I Broke Up With My Boyfriend Because Of Culture And Religion

Of two and a half years... We first knew each other as friends. We were close friends. We'd spend nights together talking, sitting in silence, listening to music, talking about our past, going for walks. Then we fell in love. People tried to stop us from seeing each other, from being together. People became jealous, and tried everything to end our relationship. But we loved each other and trusted each other. Our relationship became long distance. We waited for each other, and we spoke almost every day. People told us long distance relationships don't work. But we were happy, we proved them wrong. He was the only one who knew how I was feeling, without having to ask. He could tell, from even just hearing my voice, if anything was wrong with me. His voice made me forget how bad a day I was having. We forgot everything when we saw each other, when we spoke , when we laughed together. Being with him was being in a parallel universe, where time didn't matter, nothing mattered. Apart from one thing. I wanted to be with him forever... But I didn't want kids, ever. And I didn't believe in God. He started talking about raising a family, getting married. That involved me converting to his religion. Then I knew we couldn't go on... I tried forgetting about it for months.. then , the more in love I became with him, the more the thought crept up on me. I had to face it, on my own. I cried for days, all day. I couldn't think about anything but him. I was heartbroken. But I didn't tell him because I wanted the relationship to last. Knowing that the only reason it couldn't last was because of the culture, the religion...hurt me more than if he had cheated on me. Knowing that we both loved each other, but could not live the same lives. After a few months, a few days ago, I told him. I broke up with him, and saw his heart being broken, as mine had been before. He told me he knew it wouldn't work, but he wanted to stay with me all the same. We stayed up all night because we couldnt sleep after this. We talked about everything that happened, all the memories. It was a crazy relationship. Seriously, machetes and kalashnikovs were involved. Seriously.
We decided to be friends.
When the only reason you break up with a peron is the lifestyle, culture,religion - nothing to do with how much you love the person.. How can your faith in future relationships last? Knowing there is a person you will always love, so much. Knowing that it caused a physical pain in your chest, when you broke up. It makes me wonder who the perfect partner is. I guess it comes down to convenience, not always how much you love each other. The 'perfect' partner is not the one I want, the one I need, the one I long for. I knew it wouldn't last, but I knew he was the one. The one I will always love.
An Ep User An EP User
11 Responses Jan 16, 2013

I'm going through the same thing.. We broke up just a couple nights ago. Although we were only together for a few months, but it was the best relationship I've ever had. We started off as friends.. And by spending a lot of time together, texting and hanging out, we started grow fondly of each other, and couldn't spend any more time apart. We are both strong believers of our religions.. I'm a christian and he's a moslem. I'm open to the possibility of an inter-faith marriage, as my role-models of a happy family are my bestfriend's parents, who has an inter-faith marriage, but are perfectly happy. Unlike my own parents.

At first, when we both decided to be in a relationship with each other, I thought he's okay with the differences.. Since he's always being kind and attentive about me going to the church, and never miss a single 'happy sunday', et cetera. I've always thought that it's going to work and that it'll last forever.

Our relationship was beautiful and full of happiness. We both have the same sense of humor, we are both adventurous, we like almost the same stuffs (online gaming, movies, tv shows, travelling, etc), basically we have the same taste. Just like any other relationships, it's not all rainbows and butterflies, but we just have this great sense of understanding and great communication with each other, which makes it easy to be with each other. He understands my flaws and accepts me completely, vice versa. He's like my yang. We see right through each other, and I believe (and still believe) that he's my soulmate. I love him very much.

Until one day I realized that something is not right. He's acting just a little bit weird, but I noticed it anyway. Then this one day just after he got back from holiday with his parents, he told me there's something he wanted to talk about. At first he hesitated, but I told him to spit it out anyway. Then he explained how we are both mature and how he's not playing around when it comes to a relationship, and how he loves me, and that we have this one barrier between us: religion. It came as a shock to me, because we never talked about this at all, and never had any problems whenever I'm going to the church, or him going to the mosque for his daily/weekly prayers. I always respect him in that area, and he did too. But then he explained further how his parents brought up the marriage topic, and by that time he haven't even mentioned to his parents that he has a girlfriend. At first, I thought it wasn't his family culture to bring up stories about girlfriend, but then I figured out it was more because I'm a christian. He didn't have the courage to tell his parents about me. Not a single word, I guess.

He's like that because he's such an obedient son and that he loves his parents very much he wouldn't want to disappoint them.

