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Relationships and Religious Differences

Group Therapy: He Believes in God, I Don't

This question is an excerpt from Group Therapy in our TrèsSugar Community. Add your advice in the comments!

For a few years I've been dating this man. We've had good times, bad times, generally been going strong. However, I recently became aware that we will be having huge conflict in the future concerning kids and other plans. No. 1) I don't want to get married, I'm not interested in marriage — it's just not for me, I don't believe marriage validates a relationship or whatever. However, my boyfriend really, really wants to get married, so I would do it if I had to — but he wants a religious service which is hard for me to swallow.

2) He wants the children baptized (Greek) Orthodox and wants them to know their faith, to know their lives. This upsets me mostly because at the start of our relationship, he assured me that he didn't want to make the religious choice for his kids and that he would let them choose. However, this statement about the kids "knowing their faith" pretty much assumes he is throwing them into Orthodoxy and there's nothing I can say or do about it. I know it shouldn't be a big issue, but I'm starting to see some problems. I want my kids to be free to choose their own faith their entire life. I don't want to force them to go to Church (added note: The Orthodox churches my boyfriend goes to only speak in ancient Greek and thus I understand nothing when I go, despite having studied modern Greek for over a year!). . . . I just feel that it won't work out in the future because of this.


Read the rest below.

I know the true solution is just say, oh just get married and baptize your kids — how does it change your life? You're right, but at the same time, why should I have to just succumb to this and watch my kids become religious and ask their father why mommy doesn't believe in God? What's he going to say — oh, she won't be saved like you are? I don't even know. He tells me he respects my beliefs and my values and would never force anything on me but these two issues which he claims are very important. I told him to date and marry a Greek girl who would not object to this way of life, but he wants me.

Do you think that religion causes problems in relationships if there are two contrasting faiths, or one is atheist and the other a believer . . .? Do you think that marriage and baptism are two things that I should just accept because I am being ridiculous?

Have a dilemma of your own? Post it, anonymously, to Group Therapy for advice, and check out what else is happening in the TrèsSugar Community.

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