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cross with friend

(76 Posts)
pinkpaws Mon 04-Mar-13 18:22:54

Hi i want to ask if you think i am being unreasonable was out a few nights ago with a group of people and after a few drinks the topic became about religion i am catholic the friend in question is not. We are good friends as are our children and i am very fond of both her kids. I said when my DD grows up and met someone i would if it where my choice which i know it is not i would rather she married an other catholic. But as long as she was happy that would be fine. my friend to cut a long story short was very cross and said that ment i didnt think her kids where as good as mine I have no idea how she came to that conclusion . this is a women who is well educated and has sense well i thought she had sense . please advise

MidnightMasquerader Tue 05-Mar-13 23:56:54

I'm pret sure that MIL sometimes secretly gets a bit wistful that DH didn't marry a nice Catholic girl. Although, if I'm honest, she could probably have made her peace with the non-Catholicism, if I hadn't moved him to the other side of the world! in all fairness though - she has been utterly magnanimous about both.

OP - YANBU to have a preference for your children. We all do, about all sorts of things - most of which we probably have zero control over. It's nice to wish, though.

Y are BU, though, to voice that opinion and to fully and unquestioningly expect it to be well-received. Come on - since when has religion ever been a nice, benign, bonding topic?! grin <hoots>

Jinsei Tue 05-Mar-13 23:43:17

I'm really surprised that the OP has been given such a hard time tbh. DH and I have an interfaith marriage (well, I'm agnostic these days smile ) and we rub along quite happily together despite our different traditions - we just have twice as many festivals to celebrate. grin However, if your religion is very important to you, there's nothing wrong with hoping that your kids will marry into the same faith - you're not saying that you'd cut them off if they chose to marry someone else!

Big overreaction on your friend's part in my opinion, and from a lot of MNetters.

LoopDeLoops Tue 05-Mar-13 23:10:33

I know, crash doll, that was exactly my point.

crashdoll Tue 05-Mar-13 13:37:42

If pressed on why, I would answer "because I would like them to marry an intelligent free thinker".

You feel 'disappointed' - YABU. What a twattish thing to say

Oh the irony of telling someone else they said something twattish! Nice, sweeping statement there. And no, before you attack me, I am in no way a believer of any religion.

MTBMummy Tue 05-Mar-13 13:09:12

Many years ago I dated a Catholic guy, we got on well, had similar interests, but 2 years into the relationship I questioned why I had not met his family, he announced his mum would never approve of me because I wasn't Catholic and he'd been keeping his relationship with me from his family, because he was ashamed.

This is exactly what annoys me about religious types, they try to force their views on everyone else, and anyone who doesn't measure up is considered a lower human being.

GhoulWithADragonTattoo Tue 05-Mar-13 12:55:20

I can understand your preference for you child to marry someone of your religion but I do think you should keep it to yourself. As soon as you voice it then you will inevitably upset others, as your sensible friend shows...

wineandroses Tue 05-Mar-13 12:46:36

I am not quite sure why your friend took your comment so personally. I have friends who are muslim and hindu. They are all of the view that they would prefer their children to marry people of the same faith and that there would be ructions in their families if anyone married outside their faith. I don't find this personally offensive (I and my family are not of either faith), though I must admit, it made me feel a bit sad that they genuinely believed that they should exclude so many people from being potential partners just because of their faith. I respect their views; they want to keep their faith and traditions alive in their families. But such views are by their very nature excluding of the rest of us, and that's a shame.

Pigsmummy Tue 05-Mar-13 12:45:44

I have been on the receiving end of some catholic bashing from a pissed person, the next day they were mortified and apologised, end of. Although had I not received an apology I wouldn't have been any different about it, people have opinions and I am not apologising for mine or defending my beliefs. I wouldn't bother giving this another thought, don't mention it or religion in general with this woman again.

I think that your comment was taken wrongly by her, the comment wasn't much differant than lightheartly saying that you want your son/daughter to marry a millionaire/footballer/royalty you are not going to enforce your views and it's hardly news that people sometimes prefer to marry within faith groups!

LoopDeLoops Tue 05-Mar-13 12:31:50

If someone asked me this question, I would reply with "I would prefer my children to marry an atheist".

If pressed on why, I would answer "because I would like them to marry an intelligent free thinker".

