Dear Wendy
Dear Wendy

5 Tips to Peacefully ‘Live in Sin’ (and not totally alienate your religious parents…)

New readers, welcome to Dear Wendy, a relationship advice blog. Read some of the most popular Dear Wendy posts here. If you don’t find the info you need in this column, please visit the Dear Wendy archives or the forums (you can even start your own thread), do a search in the search bar, or submit a question for advice at wendy(AT)dearwendy.com.

Today’s guest column was written by Samantha Garrison who writes the budget lifestyle blog PoorGoop.com, parodying Gwyneth Paltrow’s Goop newsletter.

That night in the hotel room with my parents – they were visiting from out of town – I started fidgeting as they directed the conversation toward the question I knew they’d never ask directly. They asked if my boyfriend was still rooming with his college friend in their shared North Hollywood apartment. I took a breath, willing back tears into my eyes: “Actually, their lease was up, and Paul and I talked about it, and he’s staying with me. We haven’t decided if it’s temporary or not.”

Communicating to my very Baptist parents that I was cohabiting with my significant other – a man that they do not “approve of” because he and I don’t share the same religious beliefs – was honestly one of the most difficult conversations I’ve ever had. That moment took months of preparation — with my therapist, with my significant other, and with help from my friends. Perhaps because it’s regarded as such a taboo, cohabitation is rarely talked about in religious circles. It’s such a big decision, and with lack of support or even outright opposition, it can become a minefield for a couple from religious families. I’ve compiled a list of five key things I learned on this journey of “coming out” to my parents – things that helped me through this time, and have helped me to maintain a good relationship with my family, my church, my God and my significant other:

1. Make your living situation a “don’t ask, don’t tell” scenario.

Yes, this was a bad idea in the military, but your relationship is your personal life. You don’t have to disclose. Remember, though, that choosing not to disclose is different from hiding it or lying. If someone asks you directly, or, if, like my parents, they put you in a situation where you have to tell, be honest. This serves the twofold purpose of showing that you’re not embarrassed of your relationship and that you still have integrity.

2. Communicate with your significant other that this will be an issue.

Paul has known from the beginning that I am a religious person. I attend church on the weekends, I pray all the time, and I am involved in the occasional Bible study. He also knows that my parents are far more conservative in their Christian views. Part of our discussion when he moved in was the fear I felt about explaining this decision to my family. I had no idea how they would react, and I was actually quite fearful. He knew, having met them previously, that they would not be forming a Paul Fan Club anytime soon, and that our decision to live together would affect not only our relationship, but my relationship with my parents as well. Because he knew up front, he was able to help me through what has proven to be quite a life-changing moment, and his obvious support has made it difficult for anyone to doubt the strength and quality of our relationship.

3. Find a good support group, beyond your significant other, to help with this transition.

For me, that support group was my therapist, a really understanding friend from church, and a few close friends outside of the church. With my therapist, I had practice conversations with my parents, creating an approach that would allow me to feel confident in myself and maintain my autonomy. She also helped me with the shame I felt defying years of indoctrination. It’s hard to separate your personal choices from the politics of church, but my therapist helped me to see that my choice, my very personal choice, was not hurting anyone and was between me and Paul, and that my perceived defiance of faith was between me and my God.

My good friend from church assured me that I was not alone in my dilemma – that there were others in our congregation who are sexually active, in mixed-faith relationships, or living with significant others. It’s so reassuring to learn I’m in good company, and that I am not defined by this one action, even if it may be morally wrong to many.

4. Don’t get defensive.

It’s so tempting, when you’re being called out for sinning by a fellow church-goer, to immediately respond in kind. Don’t. Turn away. If you can’t turn away, turn the other cheek and let them keep going while you think of your grocery list or whatever else can occupy your mind. Tell them, if they persist in admonishing you: “This is between me and God. Believe it or not, we still talk.” Come from a place of goodness and love, even when you’re being confronted. Stay away from people who cannot see you behind your perceived sin. They’re not worth your time anyway, because you’re more than a relationship or an address or a non-marital status.

5. Remember that people enact their religious beliefs differently, even within the same religion, and that tolerance is a two-way street.

My parents will never agree with my decision. I can continually try to change their mind, repeatedly bringing light to our contention, or I can accept this, just as they accepted my decision without approving of it. We are moving on from that conversation – hell, we moved on pretty well that night, grabbing cocktails in the bar and talking about bad movies. I have several friends who are probably unhappy about my choice to live with Paul, but again, I know that we are friends for bigger reasons than an address and my choice of roommate. Unless someone is continually harassing you (see #4), don’t try to change their opinion. People will believe what they want, and as long as it’s not outwardly harmful (DOMA, all these birth control debates, etc.), it is best to live and let live.

This is still a journey in progress – the transition has not been easy. Every day, I question my decision; it’s so easy to fall into a guilt-trap. But following the suggestions above, talking to people I trust and remembering to love first and judge later, has helped me to be confident in my decision. I love Paul, I love my family, and I love God. I should not have to choose between them to have peace in my life – in fact, that is my choice. Creating my own peace is a tough process, but it has helped me to grow both in my relationships and my faith.

* Samantha Garrison is a creative executive and assistant at a production company in Los Angeles with dreams of becoming a screenwriter and producer. Currently, she runs the budget lifestyle blog PoorGoop.com, parodying Gwyneth Paltrow’s Goop newsletter.






197 comments… add one
  • ReginaRey April 11, 2012, 1:17 pm

    This reminds me very much of my most recent ex-boyfriend’s parents. His father was a Baptist reverend and his mother was just as devoutly religious. They were great people — very open-minded and patient and tolerant (which, sadly, is not always the case for people SO steeply entrenched in religion) — but their religious beliefs still managed to seep into my relationship with their son.

    When we graduated college (after we’d been dating almost a year), I moved to his hometown for the summer for an internship, and he moved close to MY hometown for an internship (funnily enough). He came to visit most every weekend, since it wasn’t a very long drive, and his parents took issue with him staying at my apartment as opposed to his family’s home.

    His dad sat him down and flat-out asked him if we were having sex. Honestly, I thought it was kind of funny that he even thought we might NOT be sexually active. We were 21-year-old college grads in a serious relationship, and they knew their son hadn’t maintained the religious lifestyle he grew up in. But more so than that, it really made me angry. Their adult son’s sex life is absolutely, positively none of their business! I understand that their concern was well-meaning, in their minds, and that they didn’t think I was some harlot scheming to corrupt their son’s purity or anything. But it irked me, and still does, that people use their religion and uber-conservative values to justify butting into business that simply is NOT theirs to begin with. But I understand, ultimately, that many very conservative people (strict Christians, anyway) feel that it IS their business because they don’t want their child to spend eternity in hell. I suppose if I feared a fiery eternity that much, I might butt in, too.

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    • Taylor April 11, 2012, 1:32 pm

      Out of curiosity, how did he answer? My Mom has sprung that on me, and boy did I hate it!

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      • ReginaRey April 11, 2012, 1:53 pm

        He lied. I mean, it was either say “Yes, I am having sex with my girlfriend, and it’s none of your business whatsoever” or say “No.” I think he chose the latter because it avoided opening an entirely new can of worms. It wasn’t my call how he answered his dad, but I personally would have preferred for him to be honest. I don’t mind a white lie when it’s easier to keep the peace, but I took issue with the idea that it SHOULD disturb the peace at all…because again, it wasn’t any of their business. So I kind of wanted him to be honest in order to stand up for himself (and for me, in a way) and what made him happy. But alas, didn’t happen that way.

        We were together for more than a year after that, and I broke up with him for completely separate reasons. But honestly, I can’t say that I *really* wanted his parents as inlaws. I just wasn’t eager to be a part of that family. So I’m rather glad it didn’t work out!

    • caitie_didnt April 11, 2012, 3:21 pm

      You touched on such an important thing here: the sex lives of your adult children are none of your business (as hard as that is to accept). My parents have never given me a sex talk in any shape or form, beyond “don’t feel pressured to do anything you’re not comfortable with”. My last boyfriend and I were long distance, so we’d visit each other over weekends and we also took a vacation together…I really doubt my parents were so naive as to believe we *weren’t* having sex, but they never asked….if they did, I would have asked them to mind their own business. My old roommate’s parents were quite religious and staunchly against cohabitation, and she lied about where she was sleeping and what she was doing when she visited her boyfriend. I always wondered why she never just said “this is none of your concern”, but it seems to be more difficult with religiously-motivated parents.

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      • ReginaRey April 11, 2012, 3:41 pm

        This reminds me a lot of myself and my best friend! My parents and I have always been pretty “don’t ask, don’t tell,” until recently, when my dad has gotten almost TOO lax for me. My 21-year-old brother is single after like 5 years in a serious relationship, and he’s been hooking up with girls pretty regularly now, and my dad is laughing uproariously about gift wrapping condoms for him. TMI dad, TMI. My mom is far more scarred by thinking about her children’s sexual activity than my dad, apparently, but she just keeps her mouth shut.

        And my best friend had similar issues with her parents. She’d go out of town to visit her boyfriend, and they’d ask if she slept on the couch. They dated for three years in college, and I really believe her parents STILL think she’s a virgin (at 24). She just lied in order to keep the peace, but I don’t necessarily see why parents have to be coddled with white lies.

      • caitie_didnt April 11, 2012, 3:51 pm

        ahahahaha that’s actually pretty funny. My little brother is 20….I don’t know what he does while he’s away at school, and I don’t want to know. And neither do my parents. On the flip side, my friend’s mom is a hematologist, who once told her children “there’s something to be said for sex as a recreational sport” and gives them all condoms in their stockings every year.

        There is something to be said for “keeping the peace” with your parents, but I agree with you that it reaches a point of silliness. Being an adult means making your own decisions, and owning those decisions.

