How would you react if your SO decided to change religions? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 117 Old 04-25-2007, 12:27 AM - Thread Starter
 
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A post in another thread got me thinking: How would you react if your SO decided to change religions, suddenly became religious, or suddenly decided to stop practicing his/her current religion?

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#2 of 117 Old 04-25-2007, 12:50 AM
 
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#3 of 117 Old 04-25-2007, 12:53 AM
 
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Well, I'm religious, and I'd never consider marrying anybody who wasn't a religious Jew.

If I was with a man and he stopped being religious, we could maybe work things out, but if he wanted to convert to another religion, the marriage would be over.

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#4 of 117 Old 04-25-2007, 12:58 AM
 
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Well, I'd be surprised, mostly because my husband's religion (Hinduism) is so intensely cultural that I don't think he could stop practicing per se, but if he decided to embrace a different one, I'd probably be accepting and research it with him, whatever it was. But then, we're already from different religions, so we've been through some religious flexibility training already. Now, if he suddenly decided he was agnostic or atheist I'd have a much harder time, I still get comfort out of the fact that we both believe in some kind of basic, common God figure.
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#5 of 117 Old 04-25-2007, 01:02 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by Ruthla View Post
Well, I'm religious, and I'd never consider marrying anybody who wasn't a religious Jew.

If I was with a man and he stopped being religious, we could maybe work things out, but if he wanted to convert to another religion, the marriage would be over.
I'm sorry, I should have included that scenario in my OP -- I'll go edit it to reflect that.

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#6 of 117 Old 04-25-2007, 01:03 AM
 
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well I think it would depend on whether we had children or not. i think it would be inconsiderate to up and change after you were already raising the kids a certain religion (confusing at best). If we didn't have children i could live with it, I wouldn't like it as i like doing things together and honoring our beliefs together as a family..
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#7 of 117 Old 04-25-2007, 01:06 AM
 
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I'd have a really hard time with it - we both roll our eyes at the ferver of the newly converted. Everyone else is fine, but the newbies...whoa, look out.

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#8 of 117 Old 04-25-2007, 01:18 AM
 
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It would depend on the religion.

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#9 of 117 Old 04-25-2007, 01:32 AM
 
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it would depend on the religion. i might ask him to make sure he didn't have a brain tumor or something because it could be extremely uncharacteristic for him so i would worry
but otherwise i would probably be fine with it depending on the religion. we don't share the exact same beliefs and neither of us have beliefs that actually fit very well into any category i'm closest to being a natural panthiest and he is closest to being agnostic but i don't think he considers himself agnostic and that really doesn't fit for him...

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#10 of 117 Old 04-25-2007, 01:37 AM
 
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I will not care, honestly, Religion is not important to me, I grew up as an atheist and DH is supposed to be a Christian, but you know we never go to chruch and he doesn't agree in several things, I now there's a GOD(since I married DH) but I don't follow any churches or anything.

And I don't even know what we are now lol
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#11 of 117 Old 04-25-2007, 01:55 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I will not care, honestly, Religion is not important to me, I grew up as an atheist and DH is supposed to be a Christian, but you know we never go to chruch and he doesn't agree in several things
But that's the thing (for me anyway). If religion, to date, hasn't been important in the relationship and then it all of a sudden becomes important to one spouse, I would just think that would create a fundamental rift in the dynamic of the relationship.

I think that partners of different faiths (or different degrees of faith) can make a relationship work when the expectations are voiced and dealt with from the beginning, but when one partner unilaterally changes the terms in the middle of a relationship ... I think I would find that really, really, really tough to accept.

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#12 of 117 Old 04-25-2007, 02:03 AM
 
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I would be sad if he converted to conservative evangelical Christianity, because I know that his church would drive a wedge between us (if not outright try to help him find away to dump me). And I would be sad if he fell into any type of religion or a cult that taught that women were nothing but subservients and encouraged abuse, because that would mean that I'd have to leave him.

But most anything else, I figure it's his business not mine. I presume we'd have to negotiate our previously held agreement (our kids are being raised UU), but that's what happens in life with a lot of things, I wouldn't be adverse to revisiting it when it involves something as personal and passionate as religion.
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#13 of 117 Old 04-25-2007, 02:16 AM
 
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Well a sudden change in religious beliefs can (not always or anything) be a sign of some truly deep seated problem, either psychological or physiological so I would really want to see first if there was a problem that was at the root of this.
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#14 of 117 Old 04-25-2007, 02:46 AM
 
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Since I am not religious, my dh picking a religion of any sort would most likely be a deal breaker for me.
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#15 of 117 Old 04-25-2007, 02:51 AM
 
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This has happened with both Dh and I to some degree within our marriage. We both came from church backgrounds (Methodist and Mormon), but we went into our marriage fairly unreligious. I felt a calling to discover my religious path and I have done so (still doing it actually...). He has gone through many periods of seeking. He's seeking within Christianity at the moment, but I have no idea where that will go.