So, I can (sort of) understand why you think you are justified in your response.


You feel 'disappointed' - YABU. What a twattish thing to say

quesadilla Tue 05-Mar-13 12:12:21

I can see both sides of this: I understand there may be an advantage to two people from similar family and religious backgrounds getting married so its an understandable practical wish but surely you must be able to see that to another non-Catholic it does look a little bit superior. The unspoken assumption is that non-Catholics are inherently inferior. I know that isn't what you said and probably isn't what you meant but to a non-Catholic its hard to put that aside.
Are you a serious, committed practising Catholic or just a "cultural" one? If its the former it's more understandable in a way as your faith presumably required this attitude. If the latter I think it's likely you will find people may be offended by this.

zipzap Tue 05-Mar-13 12:03:16

Amberleaf Thank you! blush

Dione - I know the OP said she preferred her dd to marry somebody who was Catholic - I even said that in my post. And my comments apply to that preference.

I've just re-read my post again to check - I don't think I did say that she didn't want her dd to marry someone that was non-catholic (losing track of all the negatives there!). I did use the phrases 'keeping her fingers crossed' and 'actively like us to pick a partner who was of the same religion (whether implicitly or explicitly)' - both of which to me are closer to 'prefer' than 'didn't want' so apologies if they read differently to you and caused confusion.

(The only time I mentioned not wanting was regarding me, not the op, not wanting to bring my dc as catholic, which I had already flagged was a bit of an aside).

Manchesterhistorygirl Tue 05-Mar-13 11:35:15

The others present may have decided you were being unreasonably, but kept that opinion to themselves so as to prevent this exact situation.

Btw you are being vu. Disappointed. Really?

My mum used to work in a school and one of the families were from Northern Ireland. He as catholic and she was Protestant, they had had to come to England to avoid persecution because they had married "outside" their faith. sad This is the problem with waving your religion around instead of quietly believing in your personal god or not.

BramshawHill Tue 05-Mar-13 11:25:42

I kind of see what you were trying to say (I think) but it IS unreasonable to ask for opinions on this board then dismiss anything that doesn't agree with you.

OP - was I being unreasonable?
Replier - Yes
OP - no, I wasn't, you weren't there.

See how ridiculous that is?
Next time just steer clear of religious discussions fuelled by drink.

RaspberryRuffle Tue 05-Mar-13 01:11:23

YABU to ask for opinions and then profess to be disappointed in your friend, when by reading the replies you can see that several people here would be offended by what you said...just because your friend was the only one on the night in question to be offended doesn't mean her feelings are not valid. There are also people who don't see what you said as a big deal, that's fine for them not to be offended, but you asked if you were being unreasonable and on balance I would say yes.
You have effectively said her children would not be as good a choice as marriage material for your DD.

I also thought of how it would sound if you replaced "i would rather she married an other catholic" with "another (insert race/job/class)" and it's obvious that you consider this choice superior.

DioneTheDiabolist Tue 05-Mar-13 00:49:25

Not really Amber, it's just about easiness and practicalities. Not about believing that others are less. I would have no problem with an Athiest/Hindu/Jewish parent saying the same.

BadLad Tue 05-Mar-13 00:38:44

"It's not exactly groundbreaking stuff, is it?

Religious parent hopes child will grow up to marry someone of same religion shocker!!

You haven't said you wouldn't allow her to marry outside of the religion. Storm in a teacup. "

I agree with this.

AmberLeaf Tue 05-Mar-13 00:36:40

They are very close though Dione.

Zipzap good post.

DioneTheDiabolist Tue 05-Mar-13 00:32:56

Zipzap the OP didn't say that she didn't want her DD to marry an Athiest, other Christian, Hindu etc.

She did say that she would prefer her to marry someone with the same faith. They are not the same thing.

zipzap Tue 05-Mar-13 00:10:15

OP, how would you have felt if the conversation had gone the other way and your friend had said that, when her dc grow up, she's keeping her fingers crossed that they don't get married to Catholics because she doesn't want to think that she would have grandchildren that are forced to believe in some imaginary friend because of the partner, how can an educated person believe that there is some god figure out there controlling our lives, it's ridiculous... [or insert any other belief that an atheist might have about Catholic beliefs - I'm not saying I agree with it, just putting it here for the sake of the discussion]

If you think that if your friend said the above to you and you thought it was an offensive comment about your beliefs and thoughts and that it shows that they think you are not as good as them, then that is exactly what your friend thought you were saying about her and her family, albeit with the belief systems reversed. And that is why she found what you were saying so hurtful.

