As I read some of the posts regarding this week from Coptic perspective and I wanted to share mine as a Non-Coptic wife. I believe this might be important for some of you. From what I can see, most of you live in Australia, US and other western cultures where you too might be in the same predicament of loving or marrying a non-copt. Something that might happen to anyone when love is blind.
Some of you already have read my first post about my interfaith marriage to a Coptic man, and you might be aware that after knowing my husband for 4 years, and having Civil marriage for almost 2, I am being asked to convert. I don't believe in that, God/ Holy Spirit is universal.
As you can guess, our marriage faced new level of challenges this past week, the Holy week. My husband spent most evenings after work at the Church, then all day Friday and 7 PM till 1 AM on Saturday, and almost all day on Sunday, on Easter. He asked me to come join him at least for the Saturday service. I think it was important for him to show to his priest/community/cult/whatever, that here I am, willing to learn and convert. Partly, I think that he was in danger of not being allowed to receive communion or maybe he just wanted to have his wife with him, I don't know. I seriously considered going until Saturday morning, as a “goodwill gesture” but I declined after reviewing some YouTube videos that the service, re- enactment of resurrection was 7 hours. Plus, he was not allowing his 7 old son to eat because he “must fast” before communion. Ironically, he had criticized Ramadan the night before saying that it is “obligatory” (yes, he is correct but not for children) whereas Lent and other fasting Coptics do is from their heart, out of love, nothing obligatory. Yet, my 7 year old stepson was being yelled at for forgetting to fast (poor thing is simply not ready and hungry). Somehow, “devotion and true desire to fast” was out the window. Hypocrisy at its best. Suddenly, I had NO desire to join him.
I am not going to deny, his resentment towards me was fueling. I felt it as he left for the service on Saturday. At midnight Saturday, I texted him to wish Happy Easter that I really love him and that I want from the bottom of my heart that he does not have grudge against me, and that he has enough compassion and love to reconcile with me (in the end isn’t that what Christ teaches). Asked him to have patience with me (for who I am essentially, although I should not be made feel bad for who I am)..... and that I am waiting for him at home with all my heart and love.
He didn’t sleep all night. I felt his anxiety...sometimes he looks at me and he tears up…I too barely slept. Next morning, Sunday, the unavoidable conversation started with something I don’t even recall, but it ended with “we cannot have a child” because our marriage is NOT a Christian marriage. My world was destroyed, some of you may not understand what it is to tell a woman something like this, but believe it's terrible.
The core problem, he explained was that child may not be baptized. About 1.5 year ago, I agreed to have our child baptized (this was my sacrifice for our love, for the well-being of our marriage) when he said the church in Egypt will be willing to baptize. Suddenly Church might NOT baptize the child because the mother is not Orthodox. He was NOW refusing my right to bear a child although we have been trying to conceive now for well over a year. What in the hell is going on, why now? Or is that my punishment? I went ballistic and demanded answers…. I argued that if I can be baptized on my own at age 40, then our child perhaps could go and get baptized at age 13 should the Church not allow baptism now. I see that happen all day long with multi-faith families. Why something that applies to me cannot apply to a child? So there goes another contradiction to what he said earlier “it’s never late to accept Jesus as the Savior”. His answer to my rebuttal was plain insane. He said : “What if the child dies before 13, as a parent I cannot let that child go to Hell”. And here we are, discussing the unlikely early death of an unborn, and not even a conceived at the time of the conversation. I am speechless….well-played game.
Another answer I wanted was - how come his church (it’s important to note, he said the word of Church is the word of God) is willing to remarry him if his Church NEVER allowed him to DIVORCE to begin with. Things are not adding up, did he actually divorce then…? I read countless of articles about this dilemma in Coptic culture, countless laws going back to 1938, 2008, then 2016 where divorce provisions kept changing (God could not make up his mind???) and supposedly some could simply purchase the “divorce” and subsequently right to “remarry” for enough cash unless there was an adultery. Well, apparently my husband, in distress from the divorce walked into to a strip club and watched/touched a stripper after he left his Ex, while still being in the process of a civil divorce. So that, as he explained, was an adultery by Coptic orthodox definition. Soooooo, to use the loophole of adultery in Coptic marital law, he staged the “adultery” to his Church, aka God (how convenient). So now, supposedly Church will reconsider re-marriage (I think that’s BS, I want a letter from the Pope himself for that matter). So comes now, he is NOT WILLING to deceive his Church to baptize our child (note that he was planning to get our child baptized in Egypt with Coptic Godmother and I, simply would not go to the ceremony) because it’s not the TRUTH. And again, conveniently it’s happening now, now when I refused to follow him.
Again, I am speechless…….., that hypocrisy melding into autocracy, that Pride, that profound superiority like one of you have said, that desire to please the Church and his urge at any cost, all because of heavy, heavy brainwashing….
I have no choice but to conclude that his Coptic church (not all Coptic churches perhaps and other Christian churches) is not a word nor a representation of God. After the realization of such, I canceled the Easter Dinner, something I have never done before. I have been respectfully celebrating Easter for over 29 years either with friends that I grew up with, with my ex family or my current family.
Honestly, I would have been more respectful if he really committed adultery (we are not perfect, right) rather than staging the adultery. You must be so indoctrinated to consciously (or subconsciously do twist things to make it “right” by your church but not right by God (or to a rational mind, I know some of you are atheist).
All of you who are on this forum - Is it too late for him to be rational (he is highly educated and has a good career, and so do I, in case you wonder, I am not in this for his looks or his good career)? Can he neutralize once again? I am not asking him to convert to Islam nor I am willing to de-convert myself from my belief.
Does he or maybe I need to go to a mental institution, lol? If so, please tell me (asking both Coptic and non Coptic ).
He send me a text this morning to tell me how much he LOVES me and that I need to look at things from perspective of “father or mother disciplining the child, and they do that out love not hate, they do it for child's benefit”. You are NOT my father, please come down from your high horse your Highness (I tear up as I say this), you are my partner, an EQUAL partner in life. And I am about to be DONE with you.
As the Coptic Holy week ended, my Hell week appears to have started…sigh...