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Old Epiphany
 
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Quote this post and reply to it Post#1 @ 01-14-04 , 03:17 PM


I'm starting to have doubts about my engagement, because I've recently noticed the need for me to bring God back into my life. My fiance is not Christian whatsoever...he's Pagan. I accept this, but what about when we go through difficult times? He won't be able to pray with me.

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Quote this post and reply to it Post#2 @ 01-14-04 , 04:22 PM


That's a pretty deep question. I suggest you see a counselor before you go further with your engagement plans.

Religion can be a dividing force in a marriage, or, if two people don't let it bother them, it can be unimportant.

In my opinion, your religion should be about you, not whether or not he can share it with you. Your faith is your faith, not his. You should be strong enough in your own beliefs that you can handle it and observe it yourself.

Keep in mind that YOU are changing the parameters of the relationship that both of you had previously agreed to. You rediscovering religion is a large change that you are bringing in. Imagine if he suddenly found a need to fundamentally change his (and therefore your) life. If he is willing to accept your belief and not push his beliefs onto yours, you should be willing to do the same. If you are not willing, then this is not a situation for marriage.

Do you think there might be a possibility that your rediscovery of religion might be an unconscious way for you to push him away? Sometimes couples do such things when the pressure of engagement and impending marriage weigh on them.

Be sure you talk this out and consider both your feelings and his. Don't go further into the engagement until you're sure that this change is not going to be a deal-breaker for either of you.

Just my thoughts...take them for what they're worth.

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Quote this post and reply to it Post#3 @ 01-14-04 , 05:02 PM


Prayer is powerful for those that rely on it.
Praying with another of equal faith is powerful too.

Tons of factors to consider - going with your gut on this may answer your questions. Maybe hold off until you are sure, that seems fair and explaining the pause in engagement will let your fiancÚ in on the importance of your faith.

And of course pray to know what the right answer is.

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Quote this post and reply to it Post#4 @ 01-14-04 , 05:22 PM


Your fiance can certainly pray with you, for you, whatever, if he is a practicing Pagan. His form of prayer, and to whom he prays will certainly be different than traditional Christianity.
However, if you practice the form of Christianity that is literal, you are going to have a hard time justifying your marriage to someone that will be considered an "unbeliever" by your local congregation.

i know--i used to be a minister's wife for 23 years in a very strict Christian denomination.

i wish you the wisdom you need.....

sincerely,
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Quote this post and reply to it Post#5 @ 01-14-04 , 05:28 PM


My situation is so complicated. I am visiting with a counselor tomorrow and a Pastor on Monday.

My fiance will not even allow "God" to be said in our wedding ceremony...

Thank you to those who have responded...I will be praying for direction.

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Quote this post and reply to it Post#6 @ 01-14-04 , 05:44 PM


Would you want your marriage sanctified in the name of something you don't believe in? It seems that he doesn't either.

It is entirely possible to have a non-religious ceremony that is meaningful and special.

However, if religion and the ability to say "god" in your wedding are important enough to you that you will always feel that something is wrong or missing, then you have an impasse.

I'm glad you have a visit with a counselor. Is your fiance going with you? Couples counseling as well as individual is important in an issue like this, so that you can talk through everything together. Things like, how any children might be raised, how holidays will be observed.

If you decide that your return to the flock makes being with him an unwise decision, be sure not to blame him for anything, either overtly or indirectly. It seems you knew his beliefs all along, and he is simply keeping to that covenant. He is an unwilling bystander whose marriage is now doubtful because of your spiritual crisis. (Not that you are to be blamed either. Better to know that religion is a deal-breaker before the marriage rather than after.)

