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Muslim Man/English Woman

(19 Posts)
confusedrelationship Mon 24-Oct-11 15:39:43

Posted this in chat, but have just thought that it was probably better here.

www.mumsnet.com/Talk/_chat/1327854-Muslim-man-English-woman-relationship

Just wondering really if anyone had any experience of muslim/english relationships. He's arabic and 30, I'm english and 22

BarryKent Mon 24-Oct-11 15:43:32

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

ItsMeAndMyPumpkinNow Mon 24-Oct-11 15:52:50

Just read your thread. I hope your "natural" tendency to worry and over-think things doesn't extend to a "natural" tendency to let others make decisions for you; a "natural" tendency to put yourself down or to put your own needs last.

Because if that is so, then you can easily fall prey to a controlling partner, whether he is Muslim or Norwegian or short.

itsallgravy Mon 24-Oct-11 16:11:15

I am with a 'muslim' man and I am English. I am 25 he is 28. I use the term loosely as he is largely un practicing. E.g. He drinks, smokes, eats non halal meat etc. He has even been known to consume pork when drunk! he is british born and has lived here his whole life.

We have one dd. The only time we encountered differing views was that he wanted any children to have an Arabic name, albeit one that is very 'english' sounding. So we had Sarah, Hannah . Zack, Noah, Adam etc to choose from. And if it's a boy he would have wanted it to be circumsised. And no pork. Non halal meat is fine. She will not have to wear a head scarf and will be allowed out clubbing when 18!

He doesn't pray or attend mosque although he does fast for Ramadam.

We celebrate christmas and birthdays. (devout Muslims do not recognise birthdays with parties and presents)

And we letting dd grow to understand both religions but not practice either unless she chooses too.

We have no issues with our blended cultures. He has 3 siblings and they are all very westernized as above.

His parents are stricter and do abide by the rules of islam but it is kind of 'what they don't know don't hurt them' attitude. E.g they know they all drink but it's certainly not discussed with them. I tend not to wear low cut tops around his dad. And we don't openly admit to feeding dd non halal meat.

They never expected me to convert. Muslim men are allowed christian wives. Although we have not married. They would probably have preferred a Muslim dil deep down but have certainly never expressed this to either of them.

Not sure of what will happen when dd gets older and maybe eats a mc donalds or something and tells them!!

But so far no problems here. Although I appreciate my partner is only Muslim in name and parentage. Not in the way he lives his life day to day.

confusedrelationship Mon 24-Oct-11 16:17:47

Itsmeandmypumpkinnow - i am a worrier but i am definitely able to make my own decisions etc. No need to worry there lol

Itsallgravy - the guy i am going on the date with seems a lot like this, except i know he doesnt drink, and i am not too sure on the halal food. however, i do know his brother has been known to drink and eat pork.

Do muslim men have a different expectation of their girlfriends to english men?

itsallgravy Mon 24-Oct-11 16:29:19

Well my dp has only ever had English girlfriends and I can see no difference in expectations of me of that of what my ex had. But he is not your typical practising Muslim man anyway. He is very much a subject of the county he grew up in rather than his heritage.

However his dad is a different story. I have never known him to make himself a drink, prepare himself a snack etc his mum has never worked. She does all the cleaning and cooking. And whilst he plAyed with and helped his children with their homework my dp tells me he never did nappy changes or got them ready for school or bed etc.

He was shocked when my dp 'allowed' me to go on a hen weekend in the summer and left the country leaving dp in charge of dd for the weekend! grin

He was not so shocked when dp went on the stag the following weekend leaving is though angry

But this could equally be an age thing as he is in his 60's

ItsMeAndMyPumpkinNow Mon 24-Oct-11 16:31:48

OK, OP. Good luck. It sounds like you are tingling to go for it, and that kind of tingling is a wonderful thing!

I just wanted to expand on my earlier post a bit: Anxiety and low self-esteem often go hand in hand. Many strong, independent, capable women -- outward achievers -- end up in controlling and abusive relationships because deep down, they don't believe they deserve any better. Your stated worrying and over-thinking indicates to me that you might not be as confident of your own self-worth as you could be. Know your worth and you'll do fine in any relationship.

confusedrelationship Mon 24-Oct-11 16:36:45

Thanks itsaboutmeandmypumpkin, that was a lovely message! smile

izzywhizzysfritenite Mon 24-Oct-11 16:39:23

Regardless of race/religion/cultural beliefs etc, it's ludicrous to overthink or anticipate a 'relationship' that, as yet, has no substance in fact.

