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Rafael M.T.Therapist
Rafael M.T.Therapist, Psychotherapist
Category: Relationship
Satisfied Customers: 3191
Experience:  MHT-MHRS-MS-MA Integral Psychotherapist & Life Coach
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I am 58 and my partner is 40. We love each other very much

Customer Question

I am 58 and my partner is 40. We love each other very much indeed. He is a Muslim, who has lived in my town all his life and whose parents came over from Pakistan when they were young. We get on really well together, and I think he is an amazing person, in so many ways. He is no good at making love however, having a small penis, and somewhat anxious at his lack of ability in this direction, despite my great encouragement, which is a serious problem, I admit. I have an enthusiastic sex drive, so its important to me. However, I am feeling tired because last night he kept me awake last night talking at length about his religion, and how important it is for us both to follow his religion, in order that we achieve a place in heaven in the next life. Muslims place great emphasis on life after death. He is dismayed somewhat by my lack of intense religious knowledge I think, and sometimes tries to 'educate' me. I have got an 'O' level in religion, and attend church from time to time. I respect him and his beliefs enormously, because I adore him. I think the breadth of his knowledge on the subject is amazing. However I would not attempt to make another person follow my beliefs, I think one has to accept people as they are. I would not ask him to take up a different faith. However Muslims are not like this. They have intense views of the after-life, their concept of heaven and hell, and the instructions of Allah. He says that everyone is a 'slave' of Allah, and must follow his commandments. I know his view is that he loves me with all his heart, and because of his up-bringing in the Muslim faith, he feels the need to have me join him in paradise and in order for me to do that I guess he is expecting me to take on his religion and learn about it or something. He has already bought me some books and given me a copy of the Quraan. I understand where he is coming from in all this, but it seems a bit of a long shot to impose all this on someone who has not been brought upmin the Muslim faith! I admire his enthusiasm and knowledge, and love him for it, and I always listen to him, but I am afraid I do not quite agree with it all. What on earth can I do ?
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Relationship
Expert:  Rafael M.T.Therapist replied 3 years ago.

Rafael M.T.Therapist :

Hello, I am Rafael. Thanks for asking your question - I'm here to support you. (Information posted here is not private or confidential but public).

Rafael M.T.Therapist :

I am very sorry to know about this very frustrating and concerning situation.

Customer:

Hello.

Rafael M.T.Therapist :

Hello. Thank you for being here.

Customer:

Yes my partner is such a lovely person, but it seems obvious that you cannot force someone to take on your religion overnight! It is common sense.

Rafael M.T.Therapist :

Could you please tell me for how long have you been married, how long ago religion became a problem in your marriage and if when you decided to get married you discussed and agreed your position around your religious beliefs and values, and how you were going to live together having different worldviews?

Customer:

We have lived together for six months. My partner wishes to marry me. I am 60 and he is 40. He wishes me to take on his religion.

Rafael M.T.Therapist :

Absolutely. it is about common sense, and it is about maturity. The problem is that when a person is mentally blinded by fanatic beliefs, dogmas, stereotypes, or any other unhealthy/limited not assertive view of reality, common sense becomes distorted too leading to intransigent and abusive positions, expectations and behaviors.

Rafael M.T.Therapist :

I see. Thank you. Then it is a young relationship, but he expects you to join his religion, but obviously you do not believe nor feel comfortable with that at all, since you are a unique individual with your own and different worldviews.

Customer:

He does not seem to be all that committed to his religion all the time. Its just now and then he says he would like to say his prayers a bit more although his work schedule obviously comes into this! Apparently Muslims are supposed to pray five times a day. He does have an intense knowledge of religion in general though and I do admire that. However, I believe we should allow everyone the freedom to follow their own beliefs, and not impose our beliefs upon them.

Rafael M.T.Therapist :

For a relationship to develop and grow as a healthy and mutually fulfilling experience-reality, both partners must share the same core values and totally compatible belief systems. That means that you could have different religions, but the core values, principles and morals leading your behaviors and lives must be the same for the relationship to be healthy and fulfilling. But if one partner does not respect the other's belief system ,and does not agree with its core values, then the relationship could never really evolve.

