You have met someone. It feels as though they are the one you want to be with for the rest of your life. So you start to talk about marriage. What do you do if you come from different religions?There are some important discussions to have before getting married. If you can reach some agreements beforehand it could save you some grief in the future.
There are some significant emotional understandings that might help you also to resolve your own inner conflicts about marrying someone outside of the religion that you were born into. One being that there is loss, that this wonderful human being that you love so much will not have the knowledge of your past religious history. They will not celebrate God in the same way that you do. That doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t marry this person, it is understanding that in this one area you come from different places. So how will you bridge this difference? These are categories that might help you and your partner if you chose to see a therapist who works with inter-faith couples.
So to get started on some questions to be looking at, let’s start first with, are you both active in your respective religions? If you are, than another discussion is how can you support each other to attend the church, Temple (Jewish, Buddist Hindu), or Mosque, that speaks to one’s heart. How will you celebrate important holidays? Will you celebrate them together or apart?
If one is active in their religion and the other is not, how will that work? Will the person who is inactive in theirs support you being active in your religion?
So far we have more questions than answers. But these are type of questions that can ultimately be helpful. Putting these questions out in the open are very important to the quality of the relationship.
The other important questions to talk about are how are you going to celebrate the different religions respective to the children you may bring into the world. This is more complicated. What you agree on before the children are born may shift but it is important to start the conversation. Usually there is an agreement to participate mainly in one religion, some people alternate one week in one church the next week in the temple or mosque. There are pros and cons to this arrangement.
There will be more written in Part II, of this blog, So What Do You Do When You Fall in Love.