“Blessed are those who yearn for deepening more than escape; who can renounce smugness and be shaken in conscience; who are not afraid to grow in spirit.” (From chapter 8 by John A. Buehrens in “A Chosen Faith”)
His Islam is all tied up with his culture and his identity. It is part of his happy picture of what has made him who he is. What I have lately been inclined to see as literally false and dangerous, he sees as metaphorical, enriching and comfortingly solid.
Maybe I need to start listening to what he is really saying through his language which he calls “Islam”. It is not at all the same thing that I heard when I read the Quran.
But to be perfectly honest, I am tired of being the only one able to do any listening.
And I resent the rigidity in his religio-cultural system. I resent the fact that he could hope I would change, yet couldn’t consider changing himself. I know it’s not his fault, it’s the nature of his religio-culture, but that doesn’t make me feel any better.
I resent the fact that our kids would not be allowed to receive Christmas presents and would have to eat halal. I resent the fact that the happy mixed-marriage picture of taking a little from this and a little from that just never applies when Islam is involved. I resent the fact that so many of us have to put ourselves through painful wrestling to accept the rigid religion of our Muslim men.
And if we don’t have kids, I might end up resenting that too.
But if this means separating out our entwined lives, saying goodbye to half of myself, severing the connection to someone who has become family… if this is the upshot of this situation, this resentment… then I need to at least look for an alternative to resentment, before I can walk that difficult path.