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Religious resentment

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  • #86569
    Louise
    Participant

    Hi everyone,

    Only just joined this site but I have a big issue I wanted to share with anyone who’s willing to listen!

    I have been dating my current bf for approximately 2 years, and during this time whilst I knew he had an unusual religion (I am an atheist) but I had blissfully been ignoring it up until recently. We have reached a point in our relationship where I started to ask him more about his beliefs, which has revealed how strongly he does believe in God – as well as how many unusual practices he carries out with his family in my absence.

    I agree with the fundamental principles surrounding his beliefs (be a nice person is the main gist) but specific details we disagree on. For some reason, despite being an open minded person who has no quams with religion, I find myself strongly resenting it and becoming increasing angry and dismissive when his belief is brought up.

    This has come to a head, as I agreed to spend Christmas at his house this year, which I have now learnt the entire family will be fasting over 3 days apart from myself. I feel incredibly uncomfortable at the thought of being the only person eating and drinking over these days, and now I don’t want to stay – but I don’t want to appear rude and closed minded?

    What do you think? Should I turn down the invitation to stay? And where does my resentment to this strange religion come from?

    #86571
    Anonymous
    Inactive

    Well. . … 1) you got through 2 years together not getting involved with each others religions. Of it ain’t broke why fix it?
    2) he accepted you for not having a belief and what he does in his belief is his personal journey so I don’t think anyone has a right to touch that
    3) I understand the resentment of religion , I have faith bit not religion as it’s controlling and ominous . But if we choose not to have a religion that’s a religion in itself. We’ll leave that alone.

    So Christmas. .. I don’t think it would be unreasonable to bow out if it means everyone us going to be on edge. A person has a right to eat and drink at this time if they like . It doesn’t mean you’re a bad girlfriend. Alternatively when was the last time you experienced something like this? It could be an adventure and a story to tell in later years. It’s good to experience different things . It’s up to you

    #86577
    anita
    Participant

    Dear wordsoveraction:

    Not a good situation to bring children into- that is if having children is a possibility and a consideration.

    Your resentment is valid, that is, there is a message in that resentment that you should look at, determine what it is, the message that is. It can be anything from you needing to tolerate differences in religion- or lack of, all the way to the possible message that this is not working for you.

    I wouldn’t feel comfortable preparing food (or cooking, with smell of food in the air, god forbid) in a house of people on a fast.

    If you examine the message behind the resentment and would like to explore it here, please post more.

    anita

    #86589
    jock
    Participant

    now learnt the entire family will be fasting over 3 days apart from myself. I feel incredibly uncomfortable at the thought of being the only person eating and drinking over these days

    🙂 forgive me for being amused by this scenario but it would kill me because I am so fond of food.
    I’d say skip the event for sure.

    • This reply was modified 6 years, 11 months ago by jock.
    • This reply was modified 6 years, 11 months ago by jock.
    #86642
    starrynightdreams
    Participant

    I can see why you would feel uncomfortable being the only person eating if everyone is fasting. It’s not easy feeling like an outsider when the people around you are practicing a religion you are not a part of. I think even though many religious people try to be accepting and embrace others, it can still feel like there is a dividing line between people of different beliefs.

    I think it’s great that you acknowledge your feelings. It’s totally okay for you and your partner to have these differences. To be honest, I think even if this weren’t a religious thing, I think to some extent families tend to have different traditions.

    I don’t know much about your boyfriend’s religion, but I can say that fasting in itself isn’t that uncommon. There are lots of religious people who fast for different reasons. The idea (usually) is that it strengthens the person’s faith because they learn to 1. resist temptations, 2. detach themselves from earthly things to focus more on spiritual enlightenment, and 3. practice trusting their higher power to provide for them, not only with material things, but with spiritual things as well… If a person is healthy enough to do it, it can be beneficial. Sometimes people will fast from something specific, like soda, so they can learn those things without risking their health.

    I think honesty is important. I’m sure your boyfriend would understand you feeling uncomfortable being the only person eating. Maybe there’s a way you can spend some time with him and the rest of the time with other loved ones?

    On the other hand, it sounds like this could be a chance to step outside your comfort zone. You might learn something. No matter what you do, I think you should enjoy your holiday. You and your boyfriend can always have your own celebration before or after his fasting. As long as you have time to bond, I think things will work out either way.

    #86664
    Jodi
    Participant

    I myself am a spiritual person who is in a relationship with an atheist. The reason our relationship works is that neither of us has any inclination or desire to change the other. I would suggest that you examine a couple of things about your relationship. 1) Is your resentment about your bf not changing as you imagined he might? 2) Have either of you pressured one another to change or see things differently? 3) Is his inviting you home for Christmas a chance to see if you will change or to introduce you to his family and their traditions? 4) Has he asked you to fast with his family?

    My guess is that his family is used to being around others who are not fasting if this is something they regularly do, so your not fasting might not be as big of a deal as you might think. However, if you think you feel feel very uncomfortable, tell him that and perhaps you can come up with a solution together.

    Best of luck!
    ~Jodi

    #87225
    Jade
    Participant

    Oof, religion is such a tough thing in relationships. This is why I talked about religion the first two weeks I was dating my now husband (we have very different religions).

    It’s still a little awkward when I’m with his family and they do all their prayers and stuff and I stand there waiting for them to finish. But the point is that aside from those 2 minutes of awkwardness, the rest of the time I have felt welcomed and part of their family i.e. NOT an outsider. If their rituals and traditions were too outside my comfort zone, or I felt ostracized for my beliefs, the relationship would have been a goner.

    There’s a difference between a bunch of people fasting while joking about all the delicious things they’ll eat after and being friendly with you VS. a bunch of people fasting while spouting holier-than-thou rhetoric because they are so much more penitent and faithful than you. It completely depends on what kind of religious culture is the norm in his family.

    #87262
    Dernell
    Participant

    HI”
    I really love every ones comment!

    As for me, just as people come in all shapes and sizes, so do many religions”.

    I truly believe that all religions have a common core. And that is to respect” one another by doing right”.( LOVE )

    So I feel that everything will be okay”, because you both seem to have that in your relationship or you wouldn’t be together”.

    I feel that you should go, because being in a relationship requires compromise/ happy medium/ of understanding at times”…

    WHO knows? there might be a time when you need him to get out of his comfort zone”. And because he’s with you and LOVES you, he will…because you did for him…So smile and Enjoy Xmas!

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