Because although you did say that it would be ok for your dd to marry someone who was not catholic, you would prefer her to find a catholic. Assuming she had a son who was of the right age and who your dd liked enough to get married, you'd be thinking 'great, but if only he was catholic he would be perfect...' and therefore again you are saying that you think your dd could have done better.

Maybe she is sitting at home thinking 'this is a women who is well educated and has sense well i thought she had sense' about your beliefs too - would that surprise or hurt you if you thought that that's the reaction your comments caused about you?

I can see that you probably didn't mean to be insulting when you made the comment, but it is a bit worrying that you believe it so much to the exclusion of all else that you don't seem to see that, even if unintended, the comment did have the scope to be offensive if said to someone who wasn't catholic. So other people didn't react to what you said - maybe they don't like discussing religious things, or thought something but didn't say it. There's no reason to be disappointed in her - it's her beliefs and surely they are just as valid as yours. If anything your reaction to this could suggest that her reaction is making you insecure in your beliefs...

I'm cultural CofE by background, relatively little religious background from home although some strong stuff at school that they tried to indoctrinate us into. DH is Catholic. However we married in a CofE church, and have also had christened our dc as CofE. That was my choice - despite apparently there supposedly is something that says if you are catholic you are supposed to get married in a catholic church and promise to bring your dc up as catholics, even if your partner is not catholic, I actively didn't want to bring my dc up as catholic. Of DH and many other friends I have that are catholic very few of them have actively searched out a catholic partner, even fewer of them have ended up with a catholic partner and like me, none of them have gone down the bringing up the kids as catholics route.

I'm not really sure why I'm putting this here - just that if I had had parents (or if dh had or any of our catholic friends) that were so into their religion that they would actively like us to pick a partner who was of the same religion (whether implicitly or explicitly) then lots of good marriages would never have happened which would have been a real shame.

DioneTheDiabolist Mon 04-Mar-13 23:25:58

No you didn't Waffly, but you did sum up beautifully what most parents think and want for their DCs and DGCs regardless of religious belief or lack thereof. It's not about believing that My God / No God is better. It's just that shared views make child rearing easier.

WafflyVersatile Mon 04-Mar-13 23:18:23

Putting aside my views on religion which are not very complimentary I entirely understand that if your religion is important to you (is it? Do you go to church?) and if you want your children brought up as catholic and your grandchildren brought up as catholic your preference would also be that your child's partner would be catholic. It's just easier. Probably. In theory. I mean he might be catholic but not bother his arse, or catholic but hate the church and not want his children taken to mass, or he might be protestant but happy for his partner to take the kids to church and not really care one way or the other etc.

I don't think that means you think you are better. Although surely if you think catholicism is better (despite all the evidence to the contrary) then you should.

I don't believe in any god and I'd prefer any children of mine to be the same and their partner and my grandchildren. I do think atheism is better but that doesn't mean I think any atheist is a better person than any catholic.

I didn't quite manage to keep my views out of that, did I?

LadyApricot Mon 04-Mar-13 22:51:42

Your religion is important to you, dont feel guilty speaking the truth about how you feel. I think your friend took it way too personally.. you said if your daughter married a catholic you'd be happier - not because they are 'better' in some way but because you feel they could share their faith together and for some, that's important. This just wasn't understood.
I think more people should respect others faiths. Sadly it seems almost out of date or unfashionable to be a catholic now in the uk
I married a Hindu and I am catholic. It doesn't mean that my faith is compromised and our children enjoy learning about the different faiths but ultimately it's their choice once they grow older to decide.

DioneTheDiabolist Mon 04-Mar-13 22:38:51

The OP never said that she would be upset if her DD married someone who wasn't Catholic.hmm

madamezouzou Mon 04-Mar-13 20:45:03

It's not exactly groundbreaking stuff, is it?

Religious parent hopes child will grow up to marry someone of same religion shocker!!

You haven't said you wouldn't allow her to marry outside of the religion. Storm in a teacup.

bruxeur Mon 04-Mar-13 20:19:26

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