      • Muffy April 11, 2012, 5:01 pm

        haha my friend’s mom is very open minded about sex and often asks me if I’m having enough good sex. She gave me a pair of handcuffs for xmas and told me to use them on my bf lol…my parents on the other hand are not so much fun – I didn’t tell them about my present

      • Kristen April 11, 2012, 3:54 pm

        I’m in the exact same place as your friend. Either my parents are completely naive, or they’ve just convinced themselves so hard that they believe it’s true.

      • savannah April 11, 2012, 4:20 pm

        Wow, I know my family is unique when it comes to sex, mostly due to my mom being an ob/gyn but I didn’t know this was such a…thing. My parents would never talk to the kids about their sex life but when we were growing up they did encourage us to talk about ours, especially in the beginning. I really valued the advice my parents gave us (not sexual in nature but more along the lines of expectations and normal actions) and I know my parents have had many convos with my 18 year old brother. At the same time my sister and I talk to my brother who is 5 years younger about sex/relationships all the time. He asks a ton of questions about women and he knows where my stash of condoms are in my old room. Having come from such a sex-postive upbringing, I can’t imagine parents just assuming someone was a virgin or never having a ‘sex talk’, we never had specific sex talks either in that way, we did have hundreds of conversations over the years. I think that kind of parental treatment would make me feel like such a forever-child.

      • caitie_didnt April 11, 2012, 4:42 pm

        I want so badly to be this kind of parent to my eventual children. I don’t think parents need to share the details of their own sex life because ew, but given the prevalence of things like date rape in my generation, I’d say many of our parents never told us the REALLY important things about sex- things like “what constitutes consent”, setting boundaries, “normal” and “maybe not so normal” behaviour, and for girls especially “one day some dumbass is going to try and guilt you into having sex without a condom. These are the lines he’s going to use, and they are all lies”. Or “this is reasonable behaviour in the context of a relationship” vs. “this is manipulative or abusive”.

      • savannah April 11, 2012, 5:02 pm

        yeah I really really dont get it. Parents fret and worry over every aspect of their children upbringing and this is the one thing they a. talk about once (ridiculous) b. don’t plan for and simply wing it c. don’t confer with their spouse about their approach. Sexual education is so so key to so many aspects of what can fuck up a person or influence them. It would be like not talking about what to do if a friend bullied you, so basic and important.
        I mean my friends dad must have told her a thousand times to not go outside without her shoes on but he had one conversation about sex with her and it was not nearly as involved as it should have been. Which is why you don’t try to tackle it all at once and also why you have to get over your own shit about sex for the benefit of your child. To never talk to your kids about relationships, sex, babies, responsibility, protection and simply say ‘this is how you have sex’ or ‘dont have sex’ is INsane!

      • caitie_didnt April 11, 2012, 5:27 pm

        Preach it, lady.

      • ktfran April 11, 2012, 5:50 pm

        I was a late bloomer and didn’t have sex until I was 21. When I finally did, it felt right and it was with someone I trusted completely. I was still in college and away for the summer.

        I was felt I could tell my mom anything, so when I got home, I told her I needed to go on birth control. She told me I better take care of it then.

        What? Are you freaking kidding me? I’m still on your insurance. Of course, I would have paid for it, but I still had to go through her. Instead it was Planned Parenthood.

        And this is why I’m currently so angry about the public discourse on birth control and Planned Parenthood. I come from a middle class family who was always able to provide. I’m also college educated. But I also come from a very Catholic and republican family. And so I had to go around my parents to meet my needs. Enter Planned Parenthood. It’s not just for abortions. Or low income people. It’s for everyone. Sorry, I digress.

      • applescruff April 11, 2012, 5:58 pm

        Before the health care law was passed, I was a grad student on crappy student insurance, unable to still be on my parents’. Planned Parenthood paid for *everything.* My annual exams, STD testing, condoms, birth control (my friend was on multiple kinds of birth control to find one that worked for her, including an IUD, all free), even a few doses of Plan B just to have on hand. Now I’m thankfully out of school and gainfully employed with real insurance, but Planned Parenthood was a godsend in those days, and I donate to them when I am able. You’re right, ktfran, it’s for everyone.

      • savannah April 11, 2012, 6:06 pm

        I’ve worked at PP and my mom has for 35 years so yeah, I’m right there with you. My mom even started seeing guys about 7 years ago. PP is for errbody!

      • Kristina April 11, 2012, 6:21 pm

        I’ve gone to a few PP’s many times, and honestly, I hate the place. But where I live now, I can’t get a primary care doctor easily, so I still go. The staff is often very rude, and they’ve tried to tell me what to do in the past–about which birth control I should be really be on, when I have medical complications and can’t be on any of them except for 2 types. Every time I go I have to wait well over an hour (after my appointment time), and I’m so sick of the place. Maybe it happens to be the locations I have gone to suck. But I have a love-hate relationship with them.

      • theattack April 11, 2012, 7:47 pm

        That could either be 1) your specific location, or 2) burnout from people who are overworked, underpaid, and constantly worried about their jobs and passions being pulled out from under them. I go to Planned Parenthood right now, and I’m terrified of it being shut down. The gynecologist there is AMAZING. She’s my favorite ever, and I have no hesitation to go for exams and pap smears with her.

      • Francine April 11, 2012, 9:25 pm

        I guess I started late too, in my 20s. Wouldn’t exactly call myself a late bloomer though because prior to that I had what I consider a pretty full sex life. Just no actual intercourse because I did not want to get pregnant.

        So when I finally did go on the pill I had a full time job with benefits but that was the late 80s and insurance didn’t cover it at that time. So I went to the dr and when I told her that I wanted contraception I got a nice lecture on what I thought my parents would think and how I’d like it if my future children were having premarital sex. She refused to write the scrip because I wasn’t married and instead referred me to someone else. So I paid two office visit co-pays and then for the pills each month. Wish I had known what Planned Parenthood offered.

        On another note, after reading, I think it was ReginaRey’s comment about her disapproving bf’s father asking him if they were having sex and how it was none of his business (agreed) and then another commenter mentioning the parent of a friend inquiring if she was having enough good sex I’m wondering, is our sex life none of the our parent’s business only when they disapprove but no longer an off limits topic if they approve? Or is the difference not whether they approve or not but if they’re criticizing or not?

        As the parent of teenagers I want to keep an open dialog with my kids but not so much to the point that I trivialize sex. I never treated sex casually (in my opinion) and hope my kids don’t but I realize that I can’t make that choice for them. And they’re growing up in a time when it’s more common for sex to be just another fun activity between friends. I want to share my views but also make them aware that if they don’t subscribe to them they can still be open with me without fear of criticism.

      • ReginaRey April 12, 2012, 8:48 am

        “I’m wondering, is our sex life none of the our parent’s business only when they disapprove but no longer an off limits topic if they approve? Or is the difference not whether they approve or not but if they’re criticizing or not?”

        REALLY good question, Francine. I hadn’t quite thought of it like that. My opinion is that when you’re a parent of a minor, you have the responsibility to instill in your children some pertinent lessons about sex, health and birth control. Make sure they know about safe sex, STDs, consensual sex, etc., BEFORE they turn 18. I think if you’ve done your job right, then once they become adults (legally, anyway) and head out of your house, probably to college, that you can trust them to make the right decisions. And THEN it becomes none of your business. But as long as they’re minors, living in your house, etc., I definitely think it’s OK for it to be your business.

      • ktfran April 12, 2012, 9:42 am

        Great response RR.

        I would also like to add to make sure that your children know they cant talk to you any time about anything. That includes when they’re out of college.

        As I mentioned before, I was raised in a household that was very afraid of sex. We did not talk about it. Ever. Fortunately, I was smart enough to know that sex wasn’t bad and I wanted to wait until it felt right to engage in that activity. Also, fortunately, even though I knew my mom disapproved, I felt comfortable enough going to her. I think as long as your children know you have their back, they’ll be fine. And also, as RR said, talk to them about it.

      • savannah April 12, 2012, 9:52 am

        I think the answer to this question hinges on the fact that the vast majority of people will have sex at some point in their lives and that its a perfectly natural and normal thing to do. So it differs for instance than other ‘risky behavior’ like drugs in that the expectations of engaging in those activities are totally different yet they are treated the same by many parents. In that frame of mind, the disproval of parents is not productive at a certain age and certainly the ‘pretend its never going to happen and we’ll never talk about it’ is unproductive at any age.

        Also I would not worry that too much information and questions about sex is somehow going to trivialize the act of sex for kids. The more open a parent is the better chances the kids will see them as resources of information, instead of seeing sex conversations as something that can only happen on the parents schedule, which still perpetuates the forbidden and taboo nature of talking about it, and thats I think what you are trying to avoid.

      • AKchic_ April 12, 2012, 9:26 pm


        My mom, stepdad AND grandma all beg me not to have anymore kids. To the point that they’ve offered to buy me separate beds for me and and my SO. (Seriously, after four kids, you really can’t pretend you’re a virgin anymore)

    • Elisse April 25, 2012, 1:17 pm

      I know I”m late to this party, but I’d like to give my two cents in saying I think that you were being, albeit perhaps unintentionally, close-minded in wondering why they would ask the question of you being sexually active. Just because a couple is post-college and committed to each other doesn’t automatically mean they are having sex. I am 29 and my boyfriend is 30 – we are both virgins and will remain so until marriage. We are in a serious relationship and are both very strong Christians. It does happen quite a bit, and, in my opinion, should happen way more often than it does. I am not surprised at all that your ex-boyfriend’s parents asked him that, especially considering their faith. It’s a shame that he had to lie about it.

