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Damsel in distress

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leana_24
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Damsel in distress

Postby leana_24 » Tue, 24 Jul 2007 4:19 pm

Hi guys,

I know there are a lot of nationalities of all sorts of religion here. I would really very much appreciate it if anyone would offer me your advises on the dilemma im in.

I’ve been going out with this guy for a year now. We met on the internet. He’s a European and I’m a local. We are on a long distance relationship. We have traveled quite often to be with each other and we have even met each other’s parents. In about 2 to 3 years, I’ll be migrating to Europe to be with him. We even planned on getting married.

However, we are of different religious background and in order for us to be together, it requires my bf to convert in to my religion. My mum has been pestering me on the conversion issue. I have discussed this issue with my bf and he insists on not converting in. I love him very much and I don’t want to force him into doing things that he dun like. I understand it isn’t easy for someone to accept this.
After much discussion, we decided that we are very much in love with each other and can’t do without each other and decided to let things as it be, with our own religious beliefs.

We plan on getting married in Europe and come back to Singapore thereafter to announce to my family that we are married. I know my decision would make my mum jump but this is the only thing we can think of in order to escape from the conversion issue.

Is this the correct thing to do? I would very much want to be with him but on the other hand, I do not know how to face my family of the consequences.

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sq009
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Postby sq009 » Tue, 24 Jul 2007 4:34 pm

I believe that you are a follower of Allah.

I'm a chinese, but I have family members who converted to Islam and they are doing well with the new religion they have, and nothing much changed sinced they moved into the middle east. (My aunt was married to a arabic businessman)

If you are able to talk him into your belief, it would be the best.

Perhaps you can ask him why he prefer not to convert? and express your point of view directly. I believe that everything can be solved... through extensive communication

Dont give up!!!
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La grande boucle
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Postby La grande boucle » Tue, 24 Jul 2007 5:08 pm

Tough one.

Has your BF told you why he will not want to convert, what exactly are his objections for doing so?

Did you ever ask him to come along to Darul Arqam and have a chat there, discuss the situation?

The problem in todays' world, especially in Europe, is all the wrong impressions and extremely negative stigma on Islam. A shame, but unfortunately the reality. Just a wild guess, but your boyfriend may have a problem due to the image of Islam back in his home country.

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Postby leana_24 » Tue, 24 Jul 2007 6:30 pm

Hi guys,

thank you for your replies.

I must say that you are right there, La grande boucle. that was the impression he had and he told me he do not want his family name to have anything related to Islam.

Of course Im disappointed upon hearing his reply. I mean one bad apple doesnt make the rest appear to be the same as well. I tried to convince him but nevertheless, it doesnt work.

I don't know what to do. several times, I nearly wanted to give this relationship up. everytime i see pictures or hear couples tying the knot-interracial marriages, i cant help but to envy them. how i wish mine would be in that situation so i don't have to think so much.

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just curious

Postby prkravi » Tue, 24 Jul 2007 7:53 pm

Im just curious dont get offended.
Look at it the other way round, cant you convert into his religion?
I mean is it forbidden? If not you can still work out things?

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Postby jpatokal » Tue, 24 Jul 2007 8:40 pm

Please also think a step ahead -- what religion will your children be, and will your family accept it if they are not Muslim? As far as I understand, the children of a Muslim woman are automatically Muslim in the eyes of the law, so you may have to legally renounce your religion if this is not acceptable. Fortunately, unlike at our dear neighbor next door, in Singapore doing this is quite straightforward.

As for your boyfriend, I presume he's quite happy with his foreskin and doesn't look forward to having it chopped off. And presumably he also understands that God is imaginary.
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Postby sundaymorningstaple » Tue, 24 Jul 2007 8:46 pm

Or just do it my way.......

My wife is a catholic and I am a pagan who has been married numerous times. Soooooooo we just got married at the ROM, had her parish priest bless the rings later and today, 24 years later we now have a family of 3 catholics and one pagan. I've never converted and have allowed my wife to bring up the kids as catholics until such time as they are old enough to make up their own minds (course by that time they were well and truly brainwashed but nevermind - they have to live with it, not me) They are 18 & 23 now.

