For nearly two years, I’ve been in a serious relationship with a wonderful man. He’s handsome and fun; he’s a driven and successful entrepreneur, and a terrific father to a young daughter from a previous relationship. There have been a few bumps in the road for us, certainly, but nothing unusual. We have a great time together.
There is, however, an obstacle looming in the road ahead that seems insurmountable. He comes from a family of Mormons. As a youth, he was as devout as his parents; later, he fell out of the church, drawn away by the temptations and freedoms his friends enjoyed, and was disowned by his family when his daughter was born.
Lately, he talks a lot about returning to the church and to his family. I’m not in any way religious, and he knows that. While I do not understand his faith, I try my best to do so, and to be tolerant of it. Nor is he judgmental about my lack of faith, at least as far as I can tell. But if he becomes a church-goer again, he’ll be obligated to convert me, which will not happen, or leave me, because there is no room in his family or his church for a non-believer.
How should I feel about this? Do I try to keep him or do I let him go? Is there a way around this dilemma?
—Not Quite Pious
The Omniscient One says: Mormons are supposed to follow the purpose that God sets forth and not that of their friends and family or any others.He should believe that it was God’s will that brought you two together and it will be God’s will if you should ever decide to convert. It may be that your relationship was meant to lead him back to the church, which from his point of view seems to be a good thing. He should accept that and be thankful. Whether or not you become a member of the church is something for you to decide. He can pray you see things his way, but should understand that’s between you and God, and there is no reasonable excuse for him to abandon the person who was at his side when he returned to the fold.
The Sales Guy says: If I understand your dilemma, if your lover returns to his rather devout faith and you don’t follow suit he’ll be forced to dump you. Since he is taking it upon herself to do this and last I saw there are other ways to worship your creator, which doesn’t include dumping the person you are with, I say the fault is his not yours. Knowing this, if this scenario does come to pass and you know it, start taking out that cute barista that has been flirting with you every morning or other eligible men and move on.
Strictly Classified says: I can see you’re in a pickle - if your gentleman-friend decides to embrace his faith once more, your relationship may be over. The only advice I have for you is to be open and honest, express your concerns, and wait.
The Gay Perspective says: Not enough information for me to know. You need to talk to him and to share with him the concerns you have just told to strangers. While I certainly have compassion for someone who was disowned by what I can’t help but think of as her nutty family, I would be wary of his ability to sustain a relationship. That’s just a hunch - and based on very little detail. Still, the key to the relationship on which you are about to embark might lie in the relationship your partner has just left. Many people make the same mistakes over and over. I can appreciate that you love him, but I also think you are wise to proceed with caution.
Smart Money says: Talk to him. Ask him what returning to the church will mean to your relationship. Why bother speculating? Good luck...you’ll need it when you’re burning in hell. Kidding (just about the hell thing).
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