misaligned faith-destined for failure? - Talk About Marriage
General Relationship Discussion Although anyone can post anywhere on Talk About Marriage, this section is for people interested in general relationship and marriage advice.

User Tag List

 72Likes
Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools Search this Thread
post #1 of 74 (permalink) Old 02-10-2020, 09:28 AM Thread Starter
Registered User
 
Hollyhobbie's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2017
Posts: 12
Hi! Hoping to get some advice here. My guy (34) and I (31) have been together for 2.5 years. We were both recently divorced when we met. We are aligned on many important things, we have gone over each other’s love languages. We have mutual love and respect for each other, we are great at communicating, listening. While of course, the relationship has imperfections, I couldn’t think up a more suitable person for me.

ANYWAY, there is one big hang up with us. He grew up in a practicing Christian household. I grew up in a “yeah, there’s a God, and when we die we go to heaven” household. That was it. He’s expressed a level of doubt in his Christianity (and through most of his teen/adult years) and has decided that it’s his duty to explore it and decide for himself how important faith is to him, and what he believes when it comes to Christianity.

Important part: He said that IF he comes to these conclusions that Christianity, he may need to be with someone who’s on the same page as him. (Or pretty close) important for kids, life, work, all of these areas.

Now, I’ve been supportive. We’ve been going to church on sundays, we’ve been checking different ones out, talking about it, reading about it. I’m trying my best to be open to it all, to express my thoughts on it. But again, it’s never been a huge part of my life, so it’s not as “gripping” if you will. I do enjoy going to church, and learning, I just don’t feel as “moved” by it as I think I’m supposed to.

So basically we’re deciding if we can be together or not based on his exploration of faith. It’s tough though! I don’t know if we should cut it off so that he can focus on it more.... or take a break.... I want to get married and have a family with this man. But he wants to have all of his ducks in a row before we get married. (Smart guy) but for me, I’ve got my ducks all lined up and I’m ready to roll!

I don’t know if spending time apart would give him more time to explore this, and think about it. Or if it’s important that we do this together even if it takes years and years.

Any advice, thoughts. I don’t want to rush him, because I think that would be selfish and I do think he’s right, we need to get this sorted out. He said if we do get married in the future he just wants us to have the best odds of success.

Thank you in advice.


Last edited by Hollyhobbie; 02-10-2020 at 09:40 AM.
Hollyhobbie is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
post #2 of 74 (permalink) Old 02-10-2020, 09:48 AM
Member
 
arbitrator's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: Central Texas/Brazos Valley
Posts: 16,179
Cool Re: misaligned faith-destined for failure?

In my ecclesiastical thought process, I cannot see where time spent apart would remotely render a positive result.

The far better result is to continue to uncritically share your feelings about this particular subject matter with your spouse!

"To love another person is to see the face of God!" - Jean Valjean from Les Miserables

My Story!
To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 0 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
arbitrator is online now  
post #3 of 74 (permalink) Old 02-10-2020, 09:58 AM
Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2012
Posts: 1,852
Re: misaligned faith-destined for failure?

I wouldn't say it's destined for failure, but it would likely be an ongoing point of contention in your relationship. If he's someone who lives by the code of the Bible, I could imagine him basing his life on a foundation of "because the Bible says so". He may also want to have his life be devoted to service to God. If you're not on-board with that way of thinking, it may lead to more frustration and arguments. But I wouldn't say that's means the relationship will end. It just means the you both will need to put in some effort to discuss things with respect and understanding to come up with workable compromises.

Last edited by wilson; 02-10-2020 at 10:07 AM.
wilson is offline  
 
post #4 of 74 (permalink) Old 02-10-2020, 09:59 AM Thread Starter
Registered User
 
Hollyhobbie's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2017
Posts: 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by arbitrator View Post
In my ecclesiastical thought process, I cannot see where time spent apart would remotely render a positive result.

The far better result is to continue to uncritically share your feelings about this particular subject matter with your spouse!

