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Old 09-28-2006, 04:41 AM   #1  
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Default Anyone in (or had) a relationship with conflicting religious beliefs?

Don't worry, this is not a "let's have a discussion about religion" thread, but I just want to know if anyone has worked out this issue in a relationship, because I'm in this predicament right now with my boyfriend. We are complete opposites regarding religion. I'm very happy and supportive of his beliefs, but he wants me to change mine. He's *almost* presenting my switch as a stipulation to our relationship. I'm thinking this is too big to work out -- because the only compromise I think he'll be happy with is if I change. I don't think I can. I don't think that deep down in my soul I could have the same kind of faith he has. If I would, it would be false. I don't think it would be fair to lie to him either.

So, does anyone have any similar experiences and how did they work out, if they did work out?
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Old 09-28-2006, 06:12 AM   #2  
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Couldn't resist answering you-My husband is a Baptist and I am a Catholic. The bottom line is that we agree to disagree on the differences but there are a lot of core beliefs that we agree on. I love his church and go with him a lot but I still go to my church. I would think that you can't force the other person to GIVE UP their religion-that's who they are but I sure have been educated . And so has he. I worked at my church fair and he helped me bring the stuff out and put it away.
I think God wants unity. Mima
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Old 09-28-2006, 06:25 AM   #3  
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Hi,

In my case isn't a religious problem. Is a political and "how-I-see-life" problem . We try to never talk about politics because we usually start big passionate arguments. Is not the perfect solution but its better than been arguing all the day. A big issue for me was that he said he didn't want to marry and have our own children (he wants to adopt). At that point I understood it was a serious problem. I love my BF but I've always dreamed to marry and be a mother ( if I have healthy issues and I can't I have no problems with the adoption solution, but if I can give birth my child I want to do it). It could be painful for me leave him, but I didn't wanted to cheat myself. I couldn't live with him and give up forever the things that could make me really happy. So I talked seriously with him about these matters. When he realized that I was thinking about breaking up he was afraid of losing me and said he was going to make it, if it was so important to me. It seems things are going to be ok .
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Old 09-28-2006, 07:34 AM   #4  
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well, unlike politics, religion has a firm grasp on our lives depending on how devout each individual is. While politics are usually discussed, religious beliefs and morals are constantly practiced. i can see why you're concerned. Personally, I have to see how much his religion goes against my beliefs, and see if my beliefs are strong enough to withstand this relationship. I feel like your boyfriend is being a little unfair, pushing his religion towards you. I mean, how is it that he can't possibly open up to your beliefs?

No offense to anyone who likes to do that, but they do have a term for those people, and it generally isn't positive!
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Old 09-28-2006, 07:55 AM   #5  
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Well, I'm a Christian, raised Lutheran, went to Methodist churches on and off and some non-denominational churches, depending on where I was living at the time. I've always wished I could find someone that had a deep faith and desire to attend church on a regular basis. BUT, my attempts to find someone at a church event or date someone that attended church regularly were disasterous to say the very least. I found the worst 'preditors' in church...one was a Sunday school teacher and he was the most psychtic serial dater I've EVER met. He literally was using his status as a Sunday school teacher to feed his ego and to lure women because everyone was all, "Oh...you're such a nice guy...and your'e so cute...and you teach SUNDAY school..." He was so fake. Then I met a guy at a non denominational singles club that literally used me for a place to live because just as he was meeting me, he was being kicked out of his apartment (I still don't know why) and needed a place to live. After dating for a period of time that was shorter than it should have been, he asked if he could stay with me for a week or two while he found a new place and I (stupidly) said okay...after two MONTHS, I had to kick him out.

There were others I met in church, but I won't bore you with them...in short, I found that it was more important for ME to meet someone that was a genuine good guy, that had deep sensitivity and that loved me more than life itself...and that's my husband. He believes in God and Jesus, etc...but doesn't believe in going to church...says he doesn't trust church and most of the people that are there.

