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Dear Prudence and the Insecure Fundie Virgin


Shina

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I guess my question is how did they get all the way to an engagement before her sexual past became an issue? Sexual histories – or lack thereof – are typically something a couple talks about long before they even talk about getting married.

As far as that pastor telling her future in-laws about her sexual past… I can say with confidence that if the couple who hosted our pre-marital counseling had taken in upon themselves to share the contents of our pre-cana evenings with my husband’s parents, my mother-in-laws would have told them to get stuffed

From what it sounded like, Fiance didn't have an issue before and is now being treated differently because everyone else knows about Sister's sexual past. It's possible that he still doesn't have a problem, and now has to deal with his pastor breaking his trust and running off blabbing to God and everyone, and his parents concerning themselves with an area of his life he was trying to keep private.

But Fiance has a lot of work to do if he wants Sister to marry him. First, he can tell his pastor to go fuck himself for airing his and his future wife's dirty laundry, and second, tell his parents to treat his wife to be with respect and stay out if his sexual life. Tall order, but doable.

And seriously, I hope that pastor can be reported to a higher body, that is a serious breach of confidentiality. That's all kinds of red flag s when someone who is supposed to be a counselor goes to those lengths to slut-shame someone.

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There are not enough faces or palms in the universe to express the idiocy of this idea.

Also, the fact that the fiance's parents are the ones who insisted that this church be involved, and he, although presumably an adult, doesn't tell them to shove it? This suggests that it's more than a "phase".

I wonder if once the husband realizes he'd like sex often he'll freak out and wonder who raped him ... :?

Personally, I'd like to drop kick the pastor and the husband off a very tall building into a cactus patch.

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Why would anybody let a pastor who said the rape thing and called your future in-laws about your private conversation with him perform the marriage ceremony?

Your sister needs to get away from the fiancee and his family. But, mostly find a new church.

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*snip*

And seriously, I hope that pastor can be reported to a higher body, that is a serious breach of confidentiality. That's all kinds of red flag s when someone who is supposed to be a counselor goes to those lengths to slut-shame someone.

Though it doesn't say, I am willing to bet cash money that this is a church where the buck stops with the (uneducated) pastor. I'm guessing there is no hierarchy or organizational structure beyond the church building.

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Though it doesn't say, I am willing to bet cash money that this is a church where the buck stops with the (uneducated) pastor. I'm guessing there is no hierarchy or organizational structure beyond the church building.

Unfortunately I think it is too. Doesn't stop me from hoping otherwise...

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And seriously, I hope that pastor can be reported to a higher body, that is a serious breach of confidentiality. That's all kinds of red flag s when someone who is supposed to be a counselor goes to those lengths to slut-shame someone.

I could say a lot of bad things about the church I grew up in, but one thing that the local association took seriously was pastoral breaches of confidence. They would give a church a choice - either remove the pastor or remove yourself from the association.

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That pastor is an assclown. If he can't do better than that he needs a different job. Im so glad my young dreams of marrying a nice Christian boy never came true or else I may have been sitting in this girls shoes. Although I was never one to keep it sweet and would have came unglued if a pastor tried to divulge my personal information to my future inlaws. I believe that pastors are held by the same counseling rules as everyone else. Confidential unless one of the 3H's is involved.

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Agreed with many a PP, the fiancé needs his parents out of his life & his sheets. Who knows if the situation's salvageable, depends on whether the fiancé is able to stand up for himself.

On a personal note, the priest who performed my wedding required pre-marital counseling, but as we (the priest & I) have been friends since we were twelve, it would've been very weird for her to do it, and, as luck would have it, there is a counsellor associated with her parish who we saw instead. Even if it hadn't been she (my friend) instead of the counsellor who we saw, I would expect the confidentiality of a counseling session. Before reading this, I would think that goes without saying.

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What do you all think about what the letter writer herself should do, as opposed to her sister? She writes that she's struggling to be supportive, but finds this all creepy and gross.

We talk about fundie parents who aren't supportive of the relationship choices of their adult children. In some ways, that seems clear-cut - most people here agree with neither the disapproval, nor the reason for the disapproval.

What happens, though, when a loved one enters a relationship that you deeply believe is wrong, but you believe that your reasons for feeling that way are absolutely valid? Is there a way to communicate that, without sounding like the fundie family members? Where do you draw the line between expressing genuine concern, and undermining someone's adult relationships and violating boundaries?

