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Interfaith relationship - any experience to share?

(76 Posts)
Pannnn Mon 09-Jan-17 13:40:04

In this case male (me) Catholic in a relationship with a Muslim woman. It is fairly early days and we talk A LOT about what is important to us. I know about the options of Muslim men and women being different re marriage, and what Islamic writings indicate. I'm also reading more about how these strictures are in fact much more 'moveable' in RL.

I'd be really interested in knowing of anyone's experiences and how things actually worked out for them.
thanks in advance.

Pannnn Mon 09-Jan-17 13:42:10

We don't expect each other to be the sole source of 'education' for each other so take responsibility for finding things out for ourselves. iyswim
And this is part of that.

ImperialBlether Mon 09-Jan-17 13:44:55

Do you plan to have children together? I think that would be the biggest test.

Pannnn Mon 09-Jan-17 13:48:53

No IB - we have talked about that and it can't happen in any event. But thank you - that would have been the biggest question.

TheNaze73 Mon 09-Jan-17 15:47:09

Nothing to offer other than best wishes. I hope it all works out for you both

Pannnn Mon 09-Jan-17 15:57:05

Thank you TheNaze. It won't be easy and we both know that.

GatherlyGal Mon 09-Jan-17 16:02:31

I am a Catholic (not a very good one) and DH is Jewish. My advice is to talk talk talk.

We spent a lot of our early days talking about kids, baptism, circumcision etc and worked out where we stood. We also met with a Priest and a Rabbi before getting married.

We also talked about what will happen when one of us dies and what kind of funeral / burial we will have. Not the obvious conversation to have but family pressures and expectations can be very strong and being clear what you want and where you stand is very helpful.

user1471519641 Mon 09-Jan-17 16:03:23

Is she a muslim practising.normally a muslim woman are not allowed to marry other faiths.

unicornpoopoop Mon 09-Jan-17 16:05:18

there's a lot of cross over between the religion itself - eg what they believe

But the main differences are cultural... And usually they are big differences.

Does her family know about you? I know alot of people that started off in the same interfaith relationship as you and it always either ended or ended in a conversion

Pannnn Mon 09-Jan-17 16:09:03

Thank you GG. We are doing that. Talk talk talk talk and then a bit more talk. And yet we both know there is still so much left to talk about.
We are on the same word of the same line on the same page on the same book. We are clear, thank you.

It's obv everyone else around us - mainly her family who know nothing yet but will do soonish.
Hence asking "what has actually happened in these cirs?"

GatherlyGal Mon 09-Jan-17 16:09:52

Our biggest hurdles were definitely more cultural / family pressures than anything to do with the rules!

Our families now are much more accepting knowledgeable and understanding about other religions but it was not a quick or easy journey.

It's almost easier if one of you has no religion and is happy to convert.

Someone did say to me early on if you are secretly hoping your partner will eventually convert it won't work.

antimatter Mon 09-Jan-17 16:11:34

Important question - would she introduce you to her family and how.
I guess the same goes on your side.

Pannnn Mon 09-Jan-17 16:13:15

Ended or conversion, you say. Oh dear. We will neither like either of those.
thank you.

GatherlyGal Mon 09-Jan-17 16:14:18

In our case we had to show that despite the resistance we were not going to split up. It was very hard but we were clear that we could live our lives without the blessing of family or the religious community. As it turns out in the long run no family bridges are burned but I know it isn't always that way.

There's a strong religious disapproval from some quarters but we live with that easy enough.

Pannnn Mon 09-Jan-17 16:16:39

I would be extremely proud to introduce her to my family and they would adore her. Largely. One or two sour pusses may sniff but that isn't too much.

No we haven't spoke of the issue of conversion but I KNOW she would hate it.
Things are going to develop in the coming weeks and months and she will meet my people first, which isn't the real problem.

Pannnn Mon 09-Jan-17 16:20:59

GG - sounds a bit like where we are and will be in time to come. I am fearing her ostracisation from her community. I know we need to talk about that danger too. All experiences gratefully received.

GatherlyGal Mon 09-Jan-17 16:25:34

Yes DH did have some of that. We did not live near family when we decided to get married so that helped.

It was very hard for DH but in the end if his family had made him choose me or them he would have chosen me. They saw that eventually and could not lose him.

Despite those dark days we all now get on and are raising informed, tolerant accepting children who have loving GPS on both sides.

Pannnn Mon 09-Jan-17 16:29:40

Good for you and well done! I can only imagine the experience of it.

There won't be any children, so perhaps the strictures will be more 'relaxed' than if there were to be children and the need to 'protect' the religion's future.
She is, utterly loveable, firm headed and steely. She is choosing me and I don't want to lose her.

GatherlyGal Mon 09-Jan-17 16:31:32

I wish you the very best. We've been together 20 years now and it was without doubt worth the effort!

Pannnn Mon 09-Jan-17 16:32:07

Thank you GG.

Pollypollypolly Mon 09-Jan-17 16:38:27

Will you marry?

That is a big question. The marriage wouldn't be valid well not islamically and would be sinful. Is that something that bothers her?

To be honest she can't be that faithful if she is in a relationship with a non Muslim man so maybe there aren't any issues at all.

I can't see her family being impressed unless they don't really practice either.

I think it is very difficult to make it work unless she is not bothered about her faith. It wouldn't be a choice for a faithful practising Muslim

Pannnn Mon 09-Jan-17 16:42:43

Well Polly I am aware of the Islamic legality. As I'd said in the OP.

And I'd ask you to not express your view on her 'faithfulness' to her faith.
If there were not any issues, I wouldn't be posting.

Olddear Mon 09-Jan-17 17:03:35

If you marry her you will have to convert to Islam. a Muslim woman cannot marry a Christian man unless he converts.

Pannnn Mon 09-Jan-17 17:06:43

Thank you but I already know this as per the OP.

My posting is about where a relationship arises cross-faith. What has actually happened rather than what the scriptures say.

Pollypollypolly Mon 09-Jan-17 17:13:31

What has actually happened rather than what the scriptures say

If she doesn't have much faith then she can live as she pleases.

And I'd ask you to not express your view on her 'faithfulness' to her faith

It's crucial to everything

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