Is it BU to demand someone change religion before you'll marry them?

(136 Posts)
Sansarya Sat 30-May-15 17:22:28

I've been thinking about this recently as its happened/is happening to two friends of mine.

Friend 1: going out with a Muslim guy for years, they got engaged and then he said that he wouldn't marry her unless she converted to Islam. She was a bit taken aback but agreed to it, even though in her words she thinks "it's a load of rubbish."

Friend 2: her boyfriend wants to get married in the Catholic Church and is insisting that she become a Catholic too as he won't marry someone who isn't, so she's taking lessons and receiving FHC and being confirmed.

However in both couples' cases they were living together before they were engaged, and the Catholic couple have two children. I would've thought that was a bit taboo in their religions too, so don't understand why these guys were willing to ignore that tenet of their faith but are demanding a conversion before marriage. Are they BU?

KingJoffreyLikesJaffaCakes Sat 30-May-15 17:24:24

Yes, it's batshit crazy.

Either you believe something or you don't.

If you don't it's pretty hard to fake it indefinitely.

Lottiedoubtie Sat 30-May-15 17:28:06

Yes, of course it's unreasonable!

You can't demand that someone changes religion- apart from anything else what would be the point?

The catholic with kids outside marriage is particularly U!

DH and I are diff religions and there was no question of either of us converting!

TidyDancer Sat 30-May-15 17:28:14

No fucking way would I ever convert to any religion for anyone. If you don't believe it, it's pointless anyway.

Skiptonlass Sat 30-May-15 17:29:12

Yes it's absolutely bloody insane.

It's not really about the wife though (being a mere chattel..) it's about bringing the kids up in whatever brand of religious nut-jobbery. Get the kids brainwashed from birth.

Incredibly depressing

Stitchintime1 Sat 30-May-15 17:29:43

They are being unreasonable and, frankly, it's a red flag.

justownit Sat 30-May-15 17:30:54

NO! You should take them how they are or find someone else that meets your requirements, simples.

mynewpassion Sat 30-May-15 17:31:42

Unreasonable to ask, no, if religion is very important to that person and could be a deal breaker for marriage, especially if they want it blessed by a religious institution. Cohabitation isn't marriage. The other partner doesn't have to comply.

sherbertlemon17 Sat 30-May-15 17:31:51

Completely unreasonable! My husband is Muslim and I am not. In the early days it was difficult, because apart from having a girlfriend he is a practicing Muslim- you can't help who you fall in love with! And plus it was his choice to be with me regardless.

He has never asked me to convert and nor have his family who are also practicing. The only area we have been questioned on is when we have children and how will they be bought up.

I've always said that it would be hypocritical of me to convert when my heart wouldn't truely be in it. I completely respect his faith and stand behind him 100% but I don't need to convert to be able to do this, and nor should your friends!

pointythings Sat 30-May-15 17:32:22

It's absolutely unreasonable and I agree it is definitely a red flag. Utterly controlling.

BigRedBall Sat 30-May-15 17:33:47

How can you change your beliefs to get married to someone? I don't believe anyone truely converts if they're doing it solely to get married. Converting should come from the heart not just because you want to marry someone. I find doing it for marriage is disrespectful to the religion.

karbonfootprint Sat 30-May-15 17:34:58

It is only going to happen if the person concerned has no faith. if you don't beleive anything, then what does it matter which culture you conform to? if you do have faith, it isn't going to change because some one asks you to change it. I don't suppose it really mattered to any of the people involved. Not anyone elses business really

Sansarya Sat 30-May-15 17:35:22

To me it smacks a bit of "you're good enough to have sex with but not good enough to marry unless you convert." And I especially find the Catholic with kids hypocritical. I mean, nothing wrong with having kids and not being married (hell I'm not married to DS's father!), but then why suddenly remember his faith when it's time to get married? Furthermore, you don't have to be Catholic to marry in a Catholic church, so I think it's quite controlling of him.

PurpleDaisies Sat 30-May-15 17:35:40

If they're that devout why on earth are they dating outside their religion anyway?

I'm a Christian and it was important to me that my husband was too so I didn't date anyone that wasn't. Not rocket science. I don't see how trying to force someone against their will to convert to a religion they don't believe in shows love for them in any way so I'd tell the friends to think very carefully before carring on with their relationships.

mynewpassion Sat 30-May-15 17:36:29

I will add that it should have been discussed long time ago before children or the relationship moving further along.

FenellaFellorick Sat 30-May-15 17:37:11

I think it is perfectly reasonable to have something, be it religion or anything, that is so important to you that you can only see yourself marrying someone who shares whatever it is.

I think it is perfectly reasonable to say to someone who is interested in being with you that something is fundamental to you. They either have that in common with you or they don't.

I think it is massively unreasonable to be with someone who doesn't share this thing and get into a relationship with them KNOWING this about them, make them invest in a future with you then make such a demand.

queensansastark Sat 30-May-15 17:39:50

Totally unreasonable

Trills Sat 30-May-15 17:40:19

If it's important to you then I don't really understand how you could end up remotely close to the wanting-to-marry-them stage with someone who didn't share this.

EthelDurant123 Sat 30-May-15 17:42:16

On a humanist level, it doesn't matter what religion you follow as long as there is love and trust in the relationship. To demand conversion before marriage but after cohabiting is stable/horse/bolt IMHO. Also if one partner is demanding conversion from the other partner, is there enough love to continue the relationship? Why is having the same faith during marriage so important to the same relationship that survived without both of these factors?

mrstweefromtweesville Sat 30-May-15 17:42:24

First rule for life - don't live with anyone. If you want to get married, do that. Otherwise, keep your options open.

Second rule for life - don't take up with a man if you don't like his religion. Its part of who he is and it will become part of who you are too. Also, if you aren't of his faith, he has the perfect 'get out clause', he can leave you at any time and his community will support him.

I knew someone who converted to Catholicism after the wedding, to please her husband and his family. It worked very, very well. She had a lovely community to join. It wasn't negative at all, as far as I heard.

Koalafications Sat 30-May-15 17:44:37

Ridiculous that they have got this far into their relationships and it's only being discussed/ultimatums being made now.

I wouldn't convert for anyone. I have way too much respect for myself to do that.

Trills Sat 30-May-15 17:45:29

Do the people who convert actually think that the teachings of that religion are actually TRUE? As in, properly actually real?

Or do they just promise to "play along"?

ItsRainingInBaltimore Sat 30-May-15 17:45:36

Yes. And totally hypocritical nonsense as well. Converting to any faith should be thing of political or social convenience to appease family members and jump through a few tricksy cultural hoops. hmm

And I can't have much respect for the people who insist on this, and then are satisfied that their beloved has gone through said hoops purely for love and an easy life, rather than out of any true conviction. And if they tell themselves there is true conviction there then they are a fool.

If you really, really believe it matters that much then you should have the courage and self discipline to reject any romantic entanglement with people outside your own faith in the first place.

CloserToFiftyThanTwenty Sat 30-May-15 17:45:42

Is it - at least in part - so that the wedding can be conducted in the synagogue / church / mosque?

ItsRainingInBaltimore Sat 30-May-15 17:46:30

should NOT be!

Damn, I hate it when that happens.

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