I am a woman who fell for a man from a different sect.
When we both met, we liked each other and felt we had so much in common. While I studied and he worked, we remained each other’s support and drew closer as we could easily figure out when the other was upset or sad. Everything was going smooth; he proposed to me and I said yes.
But one day I told him I don’t believe in sectarianism and that I am against this concept of religious division. I told him I have fights with my family over this issue as I believe I am only Muslim and not Sunni, Shia or anything else and that I follow the Holy Quran and authentic hadith. He asked me which sect my family belongs to and though I didn’t want to tell him because it doesn’t matter to me, I told him my family was Shia.
The minute I told him that, he said he cannot marry me. He said his family belongs to Wahabi branch of Sunni sect and that they will never accept me as his wife. I insisted I don’t believe in sectarianism and that I will do whatever it takes to adjust even if that means I have to call myself a Wahabi. He said I will feel rejected and I told him I was ready for that too.
But he left me and never returned. It has been five months now; I tried forgetting him but failed. I messaged him but he never replied; I asked my best friend to approach him but he told her to make me understand that it’s impossible.
Was what we had true love? Should I try to convince him that his family will eventually accept me? How do I do that? Or, should I move on? I need answers to these questions; please help.
Victim of Sectarianism
Dear Victim of Sectarianism,
You should move on because he’s not coming back. It’s been five months now and during this time he never returned any of your calls or messages. And when your best friend contacted him on your behalf, he clearly told her that as far as he’s concerned, things between you two will never ever work out and it’s over.
You won’t be able to convince him to change his decision because: A) He’s cut you off without you having any way of contacting him directly; B) He has already made his decision and plans to stick to it as evidenced by his behaviour.
You were willing to go against your family’s wishes and change your sect to be with him. That is true love on your part. But what about him? Was he willing to do the same? Sadly, no! He was willing, and he did, sacrifice your love for him and his for you for his religious beliefs. As soon as he found out that you are from a different sect, he left you, even though you promised him to change your sect and adjust as best as possible, he still didn’t want to take that chance.
I know right now you must be hurting and going through a very tough phase in your life but believe me in the long run its better for you. Proof of this is that your own family would also have had problems with accepting you getting married to this guy – you mentioned sectarianism is the only issue that you have fights with your family members. This means they wouldn’t have happily accepted your decision and your marriage to this guy would have happened by going against their wishes. Perhaps that still would have been acceptable to you as long as the guy would have been there as your support and would have stood by you. But he didn’t. He took the easy way out and left you because unlike you, he didn’t want to go against the wishes of his parents.
I believe you are lucky that you got to experience now how fickle his love for you was that at the first adverse situation that you both experienced together, he left you. Better now than later, when you might have married him and have had children with him, for him to turn fickle.
I know your love for him was and is sincere. I acknowledge and appreciate this. But it’s not going to do you any good because sadly he doesn’t appreciate it. Even if he does, he has made his decision. He’s not coming back. Difficult as it may seem, let him go. You are better off without him.
Keep your self-respect intact and stop chasing him.
As for forgetting him, it will take time but it will eventually happen. Time is a great healer.
All the best!
Asad is a counsellor, life coach, inspirational speaker and a personal-development expert. He advises on social, personal and emotional issues. You can send him your questions for this weekly column at [email protected] with “Ask Asad” mentioned in the subject line and provide as many details as possible.
Note: The opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Express Tribune.