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Am I doomed to be a doormat forever?
June 17, 2009 12:24 PM   Subscribe

Are relationships a zero sum game? Is there such a thing as a happy compromise?

I'm a 30 year old male. Last year, I got out of an engagement. I thought I loved this girl, and was willing to do what it took. The main issue we had was with religion. She's Catholic, and I'm not. I first agreed that our kids were going to be Catholic. I don't care much about religion, so I agreed because it was important to her. It was a slippery slope from there. I finally put my foot down when she tried to make me go to church with her and any future kids. When I told her that I felt like I was the one compromising, she said, "I'm not sure I'm ready to compromise."

Before that, I was in another long term relationship. My GF was very passive aggressive and manipulative. Whenever I disagreed with her view, she would pout or try to get me to go along with her way of doing things. Again, I felt like I was doing all the compromising to make our relationship a happy one.

I've recently been thinking that maybe relationships are zero sum, in that there has to be a winner and a loser in every interaction. That's what I've known, and being willing to work things out seems to have caused nothing but heartbreak and resentment on my part.

To all the MeFi'ers out there, I ask you this: What have I been doing wrong in my relationships? Are all my exes just crazy or is there something I'm not doing correctly?

I'd like this to remain anonymous because I'm interested in a girl who reads MeFi and I don't want her to get wind of this issue.

I've set up a throwaway e-mail at weirdrelations at gmail dot com for follow ups.
posted by anonymous to Human Relations (28 answers total) 10 users marked this as a favorite
 
You were simply not compatible with your previous partners.
posted by Krrrlson at 12:27 PM on June 17, 2009 [10 favorites]


Your Catholic ex isn't crazy, and neither were you. It's perfectly reasonable for relationships to end over religious differences; she wanted a husband who would go to church with her, and you weren't on board with that, and that doesn't make either of you "crazy" or suggest that you were doing anything wrong.

I've recently been thinking that maybe relationships are zero sum, in that there has to be a winner and a loser in every interaction. That's what I've known, and being willing to work things out seems to have caused nothing but heartbreak and resentment on my part.

This is what you're doing wrong. Sometimes people disagree and can't reach a mutually acceptable compromise, and therefore they end the relationship. This doesn't mean that "all relationships are zero-sum games" by any means; it means that certain things are deal-breakers for some people.

You haven't met the person with whom you are compatible for marriage (because that sounds like what you're talking about wanting here) yet. That doesn't make you, or any of the people with whom you've had relationships that ended, crazy or bad at relationships. It just means you haven't met your correct match yet.

How to Be an Adult in Relationships, by David Richo, is a really helpful book on this stuff. You might also check out Getting to Yes, by Roger Fisher et al., for a view of negotiation that is much more powerful and accurate, in my opinion, than the zero-sum model.
posted by Sidhedevil at 12:31 PM on June 17, 2009 [7 favorites]


Krrrlson has it. Basically you were in two relationships that didn't work, which really says nothing about the larger world of compromise, your fitness as a partner etc.

Or, to dissect a little bit. Religion is such a touchy issue in relationships precicely because people get to this "I love you, but my attachment to my religion is stronger than my attachment to you" place where your ex did. That's too bad, but it's an incompatibility issue, not a doormat issue, certainly. I think, for what it's worth, that you were right to make the choices that you did.

In the second instance it seems like you were with someone who didn't play relationships well and instead of seeing that pouty manupulative stuff as a dealbreaker, you went along with it because maybe you thought you could also get your way via the same channels sometimes? Or something? In any case, it's no wonder you came away from that with a bad taste in your mouth. No one likes feeling that someone who truly cares about them would jerk them around to get what THEY wanted, only.

But, compromises aren't for, in my opinion, each individual thing because obviously if you want Chinese food and your gf wants Mexican, you're more likely to go to one or the other, not find a Chi-Mex fusion place. But, over the long run, in a decant relationship, you go to both places, or you find a Thai place you both love and both of you feel okay about it. Compromise isn't about my way or your way as much as it is understanding that making your partner happy should, in some way, also return happiness to you and vice versa.

This also does not mean that your exes were crazy and it's a bad road to go down if you start that. I prefer the term "bad fit" because that's more charitable and maybe your Catholic ex could find a Catholic fella and be totally fine with the level of compromise she's willing to do over religion issues.

