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Old 08-12-2016, 04:06 PM
clarinetist clarinetist is offline
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Default To invite or not invite parents to the wedding?

The question is the main subject of the thread, but support is really appreciated as well.

I'll try to make this quick.

I grew up at a town 4 hours away from where I live, in an Asian family which is extremely conservative and religious. I left for college and felt free for the first time in my life, and my parents started disapproving of how I was changing, personality-wise and religiously. I don't go to church anymore due to repeated incidents that I've seen throughout my teenage and college years - see the spoiler for an example.

Spoiler:
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Originally Posted by clarinetist View Post
I have stories.

The church I grew up in was (and probably still is) the largest [insert Asian ethnicity here] in the U.S.. In general, people of my ethnicity are still very much rooted in their culturally-traditional ideals, which are not Christian, so there is some unsteadiness when it comes to that and having to deal with the more "Americanized" new generations. This includes the standard that the "elders" (or the Board, as they were called at this church) run everything and are to be respected, without question.

When I was in high school, I was seen as the very rebellious one who was overly critical of everything with this church. I recall telling my mom one day that the church will fall apart, and because I was young and seemingly naive, she didn't take me seriously.

Fast forward two years, two pastors and the janitor are fired. The Board holds a "town hall" meeting for the church, where people were basically yelling at the Board, asking them were all of the money they donated went. [Of course, given cultural standards, no one bothered questioning the Board.] The Board apparently thought things were going to get violent, so they even had a few policemen standing outside of the church during this meeting.

Membership plummets, and mostly everyone I knew ends up going to the church 10 minutes away. The head pastor resigned, and more pastors keep coming and going for about 2 or so years - most not staying for any longer than 3-6 months.

Over time, membership increased a bit, not quite back to its levels before the "town hall" meeting. However, things were business as usual... the Board kept on doing their own things, and the members just followed along.

The second-to-last pastor then decided to come up with an idea. Why don't we renovate the church? Well, my thoughts were - yeah, we do need to update this place because we don't have enough seats for people. Fine.

The renovations included: more seating, larger gathering rooms, more parking, ... all fine, I thought... but this included a high school gymnasium.* Price tag? $6 million. This doesn't involve demolishing the building; it's just building extensions.

This pastor then resigns, and then we get another energetic pastor. He tells membership that in order to get this renovation going, the church must take a loan out for that entire amount, split into monthly payments over 30 years. After the sermon, he tells membership to raise their hands if they agree to the loan, and a wave of hands come up. And I just thought... how idiotic; they are not going to be able to pay this.

Well, membership decided to be a little sane for once. The church needed help with a down payment and membership hesitated to put in any donations. The church was asking for everything from one-time payments to monthly payments for 30 years. It was absurd. Inflation (so I'm told) caused the price of the construction to rise up to $7.5 million.

I come back home one January, and my mom tells me, "Have you heard about the exorcisms at the church?"

Apparently, so says the Board, people at the church have been "worshipping Justin Bieber" and "worshipping Yu-Gi-Oh!," and thus had to be exorcised (if that's even a word) by the Board. The pastor then told membership that these events were signs of the devil, telling the church that they should not renovate. So membership immediately starts donating money and construction starts.

The construction took 2 years and has since been finished. What has happened?

1) One of the construction workers (IIRC, the crane operator) died.
2) The church ended up not being able to pay for a fence, so membership got some logs and barbed wire (I assume barbed wire - I know they used logs) and used that to create a fence.
3) They're still trying to pay the loan.
4) The Board is not communicating anything to membership, as usual.

I have not regularly gone to a church since then.

* As much as members claimed that they could "do God's work" with the high school gymnasium, I think the only reason this was included was to bring people in for more $$, given the lowered membership. Oh, and coincidence: the competing church has a gymnasium.


I'm the first one in my family - parents included - who has a 4-year degree. People of my ethnicity, particularly, are famous for performing poorly at mathematics - a lot of which could be due to the history of the language, so it's even more bizarre that I have a degree in mathematics and am going for a mathematically-inclined graduate degree.

I'm in an interracial relationship and am engaged. You can guess what the parents have thought of that. We're going to get married in June.

Ever since I left college - two years ago now - my parents have tried to convince me to stay home when I finish college. It is tradition in the culture for families to live close to each other. I prioritized getting a job and making a living instead.

