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Friday, March 4, 2011

Well, I'm Still a Little Shaky but Pretty Much Recovered

I'll start by catching up on past correspondence.

Dear A. B.

For years I have brought our children to church because it has been important to me. After my depression, I became more serious about God. It has been evolving and I have moved churches a few times - becoming more and more "Christian"  That said, I now go to a church my husband thinks is "too Christian." He looked at the website and decided that; he has not been there.  I have been bringing our two, still at home, kids.  My 12 year old daughter loves it and has made good friends there. My 15 year old son told me yesterday the church "isn't me"and he wants to go to a church with my husband, who doesn't go to church.  My husband  would go to a church if it was a mainline church, but I have found them lacking in different areas.  

When my son told me this it was like I was punched in the stomach.  I so enjoy having my kids with me.  It is one thing I share w/my son.  He and his father play tons of golf, tennis and pingpong together and I thought, well, this is what I can share with my son.

The x church they might go to is one that my son described last year as "the people seem to just go out of duty and don't enjoy it like where we go."  I think he feels sorry for my husband, being alone. I also know my husband often asks him, "How do you like mom's church? "  Trying  to get a pulse on it, I feel like he is choosing "sides".  I think it is more that then any religious convictions.  I am worried about this. My husband and I have poor communication skills and have trouble talking about this issue.

I don't know how I should react to this. Should I just let him go where he wants? I feel like I am losing my son....I wonder, he is copying my husband in everything - all the sports. He told me "Dad likes x church and I think that is more my style, too." 

I have some dear friends at my church and they do genuinely care about me and my family, and I do things with them...and I feel like I have a family of sorts there, so I don't want to leave it.  Can you offer advice?

Thanks so much - again.  L______________

Dear L________
Sorry to take such a long time to answer but if you read my blog you will see I have suffered from a back problem. First of all, as you suggested it is optimum for the whole family to attend church and it is worthwhile to make a real effort to find a suitable match, one that will work for both husband and wife. Many people find a good middle in a mainstream church . Perhaps it might even serve as a compromise to actually attend "his" church for some functions and "your" church for others. I don't think it is set in stone that one has to attend just one church.This way if you find a more suitable match you don't have to give up the friends you have made in "your" church.

As for your son abandoning  you. At the age of 15 most boys start to bond more with their fathers than with their mothers. In a way it is a kind of rejection of the maternal in favor of the paternal but this is the way boys learn how to be men. Mothers cannot really teach their boys how to be men as well as fathers.

Again sorry for the delayed answer. Hope this helps. A. B. Curtiss

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