Where does this leave you? Well hopefully you're still open to being with someone who isn't 100% perfect and open to the ebb and flow that is dealing with your desires as they compare and contrast with your partner's desires and learning with them how to make decisions and plans and arrangements where even if you didn't get the one thing you thought was the only thing you wanted, you discover that maybe there was more that you wanted after all. Best of luck.
posted by jessamyn at 12:35 PM on June 17, 2009 [1 favorite]


Nthing that you just weren't compatible with those particular people. The only thing you're doing wrong is dating the wrong people.
posted by Lobster Garden at 12:35 PM on June 17, 2009


No, relationships aren't zero-sum. In a compatible, healthy, and loving relationship, disagreements and compromise are a way for the couple to work together, communicate, and grow closer. Having a mentality of "winner vs. loser" is the surefire way of infecting a relationship with a toxic, resentful atmosphere really, really quickly.

The fact that you found deal-breakers in previous relationships simply meant that your previous girlfriends had traits that you weren't willing to put up with in a relationship, and vice versa. Doesn't mean you're doing anything wrong, or that they were.

Keep looking.

If you're getting a feeling that you're doing all the compromising in the relationship, it might be worth it to take a look at why. You have just as much right as your girlfriends to get what you want out of the relationship, so why are you continually sacrificing your desires? Compromise is good, but you don't have to bend over backwards for it. Are you afraid that they will leave if you don't compromise, for example?

Anyway, just something to think about.
posted by Phire at 12:37 PM on June 17, 2009


Yeah, if you look at this in a "last man standing" kind of way then you're setting yourself up for misery. Date people with whom your more compatible.
posted by ob at 12:39 PM on June 17, 2009


This doesn't mean that "all relationships are zero-sum games" by any means; it means that certain things are deal-breakers for some people.

Sidhedevil's comment is on the money. It's important to know what your own deal-breakers are, as well as your partner's. Some people have "too many," some people's shift with distressing frequency. But almost everyone has some. Knowing and understanding them is key.

As for your second relationship, I once experienced something similar. That woman doesn't sound, as Jessamyn said, like she "plays relationships well." I can assure you that there are many other good people out there who do, and you'll find someone who is more respectful and "plays better."
posted by Conrad Cornelius o'Donald o'Dell at 12:42 PM on June 17, 2009


One of my friends has a father infamous for his stated belief that "happiness is a zero sum game". Just about everyone who's met him agrees that he's kind of an insufferable prick. I'm urging you, for your sake and the sake of everyone around you, not to be that guy.

Compromising in relationships can work. It happens every day, all over the place. If you've honestly never witnessed evidence of it working, you might need to take a moment to step outside of your own experiences and look at how other couples manage their relationships. While it is true that everyone has certain issues that are "hard limits" as far as relationships go (I won't date smokers or engage in scat play, for example), the vast majority of issues can be reasonably discussed, allowing people to meet somewhere in the middle.

If this proves too great a task, however, we did discuss an Objectivist dating site on the Blue a while ago that might be right up your alley.
posted by Parasite Unseen at 12:43 PM on June 17, 2009 [1 favorite]


You might want to start by choosing people you're compatible with. There's a woman who reads metafilter that you're interested in. What are your values, and how do they mesh with hers?

Often, there are people we click really well with. The chemistry is great, but the values don't gel. That's a recipe for disaster.
posted by 2oh1 at 1:02 PM on June 17, 2009


I recently learned that each successful couple has from 8 to 10 important issues/areas of life that they hold diametrically opposite views on and will never totally agree on. They incessantly work at these issues, and that is what makes them successful.

No, relationships are no prisoner's dilemmas. Teams seek the best outcome for teams. Successful relationships are teams, not loosely coupled individual achievers.

My guiding principle in relationships is: "Add, do not subtract". 1) Common good goes first (families as communities), and 2) the partner who has more to lose should not be forced to compromise. In non-crisis situations, this also usually means that 3) the partner would probably willingly compromise for another who has more to gain if the choice is made.

Your example with religion: it depends on level of involvement I guess. If her idea was to just maintain the white suburbia-go-to-church weekly, have kids baptized-communion-confirmation lifestyle, you were to lose very little, an hour every other Sunday of your life at most - still a time spent with your family. She, on the other hand, had to lose entire system of values (which in case of even not very religiously active Catholics constitute important part of personal identity). Curiously, it has been shown by sociological research that church attendance as a family correlates with marriage happiness and strengthens marriages.

