C*l*a*i*a (starry_sigh) wrote in poly_atheism,

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loved ones turning religious

Last week, for the first time in more than a year, I went surfing in my long-ago-ex-partner's blog so that I could show my current girlfriend a photograph of what my ex looks like and also show some samples of my ex's often excellent poetry.  But I found a different photo than the one I was expecting-- and quite a few other things were different too.

After a few minutes reading through her blog, it became obvious from her "about me" statement, from some of her poems and other writings, and from the head scarf she now wears in her homepage photograph, that my ex has recently converted to Islam.  Not radical Islamic fundamentalism (thank goodness!!), but Sufism, and she now self-identifies as part of the "Islamic left" socio-politically.

While I welcome the existence of Sufism and the Islamic left, I've been realising over the past few days that my ex's transformation is weirding me out a bit.  Two decades ago, when she and I were together, she was strongly agnostic and quite skeptical of mysticism.  The only religion that carried any philosophical appeal to her was Buddhism, but she didn't think she'd make a good Buddhist because she considered herself "too selfish" and "too grounded in scientific materialism."

Things change, obviously.  That was 20+ years ago.  She was much younger then, and she has since had plenty of time to see the world in new ways.

16 years ago, she married her non-traditional-agnostic-Jewish boyfriend in a ceremony that followed the Jewish tradition in some ways and not in others.  I had guessed that the traditional Jewish details of that wedding were mostly out of respect for his parents, and that's the only hint of non-Buddhist religious sympathies I ever saw in either of them.  Now I find myself wondering what her husband thinks of her conversion (assuming they're still together, which I know they were up to just a couple years ago) .

These are idle thoughts-- and none of my business, except that I loved her so much in the past that it still matters to me that she's living a good and happy life and making good decisions.  And I'm so strongly atheist myself that I know her conversion would have been very difficult for me if we were still together.  I imagine that I would have felt quite alienated in that case.

So I'm just wondering, and using this as an excuse to stir up some discussion.  How would readers of this forum feel if a non-religious partner turned religious?  How would you react to discovering that an once non-religious ex-partner had turned religious?  Why would you feel that way?
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