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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?

TinBox Sun 02-Jun-13 21:54:03

He wouldn't got to a family wedding because 'there was nothing to celebrate'!

I can hardly anyone being so pious and joyless about a family wedding.

You are never going to please these people - who seem determined to be critical and bitter - so you might as well do exactly whatever you like.

Coffeeformeplease Sun 02-Jun-13 21:55:31

aroom, sounds like whatever you do you won't get their approval. Stop looking for it. They will never be happy for you. Don't waste your energy. Us it for your sinful relationship grin
Honestly, I would tell them because you feel bad about pretending to be living alone. Their reaction is predictable.

WafflyVersatile Sun 02-Jun-13 21:56:38

to be fair, they don't sound like they'd be much fun at a wedding anyway.

Coffeeformeplease Sun 02-Jun-13 21:56:48


rabbitlady Sun 02-Jun-13 21:57:47

could they find out accidentally? would a neighbour dob you in? better to hear it from you.
but if you are pretty sure you can carry it off, i'd keep it quiet.

TotallyBursar Sun 02-Jun-13 22:00:50

I lived in sin for aaaaages.
I told them we were not getting married, were blissfully happy and we're planning numerous bastard children.
They were welcome to come & join the fun but I was completely uninterested in hearing any of their views so they could come & keep schtum or not come.
I also pointed out that they were hideously hypocritical what with all the divorcing & complete lack of adherence to the bible which they believe was the literal word of God. So who's in bigger trouble really?
I'm more than happy to look out for my own lack of soul thanks.
They all caved & we get on as well as we ever will.
But they collectively ruined my childhood so they can fuck right off if I sacrifice my adulthood.

Living for other people will be a constant disappointment. Also accepting they will never be what you want (so you accept their faults as you ask them to accept their perceived faults of yours) is very freeing eventually.
It's hard and horrible to admit to yourself that you are not loved enough to be accepted for who you are. Once you realise that it is actually not your problem you get to live with self determination.
It's better.
The memories of my happiness will comfort me far more in my old age than knowing I had lived acceptably to family that only cared that I followed their rules, & then they die & I have to live a lifetime in 20years? That really would be cold comfort.

aroomofherown Sun 02-Jun-13 22:03:15

Waffly they aren't that much fun at weddings - surprising, no?

So then, tell them or not? I did tell my sister who I think was secretly disappointed, but did her best to be supportive. She warned me about the reaction of the rest of the family but she hasn't told them and I don't think she will.

aroomofherown Sun 02-Jun-13 22:06:21

but they collectively ruined my childhood so they can fuck right off if I sacrifice my adult life

yy to this. Sorry you've had a similar childhood

EllaFitzgerald Sun 02-Jun-13 22:06:56

Tell them. At worst, you will fall out with them.

At best, you won't have to worry about whether your sister will change her mind and tell them and your DP won't be made to feel like you're ashamed of your relationship

WafflyVersatile Sun 02-Jun-13 22:07:04

It's up to you.

I (speaking as the one who doesn't need to do it!) would go with telling them, in a few months. I'd hate to have to tell them I've been dumped straight afterwards! Let them have their hissy fit. Be very clear that you are an adult and make your own decisions now. You do not share their religion or values but you respect theirs and would appreciate them respecting yours. Tell them that twatting on about it every time you see or speak to them is not acceptable either. Set your boundaries, girl!

Msgilbertblythe Sun 02-Jun-13 22:07:17

Why do people automatically think it's fine to slag off religious people just because they don't believe in it?! I'm not religious but my mother is and I respect her views, plus she's still a good decent person. When I moved in with my boyfriend at the age of 30(!) I thought it was much kinder not to tell her. I live in a different country to her so it was easier (until she came to visit one time, that was a little trickier, but we got away with it). Do what you want, it's your life, but why rock the boat by telling her?

WafflyVersatile Sun 02-Jun-13 22:10:22

telling your religious parents the truth about your relationship is not slagging them off. In this instance they want so much undeserved respect but won't give it themselves. Fuck 'em and their religion.

trackies Sun 02-Jun-13 22:12:23

i have alot of friends who have family like this, and i myself come from a background that is quite strict, although by the time i moved in with DP i was 30 something and my Mum had given up on her no living together until you are married thing, as she was just glad i'd found someone. My advice is tell them. You know that they are likely to have a big problem yes. And can totally see why that would p*ss you off. But if you dont tell them, you're not giving them a chance at all to ever come round to it. More importantly, it'll be better for your relationship. It sounds like you've found a good DP, so live with him and be proud of it. You have done nothing wrong so don't hide it. I had a relationship for years and my DP hid it from his parents cos they were so strict. His siblings did the same. The secrets niggled away at each relationship, destroying some of those relationships. Good luck.

