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to ask if I should accept this 'proposal' of marriage?

(287 Posts)
MyNameIsStacey Tue 14-Jun-11 00:32:38

Namechanger. Non-troll credentials: shit pouffe; blind dates at the penguin enclosure; Box room troll; JudgeFlounce etc. I am going to try to be succinct but don't want to drip feed so bear with me please. There's a lot I could dripfeed about so this going to be really difficult.

So me and x-DP (1 DC almost 2 years old) have been split for about 10 months. He is a secret atheist but his family are Muslim. His dad died when he was 6, his mum is a religious loon. He would never be able to tell his Mum he is not a believer because her view is you are born a Muslim and he fears her reaction would kill or injure her.

On being told he was in a relationship with a white non-Muslim girl - not me his previous GF (mum is also racist - he should be marrying someone from a village from her homeland and despite living here since early 1960s is not integrated and entirely reliant on her small network of friends from home who are in the UK, which is a great source of sadness and difficulty for x-DP) she waited outside his office every evening for 2 weeks and tore at her clothes wailing when he tried to leave work. xDP was made to sleep in her bed with her until he was 13. Nothing sexual but he was effectively made to be her companion in replacement of father. He wet the bed most nights until the point at which he could sleep in his own bed. She is the epitome of an emotionally blackmailing control freak.

When I was pregnant xDP was v afraid of telling her. Once he even got very nasty with me (not physically abusive) by telling me once he told her she would be at my door every day (we didn't/don't live together) once the baby was born and she would demand to do everything and I wouldn't even get to hold the baby and there was nothing he could do about that. At the time I was scared (8 months pregnant and hormonal). In one of our few Relate session as we were parting I pointed out to him he had effectively tried to transfer his fear of her onto me during that outburst. He didn't acknowledge that but I think it struck home.

He told me that his mother would view me as an evil white whore (sounds vindictive but just reality really) and would probably not want to know her GC even if he told her. DC was born, xDP and I split up when DC was 6 months and we have reached a pretty amicable situation where xDP comes to mine straight after work 3x a week to do dinner, bath and bedtime. A few months ago he told me he had finally told his mum about existence of DC. I think she took to her bed and was ill for a bit but she didn't want to know or meet GC. My parents and I breathed a sigh of relief. xDP, not being Muslim in belief, had not applied any pressure for circumcision (and would not have got it) but has asked that DC not be allowed to pork. I have agreed for as long as DC's diet is 'controlled' by us I am happy not to feed him pork. If DC gets to his first school birthday party and scoffs a load of cocktail sausages, it will be his choice and not ours by that point. xDP agreed. DC has a registered Islamic name on BC which also has an Old Testament equivalent and is called both. DC has both our surnames to reflect both heritages. Because neither of us is religious DC won't be actively participating in any religion unless he grows to want to, happy for him to visit churches/mosques/do assembly/do 'Christmas'/ do 'Eid' all as cultural experiences with religious background but I'm afraid if he asks what it's all about I would say well some people believe this and because of that we all get a nice holiday off work. xDP is up for that.

So we're pootling along ok. I don't dislike xDP. I think he is a person trapped by his background and circumstance and while I think he is a coward for how he cannot deal with his mother (and it is a huge part of why we split) I would never want to be the reason why someone was excluded from their family, unless that was their choice. So.....skip to the end.

xDP dropped the bombshell tonight that his mother has flown in a friend from home, and this friend (who she takes all her advice from - it's a bit of a freaky Rasputin set-up where this women is believed to have religious visions and xDP's M hangs on her every word) has declare me and xDP must get married to legitimise DC in eyes of Islam. It would not be an officially legal marriage in eyes of law - more like in mum's living room with an Imam. His M is Shi'a. xDP said tonight he was 'passing this information on'. I said what was I supposed to think of that? What if I wanted to marry a Muslim in the future? He says it is just a religious ceremony to please his Mum and will enable his Mum to meet our DC and include him in her family. When we were in love xDP was adamant (as was I) that in telling his mum we were together I would not have to convert.

AIBU to refuse to do this even if it means his mum will not acknowledge our DC? Should I get 'married' to give DC a chance of relationship with grandmother?

