What is it like for a Muslim girl to fall in love with a non-Muslim guy?

Answer by Arûn Râinâ:

Well in many cases it's not just a mixed faith marriage but also a mixed cultural marriage too.  In general this is usually a one way type relationship in that Muslim women will generally only marry Muslim men as prescribed in the Qur'an so that is what I will focus on here. 
Each marriage is different and every marriage requires work and compromises to succeed.  With a non-Muslim woman and a Muslim man this means adding on intercultural elements as well as faith issues.  In general a Muslim man will be ok with his wife not being Muslim but any children produced in the marriage must be raised as Muslims.  Although this sometimes plays out differently it becomes a major point of tension in many of these types of marriages and has frequently led to divorce.  If the Muslim is a convert and from the same culture (such as an American Christian of northern European background marrying an American Muslim convert {or revert as many like to call themselves} of northern European background) the cultural tensions are minimized because they will have similar cultural expectations of gender roles, interaction, cultural responsibilities, etc… For those couples the major tensions will be over religious differences and expectations. 
Muslim men may ask their non-Muslim wives to dress more conservatively at least around their friends which will generally mean no cleavage, covering the legs and arms at least 3/4 of their length and preferably lose fitting clothes.  They may ask that their wives not have male friends which is considered inappropriate mixing of genders.  They will likely expect their wives to be more traditional housewives although this does not mean they will inherently have objections to their wives working outside the home but will often expect that they still take care of the home and provide the meals and care for children in addition to their jobs because they will view the home life as coming first and taking priority. 
When the relationship is with an Arab or North African Muslim there will be additional cultural expectations.  Some men expect their wives to stop working once they are married or after they have children.  They will expect that you will serve guests traditional tea and tea cookies.  They are very particular about tea so for Moroccans, learning how to make proper Moroccan Mint tea (they have a mint tea ritual) is essential.  For most other Arab and North African's they just expect the regular Lipton but it must be loose tea as they have major opposition to tea bags.  They tend to view hospitality as very important and will expect their wives to be extremely gracious and generous hosts.  They will always want their wives to learn to make their native dishes and it will never be as good as their mothers (half the time even when you follow their recipe exactly) they will still tell you it doesn't taste right and you did something wrong or must have forgot a step or whatever.  They have expectations about cleanliness and will want their non-Muslim wife to follow them as well such as washing after using the bathroom.
It will take a while  for the non-Muslim spouse to get a feel for their Muslim spouses prayer schedule and they will have to deal with extra grumpiness whenever Ramadan comes around.  They will find their closets filled with flip flops (shib shib) which their spouse will insist on wearing everywhere in the house to keep their feet clean from the dirty floor (even if you wash the floor daily it is never clean and even if it's clean putting their feet on the floor  might "make them sick").  Some men line their underwear with toilet paper to make sure they stay extra clean which can lead to annoying toilet paper messes around the home from when they fall out.  Make sure you keep an extra towel in the bathroom just for wiping water from the sink and floor because when they make wudu (clean for prayer or ablution) they will get water everywhere.  Sometimes they will clean it themselves but usually they just leave it since their dry arid homelands do not experience the same level or mold and rot and the water dissipates faster.  There are many little things that will be difficult to adjust to and each couple must determine which things they will compromise for each other. In general, for many of these marriages, the Muslim man will always think in the back of their mind that their non-Muslim wife will convert eventually so the more years a couple has been together and this has not happened it can add stress and the Muslim husband may even go as far as to  give their wife the ultimatum of convert or divorce.
There are slightly different expectations from Pakistani or Indian Muslims and Asian Muslims from Malaysia or China.  Since Muslims are found in pretty much every country cultural expectations will differ greatly.  Muslim men in general make very good husbands taking their role usually very seriously (unless it's a green card marriage scam).  They tend to be very loyal to their wives (no cheating and stuff) and are very generous and caring people.  Like all marriages there are problems that must be worked through but is not that different than being married to a non-Muslim.  A Catholic and a protestant would probably face equally as many religious bumps in their marriage.  The main differences will be cultural expectations.

What is it like for a Muslim girl to fall in love with a non-Muslim guy?


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