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Guest Helen Lea

How Did Your Partners/family Deal With Paganism?

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ShadowWalker

She can find out when she joins my Dad...

 

... whichis what happened to me! My Dad returned briefly to me in a dream, not long after he died, giving every indication that he knows and understands - my Mum joined him some 12 years later and I know that she too will understand although she already had an inkling before she died! Both parents were evangelical christians and there was no way they could have accepted that I am a witch in their lifetimes on earth and so I never did explain.

 

Interesting. She maintained it was not a dream. My own experience of dreams concerning my father are not quite so positive - primarily I think because he tended to be - albeit benevolently - a quite controlling character, and the dreams, at least initially, involved my telling him in no uncertain terms to lay off.

 

Then again, sometimes dreams are just dreams, I suppose...

 

Yup. Sometimes they are literally your head making sense of itself. Which would probably explain why I have some strange dreams that make no sense whatsoever. Either that or someone or something somewhere wants to make me so absolutely loopy! Well, more than I am. :)

 

 

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Hazel

I don't feel the need to hide my interest in paganism but I also don't feel the need to make people aware of it.

 

My partner knows in a wider sense of the word but not about any fine details. As long as it is not stopping him from doing his thing he has no problem. He thinks I am mad and delusional as he has no belief in anything and so can take the mick from time to time calling anything I do 'heebing' and 'jeebing', but aside from that he is ok.

 

Mum and dad let me do whatever.

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Veggie dancer

well... I shall soon have to have some sort of discussion with my parents about the reasons I shall not be getting married in Church... will be seeing them possibly this weekend!! or the next one :o !!! wish me luck!!! aaaggggh!

Ok so I DID IT! (Only 3 weeks after I planned)

It went pretty well, there were a few tears from both me and my mum. She was more upset about feeling excluded from the wedding organising and that I didn't talk to her about this kind of thing than the fact I didn't want it in a church. She said it's been obvious for a long while I'm not really interested in church and she wasn't entirely surprised.

I tried to explain that I would like them involved and I admitted that I do struggle to talk about this kind of thing with her because I know it will upset her and I don't want to upset her so just avoid talking about it.. Which upsets her.. So not really a good tactic.

I explained that I feel much more of a spiritual connection in a beautiful natural environment than in a church and showed her some venues we like the look of. She said she can understand where I'm coming from and admitted that she doesn't agree with everything the church says but to her mind "that's not god's fault" and to her it's important to be part of the community and that it makes life "easy" things like weddings and baptisms and funerals are "easy" because it's all laid out for you in the structure of the church. I explained that lots of people feel like they can just go along with church things for sake of tradition or community and sometimes I don't mind that. But that we want our wedding to be genuine and meaningful for us and that doing it in a church would feel like a bit of a lie.

Whilst it has been a stressful build up to this and difficult conversation. The outcome was I think really positive, I feel like we know each other better after this chat and that I can trust my mum to help organise our wedding without her trying to push for any churchiness. I really feel hopeful that I can be less cagey about my beliefs with my mum in future and that we MIGHT actually have some fun together organising the wedding! ... Wow.. Think I need to lie down now though!

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Amanda George

Well done, Veggie Dancer... it wasn't an easy discussion but you did it and that's definitely something to be proud of!

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Isrith

Oh well done! :) Here's hoping things stay on track for you and the plan goes smoothly x

 

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Veggie dancer

Thanks Amanda and Isrith :) :) :) and everyone who wished me luck, it helped feeling that I have back up.

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Ellinas

Sounds like it all went as well as could be hoped. Well done.

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Veggie dancer

The outcome was I think really positive, I feel like we know each other better after this chat and that I can trust my mum to help organise our wedding without her trying to push for any churchiness. I really feel hopeful that I can be less cagey about my beliefs with my mum in future and that we MIGHT actually have some fun together organising the wedding! ... Wow.. Think I need to lie down now though!

 

Oh how wrong I was. :( unfortunately just spent a few days with my parents trying to involve them in wedding plans approaching them with positivity and hope and willingness to listen to ideas and compromise on all sorts of things only to have that all squashed by ALOT of pushing for churchiness and guilt tripping and generally my mother trying to control every aspect of my life and thoughts. She doesn't count a discussion over unless the result of that discussion was her getting her own way.