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    • lilyrose March 15, 2021, 9:20 pm

      This reminds me a lot of what I just encountered with my boyfriends parents. We are both 20 years old and yes , I do occasionally spend the night at his house (where his parents do not live) I saw he got a letter from his parents one day in the mail who are strictly catholics. I looked over for a second and saw my name continued with them basically belittling me & saying rude things such as “I don’t know how you can concentrate with her living there” LIVING THERE ! I am there weekends at most because we live 40 mintues from each other , it followed with “this is displeasing to god and is displeasing to us as well” I was so upset when I read this because they always invite me over to his house with them as well as inviting me out to dinner but , now that I think about it I’m starting to feel like they are judging me the whole time. My boyfriend also never said anything to me about this letter

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      • anonymousse March 16, 2021, 9:40 am

        Stop snooping in your bf’s personal mail!

        They are strict Catholics. Since you didn’t write any example of them judging you- assume they are judging their son’s choices and stay out of it.

  • JK April 11, 2012, 1:23 pm

    Just had to say that I read poorgoop.com a couple of weeks ago (having clicked through from here, I think), and I loved it. 🙂

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    • Addie Pray April 11, 2012, 3:00 pm

      This is the first time I’m learning of poorgoop.com – and I’m a huge fan!!! I am a big fan of making fun of Gwyneth in general, so this blog is right up my alley!

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    • Muffy April 11, 2012, 3:04 pm

      At first I thought it was called poopgoop – maybe today’s LW’s boyfriend isn’t so bad lol……

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  • ktfran April 11, 2012, 1:32 pm

    I really liked this article. Great job. And it can be applied to so much more than co-habitating and sex. People need to remember, as long as someone’s decision isn’t harmful, it’s nobody’s business but the people involved.

    Serisouly, great article.

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  • evanscr05 April 11, 2012, 1:33 pm

    This is a really wonderful list. I especially loved your fifth point. I think sometimes people on both sides of the “living in sin” argument forget that we are ALL entitled to our opinions but can still maintain a civil, if not more, relationship despite disagreeing. I feel VERY grateful that my parents took a more liberal approach to things like this. My husband moved in with me about 4 months into dating, and though I asked my dad at one point if it bothered him and he said yes, he never contested the situation because a) I am an adult, b) I am a responsible adult, and c) he trusts me to make decisions for my own life based on my own needs. He didn’t have to agree with my living arrangement to still respect my ability to make decisions for myself, to continue having a close relationship with me, or to form a good bond with the guy who ended up marrying me.

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    • Muffy April 11, 2012, 3:05 pm

      Your dad sounds wonderful

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      • evanscr05 April 11, 2012, 3:56 pm

        He’s pretty much the best 🙂

  • Emma April 11, 2012, 1:41 pm

    Man am I glad that I’m from a family of heathens.

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    • LANY April 11, 2012, 1:51 pm


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    • savannah April 11, 2012, 3:25 pm

      exactly. the only thing my ex’s mom said when he mentioned that we were moving in was to get better sheets.

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  • QuarterLife April 11, 2012, 1:47 pm

    Thank you for writing this wonderful and inciteful article! I am going through the exact same situation and it is wonderful to hear how you have gracefully dealt with the situation. I have had a hard time finding someone to discuss this situation with, due to them being either staunchly and religiously unapproving, or supportive but entirely secular. I felt like I was having to choose between my decision and my religion, and I truly appreciate your viewpoint!

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    • oppositeofzen April 11, 2012, 4:51 pm

      Ditto! My guy and I moved in together at the beginning of the year. My parents are supportive, his parents aren’t and we both have family members who are part of the “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy.

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  • Jess of CGW April 11, 2012, 2:09 pm

    I’d like to add just this…

    Samantha, I love your hair!

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    • L April 11, 2012, 3:22 pm


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    • ReginaRey April 11, 2012, 3:42 pm

      Does anyone else think Samantha looks like Kate Beckinsale?? I can’t get over it!

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      • Samantha April 11, 2012, 3:46 pm

        Wow – thank you! (I’m actually blushing right now)

      • Addie Pray April 11, 2012, 4:52 pm

        oh god – yes she does. exactly!

      • Brad April 11, 2012, 4:53 pm

        Umm maybe a little bit, but she’s pretty either way 🙂

      • Budj April 11, 2012, 4:54 pm


      • Budj April 11, 2012, 4:55 pm

        not in a bad way, haha, thought I should clarify. I just don’t see a resemblance.

      • Jess of CGW April 12, 2012, 10:56 am

        I definitely see it.

  • BriarRose April 11, 2012, 2:09 pm

    My mother was horrified when I chose not to get my 7+ year marraige annulled. I finally said (like was suggested in #4) that I had made my peace with God about it, and I’d find out someday if I was right. She hasn’t brought it up since.

    As a parent, I can identify with wanting the best for your child. I always tried to understand that my mother’s extreme concern came from a place of love–after all, she truly believes my eternal soul is in jeopardy. That’s a tough pill for a parent to swallow, and part of me hates that I worry her like that. I think most of the parents who take issue with co-habitation, or what have you, are coming from a place of love. It’s still ridiculously frustrating though.

    Great article!

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    • iseeshiny April 11, 2012, 3:12 pm

      Can you get a 7 year marriage annulled? When you have a kid together? I didn’t know you could do that.

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    • Muffy April 11, 2012, 3:16 pm

      I was kind of confused about this too – you can get a marriage annulled for several reasons – inability to consummate being one of them (and then there is underage, already married to someone else, lied about identity etc).

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      • BriarRose April 11, 2012, 3:39 pm

        Yep. Even if a kid is involved, apparently that doesn’t matter. My mom wants me to claim “Gross immaturity” as in I was too young to realize what I was getting into (I was 23). And I meant annulled in the Catholic Church, not legally.

      • theattack April 11, 2012, 4:04 pm

        Inability to consummate might be a reason in some states, I’m not sure. I know it’s not one in mine though. Also, in my state you don’t get a marriage annulled if one of the parties was already married. Your marriage was just never valid in the first place.

      • Muffy April 11, 2012, 5:05 pm

        You’re right – it’s void from the start – I was just trying to make things simpler rather than saying some marriages are voidable vs void

  • Heather April 11, 2012, 1:27 pm

    I went through a very similar situation with my parents when my boyfriend and I moved in together- and I think that Samantha has a really good point about keeping it positive. I also chose to tell them on my own (my boyfriend wanted to be there too, but I knew how they’d initially react)- and they did attack. They threw all sorts of bad stuff at me, and I just kept driving home the point that 1. I’m an adult, 2. It’s my money/life/decision 3. I’m telling them ahead of time because I want to be honest with them and 4. I value our family relationship and want to make them happy, but this is what makes ME happy.

    It wasn’t easy at first- and we still maintain a ‘don’t ask don’t tell’ sort of relationship when it comes to talking about the ‘living together’ situation- but overall they haven’t given me any more grief about it, and I know they’ll be excited when we eventually do get engaged. Luckily, my boyfriends parents have been really supportive through all of this, so at least we had some family that we can be open with.

    It’s tough, but just as how our parents can’t change who we are/what we want, we can’t change them either. My parents have also accepted our living together, but are still not ‘happy’ about it. I’m okay with this, and it’s better than what I feared would happen.

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  • Nadine April 11, 2012, 2:41 pm

    I totally mean no harm and ignore this if its ignorant (heathen speaking) but if you share the faith and its this important to your parents and you’re boyfriend understands etc…..why not just get married? It seems like the easier option, and its not like the problem is a moral opposition to marriage or legal issues surrounding it?

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    • theattack April 11, 2012, 2:50 pm

      I personally don’t think marriage is a decision that should be made because it’s easier.

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      • jlyfsh April 11, 2012, 2:53 pm

        i agree if you don’t want to get married yet, why do that just because it’s easier?

      • Nadine April 11, 2012, 3:07 pm

        I guess I just see moving in together as just as big a commitment.so I would be in it for the long haul, so to speak. If marriage meant my parents would accept my relationship where previously they had not, then I’d do it. But I get Samantha s description below, so thanks!

      • jlyfsh April 11, 2012, 3:12 pm

        i can see where you are coming from. i guess i wouldn’t want to take an easier option just to make my parents happy about something as big as marriage. and personally like samantha we didn’t get married before we moved in together because we weren’t ready for that step quite yet. but, everyone has to do what is right for them.

      • Muffy April 11, 2012, 3:18 pm

        I agree with you Nadine – moving in together is a very big step and the break up that may follow can be just as complicated and emotionally devastating as a divorce except without the property division.

        However, I also agree that no one should get married just because it appeases someone else. Get married if YOU want to. Move in together if YOU want to.

      • theattack April 11, 2012, 3:19 pm

        It really depends on how you view moving in. If it’s just as big of a deal as marriage to you and your partner, then sure, might as well. But I think most people view it as slightly less serious than marriage, if not much less serious.

      • Brad April 11, 2012, 6:00 pm

        much less serious

      • Nadine April 12, 2012, 10:08 am

        But its not. Not to me anyway. This is now MY perspective for myself, not for anyone else, I’m just sharing. I would not move in with someone with whom I was not committed, in the same way that marriage is a committment. Why bother moving in with someone who you didnt intend to try to stay together?
        I am not talking about a religious perspective, because I’m not religious, therefore the effects of breaking up with my boyfriend would more be along the lines of how it would not only affect his and my emotions, but also those of our families and friends, because we are a community.
        If getting married meant my family would accept my relationship, or rather it showed them the amount of committment that we already felt between the two of us, then, yes, I would just do it. Why not? Its translating my relationship into a form they understand. (This is hypothetical. My parents dont give a shit if I ever get married. No one in my family gets married, but we are also all very committment-minded people, inasmuch as all my cousins and siblings are with the same people since our late teens.)

      • Brad April 12, 2012, 10:44 am

        “Why bother moving in with someone who you didnt intend to try to stay together?”

        I don’t think people move in together going into the situation with an expectation of splitting up. But in the event of a splitup it’s not as big of a deal compared to splitting up a marriage.

        Marrige is a much bigger deal to me if for no other reason than all the financial and legal obligations it brings. Moving in together on the other hand isn’t as big of a deal legally or financially. If you’re just living together and you end up breaking up it’s not that big of a deal to go back to being single. You figure out what’s yours and one person moves out and that’s even easier if only one name was on the lease. It doesn’t get that much more complicated than that. Contrast that to a marriage and it’s a huge legal and financial issue to disolve it.

