Does your partner share your faith?

Are you both of the same faith? Different faiths? No faith? One of faith and one not? How does that work for you, or how has it worked or not worked in the past? Is it important to share the same faith?


  • We're all Episcopalians, and attend church together. We've had our ups and downs in faith (generally not synchronized) - I think if Mrs. C was an atheist, I might have fallen out of the habit of church attendance during a down, and might never have got it back. So for me, sharing faith has been important.

  • Same faith. In part because she converted me.
  • RossweisseRossweisse Shipmate, Hell Host
    I wed an atheist (brought up a very strict Roman Catholic, he decided he didn't believe as a young teen) who agreed to be married by the rector with the BCP. He mocked me for going to church and other things religious; he did agree to let me have our children baptized, and attended those ceremonies. It was never quite comfortable.

    When I finally kicked him out (he had been unemployed, and not fulfilling most of his other obligations, for seven years), he returned to Holy Mother Church, and now attends a Latin Mass outfit. He is a great admirer of Cardinal Raymond Burke. Divorce no longer exists in his world. (I have a piece of paper that says otherwise, though.) And now he tries to zing me for being a "heretic." Whatever.

  • We’re both life-long Presbyterians, from family trees with very deep Presbyterian roots and wide Presbyterian branches. We’re both elders, and all four of our parents are/were elders. My mother’s family was, as one cousin said, “lousy with ministers.”

    We’ve both been involved in presbytery and other areas of church life beyond the parish level, including in Ms. Tamen’s case General Assembly. And like us, our kids have come to love the Mecca of Southern U.S. Presbyterianism, Montreat.

    For us, having this in common has mattered, as it’s a big part of personal and family identity on both sides, and it has shaped our own married and family life. But that’s us, not anyone else.
  • I met my husband at church, when we were both university students. It was a fairly conservative Baptist church. By the time we got married, we were attending an evangelical Anglican church. A couple of years later we moved to a more, um, sedate, Anglican parish, and discovered not a few people we knew from the previous place, also hanging out there. Then we moved overseas for a bit, never found anything we liked, had a stab at attending somewhere when we came back to NZ, it didn't work, we moved again, had another try, at a couple of different places, could never settle/fit in - and in the end we just gave it away completely, some years ago. He is now reasonably vocally anti-religion, and seems to assume I feel the same. I don't, particularly, although I can certainly do without church. Added to this, my esteemed parent is looney-fringe-end-Christian*, and my in-laws (one branch, anyway) are basically NZ Baptist royalty. It is, as you might imagine, one of those things we just.don'

    *e.g. Carries no insurance, because it would demonstrate a lack of faith.
  • The North East Man and I grew up in different parts of Scotland, but in many ways we had been living parallel lives (both elder of two children, similar family dynamics, same age so we'd sat the same exams at the same time etc). We both came from families which were lukewarm Church of Scotland. We'd both been influenced by Christian teachers at school. We had both joined the C of S at 17, and had attended church regularly at university. We met in our final undergrad year and the shared faith helped make ours a very easy courtship.

    We diverged but only slightly in our thirties; the recurrent miscarriages / stillbirth of our son swung me towards the con-evo end of the C of S spectrum, and then I pinged back to the liberal end of the spectrum, but we still attended the same church etc. We're both now on the liberal side of middle of the road C of S. We're both elders. It does make for an easy life.
  • Faith as in the cognitive part of it? The beliefs? To a degree.
    Faith as in the practice part of it, values for life, and the general conduct/behaviour with others? Yes.
    It's much more about living than believing.
  • Not at all!
    Partner is an atheistic kibbutznik.
    I think the starting point of intimate relationship is sexual attraction - almost inexpressible and certainly undeniable - which led me/us to linking arms and striding purposefully into our shared Vision of the Future. (And against all odds, but that's another story)
    Which we have done for nearly 34 years now.
  • Yeah, my wife and I met in seminary. We're both ELCA Lutheran pastors. My liturgical views are a little traddier and a little (okay, a lot) more stick-up-the-bum than hers, but that notwithstanding, we have very similar views about the central parts of our faith as well as about the fine details of how that faith impacts our day-to-day life.

    It works well for us, but I've also known plenty of marriages and partnerships between Christians from very different traditions (the area I'm currently in is full of Catholic-Protestant marriages), between Christians and people who hold faiths other than Christianity, and at least a few between Christians and atheists. It seems to work okay for those people, and their partnerships seem no less strong or stable than the ones between people of very similar faith traditions.
  • Baptist TrainfanBaptist Trainfan Shipmate
    edited February 2019
    I wonder if there are specific problems when a person or no or other faith is married to a Minister, Rabbi or Imam? - especially if members of the congregation tend to regard said spouse as an unofficial associate or secretary?

