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Dealing with Religious Differences in a Marriage

A lot of marriages are between people who have religious differences. If couples don’t deal with this openly, patiently, and with an attitude that makes compromising possible, there can be big problems further into the marriage. Even though many people get married in a church for instance, they don’t have a discussion about how their religious views and religious differences are going to affect their life together.

All of a sudden, newly married couples realize they don't have as much in common as they first thought when it comes to their beliefs and they have to figure out how to resolve this.

Issues with Marriage and Faith

You have probably heard some of the many jokes about people from different religions marrying. The reason these are funny is that many religions are very different in their beliefs. For example, the Jewish religion and the Catholic religion have different holy days that they celebrate along with many other differences. However, religious differences in a marriage are not a laughing matter if the couple doesn’t deal with them in a sensitive and patient way.

If you and your spouse have religious differences, you hopefully discussed them before getting married. Raising children requires spouses to come to some sort of agreement as far as the religion that the children will be taught and raised in as they grow up. You may not have discussed your religious differences yet but that doesn’t mean you cannot do that now that you have children. You and your spouse need to talk honestly and openly before you start arguing about where you are going to go to church or what religion your children should be baptized in.

Issues with Marriage and Spirituality

It can be hard to discuss religion because of the emotions involved. We all have different beliefs and different faiths and none are right or wrong. Your spouse cannot be forced to attend church with you or believe what you believe. Some couples find their disagreements occur because one spouse doesn’t think the other is serious about his or her faith or won’t live a spiritual life.

Religious differences in a marriage can lead to some serious heartache. A couple will probably have problems if one spouse wants to become more spiritual but the other does not. There are couples who have some really serious arguments about their religious differences because neither is willing to back down.

Reaching a compromise on religious differences is not as easy and not done the same way as reaching a compromise on other issues. Faith is something that is personal and not tangible. If couples discuss religious differences in a marriage in a way that is honest and not judgemental, the differences may actually bring the couple closer together.

How to Bond Over Religious Differences

Couples need to talk a lot about how religion is going to be a part of their family. One important issue is the raising of children in one religion or the other. Generally, when a couple has religious differences, there is one parent who feels stronger about his or her religion and he is the one who make sure the children receive a religious education.

The things that a couple needs to talk about include where they will go to church in the case of religious differences in a marriage. In some families, the solution is to find a new church that the couple attends together so they start a new religious tradition together. Other couples have one spouse who will agree to go to their spouse’s church.

Another issue that needs to be discussed is if the family will attend church activities together. There are many opportunities to meet with others from the church but both spouses don’t always want to attend these. It is great if both spouses can agree to attend these activities together so they can bond and have fun.

Almost every family has religious differences in a marriage to some extent. It can be helpful to talk to your minister if your spouse will not agree to attend church with you despite your discussions. Even if your spouse never agrees to come to church with you, a minister can help you tell your spouse how you feel in a way that your spouse will understand.

The more you can communicate about religious differences in a marriage, the better off you and your spouse will be. Be loving, patient, and kind so that your spouse will listen to you and think about what you have to say. Religious differences in a marriage don’t have to drive you and your spouse apart.

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