Marriage to a believer
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08-03-2013, 07:59 AM (This post was last modified: 08-03-2013 08:11 AM by GirlyMan.)
RE: Marriage to a believer
(08-03-2013 07:03 AM)Atothetheist Wrote:  Personally, I don't think that raising the child religious is a problem, but not being honest with your position if they ask you is. Regardless if you raise them in a religion, if you give them the tools to think critically and logically, the natural position would be that they would question the religion.

I think what you should do is while your wife is raising them to be religious, you raise them to be a skeptic and a critical thinker, not an atheist.

Atheism will come to them when they apply the logic and skills you taught them to religion.

That's what I did. I made sure they had a proper basic training in reasoning and logic and math. That wasn't breaking my promise to the Church. And I didn't tell them my position until they asked. They all asked in their early to mid-teens and I told them that "Your father views any promise of a postmortem preservation of identity as utter and complete bullshit." Hell, I didn't even comment on religion or whether or not I was an atheist. Didn't have to.

(08-03-2013 07:50 AM)PleaseJesus Wrote:  Judaism is a lot more in touch with God though, then Islam, why not give it a whirl?

Given that I know quite a few atheist Jews and also work with quite a few Muslims none of whom are anywhere even close to even agnosticism, and given that their religions share the exact same God, I got no clue what you're talking about.

(08-03-2013 07:50 AM)PleaseJesus Wrote:  The toughest thing in my experience will be the pressure on the kids. Mom says there is a God and Dad says there isn't a God... this gets to be very traumatic at times for the children...

Quite the contrary for my kids. They were all quite relieved to know it was their call and it didn't matter to either their mother or father which way they went. That's what it means to be your call.

As it was in the beginning is now and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.
And I will show you something different from either
Your shadow at morning striding behind you
Or your shadow at evening rising to meet you;
I will show you fear in a handful of dust.
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08-03-2013, 08:58 AM
RE: Marriage to a believer
Hey JD3.

Any way you slice it, mixed marriages, of any kind, are difficult to manage. They are in no way impossible, but one must be mindful.

The silent killer in mixed marriages is unresolved conflict. It can be anything. A vegetarian friend of mine is under stress right now about her husband's meat eating, because the agreement they initially made is insufficient and they haven't yet re-opened the dialogue.

Conflict is an INEVITABLE consequence of societal living and in inevitable part of marriage. Fighting is not conflict. Fighting is how some people deal with conflict. So don't feel that if you try to deal with your conflict, and you and your wife-to-be most certainly have a conflict on your hands, that it means that you'll fight or break something.

Right now, you're using two conflict strategies: accommodation and avoidance.

When you just acquiesced to her wishes, knowing that the resolution was not satisfying to you, you used accommodation. It CAN be a good strategy, but not in this case, as the conflict remains. If you're truly OK with what she's proposed, then that's perfectly fine. But that should be a choice that you're comfortable with rather than a fear-based "don't wanna rock the boat" reaction.

Currently, you're using the avoidance strategy. The idea is that it's better to stay quiet than to risk a fight. First, it's not good in this case to stay quiet because you're talking about the rest of your lives and the lives of your kids. Second, don't feel that it is necessarily a fight. Dealing with this issue is a good thing.

One big question I have (as I don't know enough about either of you or your situation to offer in-depth analysis or advice) is this. Raising them religious is important to her. But what is important to you?

This doesn't have to be either a binary or an all-or-nothing thing. Ideally, there will be room for both of you. But that takes figuring out.

I would suggest using the cooperation and compromise strategies. Listen to each other. Hear each other. Without judgment. Understand where you're both coming from so you can both understand what is important and move forward together.

Be as clear as possible with each other about where your boundaries lie. Boundaries are a good thing. Don't fear them. When you both understand each other's boundaries, then you are both empowered to make informed decisions. One of those decisions may be to break up. But that will be an informed decision that, ultimately, would be best for both of you. But it could also mean children and a happy marriage.

If you don't resolve this conflict, it can have a range of negative consequences if you stay together. From the development of resentment, to issues for the children, to sabotaging each other later on down the line and more.

Remember, what we believe, what you believe, what she believes, isn't love, love is love. Raising children and even being married is not love, love is love. Love helps relationships, but it is not the relationship itself. Relationship and child rearing are their own things and they're team sports. You both need to know, not suspect, know, that you're on the same team. And that takes work, not avoidance.

Lastly, I say this. Ignore anyone who just tells you to throw it away. That's their shit, not yours and it's selfish of them in the extreme to even suggest it.

Peace and Love and Empathy,

Matt
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08-03-2013, 10:45 AM (This post was last modified: 08-03-2013 10:51 AM by Rahn127.)
RE: Marriage to a believer
(08-03-2013 01:04 AM)Heywood Jahblome Wrote:  If you get married and have kids....its going to be a trainwreck.