I can't believe I thought she had changed! I only generally see her occasionally but just being there in a more private setting and seeing how she still treats my dad and brothers as well as all the grief I got just proves nothing has changed. :(

Im back home now and feeling terrible, the fluey bug I've been fighting and keeping at bay for a couple of weeks has hit me now. Spent most of the day in bed. :(

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Amanda George

OMG! I'm so sorry things have been turned on their head again! :o_nono: Is there any way you can organise it yourself without any input from your mum? That's what I did... my father had no input into our wedding at all, but that was what needed to happen. We had our wedding at a register office and the reception a week later at a pub. Small and intimate and exactly how we wanted it.

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Veggie dancer

Thanks Amanda, if push comes to shove that is what we will do. It would be much easier in a lot of ways but as it stands I'm persisting in trying to work with them (without giving up my identity though!). They would be even more upset if I did it completely behind their backs. They don't want to loose me completely I know. I spoke to my dad today. He is much more rational and can see I am making a big effort here. Thanks so much for the support.

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Pomona

Damn. So sorry Hun. My mother sounds very similar so I have a huge deal of sympathy for you.

 

I'm afraid, and I base this on the experience with my mother, that the only way you will please her is to do it her way. If you want to please you, you will have to stand firm and accept that she will not be happy. I have learned from my own experience that standing firm, saying (repeatedly) "but that's how I want it, is the only way to get what you want and though she won't be happy, the topic gets dropped. Ultimately it's a case of deciding what you feel strongly about and what you are prepared to let go.

 

Or elope.

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Moonhunter

So sorry that your mother reverted, VG. I guess you shocked her initially but, once she'd thought things over, she reinterpreted everything in her mind. I would guess her recollection of that apparently positive conversion will be very different to yours, now.

 

I think P is right... you may have to fight every inch for what you want. Hopefully, it won't be that bad. It's probably best to prepare for the worst and then (hopefully!) find yourself surprised when it isn't as bad.

 

Keep your mind on what you want. It's your wedding... try not to let the expectations of others - even close family - spoil anything about that.

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Maeve

Pom has said what I was thinking .... you could do two things: have a meaningful ceremony for yourselves in hand-fasting fashion with the people you love and trust and whatever else to satisfy your mother as a separate thing!

 

My parents were both evangelical christians and could never be told that we are witches so we had a handfasting in the summer followed by a registry office wedding with family party afterwards - asi it happened - on 5 November and it's been mostly fireworks ever since .... :lol:

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Amanda George

I'm with Pomona... could you maybe do like Naomi suggested and have a hand-fasting for you first then have a Register Office and reception for your mum's benefit then a big reception for everyone at the weekend or something like that? My father didn't pay a penny towards our wedding but whined about not walking me down the aisle (I was in a wheelchair) then whined about not having a proper reception so we felt forced into paying for a "do" in a pub but he whined about that too. It would have met my father's approval if we'd had a traditional Christian wedding but that's not what we wanted so we had a wedding and a reception to please my father.

 

I hope your mum is more understanding than my father was! Hopefully she will get used to it eventually and be more understanding!

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Hazel

Sorry to hear you are having difficulties with your mother over this issue Veggie dancer. I hope she comes round soon to your wishes.

Edited by Hazel

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Fortuna

on 5 November and it's been mostly fireworks ever since .... :lol:

 

At least your anniversary is easy to "remember remember"!

 

Veggie Dancer. I don't blame your for feeling really positive at first. It's only natural to jump on anything positive even if it seems too good to be true. I doubt your Mum will change and it will be a case of going "yeah yeah yeah" whenever she starts.

 

It's a shame isn't it.

 

Mike

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Jasmin

That's so awful, like others have said I would be tempted to do the formal thing with people you 'have' to include like family and have a separate handfasting with people you actually can and want to spend the day with.

 

As an aside if I was to go down that way of sorting it out I would kindly but firmly explain to my mum that the day of the handfasting was what I was planning to be the 'main event', and the day to formalise the marriage to be a secondary thing it's your day not hers!

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Isrith

Oh man. . . that is awful. I'm so sorry to hear you're having to go through that. Your wedding should be a thing of joy! Sending good thoughts your way and hoping you feel better soon x

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Ellinas

I'm afraid this comes down to how far you need to mitigate the effect of your position for your parents. Only you can judge the family dynamic.

 

However, it's your wedding, and a matter for you to arrange as you see fit. This may get to the point you basically have to tell them that and then do it yourself.

