Conversion is a thorny issue for many soon-to-be brides. It's difficult when partners are different denominations within the same religion, and still more complicated when your religious backgrounds or religious beliefs are completely different. So, if you're struggling with how to marry your beliefs with your partner's before you actually marry him, know that you're not alone. Here's what the experts—and brides who have been there—say you need to know.
There Are Some Good Reasons To Convert
A genuine interest in your potential religion is key. "If you ask yourself 'Why am I thinking of converting?' and the answer is: 'Because I am looking for a spiritual community and discipline that will give my life a greater sense of meaning and purpose and belonging,' then pursuing the path of possible conversion makes sense," says Rabbi Steven Carr Reuben, Ph.D. and author of There's An Easter Egg On Your Seder Plate.
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Christen Griffith, 29, of Dallas, Texas, converted from Unitarian Universalist to Roman Catholicism before her wedding two years ago. She says that meeting her husband was just part of her own search for spiritual grounding: "I had been 'searching' for years before I met my husband, and my conversion was a slow process. He was the catalyst that made my conversion a reality. Through our conversations, I was in a constant state of discovery and excitement." The Secrets To An Interfaith Relationship
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There Are Also Less Good Reasons To Change
You want your fiancé to be happy so, like many girlfriends, you probably make sacrifices. But if you're converting for the wrong reasons, it can be too big a sacrifice, and there's "a likelihood," Rabbi Reuben warns, "that one's decision to convert will cause resentment that builds up over time and [results in] a rejection either of the new religion, the partner or both." Don't convert solely to make your partner happy or so you can get married, he advises.