Unsure on incoming interracial and interfaith Marriage

posted 2 years ago in Interfaith
Post # 31
Member
4662 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: September 2018

Religion doesn’t have to be a deal breaker.  But you do need to be on the same page.  I get the impression there are still things you need to work through.  All the best

Post # 32
Member
1064 posts
Bumble bee

2211anonbee1122 :  I am so sad for you. If you stay in this relationship, please seek pre marital counselling because your Fiance doesn’t seem interested in compromise, he expects you to sacrifice and live a lie to appease his parents. That’s awful!

I just read your post to my Fiance, and he agrees you are signing up for a lifetime of unhappiness if you proceed without hammering things out with your Fiance. He pointed out how insulting it would be to pretend you follow a religion and partake in a ceremony you don’t believe in, that people who do believe would be very upset if they found out you were faking.

I am Roman Catholic and my Fiance is Born Again Christian. His parents told him we are living in sin. Our religions have different views on baptism. His father believes women should dress modestly and not bear their shoulders, that skirts should reach the knee. They are militant about saying grace before meals.

So when we visit I sleep in a different room and I particpate in saying grace. That’s as far as their opinions matter in our life.

My Fiance would never asked me to pretend to live in seperate homes or sleep in seperate beds. We don’t pretend that I attend his religious ceremonies, we do not pretend that I got baptiszed in his church. When his mother tries to push me into a discussion on religion, he shuts her down. My wardrobe has not changed, I still wear tank tops. When I get dressed for a visit I wear what I want to wear, I don’t dress to please his father.

And we are two people who both believe in Christianity, which wouldn’t even be that hard to pretend I have converted. But the point is that neither of us should have to.

If my Fiance had asked me to pretend about this things in front of his family, I’d be reconsidering his suitability as a marriage propsect, because that would tell me he doesn’t respect me and he doesn’t respect himself.

Your FI’s behavior is worrisome. I think he is demonstrating that he does not put you first. If you become his wife you will always be 2nd to his parents and he will follow their wishes to avoid upsetting them.

 

Post # 33
Member
610 posts
Busy bee

If he’ getting like this before the wedding, tryst me it will be far more intense after it. I’d leave 

Post # 34
Member
716 posts
Busy bee

I’m sorry, this is an awfully hard situation and the timing is really bad. But all the previous posters are unanimous in thinking this doesn’t bode well at all. And they are absolutely right.

It’s going to be painful to break it off now. But not nearly as painful as it will be if you choose to stay and break it off at a later date, and extricating yourself from that situation would be a nightmare. 

Have a heart to heart with your fiancé. If this wedding is to proceed then you must both agree on ground rules. There will be no pretense when family comes to visit. There will be no converting. The kids will not be pushed towards any religion. You will not feel compelled in any way to ‘cover up’ or generally do stuff you aren’t comfortable with. If that can’t happen, it’s best for both of you if you break it off now and then find people you can truly be yourselves with. 

I’ve seen many successful interfaith (where one partner is Muslim, the other is Jewish, Christian, atheist, Hindu..) marriages around me: in every case, neither side is overly religious, and they always not only let the other person be who they are, they fundamentally value the other person as they are and wouldn’t wish for them to alter themselves in any way or pretend to be more pious than they are. 

Post # 35
Member
1631 posts
Bumble bee

I’m in an interfaith relationship(I’m agnostic, he’s Catholic), but this is our agreement, in contrast:

Children will be raised Catholic, but will go to the strongest school academically, regardless of religion. 

I will only go to mass on Christmas, Easter, and major occasions (e.g. baptism of our children). Sunday mornings to myself, yay! 

I won’t convert and I will remain unbaptised. 

Where our views conflict with the church (e.g. birth control, gay marriage…basically anything having to do with sexuality), we will teach our views instead and explain that we jointly disagree. 

We will get married in church, but the priest knows I’m not baptised and I won’t take communion at our wedding. 

