I am a very liberal Christian woman, who lived with another liberal man for 5 years (he was then practicing an African religion - Orisha). Please note as well, I live in the Caribbean and have had many Muslim friends and neighbours. So experience has really been limited to moderate Muslims, since fundamentalism and extremism is rare here. My country is multicultural and multi-ethnic and have quite a mixing and intermarrying of peoples. Which is why my situation seems such a surprise and painful one at that.
We have both been anti "organised religion" and his former religion was practiced in secrecy because people see African religions as "devil-worshiping" - so far from the truth. Anyway, I have no problems respecting person's choice of religion, have never discriminated against people and have participated in many worship sessions and other events at mandirs, mosques, churches etc. While I know Christians will not see me as a "real Christian," I am who I am because my way of seeing life and my world view is strongly Christian-based and I've read and studied the bible extensively.
That said, I had suspicions when my partner decide to become Muslim, but I supported his need to search for something he felt was true, would gave him more discipline and focus in life and would offer him a supportive brotherhood he lacked as a child. I think truth is an individual part that each person has to experience and I understand his search. I am myself very spiritual and NOT AT ALL RELIGIOUS, so I see each person as created and loved by a God/dess and thus equally worthy and my love and respect.
I have however, become un-marriable, unworthy, and have been formally rejected as a potential spouse (we had previously planned to get married before he became Muslim) and now I have lost not just my lover and partner, but my best friend, and my children have lost a father figure; not to mention he left his job because it was the construction of a bank and Muslims have nothing to do with western banking systems. My whole world has fallen apart, not to mention my financial state is in almost in shambles (thing is I supported him for many years, paid for his education and I was the sole breadwinner for most of our time together, which I had no problem with, but now that it was my turn to stay at home and be supported, he is gone).
We have spent years building a relationship, making plans and growing together and now I feel cheated and empty and lost and betrayed. I can't compete with Allah, whom he has to follow otherwise he will face damnation. Being with me is apparently equal to being damned: I am not a "pious" untouched Christian, Muslim or Jewish woman (these I am told are the only kinds Muslim men are allowed to marry). I had to convert to Islam, to keep my relationship, which I refuse to do since it is not my truth nor a path I am comfortable with for myself. I would have had to agree to him marry more than one wife, and I would be forbidden from being with all my male friends, I would have to change my dress code, and I would have to leave my chosen profession and life work - Performing Arts.
I do not understand what has happened to the free-thinking, analytical, tolerant and loving person I have shared my life with for 5 years (I knew him for seven years). All of a sudden, everything is wrong with me that makes me unclean and unworthy of being his wife. We shared and cried and struggled through so much to achieve things together as a couple and this hits me from nowhere!!!
Are there others out there who have had this experience?? How did you cope and get over it? Has anyone ever had their spouse or partner "come to their senses" and come back home? (Mind you, I'm not waiting or putting my life on hold for that probably impossible miracle). But are there support groups for this kind of thing?? To make matters worse, it has triggered a depression episode (I am diagnosed with clinical depression) and I'm struggling to function on a daily basis. Any advice would be welcomed. I am trying to understand.