Post # 1
I converted to the Catholic church because I wanted to be married in it with my husband, who was also Catholic. Here is my story: I was born Episcopalian, but started going to Catholic church when I was a kid with my family and continued as I got older. I joined the Catholic church about 7 months before getting married (last Easter), specifically because I wanted to do it before marriage so I could get married in the church. My husband is also an adult convert to Catholicism (he had converted before he knew me). I would say that I didn’t convert for him but I probably converted because of him (as in, if I hadn’t known him, there would have been no catalyst for me to do it right then, but I was already well along the path to converting by the time I met him). It was important to me that we share the same faith values and that someday when we have kids we will not have to try to raise them in two different churches. There have been some bumps in the road but alll in all I am glad that I did it.
Some of the biggest bumps were from my family, who were bewildered at what I was doing. I will never forget a conversation I had with my mother while I was visiting my parents at home. I remarked that I had bought a lot of grey clothes lately (I like grey!). My mom said, "What, are you going to become a nun?!" I said, "No, I just like neutrals! I am getting married, not joining a convent!" She continued to get onto me about it, and finally I said, "Mom, is becoming a nun really the worst thing that could happen to me? The worst thing is that I would go dedicate my life to helping the less fortunate? Because really, I would be much more worried if I came home and said I was going to be a drug dealer or go drink the kool-aid." She calmed down after that, and they have all seen that I am still the same person. Thankfully it’s not a big deal anymore.
What about you? If you and your fiance/husband are of different faiths, would you convert to another religion for your marriage? If you have or are doing so, how has the process been for you?
Post # 3
I was raised Catholic and my husband was raised Presbyterian. While I do consider myself Catholic, I do have some problems with the Church (namely treatment of women and gays). If it had been important to my husband, I would have been willing to be married in a Presby church.
I could see myself switching to certain other Christian churches, but I can’t see myself converting to something very different- ie Judaism, Islam, etc. While I’m not super religious or observant, having grown up believing the stuff in the Old and New Testaments, I can’t imagine just ceasing to believe in them and/or worshipping a different diety.
Post # 4
It’s not an issue for us because neither of us are religious at all.
But on the subject, my answer is no, I wouldn’t convert (in this case, take up someone else’s religion) for a relationship. I don’t believe in god and do not want my future children raised in a religion. If, when they’re old enough to make the choice, they choose to involve themselves in one, that’s fine with me, but I won’t force them into it. I was raised Catholic and never believed in any of it, and I hated being told that I had to go to church anyway. I just don’t want to do that to my kids.
Post # 5
It would have been a huge deal for us if we were of different faiths or beliefs. It was definitely the biggest deal when we were dating and starting to get serious. Our faith was extremely important to each of us well before we knew eachother, so it was a perfect transition to sharing that with eachother.
Thankfully, we attended the same church while we were in school together, which is kind of how we met.
I think it is vital for us as a couple to be on the same page in our Christian faith, especially because my FH is going to become a pastor and he will need my support and understanding. I can’t imagine having to convert to marry him, or being on different pages altogether in our marriage and parenthood. We also think it is extremely important to work together to raise our kids, and that they hear the same message from mom and dad–no confusion (from our end, anyway)
Post # 6
Part of what I think makes the process easier or more understandable or doable is not having far to go in the first place. I would also be wary of making a diametric change for a relationship (like going from believing in no God to believing in a particular God, like ChaiAnkh alluded to), at least not before some long consideration. But from one Christian denomination to another can be much less far to go (depending on the denomination), for example.
Post # 7
How appropriate.. FI and I just had a fight about this last week. FI just converted to Caholiicism (He was taking RCIA classes when I met him). I was raised in a nondemonitional Baptist offshoot and am now fairly unreligious (even a doubting Thomas on bad days). When FI proposed there was no question in either of our minds that we would marry in the Catholic church. It is not my first choice but it would be so selfish for me to fight him on it since religion is so important to him.
We haven’t talked to the church to set things up yet because his Priest was going through Chemo and radiation therapy for cancer. Fi wasn’t sure what the process would entail but was dead set that we would have mass during the ceremony. This is usually only allowed for couples whom are both Catholic so he was trying to subtly get me to volunteer to join if necessary.. which made me feel guilty for not wanting too. Not a good situation really.
