Post # 1
So I was raised Catholic, but no longer strongly idetify as Catholic (although I have alot of respect for the religion its self and Catholicism is very important to the rest of my family). Although I dont define myself in any religion I am very spiritual and do believe that there is something bigger than all of us out there even if we aren’t sure what it is. I also strongly believe we all go somewhere after death.
My boyfriend is very much agnostic and has said multiple times he doesn’t believe in anything and is pretty anti-religion. This intially didn’t bother me since I don’t idetify strongly with any religion but the longer we date the more it does.
In collge I took many religious studies courses that explored many diffrent faiths becuase I think it’s important to understand many people’s beliefs. It helps people to be more empathetic. (Also my spelling is terrible, sorry). I made a comment saying that I think its important for everyone to take classes like that so we can understand diffrent points of view. My boyfriend is so anti religion that he said he had no real interest in learning about other people’s religions. It was fine if I was interested but he simply wasn’t (nothing fundementally wrong with that, it just bothered me a little)
A few days later we were discussing losing loved ones, and I commented that I still feel like my grandpa is around especially at special ocassions like graduation and weddings. he commented that he doesn’t think we go anywhere after we die, we simply die.
I am not sayinf any of his beilefs are wrong, but what concerns me is what will happen if we get married. How will we raise kids together when one of us strongly doesn’t want to discuss spirituality with them and the other thinks its important? What about if we have a loved one who dies? How will we support one another when we have vastly diffrent views on death?
Am i overthinking this?
Post # 2
Would I be concerned if my plus one had a different view on religion? No.
Would I be concerned if my boyfriend had a different view on religion? Yes. I’m not religious but if I was and my boyfriend was anti-religion it would probably be a deal breaker.
Post # 3
This is a very valid concern, and no, you’re not overthinking. At the same time, you’re kind of all over the place with religion and your beliefs so it’s unfair of you to be the ”judge and jury” to your boyfriend and his lack of any kind of faith. Have you asked him what he would tell his children if that situation ever erose?
Post # 4
- Wedding: February 2018 - UK
I don’t think you’re overthinking it. If you’re thinking about how this will affect raising your children in the future, then it’s something you’ll need to come to some sort of compromise on if you want to stay together.
I’m strongly atheistic, as is my husband. I think if he were religious or spiritual, I would find it difficult because it would mean a whole different worldview.
I am in no way suggesting that couples with different religious beliefs can’t work, but it’s certainly going to involve extra work and understanding on both sides, especially when children become involved.
I think you may both have to have a serious chat and find out just how important these issues are to both of you, and if they’re deal breakers.
Post # 5
I think to some people this would be a deal breaker and to others it would not.
To give you a different perspective: My mother is religious and my father is much more scientific. I was raised to understand that different people have different beliefs and that is okay and they can co-exist peacefully. It wasn’t confusing to me as a child. I was raised to have the choice to believe whatever I wanted, even if it was completely different from both my parents.
Post # 6
- Wedding: August 2019 - City, State
Not at all overthinking it. I feel the same way as your boyfriend – I think we all just die when we are done living. (Although, I have also taken many college courses that have to do with world religions, so I based my opinion on what I have learned.) Thus, if the tables were turned and I were dating someone who blindly followed a religion, I would be re-thinking our relationship. Kudos to you for looking at the “big picture” before becoming engaged/married.
Post # 7
- Wedding: June 2019 - Cortland, NY
Only you can decide if this is a dealbreaker for you. It would be a MASSIVE dealbreaker for me, but I know people who make this type of situation work.
Post # 8
My fiancé does not believe in any religion, whereas I am more on the fence in terms of I’m undecided if I believe there is anything after death, there is a greater being etc. I took a lot of Philosophy classes at school because learning about other opinions and beliefs truly fascinates me. He didn’t take these classes and I doubt he would have been interested in taking them. To be honest his views don’t bother me, and they wouldn’t unless he used them to insult people.
You should talk to your partner about all of this. It’s definitely valid because it will affect your life together in terms of raising children and probably through supporting one another through bereavement. Talking is the only way you’ll figure out if you can tackle this together or not.
Post # 9
You just need to talk to him. Just because he believes differently than you, doesn’t necessarily mean he’d be against teaching his hypothetical children about spirituality one day (although he might).
ETA: I’m technically in an interfaith marriage (husband is Jewish, I’m from a Christian background), but neither of us is religious so that does make it easier. My husband is probably a few more degrees anti-religion/atheist than I am. We’ve agreed though that our children will be exposed to both our religions and educated about major faiths around the world. We will try to instill in them the values we believe in, which are separate from any religion, but beyond that it’s going to be their choice what to believe when it comes to religion, if anything.
Post # 10
Your title is confusing, what does this have to do with plus ones?
My husband and I have very similar views on religion (though he grew up religious and I didn’t) and I appreciate that. That said, I don’t think it’s a dealbreaker to have different views on religion as long as you are respectful of each other and can come to an agreement that you’re both happy with regarding things like how to raise future kids and whether you’d get married in the church, etc. There are many happy interfaith couples. Do you feel understood and accepted for who you are, including your beliefs, or is this an area where you are feeling like you can’t connect with your boyfriend? Is this the one thing holding you back from wanting a life with him, or just one of many fundamental differences?
