Over the months, we had multiple conversations regarding whether my not being a Christian would be an issue for him or his parents. His response was at first non-committal, saying that his parents never imposed their beliefs on him but he was thinking about this himself. At one point, it became clear to me that he held on to the hope that I would eventually convert and I had to make it clear that I had no plans to do so. He said he was struggling with the fact that he always imagined raising his kids in a Christian household and that his wife would read the Bible to his kids and pray with the kids. (To be clear, we hadn’t discussed actually getting married, it was mainly philosophical.) When I confronted him about comparing me to an ideal situation in his mind, he said it really just comes down to the fact that he’s always believed he can’t marry a non-Christian. He said he’s still thinking it through and trying to decide if he truly still believes that or if it’s just because it’s what he’s used to. We broke it off after that since I didn’t see any point in my waiting for him to think it through when he’s had months to think since he found out I’m not a Christian.
My question is, now that I’m ready to move on, should I be cautious of dating Christians when I’m a non-Christian? I don’t want to discount all Christians because of this one experience, but it was very painful for me when we broke up and I’d rather not repeat that experience again due to the same reason of religious differences. Other than our disagreement on religious beliefs, we had fun together, took care of each other, and were very much in love. Was there a sign that I should’ve picked up on that I missed? — Non-Christian
Yeah, the sign was your boyfriend being noncommittal in his answer the very first time you asked him if your not being Christian would be an issue for him and his parents. His non-answer was all the answer you needed. If you want to avoid the pain you went through with this relationship, you don’t have to avoid dating someone of a different religion, but you DO have to avoid dating someone who can’t confidently and convincingly tell you from on the offset that your being a different religion (or no religion) is not an issue. If there’s any wavering, move on.
With your ex, not only was there wavering, he flat out told you multiple times that he hoped you would convert, that he always imagined he’d raise his kids in a Christian household with a wife who would read the Bible and pray with the kids, and that he was struggling with the idea that you would not be that ideal. At no point ever did he confirm that your difference in religions would not be a problem, and THAT was the problem here. THAT was the sign you should have picked up on. I’m sorry the breakup was painful for you, but you could have avoided it if you had only listened when he told you you weren’t the woman he was looking for.
Related: “I’m Jewish, He’s Catholic. Can We Make It Work?” and “It’s Been Three Years and My Boyfriend Hasn’t Told His Muslim Family About Me Yet” and “He Wants to Save Out Next Kiss For When We Get Engaged”
He moved out of the place they shared because they broke up a while ago, he moved in with his mom, and he has a kid whom he has full custody of who also lives with him. He always breaks dates, and he doesn’t communicate enough in our relationship the way normal couples would, but he won’t let me break up with him, always begging me to stay. I feel trapped in this one-sided relationship.
Last night he dropped another bombshell on me: He has not been communicating with me and has been breaking dates because he’s been seeing his secret baby with this ex whom he just moved away from. He didnt tell me he had a fourth kid with this woman (he only told me about the three kids with his ex-wife). What should I do? Should I forgive his lack of honesty about said ex-gf and secret baby, or should I leave him? He said this is all the secrets. He agreed to go to counseling for all my hang-ups and his. — Hung Up
I think maybe you don’t understand what a “hang-up” is. A hang-up is a phobia, a neurosis, an unhealthy obsession, or an emotional inhibition. A good example: “I have a hang-up about getting undressed in the locker room of the gym.” Not a good example: “I have an hang-up about being ghosted for ten months, cheated on, lied to, and finding out there’s not just an ex-girlfriend (plus an ex-wife and three children) still in the picture but a SECRET BABY, too.” Do you see the difference? If you can imagine a close friend who cares about your well-being saying, “Yeah, I get it, but once you do it a few times, you sort of forget you’re even naked in front of strangers,” then it’s probably a hang-up. But, on the other hand, if you can imagine someone who cares about your well-being saying, “Holy shit, what are you doing?! You need to get the fuck out of this messed up relationship with this lying, cheating dirtbag,” then it’s not a hang-up.
In the future, if someone ghosts you, don’t go chasing him. Also, you don’t need someone’s permission to break up with him. Just MOA. Take a page from his book and ghost him, lose his number, forget his name, and move on already!
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If you have a relationship/dating question I can help answer, you can send me your letters at wendy(AT)dearwendy.com.