Failed love or a smart move?
Sasha says: July 4, 2012 at 10:31 pm
Fathima, I would first like to say that you are very young girl. Having passed my twenties and approaching my thirties, I have learned many many things about myself. Firstly, what you want at 21 is completely different than what you want when you are a little bit older & mature to get married. I’m not trying to say that your love is not true or that your feelings are not real. I am certain they are.
We often find ourselves in a struggle of love at the age you are for the following reasons. 1) It’s the time we start becoming adults and our feelings are intensified as we start developing more meaningful relationships than what we did in our teenage years; 2) This is the age that we start thinking about marriage and our future so meeting someone wonderful during this time makes us believe we are more in love than we truly are. I’m saying this from experience. The love you share with your bf now, it will change over time, so you must really think deep and hard to if this boy really has every single quality you are looking for in a man. I’m not talking about just romance and “chemistry”. When you get married, romance and chemistry become secondary, if not tertiary.
I have been in love with a Hindu and now I am married to my Muslim husband. Few years back, I wanted to marry this hindu. I felt like life could not go on without him and it was all over and there was no life without him. I don’t feel any of that now. It’s not that the love went away or it wasn’t real, but marriage encompasses so many other aspects besides what you share at a young age. I had to really sit down and put my romantic feelings aside and determine if this person has the qualities that will SUSTAIN a marriage. My Hindu bf at that time was wonderful, romantic, madly in love with me. However, when I thought about raising kids with him, our values clashed. I am practicing (moderately) Muslim. I wanted to make sure I had someone to fast with in Ramadan, someone to push me to read namaz and live by the values of Islam. All this nonsense of honor killing and community is problematic in some areas but really put that aside and think about yourself.
Marriage is holistic Fatima. It doesn’t become about you and him anymore. It becomes about family interactions. For example, poojas for Hindus and ramadan for Muslims. Doing things together that bind you as a family. It takes INCREDIBLE strength to try to manage two cultures/religions and unhappy families. I’ve seen it with my own eyes. But, I’ve also seen it work in many instances, but I will tell you in those instances, I’ve always heard from (especially the woman) that it’s a very big challenge. The only way the challenges are minimized is when you have two very modern families whose beliefs are more laxed. It all depends on YOUR strength, your relationship with your parents and your deen. If you are a religious person to some extent, then you will want someone to believe in Islam the way that you do when you are older. It won’t matter anymore that he’s funny or cute or romantic, or even a good human. That’s not enough when it comes to marriage IF you infact want to incorporate religion in your life.
If you are open to practicing both and incorporating both then you both have to discuss this at a very mature level. Once you two have an understanding of how you can live together you must consider parents/extended family. While the shock does fade over time, I can tell you that the relationships change. Especially daughters and mothers. I could not bare to hurt my mother so it was a big reason I left him, but later realized it’s what I wanted inside because I truly wanted my children and myself to improve in my own faith. I wasn’t ready to incorporate another faith that I didn’t grow up with or believe in. You need to think about all this. I was the same as you. I wanted to marry him, couldn’t live without him. Again, I am able to and I love my husband and I love that my family is happy. I realized now that my feelings were so intensified due to our chemistry but if I was to have married him (Hindu) now I would not have been content.
Another thing about him being settled. It adds much burden to one’s relationship, so you also have that factor on your shoulders, however, I’m assuming he is also quite young. Darling, I know how emotional this situation can be. If you remove all the emotion and stick to the facts it becomes easier. If you truly cannot imagine your life without this guy and see your values, ideals, future plans, personalities, all in line then you must be prepared to fight & have ALOT of patience. If I know Muslim parents, they are very strong minded and you will face much resistance. Some races/religions are more open and some more closely knit. One is not better than the other and this nonsense someone posted about muslim wives being tortured is so narrow. Maybe in small very desolate communities but in most cases especially in America no man keeps 4 wives and even the ones that do, it’s not out of disrespect but other familial reasons that we cannot judge. People are so easily jumping to conclude it’s “torture”. Even in hindu communities there is much hypocrisy and unfairness against women. This is not Hindu/Muslim battle. Both and all cultures have it’s pros and cons. Many great Muslim boys out there as well as Hindus’. Let’s look past at criticizing the other and focus on the real challenges within interfaith marriage.
Best of Luck to you Fathima. Please let me know if you have any other thoughts or need further advice. My duas are with you. -Sasha.