Yep, it's another thread about a girlfriend...

Discussion in 'Community Discussion' started by haiggy, Jan 6, 2006.

  1. haiggy macrumors 65816

    Aug 20, 2003
    Ontario, Canada
    **Sorry for the Long Post**

    Hey all,
    I thought I might come here to you guys just to see what you have to say. I've thought about writing girl troubles here before, but I decided not to. However I am just curious of people's opinions on this.

    Let me start off by saying I have a girlfriend of 5 1/2 months that I absolutely adore. We have fun together, get along, everything... things are great - except for one thing...

    (Please don't turn this into a religion discussion)

    I was born and raised in a Christian home and was taught that a Christian should not marry a Non-Christian. Yes, you guessed it... she is a "Non-Christian." I'm kind of in the middle as to what to believe in... in regards to my faith. I don't know if I believe it all, if I should live by it... but at the same time I think I should and I do believe in parts of it. Anyways...

    My parents do not like the idea. They say that if I were to marry her right now, it would be the mistake of my life. Now I don't plan on marrying her any time soon... as that is just stupid but are we both 'wasting our time?' (Not meant in that regard... but is the relationship actually going to go somewhere?) My parents said that if things get too serious they will break ties off with her and I won't be able to date her. They say she is just not 'marriage material,' yet she is a great, wonderful person. They believe this is the most important part about marriage, and that it determines a lot of things. They think we could get in a fight and she just might take off, she might be tempted to cheat, lots of things like this...

    Now I do not take this very well at all. Whenever I am in a relationship I am very attatched to that person. If I love someone... I love them. I love my girlfriend. My parents don't think its a good idea and I'm sure if they could they would want it over right now. This isn't want I want at all...

    They keep asking me to bring her to church, and I've told her.... she said she would try it. But the thing is, this is just forcing religion down her throat and basically forcing her to become a Christian if she wants to be with me. I just got off the phone with her... we talked for a little over 3 hours. We've decided that we are going to go without a week of talking or seeing each other and she will see how much she really misses me or how much I mean to her. If she does, then she will try the whole church thing and we'll see how that goes.

    It sucks that this has come up now, because it is my birthday in 8 days and she has to get me a present and whatever, she's planned something special for us etc... so we are still going to do that. It's hard because there is nothing that I can do. It's basically all up to her. It's not something we can share.. if things are going to change its gotta be up to her, and I don't think that's fair. I wish I could do something.

    Anyways, I guess I'll stop there... but do any of you guys have advice? Do you think what my parents are saying is right? Am I letting my heart take over my brain? Is this just a relationship that isn't going to work? If possible I want the outcome of this for me and her to stay together, but it can't happen if things continue the way they are now.
    Help? :confused:

    Oh, and if any of you guys have similar stories please share... I'm interested in what happened.
  2. CorvusCamenarum macrumors 65816


    Dec 16, 2004
    Birmingham, AL
    1) Define what you mean by "non-Christian", i.e is she Jewish, Muslim, Buddhist, agnostic, athiest?

    2) How compatible are your beliefs and hers? This isn't about your parents think, it's about what you think.

    See question 2 above.
    3) How would they accomplish this exactly, and how old are you?

    Religious affiliation has no bearing on infidelity or staying power. Last time I checked, Southern Baptists, who frequently beat the family values drum, had the highest rate of divorce among all Christian sects.

    If she's never been to church, there's no harm in asking her to try it, so long as they don't try to force-baptize her or anything.

    You make it sound as though your parents are running your relationship. If so, this is a very bad thing and needs to be corrected. It doesn't really sound as though they have much rationale behind their stance, and also don't understand that my trying to forbid this relationship, they're only making it more appealing. On the other hand, that's one of the questions you need to answer, if she's appealing because your parents don't care for her or if she's appealing because you find her so independent of your parents' opinion.

    If both of you want it to work, and work at making it work, then it will.
  3. ChrisWB macrumors 6502

    Dec 28, 2004
    Man, that is absolutely horrible.

    The Christian faith is supposed to teach love and acceptance. It shouldn't matter what her religious views are.

