Post # 1
Just wondering, for those bees who are in a relationship where one is Christian (any denomination, or really any religion for that matter) and the other is agnostic or atheist, how do you, or plan to, make your marriage work? There are so many compromises to be made when you don’t share the same beliefs, so I wonder what everyone else is doing to have a successful marriage/relationship. How do you deal with things like attending church or, more importantly, raising children? I’d love to hear any responses!
Post # 3
I plan on going to church by myself or with my family. We have already discused that I want the kids baptized.. so I will be bringing them to church with me. We are both going to be respectful of each others beliefs and respect the childrens decisions regarding religion when they are old enough to make them. (I am Anglican and Fiance is an athiest).
Post # 4
Hubby is Christian, I’m agnostic. We have honestly never had any issues because of this. He is not really very religious…as in, he doesn’t attend church or practive any rituals. My main issue has always been that religious people can be a bit closed-minded or intolerant, but my man has a very live and let live mentality. We have the same moral ideals, we believe in treating others with respect and that’s really all that matters.
Post # 5
I think the biggest part is how children will be raised if you decide to partake in parenting. My family is Native American and I do follow some of the traditions, that are relgious based, but I’m not overly involved. Darling Husband was raised as a Jehovah Witness, but left when he was 17. Now he is not religous in anyway. We have decided to allow are children to choose their religion and to let them and aid them in exploring all types of religions.
However, DH’s parents (father and step-mom, DH’s bio mom is no longer a JW either) have some different views, and of course feel as though the child should be exposed to the “Truth” very early on. That will not be happening. So far we have been able to keep DH’s son from his first marriage down the same path of religious exploration.
Post # 6
@mwitter80: That’s exactly what my parents did. Both were raised in religious families but migrated away from the church as they got older. They are pretty much aetheists now. However, when I was around 10, I think, my mom took me to a different service every Sunday for a few months so that I could see the difference between denominations and choose if it was something I wanted to get involved in. No pressure, no opinions. It was honestly a really cool idea and opened me up to a lot of options. None of them remotely interested me but at least they gave me the choice.
ETA: And I don’t just mean Christian type services and churches. She took me to Hare Krishna services, Aboriginal services, Hindu, Wiccan…. EVERYTHING. In retrospect, it was actually totally fun! My mom really is hilarious.
Post # 7
We decided that I’ll take the kids to church every week until they’re 16 (well, I might not hit every week, but frequently), and then they’ll be free to choose. As for the two of us, I’ve mentally accepted that his beliefs are his own and I can’t influence them (you have to understand that this was an internal struggle. I never actually pressured him at all. I grew up in an almost fundamental church that taught you were basically responsible for everyone’s salvation. There was a lot of internal guilt that I had to work through).
He knows that my faith is important to me, and he’s going to come to church with me on major holidays. Soon after we started dating, he stopped telling jokes about religion since it bothers me. We’re maintaing respect for each other that is based on not crossing boundaries (I don’t preach to him, he doesn’t offend me).
The hardest thing for us has been my parents. I get a ton of pressure from them to save Fiance or leave him and find a new guy. 😛
It’s not the easiest thing, but it’s definitely worth it.
Post # 8
i feel its important for kids to be brought up in some sort of religion more for moral values than anything else – my husband’s family are devout catholics, he struggles with his beliefs – lucky for us i was raised catholic but i havent practiced in years. I know we both want to teach our kids something – but i would have a hard time preaching something to my kids that i dont quite believe or practice myself. Its a struggle for sure – at this point even though we aren’t chruch goers i think we will introduce that into our childrens life. one because i think its a good basis for children to have until they can make their own decisions on what they believe – i will never push religion on my children but i want to give them the chance to have it. and the second reason – i swear my mother in law would disown me if my children didnt know how to say the rosary and that is not a fight worth fighting.
Post # 9
@totheislnds: I think there are probably plenty of children in the world who were not brought up with any sort of religion whose morals are perfectly intact.
Post # 10
@Miss Lilac: that is probably true too
Post # 11
Post # 12
I’m agnostic while my SO is Catholic (little c, his family guilts him into going so I can’t really gauge if he would go even on the big holidays if it weren’t for them). It’s caused some tension between us but like others have said, we try to be respectful of each others beliefs.
There was one time when he told me that he believed that only those who get married in a church are really married. I was really offended since no one in my family has ever married in a church! He’s come around to see my point and finally gets that the commitment is more important than where we do it.
Otherwise we have agreed that he can take our future children to church and that I would be fine with them going to a Catholic school if it offers better options than public schools.
Post # 13
@Miss Lilac: Absolutely. I was born into a non-religious family, never attended church or read the Bible, but I know my morals are better than some Christians.
My Fiance has always been a Christian and has just recently started attending church again. I’ve been going with him most weeks for moral support and also out of curiosity, but he knows I’m not going to convert. We’ve always been respectful of each other’s beliefs but I worry about how things may change when we bring children into the mix. He wants them to go to church. I don’t really have an issue with that, but I don’t want to a) teach my kids something I don’t believe in or b) feel like I’m excluded from a huge part of my child’s life by saying “Go talk to your father” if my kid asks me questions about God or faith.
I really hope that we can teach them to be open-minded and aware that there are many different belief systems. And of course, allow them to make their own choices when they feel they’re ready.
Really appreciating the responses, bees!
Post # 14
I am agnostic and FH is Christian, and to be honest, I wasn’t sure how our relationship was going to work out. We decided to discuss what our belief system was and what our values and morals were. I wanted to know if he was going to try to convert me and how he felt about children. When we found out they were similar, we figured that we could give it a shot. We’re respectful of each other. I go to church with him sometimes. FH wants to be married by a pastor because he believes marriage should be done in the eyes of God. I respect that and we’re getting married by a pastor. Neither FH and I plan to or want to have kids, but he also asked that our kids atten church until they were 15-16 years old and at that point they could make their own decision. I agreed on the condition that I could teach them about other religions and beliefs so they would be open minded.
I think it all comes down to a respect thing.
Post # 16
i’m a deist (with many christian beliefs) and fi is an atheist. our wedding ceremony is going to be written completely by us and will not be religious. as far as raising children goes, we are going to tell our children both sides of the spectrum. daddy doesn’t believe in God because _____. mommy believes in God because ______. we will also be celebrating catholic holidays with our children even though neither of us are catholic, because both of our families are. fi is a lot more respectful of my beliefs than any other atheists i’ve gotten into debates with. i’ve always said i would never marry an atheist because i need to be with someone who believes in some type of god, but hey, you never know what’ll happen.