Not sure if I’m replying correctly. But thank you. I appreciate your response. Yes, again, we are very respectful about all of it, which I think is very important. Thank you again.
Hollyhobbie is offline  
post #5 of 74 (permalink) Old 02-10-2020, 10:18 AM Thread Starter
Registered User
 
Hollyhobbie's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2017
Posts: 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by wilson View Post
I wouldn't say it's destined for failure, but it would likely be an ongoing point of contention in your relationship. If he's someone who lives by the code of the Bible, I could imagine him basing his life on a foundation of "because the Bible says so". He may also want to have his life be devoted to service to God. If you're not on-board with that way of thinking, it may lead to more frustration and arguments. But I wouldn't say that's means the relationship will end. It just means the you both will need to put in some effort to discuss things with respect and understanding to come up with workable compromises.
I am pretty good at putting in effort and understanding. That way of thinking” Doesn’t bother me. I’m not one to be like “NO WAY” I would rather discuss it and come at it from all angles. I’m a pleasure, I’m sure haha anyway, I appreciate you taking the time. Thanks!
Hollyhobbie is offline  
post #6 of 74 (permalink) Old 02-10-2020, 11:05 AM
Member
 
OnTheFly's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2015
Posts: 1,780
Re: misaligned faith-destined for failure?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hollyhobbie View Post
Important part: He said that IF he comes to these conclusions that Christianity, he may need to be with someone who’s on the same page as him.
Seems like he's looking for an out. To let you down gently.

(Out of curiosity, and not related to what I said above, but do you have children from your first marriage?).
OnTheFly is offline  
post #7 of 74 (permalink) Old 02-10-2020, 11:31 AM
Member
 
Marduk's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2010
Posts: 17,952
Re: misaligned faith-destined for failure?

I think that different spiritual beliefs don't matter, unless believing the same way really matters to one or both of you.

My wife was raised in a fundamentalist muslim household. I was raised in a theoretically protestant household, where I only went to church for weddings and funerals. But we had a bible that I read often as a child.

We both have our beliefs, and pretty much celebrate everything. But our life is not based in them, nor do we feel the need to have the same beliefs as each other. I think that last part is key. If your partner feels you need to have the same beliefs as he does, and you don't, there's going to be problems. If he has strong beliefs but is happy for you to follow your own spiritual path, there's not likely to be big problems.

But it sounds like he's been fairly clear that he wants to be with someone that believes as he does. That's not you. So that's a fairly serious point of incompatibility here, and one that is likely to grow over time instead of shrink.

Me? I'd be out.
Marduk is offline  
post #8 of 74 (permalink) Old 02-10-2020, 11:31 AM
Member
 
OnTheFly's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2015
Posts: 1,780
Re: misaligned faith-destined for failure?

Ok, I've read and re-read the OP several times now, trying to glean as much as possible.

Some questions.

Your husband has been questioning his faith for the last 20-ish years. What's the purpose of attending numerous different churches? Did this just recently start? Is he looking for one that adheres to his present beliefs, or looking for a certain experience, or other?

Is your husband's concern regarding your ''take it/leave it''attitude towards Christianity that no matter if he goes full agnostic/atheist or full bore Christianity, either way you'd be incompatible?

And for you, HH, are you willing to wait indefinitely to start a family? 2.5yrs is an adequate amount of time to get to know someone, but as you know, the bio-clock is ticking. At some point sooner or later, you're just not investing your time wisely. Are you overly agreeable, or easily persuaded? Sure, it's smart to get all the duck lined up perfectly, but what if his religious ducks take another 1.5yrs, and then his financial ducks take a few more years, then his emotional ducks.....etc?

(Out of curiosity, how much time does he spend reading the Bible?)
OnTheFly is offline  
post #9 of 74 (permalink) Old 02-10-2020, 11:33 AM Thread Starter
Registered User
 
Hollyhobbie's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2017
Posts: 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by OnTheFly View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hollyhobbie View Post
Important part: He said that IF he comes to these conclusions that Christianity, he may need to be with someone who’s on the same page as him.
Seems like he's looking for an out. To let you down gently.

(Out of curiosity, and not related to what I said above, but do you have children from your first marriage?).
Thank you for your thought. No, we do not have children. We started this relationship with brutal honestly. We made a promise to be honest with each other even if it hurt and we’ve certainly fulfilled that. I’ve asked him if he’s basically wanting to end it... and that it’s okay if so, it’s his life and he needs to focus on what makes him happy. So maybe what you said is true! It totally could be. From what I know of him, he would be devastated if we split however I do think he would have the courage to do it.
Hollyhobbie is offline  
post #10 of 74 (permalink) Old 02-10-2020, 11:34 AM
Member
 
Marduk's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2010
Posts: 17,952
Re: misaligned faith-destined for failure?

Quote:
Originally Posted by OnTheFly View Post
Ok, I've read and re-read the OP several times now, trying to glean as much as possible.

Some questions.

