Post # 1
I didn’t see in currently active threads on this, so I thought I would see how common this is, or if anyone has any particular thoughts on this.
A little background, I will proposing to my girlfriend of 3 years in just a couple weeks, I have bounced between Atheist and Agnostic since about 18(now 27), I was raised Catholic and come from a catholic family. She has remained Christian since what I can guess is from the beginning. We were both up front with our religious beliefs at the start of our relationship, neither of us has ever attempted to persuade the other in changing their beliefs and neither of us have put down the other persons beliefs. We have talked about if we got married how we would handle things, since I am not adamately against religion, just prefer not to be a part of it, I agreed to a religious ceremony(thankfully not catholic) as long as it was not in a church, surprisingly she agreed and liked the idea of a non church wedding. Neither of us currently want kids but talked about if kids did come into the picture they would be raised religiously and allowed to decide for themselves if they wanted to follow that path or choose for themselves(I honestly don’t think its a bad thing to be aware of religion), I even agreed to attend church with her 1-2 times per a month. I think the main thing that has allowed our relationship to work is that neither of us are militant about our views, we both are very relaxed, religion isnt exaclty my thing but I understand people having a belief system as long as they don’t try to thrust it upon me. She is fine with me not believing because I am not constantly telling her how religion is a bad thing and she is silly for believing(for the record I don’t believe those things anyway). I guess I was just wondering if anyone else out there has been able to have a healthy relationship despite somewhat extreme differences in beliefs?
Post # 2
I didn’t grow up attending church. I was never baptized. I’m along the lines of agnostic. My Fiance is Lutheran. He isn’t a bible thumper by any means, but he and his family do pray silently to themselves before every meal. Do I join in with him? No. Does it bother him? Eh, probably but it is what it is.
We did agree that our future children will go to church..together as a family. When they’re older, they can make their own educated decision.
It’s definitely possible to have a healthy relationship.
Post # 3
My Darling Husband is an Atheist and I’m Catholic. We’ve been together for almost 5 years and it hasn’t been a problem. My relationship with God is very personal and private to me. We talked about what we’ll do with our children and we compromised. The only problem we’re having with this is his mother that doesn’t want to respect our decision. But between my Darling Husband and I all is very well.
Post # 4
Thank you both for sharing! Most of the couples we are around are either religious or not, but both are along the same lines, religion also rarely comes up as a subject. So its nice to hear that it is something that can definitely work out with compromise and understand on both sides.
Post # 5
stlmalebee: I’ve been with my boyfriend almost 3 years. Our relationship is almost exactly like yours. I’m Christian and my boyfriend is basically Agnostic. He used to be religious but the death of his grandfather as a child deeply affected his faith. I don’t pressure him to be any sort of way and he respects my beliefs. He has agreed to come to church with me sometimes and raise any kids with my religion until which point they express a desire either way. I think it can work. It’s a matter of respect for different viewpoints. If you have that then it works.
Post # 6
Every relationship I’ve had with a christian was a REAL problem, and religion was why we always went out separate ways. I’ve found that, regardless of what they said in the beginning of the relationship, they ultimately always pushed me to convert.
As a serious athiest, I have trouble understanding the mental processes of someone who is able to convince themselves of the existence of any deity. So it really puts a dent in my assessment of the mental capacity of my partner. Yes, I have known intellectual and positively brilliant christians…and it was always a wonder to me how they were able to rationalize the existence of God, and accept wholly the word of the bible. This really puts a wrench in the romance. I think you have to respect your partner, and it was hard for me, especially when their beliefs were being crammed down my throat. Lovely men…just not for me.
So, for me, it’s a resounding “no”. Although I do believe that if someone is less zealous in their beliefs and less involved in their religious community, it won’t be a big deal. As for me, I was constantly hearing how my christian BF’s church family thought I would “pull him down into sin” (*rolleyes*). Similarly, if you are less zealous when it comes to your atheism (aka, if you’re mostly agnostic and are all right with modern christianity), I think it can work. I was raised catholic in a very catholic country and, as a result, have a rather pronounced dislike for religion…therefore, as nice as they were, a religious man would never work as a partner for me.
Post # 7
I’m not engaged yet, but my boyfriend of two years is Christian. His whole family is, along with most of his friends, since he went to a private Christian school growing up. I’m an atheist or agnostic depending on the day. Never been to church and have no desire to. Religion is just not something I connect with. Our relationship works because we respect each others beliefs. When we get together with his family, I make sure to always remain respectful and generally stay away from religious talk/stay quiet during meal prayer. He doesn’t try to force it on me or even ask me to attend church, which I appreciate. We haven’t had the talk about raising children, but I’m sure we could reach some sort of compromise. It works if you put effort into being respectful and want it to work.
Post # 8
Congrats to you both for being able to make a relationship like yours work. Personally I could only be with another atheist. My husband and I are huge science nerds that like to attend lectures and such, so being with someone with theistic beliefs is not something either of us wanted to do.
