This is an interesting question that I have always pondered to myself, do I have to marry an atheist? Although I have never dated an atheist (not many) I have always dated non-religious secular people - but none that would call themselves an atheist as they still had a vague belief in god at the minimum. I have always said to myself that I will probably want to marry a Persian - but someone like myself who was raised in America and who is not religious and who definitely does not identify themselves as a Muslim - but I would rather marry an atheist but I don't know how many of them are out there - and why Persian as I have dated mostly non-Persian? A lot of people I have dated have been non-Persian but maybe simply so that my children don't forget who their parents were and subsequently my grandchildren not forgetting who their parents were so that my eventual legacy is passed down through generations...but that is a negotiable point but not put in stone as of yet but it is more of an "ideal" I would like to have....

But to the main point - do you have to eventually marry an atheist or would you marry a non-religious secularist (as I would consider) or even someone more religious? Just interested as to what you would say..

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I was a catholic and my husband was a sikh when we were married....but now we're both atheists....I don't know if subconsciously we knew going into our relationship we were ready for a change or if we just got lucky. My husband was alot more resistant to the idea of no god in the beginning but seeing how happy and uncomplicated it made things for me he soon let his guard down and started questioning his own faith. I know this doesn't answer your question but it's my personal experience. As for you wanting to marry someone the same race as you, I'd have to say being married to someone from a different culture has been the best experience of my life and my husbands. And my children will always know where they come from....

A similar question was asked to me by a fellow atheist a couple of years ago. It was not something I'd thought about before and it was at a time when I'd only just rejected my previously held Christian beliefs. I came to the conclusion that I would find it hard to be in a relationship with someone who held strong religious views but not impossible, and I still think that's the case today. I think I'd find it hard not because of a different outlook on life but because for me intelligence is a very important factor and although there are intelligent religious people, having a strong religious view always makes me question that intelligence. A couple of weeks after my friend had asked me this question he started dating a Christian girl and it became clear why he had asked the question, they are still together and very happy which proves an atheist-Christian bond can work.

cool :)

Have to? No. Is it probably a good idea? Probably so.

Only after a lot of Carbondatting first :-)

No, you don't have to marry an Atheist. There are plenty of mixed relationships that are working just fine. Differing theological opinion need not be a road block if both parties are understanding and respectful. In fact, I'm married to a Wiccan. Surprisingly, one of the reasons she felt comfortable starting a relationship with me was because I am an Atheist. She comes from a Catholic family (as do I) so she felt that I'd be understanding of the fact that she had some 'different' thoughts on theology. Although, there are some details where we don't agree, it has never gotten in the way of our relationship. It is nice that we can have long discussions about science or the Abrahamic religions and see pretty much eye-to-eye though. So it can work, it just depends on how understanding the parties involved are.

I think the institution of marriage is over. - in the traditional sense of the word as evident by the number of divorces. It would be interesting to see if arranged married couples are more content than couples who find a spouse on their own. Getting along with the in-laws is as important as getting along with the spouse.

You certainly dont have to, but it sure would help. At the very least you would have to be very open about your views as if it is a deal breaker you dont waste your time. While I married a catholic, he was never a strong believer and has his doubts. To that end he does not try to convert his faithless wife and we just agree to disagree on the subject. Then again it would have been nice if something so important to me now (it wasnt back when I was younger and was getting married) was shared by my best friend. So yes, it helps to share a life with someone who shares your beliefs.

I don't plan on marrying at all honestly, but I could see myself with someone religious as long as they know religion is a personal decision and not something that the world MUST follow. Also if i plan on having children with this person, i would never by no means allow them to enforce their religious beliefs on our kids.


Nope, wouldn't marry an atheist, that is another story 'or discussion' but I could only live with an Atheist. Couldn't live with a xian, and couldn't call one 'my best friend'. 


On both counts, friends or partners, they have to think alike. Love does not conquer all. Respect is my key, logic, civility. Chemistry, goes without saying, but I just couldn't respect anybody that believes in a sky ghost that comes from a book written by herdsmen.


For Eric, was your ex xian. I have also been there done that, and would never marry again,

Marriage is man constructed, and in the end, doesn't mean anything, as by the divorce rate, and the number of people now living de facto. People generally, marry too quickly, without really knowing who 'they' are', let alone somebody else. I have been in this relationship for 23 years - and still love him to bits - and both atheists.

I would like to think that love transcends different views of the universe. I think I could marry a religious person, though it would require many upon many conversations on their beliefs, why they believe, and how we could make it a mutual relationship.

The matter on how to raise kids would come up too (assuming we get to that point and are both willing and prepared to take on such a task). If I were to raise children, I'd prefer them to be raised atheist (of course). I wouldn't do this by preventing them from going to church or reading the bible though, I would instead try to have them experience and learn about multiple religions. This way, they can choose which path in life to take (and if I succeed in raising a smart child, they will choose the most logical one).
I doubt a religious spouse would agree to such terms in raising a child though, which would definitely hinder possibilities of me marrying a religious person (their family would most likely get in the way too).

So when it comes down to it, I think it's raising children that gets in the way of such a marriage, and not necessarily myself. If me and my spouse were to decide not to have children, then I think a marriage between me and a religious person would be more probable.
If I loved someone, I think I would be able to accept who they are, even if they prayed to god every day.
(we of course would both have intentions of "saving" one another from our beliefs... But I think that may draw us closer together and perhaps one day my spouse will put together the facts and stop praying... lol)

[edit] So to specifically answer the question, No, I don't think I would HAVE to marry an atheist, though it probably would make things a million times easier haha.

Atheist without a question.

I've been in three fairly long relationships (4, 2.5, 3 years) with a Norwegian agnostic, a US "spiritual" person, and an atheist Tica. The second was by far the worst relationship experience I've had, and the latter was perfect. I cannot tackle the world view espoused by non-Atheists and occasionally end up lobbing fairly mean spirited comments towards them when "I don't honestly know" is replaced by "God did it".

As for marriage.. Don't really see the point from an emotional point of view, though it does have some practical applications in regards to, amongst other things, citizenship, tax and family law reasons.


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