How to deal with problems in inter faith marriage?
‘The essence of all religions is one. Only their approaches are different.’- Mahatma Gandhi
Religion connects you with God. So it only natural you feel reverent about it. Religion gives you courage and shows you the way to lead your life.
What happens when you fall in love with a person outside your religion? It is true that love has no religious barriers, but you feel apprehensive whether your marriage would work. But since your love is so strong you do not mind that the person you love is from another religion. You want your love to win at any cost.
In the initial glow of love you never pay attention to your religious differences. ‘I love him\her so much that our religious barriers cannot affect our married life.’ You are absolutely right in thinking that your love can leap over religious hurdles!
During the beginning stage of your marriage you are too concentrated on each other to feel the negative impact of your religious differences. But gradually the differences in the way you worship and the diverse culture of your spouse slowly begins to unnerve you.
Why do you fight with your spouse about religion after a few years of marriage?
The answer is very simple. During the initial euphoria of your love, your religious differences do not occur to you as you are totally drawn towards each other. You do not pay attention to the religion of your spouse! You love him\her for what he\she is. So you overlook your diversified religious beliefs.
But in reality your religious disparity is like a time bomb ticking its seconds to blast your relationship to pieces if you provoke your spouse by demeaning his\her religion.
When the newness of your married life wears off, you shed many of your assumed goodness and bare your true self. Family responsibilities and commitments make you struggle to keep your relationship thriving. Bitter arguments begin to rear its ugly head and you find it hard to adjust with your spouse. When major misunderstanding crop up between you, your religious differences erupt with the impact of a volcano
Religion becomes an easy topic for you to vent your anger on your spouse. Your religious differences begin to make you feel tensed and stressed. You are confirmed that your religious belief is better than that of your spouse and you are adamant that your children follow your religion. This is when the slow destruction of your inter faith marriage begins.
Why do you want your relationship to suffer due to your petty religious bickering?
When religion is the cause for many wars in the world, it is not strange that it becomes your own battle ground. Your parents and in laws add fuel to the fire by instigating you against his\her religion without knowing the terrible repercussion they are creating.
When you celebrate the religious festival of your spouse and he\she celebrates yours, it brings you together in true love. Religion is a personal thing which should not in any way come in-between your relationship. The trouble for your marriage starts when you force your spouse to follow your belief and your spouse tries to pull you towards his\her religion.
Total freedom for your spouse to follow the rituals and customs of his\her religion is a must for your inter faith marriage to survive. He\she is entitled to go the church\temple\mosque according to his\her religion. You have no right to intrude into it.
When you try to pull your children towards your religion you make them confused why their parents fight in the name of God. Do not draw your children into your religious war zone and fight with your spouse about the religion they should follow. You should make your children follow the goodness of both religions so that you inculcate religious tolerance in their young mind.
Your parent\relatives do not have the right to wrongly advice you about the differences in your religion and degrade the belief of your spouse. Inter faith marriage needs careful handling as one whiff of misunderstanding can crumble your relationship to shambles.
Tolerance and broadmindedness make you see the good in both religions. You can celebrate Diwali, Christmas and Ramadan with equal verve if your love is strong enough. But if you are concentrated on your religion and take it as a reason to fight with your spouse your marriage cannot survive.
Religion is not a problem in your relationship when you overlook your religious differences. When you focus on the love you have for each other the differences in your religion does not intrude into your family life.
© 2014 mathira