- 3 years ago
I’ve posted before and I’ve certainly been reading lots of posts, but I created an anonymous account just for this post because this situation is so sensitive. This is probably going to be a long one… Thanks in advance for bearing with me, I’m at a total loss over this.
Overview before I get to the matter in question: we’ve been together for nearly 6 years, and we’ve been engaged for about 6 months.
My FI has been raised in a family with a strong Baptist faith. He has already been married and divorced, and he feels like he has upset God by going through a divorce. During all of that, he fell away from his religion and it has bothered him the entire time I’ve known him. I have always been supportive of his re-strengthening his relationship with God, as it is clearly very important to him. I told my FI that I would go to church with him in a supportive role once we get married, if he wants me to.
I am not a terribly religious person, but I have a faith that feels right in my soul, even though I struggle to define it. My spiritual journey has been difficult and very personal, and I am happy with it. I think faith is personal for everyone. I respect others’ beliefs, and I think faith is such a beautiful thing.
Our wedding planning has been rocky. We booked a venue, then canceled. He has been flighty and unwilling to discuss the wedding ever since we got engaged. He insists he truly wants to marry me, but has been strangely uncomitted to the actual ceremony.
He has recently found a new Baptist church that he enjoys and he has been going to sermons almost every Sunday. I fully support him and frequently ask him about it, as I enjoy how passionate he is and how happy he is when discussing his faith.
Two days ago, he drops a bomb on me. He talked to his pastor about his past, and how he feels that he got away from his faith and how he feels unsure about getting married again. His pastor tells him that the two of us need to attend bible study classes together every week, and that my FI should not marry me until I am “saved”. The pastor told him that when a Christian marries a non-Christian, it will be a bad marriage and my FI will be unhappy if he proceeds.
I’m open to going to the classes. I feel that learning more about his religion would make it easier for me to support him. I would strictly approach it as a learning experience. I have no interest in converting, in changing my beliefs to match his. I asked him what would happen if I refused to go to the classes, and he told me that I would no longer have a wedding to plan.
I’m at a total loss here. I have no idea what to do. I support him in every endeavor, and I really don’t ask for much from him. I’m really independent, and this ultimatum is hard for me to take. I would never ever ask someone to do anything like this for me, especially someone I love so much.
If I go to these classes, am I setting a precedent in our relationship where he can just demand things of me? Do I walk away from a man I love over the principle of the thing? Has anyone here ever been in (or seen) this kind of situation before?