I came across your blog by accident while trying to search for answers on my failed relationship with my ex-boyfriend of 3 years. I have read most of your blog on one setting. Your blog really got my interest and I am thinking of buying your book. Though my story may not be as tragic as most who has experience abusive relationship with a Muslim partner, I will still like to tell you my story. I know you get tons of emails and I’ll be very grateful if you read at least half of my letter.
It all started when I was 17/18, I met a Muslim who was Syrian but raised in Saudi Arabia his whole life. We both shared the same interest, and we clicked instantly. When I met him, we just started off as friends, we became inseparable friends. He would tell me all about his life and I would tell him about my life. I got very attracted to him because he was different, he was more open than most guys. He was sensitive and honest (or so I thought). He was 3 years older than me and he was the oldest of four kids. Well our relationship felt like it was made in heaven. I was extremely happy. I am a very quiet, open minded, and maybe too innocent(which is why I fell into this trap). I am a person who is very picky when it comes to relationships. I always wanted a honest and serious relationship. Sadly this Muslim man was my third relationship and the most serious of all. He liked that I was still a virgin, I was well educated, and I had a passion for books and art. From the bottom of my heart, I felt like he was “The one”. I have never brought anyone home before him, He was the first boyfriend I ever introduced to my family because I was so sure he was “The one”. I have always been independent and very focus on my future and very respectful to other people’s culture. I am usually defending cultures who are always stereotyped by the media and Islam is one of them. I am a western girl, raised in America. I tend to see the good in people and I judge according to your treatment of others.
Sadly, I was too naive to see that I was dating someone who was manipulating. The most embarrassing part of this situation is that I am a psychology major with a soon to have a bachelor degree. You would think I would have seen the signs of my unhealthy relationship. Well back to the story. My boyfriend as amazing with me at first, He would talk to me about Islam and the beauty of Islam. He would talk about his close bond with his family and how he wanted to finish his studies before he got married. I thought “Wow, what an amazing man, very mature and very smart and a family man”, It was what I always wanted in a man. His relationship with his mother was very beautiful, always helping his family in whatever way he could. He bought me a Quran and I did not think much of it. I thought it would be a great idea to learn about his “Beautiful” culture and religion and get to know him better. He would tell me these amazing stories about Islam and how everything bad that is on the media about Islam here in america is all a lie. He would tell me about how well respect children are to their family in Islam, and how safe and secure Islam is. I felt like his life was wonderful. I had a different point of view in religion though, I believe in God but I do not follow a specific religion because I believe everyone has a different way of being close to god, there is no right or wrong way of worshiping God, just as long as you don’t harm yourself and others by doing it. I am very open minded when it comes to religion and I am always willing to learn new things because different cultures and religions fascinates me.
I always wanted to be with a man who was different than me in the sense that he is raised in another part of the world but that we could agree on the same principles. Someone who was just as open minded as I was. I started to like Islam because of the wonderful things my boyfriend would say about it. I did not believe it was perfect though because there were things I disagreed with. Whenever I asked him questions about things I was concern of, like for example: Why did Muhammad married a 6 year old? Why did Muhammad married many women? Why aren’t women allowed to marry non Muslims and have 4 husbands? Why are the men considered protectors, while women have to be dependent and taken care of?, These were innocent questions because I wanted to understand why he loves his religion so much and I hope he would answer me with a logical response. He would get infuriated when I asked him these things and yell at me “YOU HATE ISLAM!!! I KNOW YOU DO!! YOU WILL NEVER UNDERSTAND ISLAM!! YOU HATE IT!”, and my response was “I was simply asking you questions because I do not know much about Islam and since you were born in that religion, I wanted an “experts” response”.