Your husband has been questioning his faith for the last 20-ish years. What's the purpose of attending numerous different churches? Did this just recently start? Is he looking for one that adheres to his present beliefs, or looking for a certain experience, or other?

Is your husband's concern regarding your ''take it/leave it''attitude towards Christianity that no matter if he goes full agnostic/atheist or full bore Christianity, either way you'd be incompatible?
Insightful, didn't pick up on that.

Marduk is offline  
post #11 of 74 (permalink) Old 02-10-2020, 11:37 AM Thread Starter
Registered User
 
Hollyhobbie's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2017
Posts: 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by Marduk View Post
I think that different spiritual beliefs don't matter, unless believing the same way really matters to one or both of you.

My wife was raised in a fundamentalist muslim household. I was raised in a theoretically protestant household, where I only went to church for weddings and funerals. But we had a bible that I read often as a child.

We both have our beliefs, and pretty much celebrate everything. But our life is not based in them, nor do we feel the need to have the same beliefs as each other. I think that last part is key. If your partner feels you need to have the same beliefs as he does, and you don't, there's going to be problems. If he has strong beliefs but is happy for you to follow your own spiritual path, there's not likely to be big problems.

But it sounds like he's been fairly clear that he wants to be with someone that believes as he does. That's not you. So that's a fairly serious point of incompatibility here, and one that is likely to grow over time instead of shrink.

Me? I'd be out.
Yes. I hear what you’re saying. He is being fairly clear that no matter what conclusion he comes to, he BELIEVES that it’ll be important to be on the same page. Whether he can get on board with Christianity or not. And I do think you’re right about it being important to one and not the other and how that could be a problem. I’ve dated an atheist and it wasn’t an issue. I would say I’m a “hopeful” Christian. Where I sure hope it’s all true because it sounds great. But again, it’s just not a big “need” for me in the relationship where I do think it’s a “need” to be on the same page for him. Or at least he thinks it MIGHT be a need. He’s trying to explore that part as well.

Thank you again.
Hollyhobbie is offline  
post #12 of 74 (permalink) Old 02-10-2020, 11:43 AM
Member
 
Marduk's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2010
Posts: 17,952
Re: misaligned faith-destined for failure?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hollyhobbie View Post
Yes. I hear what you’re saying. He is being fairly clear that no matter what conclusion he comes to, he BELIEVES that it’ll be important to be on the same page. Whether he can get on board with Christianity or not. And I do think you’re right about it being important to one and not the other and how that could be a problem. I’ve dated an atheist and it wasn’t an issue. I would say I’m a “hopeful” Christian. Where I sure hope it’s all true because it sounds great. But again, it’s just not a big “need” for me in the relationship where I do think it’s a “need” to be on the same page for him. Or at least he thinks it MIGHT be a need. He’s trying to explore that part as well.

Thank you again.
I think @OnTheFly is onto something here.

It sounds like he's saying that he's still deciding what faith he wants to have, and no matter what it is, he wants to be with someone that believes as he does.

This is essentially either him saying that he's going to move the goalposts wherever he wants to make sure you're incompatible, or that he feels free to change his mind spiritually, but you don't if you stay with him. Either way, recipe for disaster.

I'd be clear with him. This is who I am and where I'm going. Take it or leave it.
Marduk is offline  
post #13 of 74 (permalink) Old 02-10-2020, 11:48 AM Thread Starter
Registered User
 
Hollyhobbie's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2017
Posts: 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by OnTheFly View Post
Ok, I've read and re-read the OP several times now, trying to glean as much as possible.

Some questions.

Your husband has been questioning his faith for the last 20-ish years. What's the purpose of attending numerous different churches? Did this just recently start? Is he looking for one that adheres to his present beliefs, or looking for a certain experience, or other?

Is your husband's concern regarding your ''take it/leave it''attitude towards Christianity that no matter if he goes full agnostic/atheist or full bore Christianity, either way you'd be incompatible?

And for you, HH, are you willing to wait indefinitely to start a family? 2.5yrs is an adequate amount of time to get to know someone, but as you know, the bio-clock is ticking. At some point sooner or later, you're just not investing your time wisely. Are you overly agreeable, or easily persuaded? Sure, it's smart to get all the duck lined up perfectly, but what if his religious ducks take another 1.5yrs, and then his financial ducks take a few more years, then his emotional ducks.....etc?

(Out of curiosity, how much time does he spend reading the Bible?)
Wanted to mention that we aren’t married yet-dating and wanting to make sure it’s all relatively in line before we jump into the marriage-as we’ve both been divorced.

