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Faith Is Making Us Grow Apart


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'm 26. When I met my fiance 3 years ago, it was at a time whe I hadn't been going to church or practicing my faith for 5 years or more, so I could honestly say to her at the time that "I was raised in the faith but am no longer practicing or part of it". She said she didn't have a problem with my religious upbringing.


However, 18 months ago, for a whole bunch of reasons, I started being attracted back to my childhood faith and I started going back to church. I've been consistently attending church for the whole 18 months. I go to church 2 times each week and sometimes see friends I know from there, introducing them to my fiance so she feels comfortable knowing who I spend time with. I answer all her questions too, so she knows exactly what it's all about. I also make sure I'm balanced, making sure I don't neglect my fiance. For example, we spend the occasional Sunday, when I would normally be at church, doing something together like going for a walk, to the zoo, the movies or whatever. So I can't be accused of putting my re-ignited faith ahead of my fiance.


But each week, her attitude towards it gets worse and she comes out with more and more hurtful comments. She accuses me of never spending time with her, which just isn't true as we spend 6 evenings a week plus Saturdays together.


We're going through a hard time financially and other pressures, so I guess she is taking her frustrations out on my faith, but it hurts, as it feels like a direct attack on me. It's not like our situation could be any better if I spent all day every day working, not doing anything for my faith.


But I feel so, so guilty and bad, like it's all my fault. I feel that the cracks in our relationship could have been preveted if I hadn't got together with her in the first place. But how was I supposed to know? I hadn't been to church or practiced my faith for 5+ years, when my fiance and I first met, so at the time, it wasn't an factor, it was irrelevant, and I didn't PLAN to show an interest in my childhood faith again, it just happened.


But I don't feel that "it just happened" is fair and I feel it's all my fault, so I'm really beating myself up about it. I feel like I've been unfair to her and duped her, even though I know I haven't.


I wish it would all just go away. I don't want to give up my faith and I don't want to give up her, despite her being very anti God, anti faith, anti religion, a big believer in science, who thinks the world is a fantastic place and crime isn't any worse than it was 50 years ago.


She says that when we get married, hopefully in the next year or two, she doesn't want our kids to be taught about my faith. Her mom has very strong views about all this too.


So basically, I don't see our future working, which is really, really hard to accept, and again it all feels like my fault.

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What is your faith, if you don't mind me asking? It sounds like a big part of the problem is that she just doesn't like your religion. It sounds like you spend a lot of time together, but when you're together, are you actually doing things together?

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I can see her concern then. She probably doesn't share a lot of your fundamental beliefs then and won't want to raise children that way. If it's something you've decided you're committed to, then it probably is best that you go your own way. Well, do you sit together, watch TV and chat, play card games, or do you read your book while she's reading yours? If you're together, but not talking to each other much and essentially doing separate activities most of the time, then I can see her point.

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You probably should let go. As someone on the other side of the fence, it's very frustrating being in a relationship with a believer, and I really can't imagine permitting religious indoctrination of my children.


To understand why, imagine for the moment that your girlfriend was constantly talking about Odin, Thor, Frey, Baldur, etc., and worrying about Ragnarok and the coming of the Fire Giants. I'm not trying to belittle your faith, I'm just trying to hold up an example which has the same emotional impact for you as your beliefs do for her. I know it's very, very real for you, but for her it's not. And I think you'd find it distressing if your children were taught something you were sure wasn't true, and which you viewed as somewhat damaging.


Trying to convert each other is not the answer. It's probably best for both of you if you move on.

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Look at it this way. How would you feel if she announced she had decided to become a practicing Wiccan, and insisted the children were raised as Wiccans? And had a coven meeting at your house regularly, and wantng to take the kids out to celebrate the solstce? I'm sure that would be very disturbing and unacceptable to you, in the same way she views your beliefs as unacceptable to herself.


She doesn't see this in the same category as you having a football hobby, anymore than you would see having a wife who was a Wiccan as acceptable either.


Some idealogical differences can be dealt with by compromise, but a large difference in religious beliefs freqently leads to divorce. It's a lot more than just a hobby, and the controversy about how the children will be raised is huge. You will want your children raised praying to God, and going to church every Sunday, spending money on tithing for the church, praying in the home etc. while she sits there thinking what you are doing is stupid and she doesn't want her children believing in it either.


She may not want to spend every Sunday alone while you go off with the children taking them somewhere to practice something she doesn't believe in. If you are having a difficulty with this now, it will probably get worse over time unless you return to not being religious again.


