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Differences in opinion/beliefs - how important are they?(8 Posts)
Just that really. Thinking especially religious beliefs, I fully accept that everyone is entitled to their own beliefs but if they're hugely different to yours can the relationship work? Do you just not discuss those areas and leave one another to it?
For a casual relationship, just don't discuss. If it's going to get serious I don't think differences in opinion can work unless everyone involved is genuinely signed up to the idea that 'everyone's entitled to their own beliefs', respects that 100% and is realistic about what it means in practice. In the case of religion, which almost by definition operates in terms of 'we're right and everyone else is wrong', a true believer is unlikely to be comfortable with leaving their long-term partner in the wrong. When differences tend to cause real problems is if/when DCs arrive on the scene and it hasn't been properly established what the expectations are.
It certainly becomes a more live issue when children appear on the scene. 'Each to their own' is fine if that means one of a couple gets up early on a Sunday morning, avoids certain foods, whatever. But do you baptise the children? Take them to church? Get them to say prayers at bedtime? <Obviously swap for other religions as appropriate>
There isn't really any compromise space in bringing up children within the context of a religion - you either do or you don't. If you have religion, it is very hard to agree not to bring your children up with something you think is that important, just because your partner doesn't agree with your views. Equally, it's hard for an atheist to agree to 'indoctrinating' children into a view of the world that they find meaningless and potentially damaging.
People do manage it, but there's a lot of 'readjusting' on both sides.
My DH is Muslim, I was raised CofE but lost my faith along time ago. I went along with the religious wedding they have as it was important to him and we had a registry office wedding aswell so it was legal. We eat halal and have no pork or alcohol in the house. I don't wear revealing clothing anyway but I don't cover my head or face. His religion is exactly that, HIS. We discussed my converting to Islam once and I said I could do it if really needed but it would a hollow gesture to make him more comfortable so he said there was no point as he wouldn't be happy and neither would I. We settled on both staying how we are.
Before we had DD we discussed how religion would affect children and I simply stated that if he wanted them to be raised within religion is was his responsibility as the believer and I wouldn't get involved. I respect his right to believe and as it is stronger then my faith it would be harder and more painful for him to NOT teach them then it is for me to watch them be filled with 'nonsense'.
We do discuss things though. I frequently ask questions if his religion and beliefs and attempt to understand it. It fascinates me for someone to have blind faith and total conviction. He has no problem talking about it and explaining things and does it without trying to convert me (unlike his friend who tries to show me my heathen ways everytime he sees us. And has said I should cover my head if I wish to join then for dinner so I said no problem I'll stay at home then...)
We make it work by being open with each other about it. Granted my DH is not hardcore, doesn't attend the mosque as much as he should, doesn't always pray enough etc but he does believe. Ramadan is always fun! The first year was tough as I could not see the point but then realised that we weren't talking about it and once we started sharing this aspect in our relationship and acknowledging our differences it made it far easier.
It depends on your beliefs and if you are prepared to compromise. We have friends who are married he is Muslim and she is Irish catholic and they want children but aren't having them as they can't agree which way they will be raised. Which is sad but better then having them and fighting about it. HTH, got a bit rambly... Sorry!
For me it is very simple: I will only marry someone of the same faith. I want my children to be raised as Muslims (As I am), and I want my husband to be the same. Our religion is what will bind us in the first place, from there we can establish whether characters match, and what our goals in life are. This will avoid future complications as to beliefs, raising children etc. So for me finding a good husband means I look for specific things in a man. And Muslim women only marry Muslim men, unless they are not practicing at all. I want to share my life with someone who has the same religion and values. But with other people it works having 2 different religions in a marriage.
I don't mean to say that men from other religions or non believing men are bad people, but for me sharing the same beliefs is essential.
I think in the case where 2 people have different believes and even cultures, you really have to sit down and be very clear with each other on what your expectations are. Many mixed marriages go wrong because people don't know what they are getting themselves into.
I think it only matters if both have strong unyielding views.
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