Post # 1
When I posted back here in June my parents had disowned me because my FI is Christian, White American and I was raised Muslim. Recently my mom has been calling me to tell me how miserable I have made them and begs me to convert him to our religion and marry in the Islamic faith.
Neither my FI nor I want to do this; however, my parents are using emotional blackmail to get me to give in and I am worried it is starting to work. She keeps reminding me that my father is 70 years old and not healthy. Or that people have already started slandering them. She told me that they don’t care what the FI and I believe but if I loved my parents I would restore their dignity and do the right thing. (as in have an Islamic marriage).
Today on the phone my mother said that in order to get to know my FI he must be Muslim first. He would only convert to make things easier on me, otherwise we are both agnostic – which I told both my parents but they don’t care what we are only what we appear to be. Then she pulled on my heart strings and said “we would love to come to your wedding in June, but we can only do that if he converts.”
I’m beyond the point of being hurt. I knew what I was getting myself into; however, the worst part is still ahead of me. I have very controlling, Middle Eastern parents who believe that I must always be an obedient child. (I have been financialy independent and living on my own for 6 years now.) I worry that if I give in regarding his conversion and the ceremony then they will keep using guilt to get me to do what they want. Why not? They would have proven it works. They will want us to exceed our budget, invite more people, have two ceremonies. I don’t even want to think about what it will be like when I have children.
I’m not sure how to save my relationship with my parents, but I know it won’t happen if they emotionally blackmail me. I just worry that I am not strong enough to keep going on like this. Mostly, I fear that I am destroying my relationship with them which I may regret someday.
How do I go forward without being controlled by my parents while maintaining a relationship with them?
Post # 3
I don’t think you can mend the relationship with your parents, they have to mend it.
I will never understand the grip that religion has over folks.
Unless you’re going to cater to them just do what you want and let them come to you. If they don’t, their loss, but you can’t bend over backwards to acomodate them adn thier beliefs.
I’m sorry you’re in this mess.
Post # 4
Have you explained to them that their religion is not your religion?
When I was having extreme problems with my family, I saw a family therapist (by myself). She helped me accept that my family expected me to put them before myself or my FI, and come to terms with how I couldn’t do that.
Post # 5
@Atalanta: “I will never understand the grip that religion has over folks.” Nor will I!
Post # 6
I’m sorry I’m not very knowledgeable about Islamic ceremonies/rules – but would it be possible to do two ceremonies? one Islamic ceremony and one “your way”?
Post # 7
@BrandNewBride: I tried again and again to explain this my mother’s response “I don’t know you. You are not the child I raised. How could you deny the 19 years you spent in our home learning the right way of life?” I answer, “Mom, I still have some of those values. However, after age 19 the mind is still deciding who we are and what we believe.”
I’ve been looking for a therapist but haven’t decided on the right one just yet. I went to one last year to talk about this and the lady was horrible.
Post # 8
@Glasgowbound: This is the idea that I have been entertaining. I am trying to figure out the details since I have never attended an Islamic ceremony where the groom had to convert (usually men can marry out of the religion without converting the bride).
Post # 9
@NadiaN: I don’t even think you should do two ceremonies; I think you only should do the one you want. Even considering the idea means allowing your parents to continue to have control over you and your life – not to mention that your FI would have to ‘convert’. Then, the headache with everything THEY would want to control for your wedding… and then your KIDS….
Honestly, I know that you love your parents, but I think you need to consider your own well-being first and foremost. Just because they’re your parents doesn’t mean you have to give in. Please do only what makes sense for YOU and your FI.
Post # 10
@NadiaN: I’m so sorry you have to deal with this.
This actually happened to one of my good friends, only she was a child of religious jews. Her parents disowned her as well.
She had the wedding on a Sunday so her parents could attend, and sent them an invitation – they did not attend.
Her father ended up trying to mend their VERY broken relationship and reaching out to her. They were doing better for a little, until she got pregnant. Her father kept up, but her mother… distanced herself once again. Didn’t respond to the sonograms they sent them, refused to get on the phone to talk to her, etc.
She had a beautiful baby, and shockingly, her parents came to visit their first grandchild.
I personally think in this case, you need to go through with the wedding you feel is right for you. I’d like to hope eventually they’ll get over it.
Post # 11
@StephieBee: Even though I grew up around Arabs/Muslims my whole life I always wanted to walk down the aisle and exchange vows. This is the wedding I have been planning for, with or without my parents.
Post # 12
@MangoSong: I’m happy things worked out for your friend. She is very courageous.
Post # 13
Wow, that’s a tough situation. I don’t think there is much you can do. If they feel this way they most likely wont attend the wedding, but hopefully after they will ease up on the situation. I really wish the best for you. You never know what can happen.
Post # 14
@NadiaN: this might not be the most adult way to deal with it but call there bluff
they should love you and know your a good person no matter what you believe and know its wrong to force someone to take on a religion they do not believe in (making him convert makes a mockery of their faith if they know he does not mean it)
I would tell them forcing someone to say they believe in something they don’t is mocking it and tell them he and you both respect the muslim faith enough not to make a mockery of it
if they are trying t push ur buttons i think maybe a little taste of their own actions ight be the only thing that wil wake them up to the fact they might miss their daugher wedding
tell them if they can’t be supportive of your wedidng and show up, how can they expect to be in your kids lifes one day, tell them how insulted your husband would be they sound old fashion like the kinda people who the wife must respect her husband and do as he wishes…. remind them that if they snub him in such a way he might not want them in your life later (idle of course clearly they are form a different time but it might shake them up enough to be supportive)
Post # 15
- Wedding: November 2013 - Garden
You have nothing to feel guilty about, so don’t let the guilt trip work. If they want to come to your wedding and maintain a close relationship with you then they need to at least attempt to understand where you are coming from.
Religion is so very personal and you and your FI should not be pushed into doing anything. Disagreeing with your family on this issue is no cause to feel guilty. My advice would be to deal with your parents with an open mind and request that they do they same, if they can’t then it’s no fault of your own.
Post # 16
@NadiaN: my cousin (Latino Catholic) married a Muslim woman. Her family disowned her and refused to meet him. He didn’t convert but he did learn to speak Arabic and observes Ramadan with her. Still the parents shut them out. But when she got pregnant a year into the marriage the parents forgave her and now we see them often and the two grandmas of the baby are very close.
So all that is to say I think you should stick to what is right for you and your FI. Tell your parents that you would like them to pray for God to show them his will, not just for you to change your mind. Then let them be stubborn if they must it will be very hurtful but they may come around eventually when they see you married a good man.