This does cause some controversy because when we were first married, I wanted to still attend church every Sunday, but he would get miffed with me being gone all morning on Sundays, so we compromised by me becoming a Christmas Eve and Easter church goer.

The key is finding what's truly important. When I was looking for someone with the same religious inclinations as me, I found that it was a mistake. What was really more important was finding an honest guy that puts me and our family first and is not so vain and worried about keeping up appearances. Your boyfriend has to decide what's most important to him. He could lose you because you're not as 'religious' as he is, then he may go out to find someone that has those qualities, but lose the qualities that YOU have.

Then, again, I have a friend of mine that is Polish. He was specifically looking to get married to a girl that is Polish and Catholic. Period. Oh, and good looking would be nice. So, he went on some websites, found a girl from Poland that is Catholic, paid for her to come here, and married her. End of story. And she's cute, too. And nice. Sometimes it works out, sometimes it doesn't.

My advice to you would be...sorry to say...that if he's making that stipulation now, its only going to become a bigger issue as time goes on. You should consider this in making your decision. It's this type of thing that can draw big slashes through a happy marriage.

Good luck!
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Old 09-28-2006, 08:18 AM   #6  
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Sounds like it is a bigger problem for him than for you. Any time there are stipulations in a relationship that one person must change for the other...well that is a huge warning sign in my opinion...He is asking you to give up something that he himself would never give up or change. Maturity may mellow his viewpoints, but right now...it seems controlling.

My 2 cents.
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Old 09-28-2006, 08:18 AM   #7  
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I got an even better one for ya!
I was Protestant and married a muslim (15 years ago). Thank God, we never had those problems and anyone who truely believes in their religion should believe that there shouldn't be any pressuring to have someone accept your religion. IT can be difficult but you should be able to live side by side in each your own religion. THat's what we did.
Once, you have kids, it may however, be different. IT's not easy raising kids in two faiths. IT's sesms contradictory. I was never very religious anyway so it didn't bother me but once I had kids (5 years into our marriage) Idecided to study Faith. My faith and his Faith. I learned things I never knew before and it became clear to me what I wanted to do and how I wanted to raise our children. I did wind up converting to his faith and am very happy.SO you never know, maybe it's Gods way of opening your eyes more likeme or perhaps his eyes.(if you can get him to learn more about your faith!) I really believe that there is a reason for everything and apparently God has brought you into each others lives for one! Goodluck in whatever you decide!
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Old 09-28-2006, 09:09 AM   #8  
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Yes, I am of Baptist faith and my DH is Mormon. His children (4) were raised Mormon. We talked a lot about religion before we were married. I still attend a Baptist church with my children. He never goes to church anymore. His daughters have left church and one has became a very devout Pentecostal now. The reason he left his church was because of being treated as an outcast when he divorced the mother of his girls. He still values his faith but doesn't attend the services, it wouldn't bother me at all if he did. Just like, it doesn't bother him that I still go to church. We have never pressured each other to change faith's.
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Old 09-28-2006, 09:44 AM   #9  
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I to believe that the fact he is pressuring you to change your "faith" which is part of who you are is sad.
Having married someone of a different faith I do have opinions about this issue...my husband is non practising in terms of involvement in his church and knew I wanted to raise our children my faith...we also got married in my church, he attends events at our church and on special occassions..but it has been a difficult issue for me as the years have gone by...I would have liked if my husband practised my faith with me and with the raising of our children...it has created an emptineess in my heart....just letting me do my thing has been lonely at times...I see other couples together at church with their families and I have missed that.
If your faith is important to you, it would be nice if you could find someone that will walk with you...if I could do it over again I would....and once children become a part of your life it is even more of an issue ...IMO
The fact that he wants you to change is a red flag for me

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Old 09-28-2006, 12:11 PM   #10  
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I'm sorry, it is hipocritic to base a relationship on whether or not one partner will change religions to suit the other. Love each other for who they are--not for their religion.

