I’m marrying a Catholic who is also pretty damn Catholic. But I don’t spend one iota of time explaining the error of her ways to her. Why? Because they’re not an error. They’re her beliefs, they comfort her, and they are a fundamental part of the woman I fell in love with. She knows exactly how I feel, so what’s the point of rehashing our differences? Love is about accepting someone for all that they are – and while sometimes it doesn’t come naturally, I know it’s something that’s essential to our long-term happiness.
I’ve had a lot of women try to change me. I’m marrying the one who doesn’t even try. Which is why I can say with some degree of confidence, Julia, that I don’t think you’ve fully contemplated what it’s like to date a person who is trying to change you. So try this hypothetical on for size:
You don’t want Catholic Man as he is – a sweet, God-fearing virgin with Christian values.
Catholic Man thinks you’re an amazing catch. Smart, logical, quick-witted, sexy (for, you know, the honeymoon) – you’re the entire package. Except for one thing. You’re Jewish. Your morals are questionable. And you’re going to hell – unless you accept Jesus Christ as your savior. And while he really thinks he could be in love with you, he’s not going to go down that path with a woman who would raise her children without a sense of God.
Sounds pretty awful, huh? To be with a guy who is proselytizing all the time? Who thinks your beliefs are silly? Who loves a lot of you, but won’t fully accept you as you are?
Yeah, that’s how you’re treating this guy.
I’m all for the breakdown of religious barriers. I think the new atheists are onto something. And my fiancée and I have our own unique way we plan on raising our family. It involves compromise – on both of our parts.
But it’s clear that you don’t really want to compromise on this one. You don’t want Catholic Man as he is – a sweet, God-fearing virgin with Christian values. You want him to be you – a smartypants secular Jew. And from one of us to another – that ain’t happening.
Let him find his chaste bride who will accept him as he is, instead of constantly judging him for what he isn’t.
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