- 6 years ago
Hi Bees! I couldn’t quite find a post that discussed something similar, so I made one! Sorry this will be long…
SO and I are what I first called an “interfaith” couple. But upon further research, I realized the correct term is “cross faith”–he is atheist, I am Christian. I have dated atheists before, but not being serious enough to consider marriage meant it never occured to me that it would become a problem.
Lately, with talk of an impending engagement, our cross faith conflict has come to the forefront. I didn’t realize my faith was as important to me as it is (I am less religious, and more spiritual), but when we discussed it I found myself picturing the structure of a wedding ceremony, kids in Sunday school, questions about “doggy heaven,” and other daily struggles we might encounter in a marriage. SO has been very respectful of my faith, even supportive of raising kids Christian, but discussing open-mindedness to other faiths and non-faith regularly so they can someday make their own decisions about their personal beliefs.
But someone saying that doesn’t make the decision any easier! I love him, and I want to be with him, but it’s difficult to process that after 60 years, one of us might be on the deathbed, and the other couldn’t say “I’ll see you again,” or “We’ll be together forever/on the other side.” Sorry, that’s a morbid thought.
So far we’ve tried attending a Unitarian Universalist church, and plan on attending a Congregationalist church next week (seeing if we can find a place where even if the beliefs don’t exactly match what we think, we can have fellowship, community, and potential Sunday school for our non-existent children!). I’m glad we’re doing this now, I’m just concerned because I want both of us to be comfortable and I don’t know if that’s entirely possible.
We’ve also sought out some books that could reconcile the contrast in our belief/non belief systems. I am currently reading The Evolution of Faith by Philip Gully, which argues for a “living, breathing Christian faith” that considers the value of different schools of thought and healthy inquisition. Meanwhile, he is reading The Little Book of Atheist Spirituality by Andre Comte-Sponville, which encourages atheists to draw inspiration from religions to create a self-spirituality, and supports the purpose and need for religion in the world and to individuals, even if it’s not the atheist choice. We plan on switching when we’re done and reading each other’s books as well.
So now, I’m looking for any kind of perspective you may want to offer. Hopefully it’s not one of judging me for my relationship or telling me to run far, far away for the sake of my salvation (using the “being yoked with nonbelievers” verse isn’t going to work on me). But if you are IN a cross-faith relationship and making it work, tell me about it. If you’re an open-minded bee who would consider being in a cross-faith relationship, how might you address these issues? Looking for bees all across the faith/non-faith spectrum!
Thanks for “listening” 🙂