It took a lot of work to get to where I'm at. Those of you who know who I am know that I am at my fifth job since graduation now, and FTR, I am happy to say that at 10 months at my current job (the longest tenure that I've had at a job since my undergrad), I love my job and I don't intend on leaving. I'm in a graduate program where even though I'm not on-site, I love what I've been learning and I love that I can use what I've learned in my job.

My parents, likely with the background they've been raised in - very religious, very conservative, etc. - have tried to get me to come home alone (without the fiancee), so that they can lecture to me about how I'm making poor decisions in life. They think that lecturing and praying for me will change me for the better. I need to come home and live with the family, and find a job in the area. I need to find a girl who is of my race and ethnicity and dump my fiancee. I need to find God in my life again. I need to respect my family. I have made my best effort to come home - with the fiancee - for holiday gatherings and the like, but I don't anymore, as every time I've come home to a gathering has resulted in some sort of passive-aggressive behavior from my family talking badly about my decisions: from coming there with my fiancee when my parents don't like her, and everything else I've mentioned above.

Well, I tell them, I don't have a car (my fiancee and I use one of her parents' cars), I don't have the luxury of choosing where I work, I'm happy where I'm at, and I don't intend on changing it. My life has been at its steadiest since I left home. I currently live four to five hours away from home.

This back-and-forth has gone on since I left college, and now it's a really difficult point in my life for me, with having to compile a guest list. My relationship with them is essentially broken beyond repair.

Do I bother inviting them to the wedding?
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Last edited by clarinetist; 08-12-2016 at 04:10 PM..
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Old 08-12-2016, 04:14 PM
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Originally Posted by Zombie Mosquito View Post
I give up. What Asian ethnicity is famous for being bad at math?


That's racist!
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Old 08-12-2016, 04:14 PM
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LifeIsAPoissonProcess LifeIsAPoissonProcess is offline
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Tell them that you have not yet changed your mind, but insist that your poor decisions are due to their sub-par praying abilities.
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Old 08-12-2016, 04:14 PM
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No. It's your day, your decision. You are under no obligation whatsoever.
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Old 08-12-2016, 04:15 PM
clarinetist clarinetist is offline
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Originally Posted by LifeIsAPoissonProcess View Post
Tell them that you have not yet changed your mind, but insist that your poor decisions are due to their sub-par praying abilities.
HAH! Thanks for the laugh. I've been crabby since getting a text from my dad.
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Old 08-12-2016, 04:16 PM
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Nine86 Nine86 is offline
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Invite them .. if they disapprove of the relationship that much, they'll simply decline but then it's on them.
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Old 08-12-2016, 04:24 PM
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It's up to you but your parents are still your parents. You wouldnt be where you are now if it wasnt for them. I think you should invite them.
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Old 08-12-2016, 04:25 PM
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You don't owe anything to people whose presence makes you unhappy. It doesn't matter if you came across them on the street, have to sit next to them at work, or they pushed you out of their vagina several decades ago.

Your family is who you choose to be around, not people who happen to share some of your genetics.
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Old 08-12-2016, 04:25 PM
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Originally Posted by Nine86 View Post
Invite them .. if they disapprove of the relationship that much, they'll simply decline but then it's on them.
Unless you think they'll do something that will disrupt the wedding and/or reception that's what I'd suggest.

But since they're determined to pray for you

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Old 08-12-2016, 04:29 PM
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From your parent's perspective, they are just trying to help you make what they feel are the best decisions for your life. From your perspective you are trying to do the same. It sounds to me like your parents are having a hard time letting you learn to make your own decisions (sounds like a cultural thing).

My advice: have a long talk with your parents and show an effort to understand their perspective. Let them know, however, that you are in charge of your life, and you need to make what you feel are the best decisions. Acknowledge that they are older/wiser than you (sucking up never hurts), but it's your life, and you'll never learn if you aren't allowed to go out and make your own mistakes.

Maybe ask your parents about their relationships with their own parents. Did they like when they were your age and their parents treated them like this?

I suggest trying to find some sort of relationship that works for you. I have a brother who has basically disowned himself from my family, which is his choice. But now he has a kid, and his kid never gets to see any of the other kids in the family, which to me is sad. The kid is missing out on a lot of fun activities because the brother doesn't want to be around my family. To me family is pretty important, so I will probably always advocate to make peace somehow.

Good luck!
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