Post # 1
Some of you may recall a post I made a few months ago about concerns I have over the differences between my Fiance and I. First of all, thank you all for your responses. They offered wonderful insight, and many of you reached out with stories of your own.
My Fiance is a kind and loving man, and what I say next about our recent conversation has all transpired out of love (ie we were not at each others throats). We recently started talking about religion, and raising children, and I feel that, unfortunately, we have reached an impasse. He wants them raised strictly Catholic, attending church every week (which we do not/have not done for the entirety of our relationship). I am fine with this, truly. I was raised in the same manner, but stopped attending when I was a young teen (turned out the priest was a convicted pedophile so my parents stopped taking us – i didn’t know that until i asked them this weekend. Also, I do not think this means all priests are bad). I now consider myself to be more of an agnostic – vaguely spiritual, without believing in Jesus Christ as our savior. However, I continued and said I would want our children to also learn (not necessarily attend a mosque/temple, but just learn) about other religions – Muslim, Judaism, Hindu, etc – and for them to learn that none are right or wrong, and that people around the world have varying sets of belief and that does not mean that those who don’t “believe” the way we do are wrong. Unfortunately, my Fiance disagrees, and said he would feel like a liar and a failure if he led his children to believe there was anything other than “one single truth” (which he means to be that salvation comes through Jesus Christ). It has become extremely apparent that he has a much, much deeper relationship with God than I do, and just said the other day that he has felt that he has been lacking spiritually the past few years and wants to bring that back to his life, and that a shared Faith will only make us stronger. I think that’s sweet, but to be honest, I don’t know what that means. I am willing to learn & try to open up my mind to try and understand his standpoint (again, I’m truly fine with his faith – i even admire him for the strength of his conviction), but then I come back to the comments on raising kids. I cannot and will not lie (in my opinion) and tell them there is only one correct way to believe.
To wrap this up – are there any other bees out there who have ended their engagement due to spiritual differences? Or, alternatively, made spiritual differences work? What about with children? I’m worried that the “writing is on the wall” so to speak, but given the strength of our relationship in other areas, we are both reticent to admit that this might be the end.
Post # 2
Yes, it would personally be a deal breaker.
Post # 3
anon2bornot2b : That would be a deal-breaker for me for the following reasons:
- I would not agree to raise my children to believe something that I myself do not believe to be true.
- I disagree with so many “Christian” ideals that I have a hard time seeing myself living happily with someone who believes them and bases their life on them.
- But I also would not want to be a stumbling block to their faith and would not try to dissuade them from their beliefs.
Post # 4
Faith is such an important part of my life so yes, it would absolutely be a deal breaker to me. Honestly, based on what you said I don’t see how it could work between you guys unless someone compromises on what they believe is true, which I don’t hink is something either of you should do.
Post # 5
I dont even see how you can get past this.
It’s a dealbreaker and a major one.
Post # 6
I think it is necessary that you’re able to be honest with your children . Ie. “Mommy believes this and Daddy believes this.” I think there are a lot of different tactics to manage interfaith marriages, but spending your life pretending to be Catholic and not being allowed to handle the discussion of other religions the way you’d like probably isn’t going to cut it.
Post # 7
Daisy_Mae : That’s the biggest part to me – I do not, not, not want him to try and “lighten” his faith (and would NEVER ask him to). I would worry that resentment would grow and we would start to hate each other.
Post # 8
I think this is a huge incompatibility that is going to lead to major fights and unhappiness.
I’m a Roman Catholic marrying a Born Again Christian. We have disagreements about religion periodically, but neither of us believe that people from other faiths are wrong and need to be saved or stuff like that.
I think it’s an extremely narrow view of the world to say “My religious beliefs are right and the one true path to God. Other cultures and religions are wrong.”
I personally could not marry someone who felt that way.
Post # 9
lovelyruby : Agreed. I think it CAN work in a lot of ways – the sticking point for me is not allowing the future children to learn about other religions. Fiance said that of course they will learn they exist, but not that those believers are also right.
