There are a multitude of things that could derail a relationship, different religions or the lack thereof need not be one of the these things. This can be achieved by keeping a few things in mind when dealing with an interfaith relationship.
Related article: 5 Good Ideas to Make Your Relationship Last
Focus on the bigger picture
Religions are usually characterised by certain fundamental ideals that are strict and unwavering and serve as the blueprint for every religion. Due to these ideals, it is easy to think that you differ greatly from someone that does not share the same religion as you but that is not necessarily the case.
Many couples are able to find common ground by striving to look at the bigger picture. A connection can be made by focusing on something or the aspect of the religion that is similar or the same such as the feelings you both experience when thinking about a higher power, as opposed to getting bogged down with the finer details.
Do not force religion on your kids
This may be easier said than done as your children will likely accompany you to religious gatherings as they happen. This is okay, as long as they are not forced into adopting either religion as their own from the get go. This is likely to be a bone of contention between you and your partner and create conflict. Your children will eventually reach an age in they which they gravitate towards one faith over the other or are able to choose which path they follow. In all likelihood they may adopt aspects of both faiths which they identify with and in doing so, develop their own sense of spirituality which you should be able to respect.
Just because you have your own set of beliefs this does not you mean cannot be supportive of your partner’s beliefs. It does not translate to being unfaithful to your beliefs in any way but rather teaches tolerance which is a great virtue and lesson to be learned. People feel uncomfortable with the things that they do not understand and therefore may hastily reject it. Being more informed and in the know may aid your understanding and subsequent acceptance of your partner’s religion.
In any aspect of a relationship, communication is key. Do not bottle up your feelings or uncertainties; rather express them so that you can both address them in a way that is productive and meaningful. Share the best aspects of your faith and why it is important to you and this may open up the doors to your partner also recognising the same importance. In special circumstances they may feel that your religion or faith suits them better as well, but this should not be your goal in any way to convert them. This is where support is important.
Having faith is important for many women and for some it makes up a part of who they are, so it is difficult when we are faced with someone who is potentially a lifelong partner who differs in the belief-system. Although the road may be tougher, this does not have to spell the end of a relationship if you are both committed to working past it in dealing with an interfaith relationship.
Written by Marjorie Belemu