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Veggie dancer

Thanks so so much everyone for all your supportive messages. I'm feeling quite a bit better thanks. Perhaps we will get to that point that I have to put my foot down completely and we do our own thing entirely apart from the parents but as things stand for better or worse I'm still working on plans with the parents (don't know why I'm always so optimistic and persistent but hey that's me) and I don't want to turn our wedding into a battle ground which if I announced we were doing a totally separate thing and 'f* off interfering', that would definitely cause more troubles. They currently (though I'm not holding out hope this time that I've heard the end of it) are accepting there will be no church wedding. It's funny everyone seems to think the wedding should be all about the couple except my mother. Ha ha. It's a whole family affair in her book. But hey I'll compromise in many ways.. But not the church thing. We won't have anything really overtly pagan (we wouldn't want that anyway) but we will NOT be making promises mixed up in religious promises we don't believe in.

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Earthdragon

Glad you are feeling better about things. I guess it could be more difficult if there were others in your families who think similar to your mother! Thank goodness it's just her..

 

Best

 

ED

Edited by Earthdragon
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Isrith

Yes, stick to your guns! x

 

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Jasmin

What Isrith says,

 

It might be good idea to have a list of things you will not budge on with the church at the top of that list!

 

It would help your Mother to have prior warning regarding things she definitely can't interfere with and let her feel that there are other areas where she could have some hopefully limited 'input',

 

You never know, delegating something that she's thinks is really important like, I dunno, flowers/cake? Or something else that maybe isn't all that important to you, I wouldn't know because I don't know you, but you think would be important to her might make her feel like she has something to contribute.

 

At the end of the day it's all about you though, please always think that,

 

Good Luck, Jasmin x

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Guest Briton

About a year ago my wife and I had a discussion and we both no longer believed in the Christian God. I had a bit of an anti-Damascene moment meets Eureka, I was in the bath. I had been mulling things over and that's the conclusion I drew. My wife and I had for a year been attending an Orthodox church. I wanted something old so I still enjoy the incense and chanting. I wish there was something like that as a manifestation of some pagan systems. Unfortunately, generally, the pagan diaspora is too dispersed for such organization. But I digress. For many years I had been interested in learning about small tribal religions and belief systems. I didn't like pantheons and the Classical religions of Rome, Greece and Egypt. I wanted to learn about the earthy, crude, simple systems. I was a Christian then so it was just an aesthetic. So after my wife and I agreed to stop bothering going to church I started looking into local beliefs, still deterred by pantheons. I looked into traditional witchcraft, and I may go back there. Anyway I "came out" to my mum a couple weeks ago on a journey to see my grandad in Wales where I told her i not only wasn't Christian but that I was interested in paganism of British prehistory and that i was drawn to animism. She took it much better than I had expected. She explored in her younger years, she is fairly live and let live and said that she believes her god will do what he wants and needs to be done so won't push us to go to church. Great!

 

I updated my wife and that evening she said, rather disparagingly "what, so you believe in gods and spirits and stuff?"

 

I don't think she's ready yet, but we went to Avebury on the 31st which she thoroughly enjoyed and i think she just wants to see how it pans out. My dad is very unpredictable so he may be fine, maybe not. Don't know yet, but both parents were excited hear what we had experienced at Avebury and they are far from averse to culture, my dad looked into Hinduism and Buddhism, was not a Christian until I was a child. He's non-trinitarian but seems to joke about Young Earth. You know what they say, many a true word said in jest. Hm.

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fizzyclare1

Mine asked me if I was going to dance naked around a cauldron in the woods and then they said it was just a phase, lol.

 

That phase has lasted a long time 16yrs and I'm now 49

 

Sent from my MotoG3 using Tapatalk

 

 

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Ellinas

Er... If I read that literally, you seem to have been dancing naked round a cauldron in the woods for 16 years...

 

Isn't that rather exhausting?

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Isrith

No, no, Ellinas. Fizz said the partner asked "if" the naked dancing would occur. Not "when". But wow, yeah, 16 years of naked dancing round a cauldron would probably make the Guinness Book of Records, for sure! ;)

 

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Ellinas

My error. However, the idea is, indeed, intriguing...

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ShadowWalker

It would be interesting to say the least... 16 years without a break would be an act of extreme endurance. Possibly an idea for an olympic event?

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Isrith
My error. However, the idea is, indeed, intriguing...

 

I hope you know that I was was just teasing, Ellinas?

 

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