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So I’m an atheist with a Middle Eastern background. My family is not religious, either. My boyfriend is from a typical-ish white American family, religion is important to an extent for his parents and much more important for his grandparents (Catholics). My boyfriend is not religious; he is more likely agnostic but doesn’t talk about it to his family, especially his grandpa, because well, you know how it is. I completely respect that.

We were momentarily talking about future potential kids yesterday, and he mentioned how his youngest cousin wasn’t baptized and that was apparently a huge deal in his family. Then he went on to say how if we have future kids, that it (baptism...or the lack of) might be an ordeal, but he wouldn’t want to baptize our potential kids just to appease his family. And I was like, “Uh, yeah, there’s no way in hell I’m baptizing my kids.” My boyfriend is on the same page as me, but I guess I haven’t spent a lot of time thinking about how it’s going to be if I marry into a family that’s outside of my own culture. I mean, people do it all of the time, but what are the sort of compromises you make in these situations? It scares me to think about it.

For instance, when I marry, I don’t want to marry in a church. I want a ceremony that is traditional to my culture, but with no religion involved. I know my family wants that for me, as well. But what if his side wants a church wedding? Wouldn’t they get a say in that, as well? I mean ultimately, the final choices are between him and me, but isn’t familial pressure something you have to think about?


Also, I would want my future kids to know my language. I want them to have names from my background. My cultural background is such an important part of my identity. I would hate for my future kids to lose that culture. I don’t want that at all.

I guess I’m just a little scared when I think about all of this stuff. It’s overwhelming. Granted, I don’t plan to marry or have kids until like, 3-4+ years from now. However, I totally envision marrying my boyfriend, and I guess these are things we need to talk about. He is very open-minded and enthusiastic about my culture, and I know he would personally support me with what I want, but I guess I don’t actually know what HE wants either (he has a very chill attitude about many things). Plus, I just don’t know how it’s going to pan out with his family and whatnot.

Anyone have any perspective on this? I’d love to hear stories.

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