To maintain a strong relationship that isn’t conflicted by differing religious beliefs, here are some ways you can work to incorporate your faith into your life while also respecting the views of your partner.
First and Foremost: Respect. Respect. Respect
We cannot stress this enough: the most important asset you can have in an interfaith relationship is respect. You can agree to disagree at times, but you can’t expect to completely disregard your partner’s beliefs and have things work out. The #1 rule in interfaith relationships is to always respect each other’s religions.
The key is to acknowledge your religious differences and have open conversations throughout your relationship about any questions you might have, or how you will work together to meet both you and your partner’s needs.
Participate In One Another’s Lives
To build a strong relationship, you need to actively participate in one another’s lives. If you continually opt out of activities or practices that are important to your partner, you alienate a part of who they are. This can ultimately lead to feelings of displacement or resentment, as your partner may view your actions as accepting only parts of who they are.
If one member of the relationship isn’t religious, it’s important to participate in activities or non-religious traditions that are important to them. Respectively, if you are atheist and attending a particular service or participating in a religious holiday is important to your partner, work to accommodate their needs as well. This is a big part of getting to know each other and supporting and participating in each other’s differences.
Prioritize What’s Important to Your Partner
You may not necessarily look forward to certain religious obligations, but opting out by hiding behind other responsibilities, like work or a social engagement, will only show your partner that you don’t care about their needs. At the same time, if you are feeling frustrated with how little your partner is participating in you spiritual life, you need to consider how it can take time to acclimatize to a religion and its requirements.
Discuss it Early On
Religious incompatibility can be a deal breaker for a lot of people. For most, the desire for a spiritual element in their life is strong and finding a way to express it meaningful. Differences in spirituality can take time for people to adjust to.
Furthermore, if you are deeply religious and involved with somebody who isn’t and who refuses to participate in any regard, this can be an area of conflict in future. The same goes for someone who is not religious and is being pressured into beliefs that differ from their own.
When involved in an interfaith relationship, the differences found based on spiritual views don’t have to be a point of contention. If approached with tolerance and respect, your relationship and your personal views can thrive together.If you would like additional help in working through spiritual differences in your relationship, connect with us on our contact page.