    Bringing her to your church is about the most pig-headed thing you could do, especially if you've only known her for five months. Let her decide on her own what religious faith she'd like to be and what actions she'd like to take in regards to that faith.

    My advice would be to have a talk with your parents explaining your position, then continue your relationship without any of these self-imposed ordeals. Relationships are hard enough as it is. It may very well be she's a flake as your parents suggest, but the only way you'll find this out is through experience.
  4. Lacero macrumors 604


    Jan 20, 2005
    They're probably right. If you are Christian, you best marry someone who shares your religious beliefs or there will be friction in the marriage. Once the infatuation of a new love dissipates, you'll face the harsh realities of marrying someone who doesn't share your beliefs. Expect to have an unhappy marriage. Good luck!

    Here's to the Crazy Ones [​IMG]
  5. Deepdale macrumors 68000


    May 4, 2005
    New York
    I do not have a similar personal experience to share with you, but based on the excerpted portion, it seems like you have a solid foundation upon which to build. My one piece of advice would be this ... parental input does influence decisions that we make, but you alone need to set the critical parameters on just how important this difference is and whether it is compelling enough for it to become a relationship killer.

    I would be asserting myself and finding ways to nurture what you presently have, since crossing paths with a woman the way you described her does not come along all that frequently.
  6. SamIchi macrumors 68030


    Aug 1, 2004
    I hope that's sarcasm...

    People and their religion, it boggles my mind.
  7. Deepdale macrumors 68000


    May 4, 2005
    New York
    It can be vexing to say the least.
  8. dogbone macrumors 68020


    Sep 16, 2005
    S33.687308617200465 E150.31341791152954
    Just use your common sense. Your parents like most parents might be physically mature but they would be emotionally at the level of 5 year olds.

    You'll just have to forge ahead and make your own mistakes in life.

    The fact that this girl has not dropped you even after all this insulting crap shows you seem to have snared a very worthwhile woman. Look at the miserable life of Prince Charles who was forced to marry Di when his true love was Camilla. In the end Di died, and turned out to be an unfaithful little toe sucking tramp.

    Whether your marriage is a success or not depends on how well you understand women not religion. Just don't think of women as female men.

    You'll be surprised how quickly your parents will adapt if you are strong. Just be firm but polite. If they try to blackmail you then they have marked their cards. Don't be bullied, you'll only end up with regrets. I've heard a few stories like yours and they all regretted being pushed around by their parents.
  9. mopppish macrumors 6502

    Nov 27, 2005
    Your parents suck. It's one thing to say "well honey, we just want you to really think about whether or not she's right for you." It's completely another to say "this is wrong because we say so and you will be miserable and she will cheat and we will disown you/her." I know this shouldn't be a religious discussion, but your parent's are portraying the stereotypical, closed-minded, NON-compassionate, ultra-conservative type of Christianity, and I have a right to say that because I was raised in a "radical" evangelical Christian church and still saw plenty of hypocrisy like this. Please understand however that I am not attacking Chritianity- only some of those who follow it.
    It would be one thing if your girlfriend was a drugged-up, immoral, slutty atheist. It sounds like she is not and that she is open to exploring your beliefs (as you should be to hers if you love her), so your parents are really just basing their opinion on what they were TOLD was right at church- that Christianity is the only right way and anyone that doesn't strictly adhere to it is not worth having a relationship with.
    As a quick note, I realize that all religions have their share of intolerance and hypocrisy throughout some of their believers, so please don't assume anything about my own beliefs based on this post.
    Anyway haiggy, good relationships with parents are certainly important, however if you are mature enough to love someone, then you are mature enough to think for yourself. It may work out for you two, it may not. But it would certainly be foolish to dismiss something that could be wonderful based only on an issue that at this point has no resolution. You never know- a bit further into your relationship she may come to follow Christianity or you may come to reject it. Or you may never agree and decide that it's too important for you to both be on the exact same page. Then you will have an definite answer.

