Talk About Marriage banner

Status
Not open for further replies.
1 - 18 of 18 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
2 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
My fiancee and I have been together for 3 years, we are getting married this coming spring. While discussing future plans, children, etc. we got onto the topic of religious upbringing for our children. Although she does not go to church, my fiancee describes herself as christian, she says that she prays frequently, and that she takes her faith seriously. I have never led her on in any way about my feelings towards religion throughout our relationship, and I've been very consistent in telling her my views that religion is not a priority in my life in any way. Now that we are discussing having children, and what that would mean with respect to their upbringing. My answer to her was that marriage is a partnership, and that if it's important to her to have our child baptized, and raised with a christian faith, that I would be supportive of that if it is important to her. She is upset with this response, saying that she doesn't want to be the only one to take the child to church, etc. I told her that I am not going to pretend to be something that I'm not, and I'm not going to participate in activities in which I do not believe, namely, attending church services. I feel that it's disingenuous to participate in those activities. I would be happy to send the child to sunday school to educate them on christianity and its principles, and support my fiancee's faith and desire to raise our child with that background, but I'm not going to participate myself. She also commented that she's terribly disappointed in me, and that I am basically a neglectful father because I chose not to baptize the child from my first marriage, which was a decision that my ex-wife and I made jointly without hesitation.

I'm feeling very disrespected. I feel as though she considers her beliefs to be superior to mine, and I feel that she wants me to somehow compromise my integrity to satisfy her expectations. Am I wrong here? I told her that I would not interfere in any way with her choosing to provide a religious upbringing for our child, and that I would be supportive of it given its importance to her.

Right now, I am feeling very angry that she is somehow trying to make me feel inadequate because I am not a religious person. This is the first time in our relationship that I have felt a serious sense of resentment towards her, and I'm struggling to understand what I should do. Any thoughts?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
561 Posts
Ironically my first thought when reading your post was, "Good Lord!".

This all seems extremely one sided. She expects you to respect her religious beliefs (which you obviously do!) but she can't respect yours..... whatever they are. I wonder how she would feel if she had a group of people show up on her front porch trying to convert her to their religion. She'd undoubtedly be upset and annoyed. She needs to understand that her treating you like a leper because of your beliefts is no different than someone approaching her asking her to convert to becoming Jewish. Religious beliefs are not something you can turn on and off at will. She knew this about you when you two started dating so THAT would have been the time for her to say, "Hmmm, this is a dealbreaker for me. I must move on.". Because after all, this is "very important" to her.

So ask her now -- Is this a dealbreaker?

If she says no then she needs to be content going to church by herself and your future children. If she says yes, well, then I'd be asking for the ring back.

I also wonder if it is more about her image. Does she think she will be judged by others at church because her husband doesn't show up like all the other good Christian husbands do?

There's really not much more you can do here. The decision is really hers as to whether or not this is a make or break situation. And I understand your resentment because you have been nothing but honest, understanding and supportive of her decisions and she cannot give you the same.

Doesn't sound very Christian to me!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,546 Posts
Sounds like religion, (if not now) soon will be her new lifestyle and if it's different from yours then it's not going to work.
Think hard before marrying her because she's not acting fairly and she's judging you.
She thinks her ways are better than yours especially when it comes to child's upbringing.
Do not let this slide. You either come to a mutual agreement or call the wedding off.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
285 Posts
She sounds like quite a hypocrite. She doesn't go to church yet she is angry that you wouldn't be going? I think you are completely justified in how you feel. If she can't come to terms with your beliefs and respect them then yes, you should call this off. Calling you a neglectful father over a belief system is completely disrespectful to you as a person let alone her future husband.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,408 Posts
Sounds like religion, (if not now) soon will be her new lifestyle and if it's different from yours then it's not going to work.
Think hard before marrying her because she's not acting fairly and she's judging you.
She thinks her ways are better than yours especially when it comes to child's upbringing.
Do not let this slide. You either come to a mutual agreement or call the wedding off.
I 100% agree.....dont let this slide and just talk about it.

Posted via Mobile Device
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
285 Posts
Sounds like religion, (if not now) soon will be her new lifestyle and if it's different from yours then it's not going to work.
Think hard before marrying her because she's not acting fairly and she's judging you.
She thinks her ways are better than yours especially when it comes to child's upbringing.
Do not let this slide. You either come to a mutual agreement or call the wedding off.
Exactly. Imagine if you told her that you weren't sure you wanted your child to be raised christian and what a fit she would throw and the insults she would send your way then. You are telling her she can do it her way and she is still attacking you. Do you really want to spend the rest of your life and have children with a person like that?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
570 Posts
This sounds a LOT like conversations I had with my exW before we got married, like identical except that I agreed to go to church with them sometimes but not regularly. Long story short, religion became a bigger and bigger part of her life while my take on it remained unchanged. This was one of the reasons she cited for why we had "grown apart", and as with most religious people, she also felt her views were superior to mine. Unfortunately Jesus didn't keep her from having an affair or two, though.
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
5,485 Posts
She's not too serious of Christian or she wouldn't be ignoring scripture and marrying you, right? After all, you'd have never known if she hadn't told you, right? But that irreligious attitude on the part of girls usually changes when kids enter the picture. It's part of the mothering instinct to pass her beliefs (even if she doesn't live by them) along to the kids and to have daddy on board, too. It will play out in her becoming increasingly religious, like OTR experience or it will fade away about the time the youngest kid reaches junior high.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
209 Posts
You did good. Now she needs to put herself in your shoes and see how it feels to give respect to other.
It's the same thing on my side. I'm not religious, and my husband is. We are not ready to have kids, but we did have this conversation before. For my part, I didn't feel the respect went he learned that I wasn't a believer in god. It took a while for him to accept it and now is fine about it. I really had to take the time to make it see it my way that I don't need to be thinking his way for me to have his respect.
He did ask me what we would do when we would have kids, and I told him the same thing you did. He was fine with it.

