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We have a fundamental clash of values

Is there any hope for the relationship?

Love Letters

Q. My partner and I have been together for a little under a year, and in that time we have grown to love each other very much. We support each other, take care of each other, and have become extremely close.

Unfortunately, we keep hitting a wall because she is a fundamentalist Christian (with lots of resentment toward the LGBTQ+ community) and I am not.

I’m the son of a trans woman, bisexual, and a self-proclaimed socialist. You’d never expect that the two of us would get together, let alone be attracted to each other. This fundamental clash of our values rocks our relationship every few months and then we pretend to forget and live peacefully for a few months before it boils over again.


We so badly want the other to see from our point of view, but we keep failing. Yet there is something special between us that neither of us have experienced before. Is there a way forward for us?

– Clashing

A. I don’t think so.

Of course, I don’t know for sure — and I’ve never witnessed the “special thing” that keeps you together — but a “fundamental clash of values” seems like an obvious dealbreaker. I’m surprised you didn’t end the relationship the minute you figured out how different you are.

Maybe this is a meaningful experience, but not a forever situation. I would guess you want a partner who will accept you as you are, embrace your loved ones, and be open to learning about the people who make you happy. You mention the word “resentment”; that doesn’t sound like openness.

It’s interesting that you didn’t get more specific about the “something special.” I assume it’s attraction. Maybe some basic kindness. Perhaps it’s the feeling that you’ve met someone very different from everyone else in your life (that’s probably true).


You can be attracted to someone, find them fascinating, date them, realize the interest isn’t enough to sustain the feelings, and then let go.

I don’t see another path here. It doesn’t sound like she’s going to change.

– Meredith


“... then we pretend to forget ... .” Pretend is the key word here. Your relationship is based on mostly ignoring the fundamental thing that prevents you from truly being compatible. It doesn’t sound like you’ve even tried to have a reasonable conversation around your (in my opinion, irreconcilable) differences. It’s a skill you need in any relationship, so I suggest learning at some point. SETTINGTHEWORLDONFIRE

It’s like fundamentally disagreeing on having kids. If one does and the other doesn’t, it doesn’t matter how attracted you are to each other. It’s a dealbreaker. REB64

Being in love with her, I wouldn’t give up just yet. ... I bet in her heart of hearts she has doubts, but maybe she’s afraid to say how she truly feels. JIM501

This is one of those letters where I’d love to hear the perspective of the girlfriend. If she has so much resentment for the LGTBQ+ community, why is she with you? And why in the world would you want to be with her? Do you think you can love her into a different belief system or something? I’m with Mere, I don’t see a path forward. PENSEUSE

I’m trying to comprehend how and why a person “resents” the LGBTQ+ community. That’s an odd characterization. The bottom line is your partner believes you and your mother are sinners. I think you need to interrogate why you would even contemplate a future with someone with those beliefs. MARINOLAW


This is also an election year where civil rights are on the table. I don’t think the relationship will survive such a polarized point of views. BRENDA67

Speaking from years of experience in a relationship where fundamental differences have been conveniently ignored until they can’t be ... get out now!! You can’t really change people, and wishing it weren’t a problem doesn’t work long-term. HEARTBREAKBLVD

Send your own relationship and dating questions to loveletters@globe.com or fill out this form. Catch new episodes of Meredith Goldstein’s “Love Letters” podcast at loveletters.show or wherever you listen to podcasts. Column and comments are edited and reprinted from boston.com/loveletters.