Disclaimer: I do not believe in compatibility talk. After the similar desires in life, health and basic lifestyle are established, blaming any hurdle on lack of compatibility is childish. You are either single-minded individualist or someone with a mindset to work (hard, if needed) at every bump on the road. However I will agree that sometimes situations are overwhelmingly complicated and charging, and even the strongest people break under those burdens (just watch “Revolutionary Road”…). The difference is, I admire them for fighting and not abandoning their passions and ideals.
posted by Jurate at 1:17 PM on June 17, 2009 [2 favorites]


I've recently been thinking that maybe relationships are zero sum, in that there has to be a winner and a loser in every interaction.

What you think determines what you will see.

It takes time and experience to become good at being in a relationship, and that goes for both people in it. Did you think that you would just magically know how to juggle your own satisfaction and someone else's? Believe it or not, you're in a better position now than you were before, because you have more experience and a slightly more complete list of situations you know you'd be better off avoiding.
posted by hermitosis at 1:40 PM on June 17, 2009 [2 favorites]


I can't believe you broke off an engagement over that! There must have been other things going on, because I can't imagine being ok with my hypothetical kids being raised in a particular faith but having it be a dealbreaker to be expected to join them in church for forty five minutes a week. Anyhow... I don't think you're a doormat, but I think you are really self-centered to believe that you were the only one making compromises. Because if it's a fundamental value for her to have Catholic children? Then getting engaged to a guy who isn't Catholic is an enormous compromise, but you didn't even notice. You were too busy feeling sorry for yourself. Maybe that's your pattern.
posted by moxiedoll at 2:00 PM on June 17, 2009 [7 favorites]


Religion is tricky. If you're reluctant to attend, it would have to be awkward in a number of ways. Firstly, it undermines the tenant that All Good People Worship God. So when the kids say they want to stay home (and asleep) on Sunday mornings, they'll have you as an argument on their side. Secondly, it's gotta be awkward attending church with children in tow and no husband. You'd be the odd one out.

But hey, what a place the world is, where someone can declare that committing their love to you via marriage is compromising and you should work with them. Since the Church is palying hardball, obviously you should have towed a hard line and demanded the kids be raised Wiccan, just so you can settle for not attending mass.
posted by pwnguin at 2:29 PM on June 17, 2009


moxiedoll: or she just thought she could change him. She tried it a little at a time. Good on him for saying no. What happens when the kids ask him about god? Just a little more compromise to play along, right? If he's not busy feeling sorry for himself, that is.

I agree with so many others above that say they were just incompatible. I don't agree with your blaming it all on him. Do you think it would have been better if he had stuck it out, and gone along with it long enough to have kids before he got tired of the coercion? Who would that benefit exactly?
posted by fritley at 2:30 PM on June 17, 2009


Sometimes people disagree and can't reach a mutually acceptable compromise, and therefore they end the relationship. This doesn't mean that "all relationships are zero-sum games" by any means; it means that certain things are deal-breakers for some people.

Yes, absolutely.

Relationships themselves aren't zero-sum games. A good relationship is almost never zero-sum. But...

Well, I got divorced because I want to have children in the future. My ex did not. That is a 100% uncompromisable issue. Someone is going to lose. Turns out, we both lost - as in, we lost the relationship. Or we both won, in that I will have children in the future with my "new" partner and he will continue to be child-free.

Religion is like that for a lot of people. My biological parents divorced because my father found Jesus behind the couch one day and wanted my mother to convert, or he seriously believed she was going to hell. Conversion to my father's brand of Christianity was out of the question, but so was staying with someone who believed she was going to hell. Likewise, my father couldn't allow himself to be "unequally yoked" with a non-believer. No one could win. So, they both lost. Or won. Depends on how you look at it.

Compatible relationships don't feature these battles. When you do find yourself in a zero-sum situation in a relationship, it's a pretty good test of sink or swim. Can you find a compromise? If you can, great. If you can't... I can say from experience that most serious impasses can not be resolved and it doesn't say anything about the rest of your relationship or the sanity of your partner, just that you're not going to be able to build a long-term future if you always end up fighting over the same issue.

I recently learned that each successful couple has from 8 to 10 important issues/areas of life that they hold diametrically opposite views on and will never totally agree on. They incessantly work at these issues, and that is what makes them successful.

