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  1. #1
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    Default Converting for marriage

    Has anyone done it? From what to what? How'd it go?

    Has anyone done it from no religious background to "finding god"/becoming religious?

    Any good books to read?

    Thanks for sharing!



  2. #2
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    Nowhere's near marriage here, but I dated a guy I was crazy about (and still am) a few years ago who is a devout Christian. I have no religion but was raised Catholic. I endured his attempts at converting me, even read the entire New Testament, thinking maybe I was missing something. It's just not me. He ended it because of our different world views.

    My feeling is that I am who I am and if he really liked me, he'd accept me as I am, just as I accepted him as he was. I'm a good person, with morals and respect for other people. Apparently that's not good enough.

    Unless you would be converting because you want to and totally believe in all the teachings, I'd reconsider. Not saying that you'd be unhappy if you did convert, but question why you'd be doing it.


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  3. #3
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    May. 17, 2010
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    Well, you haven't gotten a lot of replies . . . So I will have a go.

    From personal experience, I can tell you that having a common faith makes raising children much easier. I promise you that things you never considered important take on new meaning when children enter the scene.

    Most churches have programs that do not require commitments. You can explore the faith offered by the church and decide if it is right for you, while you are discerning whether marriage to this person is for you!

    I am a convert, but not for marriage reasons. Perhaps God is offering you this opportunity to meet him.

    Feel free to pm me if you have questions.

    Frances


    3 members found this post helpful.

  4. #4
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    Default

    Totally agree about the importance of a common faith in raising kids, or at least that it makes it easier - and easier in general. Didn't necessarily "convert" to husband's faith (Native), but totally support (which is a lot). If he had a partner who did not, it would not work. When I was in my twenties I dated a guy, adored him, who was of a different faith and very committed. While I didn't necessariliy disagree with anything he believed, really, I was not going to convert. We parted, largely over that, and he wound up marrying a woman of that faith and raising their kids accordingly. I imagine he is MUCH happier than he would have been with me, because he would have been torn. I cannot imagine marrying anyone who did not respect my faith.Same for the partner. Iwill say that one very cool thing about being married to Mr. LT is that we pray together. I had not had that before and I really, really like it.


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  5. #5
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    Default

    To my mind (ex-Catholic, now areligious), it's not going to work if you have to fake it. It may depend on what faith you're considering of thinking of converting to, and whether you have any leaning towards religion or not - if you seriously don't care and your partner' religion is fairly mainstream, you may be able to work it out, but if you're jumping in to some fundementalist sect, be very careful.

    Don't lie to yourself, either - marriages where either party is expected to redefine something substantial about themselves generally don't work. Are you being asked to convert, or is it your own idea?

    Good luck.


    10 members found this post helpful.

  6. #6
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    Jun. 23, 2003
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    Hubby and I are both non-religious, but know someone who went from being Catholic (self admits that he wasn't a great Catholic lol) to Muslim so he could marry his now wife. She is Egyptian and pretty much he had to convert for her family ( who are still in Egypt) to let her marry him. They're happy.. I don't think they are necessarily crazy religious, but they do follow the no alcohol/etc type things.



  7. #7
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    I'm not religious, and have always been agnostic. It's just never been a priority to me.

    Boyfriend of 5 years (living with for 2) is Greek Orthodox, and wants a wife on the same page religiously. He does not want it to be a "just for formality" thing... he wants me to believe so that our potential future kids/family have similar ideas and values.

    I am very open to all of it, and I understand how important it is to him and his identity, but I am struggling to really "find" god. Not sure where to go from here, but we love each other a lot and I'd hate for it to end over this.



  8. #8
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    converting for marriage has nothing to do with finding god.

    I am sorry, but the last few services I attended I felt really strongly like walking out (but couldn't, for various reasons)

    Well, if it's no skin of your nose which religion you don't practice, go for it. I think my best friend's mother had converted, my friend was raised catholic.
    My MIL converted, but thy really didn't practice religion (until she found church and is not a different denomination yet all together)

    DH thinks you can't just strip your believes.
    I have seen too many fakers to even want to go there.

