T O P I C R E V I E W
moonlight bouncing off water
Member # 44338
posted 05-15-2011 08:53 AM
I'm an atheist and my boyfriend is a Christian. He isn't a fundamentalist, but he is still relatively religious. As for myself I don't exactly have a great track record of being accepting of religion. In fact I've been pretty rude and biased towards anyone who didn't hold my views on religion. I know this is wrong and I am done being so prejudiced and mean. It isn't fair to anybody and it hurts my boyfriend to see me trash-talking his beliefs. (This is not meant to offend anybody whom has these beliefs, this is how I have acted in the past, but it is wrong, very wrong, and I do apologize if reading this has offended anybody)
My boyfriend and I used to avoid talking about it to avoid conflict, but I realize now just how terrible of an idea it was. Not talking about anything in a relationship leads to problems, and I don't want him to feel there is anything he can't talk to me about. We've talked a little bit recently. I've agreed to respect his beliefs and he in turn has agreed to respect mine. We have also agreed to stop making all-encompassing comments about the other one's point-of-view. (Although I am mostly at fault, the one thing I did find he would do is say things like "The thing I hate is that Atheists...). We also talked a bit about our beliefs specifically and cleared up a few things, and I actually found out that some aspects of the bible are really interesting from a literary perspective. But we both agree that there is still a lot to talk about. We've agreed that we can work past this, that this will not be the downfall of our relationship, but we still have a lot more to discuss. If we decided at a much later point in our relationship we would need to discuss how we would address religion with regards to raising our children. How many of you have been in this situation (or my boyfriend's side of it) or similar before? How has it affected your relationship? If you are no longer in this relationship was it due to this conflict? If you are still in this relationship how are you handling this difference? I love my boyfriend and I wouldn't want him to share all my beliefs, that would be boring. I can see potentially being with him for a very long time. Whether or not I am I want whatever time he and I have together to be as wonderful as it can be. This needs to include he and I respecting each other in every respect.
Member # 3
posted 05-15-2011 11:04 AM
Ultimately, I think things like this tend to boil down to what things we feel comfortable being very different about, and what things we don't. In other words, it may be very important to a given person to have a partner either share their spiritual/religious beliefs, or at least feel in harmony with them, while for another person, that may not be a big issue, but having a different (ostensibly major) thing in common is.
Know what I mean? Of course, this is going to be about each of you, who may or may not feel the same way about how important this is, and as well, you may find that a set of one of your beliefs has a bigger impact on your life as a partner than the other person finds with the other's set of beliefs, But it sounds to me like you've done a great job, both of you, of really getting the ball rolling with this and starting the discussions you need to in order to evaluate this very honestly and openly. I think so long as you both can really be very honest and open about what each of you needs/wants and how you both really feel around these issues, whatever conclusion you come to is likely to be a sound one.
moonlight bouncing off water
Member # 44338
posted 05-19-2011 08:14 PM
Is it too early in our relationship to discuss the effect our differing beliefs would have on marriage (the actual marriage, but also things there-within), raising children, etc? Basically far off things, a venue our relationship could take (and that I certainly see my life taking). I've only been dating my boyfriend for 5 months, and he is my first boyfriend (though I not his first girlfriend). I don't want to scare him or myself by talking about things that are so far off, but I also feel it is important to talk about these things and reach a consensus on them. We have a lot of time to talk about these things, and our relationship may well end before then, but it may well not. Should we be talking about these things (and others) now, both with respects to our religious differences and with respects to anything else, or is it simply too soon for us to have these conversations?