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To not tell my family I'm cohabitating

(103 Posts)
aroomofherown Sun 02-Jun-13 21:26:13

I'm 41 and never married. Six months ago I met a fabulous man and have just shacked up with him. I live abroad from my very conservative religious family, and I don't want to tell them that I'm 'living in sin', seeing as they don't actually need to know.
However, I hate lying and would rather live honestly. He problem is that my parents and most of my siblings will heartily disapprove, and there will be grave disappointment and even tears as they believe this decision is a sign that I've rejected God and will therefore go to hell. I have a strong aversion to my family's strict religion because of the mental and moral control they had over me all my childhood (and clearly still do).

I love this guy, but am torn up in guilt. Am I being unreasonable?

LoSiento Sun 02-Jun-13 21:27:52

Well they lied to you when they told you God was real. So this would make it even.

DontmindifIdo Sun 02-Jun-13 21:31:05

Just remember that their opinion doesn't matter anymore, you are 41, you don't live in teh same country, you don't see them regularly, so why does it matter? Just drop it in an e-mail like you are dealing with normal people, something along the lines of "just to let you know, my address has changed to XXXXXX, I've moved in with my partner [DP's name]. Really like the new place. In other news.... "

EleanorHandbasket Sun 02-Jun-13 21:32:06

grin at LoSiento.


At all.

Snowyelephantshavewrinkles Sun 02-Jun-13 21:32:26

I think you do need to tell them. I know that in all reality they could end up not talking to you but I think it will be better for you in long run.

FourEyesGood Sun 02-Jun-13 21:32:43

LoSiento grin

OP: Congratulations on your fabulous relationship. Enjoy living in sin - it's a lot more fun than being married with children!

GailTheGoldfish Sun 02-Jun-13 21:32:44

Stop looking for approval from anyone other than yourself. Especially your family. You're 41, you can do whatever the hell you like. It's great that you have met someone, enjoy it!

quoteunquote Sun 02-Jun-13 21:32:58

what LoSiento said.

pinkballetflats Sun 02-Jun-13 21:33:05

I think their use of their religion as a means of control over their own flesh and blood absolves you of any loyalty to them. Tell them, don't tell them - you're happy. That's all that matters.

MortifiedAdams Sun 02-Jun-13 21:33:37

What LoSiento said.

LRDtheFeministDragon Sun 02-Jun-13 21:33:38

Tell them you live together then act shocked when they assume this means having sex, and tell them to clean out their filthy minds? wink

Sorry, honestly, I've no idea but I think at some point you will have to face it. At six months in - well, it's not ideal, but you could keep in vague if you're not sure it will last.

TheFutureMrsB Sun 02-Jun-13 21:33:59


LoSiento Sun 02-Jun-13 21:36:51

Agree with the comment about not looking for approval. Especially conservative religious types - they tend to be totally unreasonable and have screwy value systems due to whatever outdated code of values they believe a God wants them to follow. You can't expect to treat them as normal rational humans, because they aren't, and their treatment of you will not be that of normal rational humans either. Omitting certain things in order to have any sort of relationship (if you want one) is often not just reasonable, but necessary.

DontmindifIdo Sun 02-Jun-13 21:37:27

BTW - keeping it a secret maintains the view that you are doing something wrong so it has to be hidden. You aren't doing something wrong.

LoSiento Sun 02-Jun-13 21:38:47

2nd sentence should say "Especially from conservative religious types..."

cantdoalgebra Sun 02-Jun-13 21:40:25

Do you want to get married? Or do you think the relationship will be shortlived? Or are you actually against marriage - if you are you will have to tell your relations sometime and they will have to accept it, you are an adult after all.

WafflyVersatile Sun 02-Jun-13 21:40:53

Tell them you have moved in with your lesbian girlfriend and her husband and started a strap-on marketing business and there will be pics of you smiling and wearing one on billboards all over your home town.

They'll be relieved to know the truth.

If they've not died of an aneurysm.

aroomofherown Sun 02-Jun-13 21:41:40

LoSiento you write as though you know my family. They have incredibly outdated views as well as being religiously conservative so it's not a great combination tbh. I guess I just wish they would be happy for me but I know that they'll be gutted. And that really pisses me off.

LynetteScavo Sun 02-Jun-13 21:41:46

Well, if you want to keep your family happy you will just have to marry him immediately.

BananasInBikinis Sun 02-Jun-13 21:42:03

I can totally understand your predicament. My mother is extremely religious and believes sex before marriage and living together is a sin. When my brother told her that he and his gf (now wife) were moving in together my father (who is less extreme) told me she cried herself to sleep.

I think my brother did the braver thing by telling her. I don't think I would have had the guts. As it turns out, I married a man who also came from a religious family so we didn't officially live together before we married (had separate flats but usually stayed over at each other's). I always felt guilty that my brother was almost considered the black sheep for being honest about his living arrangements, whereas I retained my halo because my mother assumed I saved myself for my wedding night.

Tricky one, and can totally identify with this " ^I have a strong aversion to my family's strict religion because of the mental and moral control they had over me all my childhood (and clearly still do).^"

TinBox Sun 02-Jun-13 21:42:35

They may be disappointed and cry. Boo hoo hoo for them.

You shouldn't have to acquiesce to or accomodate their outdated beliefs. IMO keeping your relationship and living arrangements secret would be accommodating them - and all to your discomfort.

Just do what suits you best, whenever it suits you best - and don't waste any time feeling guilty about it either way.

aroomofherown Sun 02-Jun-13 21:42:47

Waffily - that is genius!! grin

changeling1234 Sun 02-Jun-13 21:46:03

If they prefer their religion to your happiness then what sort of people are they? I've had these issues with DH's mother and can't believe people reject their children (we were living in sin) because of their belief in fairies/gods/whatever.

Tell them and let them get over it. It's your life and you only get one chance at it.

aroomofherown Sun 02-Jun-13 21:46:07

I suspect he is going to be in my life for a long time - and maybe eventually marry. So I'm not against it. But he's not a believer so even a wedding wouldn't fix it - my dad has already said he couldn't attend my cousin's wedding as they had already lived together and so there was nothing to celebrate. Caught either way really, unless I marry a believer, which would be hypocritical of them to marry me!

julieann42 Sun 02-Jun-13 21:52:31

My mum too didn't believ in people,living together before marriage...I did move in with my partner before we got married...I didn't like telling her but I did..and she was upset but she did get over it and didn't let it affect our's always easy to say but be true to's your life your living .no one else's

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