From S. Africa: We have been in a relationship for a few months before my boyfriend ask me to marry him. I said yes. So I’m engaged for 10 months. I love him very much. We have a big religion issue now — he wants me to leave my church and go to his church but I dont want to do it, now we need come to a conclusion if we’re gonna leave each other because the church decisions because we need to be as one attending to the same church. Can you please give me advice on how or what’s best?
You’ve only known each other for a little over a year. This is an important moment in your relationship. The two of you are talking about religion, but you are also working on how you are going to manage it when you have important differences of opinion. The style of your conversation is as important as the content. It will establish how you will work out other important problems in the future.
I hope you can talk about your values, opinions and needs in a way that is both true to yourselves and respectful of each other. I hope you can look at a variety of solutions before settling on one. I hope neither one of you “gives in” but resents it. I hope neither of you gets stuck in thinking it has to be your way or no way at all. I hope you can both be open to entirely new ways to think about your religious beliefs and what kind of church you need to feel supported in them.
Some couples in mixed marriages decide on the church of one of the members and commit to that church as their joint church. Some couples alternate Sundays, going to each other’s church in order to deepen their understanding of each other. Some people find it enriches them both when they go to different churches and bring home new information and new friends for the couple. Some couples find an entirely new church they can both agree is a good fit.
There is no “right” answer except this: You need to work at this until you find something that feels “right” for you both.
I wish you well.