Post # 36
Member
1959 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: October 2017

This is what I’ve found. People are more likely/able/willing to compromise in the beginning of a relationship, in that honeymoon stage. The longer they’re having to forgo what they want the more resentment builds. Even though originally he was “loosely religious” and didn’t expect you to practice his religion, over time his desire for his parents to see and accept you as Muslim has grown. You can bet that will only grow stronger with children. For you, if you give in and pretend to be Muslim for him and his family, your resentment of him for requiring this of you will only grow. If you are forced to have your children taught the Muslim faith over any and all others, including your own, your resentment will grow.

You can save yourself years of unhappiness, bitterness, and a future divorce with split custody of your children, by ending this now.

Post # 37
Member
383 posts
Helper bee

I am a Muslim bee so I hope you will take my advice as someone who comes from the same religious background as your Fiance. 

I think in this situation it is best for you to break if off. You and him have a very different vision of the future together and the religion issues will grow bigger each day. I am a child of an interfaith couple (Mom Muslim, father Christian) and it was very confusing and hard growing up having parents that practiced two different things. They let me choose freely what I wanted to be, but it was hard because I always worried one parent would take it personally that I did not choose their faith. These complications are just tip of the iceberg. 

Post # 38
Member
310 posts
Helper bee

I’m also in an interfaith relationship. Fiance is Hindu and I was raised Christian. However, neither of us is very religous. I grew up in a strict Christian environment but no longer go to church and have very liberal views. I understand what you’re saying about children being “brainwashed” – I do think it can be dangerous if they are only exposed to one point of view, especially if it’s a religious group that thinks that only their beliefs are correct (like Christianity). I do like the messages of forgiveness and love in the Bible and want my children to be exposed to those ideas, but I am happy that they will also go to the temple with their grandparents and learn about Hindu traditions and beliefs. Fiance absolutely does not expect or want me to convert. Actually, what he dislikes most about Christianity and Islam is that they are so set on converting others to their belief system. I have to agree that in the case of Christianity that has caused a lot of suffering (i.e. residential schools).

For our wedding we will have a Hindu ceremony and I’ll wear a western-style dress at the reception. Fiance is fine with having a Christian ceremony as well, but I’d prefer to keep it simple with only one!

Post # 39
Member
111 posts
Blushing bee

Hi, I normally lurk but I actually registered just to reply, in hopes that you will read this. Please take what I say very seriously. The first HUGE problem is that you do not understand Islam; please do research immediately. You must be informed before you marry this man because the dramatic changing of your life and your identity is already beginning.

Here is my personal experience with Islam. Where I grew up, my next door neighbours were Muslims. We were separated only by a chain-link fence and I visited them many times. Being a child myself, I played with the children almost daily. The wife had been Christian, and had married the husband who was Muslim. Their children, several girls and 2 boys, were all raised Muslim and they all went to the Mosque regularly.

There was no TV in their house and only the occasional newspaper. The girls were not allowed to play with Barbie dolls and they loved when I brought mine over.

The (converted) wife had to wear a long black outfit covering her from head to toe, in a Christian democratic nation. I always played with their children who were around my age, and everything was great until we approached our teens. One by one, the girls I played with started disappearing into the house. Whenever next I saw the missing girl, she was covered from head to toe in the black outfit. I could only recognize my friends by their beautiful eyes. From the time the girls adopted this clothing at puberty, they hardly stepped outside the house. I could no longer play with them.

The girls only attended elementary school and their reading/writing skills were painfully basic. Only the boys were allowed to attend high school and university. Okay, so the formerly Christian woman, had put up with ALL of this. But when her husband decided he was going to marry a second wife (this is completely allowed in Islam) she almost lost it. She utterly refused and complained to my mother, who was her close neighbour and friend.

She started thinking of what to do, and said she’d take her children and escape to another country. She didn’t follow through of course and I am not surprised. Where would she get money or support to do that, after spending years at home and isolated from her Christian family? And how would she escape being monitored by the very organized Muslim community in my country? Yes it is a Christian nation, but freedom of religion is HUGE here, you can be whatever religion you want without limits, including marrying off teenagers and keeping kids away from school. I saw the family years later at a supermaket, still together.