Also a plea for advice from any Muslims out there as to what this 'marriage' is and means? (ps. I am aware that xDP's Mum is painted in an awful light - just to avoid the BNP contingent piling in, I do not see her as representative of any other Muslims I know of which there are many)

ChaoticAngelofLitha Tue 14-Jun-11 00:42:22

Quite frankly, I'd run as far and as fast as I could from that marriage proposal, metaphorically speaking of course.

MyNameIsStacey Tue 14-Jun-11 00:44:19

I know Chaotic, that is my gut instinct but I will have to accept that in doing so I am denying our DC a chance at having a relationship with his GM. I just need some help thinking it through.

LolaRennt Tue 14-Jun-11 00:47:12

Stay well away

chicletteeth Tue 14-Jun-11 00:48:56

Run, run as fast as you can.
She'll have your baby our from under your nose before you know it!


ChaoticAngelofLitha Tue 14-Jun-11 00:49:15

Generally speaking children benefit from relationships with their grandparents but after hearing about your XDP I don't think that would be the case for your DS.

Esian Tue 14-Jun-11 00:53:33

I agree with chaotic. By agreeing to the proposal you'll be setting yourself and your DC up for further requests and demands.
Why on earth would you marry (in any form) your ex DP, just to please his mother. confused
She has the problem and it is up to her to come to terms with it.

Bogeyface Tue 14-Jun-11 00:54:25

I will have to accept that in doing so I am denying our DC a chance at having a relationship with his GM

And that is a bad thing, why?!

She is emotionally abusive and mentally unstable, why on earth would you consider your DC having a relationship of any sort with this woman? She did a real number on your ex, do want to risk her pulling the same shit on your child?

Stay as far away from her as you possible can.

BitOfFun Tue 14-Jun-11 00:58:24

I wouldn't entertain the idea. Are you seriously telling me that you would do it if Computer Says Yes?

BooyHoo Tue 14-Jun-11 01:00:43


you would be mad to even consider this. do not even entertain teh idea. your children do not need any of her influence.

Mumwithadragontattoo Tue 14-Jun-11 01:03:02

Your ex's mother should accept the children on their own terms if not she is not a grandmother worthy of the name.

Do not go through any ceremony of marriage with your ex (unless of course you actually want to marry him).

fit2drop Tue 14-Jun-11 01:05:19

Run Run Run and when you have run enough keep on walking.
As bogeyface says why on earth would you even consider your DC being anywhere near this controlling despicable excuse of a human being

izzywhizzyletsgetbusy Tue 14-Jun-11 01:06:11

By refusing to marry your xDP in any ceremony, whether legally or religiously binding, you cannot be accused of denying your dc a relationship with his gm because all she has to do to meet her gc and, more importantly, the mother of her gc is hop on a bus/train/whatever and knock on your door.

Run a mile - in fact, run ten or more, because if you go through with this farce it will only be the beginning as, MAKE NO MISTAKE, she will attempt to take over your child and you won't have a minute's peace until she has got her way.

Like yourself, I'll be very interested to read the Muslim take on this.

MyNameIsStacey Tue 14-Jun-11 01:11:33

BoF No. I just need to reason this out so I am clear on what I am doing and what the consequences are.

My reason says no, absolutely not. As Chaotic and others have pointed out it is a route to more demands (I fear her seeing his nappy being changed and insisting on circumcision - which I would not allow - xDP was not circumcised till he was 5 so his excuse is he can say it will be done later and she will never know). I do not think she is above arranging this and I do not think my xDP is strong enough to resist it, even when it would involve inflicting unnecessary pain and suffering on our DC. FWIW xDP loves loves loves our DS but even then I am still not sure he loves DC more than he fears his mum. I have nightmares about him taking DC to visit her without me and them having an Imam ready and waiting to snip at him. I would be down the police station in a heartbeat but obviously the only position to be in wrt to that is TO NOT LET IT EVER HAPPEN.

However, my other fear is that even if I do not go through with 'marriage' she will soften towards DC and want to see him anyway and xDP will be taking him to see her without me being present. Tonight I said that our DS is not to be introduced to her without me being present and he agreed.

