Written for Caramel: https://crushedcaramel.wordpress.com/2020/04/11/the-caramel-crunch-15/
WHEN IT COMES TO THE CRUNCH – WHAT WOULD YOU DO?
You are in love and the person you have been courting for some time wants to marry you. Although you are very close, there is one main difference in your outlook. One of you believes in a Creator and wants to practice a particular faith. The other does not believe in a Creator and despises all religion. When the two of you talk about beliefs, emotions run high and generally the conversations have to be cut short because it can become hurtful. You realize this may cause challenges, despite the love you share.
Luckily, I have never been in such a situation. In high school and college the boys I knew were the ones I grew up with so it didn’t really matter because none of us loved going to church. When I met Bob, my husband of 21 years, we found from the beginning that we grew up going to the same church and held very similar views.
Now, David and I have pretty similar views. I would like to be more involved sometimes, as does he, but life gets in the way.
So now….I think the thing to do is to agree not to talk about it. And if the other person talks about it, it is what it is. Imagine a couple, as you proposed above, dating for quite a while but not wanting to get married or have children for a long time. What happens when she gets her period? She might mention it to him for various reasons. The man will not understand what she is talking about when she says she has cramps. The man will not agree that there is nothing worse than wearing a pad. So what happens? She tells him she has her period, that she is cranky, has cramps and just ruined her best pair of Khakis. He listens. Life moves on. Do the same with your religious beliefs.
Think of this scenario: Patty is very religious and grew up in a very Catholic home. Barry is not. He considers himself an atheist, that religion is overrated and ridiculous. Patty has a real rough week at work, between the expectations and her awful boss. By Sunday she is ready to go to church to sit and listen to the Gospel, pray to God for the strength to make it another day. Barry won’t go. So Patty goes alone, embraces her time with God and her faith and feels better. Barry stayed at home, watched a few episodes of Breaking Bad on Netflix and is very comfortable. Patty gets home, tells Barry how much better she feels having connected with God. Barry says he is happy she feels better. Why does it have to be more complicated than that?