So you might think, you live in Great America (or whatever privileged nation you clearly come from) and there are many laws protecting children there. I am sorry but it is likely that your husband will nicely suggest moving to an Islamic nation. Then, all your American freedom will not matter. There are also laws in Islamic nations that are very different from American ones. Such as, automatically becoming a citizen of the Islamic nation if you are married to a citizen of that nation. Which means you are bound by all the laws. You may not be able to grab a plane ticket and leave when you want, being a woman.

This information is all out there and you have got involved with a religious Muslim man without educating yourself. Please educate yourself. You think you will resist doing certain things, well beating your wife is okay in Islam if she gives trouble. It is much more likely that you will give in to all his demands, starting with wearing certain clothing, until he has changed you completely. If you are okay with this, and you have educated yourself, then it’s all good. But lack of education is going to be your downfall. I sense that you know you should leave the man but you “love him too much”. Make an EDUCATED decision not an emotional one. What kind of life do you want?

Post # 40
Member
361 posts
Helper bee

angelbritney :  

Disappointed in the tone and overall misguided information about Islam being posted here. The only thing I can agree with here is that the OP does not understand Islam, religion and culture of her Fiance. I wholeheartedly recommend she reconsiders.

Other than that – “well beating your wife is okay in Islam if she gives trouble.” SMH

I don’t doubt there are bad Muslim people. Just as I know some Christians marry their first cousins and wear white robes and hang gay people because it’s a “free democratic country”. Heck, the Turpin family with their 13 homeschooled kids were described as very good Christian people by their family members. I don’t paint Christian people with a single brush based on the worst Christian examples I know. Jeez.

2211anonbee1122:

Islam is a tough religion to follow because there’s a lot of burden of responsibilities and ethos. As a young man living away from his family, he was enjoying life without responsibilities. Escapism, perhaps. A lot of “bad/weak” Muslim men enjoy this escapism and enjoy the western vices without accepting western virtues. The same with dating a non-Muslim, its “easier” and financially less burdensome for the man. It is strange he is cherry picking the Islamic traditions that benefit him, without telling you your rights as a Muslim wife.

Ask him, if he wants you to convert, then he must fulfill the duties of a (real) traditional Muslim husband:

– will he give you a mahr (bride price, you call it) you deserve? Based on my circle and current market, I think that bride gift should be worth around $10,000 CASH or GOLD. Ask for whatever you want, this is YOUR right as a Muslima bride. this is not optional. it is a Sharia requirement for marriage that he is conveniently leaving out.

– This mahr is the legal property of the bride/wife and does not become joint property EVER (there is no concept of joint property in Islam) 

– Will he agree to sign a prenup in that he has zero right over your income in perpetuity? The money you bring into the marriage before and after, belongs to only you. (Traditionally, his money is your money, while your money is your money).

– The husband is financially responsible for the welfare and maintenance of his wife or wives and any children they produce, to include at a minimum, providing a home, food and clothing.

– In return, it is the duty of the wife to safeguard the husband’s possessions and protect how wealth is spent. If the wife has wealth in her own capacity she is not obliged to spend it upon the husband or children, as she can own property and assets in her own right, so the husband has no right for her property and assets except by her will. 

– Will he agree to a prenup clause in the nikah (marriage) contract stipulations for him not taking on other wives or that would be grounds for unilateral divorce.

– Furthermore, there are a lot of stipulations you can add to the nikah contract as you wish. Make him do all the dishes forever. Unilateral custody of children in divorce, whatever. Write a prenup, and tack it on to the nikah contract.

There are many, many more examples of “traditions” that he doesn’t get to cherry pick as he wishes. If he wants to go all out “traditional” and “respect” and all that, ask him if he would honor and obey the traditions that benefit/respect the bride/wife. If religion and tradition is truly important to him, he will uphold his duties as a husband and provide you with proper mahr, financial support and a contract you deserve. Otherwise he’s just lazy and cutting corners in life, including love.

Sorry bee, but I think you know the answer already. Although it would be interesting to know what he has to say when you shove Sharia technicalities back at his face.

 

Post # 41
Member
111 posts
Blushing bee

malayna :  Well as I stated, it’s my personal experience and knowledge. I don’t know how else you want me to say it. I informed OP of what I know, so that she can make informed decisions, and I also repeatedly said it’s up to her to research it on her own and educate herself properly. OP has been unaware of pertinent information during this relationship she’s in. It’s not like I expect her to just take my word for it. Obviously if you are Muslim you will have a different perspective from a Christian. I simply gave OP the example of a Christian woman I knew who was married to a Muslim. 