It sounds like neither of you is actively religious, so it doesn’t sound like it’s an issue of one person wanting the other to go to church or convert. Personally I don’t think it’s important that share the same ideas on what happens to someone after they die. How would you support each other through greiving for a loved one when you have different beliefs? With kindness and love. I don’t think being caring toward a grieving person has anything to do with your religious beliefs.
Post # 11
lifelovemountains : You two have to discuss how kids will be raised. There are many inter-faith relationships out there. You just have to respect one another, which may be easier said than done, but it’s 100% possible. “Mommy believes this and Daddy believes this, and grandma believes this. And whatever you believe is up to you, and we’ll support you no matter what.”
As long as he is respectful to people in general, I don’t think it matters. Did you tell him that it’s fine he doesn’t believe people are still around, but for him to please be kind and supportive when you say that? You need to feel safe discussing your beliefs with him. If he makes you uncomfortable any time you talk about that, this relationship will be hard. I am curious if his comment was made from a bad place? Or was he just telling you so you knew his thoughts?
But the issues you bring up are pretty simple to solve. Especially since you both have similar beliefs in general. Keep talking. This is not a red flag. It just means you two, like everyone in a relationship, have some important discussions ahead. It doesn’t necessarily even sound like you two have different values? I think if you’re both mature and respectful this will be easy to navigate. Decide how kids will be raised, and then discuss how to support each other through grief. If you can’t reach a decision, then you may be better off with someone else. But it sounds like you two will reach a decision.
Post # 12
There’s a reason why shared value systems lower the risk of divorce.
I’m very much an atheist. So is my Fiance. One could argue that we’re “anti-religion” because we don’t have any interest in learning much more about it (other than just in a very bland, historical sense). It’s important to me to raise my kids without religion, so if he were of the “I’m fine with introducing them to all of it from a young age and letting them decide” mindset, it’d be a problem. And, if I were dating someone who was spiritual/religious, I’d expect them to have a problem with me wanting to raise our kids devoid of religion.
Post # 13
lifelovemountains : I’m in an interfaith marriage and so obviously we have different views on religion. What we share is a desire to respect each other’s views and that’s why it works. Our living room has a nativity scene next to the menorah come winter and it’s great. I hate Jewish funerals – it’s not what I’m used to so it doesn’t bring me comfort and the first time my husband took off his suit jacket, grabbed a shovel, and started filling in a grave I damn near died myself! But that’s how his family honors their dead and I can respect that it brings him comfort. The first time he saw an open casket Irish wake he felt equally uncomfortable. How could we all be cracking jokes about that dead body over in the corner!? But again – respect for other traditions. We can support each other through our losses even when we aren’t comfortable ourselves.
As for children we are raising our daughter with a diverse religious education in the hopes that one of the religions speaks to her and brings her community, comfort, and peace. Or we’ll confuse the absolute shit out of her but it’s a gamble we’re willing to take in our effort to raise her as an empathetic and open minded person. My husband and I have only one rule for friends and family who discuss religion with our daughter and that is “educate, don’t advocate”. Through her family and friends she’ll be exposed to Roman Catholics, Episcopals, Jews, Buddhists, Muslims, Agnostics, and Athiests – we really do.not.care. which of those (or another religion we aren’t yet regularly exposed to!) she chooses so long as it feels right to her and she remains tolerant of all.
Post # 14
This is an issue of compatability. If non-alignged beliefs cause conflict in the relationship, it simply means you are not right for one another. Its one of those deal breakers that many couples find themselves in so no you’re not overthinking it.
Your religious views are evolving and it appears to at least create an internal conflict that will eventually bleed into the relationship. Looks like there are serious conversations that need to happen before your relationship can go to the next level.
Post # 15
So this is actually an interesting conversation I had with a coworker the other day. She emphatically believed you can’t raise children with parents who are 2 different religions and I 100% disagree. To me religion isn’t anywhere close to a deal breaker.
My father is catholic though not devoutly so. My mother was raised shinto buddhist and later converted to protestant christianity but still maintains her shinto buddhist faith at the same time. I was not in any way confused or had conflicting values as a child. I was taught “this is what shinto is all about, this is what buddhist believe, this is what protestants believe, and this is what catholics believe”. We celebrated christmas, easter, new years (major buddhist holiday) and obon (major shinto holiday). Sometimes we went to sunday school, sometimes mass, sometimes temple. If anything it helped me foster a strong identity with my beliefs because from a young age I was able to analyze and choose for myself what I believe. In the end I chose to be atheist and that’s all cool.
Is there a difference in how you would raise your children if he were catholic? I’d imagine you’re both pretty pro “though shalt not murder” and other basics. I know this isn’t exactly the question you’re asking, but I’m curious to know because it seems like SO many people in the US believe you can’t co-parent with a partner with different faith.