He would get very impatient with me and tell me that I will never understand Islam and the truth about the Quran because I failed to accept Allah in my heart. My family and my friends tried to warn me about Islam, they even showed me “Not without my daughter” and I have also read every page of the book but I still failed to see how wrong my boyfriend was for me. The love I had for him was beyond any love I have felt in my life, and it scared me. I became dependent of him and it was something I did not realize until it was too late. I started off by taking world religion courses at college, Took Cultural Anthropology, Sociology, Social Environment, Philosophy and a couple of psychology courses. This was in a span of 2 yeas trying to learn about Islam. I loved him so much that I denied the bad things done in the name of Islam. When he was good, he was incredibly great. He was caring, spend all week in the hospital with me when I got sick, comfort my mother and payed for my medical bills when he didn’t have to. I never asked him for much, just his love, his money did not buy my love. I loved him because I felt that he had a good heart and he had potential. The more I got into psychology, the more I started to see how Islam is preventing my boyfriend from reaching his full potential. I am not a person who likes bashing other religions because no religion is perfect. I tried being unbias.
I figured, The perfect man does not exist so he is the closest to perfect I will ever have. He makes me feel like no other man has ever made me feel. He knows my weakness and my strength and I know he cares about me and loves me. Well he was very secretive around his family when I tried to ask about them. He would tell me that his parents were still living in Saudia Arabia and when I asked to talk to them, he would tell me that they don’t speak English but that he tells them about me all the time and that they accept me. As naive as I am embarrassed to admit that I was, I believed him because I was afraid to question him. He would get offended if I doubted him. He would make me feel guilty that I even questioned his trust. He would say “Don’t you love me? You have known me for almost 3 years now and you question me? You disappoint me and you broke your promise!”. During all those 3 years we did not have intercourse because I respected his religion, there were times when we were tempted but I wasn’t going to let him do something he might regret after. He was very closed to his religion and I wanted him to lose his virginity after marriage, we both agreed on that. Usually I believe that just as long as you love someone, there is nothing wrong with sex but since he was religious, I did not want to get in the way of it, I wanted him to have the full experience of losing his virginity after marriage with me.
During those three years we never had sex but we did fool around somewhat. I stopped wearing skirts and shorts. I always wore pants and sweater. He told me that I need to protect my pride and honor for Allah because if I show off my body, I have no respect for myself. I honestly believed in every word he said. He had me completely. I tried very hard to convince myself that I will be happy with him. I started reading the Quran every night before going to bed, There were things I did not like about it, the mention of Hell on almost every page. You will go to hell for this, for that! hell hell hell. Sometimes I found it very contradicting and unfair but I was too afraid to make my boyfriend angry by questioning the Quran. I felt that if I made him angry, he will stop loving me and losing him was death for me. I became so absorb by him and so controlled by him that I lost my identity. The free will, open minded and happy spirited girl was gone. I was afraid to be myself because being myself was a sin in Islam and I did not want to lose my boyfriend.
Writing to you, I feel ashamed of the person I was and I am still healing today. I became the person I feared. I always had my pride, Since I was a little girl, I promised myself I would NEVER be dependent of a man. I will always be a strong woman and I even use to criticize women who were stuck in an abusive relationship. But now I went through it myself and all I can say is that I have learned a great deal about myself and others.
My boyfriend never lay a finger on me but he manipulated me every single day to the point of where I hated myself and wishing I was not raised a Christian so that I could be good enough for him. I wished I was born a Muslim with a Muslim family, maybe then he will accept me and his family too?. I felt that he did love me, why else would he stick with me for three years with no sex? (or so I thought). He was always constantly trying to live up to his family’s approval. He would constantly tell me that my parents HAS to be best friends with his parents, if not the relationship won’t work. My family really dislike Muslims but never stopped me from dating him, they just warned me. My boyfriend knew my parents did not like Muslims. My boyfriend wanted me to live with him in Saudi Arabia and have our kids other there and convert them to Islam.
After our last month of our relationship, the 3rd and final year of me constantly trying to keep it together and make it work for the sake of love. If you love someone you should always fight for them and never give up on them. That was my motto. I loved him and I wasn’t going to give up, I do not care how long I have to wait to get married, just as long as I had him in my life, rich, poor, sick, healthy, I would still love him. I wanted to prove to him that I had what it takes to be his wife. During our last month, he got into a horrific fight with his family and then with me. The moment of truth was a stab to my heart. It turned out that his parents never knew about me and he told him that last few days of our relationship that he was dating a western girl. He lied to me, and to his parents, and he gave me falls hope. Three years I spend trying to understand Islam, trying to be a good Muslim girlfriend and trying my best to make him happy. Anything he asked for, I would do it for him. The great amount of patience I had for him, his ignorant mind, the great the I was always able to calm him down during his tough times. I would stay up all night comforting him and trying my best to make it work. Love is not easy and is not always a fairytale but I wanted to prove that I could handle the tough times of a relationship, That I had what it takes to be in a serious relationship.
