Ask Angela: We've talked about marriage, but he wants to limit future contact with my non-LDS dad

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  • John Pack Lambert of Michigan Ypsilanti, MI
    June 9, 2013 7:13 p.m.

    I have to wonder if people are too quick to judge. It sounds like this is a very over-the-top demand, but there may in fact be other factors involved. That is why I think Angela's response was so good, because it acknowledged that the boyfriend might have other more specific issues with the potential father-in-law.

  • Relocated Southerner Logan, UT
    March 11, 2013 4:05 p.m.

    Run, run, RUN away from this man. This is only the beginning of a lifetime of heartache if you stay with him. Even if he "allows" you to see your father, he will always resent it and never fail to let you know about it. Right now it's your father, next it will be a good friend, ANYONE he does not deem "worthy" of your association. This is the classic sign of a controlling, abusive person. If you go forward with this marriage, you will have nothing but trouble, and your future children will live with a controlling father and an unhappy mother and, unfortunately, they will likely repeat that pattern themselves down the road.

  • P Central, Utah
    March 11, 2013 3:30 p.m.

    While I agree with the majority of the commenters it is a red flag, perhaps like I, do not know all of the facts, It nay be convient to say he is non LDS or non-Christian, there may be a deper problem that the daughter just not know about and the young man just doesn't want to be the first to tell her that her father was convicted of child abuse,maybe the judge has said that he is not allowed around children.

    If that condition had been expressed in the article, would our collective advise been different?
    One person in our community was "up-in-years" before she heard her Dad was in prison for murder and not deceased as she had been told.

    I would admit that I don't know what to say, but a visit with someone like her Bishop my be a better 3rd party for advice than we are. For one, I don't feel I have the whole story, it throws up a red flag yes, but I don't know the facts nor have I talked to any of the people involved. Typed words are a poor way to judge.

  • EnosEugenius Shenandoah, IA
    March 11, 2013 2:59 p.m.

    Wow. I'm postively impressed with how many people recognize the danger signs of spousal abuse. This guy has control issues. Pick another one.

  • wiseoldwoman West Jordan, UT
    March 11, 2013 11:26 a.m.

    Ditto! Run as fast as you can in the other direction!
    He has control issues and for those if us who have lived a few decades longer . . . this smells of trouble - even divorce!

  • Spikey Layton, UT
    March 11, 2013 7:33 a.m.

    To the person asking the question of Angela:

    This is scary, to be honest.

    Did he forget WHO RAISED YOU????? This means he would also be one of those people who doesn't let their children play with the neighbors because "they're not LDS." Do you want to be with somebody like that?

    Your Father, who is not LDS, raised you! Apparently he did something right! My non-LDS father raised me, and I went on a mission, I have been married in the temple, I live a good life and married a wonderful husband who would NEVER, EVER, request that of me!

    You have got to step outside this situation and look at it from the outside in. I am really troubled by this.

  • The Utah Republican Alpine, UT
    March 10, 2013 8:45 p.m.

    There's a better guy out there for you, one who loves the Lord and all His children, including your father.

    Dump the ant-dad loser, the faster the better. The level of control he wants isn't healthy and you'll be so much happier if you find someone else.

    Angela is right.

  • catcrazed Eagle Mountain, UT
    March 10, 2013 3:51 p.m.

    That is a huge red flag. My whole family are non-members. I would never even think of not letting them be a part of my family's lives. This sounds very controlling, and I would not marry someone with this belief. The heartache to your family would be almost unforgivable. Anyone who wants to control this might suddenly want to control other things, too.

  • Dennis Harwich, MA
    March 10, 2013 8:17 a.m.

    I agree with Californian#1. Run.
    If gospel principles were really important to him he would recognize this as a missionary opportunity not a test of his faith. And I have doubts about his convictions. Too much fear in this young mans behavior can be seen between the lines.
    Find someone else.

  • JediMormon Omaha, NE
    March 10, 2013 6:43 a.m.

    First the kids, then you would be next. The guy sounds very narrow minded. Any decent person would be thinking of ways that the father's future grandchildren could influence "grandpa" to become more interested in the church.

  • terra nova Park City, UT
    March 10, 2013 12:22 a.m.