With that being said, my brother is agnostic and his wife is christian, they have been married for 5ish years and have a nice home and a 3 year old son. They also agreed before marriage that kids would be raised in church and that my brother would not regularly attend church. He agreed to go once a year. He is now being guilted into going to church many more times than he originally agreed to. From the outside it appears as if his wife is pressuring him because it is embarrassing for her to be one of the only wives in the church that goes with only her son. I think there is social pressure from her parents and the church for him to be by her side. I hope that this does not happen to you.
Post # 9
I dated someone who was Jewish when I was way younger (I’m talking about 17 years old here). At that time-and now-I was agnostic. It didn’t work at all, I just got very frustrated constantly hearing about religion, God, etc. So I ended that for many reasons, but religion was a big one. With SO right now, we’re both agnostic. We believe that something DOES happen when you die, but we believe it’s within a totally different demension where time itself doesn’t exist (as time is completely relative to us) and we can’t comprehend it if we tried. We do believe that SOMETHING happens after death, though. But it’s not heaven or hell. We also don’t believe in God, or anything in the bible, or really are close friends who religious individuals (other then one close friend I have, and we make a fine point never to talk about the topic). Just as I would struggle to relate to someone I REALLY don’t agree with on such a huge matter, I couldn’t date/marry/have a family with someone in the same setting. SO and I will not raise our child with religion, because when you tell a child something in their early years, they automatically believe it. They do not have the mental capabilities to use logic and question. So we will raise them with no religion. If they ask questions, we will reply as best as we can with proven facts. I respect all religion, and for those who wish to believe, but I would never automatically raise my child in it because I feel it is taking away that decision for them. They can decide when they’re older.
But I’m the type of person that thinks things might be fine NOW, but they won’t be long term. Your SO might be okay with you not believing NOW, but when it really comes to practicing faith with the children, they might start to get angry that you don’t agree with them. You might start to resent your SO because you no longer want to go to church often, and feel you’re being forced to partake in something you don’t believe in. Beyond that, I also think it’s VERY confusing for children. One parents believes in a guy in the sky who will save us all, the other doesn’t, but who’s right? The fact that you don’t agree with cause very conflicting thoughts.
So no, I wouldn’t even give someone the chance if they weren’t my religion (or lack of, in this situation). Some people will think that means I’m potentially not giving my soul mate a chance, but I also don’t believe in soul mates either. I’m just that kind of person. SO understands me, respects me, makes me happy, makes me laugh, and I enjoy him as a person, to the core. But if he believed in God? I would have moved on, and I know he would have too. Because my lack of belief in religion is such a big part of me, that I couldn’t be with someone who didn’t share that part.
Post # 10
My grandpa is an atheist and my grandma is Mormon and it worked out pretty well. Together 55 years! I grew up mormon and realized at about 13 that it wasn’t for me. Took some years to gather up info and realized I was an atheist, that there’s nothing, and religious people are silly. I’ve been turned down for being an atheist A LOT, mostly because when just talking to someone interested in me I kind of make comments that enlighten them to my dislike of religion and lack of desire for kids so they aren’t thrown off later down the road. For me it seems my only option was another atheist. But kudos! I know it can work with two people of different religious beliefs if both are respectful of the other’s ideas.
Post # 11
My grandpa was an atheist and grandma was a Christian. They were married for 70 years! Grandpa let her say a prayer before dinner and then he’d launch into how politicians use religion to manipulate people:-) it was always interesting, and it worked.
Post # 12
Darling Husband is Catholic, and I’m nonreligious. It works for us because neither one of us is trying to convert the other, and we’re both pretty easygoing in general. Darling Husband only goes to church for major holidays, and we are going to let the future kids decide religion for themselves. I think interfaith can work, but both parties have to be flexible and openminded.
Post # 13
It sounds like you’re both open minded so that’s great!
I am agnostic/atheist and my husband is Catholic. He doesn’t practice and he disagrees with basically the whole religion but still considers himself Catholic and believes in God. We talked about future children and he just assumed they’d be Catholic. I don’t have a problem with that but I don’t get the point if he doesn’t even practice himself? Lol. Luckily our relationship is great and neither of us is disrespectful towards the others beliefs. I love my husband and it doesn’t matter to me what he believes as long as he’s a good guy 🙂
Post # 14
Boyf and I are both atheists. I love it that way. Massive science geeks. He says he would never be with someone who was religious. I personally would prefer to be with someone atheist, but it definitely isn’t a deal-breaker.
Post # 15
I’m an atheist and my Fiance is very loosely Catholic. Because he’s not actively practicing, it hasn’t really been an issue. I’m open to raising the kids in a church (in an open minded, “they get to choose for themselves” kind of a way) and he’s fine with that except that he’d be the one having to take the lead, so I don’t know that it’s actually going to happen since he’s not a church goer himself. He did say he thought they shoud be baptized but when I balked he backed down – I think he just hadn’t really thought about it and it’s what is usually done so he expected it, but he realized it was not overly important to him and he could let them choose that too.
Now, before him, I was in a very serious relationship with someone who was VERY religious. That….did not work. I mean, it didn’t work for a variety of reasons, but faith was a big one. I was willing to meet him half way but it was too important to him for him to be able to compromise on some key things that were sticking points for us (e.g. teaching the kids that jesus is the only path to salvation and everyone else is going to hell, which of course would include their mother). He’s married to a religious woman now and that’s way better for both of us.