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How do I tell my parents that I am no longer apart of their religion?

 
 
Reply Sun 15 May, 2016 12:23 pm
I never thought that I would be one of those kids going to websites to find answers on how to break my parents' hearts, but here I sit asking away. My parents both become Muslims when they were teenagers; my father was eighteen and my mother was sixteen. When my mother was eighteen she married my father (by choice of course) and they have been married for nearly twenty years. And in those nearly twenty years together they have had five children, my older sister, me and my three younger siblings and we were all raised Muslim. Which I had no problem with, it was a religion that I enjoyed being apart of. I honestly believed that I would be Muslim my entire life, but then when I was fourteen something changed in me and I stopped practicing as much as I usually would. Around Christmas time (2015) I started thinking about leaving Islam, and I fought with myself about it until the day after the New Year. As if now I have not been Muslim for a good five months and I have yet to tell my parents. They evidently suspect that something is up and they have been reminding me that I need to rectify myself because they fear that I am heading down a dangerous path, i.e apostasy from the religion, and it kills me every-time they say it because I already have. Before I made the decision to leave Islam I already knew what I would have to put up with, but I didn't think it would be this hard. The main thing I fear from telling my parents that I am no longer Muslim is them being heart broken which is the LAST thing I want to do. No matter what I love my parents and that will never change. I feel as if my father will contain himself more than my mother would, she would most likely tell me to stop joking and that it isn't funny, but my father would most likely say close to nothing which indicates that he is really hurt. I would like to wait to tell my parents that I have left to the religion after I move out, which isn't going to be for sometime due to their beliefs on children leaving their parents house unmarried, but I can't take them reminding me to pray, not to wear makeup/nail polish outside. The one thing I want to do the most is go outside uncovered and I can't even do that. It's just very difficult when you and your parents have two different opinions. Next year I am going to college, but I won't be living on campus, I have come up with a plan to rent an apartment and get a roommate but keep it a secret until I am able to put in a down payment and move in, but like I said, that won't be for another year. Or I could just get married which I wouldn't mind, but I don't really want to be committed to a marriage yet. The other reason why it's very difficult to tell them this is because of my siblings. I won't be able to see them or communicate with them any longer, as well as my parents. That would destroy me.

- I am in desperate need for honest answers that are NOT backed by prejudiced. I have been apart of this religion my entire life, I know what Islam is about. I don't need to hear things such as terrorism, sexism, backward views, etc. Please be respectful.
 
jespah
 
  2  
Reply Sun 15 May, 2016 12:30 pm
@Theunknown,
I think it will help people a lot if they knew which country you were in.

Are you over 18? If you are, then most places are going to call you an adult. With that comes freedom but also responsibility. You are, as I believe you have already surmised, going to have to deal with this.

Question: do you need their financial support for college? Can you go some place remote from them and live on campus or at least no longer under their roof? Once you are out of your childhood home and paying your own bills, I would say, you can do whatever you want to. And you may need to hang in there until you are able to confidently do so.
Theunknown
 
  2  
Reply Sun 15 May, 2016 12:42 pm
@jespah,
I live in America, but I am not yet eighteen. That's why I can't do anything until next year when I turn eighteen and start my college courses. My parents are not financially supporting me through college, I am using a program that helps with that.
chai2
 
  5  
Reply Sun 15 May, 2016 01:19 pm
@Theunknown,
So your father was 18 and your mother was 16 when they became Muslim.

Perhaps that broke their parents heart, but they went ahead and did it anyway.

No one makes it to adulthood without doing something their parents don't agree with.

Theunknown
 
  1  
Reply Sun 15 May, 2016 01:23 pm
@chai2,
My grandma did not care what religion my mother joined. My grandmother is now a Muslim. My father's mom didn't agree with it, but she was Christian.
Robert Gentel
 
  2  
Reply Sun 15 May, 2016 01:39 pm
@Theunknown,
Waiting till you are after 18 might be a worthwhile precaution, after that it's just a matter of respectfully telling them your beliefs and telling them you hope it does not come between the love you have for each other. But doing it before you are 18 opens you up to attempts to indoctrinate you that you may have no choice but to accept till you are no longer a minor.
0 Replies
 
chai2
 
  2  
Reply Sun 15 May, 2016 03:02 pm
@Theunknown,
Theunknown wrote:

My grandma did not care what religion my mother joined. My grandmother is now a Muslim. My father's mom didn't agree with it, but she was Christian.


My point is they would have converted if their parents didn't approve.

You don't live under your parents ways your entire life.

As Robert said, it's best to wait until you are 18 to be more open about your own beliefs.

btw, don't undertand what you mean by "but" she was christian.
So it's ok for her to disagree because she was christian?


Theunknown
 
  1  
Reply Sun 15 May, 2016 03:31 pm
@chai2,
That's not what I meant, I was saying the only reason that she didn't want my father to be Muslim was because she was a christian. Most parents want their kids to stay upon what they raised them as, like my parents. That is all.
dlowan
 
  1  
Reply Sun 15 May, 2016 03:41 pm
@Theunknown,
I can't add to what others have said, but I really wish you well.
0 Replies
 
chai2
 
  2  
Reply Sun 15 May, 2016 04:13 pm
@Theunknown,
Theunknown wrote:

Most parents want their kids to stay upon what they raised them as, like my parents. That is all.