    Your non-Mormon dad is more of a Mormon than your church-going boyfriend.

    You have something of your dad in you. If he keeps you away from your dad, he will, by default, try and keep his children away from you. And he will despise the bit of your children that reminds him of your dad. His loveless and misguided sense of virtue will destroy your family, alienate your children and ruin your life.

    Run for the nearest exist. And thank the Lord you saw it BEFORE you got married to him.

  • The Sensible Middle Bountiful, UT
    March 9, 2013 10:34 p.m.

    It wouldn't be fair to your dad to marry him. Even if you were to have a great marriage in every other way with him, this wouldn't be fair to your father who has given you so much..

  • RunnerChic South Jordan, UT
    March 9, 2013 10:14 p.m.

    We want our to live our lives to the fullest. I believe, life is lived to the fullest degree, when we have ALL those, whom we love, around us! Perhaps give things more time and consideration. (Remember, if he wants to limit your future child(ren) interactions with your father, what of the rest of the world?)

  • utah cornhusker NORFOLK, NE
    March 9, 2013 9:55 p.m.

    As a friend of mine always told me when dating if words and actions don't match get te heck out. My parents and siblings aren't members of the church. My husband joined shortly before we were married and we were sealed a year later. If he would have said you cant see your dad I would have told him to get lost. Angela is right on the money. When your in love every thing seems almost perfect but believe me if hes telling you that you cant see your fax he isn't worth it. Sounds like he is a control freak. Run as fast as your legs can carry you and never look back.

  • rlsintx Plano, TX
    March 9, 2013 6:17 p.m.

    Although we're now divorced, I married a young woman whose parents were not LDS (I am the son of LDS Converts). They were wonderful grandparents to our 2 children.

    She remains, 30 years later, one of the finest women I have ever known and I was privileged to baptize her after about 10 years after our marriage and she remains a stalwart. He's been deceased many years.

    Someone, is missing both potential missionary experiences and lacking in understanding re the principle of "unrighteous dominion". Several of my former mother-in-law's siblings have since also joined the church and remain active members.

    Consider deeply the long-term prospects of marriage with someone attempting to control other people's interaction with their own family; I've seen several turn into abusers.

  • moniker lewinsky Taylorsville, UT
    March 9, 2013 4:08 p.m.

    dotGone: I appreciate the sentiment, but the reason to be nice to noonmembers is not to make them better prospects for conversion. Perhaps this is not the point you were trying to make, but most people do just fine in the religion of their choice or no religion at all for that matter.

  • Mugabe ACWORTH, GA
    March 9, 2013 3:06 p.m.

    My dear Sister, you know that it isn't right, or else why would you need to get someone elses advice on the issue. Are you really looking for sound advice, or are you looking for someone to tell you that it's okay to go ahead with plans for the futere with him. I don't know the entire story, but I have four daughters, and I can tell you this that, no matter what you do now, or what he says now, the position has been set and I am afraid if you move ahead with this marriage, it will only end in years of misery for all parties involved, and possibly a divorce for you years down the road. Do not try to change his mind, move on.

  • AskAngela SALT LAKE CITY, UT
    March 9, 2013 2:42 p.m.

    Everyone seems to be in agreement, but Family Portrait loves this guy - in your opinion, is there anyway things can work out and these two can live happily ever after?

  • Kjirstin Youngberg Mapleton, UT
    March 9, 2013 2:43 p.m.

    Control issues such as this one are a very bad thing, and are not what is taught in the doctrines of our Church. I agree with others here. Run away-fast.

    Suggest your fiance get some tolerance training before proposing to anyone. Reading about what Jesus Christ would do may also prove helpful.

  • george of the jungle goshen, UT
    March 9, 2013 2:40 p.m.

    A person who works with his hands is a laborer. The person who works with his hands and his head is a craftsman. The person who works with his hands and head and heart is an artist. I thought that is the goal, to make it an art.

  • Gracie Boise, ID
    March 9, 2013 2:42 p.m.

    Good answers from almost everyone. My experience stands with those. Give yourself as much distance and time as it takes to get over this guy because any accommodations like this made now are just the beginning of a lifetime--or marriage time, however long it would be--of all manner of agony.