I love him for who he is, and even though it hurts to the core of my bones, that's actually one of the reason I love him. He's such a selfless person. He told me he wouldn't want to disappoint his parents, my parents, and our families in the future. That our relationship is not more important than our families and our God(s). He'd rather break his own and my heart, than our loved ones.

Some people got irritated hearing this, and told me that he should've fought and all that, but somehow I understand him. Although I wanted us to fight for this, but I know it would hurt his heart even more, and I don't want him to experience that. Just because I love him that much.

One thing still kept me up at night is that he wants to stay friends, and wants to be there for me, vice versa.

I thought it was a really bad idea to stay friends with someone you have feelings for, but reading all the posts here it wasn't seem like a bad idea.

Any advice on this? Will be greatly appreciated.

Hi I know this answer is a few years after you have posted this but I am going through the same thing. my boyfriend has ended it with me two weeks ago because he will never convert. I am a non practising Muslim born from a europeen mother and a muslim father. We loved each other very much and my heart was broken, we have broken up many times before him trying to convert but once he started, he didn't quite agree with it. he was depressed for many months as he saw my hopes were going up and he knew he never would. I am so broken, I feel like i have lost someone forever. We did agree to stay friends as we were also best friends and we knew everything about each other. We have gone through many hardships in our lives and we kept each other sane. After hearing the news I couldn't eat or sleep anymore, he was really my soulmate. I know that this is the end and it kills me, he came to see me as we have been at a distance for a while now and we talked things through until we could no longer take it from the intensity of emotions. I don't know how I can carry on after this as I feel I have hit a brick wall, that and everything else not going well in my life, I feel like I have lost my soulmate and although it was his decision to end it, I felt bad that having faith would destroy a future for us two. I know we would of had many problems with families, children, differences but I don't know if I would be the same person after this as I feel I lost half of me. I don't know where to go from here but pray that these sacrifices we both made are rewarded. We will always support one another in life as friends but I am afraid that that too will fade away as we move on. :(

I can understand this completely... The same thing is happening to me! I've been with my boyfriend for 2-something years now. As you, we were friends before, and we always had a strong feeling for each other... Until he couldn't take it anymore and kissed me out of the blue, asked me to be his girlfriend. I didn't had to think before answering 'yes'. And we were (and are) always perfect together, except for this "tiny little difference": our beliefs. And that has always been a problem. After 1 year and 2 months we decided to break up and move on because we couldn't agree in that (religious aspects), we could not find a way. But I did not stop loving him, and he did not stop loving me. We spent 4 months apart (the worst 4 months of my life) and I decided to go on a trip abroad, spent 2 weeks in Chile. He couldn't take it, came after me and said that he couldn't live without me (and I couldn't as well. The trip was an attempt to forget him). Anyway, we talked, and talked, and decided to try again and live with our differences. He would accept me (my beliefs) and I would accept him (his beliefs). And we were so happy we were back together, we couldn't believe it. History repeating itself, all we ever wanted was happening again... And he would always talk about how much he wanted to marry me, as I was always quiet in that subject... not because I didn't want to marry him (I did) but because I was afraid. Afraid that our marriage would become hell because of our differences. And he would always say "please don't be afraid. We'll make it work", and I believed that he would really try, but I don't think that it would work. Not because we wouldn't try, but because it just doesn't work. Unless you don't have strong beliefs (or disbeliefs), which is not the case.
And now we are still together, but I think I'm giving up. We have no future, no perspective, because our differences are to strong. We are together now, but I don't think we can ever last a marriage. Than why be together at all, if we have no future?
I think of breaking up every hour of every day. But I love him to much and I don't think I can do it. And at the same time i'm making him waste his time with me... And feel like I am wasting my time as well.
But I don't think I will ever find someone I love so much. If I break up with him, I don't think I will ever find a "him" again. He is the only person I ever feel with love with (we are both 24), but I AM SURE I can't have a future with me and vice versa. Our beliefs are the ONLY thing that we can't work between us... and if we change it, we'll stop being ourselves. EVERTHING ELSE WORKS. I know you can understand this.
I love him so much... He's "the one" for me in everything else... And the thought of losing him again is just... unspeakable.

I feel we can't be together anymore... I just need strenght to do what I know I have to do.

I'm writing this just because I want to know if you could ever move on from this... how do you feel, what happened to you... Can you ever recover from this?