    But if you think and feel it's important to you to be one or the other, stick to it.

    FWIW DH and I do not see eye to eye in political matters either, we solved that by not talking politics. I stick to it better than he does but we manage (20 years now and counting)
    Quote Originally Posted by Mozart View Post
    Personally, I think the moderate use of shock collars in training humans should be allowed.


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  9. #9
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    I mean, if it was just about signing some paper/doing some routines/reading a book I would be down in a second! He's a great guy and I respect him and his choices and his needs when it comes to religion. But he actually needs the genuine buy-in, which is a whole 'nother story when it comes to my incredibly logical and stubborn brain.

    Still hoping for success stories or more words of wisdom!



  10. #10
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    On the other hand, I don't think I ever heard anyone ask 'hey, he/she wants me to drop my religion'

    oye vey....


    The buy in?

    Sorry, Honey, I love you, but THAT won't happen.

    You respect him, what about the other way around?

    Yes, this is the anti organized religion, spiritual cynic asking, who would be me.
    Quote Originally Posted by Mozart View Post
    Personally, I think the moderate use of shock collars in training humans should be allowed.


    6 members found this post helpful.

  11. #11
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    I totally feel you, and my knee-jerk reaction was the same. "I can respect you, why can't you respect me? I'm not asking you to change, why are you asking me to change?" But, I'm not from a religious background, so I don't want to pretend the playing fields are equal, so to speak. This is a huge part of his identity and culture, and it matters a lot to his family, too.

    And the kicker is, I am trying to be open minded and get on board with all of this. I'm not against his request or his beliefs. I just can't wrap my head around it!

    You, I think, would get along with my dad. Anytime I mention it to him, he laughs and tells me I better work on my poker face :-) Still love him!



  12. #12
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    My grandmother is a devout Catholic and my grandfather was...oh, dear, I can't even remember. Protestant or Lutheran or something like that. Neither one converted and they were very happily married for over 60 years.

    Really, I think most people who convert for marriage don't necessarily believe in the religion but are just doing it to appease the spouse/family.



  13. #13
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    I think there's nothing wrong with giving it an honest try, but if you genuinely don't see yourself believing...you both should understand that and be okay with it before the relationship goes any further. He needs to be okay with the fact that you have your own beliefs and not expect something different. Otherwise, you're just setting the relationship up for disaster. Especially if kids come into the picture.
    Caitlin
    *OMGiH I Loff my Mare* and *My Saddlebred Can Do Anything Your Horse Can Do*
    http://community.webshots.com/user/redmare01


    5 members found this post helpful.

  14. #14
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    Op, I dunno, I think you are being open minded but are being asked to really change your world view on things, and that is not likely to happen without compromising who you are. Some partners are okay with that and some are not.

    I was raised Protestant and my husband practices traditional Native practices for his tribe. There would be no way I could completely convert because, in my core, I just don't see things quite that way. But, I am willing to have people over, whenever, trooping through the house for sweats, or ceremonies. I am very honest about what I can and can't do (a lot of fasts, for example) and will always support him. And there are parts of his faith I love, really love, and we do agree on a great deal. I am delighted that he has not asked that I take some kind of vow, or convert or something because that is not who I am and I couldn't.

    I think that if one person considers it a requirement that another has the same faith, it can be a very hard road if that person doesn't. There will be events and rituals and so on that you don't subscribe to, and you can bet your kids will ask you why not. Again, some people really don't care but others care a lot (my former partner). It just depends on how firmly people see things. I know a couple who is half Jewish (him) and half Catholic (her). She takes the kids to Mass and they have interesting religious/spiritual discussions. He had to be willing to let her raise the kids Catholic, though.

    Spiritual practice is a big thing, a really core thing about how we see the world. I could not see converting if it was not truly in my heart, for real.