(dripfeed alert - xDPs older brother did exactly the same thing - has a 13 year old daughter with white woman who GM won't acknowledge - the visionary woman friend has now decided 'they did the wrong thing' and need to set it right for this GC - I have a sneaking suspicion that this is because my DC is a boy and the other GC was a girl but don't know this for sure.)

chicletteeth Don't mean to pick on you (and I don't keep a spreadsheet honest) but am I right in remembering you are Muslim? Do you know anything about this kind of marriage? I think if I don't agree to this the next step will be to try and get me to agree to an Islamic 'temporary' marriage about which I know nothing.

BitOfFun Tue 14-Jun-11 01:16:05

I think you need to question why you think any contact with this woman will be remotely positive for your child.

Newbabynewmum Tue 14-Jun-11 01:16:48

Don't do it. No way.

As you said you and EX are getting on nicely. Don't ruin that. And your DC do not need a GM like that. No way.

MyNameIsStacey Tue 14-Jun-11 01:17:28

Also I even said to xDP (as a semi-joke but obviously not because here I am) well I might post on MN about this and see what people say, so I might even show him this thread. I just need to be clear on what my choices are.

I feel sorry for xDP that his M will never have the relationship with our DS has with my parents and my family. His brother visited our DS when he was about 3 months but I suspect there won't be much contact otherwise.

TheBride Tue 14-Jun-11 01:18:09

Please don't. You sound like a very mature person, who has been extremely accommodating and reasonable in very difficult circumstances. You've already made quite a few concessions to his faith re the pork eating (not sure why he's fussed about that if he's an atheist).

Do not pandar to this evil, deluded woman by going along with her plans. If God exists as per the Koran, he's going to be pissed off about the fact you weren't married when you conceived the child- not sure backdating is allowed, so the marriage is irrelevant. He's also going to know that you guys aren't really married- he is , after all, all seeing.

This is not your problem. Your ex needs to grow a pair and stand up to his mother if he wants to have a constructive relationship with you, and a good relationship with his son.

I'm with the other posters who have said that having a relationship with a grandmother when this is the grandmother is not a net benefit.

shelscrape Tue 14-Jun-11 01:18:11

Well, I think this just shows the extent of her control over your X, she is trying to project that control onto you and your DC now.

Only do it if you really want to do it ... I guess that you are not too keen?

MyNameIsStacey Tue 14-Jun-11 01:18:52

BoF I don't but I am being sentimental about this I know. I need some straight talking and this is where I will get it!

BooyHoo Tue 14-Jun-11 01:20:15

OP if you honestly belive she would arrange a circumcision behind your back then i would suggest you don't even allow her contact with your child even with you tehre. what positive effect can she have on your child if this is the way she deals with things?

MyNameIsStacey Tue 14-Jun-11 01:20:50

shelscrape I do not want to marry xDP. We are on friendly terms now. I sometimes have pangs of what if - but the what if's generally involve him being a different person altogether (as in still him but having behaved differently so I could be back in love with the person who I thought he was - that person doesn't exist - I accept that now)

shelscrape Tue 14-Jun-11 01:23:02

Well, don't do it then. Often very observant muslims see sharia marriage as more binding than normal legally binding civil marriage. I think it will cause you far more headaches than you could ever imagine

MyNameIsStacey Tue 14-Jun-11 01:27:24

shelscrape I need to think through what those headaches are. xDP is presenting it as if it is nothing, is not legally binding and so why wouldn't I do it? His reply to what if I wanted to marry a Muslim in future (never say never, however unlikely!) was that I would have to divorce him. I've never even been particularly interested in marriage per se anyway, but I did say to him that if I ever do get married I don't want it to be tainted by some sham marriage I had to go through. But all that's so much fluff. It's our DS I need to focus on.

izzywhizzyletsgetbusy Tue 14-Jun-11 01:35:41

I am still not sure he loves DC more than he fears his mum - until you can be sure you cannot trust him, and now that he's thrown this curve ball you need to talk it through with him and find out exactly how he feels about, or in what way he fears, his loonytunes mother.

I'm sorry to say that the fact that he didn't laugh in her face but chose to convey her tinpot idea to you does not bode well - it's the old Jesuit thing 'give me the child until he's 7 and I'll show you the man'.

I have a sneaking suspicion that this is because my DC is a boy - of course it is; having 'failed' to make zealots of 2 of her sons, she's going for third time lucky.

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