So I guess she needs to go through the process of accepting this part of you for her to be fine with it.
You may ask her:
What does it give you when you judge me and don't respect who I am?
She may be surprised by the question, but she may not realize that she is not respecting you. She may just be stuck in her own way to see this situation, and she may be blind my it.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
570 Posts
She's not too serious of Christian or she wouldn't be ignoring scripture and marrying you, right? After all, you'd have never known if she hadn't told you, right? But that irreligious attitude on the part of girls usually changes when kids enter the picture. It's part of the mothering instinct to pass her beliefs (even if she doesn't live by them) along to the kids and to have daddy on board, too. It will play out in her becoming increasingly religious, like OTR experience or it will fade away about the time the youngest kid reaches junior high.
Most Christians tend to cherrypick the guidelines.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,361 Posts
Of course you aren't wrong! How would she feel if you wanted her to act like an atheist in order to let your children grow up able to set their own values as they become adults?

Spirituality is one of the five pillars of compatibility. While being mildly incompatible on one, maybe even two of them is sometimes okay in a relationship, if there are significant differences on any of these pillars it strains a relationship. If there are significant differences on more than one, the people in the relationship tend to end up miserable or separated before long.

Please don't get married while there is such a huge compatibility difference.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2 Posts
Discussion Starter #14
Regarding feeling resentful, I think it's mainly that she's disregarding my beliefs as if they are simply wrong, and that she "struggles with my lack of faith." And I think what she fails to understand is that my issue is with religion, not with faith.

I've never once told her that I don't believe in God, or that I don't believe that God is an overriding force that exists. I told her from the beginning that I believe in God, but I also believe that no human being alive is intelligent enough to interpret God's will, nor should any human being be so arrogant as to believe he or she does. And it is especially difficult for me to accept that individuals who do claim to understand God's will then seek to impose their understanding on others.

I believe strongly that individuals are responsible for their own destiny, within the framework that God has provided, and that collectivism, especially in the form of an organized religion, undermines everything that I believe about the freedom of the individual.

And I guess the difficult thing in explaining this to her is that, day to day, I don't think about it. It's not a priority of mine, and as such I don't really have a clearly defined set of arguments to defend my position, because I really don't think it needs much thought or defending.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,869 Posts
Regarding feeling resentful, I think it's mainly that she's disregarding my beliefs as if they are simply wrong, and that she "struggles with my lack of faith." And I think what she fails to understand is that my issue is with religion, not with faith.

I've never once told her that I don't believe in God, or that I don't believe that God is an overriding force that exists. I told her from the beginning that I believe in God, but I also believe that no human being alive is intelligent enough to interpret God's will, nor should any human being be so arrogant as to believe he or she does. And it is especially difficult for me to accept that individuals who do claim to understand God's will then seek to impose their understanding on others.

I believe strongly that individuals are responsible for their own destiny, within the framework that God has provided, and that collectivism, especially in the form of an organized religion, undermines everything that I believe about the freedom of the individual.

And I guess the difficult thing in explaining this to her is that, day to day, I don't think about it. It's not a priority of mine, and as such I don't really have a clearly defined set of arguments to defend my position, because I really don't think it needs much thought or defending.
And herein lies the crux of the problem. Why do you NEED a clearly defined set of arguments to defend your position. One of the keys to a marriage lasting is how the couple handles conflict and problems. Do they take an "us versus the issue" approach (healthy) or a "me versus you" approach (leads to problems).

You took an us versus the problem. Your wife is taking a me versus you approach. You shouldn't need to argue. You have your beliefs that you have clearly stated above. That should be good enough. If your wife feels as strongly as she does to raise the child in a church environment, then it's on her to do so. You're being supportive of it. She shouldn't want more, but she does. She is taking a superior position which is bad for marriages.

I learned that right and wrong in a marriage isn't based on court of law rules (one person is right and the other is wrong). It's about how you come out at the other end of the problem with each other.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
851 Posts
If it helps you can always tell her about my grandparents. Grandmother was a keen church-goer. Grandfather was not interested (but not disrespectful). The burden of religious upbringing therefore fell entirely on her.

The eldest son became a priest and eventually a much-loved bishop.

She is not doomed to fail if she marries you (but you probably know that already). She can always say to any children you believe in God but relate to him differently to her.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,361 Posts
R she "struggles with my lack of faith."
I hope she has not claimed that she is struggling with your lack of faith. After all, what you believe has NO bearing on HER afterlife, does it? When I read that, what I thought was "Doesn't she mean she's judgmental about his lack of having faith his way?" That's not a very Christian thing to do. Or maybe it is for some so-called Christians, but it's not the spirit of love that Jesus promoted.
 
1 - 18 of 18 Posts
Status
Not open for further replies.
Top