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  1. #41
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    Quote Originally Posted by starhorse View Post
    I think BF's reasoning is that, in his church, for the marriage to be recognized as a sacrament and recognized in the eyes of god, both parties must be Christian. He also wants his family raised as he was, in his church, with two parents who are believers. It's also definitely cultural - it's very important to his traditional Greek family.
    OP, this is a really hard thing, but honestly,he is asking you do be something you are not. As Canaqua (I think!) said, you can find fellow/female ship and support and community both in and out of an organized religion. And religions differ widely in their approaches. And within THAT variation individuals differ widely in how they see things. Even in this threat - some Cathlics are okay marrying outside the faith and apparently having their children raised Jewish! I can tell you that is NOT official doctrine!

    You are who you are, and believe what you believe.Over time, perhaps those beliefs will evolve but they should not do that for anyone else. As was written above,you don't want to marry, and adopt a faith, and then mock it or undermine it (Im sure you would not but you might feel resentful). My husband and I had long talks about this, where I told him that I could see certain elements of his faith with which I disagreed. And there are things I am not going to do. If he felt those things were requirements for beign his partner, I would not be a good one for him, sadly. There are many manywomen could can and do do those activities. He assured me, and it has been true, that he didn't care what I did regarding that faith, as long as I was willing to support him in those activities. Which I am. I do not expect him to do my stuff (although I did drag him to Handel's Messiah one year).

    You are not a "believer" in his faith or this likely would not be an issue. SUre you can go through the motions, but you will feel resentful and left out of his family,who will notice. Pursue the spiritual aspect first and see if its a fit for you.



  2. #42
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    Greek Orthodox folks are very entrenched in their family, religion and beliefs. I have worked for a wonderful Greek family for 25+ years. The son, who I have known from the day he was born, has been dating his GF since 11th grade-they are now 23, she is taking classes and converting to be able to marry in the Greek church.

    You will need to be sincere in your quest to convert, or you will probably have an unhappy union, the family unit is VERY tight in their community, and all the Greeks I know are very sharp minded, and astute. They will see insincerity from a mile away...



  3. #43
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    Quote Originally Posted by spurgirl View Post
    Greek Orthodox folks are very entrenched in their family, religion and beliefs. I have worked for a wonderful Greek family for 25+ years. The son, who I have known from the day he was born, has been dating his GF since 11th grade-they are now 23, she is taking classes and converting to be able to marry in the Greek church.

    You will need to be sincere in your quest to convert, or you will probably have an unhappy union, the family unit is VERY tight in their community, and all the Greeks I know are very sharp minded, and astute. They will see insincerity from a mile away...
    I absolutely would never, ever be looking into god/spirituality just for him. I was looking for god before him, but not in the Greek Orthodox church for obvious reasons (not Greek, don't speak the language -- was checking out good old "American" churches!). Maybe I should be seeking this outside of his church first?

    And I do really understand that if I can't do this, then we won't do this. That'll really suck. I hope that doesn't happen. Hence, coming to COTH for words of wisdom from those who may have converted or become believers.

    Thanks you guys, for everything. I really appreciate all of the wise words.



  4. #44
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    My Grandmother ( Mom's side) was German and Irish and a Catholic. My Grandfather was...Southern... and a Baptist. They decided to not push religion in their house. While I wish I could say they were happily married for 60 years their marriage problems had nothing to do with religion.

    My Dads family I know little about in the ways of religion. My Grandfather is Greek but I can assure you the Greek church has been lost long ago. My Nanny was Finnish mostly maybe English too. Again have no idea of religious views I'm guessing Protestant.

    The result is that I was not brought up religious. My oldest son's father was Catholic. My son is baptized Catholic. It was his Dad's choice and one I didn't really care about. My ex fiance after was Catholic and I agreed to get married in a full Catholic ceremony. To me it was always a matter of, if it was that important I could be humble and convert/live in that church. It had little bearing on me.

    My husband is Presbyterian. However his time at war has turned him off to the thought of organized religion. I think he found his faith else where and I am ok with that.

    My point being if you were simply not raised religious it will not hurt you to sacrifice a part of your self you probably have little attachment to. If you made a conscious choice as an adult to live an atheist or agnostic lifestyle because it is what you believe, don't sacrifice that. It's not fair to you.

