He is semi-religious, I am not....am I doing the right thing?

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BrighterThanSun... Posts : 853 Registered: 10/17/08
He is semi-religious, I am not....am I doing the right thing?
Posted: Jan 2, 2009 10:47 AM

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karebeartg Posts : 831 Registered: 6/25/08
Re: He is semi-religious, I am not....am I doing the right thing?
Posted: Jan 2, 2009 11:41 AM Go to message in response to: BrighterThanSun...

I think this is something that only you and FH can decide. A couple things to think about though...
1) Are you planning on going to church with him when he does go in the future?
2) When (if) you have kids, are you going to have them go? Not allow them to go? Only him and the kids go?

I don't think either of those are central to the decision, but I think they're helpful to think about.

It seens like, from what information is here, if it were me, I would probably get married in the church. (Could you have the reception outdoors on a lake?) Ignoring both sets of parents, it seems like 1) he would like to get married there, 2) you would like to get married somewhere else ideally, but you're happy to get married there if its what he wants. I think you two should sit down and see how important it is to your FH.

I don't see why it's bizarre to get married in a church you don't attend as long as you're ok with it.

Just to put my thoughts in prospective. FH and I are Catholic. We probably attend mass less than once every two months, plus holidays. (We'd like to be better). Neither of us could imagine not being married in a Catholic church, with a Catholic mass. So, playing in the back of my mind is that it may also be really important to your FH, as well as his parents.

One more thought - would his priest/pastor consider performing the marriage rite somewhere other than in the church building? Maybe that would be an ok compromise? (I don't know if this is an option - it's not really for Catholics)

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ArtBride Posts : 4,838 Registered: 5/9/07
Re: He is semi-religious, I am not....am I doing the right thing?
Posted: Jan 2, 2009 11:57 AM Go to message in response to: BrighterThanSun...

Yeah, I think you're doing the right thing. Personally, I think that when one partner is religious and the other is not, the nonreligious partner should respect the religious beliefs of the other one.

However, are you doing it for him or for his family? If your FH wants to be married in a church, I think you should respect that. If he doesn't care, either, then it doesn't make a lot of sense to do it.

Different religions have different wedding rituals and attach different meanings to the spiritual aspect of marriage. Yes, it is the same legally regardless of where you get married, but the spiritual aspects are different according to whatever faith you are married in. If neither of you believe in the religion strongly, there's no point in getting married in their church to get the spiritual benefits. If he does believe in the faith - regardless of how much he practices - you should respect that. And your parents should respect that your FH's beliefs are stronger than yours and that HE feels strongly about having a religious wedding.

I'm a semi-practicing Catholic, but I felt strongly about getting married at a Catholic church. Sure, that's a little hypocritical...but I've always felt that SOMEDAY I will become more devout. I'm not going to get into the particulars, but I'm putting it out there as an example of someone who is seemingly semi-religious, but who felt strongly about having a religious wedding. Your FH might feel the same way - so talk to him about it. If he feels strongly about having the wedding at a church - for any reason other than to appease his parents - I would support him and agree. If he only wants the church wedding to appease his parents, I'd suggest having it at a secular location, or perhaps at a nondemoninational chapel. In that case, perhaps you could work some Russian Orthodox traditions into your ceremony, or invite his parents' priest and ask him to bless the marriage? (I don't know much about the Russian Orthodox church, so I'm assuming they'd do these things! If so, perhaps that would be a good compromise.)

DaisypathWedding Ticker

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Stephorse Posts : 138 Registered: 1/31/08
Re: He is semi-religious, I am not....am I doing the right thing?
Posted: Jan 2, 2009 12:45 PM Go to message in response to: BrighterThanSun...