He dumped me and I started crying and he started crying too. He wanted to be my friend. I tried very hard to be his friend but it did a lot of harm to me. I always begged him to have me back even after the lies. I was sick in the head. I went into a deep depression, at first angry at myself for not doing my best to be a good girlfriend, it was never enough and I was ashamed that I didn’t do better. A shamed that I questioned his religion during our first year in our relationship. I kept blaming myself and that it was all my fault. For 8 months we talked but he was very cold with me. I swear he became the worse person I have ever met. After he dumped me, I became very sick, I starved myself due to my depression, locked in my room for weeks. I would eat without hunger and then my body would reject the food, I did not feel hungry or thirsty. I felt dead. I ended up having a heart surgery due to the heart defect I was born with and starving myself did not help at all. He knew about my surgery but thought I was lying about it. At first he cared but once he saw that I lived through the surgery, he went back to being cold. He was always “busy”. He was pushing me away very hard. I felt like I was dirty. He would only come to me when he was having problems with his family. He would go back to being sweet, “I always need you in my life, you are the best lover and family I ever had in my life and I always need you in my life”. Like an idiot I stayed. I had patience with him and his coldness. I wrote him poems, I made him things to show him how much I still loved him, but he kept pushing me away.
I was angry with him for not trying to stand up to me. I felt angry with him for using me for 3 years and making me believe that his family knew about me. I was angry that I wasted 3 years of my life with someone who obviously does not know the first thing about love. Over the next few months I kept fighting with myself, the feelings of love and hate towards him. I went into a relationship therapist session at my college as an extra credit assignment, which involved 10 session for an hour once a week. It helped me a lot, at first I ignored what the therapist was saying but then I started to pay attention and sometimes I would get upset. I never missed one session, I always went, tried my very best to pay attention. That was when the healing started. I wrote my ex a very long letter and I blocked him from every social network and phone number. It has been 4 months since I last spoke to him and not once has he bothered to contact me or ask about me. Now that I am healing, I know I did nothing wrong in the relationship, my only fault was that I was very naive and that I gave too much of my heart and soul to a man who fed on me. Like that saying goes, “You are my disease and I was your cure, While I am healing you, you were killing me”. That is how my relationship was. He benefited the most from it. I was always the right person who cheered him up.
Now I am 21, he is 25, His birthday just passed last month, Never called him once to congratulate and at this point I do not care about his feelings anymore. I would be lying to you if I told you I feel nothing for him. It will be a year on April 5th since he dumped me. There are nights where a tear escapes me. I don’t scream into my pillow anymore, or cry till 5am or drink myself to sleep anymore. Memories are still there and at night is when I usually remember him the most and tears starts to fall but then I cheer myself up with music or television. I still love him and I know it is sick and crazy, but I will not want to be in a relationship with him anymore. I know he will never be the man I deserve to have. He had potential but I felt like Islam prevented him from being a man. He was still a child and I know that he will never be a man to any woman. Maybe he is better off with an Arabic Muslim girl. Maybe I am wrong to judge Islam so badly, Maybe it is his culture but whatever it is, His parents don’t want what’s best for him, they want what’s best for themselves. I believe that a parent should never dictate their grown adult children but it is very common in Islam, from what I have seen and I know other religions parents dictate their kids as well but I have seen it a lot in Islam. My ex boyfriend told me it was impossible to be with me because his parents don’t accept us together and rejecting his parents would make Allah angry and send him straight to hell. Did he ever love me? He swear in the name of Allah that he loved me, but I don’t know what is true or what is a lie anymore. He lied about so many things, I bet he had other girls or had sex with other girls and probably was out on a date when he would tell me he was busy studying or working.
