-Balancing The Spiritual With The Romantic-
My partner is not Pagan. He is joyfully Agnostic and questioning, open to what may be and shut off to the ridiculous. In a way, we balance each other and learn from each others points of view when it comes to this subject. If I recall correctly, I was very open on the first date about my views because they are important to me. I refuse to share my life with anyone who is negative about what I and others do, no matter the faith and views. Naturally, he was accepting and understanding. That’s just the wonderful man that he is.
Funny enough, it was his idea to write about what it’s like to be with someone who doesn’t share your same spiritual views. I can whole heartedly get behind this idea! Many of us live in this situation (good and bad) and can find it challenging when our partner doesn’t share or participate in our beliefs. I’m a firm believer in live and let live. It’s never been a requirement that my fiancé’ believes all that I do and practices as I do. All I ever ask is respect and harmony. I get that. However, some are not as fortunate as I am when it comes to all this and navigating the spiritual and romantic. Some like me are very open from the start and some test the waters here and then to judge what may happen when they open up to their partner.
I would strongly advice you to not just blurt out in the middle of car ride ”I’M PAGAN!”. Doesn’t make for pleasant conversation and if your partner drives like mine, you just may wreck! Timing is key and so is the environment. You wouldn’t tell your partner that you are pregnant in the middle of a Wal-Mart…would you? Setting can either be comforting or embarrassing for you and your partner, even more if things go south and not as planed. Make sure you are in a comfortable and neutral territory that can provide an escape route for you or them, should they not find this news acceptable. No one deserves to be treated poorly for their spiritual choices, remember that.
There are a lot of ups and positives to being open with them about your spiritual beliefs. One being that you don’t have to hide anything and can freely be open with your items. Such as keeping an altar or sacred space out in the open in your home. Or, wearing devotional jewelry without question or lying about what it means. It really is a sense of freedom and right now with everything going on in America, we need that sense more than ever.
I’ve never lived in a situation romantically where my partner didn’t approve or like my spiritual life. I have, however lived with parents who did not and were the absolute worst about it. Books trashed, altars destroyed and jewelry broken. Relying on those memories it was a very painful experience and drive deep into my heart the idea that I would never be hurt about spiritual choices ever again. No matter how deeply I love someone, my faith comes first. In my eyes, mocking and trying to tear down your partners beliefs is a form of mental and emotional abuse. I stress again that if you are in that situation, you don’t have to be.
I’ve always lived a the type of individual who didn’t feel the need to broadcast that I was Pagan. I own one (slightly) Pagan related shirt and I wear only one piece of devotional jewelry…tattoo as well. If people ask me, I tell them honestly but usually they do not. I choose to be open and talk about this on my blog and Facebook account. (mainly because everyone on there is spiritual themselves) It’s the same way in our household. I have a sacred space set up for my God’s and a section of the wall for hanging devotional items. It exists and I only talk about it when my fiance’ asks and he does ask sometimes. He loves hearing stories about Thor and Odin, Loki and others. It interests him to a point. It’s how we exist here and it’s a system that works pretty darn well. I don’t force my beliefs on him and vice versa. As I was told by him last night ”I enjoy that you don’t religiously oppress people”. (thank you!)
I’m very interested in hearing how others navigate all this. Please comment below and tell me more about your relationship and how you manage! Or past experiences!
Love and relationships are already a rocky road to navigate and often times both people have no idea what they are doing, they just know they are doing it together. With the world being a melting pot of faiths and Deities, couples from all walks of life can exist and make it work.
I’m a believe in sacrificing where you can for the relationship but not losing touch of who you are along the way. Relationships work because the two (or more if you are poly) keep track of not losing their own identity. Even in religion. It counts. Honesty is the best policy and you should never put yourself in a place to be mocked for what you believe.
If your partner shares a different faith, learn how to make both work! What do you like about what they do and vice versa. I’m sure there are a plethora of ways to combine some practices so that both parties can honor together. Also, it’s a great relationship builder when two people came work on something together and learn from it. God’s know I have had my relationship woes and ups and downs. The hard work is always worth it.
I wish you the best in your romantic endeavors!
We all deserved to be loved, give love and feel love!