This may be the one and only time I agree with Heywood

Insanity - doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results
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08-03-2013, 11:00 AM (This post was last modified: 08-03-2013 11:23 AM by GirlyMan.)
RE: Marriage to a believer
(08-03-2013 08:58 AM)Ghost Wrote:  Any way you slice it, mixed marriages, of any kind, are difficult to manage. ... Conflict is an INEVITABLE consequence of societal living and an inevitable part of marriage.

Hasn't been the atheist Girly and the Catholic Manly's experience going on some 30 years together now. It's only hard if you have to try. Otherwise it's as easy as pie. But what do we know?

But I guess Matt's advice feels sound enough in the event you find yourself having to try. I wouldn't know. What I do know is that mutual accommodation pretty much eliminates conflict and the need to try. Conflict need not be inevitable as Matt claims.

Out of curiosity, Matt, how long you been married? Are you even married? I'm thinking you probably ain't much older than the 30 years Girly and Manly been together. Maybe even a bit younger even if I recall correctly. Not that it wasn't good advice, just not sure how much of it came from experience and how much of it came from books.

Peace, love and empathy,
Bob

As it was in the beginning is now and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.
And I will show you something different from either
Your shadow at morning striding behind you
Or your shadow at evening rising to meet you;
I will show you fear in a handful of dust.
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08-03-2013, 11:06 AM
RE: Marriage to a believer
(08-03-2013 10:45 AM)Rahn127 Wrote:  
(08-03-2013 01:04 AM)Heywood Jahblome Wrote:  If you get married and have kids....its going to be a trainwreck.

This may be the one and only time I agree with Heywood


It will be a train wreck if it isn't discussed and agreed upon beforehand. I was baptized as a Catholic to please my Catholic grandparents on my father's side of the family. Even spent a few years in a Catholic prep school during my elementary years. Quite clearly, it didn't stick.

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08-03-2013, 11:49 AM
RE: Marriage to a believer
Hey, Girly Bob.

Are you making a pass at me? If you are, just say so. I'd be flattered. You don't have to go into all this subterfuge about 'am I married' Cool

Conflict is an inevitable part of living in society with other humans. Ask anyone who deals in conflict: marriage councelor, psychologist, anthropologist, human relations specialist, conflict resolution specialist. It's just a fact.

What you missed in my post is the fact that conflict and fighting are NOT synonyms. You've been in conflict with Manly. Guaranteed. You and I are in conflict over the definition of conflict lol. You might as well tell me that neither of you eat food or have beating hearts.

Some people, and by some I mean everyone, might call mutual accommodation cooperation. Which is exactly what I suggested to JD3.

You and Manly have had conflict. You, according to you, have simply had great conflict resolution skills/success. Which is awesome. It's also something that I think will help JD3 because he's currently just avoiding the conflict; something that a Girly Man such as yourself would never allow Cool

Peace and Love and Empathy,

Matt
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08-03-2013, 01:32 PM
RE: Marriage to a believer
(07-03-2013 11:58 PM)JonDoeTheThird Wrote:  I'm not sure if this is the correct place to post this thread, or if it's already been posted before (if so I apologize in advance).

I've been in a relationship with my girlfriend for about 2 years now. Everything has been great for the most part. We often like to discuss things early on before they erupt later when we're married. When we first got together I was an agnostic, then converted to Islam (which she was very happy about). My girlfriend is Jewish, but isn't very strict in practice. She prays every night, goes to temple whenever she can, and prays before eating. That's about the extent of it. After about a year of being Muslim I decided it was all a load of crap and became atheist (that story is much longer, but I don't want to get off topic). She was very upset at this initially, but after I explained my reasoning she seemed to accept it.

The only issue that comes up for me is CHILDREN. I want to marry this woman, but I'm very afraid of raising religious kids. She's VERY insistent on the children being raised under Judaism. I was raised Christian, and I know it differs a bit from Reformed Judaism, but I know how much pressure a child can have when introduced to a religious life. I really do not want my kids going through this. Just to end the argument I decided to let her win and allow the kids to be raised Jewish, but deep down inside it still bothers me. What should I do? I don't want to break up with her over some silly superstition, but shes not going to see it done any other way.

(Also, her mother always wanted to raise her more religiously, so that's why she feels the need to raise our kids that way.)
What concerns me more than the religion issue is the unwillingness to compromise. As far as I can tell from the very little information I have, she is more unwilling than you. However, even though you did give in, you are not happy with it and that's why you have started this thread. That indicates at least nearly the same thing. If neither of you are willing to compromise on the more difficult subjects, that will come up in other ways besides religion in your marriage. That's something to think about...

My suggestion would be to find a mutually agreeable solution. For example, teach the children about Judaism, but also about other faiths. Let the children decide who they ultimately want to be. If either of you are unwilling to consider something like that, I would be concerned about how well your marriage would work in general. Marriage is about a lot of compromising from both parties if you want it to last.