So i think unless you are willing to negotiate and agree to details that allow you to be happy in your faith and her to be happy in her atheism, then it probably won't work.

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I agree with the others, but just wanted to add.


It's not your fault. I hope you can see that soon. No need to carry around all that guilt if this is what is right for you. People do change and we can't always predict how that will happen.


Maybe you should talk with her about that. If that is going unspoken, that's not good for either of you. She'll sit and build up dislike or resentment, and you'll feel worse and worse feeling this is your fault somehow.


Your only responsibility is to talk with her and do the right thing now.


You know, I know it would cause a huge rift even in a friendship I have if my friend turned and went back to his religion. Some divides are so elemental, it's like taking two opposite paths in life.


It doesn't mean you don't love each other. But you do need to talk about it and find out if either of you wants to continue with it.


It may hurt but there is a good chance that if you talk it through, you can both leave without losing the love. It's not a total waste. You've shared a lot of love and good things.

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If you believe in god, then you believe he loves you. Don't waste so much time in a church. Spend as much time with her as possible.


I really don't think god is going to send you to hell because you don't go to church on sunday. So, if this is bugging her, and you are serious about this relationship, then you should be with her.


"god" is all around you.

Church = Pointless

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Most people change a lot in their early 20s. A lot of times relationships from that age end up breaking up as each person grows up more and figures out who they truly are. Nobody did anything wrong here. You just happened to grow up in ways that have led you to different directions.


Have you talked to her about what she expects from you? Is she hoping/expecting that this is just a phase for you and you'll give it up over time? Does she expect you to just not say anything about your religion to your future kids? That definitely would not be fair to ask of you. You'd probably end up fighting over the issue of how to raise kids.


If I were you, I'd tell her that you care about her, but your religious views are important to you and you can't give them up for her or anyone else. If she is not okay with that, then you guys do need to part ways so you can start looking for someone who either shares your views or at least can accept them.

By the way, my boyfriend is an atheist and I'm Catholic. For us it has been working so far because we both understand the other person doesn't want to change and are okay with that. He is very laidback about it all and isn't "against" my beliefs; he just doesn't believe them himself.

It is a problem if she really does dislike or look down on your beliefs. It would be a huge disaster if you two were to get married while both of you secretly hoped the other one was going to convert to the other way!

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It can cause huge rifts in a relationship if one person has a profound faith which governs their actions, while the other doesn't share it.


This isn't to say that either's right, just that they're incompatible. Giving up your faith for the sake of a relationship will not work for you in the long term, whilst giving up your relationship does at least open up the possibility of finding someone who shares your spiritual values.

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This isn't about fault or blame. You've evolved into a different person with different beliefs and priorities than when you met.


You were a good fit but now - not so much.


Just move on...it'll be best for both of you in the long run.


Does your faith condone being with someone of "no faith"...premarital sex, etc?

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Premarital sex isn't allowed, which I have always kinda agreed with anyway, but everyone at church accepts and fact me and my fiance got together when I hadn't been to church for 5 years and I wasn't baptised so could technically do what I wanted then.


Being with someone of no faith isn't shunned as such, although for obvious reasons it's recommended that you find a wife of the same faith, to avoid the kind of situation I'm in now.


Her family say they are roman catholics, but they never go to mass and they don't believe in God or anything - they just celebrate Christmas and say they're catholic if anyone asks. Her brother made a big deal of being married in a catholic church even though she doesn't believe and itsn't practicing. But we've discussed all this and when we can afford to marry, we'll be having a civil service, non-religious. I just find it a bit hypocritical if, say we get married and have kids, her mom will be pressuring us to get our kid(s) christened as a catholic, when the family doesn't practice anyway. Whereas me with me faith, I will/do practice, so it wouldn't be as hypocritical.

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Um...never heard that one - yeah right...well, I was doing it before I converted or re-immersed myself in my spiritual/religious beliefs - so it's an "grandfathered sin" and I get to continue to do it in because of that.


Put it this way - if right now you starting living by all the religious dictates based on your spiritual beliefs - your fiance would break up with you and that would end your whole dilemma.


You just don't want to be the bad guy - and you don't want to lose options and benefits....but this is way more trouble than it's worth - now and particularly later.

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This sounds alot like my situation as well. My boyfriend grew up in his faith...and i only recently got into it...the same time he slipped out of it.

Trust me when i say, if your not on the same page in your faith, it can get messy. I know im young, but i do know your faith is important, and if your fiance doesnt like that, you could be headed down a path where you dont wanna go.

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