Mixed religion relationships

United States
January 31, 2009 9:37pm CST
My wife and I uphold very different religous beliefs - she is a born again christian, and I am a card carrying atheist. We met and fell in love long before I had formed an opinion on the meaning of life and everything. She has been saved for nearly her whole existence. We get along really well, but there are times that the differences in belief can put a strain on our relationship. We are often confronted with uncomfortable situations where her christian friends and I disagree, or my atheist friends say something that makes her cringe.The other aspect of this situation is the kids - we have agreed to be honest with them about how we feel. They know that I think that the existence of god is unlikely, while they still go to church on sundays to get the opposing perspective. Is anyone else facing the prospect of raising kids in a house with two very different belief systems? How do you handle it?
1 person likes this
5 responses
• United States
2 Feb 09
I was in a similar situation, where I practice Hinduism (of sorts) and I was with a "born again" Christian person. I soon learned that the reason he suggested we have a "Hindu" room, and and "Christian" room, in the house, was because he was convinced that sooner or later, he'd get his way. Most Christians are convinced that non-Christians are doomed to burn in hell for eternity. It can be difficult, for me anyway, to really open up and share with them. I have a hard time having a normal conversation with them. If I'm having difficulty in anything, they have all the answers, they will inevitably tell me, that if I just become "saved," I'll be with Jesus in Heaven for eternity, and all will be well. I don't know how long you both can keep your beliefs to yourselves. When kids come, it's going to be a real challenge. I do believe that kids should grow up learning about all cultures and religions, aside from what their parents are into. They should learn to respect all religions, as well, and always be encouraged to be inquisitive and curious. From my own experience, Christians do not have much respect for any religion outside of their own. Maybe your girlfriend is different, maybe she's more open-minded and accepting of people's different views on spirituality, and on God. Oh..this born again Christian guy and me??? We weren't able to make it. But there was alot of other things going on, too. Good luck to the both of you.
• United States
2 Feb 09
Fortunately my wife and I do get along, and find ways to avoid conflict. I think that the people who really follow the teachings of christ are able to coexist with those of other faiths. I really enjoy the company of christians who maintain the philosophy that the best way to demonstrate the merits of their faith is through actions. I run into problems when I meet a christian who thinks they are superior, or who seem judgemental. Fortunately my wife truly believes what she says she believes. She doesn't have a problem with evolution. She thinks a drink every once in a while is okay, and she doesn't have a problem with gays. She is awesome. I hope that you someday meet a christian that is as cool as her. As for the kids, I don't want to convert them to my religion. I just want them to know how both of us feel, and make their own decision. As an atheist, I don't think that I have all of the answers - in fact that is exactly the point of my belief system. If someone else thinks they have the answer, good for them. All I ask is to not be judged for my reluctance to believe in the supernatural.
@Latrivia (2890)
• United States
1 Feb 09
My husband is a non-denominational Christian, while I am an atheist. For the most part we get along when it comes to religion, because he's very liberal in his beliefs. However, when it comes to some things, we'll just never agree. For example, the issue of children came up. I don't like the idea of circumcision, and don't see the point in the baby baptism. My husband wants both for our kids. I'm willing to let him go through with the baptism, because it's really no big deal. However, circumcision isn't necessary, and I have yet to give in. I can't remember all the other things we've disagreed about when talking about our kids, but those two stick out in my mind. For the most part I'm willing to be the one to give, because silly superstitions don't bother me. If my husband wants to sprinkle water on my kid's head, it's not going to hurt. The stuff that might hurt, though, I fiercely oppose.
• United States
2 Feb 09
The circumcision thing is a tough one. I think that the culture is slowly moving away from it. Our doctor said that he was personally against it, and my wife didn't put up a fight. One thing that makes our relationship work is that we are both liberal in our beliefs as well. If I was more militant, or she more fundamentalist, it just wouldn't work.
@KrauseHome (33882)
• United States
1 Feb 09
Personally for me, I am glad that my husband became a Christian about 6 months before we got Married, as this is a situation myself I am not sure I would have wanted to handle. But as long as you and her can work it out, there is nothing wrong with this. You just need to remember to be able to respect her feelings and her yours, and let your children decide as well what is best for them as they get older as well. No, not everyone will always agree with you, and some might even mock you, but personally my thoughts as a Christian is the choice is yours, and until you choose to change it there is nothing no one can ever do as well.
• United States
11 Feb 09
Fundamental Charlie...can you provide us with the verse that you are referring to...I'd like to check it out. Thanks.
@eksmith (64)
• United States
11 Feb 09
It seems that you and your wife are handling the situation just fine. You are allowing your children to experience both belief systems and choose for themselves, you are communicating openly and honestly. Even if you were both Christian or Athiest, I guarantee that you would still have opposing beliefs in some aspects. Regardless of religious beliefs, treat others as you want to be treated and you will show your respect for one another and be able to love your way through any difficult time. Good luck
@hi_deepp (36)
• Philippines
2 Feb 09
My mom and dad doesn't share the same religion. Despite their different beliefs, they seldom argue about it. My dad says as long as we are raised in good manner, it doesn't matter who we follow. We are 3 siblings and we followed our mom's religion. I am now happily married with a person whom I share my beliefs.