I know longer feel that our relationship as true. His personality was not true. I probably fell in love with the fragment of his imagination, the man he created for himself. As much as I hate criticizing religion, Islam is totally not for me and I will never stop someone from converting to Islam. From this experience, I have learn that you can’t change others if they aren’t willing and I know Muslims are probably the most stubborn. My ex was stubborn as hell. He was always right, and no other religion was perfect than Islam. I sacrificed a lot for him and he knows it. He tells me that he had to sacrifice a lot for me but in the end, he lost nothing, he never lost his identity, his family, health, and his friends. I lost so much because I willingly sacrificed a lot for him. I know there are things that are completely my fault as well and that we both did wrong. I just wished he was honest with me from the start instead of allowing us to hurt each other the way we did. Would I have changed my past if given the choice? No, From this experience I have learned a great deal. I know there are women out there are have married these men and have had children and feel stuck, my heart goes out to them. I am more fortunate because my life never got as bad as to have kids with him. The brave women trying to get away from their abusive husbands are very strong. Leaving Islam is very hard and I have tasted a bit of Islam. I have learned that I am still young and I can still find a man who will love me, any woman at any age can find a good man, it is never too late. I am getting ready to buy your book “Understanding of Muhammad”. I want to learn more about Islam and why my ex was the way he was.
Ali, you are a brave person to put the things you write on your blog. To deal with the constant criticism. It is not easy having to deal with that but your blogs are very true, not only in Islam but in people in general, always be careful with who you date, you never know his true colors until it is too late. If you have anything to say to me, I will gladly welcome it. I want to know more about Islam and I know you are an ex Muslim and an expert in Islam. Thank you so much for giving my email an opportunity.
Dear Melanie (a name I made up)
Thank you for sharing your story with me and others. It is important that young women learn the truth about relationship with Muslim men.
From what you wrote, I believe this man loved you. If he didn’t love you he would have slept with you. Muslims do that all the time but when a woman gives in to them they immediately think of her as a whore, someone to be used and then dumped. So let me set this as a rule for all women who read this. If you have intercourse with a Muslim man you become a whore in his eyes. He is not going to marry you. Sooner or later he will dump you.
So this man must have loved you. But the love of a Muslim man is not love. Muslims don’t know the meaning of love. What they sense is infatuation, which is the spark of love. But like spark it is short-lived. And when the infatuation is gone, so will the interest. Then they become abusive. They feel cheated and guilty at the same time. So they abuse you verbally and emotionally so much until you leave them.
Only those who have received love can give love. As a norm, Muslims have no understanding of love, because the Islamic world is a loveless world. Even Valentine day is banned in several Islamic countries. There are always exceptions to norms, but exceptions are exceptions.
Muslims grow up in patriarchal societies. Patriarchal societies raise emotionally disturbed humans. You have majored in psychology and you know the meaning of shared psychosis. Since Muslims follow an insane man their entire world has become insane. In Islamic societies, insanity is cultural. If you get my book, you’ll get the idea.
Your Muslim boyfriend lied to you. He played with your feelings. He abused you, but unlike most Muslims he did not do these of malice. He could not help it. He was probably torn apart between what his heart said is right and what his faith said he should do and in the battle between heart and faith, faith always wins.
Of course you cannot help people of faith. Leave them. Reason and love are powerless when faced with religious conviction. A religious person is capable of killing his own offspring. We have the example of that in the mentally sick Abraham in the Bible and we have plenty of cases among Muslims to count. Every year in the West hundreds of girls are honor killed by their Muslim parents and brothers. It is not that they do not love their daughters. It is that their faith comes first.
Ignore Muslims, whether man or woman. They don’t make good life partners. They hardly make good spouses even to each other let alone to someone from a different religion and mindset.
Now I would like to publish your email with a fake name, if that is okay with you. I am sure it will help other girls in your situation.