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Quote this post and reply to it Post#7 @ 01-14-04 , 05:45 PM


Best wishes to you.
My husband and I have differing beliefs. It doesn't get in the way. I view ourselves as completely compatible. I consider my beliefs about God and my relationship with Him as private, so my view is "So What?" if his private beliefs don't completely synchronize with mine.
He's my soulmate. Does he seem to be the 'perfect' mate for you despite the religious difference? If so, I'd say go ahead with your plans.
I may be alone on this, but I've always felt that the wedding ceremony itself is unimportant. What mattered to me was that the marriage that we wanted was beginning. The ceremony was just something to get through; a means to an end.

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Quote this post and reply to it Post#8 @ 01-14-04 , 06:09 PM


Itbit. I agree with you. the actual ceremony is small in comparison.

Epiphany,
You know. . playing shrink here . . . could this problem be an underlying issue? Not saying this isnt a problem becuase even after the ceremoy you will face this issue every day. . saying 'God' and praying, etc... maybe you two are wonderfull together in many ways but not suited for a lifetime?

Epiphany:
1) A sudden manifestation of the essence or meaning of something.
2) A comprehension or perception of reality by means of a sudden intuitive realization.

You sound strong in your realization. I agree that counseling is smart.

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Quote this post and reply to it Post#9 @ 01-14-04 , 10:21 PM


What is everyone saying here??
What about when they have children? He doesn't even want God mentioned at the wedding, will he allow you to teach the children about your beliefs? What if you want the children to be babtized? Do you want your children to be taught about Paganism? We aren't just talking about a "Baptist" and a "Catholic" (or any other 2).We are talking about a Pagan.
My husband and I were raised very diffently, but we both believe in God. He was raised very strict Pentecostal. Our children know what his beliefs are and they also know mine. They will decide for themselves what their beliefs will be.
You should really think about this marriage and your hopes and dreams of the "perfect" mate and family. If your religion is important to you your going to want him to be there to share it with you. Do some soul searching and you will find the answer of what is right for you.
Terri

Last edited by TerriJo : 01-14-04 at 10:24 PM.
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Quote this post and reply to it Post#10 @ 01-15-04 , 12:02 AM


I almost mentioned children but didn't.
TerriJo, you are correct in that there is a problem if parents disagree on a major issue such as religion when it comes to raising children. My husband and I don't have children (and never will as I am past childbearing years).
Because we don't have children, there was no major issue in that our beliefs are different.

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Quote this post and reply to it Post#11 @ 01-15-04 , 02:57 AM


Epiphany, welcome to DT. Check your PM. Let me know if you need help doing so. I didn't know how as a newbie.

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Quote this post and reply to it Post#12 @ 01-15-04 , 05:21 AM


Epiphany ~ Welcone to DT. I hope and wish that you can find peace and comfort with this uneasy decision that you face during this otherwise, happy time in your life.

I understand that your situation is so complicated. You have found someone who makes you happy, someone who cares for you unendlessly, and someone who has asked you to be his wife ... how exciting! Yet, there are now some doubts, perhaps a red flag and this is not so exciting ... sad and worry now loom.

I am going to say somethings, and I just want you, and everyone else to understand that these are just my .02 worth...

Religion in any form is usually very important to the idividual, whomever it may be. I do know many couples who believe in differing faiths, however, they aren't practicing avidly. In other words, they believe what they choose and pretty much keep it to themselves. I also know many couples who believe in same or similar faiths, and they are able to share and incorporate their practices into daily living, peacefully.

Religion is one of those "Major" factors and decisions in life that we each must decide to believe or not, practice or not. Some inter-faith couples can make it work, however, much discussion about each is involved as with understanding and respecting what eachother believes, and what each other may or might practice. It is often difficult to incorporate each individual practices into daily living without fuss, however, it can be done.

When you have a couple of similar religious beliefs, it will be much easier to tollerate small differences, however, when you have a couple that have very different beliefs, tollerating or even respecting eachothers beliefs can be very hard.