Would you support a child's decision to get married in a fundie church? To include Duggar-style wedding vows about headship and no birth control? To have a foot washing ceremony? If so, how would you deal with the discomfort. If not, how would you still maintain a relationship with the child?

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What do you all think about what the letter writer herself should do, as opposed to her sister? She writes that she's struggling to be supportive, but finds this all creepy and gross.

We talk about fundie parents who aren't supportive of the relationship choices of their adult children. In some ways, that seems clear-cut - most people here agree with neither the disapproval, nor the reason for the disapproval.

What happens, though, when a loved one enters a relationship that you deeply believe is wrong, but you believe that your reasons for feeling that way are absolutely valid? Is there a way to communicate that, without sounding like the fundie family members? Where do you draw the line between expressing genuine concern, and undermining someone's adult relationships and violating boundaries?

Would you support a child's decision to get married in a fundie church? To include Duggar-style wedding vows about headship and no birth control? To have a foot washing ceremony? If so, how would you deal with the discomfort. If not, how would you still maintain a relationship with the child?

If any friend or loved one did marry into a fundie church, I would do my best to maintain the relationship. I would do all the same things I would do for a loved one in any abusive relationship:

- Never, ever badmouth her husband, church, new friends

- Offer specific help. Do things like help with the kids, help her with big projects around the house and garden so I could stay in her life. That way, she would realize that not everyone from her "old life" was bad.

- Support her choices, vocally. This shows her that she is a capable adult and that her opinions and choices are respected.

- Encourage her to keep in touch with family and friends from her old life

She may come to her senses and leave but who knows?

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There is one circumstance - and one only - in which I think this marriage could go through: that sister has a signed agreement, from finance, that they are breaking ties with this church and moving a Very Far Distance away from any tentacles of the church and the family after the marriage.

Sometimes, distance can do wonders.

Not always. But sometimes. I have seen it happen.

The finance can't be entirely flaked himself if he didn't stand slutshaming (or by running to his parents/pastor and asking them to pray for her soul) upon her telling him how many lovers she previously had. It sounds like the primary problem is with the church/pastor/parents, and he*might* have agreed to the whole pre-martial counseling thing because you know, you have to do it to get married there, and to NOT get married there would have been a bit too much of a shitstorm.

In short, finance might be very supportive and ready to run. This marriage and the sister might be a very happy way for him to do so. Lets just hope it happens.

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What do you all think about what the letter writer herself should do, as opposed to her sister? She writes that she's struggling to be supportive, but finds this all creepy and gross.

We talk about fundie parents who aren't supportive of the relationship choices of their adult children. In some ways, that seems clear-cut - most people here agree with neither the disapproval, nor the reason for the disapproval.

What happens, though, when a loved one enters a relationship that you deeply believe is wrong, but you believe that your reasons for feeling that way are absolutely valid? Is there a way to communicate that, without sounding like the fundie family members? Where do you draw the line between expressing genuine concern, and undermining someone's adult relationships and violating boundaries?

Would you support a child's decision to get married in a fundie church? To include Duggar-style wedding vows about headship and no birth control? To have a foot washing ceremony? If so, how would you deal with the discomfort. If not, how would you still maintain a relationship with the child?

I would be honest in this situation. Sometimes we believe that our loved ones will turn against us if we are honest, but I've been positvely inffluenced by family members who have called out bull shit to me. In most cases, I do believe that people should mind their own business but this is one time someone should say, what a load of horse pootey. Also, if she wants to marry this guy, the sister should stand up for herself and tell them to get bent.

I'd also ask my sister if she wants her future daughters to be brought up in this type of atmosphere.

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Answering my own question:

I'm not sure how I'd react. My personal style would likely be to make my POV known, because that is what I have always done and I'm really bad at faking approval, but not escalate it into a screaming match or issue ultimatums in a power struggle. I'd probably make some comments and ask some questions, and in an extreme case I may say, "you are entering into this marriage as an adult decision. We have some money which was set aside for you which we are gifting to you, but as an adult, you will be responsible for the wedding. We will attend, because we want to support you, but we will not be "giving you away" or doing the active planning."