        Beyond the simple legal and financial stuff, getting married is a much larger committment than moving in together. Getting married means you intend and have legally promised to be committed to your partner for the rest of your life. And barring certain prenuptial arrangements, their debt becomes your debt, they gain medical power of atterney over you, their bank accounts become yours, etc. That isn’t the case with moving in with someone. You can be committed to someone and still move in with them, but (for me at least) it’s not the same level of committment even on an emotional level.
        If you were to look at it on a spectrum it would lie between Simple BF/GF and Married for me.

      • Anna April 12, 2012, 11:41 am


        I very much disagree. The breakup is just as sucky and messy as a divorce, just cheaper.

      • Iwannatalktosampson April 12, 2012, 11:44 am

        Maybe messy emotionally – but not nearly as messy financially and other ways. You don’t have to worry about whether you want to legally change your name back, whether or not there will be alimony, splitting assets acquired…

      • *HmC* April 12, 2012, 12:55 pm

        “Why bother moving in with someone who you didnt intend to try to stay together?”

        That just isn’t the way that a lot of people do it now. Some still wait until marriage, many take moving in as a serious step towards marriage (but not of equal commitment level to marriage itself), and some shack up because they like being around the other person all the time and, in my opinion, are kind of naive and/or are not thinking about their long term life plan too much. Whatever makes you happy though, it’s certainly not behavior that I feel is my business to judge others about. But speaking honestly, the latter is not what I would urge my own children to do, for example.

      • Muffy April 11, 2012, 7:19 pm

        I think that can be the problem with moving in together sometimes – one person views it as much less serious and the other views it as a step towards marriage. Enter marriage drama down the road if those views don’t somehow come together in the end…

      • Anna April 12, 2012, 11:40 am

        Yeah, tell me about it…

      • theattack April 12, 2012, 3:30 pm


      • Francine April 11, 2012, 9:31 pm

        Or how you view marriage. If it’s “just a piece of paper” then maybe it’s an easier decision to placate the parents and give them that piece of paper.

      • Brad April 11, 2012, 9:59 pm

        No no, a college degree is a piece of paper. A marriage certificate actually means something.

      • theattack April 12, 2012, 9:50 am

        A college degree is definitely not just a piece of paper.

      • Brad April 12, 2012, 10:09 am

        Might be true for some, but for myself and many of my friend’s it’s not really that big of a deal. Maybe 5% of what I learned in college I’m utilizing on the job? I could not have gotten my job without the degree, but in all honesty I don’t feel that’s because the job requires it but because they’re so many people looking for work they can be chooseier. Has been little more than a piece of paper for me. Sure I needed the piece of paper to get where I”m at, but it’s little more than that.

      • theattack April 12, 2012, 3:22 pm

        I think it really depends on what your degree is in. A degree in the humanities or something is not going to be as useful for you on the job as a degree that focuses on a skill set.

      • Nadine April 13, 2012, 7:49 am

        It means what you let it mean.
        Kim Kardashian and whatever his name is were married, and they had nothing. My relationship, although not sanctioned by the state, is far more legitimate.

      • *HmC* April 11, 2012, 10:07 pm

        Neither do I. No judgment to those who choose differently, but I choose to get married before I co-habitate with someone I am in a relationship with. That is the best decision for me given my values and other contexts of my life. It’s certainly not because I put a low value on marriage, or that I take the decision to marry, lightly. Quite the contrary. It’s that I put a high value on co-habitation and take that decision just as seriously.

      • *HmC* April 11, 2012, 10:07 pm

        (this was in response to theattack’s first comment)

      • theattack April 12, 2012, 9:52 am

        I’m definitely not putting down that approach. It’s totally legitimate, and I respect it. But because you value marriage so highly, you wouldn’t be taking the approach that it would just be easier to get married, so you might as well do it.

      • *HmC* April 12, 2012, 12:51 pm

        Actually, I would. Which is what I was trying to say, but didn’t explain very well. Personally (and I was blessed with amazing parents and I know I got very lucky there), their wanting me to be married *would* be enough to make me go ahead and do it, but that is specifically because I place such a high value on living together anyway. I took issue with the implication that one must not take marriage seriously if they see it as an easy decision, but to me, relative to living together, it is. Not sure if that makes sense. Anyway, I don’t think we are disagreeing necessarily, I think it’s just kind of a semantics issue at this point. 🙂

      • theattack April 12, 2012, 3:27 pm

        Yeah, it probably is a semantics issue. I’m basically just saying that marriage shouldn’t be a decision made lightly for people who aren’t ready for the commitment or don’t want it themselves. If you’re already at that place of commitment, then it would be an easy decision. It just depends on where you place “living together” on the commitment scale. If it’s serious, then marriage might be an easier decision, but if living together is just another relationship step, it’s not necessarily an easy decision at all.

      • Nadine April 13, 2012, 7:51 am

        “their wanting me to be married *would* be enough to make me go ahead and do it, but that is specifically because I place such a high value on living together anyway”

        This is what I am saying! Thanks for putting it better than I was!

    • Muffy April 11, 2012, 2:56 pm

      I hear where you are coming from. My parents are very anti-living together before marriage. And personally I don’t care if I live with someone before marriage – I have the means to live on my own. Therefore I choose to not live with someone before marriage – I’m happy living on my own before then. Also I really don’t believe that it makes a marriage more likely to last and therefore also see no point personally.

      For some people however, they believe that it is important to live together before marriage to see if you are compatible. So then it becomes a problem between them and their parents.

      Different strokes for different folks you know?

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    • Samantha April 11, 2012, 2:55 pm

      Totally not an ignorant question.
      I’m still pretty young, and while I’m committed to my sig. o., I’m not ready to take that plunge. We’ve been friends for a long time, longer than we’ve been in a relationship, and he actually lived on my floor when he first moved to LA, before we were dating, so moving in together wasn’t so much a romantic gesture as it was an act of pragmatism. In the same vein, should a marriage not work out, California is a 50/50 state which means that assets, and also debt, are joined once a couple is married. Given that we’re both still dealing with student loans and building careers, it seems like a fiscally irresponsible decision, even if it’s unromantic to think of divorce.
      Also, I think it’s a bummer that not everyone can get married, and the religious, social, and gender issues attached to marriage make it seem unnecessary when there are other ways to express commitment.

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  • bethany April 11, 2012, 2:44 pm

    My parents are pretty religious, and my older brother did things the “biblical” way, so I was pretty nervous when I realized that I wanted to move in with my boyfriend. I kenw they wouldn’t disown me or anything like that, but I was pretty sure they would be dissapointed that I didn’t do things their way.
    I told my parents over Christmas that we were planning on moving in together over the summer. This showed them that we really thought about it and weren’t acting impulsively, and it gave them time to get used to the idea. I also let them know that my intentions were to marry this man, and that he and I were on the same page with that, so I think that helped, too.
    Luckily my parents were really cool about it!

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    • Ally April 11, 2012, 4:57 pm

      Sometimes it’s amazing how approaching an issue in a mature and thoughtful way can change the outcome you’d otherwise expect. I’m glad you got such an accepting reaction!

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      • bethany April 12, 2012, 12:02 pm

        I think the fact that they LOOOOVE him had something to do with it, too! Sometimes I think they like him more than they like me 🙂

  • AK47 April 11, 2012, 2:55 pm

    Great list. One thing I’d add–if you go to visit the opposed parents, respect their house and sleep separately, get a hotel, or crash with friends. It’s not worth the drama to insist on sleeping in the same bed at their home, and it shows that you still respect their views even if you don’t agree with them.

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    • Muffy April 11, 2012, 2:59 pm

      I agree completely with this. In your house it’s cool to do whatever you want but at the end of teh day it’s just so much easier to respect the parents’ beliefs for a weekend then cause a big spat over sleeping in the same room.

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  • jlyfsh April 11, 2012, 2:57 pm

    Great list! I especially found #4 and 5 helpful. I felt similarly when telling my family that I moved in with my then boyfriend. I didn’t sit down and tell them, but like you when asked told them the truth. My Grandparents weren’t thrilled, but they liked him and saw how happy he made me, so they kept their feelings to themselves.

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  • Addie Pray April 11, 2012, 3:01 pm

    MaterialsGirl needs to read this!!!!

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  • MaterialsGirl April 11, 2012, 3:26 pm

    I think you still had it easy, Samantha. Just last week I got an ambush phone call from my parents ( both of them on the line) reminding me I had been living in sin for three years now; that my boyfriend is getting the milk for free as they say, that I’m a fornicator and going to hell. Need I go on? When we called to tell them we were living together ( and my parents don’t believe in birth control btw and think its evil), he got banned from ever going to their house. We hoped the issue would subside and that it would be as simple as agreeing to disagree, but unfortunately, it’s still fresh. They loveto tell me how much it worries them and keeps them up at night. It’s not enough for me to just go to a church: it has to be one that ‘preaches the bible and that we align with.’ they also said that if I loved them I would do what they say. So that’s going really well. Let’s not mention how my boyfriend lets my brother live with us for free or that I have never ignored them or stopped calling/sending cards and gifts. If this is acting like the lord the I’m not for it. Let’s not get started on what they think about gays

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    • savannah April 11, 2012, 3:29 pm

      yikes….and I thought my whole fathers side of the family disowning us thing was bad. At least they no longer call.

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    • Addie Pray April 11, 2012, 3:32 pm

      I don’t know how you handle it so well – it’s got to be tough. You’re doing the right thing, I think. Do you think they’ll “get over it” when you get engaged and married, or do you think they’ll forever condemn you for the time you lived in sin?