Well, when FI finally called the church to get the necessary paperwork on Ash Wednesday he found out his Priest had passed away that morning. In the meantime though we have heard from some of the heads of the church that, barring a change made by whatever new priest we get, his church does allow mass during the service. They’re criteria is that I have been baptised in another Christian church, which I have (of course I would still not be able to take mass but he could).
Post # 8
Both my FI and I were raised/baptized Catholic so religion is never an issue for us. interesting topic though because if he was a different religion i wouldn’t convert..i would ask him to convert and if we have kids they would be raised Catholic no question.
Post # 9
Fi was born and raised Catholic. I was raised in a non-denominational church, but completed my conversion to Catholicism last Easter. My story is pretty similar to chelseamornings’s. I didn’t convert for him but I converted because of him. Well, that and the fact that I went to private Catholic college.
Honestly, I had been pretty distant from my faith for years. Going to a Catholic college and then starting a relationship with a believeing Catholic opened my eyes to new possilbities. I realized that I would feel more fulfilled spiritually in Catholicism than I would be in a non-denominational church. It was also important to me that we get married and raise our kids in the same church. My family was a little surprised at first, but they accepted my decision once they saw how dedicated I am.
Most of all, though, I appreciate my Fi’s support of my decision. We have had countless discussions about the theology, philosophy, and practice of Catholicism. When I converted he was my sponsor, and he repeatedly told me he supported me in converting but didn’t want my only reason for converting to be him. He was also open to getting married and raising our kids in other churches. It was my decision, and I feel lucky that he didn’t pressure me one way or the other about it.
Post # 10
I was raised "socially Christian," ie, we celebrated the Christian holidays, but the emphasis was not on the religious part of it. I continue to do that now. If someone asked, I’d probably say agnostic.
I’d convert to some religions, but not others, and it would always be with the caveat that we also celebrated the Christian holidays. I’d be happy to celebrate the new holidays as well, and we’d raise our children with the understanding that there are different faiths and that they should choose for themselves that which they feel most strongly connected with.
The exception, though, is that I’d only convert to a socially progressive religion. So no orthodox Judiasm, no Catholocism, no conservative Islam, etc. Unfortunately, that doesn’t leave a lot.
My sister always said she wanted to marry a Jewish guy, because that way she could always celebrate Christmas with her family. 🙂
Post # 11
Both my FI and I are atheists, so it’s no big deal. I did tell him it’d be a deal breaker for me if he found religion though. Fortunately it’s unlikely!
(No offense to you religious folks – but it’s a little too awkward to be married to somebody who believes in god when you don’t. Friends at least you don’t really have to talk about it in any great detail.)
Post # 12
I wouldn’t, but that’s probably because I can’t imagine being married to someone who was religious. I’m agnostic, but even if I believed more strongly in a higher being, I don’t like organized religion and wouldn’t belong to one (although I used to be part of the Presbyterian church when I was a kid, so I do have that as a frame of reference). FI is an athiest, though, so no trouble there. Our kids will be raised with the knowledge that there are many religions out there, but it will be up to them whether to believe in anything, and if so, what they believe.
Post # 13
i would say i’m loosely buddhist but am not really practicing outside of my family. however, FI is christian. Although i do attend service with him (since he asks me to) i have no intention of converting at all. I think this is a touchy subject since he is very religious and i’m not so much. But still, i don’t want to convert to something i don’t whole heartedly believe in.
Post # 14
I’m agnostic and have never been happier. The FI isn’t religious at all, but I have been in previous relationships where the guy was super catholic and wanted me to convert. I don’t care how much I love someone, I would never do it- I don’t want anything to do with an organized religion and that negative is just as important as the positive of love. They just cancel each other out so there is no real point in me converting…ever.
Post # 15
I didn’t have to deal with conversion, but I think religion is a big deal. If two people aren’t on the same page there can be a lot of strain. And if one person converts, which is fine, there’s the possibility of family issues. (Sigh.) It wouldn’t work for me either if my husband was a nonpracticing something, kind of believed but… We have kids. I can’t do it all myself. It’s hard if you’re trying to teach the kids they have to go to church Sunday mornings, when they see dad (or mom) sleeping in and lounging about.
Post # 16
I just had to share a story about my FIs best friend, he converted from Catholicism to Islam! He had to if he wanted to marry his wife. Its interesting though because his wife is not very involved in her Muslim religion, but her parents wouldn’t let him marry her unless he converted. He said he didn’t care about converting because he isn’t a practicing Catholic, but when he told us he was converting it was still a shocker!