I would be concerned about taking a hard line if it would actually drive my loved one in the opposite direction and become a power struggle, or issue of "why don't you respect me as an adult?" My mom disliked one of my sister's boyfriends in high school. She tried the more hard-core approach to break them up, butted heads with my sister, and then backed off. My sister later admitted that she was bothered by some of the same things that bothered my mother - and she would have ended it earlier if she hadn't wanted to avoid giving in to my mom. I also follow a blog where the blogger wrote long, moving posts about how her parents were awful and controlling and totally rejected her husband for religious reasons. She really made her husband sound absolutely awesome in every way. One day, I clicked the link to her husband's blog....and was basically horrified. "He's so supportive of my career" apparently means "he's a bum who hasn't worked in 3 years and spends all of his time on the internet spewing assorted ignorant and hateful crap". Usually, I hold my comments but at one point I had to mention just how offensive one of his posts was.

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At this point, about the only thing to be done is to suggest that the sister have a conversation with her fiance about the whole thing.

I'm inclined to think that unless the fiance is willing to proclaim sister's prior life entirely off limits to the pastor, his parents, and anyone else who's chiming in and stick firmly to it, there's absolutely no chance for the relationship. I'd also say that it's probable that the couple needs to put some geographic distance between themselves and this group - sometimes it's easier to live your life without this kind of interference on a daily basis.

The pastor's violation of confidentiality is breath-taking, though. I'm with everyone else who hopes he can be reported in some manner.

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I would be concerned about taking a hard line if it would actually drive my loved one in the opposite direction and become a power struggle, or issue of "why don't you respect me as an adult?" My mom disliked one of my sister's boyfriends in high school. She tried the more hard-core approach to break them up, butted heads with my sister, and then backed off. My sister later admitted that she was bothered by some of the same things that bothered my mother - and she would have ended it earlier if she hadn't wanted to avoid giving in to my mom. I also follow a blog where the blogger wrote long, moving posts about how her parents were awful and controlling and totally rejected her husband for religious reasons. She really made her husband sound absolutely awesome in every way. One day, I clicked the link to her husband's blog....and was basically horrified. "He's so supportive of my career" apparently means "he's a bum who hasn't worked in 3 years and spends all of his time on the internet spewing assorted ignorant and hateful crap". Usually, I hold my comments but at one point I had to mention just how offensive one of his posts was.

I think you've made a great point here. I remember reading an article in some magazine (like "Good Housekeeping" or "Redbook") in a waiting area that had been written by a woman who had been in a very physically and emotionally abusive relationship. Her husband had driven her to her workplace on a Saturday to get her paycheck that she'd accidentally left on the desk and accompanied her in, saying awful things, assuming no one would be around. Her boss was working in his office and heard some of what was going on and was shocked. The boss quietly let her know on Monday that he'd overheard and just low-key let her know that if she needed help, he'd make sure she got help. The thing I remember most was how the woman said that this low-key, there-if-you-want-it approach was what eventually led to her asking for/receiving help because she was being controlled so much at home that if someone had approached her and told her she HAD to leave, she would have resisted.

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Re: the "what would you do" question - I think that each situation needs to be analyzed; no one course of action is correct. For instance, my best friend married a man that was not a good match. I was dying to tell her what I thought, but everyone else had already told her. Because I wasn't holding the "I told you so" card, she came to me when the inevitable happened (she lived with him 9 months, post marriage [they did live together prior], and the marriage officially ended at 15 months). Mind you, if no one else had mentioned what an ass clown he was, I would have done so myself.

Re: Prudence - Without further info, I cannot be so hard on the fiance. It sounds like the only thing he did wrong was give into his parents' pressure for premarital counseling. In theory, that does not sound like such a bad idea; some secular communities have considered mandatory premarital counseling. The rest sounds like a HUGE breach of trust involving the pastor and his parents (not to mention complete idiocy regarding the whole "liking sex means you were raped" bullshit.) If his parents did not already know about her sexual history before the pastor slut-shamed, it is clear that the fiance was not sharing such personal details about his wife-to-be with anyone else. From the question, it does not sound like the fiance is treating her differently; it sounds like the sister's "loving church community" had deemed her unworthy. FWIW, I hope the couple can see this attack for what it is and get the hell out.

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I'd also say that it's probable that the couple needs to put some geographic distance between themselves and this group - sometimes it's easier to live your life without this kind of interference on a daily basis.

I agree with this and with sonotamused's post that distance may be thing to do. Even if fiance puts his foot down, parents and church may continue to push back and it's easier to just put distance between the couple and the intrusive parents and church.

My youngest sister had to do this when she got married. My parents were very overinvolved with my sisters lives (they still lived at home) during their 20's and early 30's. Youngest sister was very prone to their guilt trips and manipulations and when she got married, she realized this and that her future husband was not going to stand for it. They decided to move 1300 miles away as it was going to be easier for sister to deal with it.

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