8-10? Really? That's it? My partner and I hold diametrically opposed views on just about everything. EXCEPT each other. We both agree that our relationship and our future together is the #1 priority and everything else will work itself out. What's most important is that neither of us has issues that are "deal-breakers" for the other. So, it's not like successful relationships are the ones where you agree on *everything,* but rather are the ones where your disagreements *aren't* on deal-breaking issues.

(Have you ever seen Dharma & Greg? Yeah, that's my life.)
posted by grapefruitmoon at 2:43 PM on June 17, 2009 [3 favorites]


**2) the partner who has more to lose should not be forced to compromise.**

Too many a spouse (usually the husband in the US) has compromised too much simply because they had more to lose. Having read a lot of stories from adult children of divorced parents, even when the divorce was considered "positive" by the children, there was still great angst over seeing dad living alone at a nearby apartment complex, while mom keeps the house and the kids.

My point: establishling healthy relationship guidelines before marriage is key; once you're married, you might have more to lose. You've learned a valuable lesson.

And FWIW, it's perfectly acceptable for you to not want to go to church with her and the hypothetical kids. It'd be a huge compromise to participate in a religion you didn't believe in.
posted by teg4rvn at 2:45 PM on June 17, 2009


Seeing relationships as zero-sum will just make you prematurely bitter. Free yourself of this mindset and let each new relationship play itself out as a new thing.

And yes, compromise is entirely a workable goal. Me and mine had a messy first year of working each other out, finding the lines and how we worked together... messy, but worth it in that now we have a pretty comfortable mesh. I've modified some things about me, he's modified some things about him... it's about figuring out what is important and less important to each of you, and bending in those areas, and each of you recognizing where you might have hurtful or negative behaviors to work on.

And never ever ever ever take each other for granted. Say thank you for everything. Trust me, it's the simplest solution for the happiest life in a partnership.
posted by Billegible at 2:47 PM on June 17, 2009


Whenever I disagreed with her view, she would pout or try to get me to go along with her way of doing things. Again, I felt like I was doing all the compromising to make our relationship a happy one.

I used to be this girl and my husband used to be you.

Basically, we both had to learn not to be that way. I wasn't any happier when I "won," and he obviously wasn't happy when he lost. He wasn't really happy when he won, either, since, depending on the issue, it might have been a long battle. "Giving in" does not make a relationship happy, since by definition you feel you've lost something.

My husband had to be the one to force a change. I wouldn't have spontaneously changed, 'cause hey, I was getting what I wanted. When I stopped getting what I wanted, when I saw how unhappy I was making him, my behavior shifted. But he had to say something. YOU have to say something if you feel you're being treated like a doormat. I sense that you don't really know what you want, or that you fear being rejected if you express it. You have to take that chance in relationships, or you're always going to feel like you're the one who's compromised the most. If she pouts, she pouts. You're not responsible for her happiness, or solely responsible for the overall health of the relationship.

Our marriage is not me + my husband. It's me, my husband, and the "relationship unit." It works best when we do what's best for the unit, and not for just me or just him. To me, that's what compromise is: putting the relationship ahead of one's own needs. Note that this does not mean putting THE OTHER PERSON ahead of one's own needs. If she's being selfish, it's not in the relationship's best interests to give in. It's not even in her best interests, because it feeds the behavior. But if she just wants something opposite to your interests - e.g. spending a day at the art museum instead of watching the football game* - it may be best for the relationship to go. The intention should be "this will bring us closer together" or "I like seeing her happy" and not "if I say no, she'll pout so I may as well just agree." This way, there's no "loser." If you can't be honest about these intentions, you need to say you'd rather watch football. Btw, this is how trust is built. I'd much rather he say "no thanks" to the art museum than have him go and pout all day, or secretly resent me for it. I'd much rather he be happy doing what he wants to do, and when he spends time with me, knowing it's because he wants to be doing it, not because I've cajoled him into it. This is only possible if he's been honest with me.

TL;DR: Be honest about what you want, be responsible for your own happiness, put the relationship ahead of yours and her individual needs.

*sorry for the lazy gender stereotyping, it's the end of the workday.
posted by desjardins at 2:49 PM on June 17, 2009 [9 favorites]


I wouldn't be so quick to assume that the ex acted in bad faith. Equally plausible to a scenario in which the ex intentionally tried to wear down the OP's religion-aversion would be a scenario in which the ex began to realize, piece by piece, that there was a certain chain of things stemming from her Catholic faith and practice that mattered to her: that she remain a practicing Catholic (OP's fine with this), that her kids be Catholic (OP's on board for this one), that her husband attend church with her (not ok with OP). It's not wrong to want or ask for any of these things, and it's equally ok for the partner to say no. It's really good that she and the OP discussed these things before going through with a marriage, rather than after.

