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Re-marriage


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Couple things, first I already am a member here and have been active for a while, but for personal reasons - I have chosen to post this anonymously. Second, I know there are other threads similar to this, but I have a specific question that I wanted feedback on.

 

Ok, on to my quesgtion

 

A bit of background - I was married for over ten years and I have children. I deconverted several years ago, at first my ex was upset, but over time she deconverted also - not as completely as I have - I am an atheist, she is more of a soft agnostic. But both agree that the fundamentalist christianity that we were raised in was extremely harmful to us and that we don't want our children to have anything to do with it at this point in their lives.

 

We seperated recently as a result of our deconversion - not because we disagreed, but because we realized that the only thing that had been holding us together was the anti-divorce mindset of our upbrining. We got pregnant and got married very young - we tried to make it work, but in the end we realized we were different people who wanted different things. We remain great friends, but that is all.

 

I have met someone and while I am not ready to jump into a second marriage right now, I am conscious of what I am looking for in a future partner. She is great - on multiple levels she has qualities and personality traits that I would be looking for in a future partner. She is intellectual and she analyzes issue on a logical and rational basis and has demonstrated the ability to think critically through our many conversations.

 

The problem is she is nominally catholic. When I say nomially, I mean she was raised catholic and goes to church sporadically - usually on holidays. She has expressed that she gets peace from attending church. My fear is that I could live with nominal faith - wouldn't bother me if she went to church on holidays, but the fear is that if we were to have children together then she would become much more serious about it and insist that they be raised catholic - something that I would definitely not be ok with.

 

Does anyone have experience with this type of situation. I really like her, but I also won't change my non-beliefs simply to be in a relationship with someone who is otherwise a close fit to what I am looking for.

 

Thanks for the advice!

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I am in a very similar situation. I became a born again believer during a marriage that I also started way too young. He never became a believer and 4 kids and 16 years later, he unexpectedly left. I too have met the man that I used to dream about when lonely and sad in my marriage and part of the reason why I am here is because after years of trying to be a great Christian wife, reading dozens of Chrisitian books, making Jesus my husband and praying and fasting I became disillusioned with ZERO happening but now being told that I am a sinner for dating this man before the divorce papers are stamped. I'm filling the Jesus hole in my heart with a guy. He too was abused in a Southern Baptist faith full of fire and brimstone with the message that his Jewish parent was going to hell. He now attends what the fundies would refer to as a liberal church because it is tolerant of gays. I am interested in attending actually. Everybody is so happy for him at his church for finding after the hell he experienced with his own marriage. Quite different from the people from my old church. As with all other important issues in a relationship, this is something that you will have to discuss with your mate. I was raised Catholic and they aren't as zealous about getting into evey area of your personal life to show what a scum you are like the Evangelicals. What happens in church on Sundays stays at church on Sundays. Talk to her at the right moment. Let us know.

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I can't make any promises. I don't know you or your gal. If she starts talking marriage (or you decide you want to get married) I would recommend that you talk to her about these concerns. I will tell you this if you decide to marry and she wants to marry in a Catholic church (and that is what she may feel is expected of her) then you will be required at the very least to sign a promise to the local Bishop that you will not forbid your children from being Catholic.

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If I were you OP, I would just lay it out on the table right now about your beliefs and find out where she stands concerning possible kids and how she wants them raised. If there's one thing that I've learned, it's that time is precious. If you find out that she wants any future kids to be raised Catholic and you don't want that, then it's better to find out early on so you'll know not to waste eachother's time and find someone better suited for you.

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You need to have full and open communication with her. She can't tell you honestly whether she will or will not change her mind later about whether her faith will grow stronger or weaker with children, but you can ask lots of questions and make sure she understands where you stand. The hard truth is that while we don't know what she will do years from now, we do know that many luke warm Christians get more serious about their faith after kids get involved. You need to decide whether this is ok with you or not, and to what extent. Would you be ok with your children going to weekly church service? Would you be ok with her expecting you to attend as well? Would you be ok with your children attending Catholic school? These are questions only you can answer.

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As long as you both respect each others opinions and points of view, are clear where you stand, and agree on what you will do in the event of various situations, I don't see why you shouldn't go for it.

 

My mum is a very relaxed catholic, and my dad had no religious belief when they married, later on becoming a pagan. For their children both biological and foster, schooling has depended more on what each school has to offer each child as to their needs. I think at least one of my sisters went to a catholic school as a kid, the majority went all through school in the public system, and one of the foster kids went to a christian school.

 

It bothers me now when I hear christians say that they won't consider even dating a non-christian and will instead marry someone who is not quite right for them simply because of their beliefs. Even though you are atheist now, are you using the same thought process still when looking at dating this woman? For starters, she's not a fundamentalist, and her beliefs are not, at the end of the day, the sum total of who she is as a person. Besides which, people change, life changes, circumstances change. You are not the same person you were 10 years ago, and I doubt you will be the same person you are today in another 10 years. She may go further into her beliefs, she may not, and she may go away from them altogether. No-one has a crystal ball, and really, unless you give it a go, you're not going to find out either way. Hell, you may date her and find in a few months that there is something about her you can't stand that has nothing to do with religion.

 

I'd say date her, enjoy yourself, get to know her, and worry about whether she's marriage material after you've at least been with her a year :)

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Thanks for the feedback. Yeah I have been wavering between seeing how it goes and religion being a deal breaker. I guess I dont know enough about liberal catholics is why I asked. A IFB would definitly be a deal breaker, but with someone much more liberal and moderate, I think I will try and see where it goes for now.

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Thanks for the feedback. Yeah I have been wavering between seeing how it goes and religion being a deal breaker. I guess I dont know enough about liberal catholics is why I asked. A IFB would definitly be a deal breaker, but with someone much more liberal and moderate, I think I will try and see where it goes for now.

 

Good to hear :) Good luck with it :)

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Thanks for the feedback. Yeah I have been wavering between seeing how it goes and religion being a deal breaker. I guess I dont know enough about liberal catholics is why I asked. A IFB would definitly be a deal breaker, but with someone much more liberal and moderate, I think I will try and see where it goes for now.

Liberal Christians of any stripe, whether Catholic or Protestant, are hard for us ex-fundies to get used to, because they generally do not take their faith anywhere near as seriously as we did. My reaction to that, to this day, is ... why bother? And the answer is pretty much what your girl friend says -- some sense of peace or the enjoyment of social support systems. For "high church" types like Catholics or Anglicans, the sense of supposedly unchanged ancient traditions give a sense of continuity and connection to the context of human development and progress and make them feel a part of it. Also, any ritual, whether it happens to be religious or not, can be very comforting to some personality types.

 

I can imagine coexisting peacefully with someone like you're describing so long as there was complete respect for my differing beliefs. I experienced this with my late wife, who remained a Methodist to the bitter end. Somehow she never found either my more strident / conservative religious background, or, later, my budding atheism, of any great concern or threat to her. I never quite understood my good fortune in that regard, but the experience proves that it's possible.

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