View Single Post
Old 02-23-2009, 12:11 PM   #15
Befrizzled
 
Befrizzled's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2003
Posts: 4,829
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Josephine View Post
Thanks for the input. I've always wanted to marry someone from my faith(hard requirement/dealbreaker for me) but have been thinking the last year that maybe it's not..in the meantime I've met a wonderful guy that is moving a bit fast for me(emotionally) and is very serious about us so I wanted to be upfront with him about my opinions on religion. So yesterday he said he's thought a lot about it and said he'd convert. But I can tell he's quite religious in his beliefs especially on one that clashes with mine. Also I've never believed in someone converting mainly for another person(we've had a couple of people do this in my family). One of the reasons I want someone from my faith is also for cultural reasons. Anyhow, I'm a bit conflicted about this issue..I'm not sure why I didn't think this would happen since I am open to meeting anyone, just didn't think I'd fall so fast for this boy!
This is probably going to be long, but boy, can I relate.

This was me about four years ago. And the guy said he'd convert. OK, cool. Except it wasn't that easy. My mother flipped (and is still flipping) out over the relationship. He's an atheist, and I'm Jewish. Clearly, our beliefs are quite different. I don't think I ever expected him to change his beliefs. I'm more of a cultural Jew, and I want someone who can participate in things with me. But the divide and his discomfort with the community (we had some ugly run-ins with ultra-Orthodox situations with the community I grew up in) got to be a big problem, and we didn't know how to fix it. When you're coming from two different sides, just saying he'll convert -- that's the easy part. Working out how that'll happen without compromising either one of you, working out how you'll raise the kids and with what beliefs -- that's difficult.

We broke up. Those three months were hell. They ended with him saying he wanted to give it another shot and try to work it out. The religion was really the only thing in our way. My beliefs were evolving as I grew up. His views on religion also were changing. We learned to communicate better and put aside hostility (his toward my old community and religion in general, mine toward the way he approached things) and have more productive conversations about why we believe what we do and where our common ground is. He started going to services with me in the kind of Jewish community I relate to, not the one I came from. He's decided, on his own, to start learning Hebrew. And there's a level of conversion that we think we'd both be comfortable with. We haven't taken it much further than that yet, as there's still a lot to be discussed. The issues with my mother are so huge and so stressful. The issues with what'll happen when my old community finds out are terrifying. But at some point, you just have to realize that it's your life, not theirs.

He will never believe in G-d as I do. But he's willing to have Jewish kids and a kosher home and celebrate holidays with me. That's all I want. But that's going to make a conversion difficult -- we'll have to find someone willing to do it for the cause of a Jewish home. Those rabbis exist, but it may be a challenge finding one.

What it comes down to is that it's not as easy as the guy saying he'll convert. It's so easy to believe, because you're falling so fast. SO is the love of my life. But it's turning into a life I didn't predict, and that's not necessarily a bad thing, but it's come with a lot of growth over the years. Just as he's compromising in having a life he didn't expect, there are things I have to compromise on, too. And we're moving so carefully with it because it's a big commitment, and we want to make absolutely sure this is what we want before we go through with it.

It's difficult. We're so good and right on every other front. I can't say I would get into a relationship with someone outside the religion again. I'm invested now, and he's everything else I want, so we're working on it. But just be prepared for a potentially bumpy road ahead with this.

ETA: Yikes, that's a novel. Brevity is not my strong point.
__________________
Under construction.
Befrizzled is offline   Reply With Quote