You’re right, I’ve told him that sometimes I feel like he’s a moving target with his thoughts. Like, if he ends up a super Christian, or an atheist (which won’t be the case. He believes in God just not a lot of the Bible)... it just feels like a moving target when I’m trying my best to encourage, and learn. I mean, look, if I could take a pill and magically be Christian I would. But it’s not as easy. I would say I’m probably overly agreeable. I’m pretty “go with the flow” with most things hnlsss I have a hard stance and I’ll make it known. I’m willing to wait another 3 years or so before Marriage. But then again, if I split with him... it’ll take that long to figure it all out with someone else.

But again, that’s not really what I want to do. I don’t see him as just a person to start a family with. I see him as someone I want to spend the rest of my life with. Kids sound great. I would love them. But, am I really in love with this person if I would drop him JUST to have children with someone? Also, totally get the part about the ducks and when one thing is great another thing needs work. I think that’s just how life works, right? If it’s not one thing, it’s another. Great point. He hasn’t so much been reading the Bible. He read it as a child and went to church a lot then. He’s been reading books making the case for God. Or listening to debates about it, or podcasts discussing faith. I think he wants to be persuaded to believe first, as much as he can. And then we do the church thing on Sunday so we get scripture then. Sometimes we stay home and listen to two sermons.

I really appreciate this conversation. You pose a lot of great questions. It’s a lot to think about. 🤔
Hollyhobbie is offline  
post #14 of 74 (permalink) Old 02-10-2020, 11:54 AM Thread Starter
Registered User
 
Hollyhobbie's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2017
Posts: 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by Marduk View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hollyhobbie View Post
Yes. I hear what you’re saying. He is being fairly clear that no matter what conclusion he comes to, he BELIEVES that it’ll be important to be on the same page. Whether he can get on board with Christianity or not. And I do think you’re right about it being important to one and not the other and how that could be a problem. I’ve dated an atheist and it wasn’t an issue. I would say I’m a “hopeful” Christian. Where I sure hope it’s all true because it sounds great. But again, it’s just not a big “need” for me in the relationship where I do think it’s a “need” to be on the same page for him. Or at least he thinks it MIGHT be a need. He’s trying to explore that part as well.

Thank you again.
I think @OnTheFly is onto something here.

It sounds like he's saying that he's still deciding what faith he wants to have, and no matter what it is, he wants to be with someone that believes as he does.

This is essentially either him saying that he's going to move the goalposts wherever he wants to make sure you're incompatible, or that he feels free to change his mind spiritually, but you don't if you stay with him. Either way, recipe for disaster.

I'd be clear with him. This is who I am and where I'm going. Take it or leave it.
I’ve mentioned to him that sometimes it feels like a moving target and he has apologized. He’s like, this is just something I need to figure out. He’s said he’s not sure if “being on the same page” is important or not but that he assumes it is, based on talking to people and reading where many say it’s important. What is it? Money, kids, religious beliefs that are considered the important things to be relatively aligned on? That’s what “they” say I guess... everyone is different.

For me, yes, those are all very important but so is respect, communication, and ability for compromise. I don’t know. I get what you’re saying... I’ve said, it doesn’t seem like the odds are that great. And he says he’s hopeful that we can make it work. We spend a lot of time together. That’s why I was thinking, maybe it would be better spend time apart so he could get his thoughts in order and if he comes to a place of peace, maybe we could reconvene. But I also think it may be important for me to go through this too. I feel like it’s possible that I do get something out of it. I’m not against learning or trying it. You know?

Thanks again for keeping the convo going, I appreciate your perspective.
Hollyhobbie is offline  
post #15 of 74 (permalink) Old 02-10-2020, 12:00 PM
Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2016
Location: Currently; the planet earth.
Posts: 208
Re: misaligned faith-destined for failure?

For now I would just like to point out:

A difference in faith is most likely going to become a bigger issue when children are born. At that point it becomes "what are we going to teach the children".
leftfield is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
Reply

Quick Reply
Message:
Options

Register Now



In order to be able to post messages on Talk About Marriage, you must first register. Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.

Important! Your username will be visible to the public next to anything you post and could show up in search engines like Google. If you are concerned about anonymity, PLEASE choose a username that will not be recognizable to anyone you know.

User Name:
Password
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.

Password:


Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.

Email Address:
OR

Log-in










Thread Tools Search this Thread
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search



Posting Rules  
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are Off

 
For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome