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Thread: Mixed religion/culture relationships

  1. Senior Member
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    #1

    Mixed religion/culture relationships

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    Does anyone's SO have a very different religion or culture from yourself or your family?


    How did/will marriage traditions go? Raising children? Just living your everyday lives?
    How does your family play into the differences?


    Just curious to hear any answers.

    I was raised Orthodox Jewish, and DB wasn't really raised religiously, but he is Catholic. I've been thinking a lot about how our lives will play out when it comes to being from different cultural backgrounds.
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    #2
    Yep, both different cultural and religious backgrounds. DB is Caucasian, from English backgrounds, and I am Chinese. He says he doesn't really have any cultural traditions that he wants to bring into play with our future kids, but he and I both would like to raise our children to be bilingual. So I will be speaking Cantonese to the little ones, almost explicitly, and he will be speaking English to them for the first couple of years. Religion-wise, he doesn't care to teach them anything, but I've asked him and he is fine with me instilling Christian values in them.

    Neither of us plan on forcing the kids to do anything religion-wise or culturally. When they are of the age to make decisions on whether or not to be a part of religion or take part in cultural decisions, that is up to them.
  3. In vino veritas
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    #3
    MF is italian and polish and because of that, catholic. He has a large, loud, involved, social family. I am a preppy little WASP from a non-religious family that was very non-invasive, we had just the 4 of us (I mean we have aunts and uncles but they are all down south and we dont ever see them, not for any reason other than we are far away). His family comes from new money- his dad is a self made man, while my family, well we arent old money, we dont have that much money to call ourselves money, but lets just say my mom grew up with a maid, a cook, a housekeeper and estate staff in her home down south. So that shapes us as well. And it has needed some getting used to. His mom thought I hated her because I didn't warm up immediately- well, thats just me I am not a super bubbly all the time kinda girl- my family isnt.

    His family is, well not VERY catholic seeing as we come from such a liberal area, but they are very practicing catholics- volunteer in the church, run the sunday school, go on mission trips with the kids in the summer while I have no interest in church seeing as I am agnostic/spiritual/questioning/whatever.

    So, thats the background. As for how it will play out, we will celebrate all the holidays, but I will not be attending church with MF, except on christmas/easter. He will bring our kid to church and we will allow them the chance to chose their own path when we think they are old enough to logically make that decision based on belief, not just laziness about waking up sunday morning (probs 11-13, depending on the kids maturity). At home, naturally in conversation, I will teach the kid about my thoughts of life, death, morals and whatever. It took compromise, but we made it work.

    As for holidays, we are gonna do all the christian ones. I grew up with them and I love them. But how to split it between families? That will be an ever evolving beast
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    #4
    I guess you could say DB and I are a mixed relationship in some sense. I was born and spent all my life in the Caribbean. I didn't move to the US until college and all my family is still back home. I had (what I would consider) a traditional nuclear family middle class upbringing- we went on vacations, my parents were able to pay for a lot of my schooling, I never had to work while I was in school, etc. DB was born and grew up in the US, although his family is from the same country in the Caribbean as I am from. He had a very different upbringing from me. His mom was a single parent for a while, he moved out on his own and has had to work to take care of himself since then. Lastly, I am Catholic and he is Christian.

    So far, we don't foresee any real problems in terms of cultural/religious ones. I think I would like my kids to be baptized Catholic and he is ok with that. He is ok with following my holiday traditions, since he didn't really have any. I think he does not particularly want to get married in a catholic church but its not a big deal for me so that probably won't be an issue. We've agreed to expose kids to both religions. The fact that his parents' family is from where I'm from probably helps us not have more problems a little . The only problems we have ever come across I think have to do with our differences in life experiences- I want to pay for my kids school, he doesn't feel its something he should do since it wasn't done for him. Also, I grew up very close to most of my family so there were always family get togethers, people over by each others houses, everybody up in everyone's business basically. He grew up here where it was mainly just him and his mom and later his step dad and his family, but they aren't as close as my family. Sometimes I feel like that will become an issue because he isn't accustomed to people always being there and in his business. My family can be overwhelming at times I know.
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    #5
    Yep, DH grew up on the plains of rural Colorado and was adopted into a heavily religious Evangelical family of 18 adopted and biological kids and I grew up 1 of 2 kids in a suburb of New York and in a casually Catholic family.