    P.S. This is especially important to carefully ponder as YOU YOURSELF are in the middle about what you believe. Do not base things on a belief that you do not even know for sure yet is right for you. It's very normal to base your beliefs solely on your parents' when you are young, but a time comes when you have to be a man and have your own mind. Some of those things will end up staying in line with how you were raised, but some of them will not.
    Good Luck.
  10. inlimbo macrumors 6502

    Jan 29, 2005
    Sydney, Australia
    Yeah dude, sorry to say but your parents are religious Nazis. Religion shouldn't matter. If everything else is great with this girl why destroy it just because she doesn't go to church. I could understand if she was a cross burning KKK member but it doesn't seem like she is.

    A good example: My mum is a Catholic and comes from a long line of inebriated Irish Catholics and she is married to my dad who is an Atheist and he comes from a long line of Atheists. Go figure... They have no problems. Sure they disagree on some issues and politics but thats life. They have a good marriage. They idea that only Christians should marry Christians etc... is something from the dark ages. If that were the norm we would all be inbred!

    Sometimes your parents are not always right you know. Another example of religion pushing its weight around.

    She sounds like a nice girl. Who cares if she is not a Christian. That doesn't mean she is immoral
  11. Applespider macrumors G4


    Jan 20, 2004
    looking through rose-tinted spectacles...
    Haiggy - what age are you and do you still live at home? If you're in your late teens or older and don't, then to be honest, you should do what you feel is right. Your parents can give advice but to blackmail you like this seems a very unChristian act.

    While having two different religions might lead to problems in choosing where to get married or whether to baptise children, I don't think it's an impediment to living together. You will still be able to believe what you like and continue your worship. She may join you in that or not but so long as she supports your choice and you respect hers, then you shouldn't have major problems.

    If you love this girl and she loves you, then that is the most important thing and the most precious thing in the world. Don't throw that away for the sake of outmoded customs, you may regret it for the rest of your life.
  12. inlimbo macrumors 6502

    Jan 29, 2005
    Sydney, Australia
  13. kainjow Moderator emeritus


    Jun 15, 2000
    The fact is, you have the same chance of an unsuccessful marriage whether she's a Christian or not. So it's your choice, but I'll guarantee that mixing "extreme" religious beliefs into a marriage (if you get that far) will be a very hard thing to do.

    And it is true that almost all Christians and churches teach to date "within the faith." Why? Because they know mixing will not work. It's common sense.
  14. mdavey macrumors 6502a


    Nov 1, 2005
    I'll start by saying that I am in my 20s, not married, not religious and that I consider religion as moral guidance (practising Christianity for me means trying to learn and follow the moral codes of the bible). That doesn't mean that I am without morals, just that I prefer to use multiple sources to obtain my moral guidance.

    I read this as that you are Christian and try to follow the teachings, but have doubts.

    IMO, pursuing a relationship is never a waste of time. Even if things don't work out, you will have learned from the experiences and developed as a person. Plus, it sounds like you are sharing some great times together.

    You don't say how old you are. How could they stop you dating her and do you think they would actually carry out their threat?

    Hmm. Seems like they have some pretty negative views of your girlfriend. What are the reasons for this? Have the two families met? Have you considered hosting a dinner party for both families or getting one set of parents to host a dinner party? Alternatively, why not try to find a charity dinner event and invite both families?

    Why not ask her if there is any commitment she would like you to make in return? It could be anything - going horse riding with her once a week, teaching her to drive, an evening class, going to the gym, gardening, a DIY project, etc. The key thing is that she picks something that is a part of her life or that she wants to be a part of her life.

    That is the wrong way to look at it. Relationships are about sacrifice, commitment and compromise in my experience. You need to find a way to turn things so that it is something you can share and something that is up to the both of you, so you can both change things.

    Probably (not because of the situation but simply because parents usually are). But that isn't the point, the point is that it is your life any you must leave it as you see fit.

    Your parents cannot live their lives through you and cannot protect you from the mistakes that they have made in the past (or even from problems that they can see because they have more life experience than you). If you agree with this statement, it might be worth sitting down alone with your parents and trying to explain this. Explain your life to them and how you feel at each point in the story asif you were writing a book or a film script about your recent life. If you do a good enough job, hopefully you will remind them of how they felt at your age without having to explicitly ask them to remember.

