Unsure on incoming interracial and interfaith Marriage

posted 2 years ago in Interfaith
Post # 16
6499 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: February 1997

How to raise children would be a deal-breaker for me. That’s just something I wouldn’t be willing to compromise on, and I would be upset having young children indoctrinated and a Darling Husband who would be angry with me for being who I am (non-religious). These are things that love and romance simply cannot overcome.

Post # 17
3884 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: April 2017

Hmmm. I feel like if these issues are coming up around the wedding it’s possible they will only get worse after it. Not wearing a backless dress on one day might not be a hill to die on, but will he expect you to dress more modestly in the future? Or is it really just when his family are around, which would probably be manageable? Are his family’s religious and cultural expectations going to influence his thinking? We’ve had threads here before where that was the case. If you aren’t comfortable pretending to be muslim you shouldn’t have to do that. 

Post # 18
6821 posts
Busy Beekeeper

My husbands family is muslim. He isn’t any longer, but his fam still is. They NEVER asked me to convert. They NEVER had any say in my dress. We didn’t have any pork at the wedding, but we did have an open bar. The only thing that is remotely similar with us is that H pretends like he doesnt eat pork when he is around them LOL. 

TBH this sounds like a fundamental difference that you won’t be able to get past. I just imagine if I were in your shoes how unhappy I’d be caving in to all of these things that arent ME. I cannot imagine being forced into these things. It sounds very bait and switch IMO. I’d be seriously rethinking this relationship bee. 

Post # 19
978 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: August 1983

I’m sorry to say it, but it looks like you will have to give up him or give up being yourself.

Post # 20
4568 posts
Honey bee

Can interfaith marriages work?

Absolutely.  But it requires a considerable amount of respect from both parties and mutual agreement…And you don’t have that.

Are you really okay starting your marriage off with a lie?  Are you really okay marrying someone who claims to be religious but seemingly has no problem with you lying to please his family or being disingenuous to your own beliefs?

This is a major compatibility issue that reaches far beyond just your wedding day and backless dresses.  It sounds like through your relationship you have grown and developed in ways that are no longer compatible.  You may still love each other, but a true partnership needs more than love to be successful – compatibility and mutual respect are vital.

Post # 21
2657 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: May 2017

I’m sorry but this sounds like the beginning of the movie Not Without my Daughter 😨

Post # 22
463 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: August 2015

Honestly, this doesn’t sound like it can be a healthy marriage. I am in an interfaith marriage, and I would never ask my husband to pretend to believe something he doesn’t. When I suggested stuff for our ceremony that he thought put him in a position of acting too Buddhist, I accepted that. (So I bowed to the statue of the Buddha and he didn’t, stuff like that, and it was fine.) Asking you to fake beliefs, and asking you to do things like covering up,  it does not sound like he was going to give you the respect for your beliefs that would be needed to have a healthy interfaith marriage and raise your children in a way that you are comfortable with. 

I’m so sorry you are dealing with this. Having to deal with such a huge change in someone like this– this has put you in an incredibly difficult position. 

Post # 24
2855 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: July 2011

There are lots of men who have an image in their heads of what makes a wife and that is often different to what makes a girlfriend. It sounds like for him, regardless of his behaviour to date, he wants a religious wife (what’s his mother like, these wife images are often based on their own mothers) 

its a good sign that he proposed and was willing to marry a non Muslim but it does sound like he wants you to convert. Or at least give the appearance of it. 

I think you need to speak openly and honestly about what he really wants from you and how he wants any children to be raised. I think there is nothing wrong with respecting their traditions e.g being a bit more covered around them, not drinking / eating pork around them, celebrating Eid together, respecting restrictions during Ramadan. There is something wrong with pretending that you never eat pork or drink or wear less modest clothing.

i think it would be a good idea to educate yourself on the religion and decide which bits you can live with and your hard nos. For me circumcision is a hard no and I would make that clear to my spouse. 

You can make mixed marriages work (an Irish catholic friend of mine is married to a Pakistani Muslim – they make it work) but you need to be open and honest and be prepared to meet half way.

in terms of his parents still trying to set him up, they prob thought he was just sewing wild oats with You and that eventually he’d ask for a Muslim wife (also happened to a friend of mine) 

Post # 25
1294 posts
Bumble bee

I always find it worrying when someone becomes more religious. No matter on the religion, but it often indicates change in culture and values which in turn brings problems to relationship.

