New convert to Islam, Struggling with Cultural differences
I am a mid-thirties progressive American woman who never really found religion - until now. I am successful, never married, no children, have a great career and I would consider myself open-minded, strong and independent. At the oddest moment in my life I met a man whom I consider to be my soul mate. We met and had an intense, immediate attraction. Our relationship progressed quickly, he asked me to be his wife, I said yes. He is Tunisian and Muslim.
He returned to his country for a visit and then his visa was denied and he is stuck in his home country. We are awaiting his Visa, we applied for a fiance visa.
The thing that I am having trouble with is the extreme 'passion' of our relationship. He has a strong temper that I am not used to. He has never hit me and says that he would never do that, but I have seen warning signs including grabbing my arm tightly.
Sometimes I feel that I should not marry him but it breaks my heart to think of being without him. I love him more than I have ever loved another. My heart says that Allah brought us together. Our differences are so great - age, culture, religion, etc. But I have researched Islam and read the Qu'ran and I decided for love, that I would believe and embrace Islam. I quit smoking, I quit drinking, I stopped speaking to men in shops, etc. I changed the way I dressed.
The problem is now none of it seems to be enough for my love.
In my world, in the United States it is ok for a man to be friends with a woman - strictly friends. I have stopped hanging out with my male friends, but most of my closest female friends are married or in relationships. When I hang out with these women, their husband ends up hanging out with us as well. My fiance came unglued when he found out that I went to dinner and a movie with my friend and her husband. He had told me that I could "keep" my current male friends, but I could not be alone with them. I thought that being with my friend and her husband (also my friend) was ok, but apparently it was not. I don't know if this is Islam or if this is culture. I don't touch my male friends anymore (no hugging, shaking hands).
They invited me for dinner at their house and my beloved told me today that if I go that he will not marry me. It is because other people (men) will be there. I don't know what to do. Do I follow my heart or my brain? I understand because other men will be at the dinner that I will not go; but the rules seem to keep changing.
I know I can't just choose to follow the parts of Islam that I like. But it is so difficult and I don't want to ruin his life or mine. I feel that we would be very happy if I "obeyed" his every word and never went anywhere. He has told me that it would maybe be ok to go to dinner if he was with me. But when he's with me, he does not want to be social with any of my friends - he refuses. He only wants him and me to be together - no one else.
Can I be happy in such a drastic new life?...... I know only Allah knows......
Does anyone think that he may be able to change and compromise? He says he wants to, but I don't see it. He has apologized for our fight, but I don't know what to think anymore. I can't throw away who I am........ I feel I've changed a lot for this love, I want to be his wife, but I'm afraid for the future.
27 Responses »
Leave a Response