It wasn’t just the difference, though. He started out pretty respectful of my religion (and I was respectful of his lack of religion) and was on board with me raising our children Catholic as long as I was okay with them deciding not to be Catholic later (which I was – I feel like if you’re forced into religion, it’s not doing you any good!), but somewhere along the way he decided that it was totally fine to make rude jokes, tease me for things, make jokes about needing to repent all the time, etc. It’s like he got really self-conscious about the difference all of a sudden and started taking it out on me, when all I ever asked of him was to come to Christmas Eve Mass (which wasn’t that big an ask, as he already willingly went to his family’s church for pre-Christmas Eve service – he was no stranger to familial obligations, and it was all well and good as long as it was his family, but if it was mine, there was some hesitation).
That’s not the only thing he got self-conscious about. He kept joking about my “other boyfriends” (there weren’t any!), asking if wearing the ring made guys hit on me more (umm…what?), etc. I swear it’s like he was convinced I was cheating or something. I wasn’t! I’d never! And I had told him that before – having unknowingly been the other woman at one point, which felt a whole lot like I was being cheated on when I found out, has made me pretty sensitive to that and cheating is something I would never ever ever do.
You’re right, though. I’m definitely going to be looking for someone who legitimately respects me and my faith, not just someone who claims to. He doesn’t have to share my faith (that would be nice, but is not necessary) as long as he doesn’t make jokes about it repeatedly.
ETA: I feel I should also note that our childrearing philosophies were quite different. He asked once (after we were engaged) if I wanted my children to be smart or happy. I thought about it for a minute, then said “Happy. That’s more important. I’d love for them to be smart, to, but I’d rather them live happy lives.” Hesaid “Not me – I want them smart.” At the time, I shrugged it off and thought he must just be giving me a hard time, but he said some things later that made me realize he was serious. Doesn’t seem like a big deal, but I had friends who were expected to get all As and do extremely well, and they pushed themselves so hard that they were miserable and stressed. Seeing my friends like that made me never want my own kids to feel like I’d love them less if they weren’t geniuses.
I’m extremely hesitant to start dating again (though, really, I didn’t actually date before – I went on one date, and then we became exclusive, and then engaged, and now here I am). I’ve never been able to just meet people “normally”, like at the gym or doing activities that I enjoy. I apparently look unfriendly all the time, because people (men) rarely talk to me. I’m working on smiling more and looking less angry, but my “I’m anxious about being here” face looks a lot like “resting b*tch face”. I’m a little afraid to try online dating again (cause that worked out so well last time *eyeroll*). I think I just need a break. Maybe I’ll try to make some friends. Maybe I’ll get a dog. The world is my (anxiety-filled, kind of stressful) oyster.