  • theshadowknows Salt Lake, UT
    March 9, 2013 2:18 p.m.

    oh...dear... Everyone is talking about possible abuse.

    the woman I married never let a thing like this slip. then I found myself chosing between her and the rest of the planet (esp family...who were all LDS). abusive? you have no idea. we made it 10 years (i'm stubborn), with one daughter born to us (there was one night we didn't have issues, I think). now I spend my life force helping that girl get her feet on the ground and make a decent life. this was my life...i have seen others, as well.

    do not disregard this woman's advice...pull this thing apart....stay at your personal peril. the abusers always look perfect, at first. say goodnight....

  • Mimifran Gymea, NSW
    March 9, 2013 1:48 p.m.

    I dont think the member vs non-member argument has anything to do with it. This bloke is eliminating his competition! Plain and simple. He is aware of the bond and protectiveness of a father to his daughter and he wants your dad out of the picture, wants you to doubt your dad's capacity to be a good patriarch and wants to break you two up. If he can destroy your relationship with your dad then he can control you - no prob! Then it will be your mother, then the rest.

    Thank goodness he was dumb enough to tell you before the wedding! Mine didn't tell me, he just went behind my back after the wedding and cut me off. I wondered why my parents and siblings no longer wanted anything to do with me. Duck hunter is right on the ball. It is definitely abuse.

    Get out now. If something is too good to be true then it is too good to be true and this bloke is untrue!

  • MPeace Provo, Utah
    March 9, 2013 1:42 p.m.

    Good advice Angela, and the commenters here are showing great wisdom from life. The one she asked about should take heed if he should read your column, and amend ideas and thoughts about family. -All parents are precious - LDS or not. Even abusive ones -although too physical and mental most times- have insights that can be used -as long as they can be prevented from using the physical and mental abuse that they most often display.

  • sabbyann WEST JORDAN, UT
    March 9, 2013 1:40 p.m.

    I certainly hope whomever wrote in takes the time to read these- It would throw huge red flags. As duckhunter854 pointed out- "Demanding estrangement/isolation from family and/or friends is the first step towards spousal abuse."

    Not to mention, how boring would life be if the fiance would never want to know people who had different life experiences?

    Now, if there is another reason (such as a past experience, a habit, etc) that causes concern- make sure you talk it through with a counsilor to MAKE SURE you are on equal terms as to how life will be.

  • Californian#[email protected] San Francisco, CA
    March 9, 2013 1:03 p.m.

    Sorry, sister. Everything is not even near "almost perfect."

    How can anyone in such a family-centered church even think of cutting off his children from their own grandfather or other close kin? Absent any concerns not mentioned in your letter, he should be glad his kids will have loving grandparents.

    Nobody else in my family is LDS. I never knew three grandparents, rarely saw the fourth who lived an ocean away. None of them were Christian. I wish I'd known them, and eventually I will. We say "Families can be forever," but we need to act like we really mean it. We also need to act like we mean it when we answer the temple recommend question about our behavior toward family members. Cutting your kids off from their grandparents, IMO, is on the edge.

    BF has made himself clear. Even if he does consent to let your kids and your dad see each other, he will do it grudgingly. The children will recognize the tension, your relationship with your own family will be tainted, and no one will be comfortable with the situation. I say you should find someone who really believes in family unity.

  • Californian Santa Ana, CA
    March 9, 2013 12:16 p.m.

    Run far and fast. This guy sounds like a controller. Unrighteous dominion.

  • donn layton, UT
    March 9, 2013 11:28 a.m.

    Honor your Father and Mother which is the first commandment with a promise. Ephesians 6:2,3. God distinguishes father and mother from all other persons on earth, chooses them and sets them next to Himself, occupying the highest place in our lives next to God.

    There are Biblical principles involved for Christians. I Corinthians 7:12-16, Paul argues to convince believers that they must not divorce their unbelieving partners, [parents]if their spouses wish to continue being with them. he adds that the believer(Christian) must not divorce the unbeliever who consents to be with him.

    "if possible," the To be "sanctified" by the believer (v.14) means that the unbelieving partner(parent) is "set aside" to a "unique" position where he/she is exposed regularly to the gospel(John 3:16) and the Holy Spirit's influences. It does not mean saved.

