What compromises have you found that you had to make in your relationship in order to accomodate your SO's differing belief system? What areas in your religious interaction do you have the most difficulty?

As an atheist living with a jew, I've had to give up eating pork and shellfish in the home (although I make sure to order bacon on things when we eat out just to remind him) to make him happy. I eat very little meat to begin with, so it seemed like a small sacrifice to make.

I've also had to compromise on religious school. It was very important to my husband that our kids be raised Jewish. I've agreed, but he understands that at no point will I ever pretend to believe in a deity or pretend to be jewish in front of them. His compromise was that when the kids come to bar mitzvah age, that they can choose, at that time, on whether they want to be Jewish or not. Since I'm not Jewish, they're not "officially" jewish until they bar mitzvah, even though they underwent infant conversion. At 13, I think that they should be able to make a reasoned decision on what they want to believe. As long as it's not Xian, that is ;).

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Okay, I finally have some time to chip in here.
A little background, Belgium is pretty secular, the church (catholic) is everywhere but has no real power, they run I think more than 50% of the schools but to get the large subsidies they have to follow state rules (they do teach their religion but it is soft and "inclusive" and some catholic schools even give the option to opt out of their religion classes, off-course this is the case where there are a lot of muslim pupils, yes there are muslims going to catholic schools in Belgium)
It is not a situation I would vote for and there are some bad situations sometimes (financial, personal abuse) but overall it works so long as the church as an institution does not abuse it, I think they know that if the did they'd loose all public opinion.
In the rest of public life, weekly church attendance is about 6% but 60% or so describe themself as catholic, also a major political party is the [Christian] Party (CD&V) I put christian between [] because they downplay that part whenever they can, they say it is about the "values" and you'd be unsuccessful to find the image of a cross anywhere on their website, again it's not a problem even though sometimes the wrong "values" pop up (a CD&V minister once asked a parliament question about introducing ID in schools but it was quickly laughed away by everyone including members of his own party and she later retracted clarified her question)
On to me, I'm a successful second generation atheist I'm putting it like that because of this :-) (possibly even 3rd gen though I'm not really sure about my maternal grandfather) my father and his family is more spiritual/catholic but I was raised from age 6 by my mother because they divorced. I was baptized because of pressure by my grandmother on my father's side but no communion or any of that I do have an excellent loving relationship with both parents and grandparents living and dead (when they were alive off course! ;-) )
I never went to these soft Belgian catholic schools, always public schools, where pupils have the option to follow religion (again mostly catholic in my time) or a moral ethics class which at first my mom chose for me and when I chose it when I was allowed to and this from my first school day even being the only pupil for the first 2 years, my best memories are of those classes ;-)

My wife is a believing/church going Catholic, sometimes in discussions she almost sounds agnostic but when I press the point she quickly asserts that her god belief is steadfast. She is obviously tolerant and wants to view everyone as equal but in the end according to her I'm not going to the same imaginary place that she will be going to :-) and her views on homosexuality are very complex to say the least.
Now on to the compromises, the ones I made are I think mostly momentary, I did marry her in a church (after our civil wedding) but I did not join in any pre-study groups or make any claims, I just answered "tak" (Polish yes) when asked if I wanted her as my wife. I don't go to church with her our house is relatively free of religious icons (even though her parents gave us a great huge tacky jesus frame, it is collecting dust in the attic somewhere). Up until our daughter's birth religion never really came up as point, we discussed and I have always been brutally honest but it never interfered in our relationship. Overall I think she had to make more and more lasting compromises than I did (and she moved to Belgium just for me but thats a whole other story, it does not involve mailorderbride.com ;-) ).

Now with our daughter the religious discussions have increased and I have made some compromises, she is baptized (as I was :-) ) it's just a ritual that she will have no recollection of and should she ever want to we can both try to get our names of the registers. And I compromised that she will go to a catholic school and follow catholic religion classes but I did stress that there will be no force if she does not want to anymore then I will support her decision 100% and until she decides herself it will only be to a Belgian catholic school, should we ever move to Poland before she is the right age the discussion will have to be done again (the situation is different there but that will have to be for another post, if someone is interested, this one is getting too large as it is).
I explicitly did not compromise on my views and I will never lie to her if she were to ask me questions.
At the moment I doubly enjoy the time I have with her when my wife goes to church, I'm sure she has internal struggles about that but her belief is still stronger, I do hope that she someday will be able to rid herself of it but I am not waiting for it or letting it ruin our relationship if she's a believer until the end then so be it from what we have already experienced I know that we can have a happy fulfilling life like that and be good parents to our children.




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