One can not just lump every couple in the same boat. Every couple must decide for themselves what about their religion and also their religious practices is important to them. They must both be educated about the other person's religion and how they do or how they will want to incorporated that religion/practices in everday life. It is here, after education and discussion that you two will need to find a way to either blend harmoniously, or not to blend - no fault, based on each others decisions.

I think and agree that you need to talk with your FH and explain to him about your concerns. I agree that the two of you as well as by yourself need to talk with clergy and therapists.

I am not a fortune teller, and no one is going to be able to tell you that it is going to work or not. You in the end, will need to figure out if your two religions are going to blend, or wreak havoc in your lives. Don't just think about "now", but as with the others have said, you need to think about the "future".

I suggest that you talk with someone, other than your FH about paganism. Once you understand what they believe and what they practice, you will have to decide if this will be ok with you.

Everyone is entitled to believe and practice in a religion of their choice, and we must respect their choice and not expect them to have to change their beliefs to ours. This is more easily said than actually done.

As far as you wanting to bring God back into your life, I ask ... Did he ever go away? I suspect that he never really went away, but you didn't make him a priority in your daily life of living. I myself was this way from about 19-20, the fast life and dancing and drinking seemed most important during those years, not God even though I still believed. In times of difficulty, prayer and faith are powerful. They can get you through the roughest roads you might be forced to walk one day.

I wish you strength and courage you are going to need to educate, understand and decide what is going to be best for you now, and in the future. Know that we are here to lend an ear and shoulder if need be. May your day be filled with comfort,
Joy

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Quote this post and reply to it Post#13 @ 01-15-04 , 11:28 AM


All of your replies have been very helpful in adding a different perspective to my decision and I thank all of you for that.

Many have asked if my fiance is going with me to the counseling...he is not. I asked what he thought about premarital counseling and he told me that counselors don't do anything...they listen to you work out your own problems and talk very little. He feels that we can work it out on our own.

However, religion is only one of my issues...a very important one, but there are other concerns.

I am at a point in my life where I need to do things for myself and that is why I'm seeking out couseling (again). For my whole 20 years I have struggled with depression and anxiety and I'm ready to be happy...This is not an easy choice by any means...marriage is for a lifetime.

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Quote this post and reply to it Post#14 @ 01-15-04 , 02:17 PM


Epiphany,

Go to a counselor and discuss the whole picture.

I wont insult you by telling you that 20 years old is too young to make a lifetime decision to marry someone but I will tell you that most likely a qualified speacialist will tell you similar. As well as inform you that this situation is not ideal and you should back off for a while.

It honestly doesn't sound like a good idea to get married at all. You'll most likely outgrow this man as you develop yourself. Just stick with your faith and believe what your heart tells you.

Best of luck.

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Quote this post and reply to it Post#15 @ 01-15-04 , 02:33 PM


Counseling can be very helpful in many situations. Your fiance's unwillingness to acknowledge its usefulness does send up some red flags for me, especially given your medical history.
Good luck to you.
Welcome to DT/WT and please keep us posted.

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Quote this post and reply to it Post#16 @ 01-15-04 , 02:40 PM


I wish you only the best of luck, we all deserve it. However as your potential future husband, he should stand by your side and support you no matter what. Any fiance/husband should do that for their woman without even giving it a second thought. If something is important to you it should be important to him as well, no matter what his personal feelings may be, but just for the fact you feel something is important.
Listen to what the counseler says and most of all decide from your heart. In the end, only you know the best thing for you.

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Quote this post and reply to it Post#17 @ 01-15-04 , 02:46 PM


[Your fiance's unwillingness to acknowledge its usefulness does send up some red flags for me, especially given your medical history.] posted by: Itbit

Itbit, I was thinking the same thing. Having anxiety and depression has it's ups & downs, there is good medication out there, and consuling to help cope with what life throws at you.

Living with someone who has anxiety and depression can be hard at times if your the other person and don't understand. Life sometimes can seem so bleek to the person who does have it though. Your FH should accompany you to some of your consueling appts and be involved in your health and well being.

