thing to open the door.  That hurt my husband more than the wedding reception thing TBH.  The summer before he died, he sent a spate of gifts for our then 2 year old son (things he found in catalogs) but he still wouldn’t really respond when my husband called to thank him.  His health declined rapidly all at once that November and by the time we’d arrived from the other side of the state, he’d lost consciousness and was in multi system organ failure.  He robbed himself a lot.  

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5 minutes ago, Katy said:

Of course we do. JW's are fine with civil ceremonies, but not with participating in ceremonies of other faiths.  The thing he wanted her to do was against her conscience and something he's been raised knowing she would never do, which is going to a religious ceremony in a different faith.  He was trying to force her. She still wants a relationship with him.  She said nothing at all about trying to get him to violate his own conscience and come back into the fold.  She never even said he joined another church, and joining another church would be strange when you are angry that your own church isn't strict enough with their own beliefs, beliefs that other denominations don't have.

So...you think he got married in a church so she couldn't go, but didn't actually leave the JWs? Most churches aren't going to let you get married there if you are actively part of another religion and have no intentions of joining their church, at least in my experience. 

She didn't say anything about him leaving the faith, but she also didn't say anything about the wedding, or anything, until it was brought up. 

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