Worry about tomorrow today, or tomorrow?
December 20, 2007 8:42 AM Subscribe
Relationshipfilter: I'm agnostic. She's Christian. We've been dating for four months. We fit eachother well and are very happy together, but of course clash over our deeply-held ideologies. Should we worry about the ideological clashes now, or be happy with eachother now and worry about how to raise the kids if/when we have kids?
posted by anonymous to Human Relations (76 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
We get along great in 99.9% of our day-to-day lives. Seriously, best relationship I've ever been involved in, when it comes to everything except the religious clash. We try not to think/talk about it, but it resurfaces every few weeks to some degree or other, usually because of me worrying about what I'm asking about here.
Here's the issue: her faith is very strongly that Christianity is Truth and that non-Christians burn in hell. Mine is that Truth is beyond what any of us can understand, and that if anything, a lot of different religions are trying (through imperfect human perspectives and more-imperfect human organizations) to describe different parts of the elephant in the dark room by touch alone, if you'll forgive my mixed metaphor. I can deal with this dispute in my own life and in our relationship, I think.
The problem is the potential issue of kids, which she wants relatively soon. I'm okay with children -- in most ways we share opinions about childrearing. The catch is that I deeply respect the way my parents raised me -- by giving me information and guidance and being ready to catch me if I fell, but letting me make most of my own decisions and face those consequences. She agrees with that in most areas of childrearing, but she insists that her kids must be raised in a Christian home, and she has expressed fears to me about how her kids might be less likely to be believers if their father is a non-believer (and consequently might be more likely to go to hell).
So here's the thing: We've been dating for about four months. I realize this is a drop in the bucket -- I've been in several serious relationships, a couple of which have lasted much longer -- but the potential for long-term discord unsettles me. She thinks we should enjoy our happiness together now and worry about tomorrow tomorrow. I really want to think like that but I'm afraid of waking up ten years from now with kids and feeling very upset that I'm not allowed to share this part of myself with them without upsetting my wife.
Any advice would be appreciated, particularly advice with an eye towards making this work so that both of us are, if not completely happy, at least able to live with ourselves. I know I can't change her, and I doubt I'm going to change, but I'd like to aim for happiness, somehow.