Help - relationship advise please

Good evening everyone,

I'm a 27 year old - catholic hispanic/american woman. I'm in a relationship with a 30 year old american/Egyptian man. We have been together for 10 months now. He has asked me before if i was willing to change my religion and he knows I take my religion seriously. I told him that I wouldn't say NO, but I would need to know and learn about the coptic orthodox religion before I can give him my answer. With that being said we have had an amazing journey together. We are with each other more than both of our parents know. Unfortunately his father is not happy with me, not because he knows me but because i'm not what he is used to. I have morals, I have an education (i'm a surgical tech), and I have two parents that love each other and have been married for 29 years, bless them. this man has not given me a chance at all and when i met him the first time, he barely spoke to me and when he did it was an interview. I think a lot had to do with their terrible family tragedy they went through before but, i'm not my boyfriend's first girlfriend- he was with an Egyptian woman for 3 years and she was not well like either and a dentist. i've been judged because of my career and culture - as they think i want to be with him because of his money. I'm not about that, i truly love this man, i love how kind and loving - i love the way he speaks to me, and when he smiles he makes me smile. I strive for him to do his best and i try to always guide him for the good, I always ask him to pray with me. I encourage him to be closer to his church and pray because that is what is important. He is intimidated to speak to his father about his feelings, and he doesn't think it will work, i have even advised him to talk to abouna, he doesn't think it will work. Now this looks bad to my parents because they want to get to know my boyfriend, they want to trust him but can't if they don't know him , the way I do. He is really lost and feels alone, i don't want to push him to be a lone, i want him to be happy - even to sacrifice my own happiness but is this really just it?


  • may God guide you. all families are difficult, but some more than others. we don't know your situation well enough to get advice, but you should probably take advice from both your priest and his. any marriage involves hard work, and although you don't marry the parents, you will have to agree with your spouse on what comprises you will both do in order not to cut off the parents completely.
  • Hi MsMinnie,

    First of all, please don't be sad, don't fear obstacles cause down the road,I am sure and I pray for you, that great things will be waiting for you.
    I have been in your position, and I know how hard it is. Unfortunately, there was no happy ending in my case but it might be different for you.
    You have to understand that the catholic faith is very similar to the orthodox one (not a 100% but this is the closest you can get).
    Converting to orthodoxy won't affect your true beliefs as they are pretty much the same in orthodoxy. For someone who is Catholic, I believe it is a simple formality.
    The true difficulties will be cultural and mostly the acceptance of who you are.
    You might convert, you might go to church religiously, but sometimes it might not be enough for the boyfriend's family.
    I believe marriage is the union of 2 families. God willing your kids will be half you, half him. And your half is of a Catholic Hispanic heritage. You should be proud of it, you should be proud of your family.
    You can consider converting and obviously choose to practice orthodoxy and raising kids in this faith, but the true question is, will your bf and his family will accept the fact that your future kids will be exposed to your family/old traditions too?
    I think this is not fair that one family is completely erased because the other one won't tolerate it.
    I am aware that what I'm saying has nothing to do with beliefs, God or spirituality but these details are real and may create tensions.
    Tolerance is the key in your situation.
    You should talk to your boyfriend in the first place and ask him what he thinks.
    If he accepts you and who you are, knowing you are willing to convert, he will have to accept the fact that your family is not less important than his.
    From the moment he will take this decision, he will be able to impose it on his family and they will have to accept , no matter if they like it or not. You are a Christian, maybe Coptic to be, they have no right to judge you, your faith, your family or the traditions you grew up with.
    If you bf does not feel comfortable with that or is not able to face his family, then I don't see any hope in this relationship unfortunately.
    I went through this, I have been told very clearly that my future kids won't by any mean spend any holy days with my family (God forbid they see something else!!) and this is where I understand I was on a road to a lifetime nightmare.

    I know these topics are hard to discuss and may seem far away from now but you need to have this conversation.

    I hope everything will go well and that you will have a happy life with your loved one.

  • The above user is correct
  • Encourage him to explain to his father your boyfriends plans. If he doesn't have some. Work on some future plans together that includes church as a basis or central role as life together.
  • i agree with songsforascents.
    i am sorry you had a bad experience with an orthodox boyfriend / girlfriend.
    may God give you peace and joy in your life.
  • its not right for anyone to ask you to change your religion. Having said that, if you are catholic I refuse to accept that you change religions if you go to the Coptic Church. 

    Your baptism ought to be accepted already. 

    This is an insane situation. You, being catholic, already accept the 7 sacraments don't you. There's nothing to change on that level.

    If the Coptic Church where you are has given you a complex with respect to your faith as a Catholic - go to another Coptic Church where they have a bit more common sense.
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