Post # 10
Yes I think that would be a deal breaker… also forcing your kids to do that without him doing it himself the entire time you have been together I find very idiotic.
Personally for me forcing religion on your kids is wrong.. I find alot of faults within many religions and although I do believe in a higher power I prefer to do it my own way then go to a church/bible study etc… to me being a good person does not equal going to church or sunday school.
My husband and I have always agreed on this as I couldn’t compromise on this… if our future kids want to be religious when they are old enough to make their own choices then I will 100% support it but I am not making my 2 year old believe in something they later may not want to.
The reason behind this is that my Mother-In-Law is very religious… my husband is absolutely not and neither is his one sister (the youngest sister is religious)
He spend his entire childhood going to church.. church camp.. not being allowed to celebrate halloween and other crap that he despised and made him unhappy and completely detered him from religion because it was forced on him… and he said he never wants that for his kids and I completely agree.
I wish you luck with this… its a very difficult decision
Post # 11
He wants to raise his kids Catholic and you want to raise your kids multi-religion. There’s really no way to do both or meet halfway.
Post # 12
samael : Thanks bee. I will say, he repeatedly says that he doesn’t feel that faith should be pushed on anyone, and is an extremely personal journey. So it’s not that he’s out to convert others per se, just that… well… he thinks there is only one path. He states it like a fact so I do know he staunchly believes that and I do not believe it’s something that will change.
Post # 13
I’m glad you all had this talk, and this would absolutely be a deal breaker for me. I agree with your way of thinking, and I was also raised going to church (Methodist) every Sunday, by my grandma. I had amazing opportunities being involved with the church and the youth group. I would do this with my kids, and like you said, also teach them other religions to show them there are multiples ways of viewing religion.
Based off what your SO has said, i think this is a deal breaker. If he is looking to strengthen his relationship with God and wants to raise children to believe his religion is the only way to view life, I couldn’t agree to that.
I was going to suggest trying to work out a compromise. He can be the lead on everything church & God, and you can teach them the other religions. His comment about feeling like a liar if he told his kids about other religions is tricky to me. I am not sure why he can’t be the one to teach your kids about christianity because that is what he believes and you can teach them about the others to show that there are options on what to believe in. I don’t know if this is something he would be ok with, or if he expects you to go with him to church, and not talk about other religions?
Post # 14
anatheanalyst : EXACTLY – I did ask if my Fiance felt that I or my family were “bad” or going to hell because we don’t ascribe to any particular religion and he said no, and that wasn’t his judgement to make. And does agree that there are good people who are not religious. And I agree, I don’t want my kids essentially brainwashed before they’re old enough to think for themselves. He said he would feel like a failure if he didn’t lead his family through faith (which is okay by me), but also that if they chose when they were older to not hold religious convictions, that he would feel like a failure then as well.
Post # 15
I would consider it a deal breaker. I have a 13 year old son, and I try very hard to teach him that he needs to respect other people’s beliefs and ways of life. I teach him that everyone is equal and entitled to their own way to live life and they should NOT be judged, even if we disagree or it is completely different than our own way. For instance, I’m not transgender, but that doesn’t mean I consider it wrong. It’s just not part of my own personal life.
Just like I would never teach my son that racism or homophobia is acceptable, I would never teach him to shun or judge others who have a different religion. Not to mention there are literally BILLIONS of non-Catholics in the world who pray, love, and worship in their own religion – and they are WRONG because they don’t agree with your FI’s way (or any other Catholic person’s) of worshiping? That honestly doesn’t even make logical sense to me. Like seriously, I can’t wrap my head around how people believe that.
What if they all think he is wrong? What does he think of that?
What if you have kids and they meet a Jewish person and convert?
What if you have kids and one of your kids is gay? Would that kid feel “wrong” in life or shunned by your FI?
What if you or your kids fall away from relgion? Would you be second class to your FI?
Too many deal breakers….