Saturday, April 21, 2018
Parenting & Relationships

Tell Me About It: Couple’s religious differences are an issue

Couple’s religious differences are an issue

Q: I am agnostic, but my boyfriend is religious. He has recently become more devoted to his religion and is not certain but thinks he will want a union in his faith, which does not allow marriage to a non-adherent.

If we were to compromise and marry outside the church, there would be serious consequences for him (read: excommunication).

We will not ask each other to abandon our beliefs, but I have volunteered to learn more about his faith and explore my options for conversion .?.?. though honestly I doubt this is even possible for me.

Maybe you see an option we have missed?

Convert or Bust?

A: The standard answer for a couple with cultural/religious/political differences is that it can work if both of you believe in making it work, and if it’s your priority to.

In this case, though, it sounds not only as if religion is his priority, but also that his priorities are in flux, with religion growing in importance to a degree as yet unknown.

It’s not unthinkable, therefore, that you can convert, and mean it, and still not be religious enough for him to see you as his true partner.

If it will help you make a decision without what-ifs, then, by all means, learn more about his faith and explore your options.

But if what you see isn’t something you can embrace fully, then you need to consider that you’d enter a marriage with him with distinctly different ideas of what that marriage means. And that’s a tough obstacle to clear.

The Religious One: In my case, I’m the religious one and my husband is the atheist. For me, the test was when we were asked to give a prepared speech with boilerplate language about faith. My husband absolutely refused to parrot words he disagrees with. I supported his decision fully. I’m proud that he won’t fake belief.

Carolyn: Well said, thank you.

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