Advocating for religion in a pluralistic society and in Canadian public life

Avoiding Conflict in Interfaith Marriages

I’m a happily married woman who has been working with wedding rings for the past 5 years, and it's made me an absolute marriage fanatic. But that’s not the amazing part. The amazing part is that I’m one of the few lucky people to be a part of an interfaith marriage. Interfaith marriage isn’t easy. Never will be. Successful couples understand the hard work that goes into their relationship to keep their marriage alive.

If you’re in an interfaith marriage, like I am, you are aware of the conflict that arises out of some occasions. This conflict can spill into other areas of your life, and can be problematic. I’ve had my fair share of issues with my husband. I was raised Christian, but my husband is of the Jewish faith. Religion, while wonderful, can become the reason for strife in your life. I am a firm believer that every problem has a solution.

Let us look at the two most important ways I learned to avoid conflict in my interfaith marriage.

•    Communicate:

I cannot stress how important it is to communicate in any marriage. You should speak openly about your likes, dislike, feelings, and emotions. This improves your relationship and helps in maintaining the bond between partners. Couples in interfaith marriages need to speak even more openly. Your partner will be unaware of your religious customs and traditions if you don’t speak about them. If you are Christian, but your partner Jewish, like we are, how will you know which customs are followed if you do not take an effort to speak about them?

•    Planning:

Plan well in advance so that you can avoid conflict later. If you are unsure about raising children in a particular faith or aren’t planning on having any at all (like us!), talk about it with your partner. Last minute surprises regarding traditions and faith could become a reason for familial conflict later on. We had the advantage of laying all our cards on the table before tying the knot. Plan your marriage and future life before you decide to have children.

Avoiding conflict and working towards a successful union requires teamwork. Be aware of your partner's feelings and learn to compromise and adjust to keep the family peace. Life is meant to be enjoyed with your loved ones. Enjoy your diversity and work towards building something that becomes uniquely yours.

 

Katie Jones loves to write, travel, practice yoga and read at any available moment! She currently writes for Orla James and adores living by the sea in Brighton UK with all of the creative opportunities that it brings.