Did you see the Wife Swap episode (yes, we love that show) where a woman from an evangelical household switches places with a woman from an atheist household? Needless to say, the switcheroo was less than seamless and major drama ensued. This brings us to the question: Just how important is it that a couple's spiritual beliefs match up?
While sharing the same religion or spiritual beliefs with your partner is not a prerequisite to a successful relationship, writes Ann Keeler Evans, a Philadelphia-based M.Div. who's coached 1,000-plus couples through their wedding vows, in an Examiner.com article, she also notes that couples who share a faith will turn to the same spiritual resources in troublesome times.
"What a person believes is central to who they are and these things are unlikely to change," writes Evans. "You fell in love with who they are and what they believe. It's not fair to ask your partner to change a fundamental truth, and it's pretty unrealistic to think that that’s likely to happen."
Does that mean your relationship is doomed to fail if you and your partner have different belief systems? No, of course not, says Evans, because belief systems can be different and yet still compatible, based on similar values.
Plus, regardless of whether or not couples share the same faith, they can still build a deep level of spiritual intimacy, writes Evans, by sharing rituals or practices such as meditation, yoga or simply a walk in the woods when looking for reflection time.