The man's asked you out for dinner so why not simply enjoy a meal with him and come back if he says or does anything that gives you cause for concern?

As for him being 30 and you being 22, that's hardly an excessive age gap unless you're particularly young for your age but, during the course of the meal, I suggest you ask whether he's married/divorced or has dc if he doesn't volunteer the information.

ImperialBlether Mon 24-Oct-11 16:55:27

I think that's a huge age gap, izzy! At 22, a woman has only just matured - she's just starting her life as an adult. At 30, a man has been an adult for very many years.

The older you get, the less that age gap matters, but there's a world of difference between 22 and 30.

izzywhizzysfritenite Mon 24-Oct-11 17:01:44

Huge age gap, IB? Female age 16 and male age 24 and I'd agree with you on the surface at least, but surely after 21 or so chronological age is not necessarily an indication of maturity.

HardCheese Mon 24-Oct-11 17:22:49

OP, you keep saying 'Muslim man' vs 'English girl' as though 'Muslim' is a nationality rather than a religion - there are lots of English Muslims. Where is this man from? 'Arabic' is a language, not a nationality.

ImperialBlether Mon 24-Oct-11 17:28:54

I'm not talking about maturity as such. I've a 22 year old daughter and I have friends at work in their early 30s - there's a massive difference in what they want from their lives, what they've experienced, in their relationships history and so on.

KRITIQ Mon 24-Oct-11 17:35:05

I think Izzy has got it right. There's a danger of thinking too much about something that may never happen. Either you can get your hopes up too much and end up feeling hurt, or you may talk yourself out of something that could be good because you've scared yourself witless about what might happen.

I was also a bit confused about the English and Muslim bit. Most of the Muslims I know are English, or Welsh or Scottish.

Not sure about the age gap being that much of an issue per se. Alot depends on not just the age of the people involved at the time (e.g. a 14 and 22 year old isn't the same as a 22 and 30 year old!)

confusedrelationship Mon 24-Oct-11 17:40:55

he's from kurdistan

HerScaryness Mon 24-Oct-11 17:43:59

been there done this. My experiences from this relationship from a religion perspective are largely immaterial, and not what you want or need to hear.

What I would say is:

The same rules apply for a forriner as they do for a bloke from the next street.

Don't be fooled into thinking that nationality is an excuse for certain things, it's not.

You are equal to him,
your rights are as important as his.
you have the right to see your friends, your family.
Your work is important to you, your relaxation time too

IF he tries to change how you dress, how you socialise etc etc etc, then he needs to be told without any hesitation that it is not on and he needs to desist or leave you alone.

I'm not saying that muslim male = abuser/controller, there are decent men that come from a muslim background. One thing you have to understand though is that there are cultural differences in upbringing when it comes to the woman's position in society. The minute you feel that you may be being changed, you come back here and ask questions, we'll be happy to set you straight or guide you if need be.

Someone posted a Woman's Bill of Rights recently, but I can't find it on my system.

Fifis25StottieCakes Mon 24-Oct-11 17:51:37

When we went on holiday to Turkey in 2006 there were 2 lovely lads working at the apartments. One was Kurdish the other Turkish. We went to Bulgaria in 2010 and the Turkish one got on the transfer bus on the way back with his English wife and her daughter, They sat behind us on the flight back. The Kurdish one is married and lives not far from me with his English wife. The two wife's were travel reps. They seemed very happy and are still together although i don't know the ins and outs they have both been with their wife's since the end of 2006 so they seem fine.

EricNorthmansMistress Mon 24-Oct-11 18:34:49

I'm in a similar situation to itsallgravy and I'd agree with her. I also agree with HerHissyness in saying you should not make allowances that you would not normally make, if it means compromising yourself.

Your bloke may be practising or not so much, the drinking thing doesn't mean a huge amount (my H has recently stopped drinking, because he has an issue with alcohol, not because of religion, and he smokes hash so not devout!) but you have no way of knowing until you get to know him.

What I will say is that he will have internalised a lot of views that you may not agree with, and although he may think he's modern and laid back, things may pop out that you didn't anticipate. If he is a good person who respect women then his religion will not be a problem, most likely. If he's a selfish prick with a sense of entitlement, he could be that under any religion or nationality. The problems that my H and I have had have not been directly attributable to his religion at all, although his upbringing (only son, rarely challenged) has caused issues.

confusedrelationship Mon 24-Oct-11 20:12:56

Some really helpful responses on here. He seems lovely, and I am aware that Muslim man does not equal abuser, but i am also aware that a minority of them don't see women as equal, and can become quite controlling. However that said it is also the same for a minority of men from any race/religion/nationality

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