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Hi. And of course. Thank you.
I am very sorry to hear this, dear. How long have you been in this relationship?
almost two years
We used to be very very happy together, but the past 10 months or so have been very rocky
I'm not sure how to reach him anymore
Are alcohol or drugs an issue with him?
Not at all. He's a very religious Muslim man so he does not drink nor does he do drugs
Did something happen in his life or in your relationship 10 months ago that was traumatic for him?
Not that I can think of.
I mean, we had a few arguments about me traveling by myself. He was worried and when I decided to go anyway, he felt that I was disrespecting him.
Are you Muslim?
Yes, I'm a convert. I converted before meeting him.
Are you both from the US?
Kind of. He was born here, lived out his childhood in Bangladesh, and then moved back here for high school.
He experienced a lot of discrimination after 9/11 and now...it seems like that past pain is catching up to him...
Sorry to hear this.
So, it sounds like he is a very conservative Muslim, while you are more liberal, expecially when it comes to women.
not quite. He's actually quite liberal.
like...he doesn't really like it when I sit down with unmarried men
but he will not sit down with unmarried women
But not so liberal when it comes to you?
he lets me lead the prayer sometimes and he's probably one of the most liberal Muslim men I know.
I'm not sure how familiar you are with the customs, but women are almost unanimously lead in prayer, forbidden from even standing next to the man, which we both think is a stupid convention
it's more that, in a few cases, he has different ideas about how to-be-married people should act
I am referring his feeling disrespected when you traveled alone.
He said that I didn't listen to him
a claim that he often levels at me
he often often feels that I just disregard him whenever I don't automatically take his advice.
Well, that's not good.
and that seems very...insecure to me.
I know that he has refused, but I truly believe that your relationship will not survive unless you have couples therapy. Do you think he would be more open to therapy if you could see a multi-cultural therapist?
No. He says that it will compromise his family's honor if he seeks a therapist.
I told him I wanted to see one and he was highly opposed.
Well, you are struggling with cultural differences here that are not going to be resolved without professional help. I strongly recommend that you see a therapist yourself. Since he is not open to change in your relationship, you need to sort through your feelings and decide if you can live with things the way they are. A big decision!!
Would you like me to recommend threapist for you?
No, it's alright.
I have a service at my grad school.
Oh, that's wonderful! And you will make an appt.?
Yeah, tomorrow morning.
I'm worried about telling him that I'm going, but I think it'll be best.
Yes, it is definitely the thing to do. Any further questions, dear?
No, that's alright, thank you.
You are very welcome. It has been my pleasure. Please remember to click on the green accept button so that I will receive credit for my professional time and response. I wish you all the best, take care, Eleanor