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    • Samantha April 11, 2012, 3:32 pm

      Holy cow – that’s incredibly heartbreaking. While I still attend church, sometimes, it does things to people that make me cringe.
      I hope your parents come around. You and your boyfriend sound like tough people for sticking together and sticking it out.

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    • Brad April 11, 2012, 4:38 pm

      “that I’m a fornicator and going to hell” – This right there is one of the things that seriously PISSES ME THE FUCK OFF about many christians! No you don’t fucking know that you righteous hypocrit! It’s so mind bogglingly hypocritical it makes me want to smack the stupid out of them. This attitude is one of a few reaons why so many people will never even consider christianity, or accept Jesus’s sacrifice, and it both depresses me and pisses me off. Christians are not supposed to be judgemental or act holier-than-thou. I don’t know what it is about fundamentalists that make them think they know what’s in God’s heart and what God is going to do. Yes you know what a sin is, good for you! News flash, ALL sins are EQUALLY bad in the eyes of God; it doesn’t matter which one you do, so stop being such a damn hypocrit. Do they just conveniently forget about all the places in the New Testament that describe how Jesus went absolutely ape shit against the righteously superior types he came across like the Pharisees? Jesus commanded those that claimed to love him to go out into the world and love each other and spread the message of salvation. He didn’t say to go out and judge each other.


      Sorry I just had to get that off my chest.

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      • Lili April 11, 2012, 4:47 pm

        Swooning. And honestly, Jesus was one of the biggest liberal hippies that ever lived. Why do so many tea partiers forget that? Oh and do you ever check out Tea Party Jesus?

      • caitie_didnt April 11, 2012, 4:50 pm

        I wish I could paste a photo in here because I found this photo on Jezebel and cried with laughter. It’s Jesus, talking to His followers:

        Jesus: here’s an idea- you love them, like I love you. Make sure you take care of them and don’t judge them
        Follower: But but but what if they’re gay or worship different gods?
        Jesus: did i f*cking stutter?

        I died.

      • Addie Pray April 11, 2012, 4:53 pm

        love it!

      • Brad April 11, 2012, 4:56 pm

        “Jesus: did i f*cking stutter?” BAHAHAHAHA!!! Love it! I have a few coworkers asking me what’s so funny right now.

      • Brad April 11, 2012, 5:08 pm

        Yes Jesus was very loving and forgiving to those that needed and wanted his help. The only people he ever really got mad at were the people who thought themselves superior and/or sinless [hypocrits] and the ones [the Jews in a religious position] abusing their position for personal gain or to spread false information about God.

        No. To be perfectly honest I’ve gotten so disenfranchised with organized religion/churches in general I just avoid them and their judgemental bullshit. I try to study on my own and have intellectual conversations about it with my friends. I occasionally listen to podcasts.

        And I have no patience for politicans and all of their dishonest manipulative bullshit either. I’m not buying what they’re selling. They’re just lying and trying to tell me what they think I want to hear. Piss off and stop runing my country you damn greedy old farts. Stop trying to control my life and tell me what I can and can’t do. And stop spending so much damn money. Protip: when you reach your credit limit (looking at you congress) you don’t go get it INCREASED!!! idiots.

      • Muffy April 11, 2012, 7:21 pm

        Yes – I’ve always believed that it is for God to judge in the end and He will decide what is sinful or not. If you don’t believe in abortion and think it is wrong then don’t participate in it. But leave others alone

      • Samantha April 11, 2012, 5:14 pm

        RIGHT!? It’s the most frustrating thing about attending church – the rampant, unabashed judgment and hubris at believing anyone could possibly know the heart and mind of God, especially in respect to another person’s relationship with Her/Him/It

        Honestly, the only reason I still attend is because I feel you can’t create change from the outside, and the church desperately needs to change. (Some would argue that it needs to go away, but I don’t know if that’ll happen any time soon…)

      • Muffy April 11, 2012, 7:22 pm

        unfortunately almost everyone religion judges – not just Christianity. They’re just the most vocal right now in the States

    • Caris April 11, 2012, 11:16 pm

      If I got a call from someone and they started saying those things to me I’d just hung up. Even if they are my parents.

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    • Anna April 12, 2012, 12:55 pm

      Um, I think we may have the same parents. Yikes.

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      • MaterialsGirl April 12, 2012, 2:57 pm

        Long lost sister?

  • MaterialsGirl April 11, 2012, 3:48 pm

    It doesn’t help that he’s practically an atheist. Unfortunately I have asked them about wedding etc. not even sure that they will come honestly. They almost didn’t go to several cousins weddings who were known to be LIS. And oh yes they confronted them. During the last phone attack, I let them go for an hour without saying much. There really is no point to argue with people when the bible is the basis for their arguments. Science, common decency don’t really have merit to them. As for the post wedding, I asked ‘ so you think we will magically come visit after years of your behavior?’ haven’t really figured out what their mumbling response meant. Surprisingly my gramma always lets us visit although if we were staying the night we would of course follow her sleeping arrangement rules. When I ask my parents if this is how Jesus would treat me, they always say that I’m making them react this way. The weird thing is, they haven’t made an issue for a few monta so it was totally building. We had normal conversations on the phone and I was calling at least once a week.

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    • kare April 11, 2012, 7:41 pm

      Maybe when though go on a rant just set the phone down and walk away. Don’t subject yourself to that.

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      • bittergaymark April 11, 2012, 7:53 pm

        Hey, have fun! Make a game out of it! Tell them that they are right. More importantly, that you’ve seen the light! You are dumping your wretched atheist heathen for a fine and upstanding christian…lesbian.

      • MaterialsGirl April 11, 2012, 9:14 pm

        Haha that would be awesome

    • katie April 11, 2012, 8:07 pm

      sorry, but this sounds like they are just trying to emotionally manipulate you and using jesus as a scapegoat — “When I ask my parents if this is how Jesus would treat me, they always say that I’m making them react this way” — isn’t that the same line of thinking as men who beat their wives and then say that the wives made them mad?

      im surprised you put up with it. i commend you for that! i would have cut them off long long ago.

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      • MaterialsGirl April 11, 2012, 9:17 pm

        Eh I have a sibling or two at home and I do honestly love my parents and even like them a lot of the time. I just don’t agree with this kinda crap. I want to do better for my kids. Also as everyone above was talking about the whole sex talk thing: I don’t think I ever got a talk another than “don’t do it.” my dad to this day will turn the channel on the radio or tv if the word sex comes up on any context.. Sexual predators, sex offenders etc. so naughty!

      • katie April 11, 2012, 9:25 pm

        that is something i so supremely do not understand: the sheer terror that comes with sex. sex is something every living think on this planet does- i mean he did it, he has children, right? getting over that sex is evil/gross/ect was the single biggest thing in my life to get over, probably. i had been brainwashed very well when it came to sex… and when i finally decided that i wasn’t going to view sex in that light, my life just got like 100 times better.

      • MaterialsGirl April 11, 2012, 9:32 pm

        Exactly.. Which is why I’ve given a sex talk to all my younger siblings. They’ve all waited until after (most still virgins for now) high school too and are generally courteous and good boyfriends and girlfriends. it was pretty simple to me: don’t do something you’re not comfortable with. Don’t do it if you’re not prepared to deal with any kind of consequences whether physical or emotional. Do it cause you want to and you feel safe and comfortable with the other person. Just stuff I wish I had been told.

      • katie April 11, 2012, 9:43 pm

        that is so good!! i wish i had gotten one too…

        you must be a pretty awesome person for still putting up with your parents AND saving your siblings from their insane views. good job!

    • firefly_10 April 11, 2012, 8:55 pm

      I found a really great article recently on the subject of Christians not acting in the spirit of Christ. It’s called “I’m Christian, Unless You’re Gay,” and while he starts off talking about the shunning of gay people by religious people, he uses it to illustrate the broader point of Christians who pay lip service to charity and turning the other cheek and love, but don’t practice it in their everyday lives: http://www.danoah.com/2011/11/im-christian-unless-youre-gay.html

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      • Samantha April 12, 2012, 12:19 am

        I love this! I’m so glad you posted that article – it’s brilliant.

      • bittergaymark April 12, 2012, 2:40 am

        It is a great article. Profound. Very.

  • Kristen April 11, 2012, 3:49 pm

    I’m getting married this summer, and one of the biggest benefits is that we’ll finally be able to live together. We’ve been dating for 9 years, but my parents (particularly my dad) are strongly opposed to couples living together or even just sleeping over on occasion. So, for the past five years, I’ve been falling asleep at his house, waking up at 3 a.m., driving home, and spending the rest of the night in my bed at my parents’ house just to please them. They don’t like me coming home that late, but it’s better than me staying the whole night, so they gave up getting mad over it. Last week, my mom randomly said, “You know what’s going to be great about you moving out? I won’t have to worry about you driving home in the middle of the night when it’s snowing.” In their crazy logic, it’s better for me to risk my life driving home in a snowstorm than sleep over at my boyfriend’s house. The few times that I couldn’t make it home, I told them that I slept on the couch. There have also been a lot of times where I’ve slept over at a “friend’s” house. They’ve never questioned it, and with any luck, after July 14, it will never be an issue again! It’s going to be so insanely freeing.

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    • ReginaRey April 11, 2012, 3:53 pm

      This is fascinating (I hope you don’t mind me saying)!

      May I ask, why do you still live at home? I mean, if you’ve been dating for 9 years, you’re surely old enough to move out into a place of your own, even if it doesn’t include a boyfriend. And honestly, do you parents really, truly believe that after NINE YEARS of dating you’re still a virgin? I will be astonished if they do! I mean, if they assume you’re not, why bother getting so worked up about you sleeping at his place?

      When you say “it will be so insanely freeing”…why couldn’t you have freed yourself a long time ago? Just genuinely curious, not trying to sound judgy or anything.