    One of my favorite sayings ( and recent tattoos ) is "That which yields is not always weak." While there are many meanings behind it I have used it lately to remind myself that being immoveable doesn't make you strong just stubborn. Like wise giving a little doesn't make you weak just compassionate, flexible, or in love enough to realize that there are some battles that just aren't important in the grand scheme of things.



  5. #45
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    Quote Originally Posted by starhorse View Post
    I absolutely would never, ever be looking into god/spirituality just for him. I was looking for god before him, but not in the Greek Orthodox church for obvious reasons (not Greek, don't speak the language -- was checking out good old "American" churches!). Maybe I should be seeking this outside of his church first?

    And I do really understand that if I can't do this, then we won't do this. That'll really suck. I hope that doesn't happen. Hence, coming to COTH for words of wisdom from those who may have converted or become believers.

    Thanks you guys, for everything. I really appreciate all of the wise words.

    Why look someplace else first?
    Got another hot guy in the closet, in case the Greek does not work out?

    Why don't you look at the Greek thing.

    maybe you can come to the understanding that he gets his wedding in church but as return for his hypocrisy you get to ease yourself into the gig...he's orthodox when it suits his needs...smack him! modern when it's more convenient.

    I don't really think that you can just flip that switch and 'believe'
    Unless you have an epileptic episode on the road to Damascus....


    But as I said, I am a cynic. I'd do the wedding/easter/christmas spiel. but the rest he can do himself. but seems like that is not all that important to him either...just the wedding... hmmmm
    Quote Originally Posted by Bristol Bay View Post
    Try setting your broomstick to fly at a lower altitude.


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  6. #46
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    OP, I haven't read all the responses but IMO, it is worth exploring with classes, etc. but if you don't believe, it's something you can't fake.

    My DH is a devout Catholic and I am a Protestant of mixed denominations (raised half Methodist, half Free Will Baptist and took my favorite parts of both). I was open to the concept of converting and investigated it, but can't do it because I disagree with some basic tenets of Catholic doctrine and I don't think it is appropriate to "fake it."

    One of the important issues is whether, if you have kids, you are willing to raise them in his religion -- especially if religion is an important part of who your partner is. I did agree to this and it works for us. In fact, I think it is good for our son to understand that people can have different beliefs but still respect and love each other.

    I attend mass occasionally, DH and the kid go every week. That is often my time to feed the horses after Sunday breakfast, and commune with God the way I like best -- outside in the fresh air with my ponies.

    If he *needs* for you to *believe,* that's a tall order. You can't make yourself believe, it's just impossible. What happens if five years down the road you decide you just can't believe any more, is he going to divorce you? I would talk it through, maybe with the help of a priest. They might help your SO see that belief is not something you can just decide to do.


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  7. #47
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    OP, I would explore. Ask someone for good books that are based on the parts that you have trouble with. Ask lots of questions, read, watch videos and take your time. Pray about it and see what happens. In my experience, it doesn't really matter how hard someone looks for God and thinks they might want him, until they are truly ready for a relationship with Him, He's not going to find you. When and IF you are ready to actually become in relationship with God, then you'll find while you still have questions, things aren't so hard to believe and have faith in.

    Good luck in your search. I agree with doing this for you, not for him.



  8. #48
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    Quote Originally Posted by fordtraktor View Post
    If he *needs* for you to *believe,* that's a tall order. You can't make yourself believe, it's just impossible. What happens if five years down the road you decide you just can't believe any more, is he going to divorce you? I would talk it through, maybe with the help of a priest. They might help your SO see that belief is not something you can just decide to do.
    Yes. I think its a TON easier to ask for behaviors - "I would like you to ride with me a few times a month" is MUCH more realistic than asking for value change "I would like you to love my horses as much as I do!" - "I would like you to pick up the magazines and crap on the coffee table" vs "I want housekeeping to be as important to you as it is to me" -

    So, if it is truly important that my partner really and truly love my horses as much as I do, and not just ride/do the activities with me even though I know he'd prefer to do something else, I need to find someone that truly loves that. Just as others have said, the BEHAVIORS are possible - I agree the children can be raised Catholic (or whatever), I agree that I will not badmouth your faith or prevent you from practicing. I agree that I will attend Christmas/Easter/whatever services.those are things I can DO and I think marriages of mixed faiths that work have agreements along those lines.

    But in terms of what, in my heart, I believe? Thats something else. I don't think its wrong to want that, but I don't think you can expect someone to adopt a belief system, particularly one so important.