"Religion has caused more misery to all of mankind in every stage of human history than any other single idea." --Madalyn Murray O'Hair
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08-03-2013, 01:57 PM (This post was last modified: 08-03-2013 02:02 PM by GirlyMan.)
RE: Marriage to a believer
(08-03-2013 11:49 AM)Ghost Wrote:  Hey, Girly Bob.

Are you making a pass at me? If you are, just say so. I'd be flattered. You don't have to go into all this subterfuge about 'am I married'

Well I do find you strangely attractive sight unseen. Blush

(08-03-2013 11:49 AM)Ghost Wrote:  What you missed in my post is the fact that conflict and fighting are NOT synonyms. You've been in conflict with Manly. Guaranteed.

I didn't miss your point, but you are right. Guess what I was trying to say is that conflicts don't need to escalate at all but can and should be resolved immediately, let alone escalate to the level of fighting. Most recent conflict with Manly I can think of is when GirlyBoy and his family were living in Oregon and our granddaughter was born a year ago or so. Boy had just finished Uni and they were gonna lose their Uni-subsidized housing and Manly didn't wanna be 3000 miles away from her granddaughter.

Manly: "We're gonna buy a house in Maryland for GirlyBoy and our granddaughter and the rest of his family."
Girly: "THE FUCK WE ARE! WE CAN'T AFFORD A SECOND HOUSE!!!"
Manly: "Yes we can dear, I've made sure you have excellent credit over the years and you've already been pre-approved for $230K."
Girly: "THE FUCK! THE FUCK! You still need my signature godammit!"
Manly: "I've been signing your name for so many years now dear that your signature now looks like the forgery. It's real property. It's an investment and we're at a low in the housing market."
Girly: sigh ... "okay."

Major potential conflict resolved in 30 seconds.

(08-03-2013 11:49 AM)Ghost Wrote:  Some people, and by some I mean everyone, might call mutual accommodation cooperation. Which is exactly what I suggested to JD3.

I said it was sound advice, didn't I.

(08-03-2013 11:49 AM)Ghost Wrote:  It's also something that I think will help JD3 because he's currently just avoiding the conflict; something that a Girly Man such as yourself would never allow.

That's right. Girly don't let shit fester, just gets infected and turns into boils and even other nastier shit. Get it out in the open right away while a simple band aid and some neosporin can still take care of it.

(08-03-2013 11:49 AM)Ghost Wrote:  You, according to you, have simply had great conflict resolution skills/success.

sigh ... I guess ... if immediately calling out and subsequently invariably acquiescing to the matriarch (except in the cases where she's clearly mistaken and I'm just pointing it out) qualify as skills ... I do however wholeheartedly believe that a matriarchal family is far more likely to lead to long term success than a patriarchal one. I make the money and she takes care of all the rest of the bullshit. It's a good deal from my perspective but it does take some balls to hand over your balls to your wife. Might be reserved for girlymen.

Peace, love and empathy, Matt,
Bob

P.S. Good luck, JohnDoe, we all make our own calls, but at least now you know some of Girly's.

As it was in the beginning is now and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.
And I will show you something different from either
Your shadow at morning striding behind you
Or your shadow at evening rising to meet you;
I will show you fear in a handful of dust.
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08-03-2013, 02:30 PM
RE: Marriage to a believer
Hey, Girly.

Quote:Guess what I was trying to say is that conflicts don't need to escalate at all but can and should be resolved immediately, let alone escalate to the level of fighting.

I concur.

Quote:Girly: sigh ... "okay."

Lol. Pussy Cool

Quote:... if immediately calling out and
subsequently invariably acquiescing to the
matriarch (except in the cases where she's clearly
mistaken and I'm just pointing it out) qualify as
skills ...

Lol. See above Cool

Peace and Love and Empathy,

Matt
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08-03-2013, 06:17 PM (This post was last modified: 08-03-2013 06:23 PM by GirlyMan.)
RE: Marriage to a believer
(08-03-2013 02:30 PM)Ghost Wrote:  Hey, Girly.

Quote:Guess what I was trying to say is that conflicts don't need to escalate at all but can and should be resolved immediately, let alone escalate to the level of fighting.

I concur.

Quote:Girly: sigh ... "okay."

Lol. Pussy Cool

Quote:... if immediately calling out and subsequently invariably acquiescing to the matriarch (except in the cases where she's clearly mistaken and I'm just pointing it out) qualify as
skills ...

Lol. See above Cool

Peace and Love and Empathy,

Matt

I can and regularly do raise my testosterone 2-3X what you will ever experience naturally, and I could so Sumo the shit outta your scrawny ass outta the dohyƍ, but ... sigh ... yeah, okay.

Peace, love and pussy, Matt,
Bob

As it was in the beginning is now and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.
And I will show you something different from either
Your shadow at morning striding behind you
Or your shadow at evening rising to meet you;
I will show you fear in a handful of dust.
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