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      • Kristen April 11, 2012, 4:00 pm

        Haha, I just responded to your post above before I saw this. Yes, I honestly believe they still think I’m a virgin. They’ve never actually even mentioned sex to me, except to hand me a brochure when I was 13, so it’s not a big topic of conversation around our house, haha. They must know that I shower over there, and I know they know I sleep there for a few hours, but I think they just believe I sleep on the couch (???). It’s hard to explain unless you met them… they’re the kind of people who prefer to stick their heads in the sand and pretend everything’s great rather than even entertain any other truths.

        Before we got officially engaged, we were looking at places to live. My dad found out, and freaked. (His favorite ‘punishment’ is the silent treatment, btw.) But when we told him it was because we were planning on getting engaged in the next few weeks, he immediately relaxed and thought it was fine. Basically, to him, the second I get married, everything’s okay. But until then, all the same rules apply.

        And you’re totally right — I could have moved out a couple years ago and gotten my freedom that way, but I just wasn’t ready (emotionally, financially, whatever). Now I am, and it’s going to be a great experience.

        All this is to say, I’m not going to make the same mistake with my own kids. I want my kids to feel like they can actually talk to me and be honest with me.

      • caitie_didnt April 11, 2012, 4:12 pm

        Maybe less naivete and more willful ignorance? Or just the assumption that obviously their children will never deviate from their rules because that’s “just not the way they were raised” or whatever. My parents have always been very controlling under the guise of “knowing what is best for me”, which is why I chose to move out and take on the accompanying debt for university. Even now, at 24, in graduate school, they’re constantly badgering me to do x, y and z, to prepare for my next degree (the one they want me to do, not the one I want to do), threatening to call my landlord because they don’t like something about the apartment that I pay for, etc. My ex-boyfriend was actually really good at helping me stand up to my parents- I finally started saying things like “I’m not asking your permission, I’m telling you that this is what I’m going to do”, “this matter is no longer up for discussion” or “if you can’t drop it, I’m going to end our conversation”. Which, actually works pretty well.

      • Brad April 11, 2012, 4:45 pm

        “I finally started saying things like “I’m not asking your permission, I’m telling you that this is what I’m going to do”, “this matter is no longer up for discussion” or “if you can’t drop it, I’m going to end our conversation”. Which, actually works pretty well.”

        Good for you! (not sarcasm). Can never be afraid to enforce your personal boundaries.

      • caitie_didnt April 11, 2012, 4:54 pm

        Thanks 🙂 I mean, parents ARE wise (mostly). But there’s a difference between “we’re not going to let you do that” (um, wtf? I live three hours away from you and am financially independent…so good luck). and “we’re concerned because of x, y or z- have you thought about these things?”. I am a rationale, intelligent, successful human being and my parents should a). recognize that, based on what I’ve achieved so far and b). be proud that they raised me that way and trust me to make good decisions in the future.

      • caitie_didnt April 11, 2012, 4:55 pm

        a rational human being who can’t spell “rational” right, evidently.

      • Budj April 11, 2012, 4:58 pm

        Yea it took a few years for my parents to transition from “I get to tell you what to do” to “I’m providing “counsel” and hope you take my advice.” It’s much easier to talk to them as an adult now…luckily my older brothers were the first out of college so they wore them down haha. The joys of being a younger sibling.

      • Temperance April 11, 2012, 10:17 pm

        My parents were like that, too. I ended up cutting them off for a few weeks because they were trying to force me to move back home after college, because they were afraid that I would move in with Mr. Temperance. They also thought it was wrong for a woman to live alone.

        They almost ended up missing my college graduation over it, but I wasn’t going to bow to their religious crap, especially since I don’t believe in God.

      • theattack April 11, 2012, 5:27 pm

        Yes, Brad! I use “I’m not asking, I’m telling you” all the time. I’ve also started occasionally informing them of something after-the-fact even though we talk a lot and I could easily tell them before, just so they recognize that I have the adult power to do that if I want to.

    • Kristen April 11, 2012, 4:08 pm

      Also, I should add: It’s probably a good thing we didn’t end up moving in together because we had our first (required) premarital counseling session with the pastor who’s marrying us, and he asked us directly if we live together or are sexually active. Apparently their policy is not to marry anyone participating in those “activities.” We stopped having sex in February in anticipation of this kind of question so we could honestly say we’re not sexually active. Like I said, July will be very freeing!

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    • LadyinPurpleNotRed April 11, 2012, 4:55 pm

      That’s really interesting to me and so foreign. When my boyfriend came to visit for the weekend one summer my parents only concern was that bed wouldn’t be big enough for us.

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    • spark April 11, 2012, 7:29 pm

      My parents are TOTALLY like this!

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    • bittergaymark April 12, 2012, 2:45 am

      If I were you I’d stage a car accident. No, seriously, I would. I grew up in North Dakota, so I know all to well how easy it is to skid off the road… So yeah, I’d deliberately skid off the road (or hell just drive safely off it) some night right into the ditch and talk about how you could have been killed just to satisfy your incredibly stupid, incredibly fucked up parents…

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  • ReginaRey April 11, 2012, 3:50 pm

    You know, all of this talk seems to beg an important question, to me. How do parents get this way? I mean, how does a 17-year-old horny (if not repressively so) teenager transform into a middle-aged person who’s “horrified” at people “living in sin?”

    I mean, were they just always completely and utterly naive? Is it simply a vicious cycle of parents creating children who spew out their parents’ dialogue…and then become parents themselves? Is the guilt and “shame” in being a sexual being ingrained so thoroughly that you can be made to deny all urges until you’re married, and then commence to bashing people for not denying theirs?

    It seems unlikely that the same parents who tout the evils of living in sin never did anything in their youth that they might find reprehensible NOW. How do people become so closed-minded and naive?

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    • Addie Pray April 11, 2012, 3:59 pm

      That’s a really good question. … I’ve wondered something similar in re: the two elderly people in my life — one in her 80s, the other close to 100! Both are insanely snippy, judgmental (and racist and sexist and any other “ist” you can think of), bitter, bossy, and ungrateful. Were they always like that? If not, what happened that brought that on? Was it just getting old? Will we become that way?! I sure hope not.

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      • bittergaymark April 12, 2012, 2:46 am

        Did you see THE HELP, Addie Pray? My best guess is that, yes, indeed, they were always like that.

      • Addie Pray April 12, 2012, 5:57 am

        I did, reluctantly, because I could tell the film would suck – and sucked it did! I thought it was one of the worst films of the year, imho. And I know that’s like saying “I hate puppies and babies” in some circles but there – I said it! But I see your point, bgm.

    • MaterialsGirl April 11, 2012, 4:06 pm

      My parents were married late: 27 and 29 and they dated on and off for seven years. But because they waited…. Yeah. Don’t think my dad did but apparently there’s a double standard. Oh and my brother prior to living with us lived with his girlfriend. They were just as pissed but a little easier on hom

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    • PFG-SCR April 11, 2012, 4:36 pm

      To your general question (not the “living in sin”): I don’t think people become naive when they get older and become parents; instead, you realize that you really didn’t “know it all” like you thought you did when you were younger (teenager and early 20s). You want your kids to be more informed and take less risks than you did, because even if you were lucky, they might not be. You don’t want them to get hurt – physically or emotionally. You want them to lead as uncomplicated lives as possible, including enjoying where they are in life and not “growing up too soon.” You want something better for them than what you had, in all aspects of life.

      As far as “living in sin” question: It is certainly not something that all parents disapprove of, in general, although some parents do become more religious after they have kids, so their views change as they get older. Some might just disagree for philosophical reasons, and others may be concerned with some perceived social stigma with their unmarried children living with a significant other. But it’s not just that, and it’s not that they don’t understand the sexual urges of their children, even if they don’t want to think about them. Parents are smart enough to realize that you don’t need to live under the same roof to be having sex, but for many, they don’t agree that living together is necessary at that age or stage of the relationship.

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      • ktfran April 11, 2012, 5:12 pm

        This isn’t directed at you, PFG-SCR, but it’s a comment to one of your statements, which was “You want them to lead as uncomplicated lives as possible, including enjoying where they are in life and not “growing up too soon.””

        You would think parents would realize that by staunchly opposing premarital sex, they are forcing their children to grow up way to young because many will marry early. And generally, not all the time, but a lot, when you marry really young, you don’t have time to grow into yourself and know the kind of person you want to be. If that makes sense.

    • Brad April 11, 2012, 4:48 pm

      “How do parents get this way? I mean, how does a 17-year-old horny (if not repressively so) teenager transform into a middle-aged person who’s “horrified” at people “living in sin?””

      I think it’s mostly because parents don’t want their kids to repeat their mistakes. Some just go further than others to try and prevent it from happening.

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    • Samantha April 11, 2012, 4:00 pm

      My parents, and many of their friends, were married really young, and I think that plays into it. I think they assume everyone can make these huge life choices at a young age. I have loads friends that I grew up with in church who are already married – and some who are already divorced! It’s crazy what people are willing to do (or give up) so they can have sex “legitimately.”

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    • Anna April 12, 2012, 1:02 pm

      That is an excellent question. My parents are so offended by drinking that they won’t even eat at a restaurant that serves alcohol. Guess where they met? Not at church. They met at a bar and my mom already had my oldest sister with her abusive ex-fiance. My dad used to smoke, drink, and ride motorcycles with no helmet drunk (in California in the 60’s). They met and started going to church together and became the biggest hypocrites EVER.

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  • Kristina April 11, 2012, 3:54 pm

    My parents would be upset if I didn’t live with someone before getting married. Which works out fine because I feel the same way.

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    • Nadine April 12, 2012, 10:11 am

      Hell, my boyfriend and I lived together in my parents house for six months while we saved to go overseas. Wouldn’t reccommend it, but it worked.

