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Hope Answers:

Dear "confused again",

Belief Systems Can Determine The Quality Of A Relationship

I believe that the compatibility and harmony of religious beliefs plays an extremely important role in determining the quality of a relationship. If a person holds strong religious convictions and demonstrates that sincere conviction by his or her actions, their belief system will dictate their attitudes, actions, and life goals, as well as the activities they engage in, or even the way they view their role in a relationship.

Sharing Faith Prevents Some Conflict

If two people have conflicting core belief systems, they will probably experience more conflict over important issues because their attitudes and choices may also be incompatible.

Ironically, this is your religious belief. If her boyfriend is also a born-again Christian, then you're right: it will never work.

The Bible, for example, commands us to be "equally yoked," which means that we should seek marriage or dating relationships in which our partner shares our religious faith; the core of our deepest values and beliefs. We will then be walking in the same general direction throughout life, and will also see "eye to eye" more frequently on important issues.

Your "Overreacting" Is A Sign

The fact that you asked the question about how to handle religious differences indicates that you have probably already experienced a conflict of beliefs at some point in your relationship. And the fact that you think you are overreacting may mean that you feel strongly about it!

I'm not sure what the issue was that prompted you to ask this question, but the point is that if you do not share a common core belief system with your boyfriend, then you are probably going to run into areas that force you to either compromise or walk away from the relationship because your strong religious differences can't be reconciled. So how do you decide?

What Issues Can And Cannot Be Compromised?

I think you both need to search your hearts and honestly determine what your core values and beliefs are. What are the things that are so vital to you that you are not willing to compromise on? What are some areas that you would be willing to bend on, or give up altogether? How do your lists compare? Can you honestly live with the things that are vitally important to him -- the things he can't compromise on because of his strong convictions?If your core values clash, do you respect him enough to walk away, instead of forcing him to violate those beliefs?

You May Resent The Compromises You Make

It is sometimes tempting to think that we can live with some compromises, only to find out later that we resent them. Don't try to change him! Be honest with yourself now, and q.

I Ended A Relationship Over The Same Situation

After being in a relationship that ended because of different religious beliefs, I learned a lot about the importance of being honest about what I believe in and not trying to change the other person.

I also learned that I have to be true to my beliefs, instead of molding myself to be what the other person is looking for. It may work for a while, but you can't run away from your true convictions. They will resurface in one form or another,so you will again be forced with a choice: live with it or walk away.

Bottom Line

To summarize, don't try to change him. Appreciate him for who he is and what he believes. But if you can't do that because it violates conflicting beliefs that you hold strongly, or his beliefs result in behavior that is unacceptable to you, then you need to be honest with yourself, and with him, and consider parting ways.


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