Can mixed-faith marriages succeed?

by Robert R.  LaRochelle

Home UnitedRecent statistics show that about 40% of all married individuals marry someone who comes from different religious backgrounds from their own. In addition, it appears that around 22 % of Americans are ‘ nones’, i.e. people without religious affiliation.
I’m often asked, “Do these religious differences pose potential problems that may arise within a marriage? And, might there be a positive side to these realities?”
My recent book, A Home United: Strategies for Couples with Different Beliefs, is based on the simple fact that the above numbers cited represent basic facts. The book is intended to encourage serious conversation between individuals contemplating marriage, preparing for marriage and those who are married. In the book, I look at the strengths and weaknesses of these inter-religious relationships.
It is my conviction that problems could occur in these relationships if they are not addressed honestly and openly. In this book, I offer particular, specific questions and encourage couples to discuss them. In addition, I suggest these questions as resources for those who work to prepare couples for marriage. I also think these questions will be helpful to those already married who may very much need to address the issues discussed in this book.
I would appreciate it if YOU would post your response to the questions I list above. By the way, in the book I make clear that when I am discussing married or engaged couples, I am being inclusive, i.e., I am commenting on same sex and heterosexual couples.

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  1. I’m “on the fence” on this issue. In my first marriage, I transferred my membership from a Baptist church to the Methodist church to be of the same faith of my spouse. We had very compatible religious beliefs. The marriage did not work out. In my second marriage, I married someone of the Catholic faith. It has expanded my belief system and given me greater appreciation of the world church and its history. I am comfortable walking into a Baptist, Methodist or Catholic church. I must mention that today my husband is a Methodist so we did end up worshipping and serving in the same church

  2. Thank you for sharing this. I look forward to reading the comments on this series of posts. I feel very strongly about the importance of couples discussing questions of faith…Bob

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