When you’re in love, it’s easy to overlook some of the important discussions you should have before you say “I do.” So, for this week of “Ten Things to Talk About Before Marriage,” we’re discussing another one of those important chats you and your sweetie should have – personal values and the importance of religion in your daily life.
It’s likely that you’re marrying someone who has similar values and shares the same views on life as you. Whether you’re an interfaith couple, or you share the same beliefs, you must discuss the role of religion and personal values in your relationship. It’s usually only after it causes a major argument later in life that some couples realise how different their beliefs really are and how they play a bigger role in marriage than they expected.
Statistics say that couples who have the same faith have a better chance at making it. Of course it helps to share similar values, beliefs and interests, but it’s being loving, caring, having good communication and mutual respect of each other’s beliefs with no intention to change them that is so much more important. Many people are happily married to people of other faiths, beliefs, religions and with different values.
Unfortunately, religion is often one of the biggest relationship ‘deal breakers.’ But by being open and taking the time to understand and accept your partner’s system of beliefs, dreams, needs and desires, and by being willing to put in an effort to create a game plan for your life together, the transition into marriage and planning your life as a couple, having and raising children, will go much more smoothly.
Religion will unavoidably come up when planning your ceremony, so why not talk about it before that.
Photo : Anna Kuperberg
Will it be held in a church/mosque/synagogue or in a non-religious place like a garden, golf course, restaurant or simply in your own backyard? Who gets to decide this? Your families may also try to influence the role of religion in your relationship during this time. We came across this issue while planning our ceremony last summer. The week we got engaged, my dad insisted that we had to have the ceremony in a church – neither my husband or I wanted that.
Instead we opted for a gorgeous garden at a heritage venue, with our family friend and old pastor as our commissioner. We also took pre-marital classes with him, after my dad insisted on them numerous time, which we were hesitant about, but ended up loving because we discussed all these things before walking down the aisle.
Like all things, it is about being able to compromise.
People often take religious issues much more seriously after marriage than before, and even more so after having children. Of all the challenges couples will face is how they will raise their children, and many families also like to get involved when little ones come into the picture. But it’s so important that the two of you decide how you will practise or not practise faith in your own family.
Questions to consider:
- Does religion play an important part in your life?
- Do you have similar and/or different values?
- How will you treat your religious differences?
- How important is church/synagogue/mosque attendance?
- Will you both take the children to church/synagogue/mosque?
- How important is religion, and how will you teach your kids?
- What will you do if your child wants to experience other faiths?
- What holidays will you celebrate with your family?
- Do you think faith and spirituality are important in a marriage?