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I am considering marrying a man who is of another faith than my own and we both feel strongly. Will this work long-term?

Published on February 2, 2012 by crissam12

We dated in high school and knew we were in love then, but broke up because we were of different faiths and our parents knew it would be hard to raise children in that kind of environment. We have both since divorced and re-connected with each other and he has told me that he has always loved me and always will. I feel the same way about him. We have both stayed strong in our faiths, but want to try and make a marriage work. What can we do to make this work or is it doomed for failure? I need help. This is killing me. Thanks for you help. Cindy

ANSWERS

It is not doomed for failure. You two can make it work as long as you respect each other's faiths AND decide which faith to raise the children in before having children, if you two want any with each other.

Religion differences can be a deal breaker, just as politics and culture and whether or not you want children. It is a compatibility issue and it will continue to be a challenge throughout your relationship. You obviously have chemistry together and love/respect for each other. The third necessity in a relationship is compatibility. Recognize that you can explore a lot of the challenging possibilities that will arise because of your religious differences, but there will be issues that resurface later( as late as 20+years). These issues will also be generated by others. The others may be family, yours or his, the media, your religious leaders, local or national. And yes, you must decide ahead of time which faith the children will be, recognizing that you will never be able to predetermine how you each will feel about various religious differences as they arise. Your goal must be to maintain serious intimate conversation about your feelings as they surface for the rest of your life. In the dual faith relationships that I know have succeeded, one of the members has converted. I know this doesn't answer you with a yes or no but I hope it gives you some guidance in your decision.

Cindy - lifetime love is successful when we value the whole of each other. Ignoring distinct differences in your faith will be very difficult, if not impossible. However, if you both were willing to set dogma, doctrine, ritual and rules aside for the SPIRIT of faith, where love and respect for each other are elevated and practiced above all else, you will be able to share your faith with each other and provide the best of both worlds for your family.

Thank you for your answer. I failed to explain in my question that we are both in our fifties and raising a family is not in the picture anymore. Our families are already raised. But, I agree with everything you said. I would hope that others won't raise issues for us. The only thing I'm worried about are my children having a problem with it. I really don't think his children would have any problems. If you have anything else to add, please feel free. Thank you. Cindy

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