    It's been a bit awkward so far. I thought that it would be easier for me to get involved with his family since I'm not the first new person that they've had via marriage but they're like a closed off bubble. It borders on rude but I don't think they mean it that way, I think he even feels a little out of the bubble because he isn't as religious as them or as socially conservative. Holidays are fine and I think Christmas will be kind of fun in the future since our child will have tons of cousins and aunts and uncles that are only a few years older so it'll be a crazy fun Christmas instead of the relatively quiet Christmas that my side does.

    When we have children it will be interesting. His mom is openly anti-birth control and is more along the lines of having as many children as God allows. His sister that is closest to me in age and just got married is the same way, she wants to have a lot of children. The brother that is 6 months older than Nathan has 5 children already. We obviously don't have children now and we're not planning on one until 5 years from now when I'm 29 and Nathan is 34 and we've already been asked if we're having a baby as soon as he gets back from Korea and when it'll happen etc. Beyond that we're only planning on one pregnancy. Twins run in my family so it could easily be two kids at once but we're stopping after one pregnancy whether it's twins or a singleton.

    The thing that makes it all easier is that DH sees where their beliefs are kind of extreme and he's become a lot more moderate about religion and the social conventions that he grew up with, partially because of the military. We still disagree about baptism because he doesn't believe in baptizing babies and I can't see it any other way and about how suburban he's okay with when he retires but most things just require a discussion to come to a consensus and we've been fine.
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    #6
    We don't. DB and I both grew up in similar households (minus his semi-religious mother.) We aren't religious and we grew up in the same town. The only difference is that his family has a lot more money than mine. His dad easily makes 100,000 more a year than my family did even when we were at the height of our economic career. I don't know how that really affects us, though. We're both frugal (his family is VERY frugal.) He isn't really lavish or anything, because his family isn't. They have nice TVs but they're not the "next big thing" kind of people. I don't know. We seem pretty similar.
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    #7
    DB is agnostic coming from a Catholic family but they did not attend church. Im Christian and was raised with my dad being atheist and mom being the one to take me to church and all that. It dosnt really effect us nw since we've only been together for 3 months. Sometimes we will have little debates about it.
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    #8
    DB and I are both non-denominational Christians but he was actually raised Mormon and left the church when he was like 15 and I was raised Baptist and Methodist between my dad and mom. When I got into college I went down the path of not really understanding the religious thing and had a lot of personal struggle with faith.

    I started going to church with my family but was questioning of it at first. Now I go for myself and DB goes with me... We agree on religion but we agree to disagree about some aspects. But we both agree church and a relationship with God is important and plan on instilling that belief in DD and any future children if/when we get married.


  9. skp
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    #9
    I am Jewish and MF is Muslim. He is West Indian (from South America though) and there are a lot of traditions that go along with that as well.
    Our religions have a lot of fundamental similarities and I am open to raising kids in both religions. I was raised that way and chose to go with Judaism in college. But I don't think I want kids...we'll see if that changes in a few years.

    As for marriage traditions, he told me his culture has a 3 day ceremony which I am totally fine with as long as I can have the beach wedding I want as well. I'm very laid back so I will go with the flow on his cultural traditions. As for my family - we don't really have any.

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    #10
    Religious traditions are the same, we are both Catholic.

    Culturally, we couldn't be anymore different. It's a work in progress. We speak both Spanish and English in the house. He Sofia will have a quince and a sweet 16. I went to private/ catholic school n entire life. He didn't . They grew up really poor, and well we didn't. I'm 1 of 2 he's 1 of many. ( mom and dad has 6 together, dad has at least 5 more)
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