I just want to say any reasonable advice would be greatly appreciated at this time.
I have been with my partner coming up to two years. I am 23 and he is 29. I am an agnostic/atheist and have been my whole life. I believe there is a “god” but not a man or human being but an energy. However I respect everyone’s beliefs within reason.
My partner was born into a devout Catholic family. They are from Nigeria originally but he was born in America and moved here to the UK when he was 22. His father goes to church everyday, his mother every Sunday. All his siblings live different places in the world and every sunday the mum calls them up and tells them to make sure they go to church. They have rosaries and pictures of Mary & Jesus all over their house.
When he got with me he knew I was atheist, now after a year and a half its starting to dawn on him that if we have kids this is going to be a problem. I feel I have bended A LOT for him. I said he could take the kids to church every Sunday and explain his beliefs and I ask in return that I explain my beliefs to my children and when they reach 18 and are adults they can make their own decision. I agreed they could go to Catholic school also. All I said was that I wouldn’t want them to think being gay is wrong (I have many gays friends who would be apart of their life) and I am pro choice also and wouldn’t want them thinking abortion is wrong and indoctrinated with that ideal. If it were up to me my kids would be raised atheist/agnostic but I am in love and so I decided to sacrifice.
He on the other hand won’t give an inch. He told me I can tell the kids whatever I believe however that they WOULDN’T be raised to think that. He said parenting doesn’t stop at 18 and his kids won’t make their own mind up as adults that they will follow his way and his way only. He said I couldn’t tell the kids not the worship god. He says he wants “god fearing” children who “worship god every second of everyday”. I said I don’t think saying prayers before sleep every night is necessary. I just feel I am giving so much and compromising and I’m getting nothing in return. I love him deary and feel maybe I should just give in and let him parent the kids his own way but then I feel like I’d be living a lie. I don’t believe in heaven, hell, don’t believe in immaculate conception, all the ethical questions.
I tried to explain to him god wouldn’t want him to push a good person out of his life. I said he can prey whenever he likes just when it comes to children their has to be SOME of my say in order for me to feel apart of this potential family. He says if I don’t let his kids worship god all their lives we can’t be together. He wants his hypothetical kids to marry christians/catholics and their kids to do so - its almost like a family tradition.
My family are not religious but respectful. My step dad was a strong devout catholic until he was 19 and decided to be atheist, so they are both very understanding. But I can’t imagine them as grandparents not being able to express their beliefs to their future grandchild since his family are so adamant to maintain a “Christian lifestyle”.
I asked him if he would come a speak to a priest with me and see what he says but he says I should go alone and report back to him. I think this is unfair as the only reason I would be going to a priest is for HIM and I’d like his support to strengthen us. If he decided to hypothetically become an atheist I’d help him in whatever he needed to do.
Sorry this is so long but I wanted to speak to the catholic community to understand from your point of view am I being unreasonable? I feel I’m trying to bend so much and try to compromise. In terms of opinions and feedback is it really against catholicism if I don’t want my kids preying all the time all day and I want them to have open minds while still very much exposing them to a catholic life?
I feel really lost right now and heartbroken, any feedback would be appreciated.
Thanks for your time.