I think, OP, that maybe you assume all areas of life are up for compromise when it comes to making a relationship work, when really you might have much happier results by doing some thinking on your own about your deal-breakers going in. Find one of those lists of topics to discuss before marriage (should include things like religion, kids, family/relatives, money, sex) and think through your own answers--not so that you approach your next relationship with a list of demands, but so that when the time comes to start talking about those things, you know your own mind and heart well enough to compromise where you can and stand your ground (respectfully, kindly, of course) where you have to.
posted by Meg_Murry at 2:53 PM on June 17, 2009 [1 favorite]


I believe there are people who view life as zero-sum. These people can give the appearance of being willing to compromise because they do concede or compromise on issues which are relatively unimportant to them in order to stack the deck, as it were, in their favor. After x number of concessions (or what they might agree to call "compromises") they eventually get to the one issue which is important and which they feel they won't/can't/shouldn't have to compromise on. On this particular issue they feel they must "win", period. In contrast to the zero-sums are people who are sort of "go along to get along" types. They are generally willing to concede or compromise because most things just aren't that big of a deal for them. They don't view themselves as having "won" or "lost", because they don't view life as a series of contests. However, the go along types do have limits, or principles which they won't give on, and they will take a stand if necessary to protect their position. This is where the zero-sum type and the get long type can come to an insurmountable impasse because they're both reached their particular line in the sand which neither feels they can justifiably step across.

In my experience, the zero-sum people like to keep score and in generally subtle ways will let you know when they feel like they're momentarily "losing" (or at least not "winning") in relation to what your perceived "score" is, especially if they think your "score" is too high or undeserved. You can assume that they're constantly calculating the odds of them working things back around to their advantage. At some point, which may be right after a line-in-the-sand confrontation, the zero-sum type will either walk away with the belief that they're wasting their time (because you're being completely unreasonable!), or will find a way hang in there until they can claim an even bigger victory.

I think you (the OP) probably has (or what looks like) a "get along" personality. Such a personality must be extremely attractive to someone who ultimately has to "win" because they often misinterpret you as being a doormat, a loser, or at least someone who is easily manipulated or managed. The skillful zero-sum type can keep you going in their game as long as they concede on what for them are minor issues, or let you "win" enough so that you might eventually feel there's an imbalance of favor between you, in your advantage. They'll be sure to let you know in some way or another how significant their concessions are so that when The One Issue comes up which they don't want to give on, perhaps you'll then feel guilty enough to let them have their way.

Watch out for the types who always seem to be keeping score. Life's too short to expend your energy--voluntarily--dealing with people who view you either as something to be defeated or as a stepping stone to their final triumph.
posted by fuse theorem at 4:03 PM on June 17, 2009 [5 favorites]


When you find someone you're compatible with, compromise feels like much less of a big deal. Two reasons for this come to mind:

1) You're far less likely to have to compromise on something that is a huge deal to you because you're already on the same page, and
2) You're far less likely to feel resentful toward them, so when they're happy, you're happy.

If you're compromising to an extent that you are unhappy, that's a good sign you're incompatible. If you have to give up some stuff sometimes but you don't mind, or hardly notice, then that's a good sign you're compatible.

Note that compatible doesn't mean identical, either. Some people have a really high tolerance for differences in their partners. For example, some non-religious people wouldn't care if the woman you dated wanted them to go to church. (I would react the same way you did, fwiw.) Some people are happily married to members of the opposing political party, but this is a deal-breaker for a ton of people. My husband is more career-oriented than I am, but that difference between us is one reason the relationship is so successful. Some people are willing to compromise on having kids or not, but if my husband were dead set on kids I would just have to leave.

It's a mix of the two people's traits which determines whether the relationship can work. You already know, probably whether you've consciously given it thought or not, what things are deal-breakers for you. When it's obvious something isn't going to work out, then move on and try again. You'll find someone who meshes well with you eventually.
posted by Nattie at 4:04 PM on June 17, 2009


If you're thinking of relationships in terms of the sort of games that have an end sum, you might be looking at this all a bit too argumentatively. Perhaps think of relationships as a teeter-totter, not tug-of-war.

