Author Topic: Experiences dealing with mixed marriages?  (Read 455 times)

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Offline xOrthodox4Christx

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Experiences dealing with mixed marriages?
« on: August 31, 2017, 09:46:34 PM »
Who has experiences with mixed marriages? For example, Catholic-Orthodox, Evangelical-Orthodox, mainline-Orthodox something like that? Just curious, how much difficulty is it with regards to different practices and faiths?
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Offline The young fogey

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Re: Experiences dealing with mixed marriages?
« Reply #1 on: August 31, 2017, 10:00:00 PM »
It's not possible in theory between Catholics and Orthodox exactly because we're so much alike; each claims to be the true church so each insists on claiming the kids. So the spouse who gives in on that is no longer in good standing with his or her church. My guess is in the parishes it's not much enforced. Evangelicals think we're both in grave error; so do mainliners but they seem nicer about it. At least they probably don't have much of a problem with the kids being raised in our churches, unless the person has a chip on his or her shoulder about feminism or homosexuality, in which case why would a good Catholic or Orthodox marry them? (I know; you date who you're physically attracted to but you know what I mean.) I don't have that much in common intellectually or spiritually with an indifferent Protestant; not a good foundation for a relationship if such an unlikely one even came into being.
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Offline Ainnir

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Re: Experiences dealing with mixed marriages?
« Reply #2 on: September 01, 2017, 07:30:20 AM »
Who has experiences with mixed marriages? For example, Catholic-Orthodox, Evangelical-Orthodox, mainline-Orthodox something like that? Just curious, how much difficulty is it with regards to different practices and faiths?

I think how difficult it is would depend on how each spouse handled things; I think that unless faith is more like a hobby, not sharing that in common with one's spouse won't ever be easy.  Children definitely would complicate the picture.  Sensitivities tend to run higher regarding their spiritual development as opposed to one's own.  Extended family can sometimes complicate the picture, depending on those dynamics.  Ideally, if you're single and looking for a spouse, finding one who shares your faith and desire for spiritual growth is best.  Life doesn't always work out that neatly, though!  I met several Orthodox halves of Orthodox-Catholic couples in a Greek parish, and it largely seemed like they both went to their own parishes most of the time, and occasionally showed up to each other's.  Feelings about that arrangement seemed to vary.

If one spouse changes after marriage, care and gentleness are really all anyone can do.  The lack of unity alone can be wearing, though.  Being the one who changed, sometimes there is guilt and/or wavering on my part, and it puts us on different pages on seemingly unrelated things.  Orthodoxy itself is not a subject I broach much at all anymore, but hopefully over time, the Faith will make me a better wife.  :)

Offline Arachne

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Re: Experiences dealing with mixed marriages?
« Reply #3 on: September 01, 2017, 07:36:23 AM »
I am in one, technically, since my husband is not yet chrismated. He was lapsed in his Anglicanism even before we married, and he knew that Orthodoxy is important to me and he would follow me there. We do like debating how our respective communions view things, but he attends church with me, we're raising our son Orthodox, and generally we're on the same page. The only thing he misses is the music, because once a choirboy always a choirboy, but that's what CDs and choral evensong broadcasts are for.
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Offline Lepanto

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Re: Experiences dealing with mixed marriages?
« Reply #4 on: September 07, 2017, 03:51:44 AM »
I am also in one, my wife is Eastern Orthodox. We have definitely seen through some very rough times due to the schism and the corollaries - I do not want to share details.
Of course, marriage is intended to last for a life (or longer) and it is not easy even if you share the same faith.
That´s why there are the crowns as a symbol of martyrdom within the marriage ceremony.
Differing faiths add another layer of complexity, another burden, the more so, if both (extended) families try to influence things.
I would advise strongly to really think carefully when considering to marry a person of a different faith and talk in advance about all possible sources of disagreement
and try to reach an agreement.
There are many areas where Catholics and Orthodox can agree at least to a certain extent, however the differences are larger than most people are aware of.
If both are really committed to their respective faith, I do not think there is any fully satisfying solution in the long run short of one part converting.
If I had known all the things that were going to happen in advance, I would have married her just the same - but with a bit less "naive" enthusiasm and more accurate understanding
about what marriage is all about.

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Offline Dominika

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Re: Experiences dealing with mixed marriages?
« Reply #5 on: September 17, 2017, 10:12:02 AM »
My parents are a mixed marriage: my father is Orthodox and my mother is Roman Catholic.
It's definitely difficult. I wasn't baptised until the age of 7. It's difficult when Pascha is not on the same day (and that's pretty often). Very rare church services together (I mean, the whole family). Only with minor traidion it's fine, as every side can be enriched by the second one. We have also no problems with common home prayers.
Surely, tehre are no daily discussions abotu e.g Filioque. But above all, it's difficult because of no common sacramenta life and services. Plus the fact that at one point one side is dominationg, and on at another moment the second side is dominating. And, of course, marriage life, and generally family life, is not about "who is the dominator".
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Offline Indocern

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Re: Experiences dealing with mixed marriages?
« Reply #6 on: September 17, 2017, 10:16:03 AM »
This is real problem, both must be same faith.