TheCatSite.com › Forums › General Forums › The Cat Lounge › religious beliefs in marriage
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

religious beliefs in marriage

post #1 of 23
Thread Starter 
A few months ago I fell in love with a wonderful man and we're talking about getting married in a year or so.

Recently I found out that our religious beliefs are fairly different. I grew up in New York City and was raised Episcopalian however my parents are basically atheists. I decided in college that I do believe in God and enjoy going to church sometimes. I also studied Hinduism and Buddhism in college and lived abroad in Japan for a year. So I have a lot of respect for other religions and believe that they are equally valid paths to god. I even incorporate some Buddhist believes and rituals into my worship.

My new boyfriend on the other hand was raised Episcopalian, but in Texas
(he now lives in NY). He doesn't go to church, but told me that he prays daily, believes in Creation, a literal translation of the Bible, the Judgment and Heaven. He doesn't know much about Eastern religions, but is pre-disposed to think that they are just not as correct as Christianity.

I'm really worried that this could cause a huge problem in our future marriage. I hate to admit it, but when he told me about his beliefs I found them a little ignorant and close-minded. I am trying to educate him about Eastern Religions a little to broaden his mind, but I worry that this will backfire and make him resent me or just become more stubborn about his convictions.
I also worry about what he would teach our children. I don't want my children taught that evolution is wrong and they'll go to hell if they don't pray every day. My boyfriend says that religion is personal and he would never force it on his children, but I worry that he would eventually, maybe without knowing it.

Can marriages work if one person has strong religious beliefs that the other person doesn't share?
post #2 of 23
www.smartmarriages.com
www.marriagemissions.com

I was a Buddhist before I was a Christian. For me, Buddhism had always focused too much on suffering.......so I am not too crazy on raising the kids with it. It is more of a "mature" religion per se.
post #3 of 23
my entire family (meaning aunts, uncles, cousins, etc.) was raised strong catholic and one of my cousins married a guy who was a Jahova's Witness and they are pregnant and they arn't worried about it. i guess you could teach your children a little bit of both if you wanted too. that's what they are doing. good luck.
post #4 of 23
It is hard to raise children with two parents of differing faiths (especially to this degree).

It is something that you should discuss thoughly and frankly with him before you two make any further commitment.

It may - or may not - work out; and if does not work out, all the better that you both realise that now, and hopefully part as friends. I fear that the logical extension of keeping silent now for the sake of peace is an acrimoneous divorce and bitter custody battle.

Good luck.
post #5 of 23
I was wiccan before I met my husband and converted to Christianity while we were dating. I accepted Jesus into my heart and soul then and don't feel the need to go to church to affirm my faith.

Things such as this can be worked around.
post #6 of 23
I am generally not worried about people who are close-minded. To me, not being open-minded about close-mindness is actually close-mindness itself.
post #7 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by shengmei
I am generally not worried about people who are close-minded. To me, not being open-minded about close-mindness is actually close-mindness itself.
Very true
post #8 of 23
I'm in agreeance with that as well. I'm an open-minded Christian. Which funny enough seems to be a rareity in itself.
post #9 of 23
DH and I have divergent religious beliefs. I was raised Catholic and though I don't really consider myself a practicing Catholic, I do consider myself to be basically Christian in ideology (though I am very liberal about it). DH was briefly raised Jewish while his grandfather was alive, but once his grandfather died he wasn't really raised as much of anything (his father was Jewish, and his mother is a non-practicing Protestant). DH considers himself agnostic. We talk about religion very often. The key to making a relationship work when religious views diverge is TOLERANCE. You can and should discuss what you each believe and why, but only towards the goal of understanding each other better, not to try to change each other, because you cannot change someone's deeply held beliefs, nor should you try. Bottom line--if you can't live with the simple fact that he holds the beliefs he holds, it will not work. Further, you have to have a pretty serious discussion not only about what you WON'T be teaching the children, but you WILL be teaching the children (I noticed you mentioned that he said he would not push his views on the children, but you didn't say anything about you). If the two of you can't agree on the child-rearing issue--and you intend to have children--then you have a choice to make as to whether you want to face that conflict when the time comes, because it definitely will be a conflict.
post #10 of 23
When hubby and I started dating we spent about an hour a day for a whole year talking about nothing but religion.

