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My religion is getting in the way of love

Tagged as: Big Questions, Dating, Family, Forbidden love<< Previous question   Next question >>
Question - (11 April 2018) 4 Answers - (Newest, 14 April 2018)
A female United Kingdom age 22-25, anonymous writes:

Im in a very tough situation. I came from an Arabic-muslim family, and when i was 18 i moved to Britain in order to study university there.  In my first year in university, i met this guy (let's call him X), we became very close friends, we became best friends. After 1 year and a half, we got into a relationship, we were so in love, i met his family, and we became close to each others. Well, X told me that his parents had no idea that I'm a muslim, but my mom do know that my boyfriend is a Christian but my other family members has no idea that i have a boyfriend (even my dad) , although my mom wasnt convinced with our religion differences, and she told me sooner or later we will break up for this thing, but us being together for years, is making her concerned and is giving me a glimpse that we both should move on with our lives separated because our relationship will not last. When i turned 22, we both decided to move in together, i wasn't very sure at all, because my parents are too strict about those kind of things, and they will be 1000% sure that we will have sex at some point. I accepted the idea, and yes, I've been having sex with him almost everyday, i dont regret it, but i feel guilty that my parents will never forgive for this decision. Until now (I'm 24), my parents have no idea that we have been living together for 2 years. The biggest problem here is, he told me he was preparing for the biggest question, he wants to marry me. And we are both scared of our parents reaction, because X told his mom that I'm a Muslim, and we had a huge problem about this, she didn't talk to him for months, and she wouldn't even let me visit her or talk to anyone of his family members, I was heart broken and frustrated for months. And im too scared of my parents reaction. We both dont know what to do. Yes we are adults and its our decision, but still, its a huge step, because both of us will no longer have our family members by our sides. We both will lose our family love. We have been together for almost 6 years. I can't imagine myself not being with him. What do i do? Should i tell my parents the truth?

View related questions: best friend, christian, move on, muslim, university

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A female reader, anonymous, writes (14 April 2018):

I am sorry but at the end you will do what your parents say to do,,no matter if you love this man. Muslim families are too strict about a woman living with a man without the proper commitment (marriage)... there is not such a thing of single woman living with a man before marriage. you yourself knows this very well since you havent tell your parents that you live with this boy since 2 years ago..be honest with yourself and think what is more important for you? and when you have the answer be prepared. if you chose your culture/family then you must leave this man and eventually do as your family wants to do and get married to a Muslim man. if you chose this man/love then forgive your family and move on with your life..maybe be ready for being apart of your family for a period of time..your parents will be upset..your parents might be distant with you ...but only the time will tell. you must be very honest with you and keep in mind that cultures DO MATTER TO PEOPLE, thats not such a thing of: love conquers all. NO.

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A male reader, anonymous, writes (12 April 2018):

Does religion play an important role in your life? If not, then I would say you should marry your bf and if necessary adopt his religion at least then you will be accepted by his parents, as far as your parents concerned, I think you have already crossed every line already that concern them and frankly there is no return now for you. You should be thinking of the future now. As the saying goes you have made your bed and now you have to sleep in it.

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A male reader, WiseOwlE United States + , writes (11 April 2018):

One of the important things we have to take into consideration when crossing the lines of religion and racial origins; is how it will pan-out over-time, and in the bigger frame of things.

When we are very young, love can be impulsive. Being an Arabic-Muslim, you knew from the start that very strict rules apply about virginity and devotion to your faith.

Your religion is quite inflexible about virginity and chastity in women. Guarding and protecting your honor is the greatest responsibility of your father; who is culturally the patriarch, and head of his household. He will be very angry and difficult to win-over; because you held everything in secret from him. This is rebellious and disrespectful to his authority. So his pride will overshadow things for awhile. He will look weak as leader of his family. Not really; but he will perceive it that way. That can all change.

You have already come this far; so you may as well keep going. You know there is no turning back at this point. Both families will come to terms in time; so that can't be a factor any longer. Of course, depending on how strict in their faith your parents are. By tradition, they would consider you shamed and unclean. Especially with a man not of your faith. I have been told some terrible things by my brother-in-law, but those are the extremes.

You may as well not concern yourself about the family's opinions this late in time. Now that you are both adults who can make these decisions, even without their blessings. You've broken practically all the rules, as a Muslim woman.

My dear, these things do test the love of your parents; but their hearts usually given-in. They love you way too much to completely disown you. You have been a good daughter, and your mother didn't stop you when she could have. She will convince your father. Whom will no doubt have a fit when he finds out.

Their concerns lie more with the family name, their image among the Muslim community, and the leaders of your faith. They have to explain your long absence and who your future husband is. They knew when they left your country and moved to Europe; this was something that could possibly happen.

Leaving your Arab homeland is frowned upon by the fundamentalist religious-hierarchy anyway. That in itself is considered a form of disobedience or rebellion against the faith. Especially, if you don't return. So they have to bear this in-mind.

My sister married an Iranian Muslim. He converted his faith to Christianity. He was only about 7 or 8 when his family migrated to Canada. His mother never left Iran; because his father was too ill. He died shortly afterward. They fled oppression, because of the very strict fundamentalist ayatollahs. He went to college in the US where he and my sister met. His mother threatened to shutoff the money; but his older brothers started very prosperous businesses in Canada, which grew. They gave their approval for the marriage, and even paid half for the wedding. His mother visited every summer until she died. She loved my sister and her grand-daughter.

It can work-out. Sometimes you have to make choices that are difficult; but the heart may not be as prejudiced as those around us. I'm bi-racial, so differences don't stop love.

Before you decide to marry. Decide what religion you plan to raise the the kids under. It could become a problem that will keep you, your husband, and both families at odds. All this will be a constant reminder of your differences. It wasn't so difficult for my sister; because he decided to change faith for her sake. She had never even given it a thought to not be a Christian. My father couldn't complain. He and my mother were of different races. They married back in the 50's!

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A female reader, Youcannotbeserious United Kingdom + , writes (11 April 2018):

Youcannotbeserious agony auntHave you discussed your religious differences with your boyfriend? Have you agreed on how any future children would be raised, i.e. in which religion? While I personally have no time for division caused by religion, I can understand each set of parents being hurt and upset that their child is choosing to marry outside the religion of their choice. In time, if you present a united front and show that, despite your religious differences, you are very happy together, I suspect your parents will soften, especially when/if

grandchildren come along. However, in the short term, it will be tough, make no mistake about that.

Are you both sure you want to spend the rest of your lives together? If you are both sure you are with the right person, then the price you pay for that love may have to be estrangement from your families, at least in the short term.

The natural order of things is that parents get old and die, and their children live on. Your parents (both sets) will eventually live out their lives and die, while, barring any catastrophes, you two will carry on living your lives together (until you, in turn, get old).

Bottom line: if you both strongly believe your lives are with each other, then focus on that and make that the most important part of any decisions you make. Be gentle with your parents though. Their feelings will be every bit as strong as yours. Try to understand their pain but stand strong together.

Good luck to you both. I do hope it works out for you.

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