Wish you the best
This is why I wrote the letter 🙂 I wanted you to share it with other girls. It is very important to really figure out these guys because they are good liars. It took my ex boyfriend being charming with me and loving me at first, that when he started to change I did not realize that what he was doing was wrong. I got really deep into the Muslim culture. I did not think the way I use to. What was immoral to me, became moral. It got to a point where I would rather have him marry a second wife if it meant not losing him. Now that I have awaken, I feel disgusted by my personality when I was with him, That girl was not me. I have never felt so weak in my life. It destroyed the pride I had but it also taught me that anyone can fall for these men. Whether educated or uneducated, it can happen to anyone. I grew from this experience. I was too full of myself to think that these kinds of things will never happen to a smart girl like me but as I said before, it could have been worse. I could have married this guy and moved to Saudi Arabia because at that time I was willing to drop everything for him. I realized that what he felt for me was the only love he has learned in his society. It is the only way he can show love because he does not know any other way. Sometimes I fight with my on thoughts. I don’t know whether to blame him or the culture and religion he is from. A reasonable person would eventually learn from this mistakes but he felt that he was doing the right thing by leaving me. He thought Allah would reward him by being obedient to his parents and that breaks my heart more than anything because he is not evil. He has a heart but his religion prevents him from growing. I fear he will suffer later in life.
As an ex Muslim, I would like to ask you, Do you honestly think an Arabian Muslim woman will also have trouble with him? Even though they have the same religion and culture? Is that possible?. Makes me sad that the Muslim mindset will go on with generations to come. It takes a strong person to break that chain. I know he will teach his kids what his parents taught him and so on. His brother left the family because he could have handle them running his life and to me that is extremely brave because he lives in Saudi Arabia. Now his parents consider him dead. I can’t imagine a parent thinking that way of their own kids. I would be happy to see my child alive and happy regardless of what religion he chooses. My ex boyfriend always claimed that his parents give him freedom. That Saudi Arabia is SOO free and full of love. Yet, his parents asked him “it’s either her or us”. That’s a form of manipulation and I know this very well from psychology. His parents manipulate him in a smart way. He don’t directly tell him to leave me but they imply it in hidden words. I honestly felt like I loved him more than his parents and it took my a massive deal of courage to block him out of my life. I felt like I was committing suicide by leaving him. I was constantly worried that his parents would punish him for being with me but in the end there is nothing I could have done. It is strange but even though I had a bad experience with a Muslim, I can never hate them all, I feel sorry for them because I know there are good Muslims out there but their mentally is so corrupted. It makes me sad because the only truth they know is what they learn within their family and society. I even researched for a Psychology school in Saudi Arabia when I was thinking of moving there with him and there was none. Psychology will only prove that Islam and the Sharia law is against psychological principles and in order to strive as healthy adults, you will have to leave everything that Islam has taught you.
Thank you very much for taking the time to read my long letter 🙂 I appreciate your time and patience, keep writing and keep helping others because what you are doing is the right thing. You understand Islam in a very deep way. God bless you.
Of course this person can’t have a meaningful relationship even with a Muslim girl who agrees with everything he believes. Islamic thinking is sick. It is not just incompatible with the thinking of rational people. It simply does not work. There is no happiness in any Muslim household, unless they live an un-Islamic life and are Muslim only by name. You can see that the Muslim societies don’t work. They are poor (unless they have oil), which means they can’t produce anything. They are constantly in war with each other and with their non-Muslim neighbors. They are all dictatorial to varying degrees and corruption is rampant. We also read a lot about honor killings. But what never becomes news is that no Islamic household is happy. There is so much oppression and abuse that most Muslims need psychological help. Depression in women and narcissism in men is the norm. However, Muslims would tell you that their families were normal. It is because that is the norm. It is like we are unaware of the atmospheric pressure on our body; Muslims are unaware of the sickness in their society. That is the only model they know, so it is normal to them.
Muslim men take away the independence of the women first and make them so submissive that they these women even allow the humiliation of accepting a co-wife just to be with them. This is utterly sick. A person that loves you, would never demand such thing. Instead will be happy to help you grow and share your life with him for love, nor for fear of abandonment. In Chapter 9 of the sixth edition I have compared Muhammad to an infamous psychopath. You will find the similarities are standing. And since Muslims emulate their prophet, they are all psychopaths in their relationship. These people are not healthy. Don’t be fooled. To the extent that they follow their prophet, all Muslims are psychologically impaired, .
Hope others learn from your experience and don’t go through what you went through.