LOTS of talks are in order.
post #11 of 23
I think two people of different faiths can be fine together, as long as one of them is not a fundamentalist of any sort and all religions have them. In that case, religious views spill out and affect too many other aspects of life - political views, scientific views and social mores. So I would be very careful and talk it through a lot. I had a BF once who was a Creationist and he simply could not see any other point of view - as far as he was concerned if you believed in God then you had to believe in the Bible, word for word. But I left him when I discovered that his views included women being subordinate to men! SO be sure you know exactly where he stands on everything.
post #12 of 23
I think there is no problem in having different beliefs IF both respect each other's beliefs. I'd say don't be shy about talking about religion with him and listening to what he believes in. I think you both need to find out soon if you are able to fully accept each other's beliefs. Don't put it off until later, or until after you're married.

You may find that he's more open-minded than you think. (Often people who seem "close-minded" simply haven't been exposed to other beliefs)
If he will remain close-minded and decides not to accept that your beliefs are different, it's better to find out sooner than later.

Good luck.
post #13 of 23
It's all about respect. Totally possible, so long as neither of you are hardline YOU WILL GO TO HELL IF YOU DON'T DO X sort of people. That's where these situations go wrong, in my opinion, particularly where kids are concerned.
post #14 of 23
I dont know what i am after doing some reading a while ago, aparently i am agnostic, that i am not sure if there is a god or not?
post #15 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by fwan
I dont know what i am after doing some reading a while ago, aparently i am agnostic, that i am not sure if there is a god or not?
I'm pretty much the same as you. My father is Catholic, and my mom is Lutheran. I was sort-of raised Catholic, but we never went to church or anything. Lots of people I go to school with are really Christian, and they always get into conversations about it and I feel kinda left out.
post #16 of 23
There is nothing that cements a marriage like an good, long, 72-hour-straight talk about religion
post #17 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by shengmei
There is nothing that cements a marriage like an good, long, 72-hour-straight talk about religion
Seventy-two hours? Most people will get annoyed after the first four.
post #18 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by fwan
I dont know what i am after doing some reading a while ago, aparently i am agnostic, that i am not sure if there is a god or not?
Yup, you're an agnostic if you neither affirm nor deny the exist of a god or gods.

Sometimes it is also called this 'religiously agnostic' - to indicate that although you have no formal religion, that you are guided by a strong personal philosophy or moral code. My boyfriend and brother are both like this - they neither believe nor disbelieve god/God/gods (bf because he has a very scientific world view and by it's nature it cannot be proven that god does not exist, though he suspects that this is the case), but both follow Buddist teachings (though only it philosophical aspects, not as a faith). There are even some who consider themselves philosophical Christians in that they don't believe in the divinity (nor divine inspiration e.g. a prophet) of Jesus, but they follow his teachings as a philosophical and moral code.
post #19 of 23
For thousands of years people have lived well without an intense understanding of religions and cultures.

An apt understanding of all world religions is not a perequisite for a good life.
post #20 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by aphrodeia
Seventy-two hours? Most people will get annoyed after the first four.
Four?? I wouldn't even give it one!
post #21 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by AbbysMom
Four?? I wouldn't even give it one!
I am talk figuratively, of course.
post #22 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by shengmei
For thousands of years people have lived well without an intense understanding of religions and cultures.

An apt understanding of all world religions is not a perequisite for a good life.
Neither is religion a prerequisite for a good life. But many people have it, anyway.

The need for understanding of world religions is vital in communities and relationships so diverse as the ones we have today. Once upon a time, small villages stuck to themselves, and communities worshipped entirely together. The people who disagreed were shunned, or in some extreme cases, killed. Nowadays, the world is a whole lot bigger. People network in ways they couldn't just fifty years ago, forming relationships with people of drastically different backgrounds, upbringings, faiths, and races. The only way we can continue to grow as people, without dividing ourselves against one another, is through understanding.
post #23 of 23
My family was never religious and I never went to church growing up, but my husband, Jason, had it totally different.

His father was and still is the Deacon of the church, so he grew up in a very religious family. When he was growing up he would go to church on Sunday's for Liturgy and then on Wed. for Vespers every week. And during Lent it would be Monday, Wed., Fri and Sunday's.


I didn't start going to church until Jason and I started dating. I really enjoyed going and before we got married I was baptised for the first time into the Catholic Faith. We are a Melkite Greek Catholic church, and I love going there. Luckily we have the same views on religion, so there won't be any conflict regarding that.
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: The Cat Lounge
TheCatSite.com › Forums › General Forums › The Cat Lounge › religious beliefs in marriage