Post # 1
Just saw this study on the Washington Post website (via gawker.com) and thought it was interesting
It doesn’t apply to any particular religion from what I can tell so I’m sharing it here on the ‘Interfaith’ board.
Does anyone have any thoughts on this? Or the role religion plays (or doesn’t play) in your relationship/marriage?
Post # 3
I think your faith (or lack thereof) shapes the way you see the world and you live your life, so sharing the same faith definitely makes things easier.
BUT I also think that a couple who have different faiths while respecting the other’s point of view, can have a broader perspective on things and it can open your mind, make you think/analyse more; which can be very interesting.
Darling Husband and I do not share the same faith, but we share the same values and the same way to lead our life; this is what is important to make it work. On the rest, we simply agree to disagree and respect each other.
Post # 4
I think it depends on how large a role religion plays in either the bride’s or groom’s life. If neither person is particularly committed to a specific set of spiritual practices, I don’t think there is much conflict. If one or both, is very devout then the larger the gap between faiths, the larger the potential conflict.
For me, it was very important to find someone whose beliefs align with my own. I have friends; however, who seem truly happy despite differing religions. For most folks, it seems the biggest debate is how to raise the children. For example, I have a friend (who is Christian) who has a partner that is a very vocal atheist. It’s difficult for me to imagine how they would raise children without conflict or confusion.
Either way, I do think it’s on the list of important things to discuss prior to marriage. for me, the big ones were family, children, money, religion, and chores 🙂
Post # 5
Well, I don’t think it is a moral issue – morality is a common thread in all religions, and it is something that even us athiests hold in high esteem. I think this is mostly an issue for people passionate about their religion. People who truly believe that non-Catholic Christians are going to hell, and vice versa, for example would probably have a hard time dedicating their lives to someone who didn’t agree or was a different faith, as they would be marrying someone they believed was doomed to hell. Having grown up somewhere that is at the extreme end of religious zealousness (Texas) and now living in a very liberal place and being athiest myself, I’ve definitely seen the difference in how religious belief impacts relationships. I think for two people who are very open and relaxed about religion, even if their beliefs aren’t exactly the same, it would be Ok.
Post # 6
Practicing a religion (or lack there of) reflects a person’s core values. Morality is pretty standard to humanity but religion often defines how conflict should be approached, how one should conduct themself, how an individual should relate to the rest of the population, etc. If both people in a relationship believe a certain set of things then they’ll approach life in a similar way.
Religion is very personal and I think it would be difficult to be in a relationship where my partner didn’t agree with the things that I found to be the most important.
Post # 7
I feel that as long as both people in a relationship have similar beliefs and morals than they can be just as happy as those with the same religious practices. As long as both agree with eachothers choices and outlook or at least respect it, then I feel everything can work out beautifully.
Post # 8
There are definitely times I am sad that NotFroofy and I don’t share a religion. It’s hard for me to celebrate Passover (or for her to celebrate Christmas) when there is no one to celebrate with.
However, I think compatibility of religious beliefs is just one area to look at in determining compatibility. We are compatible in so many other areas that I am very glad she is my wife.
Post # 9
The way that study worked was that they took certain factors “income”, “race”, “education” and showed that all impacted marriage satisfaction. Then they added another factor “religious similarity” and found that that was also significant. Thus religious similarity impacts marriage satisfaction.
The problem with that approach is that you could have added anything in there and found it would have lead to marriage satisfaction. Couples that fish together are probably happier than a couple where the husband leaves to fish on weekends and the wife sits at home. Couples that cook together are probably happier than couples where one person cooks alone and the other one watches TV, etc. Heck, couples that both like to watch American Idol together are probably happier than couples that watch totally different TV shows.
Post # 10
i think the kids thing is probably a catalyst to unhappiness if there is conflict there. Fiance and I only kind of share a religion. we were both baptized lutheran but while I still mostly believe (I consider myself christian but i don’t align 100% with the church) he considers himself searching. He isn’t athiestic but he doesn’t consider himself christian either. We have talked about the kids issue bc that is important to me.
Post # 11
i think it depends on how much religion plays for the people themselves. my brother is jewish and married to someone who isn’t. they are both more into the traditions of their religion then the actual religion. and they’re both willing to participate in each other’s traditions. for me, i’m more religious so when i had a serious relationship with someone outside of my religion, i knew it wouldn’t work.
Post # 12
My parents are of two different faiths, and I’m about to enter an interfaith marriage myself. I think interfaith couples are a self selective group. Folks uncomfortable with the idea usually don’t marry outside of their religion and shouldn’t. Where issues arise is when people don’t listen to the voice in the back of their head and figure that any religious differences will fix themselves out in the end.
My mother has a wonderful comeback for the religious people that go door-to-door trying to convert people in our neighborhood: My husband hasn’t been able to get me to convert, and I sleep with him. (TMI, I know, but still, funny.)
Post # 13
In Anthropology, there is a school of thought that the system of culture is divided into three subsystems- one of which is ideology, and in the horizontal stratum of the cultural system, philisophical strata is present. The superstructure of a culture is often based in a faith system. So, it makes sense that a microgroup within a culture is more sucessful (using satisfication as a ruler for success) if one of the subsystems is in common (not to rule out the other stratum and subsystems as influencial.)
Personally, my FH and I have gone to church together since before we started dating. Our faith is important to us and we intend to keep it important in our marriage. Both of us have only dated other Christians, we both reconized the influence our faith has on our lives and possible difficulties that could arise from ignoring that.
Post # 14
@crayfish: haha, even us atheists. I love it.
My parents are in an “interfaith” marriage and they have a very strong relationship. I can see in general it being more difficult to navigate, and certainly couples who don’t talk about it enough beforehand may have a hard time.
I wonder if a lot of the problems actually come up when there are varying levels of religiosity? Future Father-In-Law never really liked religion, although he went to church for the social aspect and because Future Mother-In-Law wanted the kids raised in the church. The past few years, though, she’s become extra religious. If I was in a relationship like that I’d have a very difficult time adjusting to the change.
Post # 15
FH and I are not of the same faith. He is Christian and I am an agnostic, however, FH is not completely commited to every aspect of his faith and that is why we don’t run into a whole lot of conflict. I personally think it keeps things interesting. We get to see things from each other’s point of view and share opinions and thoughts from an intellectual standpoint. We both love science and knowledge, it just happened to strengthen FH’s faith and diminish mine. We are pretty logical people which is why we don’t fight.
When it comes to the possibility of children, FH and I decided they would go to church, but when they got old enough to make their own, logical and informed choices concerning religion, they could make that choice for themselves concering their faith.
FH and I are on that whole, moral/integrity thing.
Post # 16
eh, same can be said for couples that have good sex =)