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Marriage Counseling: Mixed Faith Marriages
Faith Issues and Marriage Counseling
Marriage counseling is a valuable tool to help you and your partner navigate a change in religious beliefs. You might think navigating your personal beliefs is hard enough. How do you understand your beliefs as a couple, especially if you and your spouse have different views?
Utah marriage therapists are no strangers to the challenges you face as an interfaith couple. Our marriage therapists can help you to find ways reconnect and realign together. In this article, you will learn useful strategies that can help you navigate these big changes in your relationship (Related Article: Communication Tips for Interfaith Couples).
Improving Communication Skills in Marriage Counseling
Sometimes the hardest part of a faith transition is talking about it. This can be especially true for your closest relationships. Maybe you just converted to a new religion, or maybe you are leaving your life-long faith. Either way, it can be hard to admit that you have made a major change, especially to your partner (Related Article: How to Communicate with Your Spouse).
You might think you can ignore talking about your differences in belief with your spouse to prevent conflict. However, avoiding the topic of religion in your marriage won’t work forever. In marriage counseling, your marriage therapist can help you learn how to approach each others’ beliefs with curiosity instead of judgement (Related Article: 5 Steps to Fight Better if Your Relationship is Worth Fighting For).
Positive Conversations About Faith
Conversations about your interfaith relationship don’t have to be negative. You and your spouse can find ways to connect on the things you have in common, instead of focusing on the beliefs you no longer share (Related Article: Relationship Problems and Communication Problems). A therapist can help guide you and your spouse and encourage good communication.
Marriage Counseling Helps You Discover Shared Values
You may think you and your spouse can no longer connect about your beliefs after a faith transition. It is scary to think that your spouse may not share your same morals and values. Sadly, this fear can prevent you from finding your shared beliefs.
In couples therapy, you can discover the ideals you and your spouse still share, and find connection in the things you have in common (Related article: Enriching Your Marriage by Creating Shared Meaning). For example, even though you and your spouse may no longer share the same religious affiliation, you may both agree that it is a priority seek opportunities to serve others.
Creating Meaningful Shared Experiences
Once you find shared values, you can create and share meaningful experiences tied to the beliefs you have in common. For example, if you both value serving others, you plan an opportunity to provide service in your community together.
Finding these shared values and incorporating them into your marriage can help to enrich your bond as a couple and encourage emotional closeness (Source: The Seven Principles for Making Marriage Work by John Gottman, 1999)
Prioritizing Respect and Curiosity
As you work on finding shared values and meaning with your spouse in marriage counseling, you can encourage an attitude of respect and curiosity for each other’s beliefs.
Ready to talk to a marriage therapist about your mixed faith marriage? Start couples therapy today in Orem, South Jordan, or Spanish Fork.
Written by Lauren Adkins