I see great value in finding and walking the paths that are right for each person. I try to be supportive even where our beliefs do not match up. It's not always easy though. I do have issues with some Christian theology and if he were to become very conservative or fundamental...I don't know how well that would work for me. I am pro-choice, pro gay marriage, and I do not believe that other religions are worshiping "false Gods", etc. So basically I can deal with most things, but there are some I can not.

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#16 of 117 Old 04-25-2007, 02:57 AM
 
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Originally Posted by maya44 View Post
Well a sudden change in religious beliefs can (not always or anything) be a sign of some truly deep seated problem, either psychological or physiological so I would really want to see first if there was a problem that was at the root of this.
Did you see the documentary about the guy in the band "NY Dolls" who got brain damaged from falling out a window and then joined the mormon church? I thought it was funny, being part of the culture myself.
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#17 of 117 Old 04-25-2007, 02:59 AM
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I would "feel" that it was time for him to have a brain scan done.

DH has been an atheist since he was 14 and I would seriously think he had a brain tumor if he started following a relgion, any religion.
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#18 of 117 Old 04-25-2007, 05:21 AM
 
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Like the pp, I'd wonder about his health. Dh is 51 years old. He's been atheist all his life. It's probably a result of growing up minority orthodox in a Muslim country. He doesn't care that I teach dd about what I learned growing up Pentecostal. I'm not particularly religious, but I do have a strong spiritual tug in a direction that there really is no name for. Religion isn't a deal-breaker for me because I feel that religion is a product of man and it really can't change a person, it can just make them act differently. Spirituality is something altogether different. However you want to name it, neither dh nor I would want to be pushed in a certain direction by the other and we wouldn't, as we respect each other far too much.
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#19 of 117 Old 04-25-2007, 05:29 AM
 
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Originally Posted by limabean View Post
I think that partners of different faiths (or different degrees of faith) can make a relationship work when the expectations are voiced and dealt with from the beginning, but when one partner unilaterally changes the terms in the middle of a relationship ... I think I would find that really, really, really tough to accept.
Yes, I think it would be quite difficult.

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#20 of 117 Old 04-25-2007, 06:22 AM
 
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DH is a self professed Agnostic, and pretty strong in his stance. So I would be shocked if he decided to join any organized religion.

I am pentecostal though, and we make it work. Much to the chagrin of my church. But we were very open and honest about it, and even before we got married we discussed raising kids, how holidays work, etc.

But Ds1 is the only one old enough to "get" religion and he does go to church with me. And at this point he likes it and thats what he wants to do.

But one thing DH and I agree on WHOLE heartedly is teaching our kids about as many religions as possible, wheter we agree w/ their beliefs or not. For instance the last couple of weeks we have been learning about Judaism and their traditions and cultures. A few weeks ago we spent few weeks learning about catholicism. My dad did this with us, and I think it is what enables me to be married to a man who has such different views.

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#21 of 117 Old 04-25-2007, 07:15 AM
 
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Depends. Would he start attending anti-abortion rallies, or insisting that we get our son circed, or pretending not to understand evolutionary biology, or demanding that I quit using birth control or eating pork or drinking alcoholic beverages?

I really think I'd have to flee the state if he started any of that up.

Yes, and I would also wonder if he'd lost his mind or had a small stroke!

I think as long as his new religious beliefs didn't create a sh!tstorm at home, as long as they didn't violate my own values, we'd be okay. Like if he became a conservative sort of Catholic, he could believe whatever he wanted to believed about birth control... but the minute he started demanding that I ditch my IUD for NFP, we'd have some flying fur.

Or if he became a Muslim and stopped eating pork/drinking beer himself, I would be totally cool with that, but I would certainly not appreciate having him try to tell ME how to eat and drink, yk?

Overall, he's been very cool about supporting my own religious changes-- UUs are commoner than dandelions on MDC, but UUism is really weird and out-there and unfamiliar to him, but he had really supported that path for me anyway.

So I hope I could do the same for him. That said, he's nearly 40. I figure that if he was ever going to become a zealous young convert to any religion, he'd'a done it already.
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#22 of 117 Old 04-25-2007, 07:59 AM
 
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I have a friend who is Jewish, raised Conservative (like me), but had some issues here and there with Judaism. Of her past boyfriends, one is formerly Orthodox, now in an Ashram, one is Palestinian, and one is your basic Christian who spent a year on kibbutz during his Marxist phase. She married a guy who converted to Judaism with a Conservative Rabbi. All was fine, and we all sighed with relief over his "normality".

Last time I saw them, he was Chabad - black hat, black coat, Yiddish inflection, etc. and the kid had ritual sidecurls. I nearly fell over. She is "experimenting" with covering her hair, continues to teach Talmud at a university, and trying hard to be openminded and supportive. Personally, dh and I were rolling our eyes.

When my dh and I were dating, I attended a (questionably cult-like) seminar designed for non-observant Jews, to bring them closer to Jewish orthodoxy (extremism). I was jokingly threatening him once to be "shomer negia", meaning no touching of any kind outside of marriage (even no shaking hands with men, etc.). Occasionally I suggest to him that I will start covering my hair (since I'm sick of paying a fortune for lousy haircuts). I don't know that he would actually leave me if I became "fervently religious", but it certainly wouldn't be pretty. If he did the same, I would encourage counselling for him, because I think on his part, it would have to be some sort of defense mechanism.