Sending you a hug
Joy

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Quote this post and reply to it Post#18 @ 01-15-04 , 02:49 PM


Quote:
Originally posted by Bella
It honestly doesn't sound like a good idea to get married at all. You'll most likely outgrow this man as you develop yourself. Just stick with your faith and believe what your heart tells you.

Best of luck.


Bella, admitedly, there are many times I disagree with you. But this is not one of them. I feel you have hit the nail on the head here with your honesty. I believe this was said with the most postive intent.

Joy, you have brought out much insight here for Epiphany and it even helped me to reflect back on my own life. I generally don't like to discuss religion on a open forum as I feel it is so individual and personal. But I think you summed things up very well and even allowed me to put into words what I have been feeling but couldn't really put into words. Thanks.

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Quote this post and reply to it Post#19 @ 01-15-04 , 03:12 PM


Kmom a to you!

I am no expert, just have traveled some rough roads in the past, and I am wise enough now to not repeat many of the problems / mistakes I once had. Religion was one of many!

If I only knew now, back then ... perhaps life would not have been so miserable and difficult with my now ex!

Often times in my first marraige, I found myself telling myself, "oh, that won't matter so much" or "he will understand because it is important to me" or "he will change". Wrong, wrong, wrong!

I thought back then early twenties that I had it all figured out. I thought I knew it all ... the world, and I might have, however my world was as big as an orange back then! Now, I am wise enough and humble enough to admit that I don't know it all and I don't have it all figured out, however, I know how to use the tools to get the answers. My world is now about the size of a soccer ball. Perhaps if I have been blessed to live to my 80's, maybe my world thru hard lessons and wisdom will be the size of a hot air balloon!

Take care everyone, live is to short to settle for.
Joy

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Epiphany
Quote this post and reply to it Post#20 @ 01-15-04 , 03:24 PM


Please take you time.

I got married when I was 20 and I've been married for almost 22 years. I've been lucky. My husband and I are both Catholic and of course we are raising our children Catholic.

I wish you the best of luck.


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Quote this post and reply to it Post#21 @ 01-15-04 , 03:38 PM


Thank you Kamuelamom - more so for reinforcing the advice to Epiphany, our new friend


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Quote this post and reply to it Post#22 @ 01-27-04 , 01:44 PM


Epiphany, I just saw this post this morning. How did counseling go? How are you feeling and thinking now?

For what it's worth, my boyfriend and I are of the same religion (we *met* at church! ). That doesn't mean that we see eye to eye on every little detail, including topics such as church issues and how we can help to resolve them, but I have to admit that having the same/similar foundation means a whole lot to me.

It means that we believe there is one unifying force in our lives, in our relationship - and in our future marriage. It means that we both try to put the other's needs before our own, which helps a lot when we're arguing. And, as mentioned here before, it means that we will raise our children with the same philosophies.

I don't mean to preach. I don't mean to paint a perfect picture of happiness here - not at all. Nor am I saying that you *must* have God in your life to have those things I mentioned above.

My point is that marriage is hard enough, even when two people share the same beliefs. Starting a marriage with someone who doesn't believe in the same things as you (and is closed to the idea of any type of counseling, from what I read) will make it even tougher.

Maybe you can sit down and really think about what is important to you, what is important to him, and whether or not you are (or he is) willing to compromise in the areas where you differ.

I hope this helps. Good luck.

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Quote this post and reply to it Post#23 @ 01-27-04 , 04:26 PM


Epiphany:
I do hope you check back in--folks have given you good advice here.
I married at 17, the marriage lasted 23 years, and we divorced. We had very little in common. At age 40 with more than half my life over, i met my soulmate. We have 98% of our interests, emotions, world views, values, background, relational style in common.

Talk to someone about the many feelings and thoughts you have. There is someone out there for you who will love, respect and be your life partner.

good luck.
mars mannix


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