My partner is a practicing Catholic and I’m an atheist. If you’d asked me before I met him if I could see myself being with a deeply religious man I would have said, well, a lot of things. One would be, “I don’t think I could ever fully connect to someone who was religious” and “Would someone religious even want to be with me?” And yet, here we are, happy as can be six years later. I didn’t even know he was religious until we’d been together for a few months and he got up one morning after one of our sleepovers and said, “I’m going to Church.” Maybe we’d only spent Friday nights together until that point so we never had a Sunday morning together. I was surprised and didn’t quite know how to respond. But, then I realized, “Well, it hasn’t been an issue for us so far and he knows I’m not religious so—what the hell?” (Then I realized I shouldn’t use the word hell around him. There are some interesting dynamics that arise, however, when your partner is deeply religious and you’re an atheist.
There can be a lot of secrets with his family
It’s not quite so drastic with my partner, but I do have friends with religious partners who ask them to act as if they aren’t having premarital sex, because their partner’s religion wouldn’t allow it (and his parents would hate it). I even have one friend who lives with her boyfriend, but when his parents come to town, she has to pretend she doesn’t live there.