Post # 1
Or, you know, Jewish partners, Buddhist, Hindu… I’m just curious how your nonbeliever/believer pairing works for you. Do you discuss religious topics with your partner? Or do you both sort of turn a blind eye to the other’s beliefs (or lack thereof)?
SO is very Christian with a very strong faith. I have a lot of respect for his faith, and I know it has had a lot to do with shaping him into the wonderful man I know and love. I don’t believe in God and he knows that, but it’s obvious sometimes that he wishes I could share his faith. He has said more than once that he sees the light of God in me, and he wishes I could see it too. I know he means it as a compliment, but it saddens me a little to know how much he wants something that I won’t be able to give him.
I know the Bible says a believer shouldn’t “yoke” himself to a non-believer, and sometimes it makes me sad to think that he’s going against his faith just for my sake. But then I remember that he loves me and it’s his decision to make.
I go to church with him, and he always asks why I do that if I don’t believe in it. I think I do it out of respect for him, and to show I support him even when our opinions differ. He still doesn’t get it, heh 🙂
How do you make your secular/religious relationship work?
Post # 3
this is an interesting question and I hope some other bees answer. Although neither me or Fiance follow a particular religion, we are having a lot of problems lately relating to our different views on life, which is causing me to wonder whether we should be together. For instance, I’m vegetarian, that is an enormous thing for me and I always thought I would end up with someone who had the same beliefs and now I’m wondering whether I really can turn a ‘blind eye’ to him having meat in the fridge and cooking it for his dinner for the rest of our lives and things like that.
So I think it’s great that you go to church with him to understand his faith better, but it’s sad that he doesn’t understand you wanting to understand him more (if you get what I’m saying!). Why can’t people try to understand stuff even if they don’t agree with it? He’s lucky to have you! But I do wonder if this will cause you both problems in the future because ultimately he’s already coming out saying he wishes you were different. If you want your partner to change, it kind of seems like maybe they aren’t the right person? Sorry, am going through bad time with Fiance and this is the question I’m asking myself! There’s a few things I would like to change about him so am questioning our future 🙁
Post # 4
Great topic! Both hubby and I are what would probably be classified as agnostic, so religion isn’t the sticking point. But I too am veg and he isn’t. At first it got to me when he’d go buy deli meat for his sandwiches etc. But I’ve decided no one can ever be 100% exactly like me in all my beliefs and routines and quirks. I know there are things about me that drive him crazy (eg, he’s a night person, so when I wake up at 5 AM he gets stirred awake). For the issue of being veg, my husband is a great cook and does fake meat dishes for me, and eats fish or other such things for his own meal when he wants to. I can’t complain even if I don’t agree with it because I see that he does many things to accomodate me and my ways just as I tolerate his eating habits. So I guess it’s totally up to you to decide if a particular behavior or belief is a deal breaker based on your values and theirs.
Post # 5
It’s similar for us. I was raised Catholic, but am really an atheist, and he is Jewish but leans agnostic. I’m sort of an apathetic atheist, so I’m not really bothered by others around me believing in a god. It’s important to him that kids be raised Jewish, which is actually fine with me. I guess despite being an atheist I also realize the possibility that I’m entirely wrong, I just don’t believe that’ll end up being the case.
Post # 6
Our religious situation is quite interesting so I will try to be clear.
I was raised with a Native American mindset regarding God(s). I never really latched on and my parents were willing to allow me to explore my religious choices while I was growing up. I eventually leaned towards agnostic. I do not believe in Jesus at all and think he was a farce to be honest, which tends to be quite controversial amongst are friends.
Darling Husband was raised as a Jehovah Witness. He chose to leave that religion and stray from his family ties to it when he was 17. This makes things difficult for all sorts of reasons and I have discussed it here before. It’s more of issues with a lot of his family members still being JW’s and constantly making attempts to reel us in.
When I met Darling Husband he still had some confusion regarding his religious choices. He was so conflicted, I think being raised in such a strict religion made it hard for him to walk away. He discussed “being comfortable” and “all he knew” was being a JW. So I encouraged him to explore different religions. He has actually taken great interest in becoming Buddhist. He has started practicing. It’s tough at times since some of the rules and transistions are extreme as well, however the over all thought process of Buddhism really fits him and compliments his personality.
However, I support him in his beliefs. We can discuss religion without it becoming an argument, so it hasn’t been an issue for us. We are on the same page when we have children that we will let them explore religion and make their own decisions. Since JW was pushed on him he agrees with me about not forcing it upon anyone else.
Post # 7
Darling Husband is Christian and I am Athiest. And I am not going to lie, it is difficult. When we do talk religion we argue, but only because each of us it stuck in our ways:p The one thing that worries me is when we have children. We will raise them to understand what both of us believe and allow them to choose but if they choose Christianity, I am not going to lie, I will be a little hurt. I also hate that wheneever I am having a problem, his mother always tells me that God will provide. I don’t believe in God so I am shit out of luck! LOL. But it is difficult when it comes to certain things. I do pray with his family before dinner out of respect but Darling Husband does not attend church so that is not something I have to worry about fortunately.