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  15. #15
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    I would definitely not do it if it's not in my heart. I wouldn't betray him like that, and I know I wouldn't be able to lie to myself. I guess I'm just hopeful that some people really DO find the same beliefs, even if they weren't born and raised with them.

    I wish it was enough to be open to his practices and accepting of them, but it seems that's not enough. It's important for him to be married in his church, which I guess requires faith on both sides of the marriage. I wish it was like science or history -- you read about it, you learn it, and even if you question it, it still just is. I wish I could feel that way about god. That it just is.

    Darn him for being such a good guy. It'd be easier to call him closed-minded and walk off in a huff.



  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by lilitiger2 View Post
    Op, I dunno, I think you are being open minded but are being asked to really change your world view on things, and that is not likely to happen without compromising who you are. Some partners are okay with that and some are not.

    I was raised Protestant and my husband practices traditional Native practices for his tribe. There would be no way I could completely convert because, in my core, I just don't see things quite that way. But, I am willing to have people over, whenever, trooping through the house for sweats, or ceremonies. I am very honest about what I can and can't do (a lot of fasts, for example) and will always support him. And there are parts of his faith I love, really love, and we do agree on a great deal. I am delighted that he has not asked that I take some kind of vow, or convert or something because that is not who I am and I couldn't.

    I think that if one person considers it a requirement that another has the same faith, it can be a very hard road if that person doesn't. There will be events and rituals and so on that you don't subscribe to, and you can bet your kids will ask you why not. Again, some people really don't care but others care a lot (my former partner). It just depends on how firmly people see things. I know a couple who is half Jewish (him) and half Catholic (her). She takes the kids to Mass and they have interesting religious/spiritual discussions. He had to be willing to let her raise the kids Catholic, though.

    Spiritual practice is a big thing, a really core thing about how we see the world. I could not see converting if it was not truly in my heart, for real.
    that about sums it up!
    Quote Originally Posted by Mozart View Post
    Personally, I think the moderate use of shock collars in training humans should be allowed.



  17. #17
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    Also, I must say, before OT potentially closes for the day... I am very grateful for the honest, kind, and respectful feedback. It could easily have turned into a heated debate with some choice words about me and/or my boyfriend, so, thanks for being so gracious, all

    And they say COTHers are judgmental...



  18. #18
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    It sounds to me like you're asking if you could/might end up having a conversion experience, or spiritual awakening, or whatever it's called when a person basically just "gets it." I think that's kind of like promising that a woman will get pregnant... You can try all you want, but there's no guarantee it's gonna happen.

    I would ask him this question: "I will try. But if I am not ever able to really and fully 'get on board,' what then? Could you still love me as-is?" If his answer is anything but "yes, I'd still love you and we could still be together," then he's not the one for you.
    *friend of bar.ka

    "Evidently, I am an unrepentant b*tch, possible trouble maker, and all around super villian"


    7 members found this post helpful.

  19. #19
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    If you've been with him for 5 years, you are probably already aware that being Greek Orthodox is very much like being Jewish. (I was in the same boat at one time). It is a very tight-knit, connected community; I always felt welcomed but never really part of things. And SO was not at all religious.

    A co-worker is currently getting a raft of grief; she's not Greek herself but her DH is. They just had their first child and named him. . . .Connor. You'd have thought they'd named him Satan, the way his family reacted. (Greek children are always given names of Greek Orthodox saints).



  20. #20
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    For me, if you don't feel it you shouldn't convert. And I wouldn't want an SO to convert if he wasn't into it.

    For those reasons, I choose to date within my church without exception. We believe that our religion is a matter of doing rather then a matter of faith or simple attending a service every so often - and the values just match if I date within my church.

    I had a great-uncle who converted to catholocisim (from protestant) for his wife. She was devout, and he was there because he was hopelessly devoted to HER. I admire the heck out of them, they were married untill he passed away (well over 50 years), so they must have done something right!

    IMO - there's a difference between converting from say, one christian faith to another (same bible - different church) then lets say converting from Catholic to Buddhist, or even to judaisim.



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