Islamic marriage advice and family advice

Boyfriend’s Muslim Parents Won’t Even Look at Me

amnesia sleepy tired no energy tired mum

My boyfriend and I are both in our late 30s.

He has never been married and has no children.

I was married and have 2 children

I am American and Catholic

My boyfriend has been an American citizen since he was 20.

after dating 6 months, his parents visited from their home country.

they refused to even look at me. I had done all this research as to not offend them. I dressed modestly. I had all these expectations that they'd like me and they didn't even acknowledge I was in the room.

My boyfriend told me they once picked out a 20 year old virgin for him a few years ago and he told them he was not interested.

He said he has not dated any Muslim women or women from his home country. He said his parents have never taken an interest in anyone he dated. He said their opinion doesn't matter and that they would never stand in the way of his happiness.

my boyfriend's brother married a Muslim from their home country and his parents don't even like her.

i don't think dating is allowed in their home country. I don't believe they want to meet anyone unless their child is marrying that person.

There really is no way they will like me is there?

my boyfriend said it is customary for the father to go with his son to the son's girlfriend's parents to propose.  I can see his father ever doing that because he and his wife don't even look at me.

what if we live together and/or marry? When they visit us, will they ignore me in my own home?

I've cried so much about this. Is this hopeless?

my boyfriend and I love eachother very much.






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2 Responses »

  1. Assalaamu Alaykum,

    I am not sure where your boyfriend is from, but clearly it's a very traditional culture. So yes, there is going to be a lot of issues there. What he told you was right, in traditional Muslim families there is no dating. There is just marriage. If a boy/girl takes an interest in someone, they enlist their parent's help to get a formal proposal set up. After that, the wedding planning starts. Most families from traditional muslim cultures want their children to marry someone "chaste", or a virgin. They want them to marry someone who is also muslim. Arranged marriages are highly common, and "love marriages" can sometimes be seen as wrong.

    I tend to think that his parents are trying to punish him with their behavior. I would guess they think if they are obvious about their disapproval, their son will feel hurt and shameful and "get right". After all, he is not only wrong (in their eyes) by choosing someone they don't approve of, he is wrong to be dating period. And if you guys were to live together without being married....that's a cardinal sin.

    I think from their perspective, their son has fallen into heedlessness and needs to be corrected. It may not have mattered who he would've chosen to date, or what fine attributes she may have. They see a problem, and this is their solution.

    You aren't going to change them, and you aren't going to change the cultural impact. Maybe your boyfriend is willing to live with what it means, but you have to also decide if you want to live with it. I think you and your boyfriend have to have a brutally honest talk about all the implications of this interfaith/interculture relationship, especially if you are planning to have children together. Of course, you need to be clear on what you want and can tolerate first. So spend some time thinking about all the possibilities and do some research on similar situations as well as his particular cultural/religious background. Realistically, many people who set out on such a path don't make it all the way.

    -Amy Editor

  2. It seems like your boy friend/'s parents don't mind their 30+ year old son having you as a g/f but they don't want their son to marry you. I guess they are very religious and cultural people.

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