    One final thought: It may well be the first time your parents have had to deal with this situation from the point of view of being parents. They are probably outside their comfort zone of experience, too. They also are probably confused and uncertain of the best cause of action and just trying to do the right thing. Listen to what they have to say and try to see their point of view, but continue to listen to your heart and your head. Do what you think is right, not what they think is right - after understanding their point of view and their concerns.

    Hope that helps and best of luck.
  15. Abstract macrumors Penryn


    Dec 27, 2002
    Location Location Location
    Yes, definitely don't let your parents "run the relationship." Your life. Your parents don't have to date do. She's your girlfriend, not your parents'.

    And don't drag her to church. She may have agreed to try it out, but sooner or later, it'll be a strain on the ol' relationship.

    You could quote people here, like the above quote, to make your point.

    Your parents are narrow-minded. Don't let them tell you how to have a relationship, because if you do let them bully you around now, they'll continue doing so later in life. Stand on your own 2 feet and don't budge. It'll be painful, but it'll work out at the end (I think).
  16. iGary Guest


    May 26, 2004
    Randy's House
    Geez, and I thought being a homo was difficult.

    Seriously though, search yourself fr the true answers. People's qualities as we see them are what counts, not what some dogma tells us they should be.

    Having been there myself, I'm sure you are worried about rotting in hell™ if you turn away from the church on this. Save yourself some time, we're only given a short time on this planet, seems awfully selfish to discard people to save your own afterlife.
  17. MongoTheGeek macrumors 68040


    Sep 13, 2003
    Its not so much where you are as when you are.
    I didn't read any of the responses because they were most like bound to piss me off...

    That said this might be repetition. Everyone has a religion(small r). A set of deeply held beliefs that influence how they act and behave based on a view of the world and morality. Some of these small r religions are shared by a number of people. Some of those are written down and codified. Some of those are celebrated and studied in groups on a weekly basis. Some of those are called Religions(big R)

    So do you give up your religion in favor of hers or vice versa.

    Also consider that church is more than Religion. There is fellowship and friendship. Pot lucks and retreats a sense of shared community.
  18. Lacero macrumors 604


    Jan 20, 2005
    I'd love to parent-bash as the next person, but you don't have the life experience they have. They're married, so they got a leg up on you. It's funny... when a doctor gives you medical advice, you take it without much second thought, yet when parents give marital advice, it's taken as an insult or the ramblings of 'Christian nazis' (inlimbo). Oh please, grow up. :rolleyes:

    To the Princess Di comment, the Queen opposed the marriage, if I remember correctly. That's what Charles got for marrying some commoner.

    Here's to the Crazy Ones [​IMG]
  19. johnnyjibbs macrumors 68030


    Sep 18, 2003
    London, UK
    My advice: you should marry the one for you. If you both love each other and you get on well, etc, it shouldn't matter what colour, creed, religion or whatever they are.
  20. sushi Moderator emeritus


    Jul 19, 2002
    First of all, please try to remember that your parents are only trying to look out for you. They want to assist you in setting yourself to have a good life. Yes, they are probably biased. They are biased by what they have seen in their lives and want to help you avoid the pitfalls that they know.

    Later in life you will realize this. Right now, it doesn't seem that way.

    There are generally three things that cause problems in a relationship/marriage. They are listed below in no particular order:

    - Money
    - Sex
    - Religion

    You are already having an issue with one of these after only 5 and half months. This is not a good sign.

    Religion can definitely be a problem as you go through life if you marry her and then have kids. For example:

    - What religion will you observe at home? This can affect many holidays throughout the year such as Thanksgiving, Christmas, Easter, etc.

    - What religion will you observe when you get married?

    - What religion will you observe when your kids are born?

    - What religion will your kids observe?

    - What religion will you abserve if you get a divorce? Some such as Catholic have very strick rules.

    - What church will you tithe to...and how much?

    - When you are in need of help, what church(religion) will your turn to?

    I could go on and on, but by now I hope you see my point about the significance that religion will play in your life.

    Marriage is not easy. Many fail within a few years. Very few last more than 10 years these days. Marriage is work. You get out of it what you put into it.

    So what you are looking at is putting yourself in a worse situation from the get go. Or as some would say, you are setting yourself up for failure. This is definitely not a good thing.