I am agnostic and have been for over 45 years (was brought up presbyterian). However, I do love my wife but not enough to embrace something that will just make me become a hypocrite as I don't really believe in it at all. At least I am 100% true to myself. Neither would I expect my wife to give up her religion. We have just learned how to compartmentalize it and give the other the space needed. Ironicallly, it was because of her religion that I married her. Not her being catholic but the type of person her religion made her. She could have be Islamic, Buddhist, or Hindu (or as Singaporean tend to say - the wife included - A Catholic or a Christian [even though they are both Christian in the rest of the world]). It wouldn't have mattered as she lives her religion and is as good person because of it.

As far as the parents are concerned. It's none of their business. After they are dead and gone, then how?

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Postby leana_24 » Tue, 24 Jul 2007 9:16 pm

Hi prkravi,
I know that question will be asked. Sadly, we are not allowed to convert out.

And yes we have actually dicussed about the kids issue. We had the same thinking as sundaymorningstaple. We let the kids decide as time comes by. My bf is just like you. had the same thinking- 'being true to yourself and not believing in something you dun believe'.

we had it all planned. I know that parents wont be an issue at all coz once they are gone, its just between u and ur spouse. however, for now, it is an issue for me. My parents are bent on my bf converting and its so putting a pressure on me.

lets say i just go ahead and marry him back in his hometown. i dun intend to register my marriage in Singapore as that will raise alot of issues on the conversion thingy. I just come back and announce that im married and hold my traditional ceremony (my bf is ok with that) coz my mum insisted on that, we have to do it. Do you think its a foolproof plan?

Im afraid that my mum will insist on asking for the conversion certificate which in the first place doesnt even exist.

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Postby sundaymorningstaple » Tue, 24 Jul 2007 9:44 pm

leana_24,

I don't want to instigate but why do you care if your mother approves or not? Are you marrying her? or your BF?

I'm afraid I cannot tahan parents who try to control their adult kids. As far as religion goes, this is something between one person and their god or whatever. Other people should not even enter into the equation.

Having said that, I can understand your reluctance to cross your mum especially if you are planning to make Singapore your home and not Europe. I have two good friends here in Singapore, one a kiwi and one a yank. One is married to an Indonesian girl and the other a malay girl. Both converted, drink, eat pork and do frankly what ever they did before. They did the conversion only for the sake of the parents/girls. Do you think they will be blessed in Allah's eyes? Do you think anybody who converts for any reason than free will is a better person? I don't.

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Postby leana_24 » Tue, 24 Jul 2007 10:05 pm

Hi sundaymorningstaple,

I know of such cases whereby they convert for the sake of the other party. Some are willing to do that so as to give face and of course this is wrong. But my bf is an honest person, he cant bring himself to do things he dun believe in, not even to the extent of 'giving face'

I dun intend to stay in Singapore. In fact, in 2 years time, I intend to move to Europe to be with my bf and at the same time to pursue for higher education. He has yet to talk to my parents.

I agree with you. Sometimes i really cant stand my mum. How i just wish she can stay out of my affairs. guess its pretty hard coz there's only 2 of us siblings and im the eldest and the only daughter.

I've been rather troubled by this matter and really many thanks for the advises sundaymorningstaple...

I think Im gonna go ahead like what you've been thru. I hope both my bf and me are strong to brave thru this together. whenever i feel troubled and confused, I'll think of your advises and i know Im not alone here... :)

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Postby leana_24 » Tue, 24 Jul 2007 10:09 pm

Hi sundaymorningstaple,

just curious... in your case, did your parents get involved?

lets say, if they did, what would you have done?

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Postby Wind In My Hair » Wed, 25 Jul 2007 12:03 am

Leana,

I can imagine how torn you feel. I would be too if I had to choose between a man I loved and my mother's blessing. Much as I respect SMS, he is a man and an American. Easy for him to say ignore your mother. Simple as it sounds, it can be emotionally impossible. As a elder daughter too and an Asian, I understand the strong, sometimes subconscious emotional bond we have with our mothers. We may disagree and quarrel with them on the surface, but deep down we are uneasy without their approval.

Understand also that your mother is not being selfish and unreasonable for the sake of making your life difficult. She is the product of her religion and the society she knows. If she loves you she will eventually come round and accept the husband you choose. Still, if the whole affair can be made easier, why not? Do you have relatives or religious leaders who may understand your position and talk to her? Can your boyfriend spend more time with her to convince her that even though not a Muslim, he is still a good man?

