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Conflict in faith

Direct Answers: Column for the week of July 19, 2004

My husband is Jewish and I am Catholic. That was not a problem when we were dating, because he is not religious. He married a Catholic before and his daughter was raised Catholic.

A Reformed rabbi married us. I sacrificed to have a priest marry me in church, but we shared our traditions. My husband broke the glass and we lit the candles. My family was not very happy that I was married outside of my faith, but they accept it.

When our daughter was born, I didn’t want my children to grow up aimlessly, so I decided to raise her as a Catholic. My husband was not very happy, but he agreed. His family was invited to the christening, but they refused to participate. I bit my tongue and let her go, but resented them for not being there.

Four years later we have a son and it is his turn to be baptized. This time they come to the party, not the church, and they don’t bring any gifts. So that’s another slap in the face. Two months ago our daughter had her first communion. I asked them if they wanted to be a part of their granddaughter’s day and they said no. So for me that’s another slap in the face.

Through the years we celebrated my husband’s parties with his family and my family went to his bar mitzvahs. My husband agrees with his family that it is okay for them not to get involved, but I know for a fact that his family has gone to baptisms, communions and confirmations for their neighbors.

Well, after 10 years, I no longer want to be involved in your family vacations and functions. Three years from now, when it is my son’s turn, I know they will do the same. My husband is in the middle, which I know is difficult for him, but I can’t bite my tongue anymore. I want to know how to stop hating my husband’s family.


Alyssa, what if you kept treating vegetarians to an all-you-can-eat steak of tartar dinner? (That’s raw seasoned meat). Would you really expect them to attend? When you got married, you knew there was a split. His in-laws are of a different faith, and different religions oppose and contradict each other.

If you have no problem attending your religious events then go. But don’t wait for them or invite them to yours. They find them indigestible. When you are married by a rabbi, you suggest that things might work out differently. All your in-laws do by not coming or giving a gift is saying “this is not what we want.”

When Wayne was in the navy, the rule in the wardroom was that no one could talk about sex, politics, or religion. Perhaps you and your in-laws can put religion in the category of off-limits topics. How much healing could be possible between you just by leaving religion out of your relationship?


Something to hide

My name is Joy and I am 20 years old. In March I put a guy online. He is from Canada. He seems like a sweet guy and I really like him, but some things don’t add up. I’m curious that he didn’t give me his number because he said he did it before and it caused him a lot of pain.

She doesn’t have a webcam because she lives at home with her mom and said she doesn’t want a webcam at home. I emailed him yesterday and told him it’s over because I’m afraid of getting hurt and turning out to be a serial killer or something.


Joy is probably not a serial killer, but a webcam could catch a glimpse of something she doesn’t want you to see, like a wife and kids. You did the right thing by finishing it. When you feel bad, trust your feelings.


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