Hello Everyone. I've been in a relatioship with my boyfriend for just over 5 months now.
We both want to get married eventually and have a child. This is where the problem is arising.
He thinks marriage is 'spiritual' and can only be meaningful if done by a pastor in a christian setting. He cannot or refuses to understand that marriage does not have to be religious, that the church didn't create that institution.
He refuses to even try to see things objectively.
Coming from a religious background myself, I can understand how he feels in being afraid of thinking outside the box. The greatest problem I have is that he doesn't intend to have children with me if they are going to learn about atheism. Stating that if I leave the choice up to the kids, they'll never believe, which is totally true. How can he not connect the dots and see that this is because religion is totally illogical?
Before I totally give up on the relationship, what suggestions do you have for us? We've spoken on the issue a few times, apart from religion he is a great friend, but he is willing to give up on us over something that isn't even proven to be true. Beliefs are not important to me, I think this whole thing is trivial, but he is making it such a big problem I cannot ignore it.
What would you say to him to persuade him to at least not give up our future over something that may not be true?
First off, welcome to the community! I hope that at the very least, you find a great support network.
Before I go into an in-depth answer, I'd suggest that you take a look around the site.
This place is great because a whole lot of people are going through the exact same thing you are now.
Here are a few interesting discussions that might come in handy:
Read the responses as well as the posts themselves.
What you believe is important--for it is who you are. It determines what you will become. Your boyfriend is immature and dogmatic--certainly not ready for marriage. Go out. Date some more. You'll find somebody who will have all the bells and whistles.
Sadly, this relationship looks doomed to fail to me. SO it may be better that you are finding this out now, rather than later. If you are already having these issues now, then it will only be a matter of time before he's full-on trying to convert you. It sounds like he's more in love with his church than he is with you. This is sad, because you probably love him truly, yet he can't return that love for who you are but rather who he wants you to be. Is this really a relationship you want to put yourself through? I would be asking myself if he really loves me for me, rather than trying to change his mind (which doesn't sound possible, unfortunately). You could make one last try, wear your heart on your sleeve and tell him exactly what you think and explain that he has to love you fully for who you are, believe, and plan for your future together. If he wants to teach any future kids both of your beliefs, then that's fine. If you can come to an agreement on the wedding, that's great. But these need to be meaningful changes that will last. Not a short term band-aid. I myself am married to theist. A Wiccan to be exact. And although we have a different theological view, we show interest in each others beliefs, and have always shared a mutual respect toward one another in that area and others. A good relationship is about just that. Loving one another for who you are... Quirks, faults and differences alike. Not changing who you are for the other person. Good luck! I hope that you find an answer to you questions.
This is totally my opinion and thus must imperatively be taken with a grain of salt, but I feel certain things need to be compatible for a relationship to work. If those things are not compatible, then both partners need to be willing to compromise. Religious beliefs or lack thereof are one of these things. Again, just my opinion. Your future husband already wants to raise your as-of-yet-unborn-children religiously without regard to your feelings on the matter. And honestly though it is a religious incongruity on the surface, the real underlying issue is that he has no regard for your feelings. What's up with that?
I agree. I don't date religious dudes because it is not worth the hassle. In addition to obvious religious issues like hell, I am pretty sure that a religious guy would have hang-ups with some things I find funny (South Park and Moral Orel, for example), and Christian guys would want me to get up Sunday morning, and put religious paraphernalia in the decor, and deep down, from my personal experience, the guy and his family if they are religious will always look down on you, even if it is just slightly, and always wish you would convert. And then you have to think about the children, and how they might worry that Mommy is going to Hell. Religious is a very divisive issue, and it won't stop being. There are so many fish in the sea- statistically, there is one compatible with you who IS an atheist.
If it really comes down to it, I don't think there is much harm in a "religious" wedding. The religion portion of the ceremony will mean nothing to you and everything to him, so it might not be a fight worth having. However when it comes to your future children, there is no wiggle room there. He either understands that you will sooner cut off his balls than raise your children religious, or he isn't worth it.
I'm not sure why you believe you have any kind of future with this guy. Ok, you love him and he loves you. That's nice, but love is FAR from being enough. It takes more than love to build and maintain a relationship with someone for a lifetime and it sounds to me like everything else you need is missing. Sorry, but I'd call this one off now if I were you. Better now than getting hurt even more later.