It's tough to break up with someone this way, but I have moved on. It's the only thing you can do, and ultimately if you know deep down that it won't work out in the future - even if if you love him to pieces - you can move on, and he will too. That doesn't mean you stop loving loving each other though.
Saying that, your boyfriend seems like someone who will really fight to make the relationship work, but if you're sure you can't be together in the future, you have to do whats best for both of you.
Don't worry, it's a stage of life, and it will make you stronger. I have recovered - but mainly because I have changed as a person since then, and I look back seeing him as not the guy I need after all. It's difficult - but you both will recover if you stay strong for each other.
Hope it all works out for the best, whatever that may be.

This is EXACTLY how I felt, before and after breaking up... Knowing that you'd love to spend your life with that person but also that, just because of that little detail, you can't :(
How are you doing?

I am honest man, i am principled, loving caring and I know how to treat a lady for whom they are. I love transparency. I am here because I am looking for a serious relationship that can lead to marriage. I need a woman who is understanding, caring, romantic and loving. She may not be charmingly beautiful, but attitudes and character and being industrious describes a good example of a perfect lady.

I am honest man, i am principled, loving caring and I know how to treat a lady for whom they are. I love transparency. I am here because I am looking for a serious relationship that can lead to marriage. I need a woman who is understanding, caring, romantic and loving. She may not be charmingly beautiful, but attitudes and character and being industrious describes a good example of a perfect lady.

I am honest man, i am principled, loving caring and I know how to treat a lady for whom they are. I love transparency. I am here because I am looking for a serious relationship that can lead to marriage. I need a woman who is understanding, caring, romantic and loving. She may not be charmingly beautiful, but attitudes and character and being industrious describes a good example of a perfect lady.

"The 'perfect' partner is not the one I want, the one I need, the one I long for. I knew it wouldn't last, but I knew he was the one. The one I will always love."

Your story, your words... It's just so similar to what I'm going through.
It hurts. Everything hurts. I miss him so much.

I'm going through the same thing... How long did you break up? What are you going through? I might be breaking up soon... :(

It's been six months now... Wow.
Still hurts, but not as much as before, I guess I'm starting to accept it.

Im going through exactly the same thing. It is so much pain when you are forced to part ways. My relationship wasn't perfect but it was beautiful. And i have also thought about converting to his religion although i know in my heart that is not a true religion in my heart. My question how do you move on. How do you stop being in love? And how do you even love again?

Add a response...

this is exactly what I'm going through.. minus the machete and the other thing I can't spell.
Sometimes I dream that he's cheating on me, that way it make it easier to break up.. but it is just so, so hard. We broke up last Friday and he said he wanted to try No Contact (NC) because he wanted to get over me and talking with me & remaining friends would break his heart every day. It was so hard for me, I did not feel like a living being until Sunday night when I told him I will convert on condition that he protects me from his parents' religious demands. Now I'm back to feeling like I was before- doubtful if I made the best decision.

I'm sorry about everything you're going through right now, it feels like hell I know... I wrote this article a few months ago, and I know what I was feeling back then was really awful and it hurt so much. I don't want to sound like everyone else who are probably telling you will get over it soon blah blah because every one's different.
All I can say now concerning the religious situation is that now I feel 100% it was the best decision, I feel free and strong after feeling a lot of heartbreak, I am glad that I was true to my beliefs and didn't compromise them for someone else. Even if you are only 'converting' to stay with him, it's a big commitment that you'll have to stick to for the rest of your life, and you'll be denied the right to freely express your own beliefs. It's not your boyfriend's fault because his beliefs are of course important as well. You should only do it if you believe, not for him, it will be bad for both of you if you don't and go through with it.
Aside from the religious thing though, breakups are terrible but I am really so happy now!! I don't miss him that much although we keep in touch, and now I think of him as a guy who was great but wasn't perfect, no one is perfect of course but I see him more like a normal person now instead of some demi-god : )
the mental burden has lifted and I feel so free to do whatever I want! there are so much more important things in life than relationships! I spend my time doing hobbies and activities that before I would spend time just moping and thinking about him which is so unproductive!! At the beginning I would draw a lot, write poetry, play music and that helped a lot to get through things. I really hope you make the right decision whatever that may be. Big hugs xxx

That made me cry. My boyfriend just broke up with me today; he said that he'd love me forever, I feel the same. He will always be the one, my first and only true love. I just wish that were enough. Why can't it be enough?