If he or I decided to stop eating kosher, refraining from work on Shabbat, etc., I would expect acceptance and support but to still follow certain consideration of guidelines in the house, from either of us. We would treat our children the same way if they rejected our religious beliefs (OK to eat pork out of the house, for instance, but don't bring it in, no bad-mouthing religion to others in the family, etc.). We have many "mixed" friends who manage with these ground-rules.

If he became a Christian or Muslim, I'd have to conclude brain trauma, because that would be so bizarre at the age of 45.
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#23 of 117 Old 04-25-2007, 09:14 AM
 
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If DH suddenly decided to convert to Judaism (he's Christian - generic Protestant, says he - and I'm Jewish, both practicing, Jewish household & child raising by agreement) I'd first send him for some serious counselling/psych eval, because faith in Christ has been something that's sustained him most of his life. If he was mentally healthy and just had a different calling, I'd support him in his studies and see where it went.

Any other faith? Probably not. I don't think I could deal with that much of a shift in our family dynamic. Not to mention the total sh!tstorm it would cause with his family! Would I leave him for it? I'm not sure... if it was LDS or Scientology or Hinduism or something else totally at odds with the way G-d has called me to live, then I wouldn't have much choice. Otherwise, I'd probably stay; but our marriage would definitely never be the same.
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#24 of 117 Old 04-25-2007, 09:22 AM
 
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Depends. Would he start attending anti-abortion rallies, or insisting that we get our son circed, or pretending not to understand evolutionary biology, or demanding that I quit using birth control or eating pork or drinking alcoholic beverages?

I really think I'd have to flee the state if he started any of that up.

Yes, and I would also wonder if he'd lost his mind or had a small stroke!

I think as long as his new religious beliefs didn't create a sh!tstorm at home, as long as they didn't violate my own values, we'd be okay. Like if he became a conservative sort of Catholic, he could believe whatever he wanted to believed about birth control... but the minute he started demanding that I ditch my IUD for NFP, we'd have some flying fur.

Or if he became a Muslim and stopped eating pork/drinking beer himself, I would be totally cool with that, but I would certainly not appreciate having him try to tell ME how to eat and drink, yk?

Overall, he's been very cool about supporting my own religious changes-- UUs are commoner than dandelions on MDC, but UUism is really weird and out-there and unfamiliar to him, but he had really supported that path for me anyway.

So I hope I could do the same for him. That said, he's nearly 40. I figure that if he was ever going to become a zealous young convert to any religion, he'd'a done it already.
I could have posted this exact thing. Even about the part about me being UU and dh being almost 40! Creepy...

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#25 of 117 Old 04-25-2007, 09:31 AM
 
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Since I am not religious, my dh picking a religion of any sort would most likely be a deal breaker for me.
ITA. Organized religion, or deeply held religious belief of any kind, makes me very very uncomfortable.
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#26 of 117 Old 04-25-2007, 09:32 AM
 
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I could have posted this exact thing. Even about the part about me being UU and dh being almost 40! Creepy...

Ah, but would you give up your IUD for the sake of marital religious understanding, my UU fellow-traveler?
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#27 of 117 Old 04-25-2007, 09:55 AM
 
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Pardon the ignorance, but what is UU?

Steph
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#28 of 117 Old 04-25-2007, 11:12 AM
 
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Hmmm...this is a hard one. Well our relationship is built around our beliefs, so for either one of us to suddenly change would be a huge deal. I've been doing alot of questioning the Christian *church* not the bible. I think unfortunatly many of the practices we hold dear today have not had their roots in the bible or are not teachings of Jesus-like spanking. This has been a time of intense study and questioning for me. I belive everything in the bible, and I believe it is all true, I just dont believe everyones interpretations of it. So if dh wanted to all of a sudden become Jewish or Hindu, I'd try to find out why first, without judgement. Was it something that attracted him to the other religion, or was it something in Christianity that drove him away? And ultimately, I feel that I am called to be his wife, barring abuse or infidelity, so I'd try to work it out.
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#29 of 117 Old 04-25-2007, 11:19 AM
 
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Pardon the ignorance, but what is UU?
Unitarian Universalist - http://www.uua.org/.

And from their website:

Quote:
Unitarian Universalism is a spiritually alive and justice-centered religion.

Unitarian Universalists search for truth along many paths. Instead of centering our religion on specific beliefs, we gather around shared moral values that include the inherent worth and dignity of every person.
A friend of mine in high school was the daughter of a pair of UU ministers; it's a very inclusive faith.
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#30 of 117 Old 04-25-2007, 11:48 AM
 
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I went from Paganism to Unitarian Universalism, and my husband responded fairly well. Since the UU path allows me to respect and participate in different apsects of spirituality, it really hasn't affected our relationship, other than we get a little less time together on Sundays. Concerning our child, we have agreed that raising him with a respect and awareness for all spiritual paths is the way to go, so no conflict there.

So long as the new path allows for respect of the other person's spiritual practice, I can't see why it would be an issue.
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