Religion, Couples and Funerals

Aug 12, 2010 | 0 comments

There’s an interesting story in today’s Washington Post about a study that says couples who share religious practices tend to be happier than those who don’t. From the article:

True to the aphorism, couples who pray together stay together, said study co-author W. Bradford Wilcox, director of the National Marriage Project at the University of Virginia, and “African American couples are more likely to have a shared spiritual identity as a couple.”

The study found that 40 percent of blacks in marriages and live-in relationships who attended religious services regularly had a partner who did the same, compared with 29 percent of non-Hispanic whites and 29 percent of Hispanics.

White couples, in general, reported greater relationship satisfaction than other groups, presumably because of income and educational advantages, the study says. But the racial gap lessens when religious similarities come into the mix.

Still, the study shows that religion did not have positive effects for all. When one partner attends services regularly and the other does not, relationship satisfaction is lower. Two nonreligious partners are more content together than partners with different practices, the study says.

Now, consider this:

A survey by the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life released in 2009 revealed that more than a quarter of adult Americans have left the faith of their childhood. Do you know your own religion’s funeral traditions? If you married someone of another faith, do you know if your partner would want to follow such traditions and what would need to be done?

What will an interfaith couple do when there’s a death in the family? Which religion’s rituals will be used when someone dies, if any? Does the person in that couple who lives decide what religious ritual to follow to bury the person who died, or does the family of the deceased get a say?

All these questions need to be discussed before there’s a death in the family to avoid stress and conflict at a time of grief. Have a conversation today!

A Good Goodbye