I also never said anything about good people or bad people, and I never said I’m a Christian either. I stated what’s in the Quran: beating your wife, in a specific way and for specific reasons, is okay. Doesn’t OP have the right to know this information, as well as a lot of other information that is out there? Of course she does. OP wants to wear a backless dress, a religion like Islam is simply not going to work for her, I can tell already. OP needs to be well informed because somehow she thinks things can work out, or they won’t be so bad. And OP believes this because she is completely unaware of the religion she will marry into, and how very different her beliefs apparently are.

Post # 42
Member
1212 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: October 2017

angelbritney :  I know you gave the caveat that that was just your experience but it’s also not representative of Islam in much of the world. Most Muslim women do not wear the niqab (full body veil). Granted I’m from the US but my Muslim friend in middle school even had her own TV in her room. 

I agree that this doesn’t seem to be a relationship built to last, unfortunately. There’s no way I would marry this man if it would require me to start my marriage off with a lie, which is what he’s asking you to do. It might seem that he misrepresented himself at first, but at least he’s realizing this need (or maybe external pressure from parents) before you’re legally bound and children are in the mix. I can’t imagine how heartbreaking this must be for you, to realize that the man you fell in love, the one who more liberally practices his faith without pushing it on anyone, isn’t there anymore. Good luck with everything. 

Post # 43
Member
111 posts
Blushing bee

bayoubee :  I absolutely agree with you, many Muslims do not wear this full-body black clothing. However, OP’s husband is becoming increasingly religious. As he becomes more serious, and reads the Quran more, he is likely to follow what he learns. He is already showing the signs of being devout and that is why I had to show OP what a Christian woman married to a devout Muslim might look like. He already wants her to wear a certain kind of wedding dress which goes against her own preferences. There will be many more demands when they get married. He already wants the children to be raised Muslim too. He will conform more and more to his religion and OP will have to go along with it as his wife, and she will be unhappy. No question about it.

About your post on rights of a Muslim woman, it is interesting and informative. Unfortunately for a woman who was not born into Islam, it will be difficult to see the positives in these rights. Even in the case of the bride price, it sounds good to ME, but to many Christian women, it sounds like she is being sold. Many Christian women will take great offence at a bride price. You will probably agree with me that many rights of the wife will easily be negated by the husband’s right to discipline her with controlled beating (when she doesn’t behave the way he wants), his right to take another wife, and his right to sex whenever he wants it. So OP, like I said, has to start researching, and do less feeling and more thinking.

 

Post # 44
Member
361 posts
Helper bee

angelbritney :  So the Bible says its okay to stone people for idolatry, blasphemy, the Torah says to stone people for extramarital relations. What does scripture punishments have to do with contemporary marriage and society? If you are not Christian, do you also warn women against marrying Christians and Jews due to what is in scriptures?

“Doesn’t OP have the right to know this information, as well as a lot of other information that is out there? “

So do you “inform” other potential interfaith couples about what is in other religions scripture or do you feel strongly about singling out Islam because you once had a Muslim neighbor?

You mention that you are a lurker, and you created an account to single out this one particular cause.

As for relating to personal experience: Did you see your neighbor beat his wife and cite the Quran?

Mahr: “Bride price” is a loose translation. IDK what it would be called in English because there is no equivalent. there is an equivalent in Jewish tradition but I don’t remember what its called but it is stated in the Ketubah contract, so better stick to Mahr. How is it “sold” if the bride is taking the money? If a man provides his woman with a $10k diamond ring, is that insulting? equal to being ‘sold’?

And again in relation to “his rights” that you “researched” — they are questionable claims. A man does not have the ‘right’ to beat his wife if she doesn’t behave ‘how he wants’, or has sex whenever he wants. These are all promoted by Islamophobic propaganda and not accepted by Muslim community at large. I hope if OP does do research, she meets with a Muslim imam and or lawyer. Not fox news, breitbart

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