Some times you two go with your preference, sometimes you go with hers, up and down. Other times, you agree, and things are even. But if you're annoyed at being on the down-side too often, first talk about it. The other person might have not realized that you felt like your view wasn't taken into consideration enough, or maybe you realize you aren't compatible enough and the other person's choices annoy you. And then there are the things which neither side may budge from, and you have your deal breaker, and you both realize it's not going to work out.

Cheesy analogy, but more fun to think about than a final zero-sum game.
posted by filthy light thief at 4:33 PM on June 17, 2009


There is a french saying, "There is always one who kisses and one who turns the cheek. .
posted by jasondigitized at 6:00 PM on June 17, 2009


In a healthy relationship between compatible partners, conflicts are most certainly not zero-sum games. The conflict does not become a contest in which one side loses and the other side wins; it is a problem in which both partners have to be on the same team in order to come up with a solution together. Yes, sometimes that will mean compromise -- sometimes from you, sometimes from your partner, and sometimes from the both of you.

That said, there are some things that are compromisable and things that aren't -- the latter being the proverbial deal-breakers, of which everyone has a few, whether they're conscious of them or not. But you would be very, very wise to consider your deal-breakers carefully. If you have too many of them, you risk losing someone genuinely comptatible for the sake of maintaining a set of rigid presuppositions. If you have too few deal-breakers, then you run the risk of settling for a terrible relationship just for the sake of being coupled.

So I urge you to abandon this "zero-sum" mentality -- as others have noted, not only is it not an accurate reflection of good relationships in the slightest, it's actually a recipe for a lifetime of bad relationships marked by anger, resentment, and contempt.
posted by scody at 6:21 PM on June 17, 2009


Couldn't disagree more with the "You broke up over that" thought as it relates to religion. It is a big thing.

I've a lot of respect for you not faking it--and much a sense that there would have been real discomfort for all concerned, operationally and otherwise.

In general, something I've seen in dating, and in a sister--which was best articulated by a woman speaking of men she had dated: "Some people define compromise as "You back down and I'll be nice about it.'"

No question those folks are out there, but no question not everyone is like that.
posted by ambient2 at 7:46 PM on June 17, 2009 [1 favorite]


Your recent ex always wanted a Catholic partner with whom to raise a Catholic family, but saw qualities in you that prevented her from immediately ruling you out when she learned you were not Catholic. Instead, she initiated and continued your relationship in the quiet hope that either her example would inspire you to convert, or maybe she could coax you into it, or by not thinking about it the problem would somehow never manifest, or "things would just work out okay in the end."

When none of those things happened, she had to start pushing you into increasingly uncomfortable territory in order to fit her vision of how things "ought" to be. Eventually the rubber met the road and things fell apart. It's an extremely common tale.

The takeaway here has nothing to do with any "zero-sum" nonsense - that's simply not a valid approach to life unless you're looking to become insufferable - but rather your approach to dealing with other people's control issues.

Namely, you need to be more assertive up-front in your relationships. Nothing to do with "I win, you lose", but simply setting a tone that requires *actual compromise* on the other person's end as well as your own. You've had two partners now that clearly saw a streak of doormat behavior in you and reasonably expected it to continue. In the future, don't set up that expectation for the person you're with - be reasonably assertive from the outset.
posted by Ryvar at 10:44 PM on June 17, 2009 [1 favorite]


Jurate wrote: Your example with religion: it depends on level of involvement I guess. If her idea was to just maintain the white suburbia-go-to-church weekly, have kids baptized-communion-confirmation lifestyle, you were to lose very little, an hour every other Sunday of your life at most - still a time spent with your family. She, on the other hand, had to lose entire system of values (which in case of even not very religiously active Catholics constitute important part of personal identity).

I could not disagree more with this - fwiw. Going to a church that you do not believe in or practice isn't just about an hour a week, it's about compromising your beliefs (or lack of beliefs). Your kids will notice if you don't believe, and they will notice if you don't go to church with them and their mom.

Religious differences are a perfectly acceptable reason to not start a family with someone.
posted by getawaysticks at 8:47 AM on June 18, 2009


Basing your global outlook on a couple of personal experiences is not going to yield accurate results. There's research on successful marriage.

- Ten Important Research Findings on Marriage and Choosing a Marriage Partner
- New research is revealing some of the hidden ingredients of happy marriages
- the Gottman Institute
posted by theora55 at 9:14 AM on June 18, 2009 [1 favorite]


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