    Years ago when I became a Christian and left the Church my children eventually did as well. My wife is still a Mormon(inactive).

  • dotGone Puyallup, WA
    March 9, 2013 11:24 a.m.

    Well, said duckhunter!! yes, isolation is a bad sign... so no one she loves will see bruises.... his attitude is the tip of the iceberg.. maybe not... but maybe...

  • Free Agency Salt Lake City, UT
    March 9, 2013 10:34 a.m.

    It sounds as though the guy's own faith is so insecure that he must insulate himself, and his children-to-be, from anyone who doesn't share that faith.

    Sad, because true faith is being exposed to all different points of view and then deciding for yourself.

    I think his fiancee should ask him, "What's *your* problem with my dad not being Mormon? Because it's not his problem--it's yours."

  • MaxxFordham OREM, UT
    March 9, 2013 10:16 a.m.

    Pschh, just because the guy's not LDS? That's just WRONG! That overzealous boyfriend is looking beyond the mark and needs a major attitude adjustment!

  • Nanakat SALT LAKE CITY, UT
    March 9, 2013 9:36 a.m.

    Dear Family Portrait, please, oh, please, oh, please, listen to Angela.

    As wonderful as this young man may be, if his only reason for wanting to keep your children from your father is that your father is not LDS, then this is not only a deal breaker, but it may be a red flag for abuse.

    One of the things certain kind of abusers do is to try to cut their victims off from their families, and while the question only involves your father now, by association, it has to include your mother (unless you make special arrangements to visit her away from her home) and other family members.

    Will he want you to stay away from all gatherings of your side of the family? Probably, since your father will be there.

    Please remember that there is no One Right One for you. Heavenly Father will help you to find a wonderful young man who will love your family as much as you will love his family, a young man who will be grateful that you have a great father and a great relationship with him.

    Trust the Lord and listen to Angela. You'll be glad you did.

  • duckhunter854 Sequim, WA
    March 9, 2013 8:25 a.m.

    Run and don't look back. Demanding estrangement/isolation from family and/or friends is the first step towards spousal abuse. I've seen it too many times. There's a guy out there who will honor you and your parents.

  • moniker lewinsky Taylorsville, UT
    March 9, 2013 8:12 a.m.

    She had to ask the question? I would expect a person to know intuitively and convincingly that this kind of bigotry is wrong. I'm concerned about how this guy's parents raised HIM if he thinks this sort of attitude is okay. Glad I left.
    I need to figure out a way to stop seeing these headlines from lds news in my inbox. Infuriating.

  • Susan in VA Alexandria, VA
    March 9, 2013 7:35 a.m.

    Oh my... thank you Angela! I can't imagine anyone who would do that just because someone isn't a member of the Church. Imagine his reaction if someone wanted to limit interaction with him because he IS a member. That would be the end of my feelings for him.

  • higv Dietrich, ID
    March 9, 2013 7:26 a.m.

    That is ridiciliious to limit contact with nonlds father simply for religious beleif. Defintly never join the church in that situation. There are many good qualities about him. I read on wikipedia some religions shun excommunicants and dissenters. That does not happen in LDS church. He gave fiances family freedom to raise kids ini church.

    Reminds me of story in Stephen Robinsons book parents would not attend wedding or welcome kids in home if they didn't get married in temple and daughter got pregnant so couldn't attend temple and were keeping word. HIs response don't condemn but help people not presently living Celestial Law do what they can to eventually live it.

  • dotGone Puyallup, WA
    March 9, 2013 7:27 a.m.

    Good advice! Life with someone who rules out non-members would be tough. How will your children serve effective missions if non-members have been treated as pariahs all their lives!! Furthermore, I know someone will say this so I will just mention it immediately: Some LDS "fathers" give fatherhood a bad name... Its character and the person, not the religion.... of course, I've lived in the "mission field" all my life... if we were snotty to non-members, we'd be very lonely - and they'd never hear the gospel.
    I think she should dump that dude, without telling her father why - don't give him another reason to distance from the gospel!!!

  • theOtter Lafayette, IN
    March 9, 2013 7:26 a.m.

    Dead on, Angela. Awesome job!

  • east of utah Saint Joseph, MO
    March 9, 2013 6:44 a.m.

    Good answer Angela. Right on the money.