I think the religious ceremony is fair since he is now religious but it’ not fair for you to pretend and that is very insulting for you and religion. 

this is something that has to be sorted before marriage. you need to have a big talk about marriage and kids. I’m sorry if I come across insensitive but seems like the comment about the dress etc. is showing his more traditional values and beliefs that he didn’t have/show previously. I find this worrying.

Post # 26
145 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: May 2017

This hard. I believe it’s not a good idea to marry someone when you are unequally yoked. But that is according to my faith. I would be honest with yourself and him in if you can or will convert because it sounds like he will expect that as time goes on. Def seek premarital counseling prior to marriage to openly discuss expectations and  how kids if any will be raised 

Post # 27
405 posts
Helper bee

2211anonbee1122 :  In that situation, I would be insulted too. What did he say to his parents when they were trying to set him up with others while you 2 are in a years long relationship? 

Indeed it does not sound like he plans for any of the “compromising” to be done from his end. In fact what he is suggesting is not a compromise at all but rather he wants you to conform totally to the belief system of his family of origin, at least outwardly. Again I know how hard it is to deal with this when you love someone very deeply yet the only way to be married to them involves lying to yourself and others.  

A poster above mentioned the movie “Not Without My Daughter.” Never watched this movie but I’ve heard of it. However, this reminded me that a few times my Ex informed me that “in Islam if there is a divorce, the kids go with the Dad rather than the mom and it’s his job to raise them.” He explained this as part of why a Muslim man can marry a non-Muslim woman (from People of the Book) without her converting but the reverse is not permitted. I am not sure if this rule about divorce and kids is something that’s common across the religion or only in the specific branch his family practiced, but regardless… it was a red flag for me. Something to maybe ask about if you guys are planning to have kids.

Post # 28
1678 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: October 2018

2211anonbee1122 :  Dear bee, I believe you have reached an impasse in your relationship.  “Pretending” to be Muslim eventually translates to converting to Islam, going to mosque and having your children raised as muslims.  Why do you need to pretend at all? Why can’t you be accepted for who and what you are and why won’t your SO stand up for you in that vein??

You’ve been with this man for 6 years and its only now that you’re really seeing him.  Religion was always going to be an issue for you two…he was just cowardly in not informing you upfront the moment you two decided to become serious. Also, you had a responsibility to yourself not to ignore the elephant in the room.  Asking questions and having those discussions early on might have helped to avoid the uncertainty you find yourself facing.



Post # 29
1750 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: May 2018

Yes, this definitely sounds like a compatibility issue that can’t really be resolved without one of you changing. This would be a deal breaker for me, but this is your relationship bee and only you can decide if it’s a deal breaker for you.

Fi and I share the same faith and it’s so much easier being with someone of the same faith than it was being with past boyfriends of different or no faith.  Relationships don’t need to be that hard.

Post # 30
3049 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: November 2016

I think you need to come to terms with this isn’t the right relationship for either of you. You both aren’t compatible. You both have different expectations, wants, and beliefs. There is no healthy medium or opportunity for compromise. Your communication on the matters have fallen on deaf ears not surprisingly. It’s not healthy for either of you to try to force something to work that ultimately doesn’t. You can also bet more pressures will be put on him from his family after marriage and especially if he has children. So you can expect the pressures on you not only from the family but him (as he already is displaying) will ramp up as well. Pressures will be placed on your children and there will be more disagreements between the two of you than you are most likely imagining right now.

Imagine…if he wants you to adjust what you do and wear, will you be okay standing by for your children to do the same? For a child, would you be able to accept her/him being told to dress opposite to what she/he wants or told to hide aspects of herself/himself from family? You both are going to be in for a lot of strife and resentment. Considering you’ve said he’s only gotten deeper into his faith, what’s to say his expectations won’t also become increasingly demanding? Perhaps hiding things won’t be the case but rather he’ll fully expect you and kids not to wear xyz, eat xyz, and so forth. If you can’t make boundaries now for yourself or come to mutually fulfilling agreements, what will change later?

Between him trying to make you pretend to be something you aren’t and his stance on children vs yours, it would have been a dealbreaker for me if I was in your shoes.

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