I find it a bit depressing that when these questions come up so many people have a negative view of mixed faith marriages. Whatever happened to a belief in love and fate?
In the end, people are people. Good and bad.
Listen, everything comes down to personality and love. You can tell within 2 months of knowing someone if you can build something worthwhile, whether you choose to admit that to yourself or not. You can see the end at the beginning, if you open your eyes.
When considering a mixed-faith marriage, you must know that you can talk about anything and that ultimately you can therefore resolve everything. This is if you are both respectful and reasonable people. Sometimes it will be your partner who yields, and other times it will be you. This is how it should be. Rather than always focussing on the big picture, I think the details of everyday reveal how you work with someone. Get the big questions out of the way first and then settle down to the details.
The big questions everyone should first address are:
- do we both think it’s ok that we continue with our own religions;
- what type of marriage ceremony will we have; what faith will our children have;
- how will our families feel about our marriage;
- what do you expect of me and what do I expect of you:
- is how I am right now enough for you, or do you expect me to change?
I think it also important to read up on each other’s religions, so that you build an understanding and respect for where the other person is coming from.
Also just communication, pure and simple. Lay everything on the table: this is how I want my life to be; this is what I need from you; this is where I can compromise. And then your loved one does the same. It becomes a discussion of compromise for your life.
Before anyone comments about compromise – it doesn’t always mean sacrifice. Sometimes it means you have an enriched life because you learn tolerance and patience and deepen your love. Also, you may realise what you think you want isn’t always what you need.
An open mind and an open heart can overcome difference: unite in your difference. Don’t deny it, don’t try to colour yourselves the same – accept that you are different and embrace your difference. Try to take the best from both lifestyles/cultures/religions/ideologies and pass that onto your children.
But remember, if there is no give and take in that process, it will not work out. If you are with someone who doesn’t want to discuss these things, it will not work out. If you are with someone who pressurizes you to see the world the same way as them, it will not work out.
- Mixed-faith couples need help from religious leaders | Julian Bond (guardian.co.uk)