Should You Marry Outside Your Religion: Angela’s Take

by Angela Ajani

Marriage and religion go hand in hand. You cannot set aside your religious beliefs when considering who to be in a relationship with or who to get married to in the long run.

While getting married is sweet and a good experience, many people get confused about who to settle down with. The question of whether a person can marry outside their religion is one that so many people are seeking answers to.  

If you’re in such a situation, calmly read this article; at the end, you can conclude what is right for you.

Marriage and Religion

Marriage is the joining together of a male and female to become husband and wife. Even though, in today’s world, this definition of marriage has come to mean different things as marriage now involves not just male and female but male getting married to male and vice versa. But our primary focus here is the one between a man and a woman.

Marriages are often a significant cause of joy and celebrations in a typical Nigerian home. However, specific issues arise before the couple’s parents agree to get them wedded. 

Issues that arise from such situations could be that of ethnicity, race or religion, which is the main focus of this article. In Nigeria, there are two major religions, the Christian and the Muslim. There are varying beliefs about a Muslim marrying a Christian and vice versa. In the Muslim world, while it is permitted for a Muslim man to get married to a Christian lady, such is not granted to a Muslim lady to get married to a Christian guy. 

It is believed that once a Muslim guy marries a Christian lady, the lady in question can change her religion to that of her husband; after all, the lady is the one bearing the husband’s name and imbibing the new religion or even tradition of her husband. However, a lady who’s a Muslim would be frowned upon if she gets married to a Christian guy.

Why Religion Should Be Considered in Marriage 

Being of the same religion is believed to help couples during conflicts in marriage. Conflict is bound to happen between couples; it is how the conflict is approached and managed that’s important. Disagreement often arises between couples regarding issues affecting their lives and the family. Because religion plays a vital role in achieving family goals, unity stems from there between these couples.

Conflict can become more frequent and intense if the couples do not share compatible religious beliefs and values. This tension is more severe and could be dangerous among couples with different religious beliefs.

Imagine a couple who do not share the same religion, and they have two kids. Now they have to decide on the faith the children would practise. The husband wants his children to practise Islam, while the mother wants her children to practise Christianity. There is already a conflict of interest, which can cause division within the family. The children would later become wary of which religion they should practise. These differences can affect the mental health of such a family.

Religious precepts like forgiveness and hope help spouses be more proactive in dealing with their daily lives. When couples feel they have a good relationship with God, they tend to have higher feelings of self-worth and dependency. Better self-esteem helps them interact with their spouse more positively.

In addition, couples with religious beliefs and practices are more likely to have their internal support system. The family would blossom as long as there’s like-mindedness among the couples. Mentally healthy spouses can then lend more support to their spouses in times of mental stress and sadness.

Having the same religion can also help couples lessen conflict in relationships. Conflict in marriage occurs when couples choose or pursue goals differently. Religion plays a vital role in the lives of couples, as they make decisions that could impact either positively or negatively in the family.

Comparing marriages of couples with the same religion and those of different religions, inter-faith marriages tend to have less stability and more conflict as these couples have different views on religious beliefs. For many couples in interfaith marriages, conflict over religious differences can add stress to other significant stressors that couples usually face.

Conflict can become more frequent or intense if couples do not share compatible religious-based values and views. This tension is more severe in inter-faith marriages where one or both spouses are involved in faith with high demands on time, money, and investment.

However, couples who actively share the same religious beliefs and practices are equipped with more spiritual resources than inter-faith couples. Couples with the same religion also tend to have marriages that last longer and are happier. However, couples of the same faith may struggle with conflict if they do not practice their religion at the same level of belief as each other. Couples of the same faith who participate in a few religious activities with each other also report disagreements more often.

It has been proven that couples involved in the same religion tend to fare better in marriage in different ways. Religious practices such as prayer increase unity in a marriage relationship. Therefore, couples must implement these values to foster unity in marriage.

What is The Way Out?

Religion, as you know, plays a vital role in everyday life and activities. In the long run, it affects how these couples think about their relationships and react to stressful situations that arise while in marriage and even while dating. A healthy and better communication pattern could develop if these couples cope in a compatible way based on their similar and shared values. It is essential to say that healthy communication breeds better relationships and marriage. 

Now going to the question if you should marry from another religion. Do what is best for you and what you won’t regret. Love is not just enough; love is not everything in marriage/relationships. Just as how you’d consider the genotype and blood group of your partner, religion should be highly considered too. 

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The question of marrying outside your religion has been answered. Remember that it is up to you to decide whether you’ll want to continue such a relationship or break it off. There should be mutual understanding and love, and respect between the couples, which would, in the long run, foster unity in the marriage.

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About Author

Avatar of Angela Ajani
Angela Ajani
Give her books and you've made her day. Ajani Angela is a graduate of History and International Studies from Bowen University, currently pursuing her Masters Degree in Peace and Conflict Studies at the University of Ibadan.
Angela loves to read and meet new people. Her interests are not limited to just education; she also loves to offer advice to people going through a lot.
Angela loves to hear from readers. You can email her at [email protected].

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