    Funnily enough, people don't do that with doctors' or dentists' spouses - though my own dentist's wife is his secretary/receptionist!

    How does the Vicar (married to a Hindu, I believe) get on in Ambridge? (Cue music: Tumty-tumty-tumty-tum, tumty-tumty-doo-dah).
  • I wonder if there are specific problems when a person or no or other faith is married to a Minister, Rabbi or Imam?

    Looking for another partner is a different thread ;)
  • RossweisseRossweisse Shipmate, Hell Host
    I wonder if there are specific problems when a person or no or other faith is married to a Minister, Rabbi or Imam? - especially if members of the congregation tend to regard said spouse as an unofficial associate or secretary? ...
    I was very serious about a young Presbyterian minister, and thought he was serious about me. But then he wrote me a letter and said that he had concluded that I would not make a good Presbyterian minister's wife. After I got past my pain, I concluded that he was right. For starters, there was no way I was signing on to Calvinism.

    (I did fall into the arms of my spouse on the rebound, which is unfortunate. But I still think he did me a favor; Pastor X married a much younger woman, who later walked out on him with their three boys because he was terribly controlling.)

  • NenyaNenya Shipmate
    Mr Nen and I met at university and were very much of the same faith then, con-evo Christian Union-type. This carried on through the first 22 years or so of our marriage and then things happened to turn me towards a more questioning, open, call-it-what-you-will view and for a number of years I couldn't talk to him about that. Any hint at the Bible might not be "true" (whatever that meant) and that praying the sinner's prayer might not be the only way to heaven (wherever that is) was met with horror. I resigned myself to outworking it with other people, and on retreats, and private reading (including here on the Ship) for the sake of our relationship and family.

    In the last few years he has been coming round more to my way of thinking, which has been pleasantly unexpected, and we can talk about these things again.
  • My first husband and I met at university mainly through the Christian Union and also through the Choral society, and both became heavily involved in church in various subsequent places, until he had a fling with a girl from the church youth group. Needless to say, it was badly handled by the powers that be.
  • A Feminine ForceA Feminine Force Shipmate
    edited February 2019
    My Beloved and I met at church, and were united by the Minster who recognized that we both spoke the same language about God.

    Though we are nominally Baptists, I think the vocabulary of our faith and our world view has more in common with second century Christians of the Mediterranean than with Christianity as it exists today.

  • My wife and I( for a variety of reasons, some shared and some individual) have stopped attending the Anglican Church that my family started attending in 1971. Our two sons (17 and 22) still attend. The youngest is in the choir and the oldest runs the sound board for services.
  • Gramps49Gramps49 Shipmate
    When my wife and I started dating, I was in a Lutheran Synod that held the wife had to be of the same faith. When I first meant her I thought she was RC mainly because the matriarch of the house kept talking about her RC faith. It was not until the end of the evening N mentioned she was Christian Scientist.

    Fast forward four months when I proposed and she said yes. I said there was a bit of a problem, that she would have to convert. She hesitated, but I suggested she go through adult instruction before deciding, which she did. In the end she consented to baptism.

    This did not please her sister and brother in law who were also CS. Her dad was CS too, but he said it was up to N to make up her own mind.

    When she was baptized she said she always wanted to be baptized and now she felt she really belonged to the Christian faith.

    We have been married 38 years now. We did switch Synods twenty years ago because she felt the first one was too confining. Best move we ever did.

    Of my kids

    Our daughter married a lapsed RC, but he eventually joined the Lutheran Church.

    Our first son also married a lapsed RC. When they go to church it is Lutheran.

    Our second son married a unchurched woman. They do not go to church at this time.

    Our last son married a United Church of Christ minister. They have a lot in common but ultimately he is Lutheran. They share some practices, but not all.
  • balaambalaam Shipmate
    Yes, she does. She was on the old Ship, LRP, and joined here, but does not read as much as she did.

    We met at a Christian youth group, and were one of several couples from there to get married.

    Other than out faith we have little in common except our children. She relaxes in front of the TV by watching soap operas, which I cannot stand, and I like my comedies to have an edge, which she can't stand. I watch quiz shows, she doesn't.

    Church wise she attended a Baptist church when we met and after marriage we both attended my Anglican place. As for worship she is drawn to the non conformist hymn sandwich where I am more comfortable in something more showy, both the colour and smoke of high Anglicanism and charismatic/Pentecostalism are on my enjoy list. Both put her off.

    Yes we are different, but our church has a caring congregation that support us, which we both agree is more important than worship style.

    Opposites attract. We have been attracting each other for 39 years, nearly 38 of them married.
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