Can a relationship work when one has strong religious beliefs and the other doesn’t?
I turned to Tina B. Tessina, PhD, (aka "Dr. Romance") psychotherapist and author of The Unofficial Guide to Dating Again, for some helpful advice. She said, "When you're in love, happy and excited, issues like differences in religion don't seem to be a big problem. For some couples, the issue does not arise until they get married, especially if they have a big wedding involving family and friends. Even so, it's not too difficult to find a compromise such as a secular, mixed religious or nondenominational ceremony.”
Although it seems like everything would be okay, things may change when children enter the picture. Tessina explains further, “Adults who can be rational about their own personal faith or culture, or can ignore the issues for themselves, often find they cannot feel the same detachment when it comes to questions of how (or even whether) to bring their children up in a faith or culture. This problem is intensified when there is a component of criticism of each other's religion or lifestyle.”
Problems can arise when one or both of you put the other person down because of their customs. She says, “If one or both of you has a dismissive attitude toward the other's customs, food, traditions or religion, it can lead to explosive arguments. Religion and culture is a loaded subject, because it has such profound emotional, historical, ancestral and social meaning.”
She advises to discuss these issues before having children to avoid conflict and overcome differences. She provides HeadDrama with a helpful guideline to resolve those issues. Click over to our partner website, HeadDrama.com to read her guidelines.