    I will say, I AM NOT OBJECTIVE here so bear that in mind! I only know what I was and was not capaable of!


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  9. #49
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    Great post, lilitiger2. I agree about the behaviors v. belief 100%.



  10. #50
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    I'm sorry. I thought your SO was Catholic. The Greek Orthodox church is a different take on the same premise. I was just reading about it, actually. They have some beautiful traditions. It's the same God but different packaging. Do you like his family? You will be embraced as one of their own by going through this. It might click for you. You never know until you try. I enjoy different cultures and religions immensely. I got a chance to travel to over 15 different countries while in the military and it was a wonderful experience to see the different world views. We are more comfortable with our own western civilization, but the Orthodox church is the Way for many countries, such as Greece and Russia. I would go with an open heart and mind and see what happens.

    I read recently that the Orthodox Patriarch attended Pope Francis' official ceremonies. That's the first sign of unity between the two ancient branches of Christianity in 1,000 years.



  11. #51
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    His family is super wonderful. They bring me to all of their religious celebrations, and his mom translates for me when he's off with the other relatives. His uncle is from South America (converted to be Greek Orthodox to marry his wife), and he is so excited to have another non-Greek "in the family" (who can also speak some Spanish). I feel like if I was ready to convert, they'd jump all over it and fight over who would get to buy me my first icon

    We've had the behaviors vs. belief talk. I am fine with the behaviors. In favor of them, even.

    Alagirl, you had me laughing at the thought of a back-up guy in the closet. I just meant explore outside his church because it might feel more culturally relevant, rather than the not-my-language/incense-y stuff going on now.

    But I have always had a thing for tall dark and handsome, so even if I had another in the closet, he'd probably be Greek or Italian anyways



  12. #52
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    Alagirl's most recent(?) post started me wondering if maybe the guy is open to exploring other churches himself (maybe he doesn't even know it yet).

    Just an idea ...

    Or maybe he is, as I think some others have said, being a hypocrite.

    Where is the "shrug, I really don't know" smiley?

    Starhorse, I just read the end of your last post and I gotta say--

    tall dark and handsome guys abound outside the Greek/Italian world! Think Celtic (Irish, Scottish). Think Englishmen. Dark hair, big brown eyes, maybe tall into the bargain ...

    Guys don't have to be Mediterranean to be TD&H!
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  13. #53
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    You can't force it to happen... but it's also not going to happen if you don't try. I don't know much about the Greek Church but I imagine that as long as you enjoy the ceremonial aspect and you're also enjoying the process of being exposed to faith, whether or not you "find" God is not going to matter as much.

    It's kind of like achieving... it... during... "grown up activities" behind closed doors Stressing about it won't get you there, and "getting there" isn't the be-all, end-all of the experience (though certainly if you find it, woohoo!).

    I'm converting to Judaism for the completely opposite reasons as you (my Jewish boyfriend wants nothing to do with religion, and it's just a happy coincidence I want to convert and he is already Jewish). And I'm not sure I've found God. And certainly I only understand a little of the services because I don't speak Hebrew. But I love the ceremony, I love the cadence, and I like that it is bringing spirituality into my life in a way non-religion wasn't. And that's enough for me right now.


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  14. #54
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    Quote Originally Posted by AbbieS View Post
    I'm here to tell you that the Bible is scientifically accurate and in fact is one of the most historically supported and accurate books ever created.


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  15. #55
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    I forgot. My mother (divorced my Catholic father) dated a Greek man with a warm, loving family as well. I enjoyed attending their holidays so much. I loved the little traditions and the food. I was a little freaked out by the whole lamb being roasted on a spit in their backyard (I was a vegetarian at the time) but other things were neat, such as the game you play with hard boiled eggs and homemade olives. We even stayed with them after our house was damaged after the big SF earthquake.

    My mom dated "S" over 20 years ago, yet, we are still friends of his and his family. I was good friends with his daughter, (she and went riding together as kids because we both boarded at the same barn). She went through a phase, after a visit to Greece, where she considered joining a Greek convent. She ended not doing that and went on to college instead. I haven't talked to her for a long time but S sends our son gifts.

    Have you seen the movie "My Big, Fat, Greek Wedding"? I laughed pretty hard because some of it reminded me of S's family.
    Is chasing cattle considered playing with your food?.

    War veteran


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