Msgilbertblythe Sun 02-Jun-13 22:13:01

I wasn't referring to the OP, I was referring to what a lot of the other posters said about religious people. Generalising.

monkeyfacegrace Sun 02-Jun-13 22:13:37

^^ because its all just fairy stories hmm

We live once. For hopefully around 80 years odd.

Bloody enjoy it while you are here.

Why the arseing fuck would you compromise your happiness for a 'belief' that is hilariously flawed anyway?

Live long, live happy.

get me, all hippyish

aroomofherown Sun 02-Jun-13 22:14:52

Waffly spot on - they do tell me about how I'm going to hell whenever info back to visit (although its genuinely out of concern), despite saying that I didn't want to discuss religion with them. And they do demand respect from me but feel no obligation to reciprocate - in fact, their opinions are 'supported by God' so they are automatically right.

hurricanewyn Sun 02-Jun-13 22:15:47

On a purely practical note, you should tell them in case anything awful happens - your next of kin needs to make medical decisions etc in a situation where you're not capable to, it'd be very difficult to sort all that out in the midst of a crisis, so please consider this.

dancingwithmyselfandthecat Sun 02-Jun-13 22:16:07

If you dont want to keep a relationship going with them don't tell them.
But be honest if you do.

I had a similar issue of similar magnitude and didn't tell my parents for years. It did a lot of harm to the relationship because - although this is easy at first - what people don't tell you is the sheer tedium of lying explictly or implicitly every time you speak to them. Checking every reference you make. Eventually I told them because I couldn't cope with that anymore. If you don't care about your relationship with them, its easier to keep the lie going because it costs you less energy. But if you do - believe me on this - it becomes more ddifficult to tell them and more tedious to lie.

NonnoMum Sun 02-Jun-13 22:16:17

Just out of interest OP - are they Middle America or Irish? (just wondering...!)

WafflyVersatile Sun 02-Jun-13 22:17:09

Personally I think religion is, on balance, a bad thing. And it utterly baffles me that people still believe.

I try* not to slag off religious people just for believing though, unless they are being arseholes about their beliefs.

*I fail sometimes.

aroomofherown Sun 02-Jun-13 22:18:48

He is just fabulous.

trackies you make a good point about giving them the chance to deal with it, and I am conscious that the secrets will slowly eat away at the relationships within my family.

crumblepie Sun 02-Jun-13 22:20:06

its your life , you are 41 , you have been brain washed long enough , live for now , how does anyone know there is a hell , if there is the people there will be a lot more entertaining than the boring bible bashers in so called heaven smile .

aroomofherown Sun 02-Jun-13 22:22:05

Nonno nope - Calvinist. Although there is a large Calvinist contingent in the States as well (my family don't live in the US)

CSIJanner Sun 02-Jun-13 22:30:12

I just love how deeply religious people presume they have a direct line to God. Just tell them as YANBU - if they have a problem, its theirs. You love this guy & see a future with him - that's all that matters.

Flosshilde Sun 02-Jun-13 22:32:56

I know exactly what you mean about demanding respect but not reciprocating. MIL was appalling to me when I said I was a feminist, saying it was irrelevant, went out of fashion in the 70s, basically belittling me. If I ever dared to slightly, and politely question her Catholicism (went out of fashion at the Reformation wink ) I am patronised half to death and told I couldn't possibly understand with the clear implication that I am lesser for not sharing the faith.

DH hid the fact we lived together before marriage from his family. We officially had seperate flats but never spent a night apart. Cooked all our meals together, etc. MIL famously told him not to 'fall at the last hurdle' a couple of nights before our wedding. We'd been shagging for 6 years. grin

I wish, in hindsight, I'd made him tell them as I was sick of the pretence and he was a grown man of 35. It made me feel like his family came before my feelings. MN has made me much ballsier in that respect. Please make sure your DP is happy with whatever you decide.

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