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  • 6napkinburger April 11, 2012, 5:37 pm

    I don’t necessarily think the parents who express some disapproval over living together are naive or willfully ignorant. They may be perfectly fine with it, but don’t want things to get out of hand (like you never getting married). And here’s why:

    Though there are always going to be some wild childs, for the most part, “good kids” keep relatively within the bounds of their parents reasonable wishes. “Good parents” generally don’t want their teenage kids drinking, doing drugs or having sex. The “enlightened good parents” don’t want their kids drinking and driving, doing anything harder than pot, or having unprotected sex with people with whom their children don’t have strong emotional connections and preventing accidental pregnancies is paramount. But kids are always (aka usually) going to rebel against something their parents tell them to do simply because they are showing their independence from their parents. Thus, a smart “englightened good parent” might pretend to be a regular old “good parent” because they are allowing room for their kids to break the rules while staying safe. So a “good kid” might drink even though they aren’t allowed to, but they’d never drink and drive. A “good kid” might have sex with her boyfriend who she loves, but she went to the doctor with her mom to get BC for her “mood swings” and is practically a trojan ad.

    But kids grow up and don’t always act just to disobey their parents If we imagine that generally, “good parents”/enlightened good parents want to see their kids happy and settled down with a family of their own, they will generally disapprove of things that they see as needlessly hindering that. (like a son that will never go on a third date with a girl/boy). If a smart parent thinks that sleeping together or living together before marriage might sidestep the need for or get in the way of the marriage altogether, they might disapprove– not because the sex is sinful but because it is diminishing their daughter’s (or son’s) chance to have the “happy married with children” life that the parent hopes for their children. So even if they aren’t against the actual co-habitating or their 24 year old having sex, but want you to be careful, they will express their disapproval with the hope that you keep the possibility that it is hurting your chances for happiness in the back of your mind and that you don’t spiral to other, worse things in their minds. (Like kids out of marriage).

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    • Kristina April 11, 2012, 5:48 pm

      I think what you said is very true. My parents were “enlightened good parents.” They always told me it was okay to tell them anything, and so they knew I drank and partied in high school, and while they weren’t just letting me go out and do whatever I wanted, they didn’t go over the top to prevent me from doing things that were going to happen regardless. If they stopped me from going out with friends late at night, I think I would have rebelled more. I think what I like most about how my parents raised me is that they were really honest about what they did during their teenage years. They let me know about the consequences of this and that, and that I had the choice to make. I have an aunt who refuses to let her kids know that she did anything rebellious in her day, and her kids are the ones who are more rebellious.

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    • ktfran April 11, 2012, 5:57 pm

      Very well stated 6napkinburger. My parents fall in the slightly strict to good parent category. See my post up at top about the birth control incident. I think it was hard for them to reconcile the way they were raised with respect to extremely religious parents and how to raise me and my sisters. I am also the oldest, so I had to pave the way.

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    • theattack April 11, 2012, 7:42 pm

      This was very, very well-said.

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  • Christy April 11, 2012, 7:23 pm

    Great post! I like #4. If you react with love and tolerance to their intolerance, they just might see how wrong they are.

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  • jilliez April 11, 2012, 7:35 pm

    Love this… reminds me when my SO and i (now husband) moved in together when i was 23 – he and i and my parents had no issues at all, in fact, my dad got a moving van for us =) but i could not bear the idea of disappointing my grandparents. So when my grandmother said, ‘what do you MEAN you’re moving in with him?’ My immediate response w/o thinking was, ‘but we’re going to have separate bedrooms!’ And when my grandparents came to visit i’d decorate “my” bedroom and show it off when giving the tour… so silly to think of now, but i really valued what my grandparents thought about me and i didn’t want to let them down. My husband’s family IS religious, and when his mom mentioned that “Jill seems to answering the phone at your apt a lot lately?” My husband responded with, “that’s because she lives here now,” and she told him that she didn’t raise him that way. Like it was me who made him become a heathen who lives in sin!! That was annoying, but at least my husband was ballsy enough to just tell her, instead of making up a pretend bedroom!

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  • bittergaymark April 11, 2012, 7:42 pm

    Eh, I still think a lot of young people today move in together wayyyyyy too fast and often for no real reason other than convenience… And I think that is the real reason that so many parents and what not object to their children’s decision to play house… Moving in together is a big commitment. Maybe if more treated it as such, others would have no choice but to take them a lot more seriously…

    PS — It’s also a sad comment on society how seemingly every writer under 25 already has a therapist. I mean, come on, seriously? How can most people even really have any problems at 25? I know I sure didn’t…

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    • katie April 11, 2012, 8:14 pm

      i noticed that too… i feel like it is so terrible that your religion has caused you to have to see a therapist. that is so so sad, whether the religion came through your parents or whatever, its teachings ultimately lead to you need one. wow. i want no part of that.

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      • Temperance April 11, 2012, 10:20 pm

        Honestly, I’ve thought about seeing one due to religious stuff. I’m ex-evangelical, and still have Rapture nightmares. I freak out whenever I see people doing disaster preparedness or talking about these “troubled times”.

        Then again, I’m 28. You would think not attending a single service in 10 years would change me, but no. Still nightmares, still freaking out over something that is just not even real.

      • Brad April 11, 2012, 10:23 pm

        You can still be a christian without going to church. I don’t think Jesus would be happy or welcome in most churches today either, so don’t let their bigotry keep you from having a relationship with God.

      • katie April 11, 2012, 10:45 pm

        you can also be a good person without going to church- just sayin.

      • temperance April 12, 2012, 1:19 pm

        I’m an atheist, so church really doesnt have a place in my life. Without going into my whole life story, I am ex evangelical.
        I agree that not all Christians need to go to church, but Catholics are required as part of their faith. That is my issue with them . Hypocrites.

      • Brad April 12, 2012, 1:28 pm

        I take a lot of issues with them too. A lot of catholic doctrine is not explicitly stated in the bible and as such as no place in practice as far as i’m concerned. I’ve also noticed that most of the people I meet that consider themselves athiests are most often ex-catholics or baptists. So hearing that you are one of those doesn’t surprise me in the slightest. I’m sorry you had a bad experience.

      • Temperance April 13, 2012, 10:47 pm

        Thank you, I appreciate it. It’s taken me a really, really long time to move away from it, even though I always had doubts that what I was being told in church was true.

    • ReginaRey April 12, 2012, 9:06 am

      To defend going to therapy before 25 (as someone who hopes to be a therapist one day), I think more people go now because there’s less of a stigma associated with it. It’s not something that only “mentally ill” people do, but something for people trying to figure out what they want to do, deal with issues that are preventing them from success, etc. I started going to therapy recently because I’m a really anxious, stressed out person, and it’s been taking a real toll on my physical health. I wanted to learn healthy strategies to cope with my anxiety and not internalize all of my worries and stuff. I stopped going to THAT therapist because I just didn’t jive with her very well, but I still think it’s something that can help center you and make you more self-aware. And might you agree that a dose of self-awareness is something that a LOT of young 20-somethings could use?

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      • Brad April 12, 2012, 11:03 am

        Don’t worry Regina, if worse comes to worse we’ll still visit you in your padded cell. We’ll even smuggle in wine (in plastic bottles of course).

      • evanscr05 April 12, 2012, 12:15 pm

        I also think that there ARE a lot of people under the age of 25 that have dealt with a lot and having someone to talk to who is otherwise not a part of your life is a great way to get to the bottom of why you feel the way you do about things. I sometimes have thought I would benefit greatly by talking to a therapist in order to deal with my parents divorce. I was 10 and it’s been nearly 20 years and there are still repurcussions that I struggle with in my family interactions and in my personal life. I imagine a lot of kids these days have similar struggles since divorce occurs significantly more than it used to.

    • ktfran April 12, 2012, 9:56 am

      I never thought I would need a therapist, until I did. I was calling off a wedding and was completely unsupported in that decision because everyone loved the guy. I had a hard time figuring out what was right for me, enter therapy.

      It’s been 5 years and I still go. Do I need to? Probably not. But she helps me work on my commuication skills and life in general. This world sucks a lot of the time and when you can just talk about things with someone, it helps.

      As RR said, there’s not a stigma anymore, so why not see an unbiased professional to work through life with?

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    • bethany April 12, 2012, 12:09 pm

      I agree that a lot of people rush into moving in together. My husband and I moved in together after dating for a little more than 2 years, and I was 27 or 28 at the time. I’m so glad that we didn’t do it sooner, because having that freedom in your mid-20’s to do whatever you want, whenever you want is amazing!! I don’t understand what the rush is… You have the whole rest of your life to live with someone!

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  • kare April 11, 2012, 7:56 pm

    I may have the strangest parents ever. My family has a very open dialogue about sex. I mean discussions about lube, oral sex, best positions, etc in addition to birth control and std prevention. I’ve always felt I can ask them anything. Even when I was in middle school and confused about things, they answered honestly. My parents know I have sex, but they also know I’m in a committed relationship using protection. And I know they have sex, which to me is a sign they have a healthy relationship even after 3 decades. I was raised to think sex is a natural thing and that “god made it enjoyable for a reason”.

    However, they are against living together before marriage. They view it as half-assing commitment and trying to have the perks of marriage without the responsibility. I don’t agree with them but at the same time I know men who have lived with girls and put of proposing as long as possible. Obviously I don’t think that every case is like that, but I think that’s my parents’ concern for me.

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  • katie April 11, 2012, 8:23 pm

    this may make people mad, so sorry, but i absolutely cannot wait until the older generations- my parents and grandparents age- are gone. no longer in religious leadership positions, no longer in political office, no longer sitting on the corner judging you for wear a skirt, just gone. and HOPEFULLY their stupid ideas will die with them!! and then, i cant wait until the younger generations get to take on those roles. like this author! i want YOU to be the next pope. how much greater would that make the world?

    my dad likes to put his head in the sand by saying that my live-in boyfriend is my “betrothed” or just my husband. i always correct him – were not married, dad. in his eyes though, i think we are, which i think is just weird. but, he does not try to meddle into my life decisions anymore… that ended when i was about 16. i think that he knows that i will cut him out of my life if he pulled the kind of crap that MaterialsGirl’s parents pull on her. props to you!! i cant believe you put up with it!