My FH and I had the same problem. I grew up Catholic and am very religous, and he does not believe in God and even though he was raised Methodist, he did not go to church for the last half of his childhood. We decided that since it was important to me and my parents to get married in the Catholic church and either on our honeymoon or maybe after our 1st year anniversary renew our vows outside especially since we would both like to have an outdoor wedding, but the Catholic church won't allow us to do that.
I would also still talk to your FH about your beliefs and how to raise the children. That was another sticky situation with us. You should do whatever makes you and your FH comfortable.

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BrighterThanSun... Posts : 853 Registered: 10/17/08
Re: He is semi-religious, I am not....am I doing the right thing?
Posted: Jan 2, 2009 1:08 PM Go to message in response to: ArtBride

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Edited by: BrighterThanSunshine on Jan 12, 2009 12:00 PM

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auntofthebride Posts : 9,354 Registered: 4/2/06
Re: He is semi-religious, I am not....am I doing the right thing?
Posted: Jan 2, 2009 1:21 PM Go to message in response to: BrighterThanSun...

Dear BTS,

My suggestion to you is to have a chat with the church's priest, alone. Talk honestly about your misgivings regarding a church wedding where you are not a member of the church, nor much of a believer. Remember, that such a conversation is privledged. The priest may not reveal anything to any other person, not your FH nor his parents.

Then, listen. It's possible that the priest may offer convincing reasons to continue with the church wedding, or convincing reasons to eschew the church wedding based on their policies and theology.

Think it all over, then make a better informed decision.

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BirdLover Posts : 2,834 Registered: 3/30/06
Re: He is semi-religious, I am not....am I doing the right thing?
Posted: Jan 2, 2009 4:32 PM Go to message in response to: auntofthebride

If the church isn't making you "convert" to its religion in order to get married there, then I think you are doing the right thing, considering both you and your FH seems to be fine with it. I don't think anyone should HAVE to get married in a church just because their significant other is religious, but I certainly don't think it's weird to, either.

My husband is NOT religious at all. I am. We got married in my church, because he was fine with it, and he didn't have to promise to convert to my religion.

On the other hand, how important is this to your FH? Another option would be to involve both the religious aspect of the wedding with your wish of an outdoor wedding: have an outdoor wedding, performed by the minister from his church. Maybe that would appease everyone, if that is what you are worried about?

Lilypie Expecting a baby Ticker

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newsjunkie Posts : 3,417 Registered: 3/30/06
Re: He is semi-religious, I am not....am I doing the right thing?
Posted: Jan 2, 2009 8:13 PM Go to message in response to: BrighterThanSun...

How upset are your parents? Are they paying for all or part of your wedding? Are they so upset they are threatening to withhold funds and not attend your wedding? Or are they just irritated or perplexed that you would make such an uncharacteristic decision?

From your post it sounds as though you are not upset about it so if your parents are on the side of being irritated and/or perplexed but still willing to pay and/or attend then go for it. If, however, they are really upset and won't pay or attend or something like that then you need to have a very frank conversation with your FH and explain their feelings (as well as yours so he understands the thought process of the non-religious) and try to come up with a solution that will keep everyone (reasonably) happy like your idea of having the ceremony at the lake with their priest. If that particular solution doesn't work out then maybe it would be possible to have a lay ceremony at the lake (or wherever) but then have a ceremony another day with the priest at the church.

There is something that you may have already thought of and discussed (I hope!) that I want to discuss, though. Both DH and I are atheists and we have always felt that we would have a really tough time being married if only one of us felt this way and the other was religious. I mean, yes, you can probably come up with some creative solution for your wedding ceremony but consider the lifetime you have ahead of you- have you thought (and discussed) how you will handle future events? Will your kids go to church? Will they be baptized? If they do go to church how will your FH feel when you stay home? He might be OK with it at first but eventually might it bug him?

I am NOT suggesting you not get married- you obviously love each other and are respectful of each other's beliefs. However, I just want to make sure that you enter into this with your eyes wide open and having discussed everything you can think of with each other. I'm sure it can be done but I think communication is key to success.