Post # 8
I think it’s a matter of finding someone who may be religiously different but still shares a common ground with you be it spiritually, philosophically, OR, like in my case, happens to be on the other side of the fence but you are both non practicing. I know you’re asking for atheist and (insert religion). I’m Catholic and my guy is a Reform Jew. We both don’t really practice so religion differences isn’t an issue. We’ve addressed them and decided they weren’t a problem. One of my exes was an atheist and it was the same thing. Because I didn’t practice and he didn’t care, religion never became a problem.When it comes to kids- I’m not so staunchly Catholic that I could force my kids to be Catholic as well. It would be hypocritical and frankly, I don’t like going to church. So, our kids will be Jewish. I think I’ve lucked out with the easiest conflicting religions situation. 🙂
Post # 9
Fiance and I were both raised Lutheran but are not practicing anymore and both consider ourselves basically agnostic. So we are pretty lucky in that regard, we don’t have to worry about that.
Post # 10
@HeyKaraoke: I think this is a great post! I really like how you go to church with your SO to be supportive. That’s awesome!
My boyfriend is Christian. He doesn’t frequent church a lot but does go with his family every so often. His parents are very Christian. I was born into a Buddhist (Mom)/Athiest (Dad) family. I used to attend Buddhist church as a child but stopped going in High School. I consider myself Agnostic. I don’t really believe in god but I am spiritual.
We’ve been together for 4 and a half years and things are going very well! We talk about raising our future children Christian and possibly finding a church after we marry. He told me that going to church, for him, isn’t as important to him than just being Christian and I respect that. For me, religiously, I guess I’m just finding my way.
Our families have been okay. His mom wanted us to get married in a Christian church but we don’t want to because my family would be upset that it wasn’t in a Buddhist church. We are going to have a non-denominational ceremony when the time comes.
I guess it just works even though we’re different. We still hold onto the same morals and values and we know what’s right and wrong… we’re both ethical and make good choices. I really think that’s what makes you compatible. Same religion or not.
Post # 11
Oh wow, thanks for the replies everyone! I wasn’t expecting this many answers, honestly 🙂 It’s helpful seeing how you all handle your religious differences with your partner, and knowing I’m not the only person in this situation.
@londongal: I’m sorry you’re in that situation 🙁 It does get hard sometimes when there’s such a difference on a subject that’s important to you. I mean, I know our situations aren’t exactly the same, but I can sympathize. I will say, though, that even though I know it would make him happy if I shared his beliefs, he has never made me feel pressured or somehow like less of a person just because I believe differently, which I really appreciate. Maybe your Fiance could try restricting his meat intake to when you’re not in the house, so you’re less exposed to it? I imagine there’s at least one meal a day that you two don’t share, lunch or something, because of work, so maybe he could have his meat then. If it’s that important to you, I think it wouldn’t be so hard to come to a compromise about it, you know?
Post # 12
@HeyKaraoke: hmm, you make it sound kind of easy but unfortunately because of FI’s upbringing he has massive issues with people dictating what he should do / eat in his own home and i have always been sure to respect that. Also I would hate for someone to change what they’re doing if they don’t genuinely want to do. I have been out with other people who were willing to do that, but Fiance definitely wouldn’t be and I know that he wouldn’t reconsider that because he STILL holds a grudge against his mom for trying to impose her religious and dietary beliefs on him when he was younger. I’ll just have to like it or lump it!
Post # 13
I am Christian and my Fiance is agnostic. We actually havent had any problems because of it. I think it helps though that I do not attend church regularly. I was worried that there would be a problem when we have children but Fiance said we can raise the children Christian, and that I can take them to church if I choose to, he just won’t attend. I think that is fair! We did say, however, that once our kids are in there teens we will be honest with them about our differing beliefs and let them choose for themselves. I would never want to push any religion on my children so I think it works out well!
Post # 14
This is a really interesting post! I was raised Jewish, my Fiance was raised Catholic but we are both agnostic. Even just being raised in two different religions can make things a little strange sometimes since some cultural things he isn’t used to and are therefore strange to him. In the end, though, we view the world very similarly and so our relationship works well.
Our biggest sticking point (at least for my mom) is what we will do with our children. I definitely don’t want them raised Catholic, and I really feel uncomfortable in church. Fiance refuses to step foot in church and since we don’t believe in any religion he feels that our children should be raised agnostic but with knowledge of all of the major religions. I agree, as I want my children to be knowledgeable and able to make their own decisions about what they do and do not believe.
I have found 2 books about raising your children wihtout religion, and once we are married I plan on buying them for me, my parents, and my FI’s parents.
Post # 15
My ex-husband was Christian and I started out that way…over the course of our marriage I started leaning agnostic and it because a major issue for us (among others).
The main thing I could not get over was something a few PPs have alluded to – despite him being “ok” that my beliefs had changed (still loved me, etc) it was obvious he wished I was Christian. His family were strong Christians and well and despite their continued support and love for me it was very clear that they thought I was missing something vital and there was a strong sense of pity, e.g. i’m praying for you, I hope one day you’ll realize how much God loves you, comments to my ex suggesting that I was just going through a dark period and would return to God eventually…etc.
At some point I realized that I didn’t want to spend the rest of my life with someone who always wished an important part of my psyche/belief system was different. I do believe that some partners have the ability to be more understanding and open-minded that others – serious kudos to those who make it work!
Post # 16
I consider myself agnostic/atheist, not really sure which because I guess there’s a possibility of there being a God, I’m just very doubtful. But regardless . . . Fiance considers himself Christian but never goes to church. It doesn’t really bother me but I did give him my copy of “Year of Living Biblically” to read. The only time it really comes up is when I have to see his family’s facebook postings about our country going to hell because “we took the pledge and prayer out of schools.”