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    • bittergaymark April 11, 2012, 8:50 pm

      Wishful thinking, sweetie. Wishful thinking… Yes, sadly, there are plenty of asshole youngen’s still growing on up, still swallowing down an waveringly steady diet of 100% pure all-american hate. Just go to many a Conservative Christian Church or Young Republican rally and you will see that our battle is still, sadly, very much far from over…

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      • Brad April 11, 2012, 9:02 pm

        Don’t kill our HOPE bitter Mark!

      • katie April 11, 2012, 9:11 pm

        i know.. i know. i just hope that atleast the non-crazies will out number the crazies this time. i can hope!!!

      • MaterialsGirl April 11, 2012, 9:23 pm

        Oh shoot you totally caught me at a rally, didn’t you bgm?

    • Brad April 11, 2012, 9:06 pm

      I feel the EXACT same way. I hate the way the baby boomer generation thinks. It’s so backwards from today. I want them out of my office for good and I want them out of congress. I know some of their bullshit will linger on but hopefully not all of it. Their utter lack of understanding and mentality for keeping the status quo (at least at work) is pushing me one step closer to a padded room and white jacket every day. AND FOR THE LOVE OH GOD STOP PRINTING FUCKING EMAIL!!! READ.IT.ON.YOUR.COMPUTER!!!!!!!!!!!!! AGGHHHH!!!! /sigh 1…2…3…4…5…6…7…8…9…10.

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      • katie April 11, 2012, 9:11 pm

        deep breaths… deep breaths… happy place…

      • Brad April 11, 2012, 9:53 pm

        haha it’s so true. I started will all sorts of ambitions and ideals on how to help change things from within and make things more efficient….and now I’m getting my masters in another field so I can GET.THE.FUCK.OUT!

      • rachel April 11, 2012, 9:27 pm

        Wow, do people actually print emails? I’ve always thought that emails that said “please don’t print” on the bottom were just being silly.

      • Brad April 11, 2012, 9:50 pm

        Yes, they actually freaking print them!!! *whiny voice* I don’t like reading them on the computer … ehh 😐 Today for example I started work on closing out a 200,000 contract. I had to print roughly 40-50 pages worth of stuff for my ACO to review just so she’d approve the mod to take off the extra 30 dollars (they can’t close with money still obligated to them). She maybe skimmed through half of them and told me to email the mod to the contractor. All the things that I was forced to print off I could have emailed but noooooooo she wants them in paper form. She spent maybe 5 minutes with it. Drives.Me.Nuts!!!!!!

        The amount of time the government wastes … hell all the time I and the contractor will spend on this damn thing will easily equal way more than the 30 dollars left on this contract. But nooooo I can’t just close it out even though the contractor sent me a signed letter saying “we’re done, close that shit” (my words obv). Seriously, work for the government and you’ll get a better idea of why we’re 14,000,000,000,000 in the hole. #pleasefuckingretirebabyboomers

      • ReginaRey April 12, 2012, 9:18 am

        OMG, YES! My boss keeps paper files, full of paper, for EVERYTHING. I keep files for the few things that require actual paper — like printed invitations to events, etc. She has mountains and mountains of files. That’s what your computer is for!!!

        And YES, YES, YES to the whole “maintaining the status quo” thing. It’s like none of them realize they could be doing more, or something different. Something they ENJOY, even! They’re so bogged down in the norm, and so hindered by their own perceived boundaries, that nothing else occurs to them. I’m *this close* to getting out and never, ever coming back to a place with that kind of suffocating mentality!

      • Brad April 12, 2012, 9:46 am

        For me I just get irritated with their antiquated way of tracking things or storing certain types of information. For example by supervisor has been on my case lately for getting my contractor folders updated. They want a printed piece of paper sitting on my desk detailing certain types of information for each of my assigned contractors. That information should be in a spreadsheet on the network drive, not wasting real estate in my cubicle…………but I have’t managed to win that battle yet. /sigh And they seriously still print off time cards. /facepalm Oh, have I ever mentioned before that my office uses a MSDOS based datebase created in the 60s!??!?!?! The average age in my agency is 53 and it shows…

      • ReginaRey April 12, 2012, 12:49 pm

        I have zero idea what a MSDOS based database is, but if it was really created 50 years ago, I’m sure it sucks no matter WHAT it does! haha. And yeah, at least at my organization we have a shared drive where we all update shared excel spreadhseets and stuff. Your organization sounds ancient in their habits!

      • Brad April 12, 2012, 1:14 pm

        Just google images DOS regina and you’ll see what I mean. But basically it’s what computers looked like and used BEFORE Windows or Macs were out 😉

        ….. yeah

      • bethany April 12, 2012, 12:12 pm

        I found a printed out email on my boss’s table the other day from 2004!!!!! WHAT THE HECK?!?!

    • Kristina April 11, 2012, 9:16 pm

      I was telling my mom last week how I can’t wait til her generation (baby boomer) is gone in a way. She took it well, by the way. So many polls show that the younger generations are more accepting of gay marriage, interracial marriage, premarital sex, etc, but still, sadly, people are taught to hate and be intolerant. I live in the south and I know too many people my age who are blatantly racist and hate gays and have all other sorts of ignorant views.

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    • Temperance April 11, 2012, 10:28 pm

      I have been thinking that since Mr. Temperance’s grandmother told me that it’s not “right” for a woman to be president and lead over men. Oh, also, marriage is Christian in nature, so gays can’t do it, but they’re “really nice”.

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  • Temperance April 11, 2012, 10:27 pm

    This is probably not kosher to admit, but Mr. Temperance’s family is “Catholic” (as in, hey, we’re calling ourselves Catholic, but we can’t be assed to go to church), and they constantly complain about our lifestyle, particularly his grandmother, who hasn’t been to mass in at least 6 years.

    So, after hearing about all the crap she was saying behind our backs, and dealing with her trying to guilt us into attending mass by saying that the only way her cancer would be “cured” was if we prayed the rosary and went to mass, I ended up snapping at her (after she was in remission). She was ranting at Mr. Temperance’s brother and I for not going to mass on Christmas Eve, so I finally just looked at her and pointed out that SHE didn’t go to mass, either. She said something about watching it on TV.

    It was sooo worth the death glare from Mr. Temperance and his mother. I hate that woman. (I am not, nor have I ever been Catholic. I will not ever be Catholic. My children will not be baptised. )

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    • JK April 12, 2012, 2:20 pm

      I know how you feel. My husband is baptized etc., and believes in some of the Catholic doctrin (is that right), and I´m a heathen, never baptized, only gone to church for weddings, etc.
      But we live in a “Catholic country” which means the church thinks they get to have a say in politics (like when gay marriage was legislated a couple of years ago there was a HUGE fuss), and people somehow feel they have the right to criticize you for not being catholic, even though most o the people I know only remember they are catholics when it comes to getting married/baptized/taking communion.
      I can´t even begin to describe the responses I got when I told people I wasnpt baptizing my daughters (only when I was asked).

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      • Temperance April 13, 2012, 12:56 am

        Ugh I am so sorry. I’m not trying to overreach here, but are you in Ireland? Call it a wild guess, I’m part of a lawyer association for Irish and Irish-Americans, and I’ve heard this quite often from the Irish that I know.

      • JK April 13, 2012, 6:48 am

        Nope, in Argentina.

  • Caris April 11, 2012, 11:14 pm

    If I got a call from someone and they started saying those things to me I’d just hung up. Even if they are my parents.

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  • bekahtravels April 12, 2012, 5:59 am

    When I moved in with my boyfriend (viewed by my family as “living in sin”), I informed my father first but didn’t tell anyone else except my brother and sister who I was very close with. It went well until my sister and I had a falling out and she told my entire extended family in a “prayer request for my return to salvation.” I think she thought she was getting back at me, but honestly it let me not feel guarded when I was around them. I didn’t have to think out what I was going to say first. I could just be honest, not in their face, but also not lying. Just honest. It was probably the best thing that could have happened, and I didn’t have to have any religious conversations either or even “come out.”

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  • fast eddie April 12, 2012, 8:05 am

    My parents were very conservative and used the Baptist church (when it was convenient) to justify their attitude. My dad and I never got along so when he ostracized me for living with my GF it was no surprise. I was 45 and divorced for the previous 15 years but I thought his view was ludicrous. What did he think I’d been doing all along for companionship and sex? He and never spoke to each other directly for the last 10 years of his life. I have no regrets, he was never a positive influence in my life. Mom wasn’t much better and I didn’t let her meet my beloved until the weekend of the wedding. I don’t miss either of them but I’m jealous of people that have a loving and supportive family. (sigh)

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  • Anna April 12, 2012, 11:46 am

    Thanks for this article. It so fits my life for the last 8 years. With my parents, it’s “Don’t ask, don’t tell.” They also don’t call, text, email or visit me. I thought I’d always have my SO and our future kids as my new family but now I’m about to be left alone with no family so I may change my name to Anna X.

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    • *HmC* April 12, 2012, 1:37 pm

      That’s actually kind of cool, sounds like a super hero!

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    • fast eddie April 12, 2012, 5:51 pm

      I can relate to having no family but planning to have kids will compensate. Don’t be surprised if your folks make an about face when you do.

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  • Foxxdye April 12, 2012, 12:17 pm

    Fellow production company assistant here (not a CE yet!). Thanks for the article–it really resonates with me, and I’ll be glad I have this bookmarked to read and reread sometime in the not so distant future.

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  • evanscr05 April 12, 2012, 1:36 pm

    Unrelated to the above article – Samantha, just wanted to say that I clicked on the link to your blog and have been entralled in reading your posts. Your writing is really wonderful. Articulate, relateable, and some pretty good tips.

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    • Samantha April 12, 2012, 1:55 pm

      Thank you!

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  • Zepp April 12, 2012, 2:12 pm

    This is a great article!

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