Best of luck and let us know what you decide to do! :)

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Franko Posts : 128 Registered: 11/15/08
Re: He is semi-religious, I am not....am I doing the right thing?
Posted: Jan 3, 2009 1:27 AM Go to message in response to: newsjunkie

Marriage in a church can be somewhat of a tradition, so if both of you dont mind, you should just do it in the church, I mean what can go wrong

 

I bought our rings @

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myra Posts : 5,550 Registered: 3/28/06
Re: He is semi-religious, I am not....am I doing the right thing?
Posted: Jan 3, 2009 1:57 PM Go to message in response to: newsjunkie

Newsie has brought up some important issues--religious issues are nto just about the wedding, but about the marriage. Whatever decisions you make, be sure that you have talked them out and are prepared to stick with them.

I also agree that this is an issue between you and FH. When you're a child, you parents have a say in your religious education and choices. When you're an adult, you get to make your own choices--and what choice is more personal than a religious commitment? Once again, this is not just about the wedding. If your parents get to manipulate your choices now,then they will continue to try to do so when it comes to the raising of your children, your conduct of the holidays,etc. So, you might as well put your foot down now, and go with your own decisions.

myra at www.classysassyweddings.com

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ChrisandKait Posts : 14 Registered: 1/19/08
Re: He is semi-religious, I am not....am I doing the right thing?
Posted: Jan 6, 2009 4:49 PM Go to message in response to: BrighterThanSun...

I'm in a similar boat as you. I, too, am agnostic, while my FH is some sort of Christian something. He doesn't go to church, but he did religiously (no pun intended) growing up. He still has faith, and both of his parents are, to this day, very involved in their church.

I am very big on having no religion affiliation at our wedding, but it's such a big part of his life (and so important to his parents) that I couldn't say no. So, to compromise, we're getting married in an outdoor wedding, at my parents home/farm, by a local judge. However, we're having his dad read a scripture passage, while I'm toying with the idea of having my sister read a poem about love and marriage. This way, everyone wins. Obviously, your FH's family might have bigger needs than that, but a similar compromise might just work. Then that way you can have your gorgeous outdoor wedding, and your family won't have to worry that you're compromising your values and beliefs.

I think it's also important to discuss, as others have mentioned, what you're going to do after you get married, especially regarding kids (if you're going to have any). I went to church went I was young (like throughout elementary school), and didn't go back again until my last year in high school. After all of that, I realized it wasn't for me. I told my FH that he could take the kids to church, but we have to let them decide for themselves what they want to do at a reasonable age. Maybe if you discuss it with him and each set of parents, you can come up with something reasonable, which may lead to a reasonable compromise about your wedding.

Good luck!


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BrighterThanSun... Posts : 853 Registered: 10/17/08
Re: He is semi-religious, I am not....am I doing the right thing?
Posted: Jan 12, 2009 12:46 AM Go to message in response to: ChrisandKait

s

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Mushaboo Posts : 2,165 Registered: 3/22/08
Re: He is semi-religious, I am not....am I doing the right thing?
Posted: Jan 12, 2009 4:43 PM Go to message in response to: BrighterThanSun...

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BrighterThanSun... Posts : 853 Registered: 10/17/08
Re: He is semi-religious, I am not....am I doing the right thing?
Posted: Jan 12, 2009 4:52 PM Go to message in response to: Mushaboo

bahhh what the hell happened to my posts?

they were all there!

obviously...since people have responded

basically!
my FH is russian orthodox and I am agnostic and my family is actually partially atheiest.
anyways in discussion with FH, I had said that I would marry in the church if he wanted to and his family DEFINITELY wants him to (we haven't discussed it with them yet though) but the concept of getting married in a church seems ridiculous to my parents

but in the end i talked to my FH about it more and he said that he only wanted to get married in a church to please his family and that it wasn't something that he really wanted.
so when we discuss it with his parents, when they start to freak out, i am going to ask his father and his grandmother to each read a passage at our outdoor wedding.

hopefully that will please everybody

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