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Personal Interests & Expectations

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Exercises

Checking Religious Compatibility

Although religion and/or spirituality often permeate every aspect of an individual's attitudes, values, and behaviors it is frequently a taboo topic in couple's relationships. However, religious discussions should not be avoided because of religions power to influence how people perceive the purpose and quality of their relationships, how they react in times of crisis, how they deal with loss and trauma, and most importantly, how they attribute meaning to all of life's experiences. Furthermore, some of the most intense human emotions, such as love, hate, happiness, and sadness are constructed within these religious contexts. Take some time to assess your religious and spiritual compatibility with your partner by discussing your answers to the following questions together.

  • Will both you and your partner attend church?
  • How often will you attend?
  • Will your children attend church with you?
  • How important are faith, religious practice, and support of a church family in your life and the life of your partner?
  • To what extent do you and your partner identify with a religion or spiritual orientation?
  • How are religious differences between you and your partner handled and/or accepted?
  • How might religious differences between you and your partner fuel tension and conflict and how will such tension and conflict be addressed?
  • How do your past or present religious and/or spiritual beliefs and practices contribute to your ability to get along with your partner's religious and/or spiritual background?

The more agreement you and your partner have in terms of your answers to these questions the greater your chances for marital harmony in this aspect of your relationship. If you find that you and your partner share very different views, it may be wise to come to some sort of agreement that you are both comfortable with prior to getting married.

Copyright 2008, by the Contributing Authors. Cite/attribute Resource . admin. (2005, December 06). Personal Interests & Expectations. Retrieved January 08, 2011, from Free Online Course Materials — USU OpenCourseWare Web site: http://ocw.usu.edu/Family__Consumer____Human_Development/Marriage___Family_Relationships/Personal_Interests___Expectations_15.html. This work is licensed under a Creative Commons License Creative Commons License