Customer:

Absolutely, I do not hold his view of the after-life, or that we are all going to be burned in boiling hell-fire unless we follow the commandments of Allah. he believes that Allah holds non-believers in some kind of grace, and recognises that they are essentially good and do good things, but will suffer the fires of hell eventually.

Rafael M.T.Therapist :

Also, sexual fulfillment is essential in most long term relationships, and being non-fulfilled in this area uses to significantly limit and undermine relationship in the long run. So you have mentioned two core areas in your relationship that are not truly working as they should, that have been and would continue to significantly limit its capacity to grow and become a fully healthy happy and mutually fulfilling experience in the present and in the long run.

Rafael M.T.Therapist :

I see. If you have directly confronted his behavior-expectations or demand for you to believe what he believes, and shows inability and unwillingness to understand and respect you, your worldviews, values and individuality, I do not see how your relationship could develop nor grow, once it shows incompatibility between in this core area.

Rafael M.T.Therapist :

Also the sexual issue is very concerning.

Customer:

sorry my internet connection failed!

Rafael M.T.Therapist :

No problem. I am still here.

Customer:

Are you still there?

Rafael M.T.Therapist :

Yes, I am here

Rafael M.T.Therapist :

Can you read my text now?

Rafael M.T.Therapist :

I hope you can read my input now.

Rafael M.T.Therapist :

This chat interface has different technical problems-bugs

Rafael M.T.Therapist :

I will change to regular postings to make sure you can read my input and communicate.

Customer:

The over-riding thing is that Muslims and indeed other religions seem tthink that only they are correct in thier views, that only their religion is valid, and that the rest of the world is mis-guided. There is no tollerance.

Customer:

I am sorry the internet was cut off again !

Customer:

However, I take on board your comments which have been most usefull. A mature person could see that you cannot impose a new religion and set of beliefs on another. He asserts that he loves me with all his heart, but that behaviour is not love, it is manipulation and perhaps abuse! And together with the serious sexual problem, there is much room for concern.

Expert:  Rafael M.T.Therapist replied 3 years ago.
Please reply and let me know if you can read my text now.
Expert:  Rafael M.T.Therapist replied 3 years ago.
I have to agree with you, unhappily that is reality, most religions and organized churches do exactly the opposite of what religions is supposed to do. Religion literally meas to reconnect, people with each other and also with Life_God, but most formal religions do exactly the opposite, they divide people, associates and families, identifying themselves as the "good ones", and everybody else as sinners. A very unhealthy, dysfunctional and abusive view of reality for sure,and that's why wars happen too.
Expert:  Rafael M.T.Therapist replied 3 years ago.
No problem. I am here and can wait.
Expert:  Rafael M.T.Therapist replied 3 years ago.
Absolutely, this seems to be the case, and that's why I use to say that love is incompatible with any form of neglect, abuse or manipulation, disrespect or control, and if people want to use the word love, it is essential for them to distinguish between healthy ,mature love, and dysfunctional or destructive love.
Rafael M.T.Therapist, Psychotherapist
Category: Relationship
Satisfied Customers: 3191
Experience: MHT-MHRS-MS-MA Integral Psychotherapist & Life Coach
Rafael M.T.Therapist and other Relationship Specialists are ready to help you
Expert:  Rafael M.T.Therapist replied 3 years ago.
I truly believe you need to reassess your core needs and expectations about this relationship, taking into account main issues, including the lack of tolerance and respect around world views, your individuality, and sexual health and fulfillment. You need to set your priorities, assess pros and cons, and be clear about what you want to afford in this relationship in the present and for the future. Then you need to take consistent action based on that process.

I hope it does make sense.

Please feel free to contact me if you have any further questions and to follow up, since I am here willing to support you as possible.
You can contact me using this direct link to my profile http://www.justanswer.com/relationship/expert-rafael-morales-toia/ , just make sure you state "For Rafael only" in your request, for other experts to know you want me to reply, and I will respond in less than an hour most of the time.

Thank you for your trust. Take gentle care and consistent action.

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