- 6 years ago
I’ve looked around the web for advice that can help me, but my situation is just too specific, so I’m writing and hoping to get some good advice from an outside perspective.
My boyfriend is Iranian and a practicing Muslim. I’m a Jewish American. I always told myself that if I met a man who was perfect for me in every other way, things like religion and ethnicity won’t matter. My bf is wonderful- our relationship works so well and we are very happy together. But I know that there will be some serious challenges for us down the road if we decide to get married, how and where to raise the kids being foremost in my mind. I’m about to start working towards my PhD in Cultural Anthropology, beginning a career I hope will allow me to have an adventurous life that includes travel. My bf is an engineer, and he would like to use his skills to help his country, but he hasn’t lived there in years and doesn’t plan to go back while things are as unstable as they are right now. Ideally we would both like to be professors in the US and be able to spend summers in Iran. However, one never knows how life will work out and it will take the better part of a decade for us to know even generally how things will turn out.
I’m not in a rush to get married and I’d hoped we could take our time considering things. But my boyfriend’s visa is about to run out and he has tried EVERYTHING to be able to stay in the country. I told him that I would be willing to get married if that becomes our only option. (We would get legally married right before his visa runs out, and then have a proper ceremony in another year or 2) On the one hand, we love each other and I know that life is unpredictable and sometimes you just have to take a leap of faith and hope that things work out for the best. Like I said, I’ve always wanted a life of adventure. On the other, I know our future would be unclear and full of challenges. I’m frustrated because this isn’t the way I’d hoped things would go…I wish we had more time to work things out, but since our biggest challenges are so far in the future, waiting might not clear anything up anyway.
With all this on my mind, I’d love to be able to talk to someone older, wiser, who has experience with marriage…My parents. They’re still happily married and I have a close relationship with them. But they are very unsupportive of this relationship. Not in an obvious way…everyone in my family is very non-confrontational about these things. They tell me they just want me to be happy (which I know is true) and if getting married will make me happy, they will support me. But they also send subtle little messages that tell me they really think this is a bad idea…the most recent of these is that for a long road trip I’m going on, my mom checked some audiobooks from the library for me. I read through the blurbs on the back- one is about a couple who marries too young and spends the rest of their lives miserable and regretting their hasty decision. This is already a very difficult situation for me, and it’s that much harder that I don’t have my parents’ support and understanding. It’s getting down to the time when my boyfriend will have to either marry me or leave the country, and this is causing me a lot of stress- which upsets me even more because the prospect of getting married should be an exciting, joyful time.
Sorry this post is getting so long; it’s a tough situation and it’s hard for my friends and family not to take sides when I talk to them about it. I’m looking forward to your more objective opinions and advice.