Heart to Heart

I do not want to get married to my Muslim boyfriend

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By Carol Nambowa

Posted  Thursday, December 12  2013 at  02:00

The problem
Dear heart to heart, I met my boyfriend a year ago. I guess I was blinded by love that it took me about five months to realise he is a Muslim. Although not staunch, I have since developed doubts about our relationship. I had never dated or considered dating a Muslim - I always made it hard for one to ask me out. I have talked to him about it but he seems okay with it and asked me to talk to my parents about us, but honestly I cannot! Our family is Christian and no one has ever married a Muslim. Secondly I have always had a negative impression about Muslims, so I fear that in future I might say something offensive. I am not willing to convert, yet he expects me to. I have always dreamt of a church wedding, taking the children to church and choosing beautiful Christian names for them, but all that can’t happen with us. I am stranded and confused. I feel we are wasting each other’s time despite our love.
- Valentine

Your solutions
Dear Valentine, Listen to your heart. There are some things that the two of you have to discuss and reach an agreement before you settle down in your marriage, religion being one of them. You have your own dreams and you should be able to stand up for them without any compromise.

Dear Valentine, you seem to be less in love with your boyfriend than you think, a thing that seems to have started after you found out his faith. Your personal views of how you would prefer to live your life after marriage is vital and it seems he does not feature anywhere. You need to let him go. However much you love him, you seem be unhappy when you think about your future together. The earlier you leave him the better. You will take time to heal but you will be ok.

Mnnnh! I don’t understand what you women really want. You meet a good man but still pretend to be confused because of something as small as religion? Do you know how many girls out there would do anything just to have a man like yours, someone willing to marry them? Honestly, you need to open your eyes and wake up. Bebe lives with Zuena, Omulangira Ssuna changed for his Muslim woman, did they die? Get serious!
Hamza Farouk

Valentine, this thing they call love is really so confusing and no one can understand it. Some times you may think that if you hang in there things will change, but the truth is human beings don’t change if they are not willing to. People can advise but it is you to make the choice. Do what makes you happy.

Hello Valentine, It’s good that you have realised those differences before committing yourself. Marriage is different from courtship and those differences should be identified before engagement. This issue is fragile and it’s one of the things that can’t be taken for granted besides tribe and race. I see you do not have strong attachments to this guy yet, which makes it easy for you to opt out. Actually, I don’t think you love this guy. Secondly, naturally, the children will have to take their father’s religion, and him being a Muslim automatically deprives you of the church wedding.
Bro Sif

If you won’t change for eachother, then there is no point in going on. With marriage, you become one and have to share a common interest and goal, which includes religion. Honestly, I don’t see this working at all. There are many Christians out there, go find a groom for yourself.

Valentine, how did you fail to notice your boyfriend was a Muslim for that long? You could not even tell from the name? That aside, people in love can/should overcome any obstacles. You are Christian and he is Muslim, so what? Didn’t God create all of us in his image, according to both the Bible and Koran? If you both believe in these teachings, you ought to look beyond religion and try to make it work. Communicate. Cut out the pork and beer, and he will eventually start doing the things you want. Such relationships have survived before, and so can yours.

Dear Valentine, First of all sorry about that dissapointment! But know that marriage is a lifetime commitment which you must enjoy with someone you are comfortable with. It seems that guy was not meant for you because if he was, you would not be having second thoughts. You not willing to convert and yet he expects you to, is also another issue. Follow your heart and how you feel about your man because you are the only one who knows how much you love him but make sure you make a decision that will make you happy in future.
Mercy Jean Tukamushaba

Counsellor’s opinion ; Rachael N Kaposi, counselling psychologist, Makerere University

Dear Valentine, the basic issue here is a clash of your values. Even if you were not bothered now, it would still have happened. Now that you are concerned about your different backgrounds, keep in mind that the longer you stay in a relationship, the more committed you become to your partner. Over time, you will be stuck and if the man is serious, you will end up walking down the aisle with him.

Once you are married, he will totally be in charge and as a woman, you will have to submit to his wishes. If you stay with this man, you will keep feeling that you have defied what you stand for and with time, you will begin to pin point and criticise things about your relationship that are not even relevant. As a Muslim, your boyfriend values what his faith teaches while you live by Christian morals.

You are postponing dealing with the problem but you will have to deal with it anyway. The more time you take to handle the issue, the more serious you get in the relationship and by the time you will want to break up with him, it will be too late. You need to ask yourself how you benefit from the relationship because even when people say they are in love with someone, there are always benefits they enjoy from the relationship.

Since there are always things keeping us in a relationship, your boyfriend might be meeting those needs and that is why you are still in the relationship with him. For example, he might be someone that you can count on, protects you, respects you, encourages you and takes care of you. It is up to you to weigh whether the benefits are long term or short term and whether they will last or not. Think into the future.

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