    Let me give you an analogy. Let's say you are a pilot that is flying an airplane that requires only 1,700 feet of runway to take off.

    In this particular case, the runway is 4,000 feet long.

    The tower asks if you want to accept a mid runway take off. You figure that the midway point is 2,000 feet, and you only need 1,700 feet so you are good to go.

    However, what if something doesn't work just right? For example, you get a wind change, you are a bit heavier than you thought, or the DA/PA is higher than you calculated, or the engine won't perform to spec, or...etc. By accepting that midpoint take off you have just put yourself in a much more critical position than if you would have used the full runway length.

    Bringing it back to your situation. You are already setting yourself up for failure in your situation.

    This is not a good thing.

    Of course there are those who say love will concur all. Or that as long as you two love each other everything will work out.

    Then again, others would say love doesn't put food on the table. Nor does it put a roof over your head.

    And some would say that love is blind but marriage is a real eye opener! :D

    Anyhow, you are in a difficult situation. Try to think long term. Is this really a situation that you want to be in?

    BTW, I have seen difficult situational marriages succeed as well as fail. I had an older friend who married a nice Japanese lady many years ago. At that time, you had to get permission to marry a Japanese national from the U.S. government. His marriage was approved by congress. Yes, I actually saw a copy of the bill -- front page -- and the rider where his name along with about 40 others was listed. Talk about going against odds. They remained happily married until he died in his sleep a couple of years ago.

    Best of luck to you as you sort through your situation.
  21. sushi Moderator emeritus


    Jul 19, 2002
    When it comes to relationship that you have with each other, it probably really doesn't matter.
  22. Lau Guest

    The thing is, do you (haiggy) and your girlfriend have an issue with religion, or is it you and your parents that have the issue? From what you've said, she is being fairly relaxed about the religion side of it, and is even willing to try going to church. Even if she's an athiest, that is going against her beliefs somewhat, so she is being quite understanding of the situation. Again, from what you've said, the issue of religion is between you and your parents, not you and her.

    I've known couples (one religious, one not) bring up children in a reasonably relaxed fashion. The kids went to church with the dad on Sundays, and were technically Christian, but were also aware that the mum wasn't, and she was able to discuss what she did (or didn't) believe in with them openly. It's not a bad thing to grow up being aware of different viewpoints and religions. Again, it sounds as though it's your parents that would have the problem with this scenario, not her.

    I would echo the posters above who say you have to decide for yourselves, between the two of you, and think very carefully about giving up something that seems right to you simply because your parents say you should. I don't know your age, but looking at your profile picture (I assume you are the elder in the picture - if not I applaud your excellent writing skills ;) ) it looks as if you are old enough to make a decision like this yourself. Good luck, and let us know how you get on.
  23. sushi Moderator emeritus


    Jul 19, 2002
    Then again, the OP could be setting himself up for failure.

    Seen it many times. Handled the paperwork. Sux.

    Remember a bird and a fish may fall in love, but where will they make a home?

    While love is very important in a successful relationship, it takes much more. Also, be careful not to confuse love with lust which is so easy to do.
  24. sushi Moderator emeritus


    Jul 19, 2002
    Lau, you make a good point.

    However, if religion is important to his parents, it then can affect his relationship with her. Maybe not at first but rather over time.

    The romantic side of me says to go for it. Love concurs all.

    However, the realist side says to look at things more logically.
  25. haiggy thread starter macrumors 65816

    Aug 20, 2003
    Ontario, Canada
    I would have to say agnostic or athiest... but I'm not definitely sure. She is just unaware of religion because she has never been exposed to it before.
    Our beliefs are very similar. We are waiting to have sex before marriage, etc.
    I am 17 and my girlfriend is 19 (the age difference is not an issue to them, other than they might think we are more serious... which shouldn't be a bad thing if that's what we want)
    This is exactly what I told my parents, however they just failed to believe me.
    I know, and forcing her to do it won't make it any better. It's just that she wants to be wanted by my parents and have them approve of her. I can understand that.
    My parents are retarded. lol
    Thanks, that's what I think to but I hope its true.

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