You should also be brutally honest about your options - in the event that your relationship doesn't work out in the long term and you have to come home to Singapore, can you face your family and religion again after you sort of rejected them? If you can, then follow your heart. If not, then take your time to think it through. You can delay getting married for a while until you're more sure and don't need the advice of strangers on a forum. But you can't un-marry him if you rush into it.

Personally, I find that when I need to rely on the opinions of others to help me decide something, then probably I'm not sure enough of myself to go ahead. And never, NEVER, make a big decision based on someone else's advice. They will not be there to face the music if their advice was not sound. You have to look inside yourself, cliched as that sounds. And if you quieten your mind by pushing aside hope and fear (the two emotions that cloud our thinking so much), usually you will know the right answer.

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Re: Damsel in distress

Postby ksl » Wed, 25 Jul 2007 5:58 am

leana_24 wrote:Hi guys,

I know there are a lot of nationalities of all sorts of religion here. I would really very much appreciate it if anyone would offer me your advises on the dilemma im in.

I’ve been going out with this guy for a year now. We met on the internet. He’s a European and I’m a local. We are on a long distance relationship. We have traveled quite often to be with each other and we have even met each other’s parents. In about 2 to 3 years, I’ll be migrating to Europe to be with him. We even planned on getting married.

However, we are of different religious background and in order for us to be together, it requires my bf to convert in to my religion. My mum has been pestering me on the conversion issue. I have discussed this issue with my bf and he insists on not converting in. I love him very much and I don’t want to force him into doing things that he dun like. I understand it isn’t easy for someone to accept this.
After much discussion, we decided that we are very much in love with each other and can’t do without each other and decided to let things as it be, with our own religious beliefs.

We plan on getting married in Europe and come back to Singapore thereafter to announce to my family that we are married. I know my decision would make my mum jump but this is the only thing we can think of in order to escape from the conversion issue.

Is this the correct thing to do? I would very much want to be with him but on the other hand, I do not know how to face my family of the consequences.


Depending on your family background is very important for your family and future husband, It would be wrong for any one to try to talk this person into any religion, even you.

It would be nice if your family could just accept him for what he is, although i know the difficulties. I would advise you to get your family together, and express your concern, but reassure them, that it is his choice and no one elses, and explain that you intend to marry him.

The difficulty may come when children are born, if you can look on the issues at hand without feeling the need, to force religion on your children, that would be a good thing, they do need to understand or have knowledge of all religions open to them.

This is not always the case, but i believe if you and your family with all due respect to your parents, could understand the freedom of choice, than i see know problems. I don't have to tell you that marriage is not only about love! It's much more than love for it to last. good luck

leana_24
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Postby leana_24 » Wed, 25 Jul 2007 9:39 am

Hi all,

Thank you for all your advises. I’ll take note of what you said, Wind in my hair. Thank you. Sadly, I dun have any relatives that maybe able to help me on this matter that’s y I turn to you guys for advises.

I know it isn’t right to make a decision based on the opinions/advises made in the forum. I just need to hear some opinions but at the end of the day, I have to make my own decision- from my heart.

I believe communication is very important. When the time is right, I’ll get my family together and have a good discussion on this matter.

Time will tell.

Thank you very much guys…

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La grande boucle
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Postby La grande boucle » Wed, 25 Jul 2007 9:53 am

jpatokal wrote:As for your boyfriend, I presume he's quite happy with his foreskin and doesn't look forward to having it chopped off. And presumably he also understands that God is imaginary.


JP, that is not a must when one converts to islam, it's one's own choice, believe me.

Leana, I don't think you could have read wiser words than those of Wind in my Hair...

So easy to say for western men how the world should work, but the emotional bond with your family, your mother is the deepest bond you hold, I do believe so.

I still believe you should try to bring your boyfriend to Darul Arqam and have the two of you do the beginners course there. It will show him the meaning of Islam and its religion, without being brainwashed as the westerners so much like to call it (without ever haven listened to one word about islam from true believers).

Then at least your boyfriend could make a decision based on rational arguments, which westerners so much value as they say themselves.

Now it is purely an emotional objection, without knowledge.

I would even go as far as to say if he really loves you, he should know how important this is to you and your family. And he should know your family is so much part of you, of who you are.

He should just listen to what Islam is all about and then decide.


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