Marrying Someone Your Family Hates

Sarah Bowman
Sarah Bowman, born & raised horse and buggy Mennonite till age 40

It’s like stepping into a landmine and hoping not to get hurt.

In my opinion, you have a right to do this but be warned that you’re setting yourself and your spouse-to-be up for a lifetime of extremely difficult relationships. Within your marriage you will find challenges on a daily basis because of the differences in your upbringings. You don’t tell how different your backgrounds are or whether one of you has converted. I am assuming both of you adhere to your parents’ religion/sect and don’t plan to convert. In that case, here are some items you should be prepared to face within your marriage:

  • the proper way to celebrate holidays as a family/couple
  • if you have children, what to teach them regarding truth or the True Way
  • how to deal with a crisis such as death in the family or of a friend, catastrophe such as loss of home through fire or flood, or other life adversity, e.g. “Which God will you pray to and how?”
  • your spouse’s inability over time to deal with the friction of your family’s strong disapproval

You may think love conquers all and in some situations perhaps it does but when you intentionally mix religions and strong negative emotions you’re setting yourself up for a major life challenge. People will get hurt, and perhaps the most serious victims will be children or siblings.

That’s the worst possible scenario I can think of. I’ve experienced some really horrendous family relationships. Others, whose families have been more successful in talking out their differences, may answer more positively.


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