Let me tell you my story: I was born and raised in Salt Lake City, Utah--home of the Mormons. I was raised Lutheran. I was a social outcast for most of my growing up years. At times I was not "allowed" to play with my friends because their parents found out I was not Mormon. I didn't fit in at school because I didn't attend the Mormon seminary classes that all Utah public schools allow. It wasn't until college that I realized that there were other kids that were not Mormon living in Utah! But by then, the damage had been done. I had stopped going to church regularly (much to my parents' chagrin) and changed into a "Christmas Eve-Easter" church goer.

I have a friend whose son was dating a Mormon. After several years, they broke up because the girl couldn't imagine marrying him because he was not Mormon. Why on earth should religion matter so much? I feel that the religious zealots (and yes, those who force their religion on others are zealots in my mind) are the ones to blame when relationships sour. There are plenty of Jewish-Catholic marriages that survive based on LOVE not religion!! Well, that's my opinion, but I might be a bit biased based on my experiences.
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Old 09-28-2006, 12:18 PM   #11  
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i would definitely see the pressure to convert as a red-flag... but that's just my opinion.

i was raised as a Southern Baptist, DH was raised as a Mormon. neither one of us were regularly attending church when we met, and we made a promise to each other when we started dating, that there would be no attempts to convert each other. i kinda slipped a little, after we first got married, because i started going to church, and felt this need to try and drag him into it...

luckily, i got over it pretty quickly, when i realized that it was causing too much stress for us, and that the church i was attending wasn't really the great place i thought it was.

so anyway... we've also agreed to disagree. the core beliefs are the same, and neither of us sees a need to attend church services. when we have kids, we've agreed to stick to the core teachings, and also teach them about other religions, so they're well educated and can make their own decision when they're older. and it works.
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Old 09-28-2006, 12:23 PM   #12  
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Since you aren't already married, it might be good to seriously consider staying in this relationship. If he is wanting you to change something as basic as what you believe then maybe he might be happier with someone with similiar faith.

It will get more progressive as time goes by. I'm basically Christian with a healthy respect for every religion/faith. My dh belongs to a church that I don't particulally care for-it's one of those slightly off the wall ones with many detractors. I went along with him about attending this church and have for many years but it's not meeting my sprititual needs. I finally told him that I wasn't going to go any longer. We had strong words and have decided not to talk about it. When we first were married our believes were much closer.

Personally, I'd say it's not worth the hassle. If I were in the beginning of that relationship I'd pretty much get out. But that's just me and my opinion. I don't know the specifics of your relationship and I'm not telling you what to do.

Good luck
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Old 09-28-2006, 12:46 PM   #13  
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The Bible does say, "Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers:" But being a Christian is having a personal realtionship with Jesus Christ and that cannot be forced on someone. It is a personal choice.
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Old 09-28-2006, 01:17 PM   #14  
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Religion and spirituality is such a personal choice! I don't believe you can happily convert to a religion that you don't believe and don't feel. I'd definitely talk to this guy and tell him how you feel. If he really wants someone of his own religion, you two might need to seperate yourself. I've known people who have had differing religions and for some it turned out good, for others it ended up not so good. Usually, there has to be either flexibility in the religion or flexibility with the person. He doesn't sound very flexible.

For me, I never really had any problem. I never dated anyone who was really religious. I dated athiests and agnostics (of which I am neither) but never had an issue. When I started dating my DF, he told me he was interested in Buddhism so I read a book on Buddhism. He isn't Buddhist but likes Buddhist ideals so I thought it was in my best interest to read about it at least.
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Old 09-28-2006, 03:17 PM   #15  
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Hmm, interesting thread! I recently dated a man who had differing religious beliefs than I did ... his much more rigid than mine. We broke up for other reasons, but I think eventually we would have split due to irreconcilable religious differences. He was "holding out" that I might 'see the light' and switch to his religion. Unfortunately it's built into some religions to be intolerant of 'nonbelievers', and that's kind of sad.
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