But they didn't stay in what they were raised in.

I would feel free to follow their lead and follow whatever you do or don't believe.

Leadfoot
 
  -1  
Reply Sun 15 May, 2016 06:11 pm
@Theunknown,
Quote:
I honestly believed that I would be Muslim my entire life, but then when I was fourteen something changed in me and I stopped practicing as much as I usually would. Around Christmas time (2015) I started thinking about leaving Islam,
Something does not ring true about this. One is not happy with a religion then one day wake up a changed person regarding that religion enough to leave it. There must be a reason.

If you even hope to adequately explain this to your parents you will have to explain why you don't want to be Muslim. And of course in order to do that, YOU must understand why.

Do you?
dlowan
 
  5  
Reply Sun 15 May, 2016 06:41 pm
@Leadfoot,
Good grief. Nobody has to justify why they cease to believe in religion! Simple common sense is often enough to do it.

I personally ceased being christian one day with no drama or angst. Doubtless as a result of a great deal of subconscious activity it simply ceased to make any sense.
Leadfoot
 
  1  
Reply Sun 15 May, 2016 07:33 pm
@dlowan,
I didn't ask her to justify anything. I only said that if it was important to her to have her parents to understand her, it would be necessary to explain how she came to that decision TO THEM.

But I personally can't understand why anyone would make decisions as important as that in their lives without consciously understanding why. If you woke up one day feeling like you wanted to leave your husband or wife, would you do that with an equal lack of drama or angst?
Theunknown
 
  3  
Reply Sun 15 May, 2016 08:07 pm
@Leadfoot,
One day I just didn't believe as much as I used to. I don't know how to explain it beyond that. I do know why I LEFT the religion. I have told my mother the reasons why I don't firmly believe anymore, but I haven't told her that I don't believe or practice at all.
0 Replies
 
ossobuco
 
  1  
Reply Sun 15 May, 2016 08:21 pm
@dlowan,
Me too. I suppose it had been coming on for a couple of years but I hadn't reached full doubt yet. One day I was reading about a spat between two theologians (one was later Pope Benedict, the other Hans Kung (sp?). I put down the Catholic newspaper and said, "I don't believe any of this." And that was it, completely done. I recognized myself - anew.

The only repercussions were that for a year or two I wasn't too keen on going into churches. I remember refusing to go with my friends to the cathedral of Guadalupe in Mexico City. I didn't yell or anything, just waited for them.. A year or two later I relaxed, and Italy helped me do it, going into churches for the architecture. But, as well, I tempered my anger, coming to understand that religion can be a good thing for many, despite my own views that had come to full blossom. I know about the bad of it over millennia, but still and all, it can fill human needs in many ways, sometimes with beauty. That was fifty years ago. I don't miss it, but can understand others, and stopped with the anger close to the same number of years ago.
chai2
 
  2  
Reply Sun 15 May, 2016 08:28 pm
@Leadfoot,
Leadfoot wrote:

I didn't ask her to justify anything. I only said that if it was important to her to have her parents to understand her, it would be necessary to explain how she came to that decision TO THEM.

But I personally can't understand why anyone would make decisions as important as that in their lives without consciously understanding why. If you woke up one day feeling like you wanted to leave your husband or wife, would you do that with an equal lack of drama or angst?


Yeah, and you "only" said that what she's saying doesn't ring true because you personally "can't understand"

It's not important that you understand, or any of us do. She doesn't need to explain a thing to us, or to them actually.

But let's make this about you, and not her, right?



ossobuco
 
  1  
Reply Sun 15 May, 2016 08:30 pm
@ossobuco,
edit - I didn't have to tell my parents. My father was on his way to dying and my mother was starting up with Alzheimers. My father would have been fine with it, and my mother.. it would have been just one more thing. I might have even said this already, somewhere on a2k recently. I do understand your trepidation, and agree with all so far that being past eighteen is a pretty good idea.
0 Replies
 
chai2
 
  2  
Reply Sun 15 May, 2016 08:35 pm
One day after I retired I suddenly realized that I had always hated work and any job I'd ever had really. I'd just never gave it any consideration before.

All those years I just assumed I had enjoyed at least most of what I did, and the parts I didn't like went with the package.

Then I woke up one day and thought "wow, that was all bullshit"

I have never questioned how or why I came to that conclusion.
Leadfoot
 
  1  
Reply Sun 15 May, 2016 08:51 pm
@chai2,
Quote:
It's not important that you understand, or any of us do. She doesn't need to explain a thing to us, or to them actually.
Then your advice to her is to tell her parents to just **** off?

I took her at her word that she was concerned about how to approach her parents. She has since clarified that she did tell her mother why she is drifting away. My best advice is to keep being honest with her parents and herself about why. FWIW, I think she's doing the right thing in leaving. I hope it is for all the right reasons as well.
0 Replies
 
Leadfoot
 
  1  
Reply Sun 15 May, 2016 08:57 pm
@chai2,
Quote:
One day after I retired I suddenly realized that I had always hated work and any job I'd ever had really. I'd just never gave it any consideration before.
I had more or less the same thought. But I considered it carefully long before retirement age and bailed out of that rat race 20 years early. Man, did that feel good.

Not considering things consciously may have cost you 20 good years.
 

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