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Closeted atheist, strict religious parents, girlfriend who is of a different race.

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    So here it is in a nutshell.

    I'm from a christian family who are Syrian, I was born in the UK but my family moved here from Syria. They are incredibly fundamentalist Christians, dislike atheists and are proud of their ethnicity, so everything that I am is what they dislike. They're pretty anti-western culture and the opposite of libertarian. So they think I am a Christian whereas I've been an atheist for around 4 years now. I'm 16 (boy) btw. I have to get up every sunday to go to church to worship a god who I do not believe in and who does not exist.

    My parents resent people of other religions and atheists, although they "respect" their beliefs when in their presence and have atheist and muslim friends. Also my parents do not like the idea of dating and have a very distorted view of the youth of this country, thinking that all they do have sex, do drugs etc, it's incredibly distorted and their ignorance disgusts me.

    So yeah, they want me to be with a christian syrian when I'm older to marry her. That is NOT what I want, and I am happy for now with my girlfriend, who just so happens to be English, I've managed to keep her secret for this long and it's incredibly freaking difficult. I do not like having to live a lie in front of my parents and living this double life, I plan on leaving home to go to university in 2 years time.

    So I have written this simply to ask you guys for some feedback on my situation that I am in. Obviously it's probably going to remain the same for these two years, in having to hide my atheism and girlfriend, go along with what they do, but what concerns me is what I do after I leave to go to university. Obviously there will come a time when I'll HAVE to tell them, but I'd like to keep ties with my family, because, well, they're family right?

    They would not approve of me being an atheist and nor would they approve of me being with any girl who doesn't meet the criteria that I have described above. But if being able to show my true identity will cost me my parents' love then so be it, I will not change to suit their ways.
    So what I'm simply asking is what could I do in my situation and what would be a good course of action for the future.
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    (Original post by wqf)
    So here it is in a nutshell.

    I'm from a christian family who are Syrian, I was born in the UK but my family moved here from Syria. They are incredibly fundamentalist Christians, dislike atheists and are proud of their ethnicity, so everything that I am is what they dislike. They're pretty anti-western culture and the opposite of libertarian. So they think I am a Christian whereas I've been an atheist for around 4 years now. I'm 16 (boy) btw. I have to get up every sunday to go to church to worship a god who I do not believe in and who does not exist.

    My parents resent people of other religions and atheists, although they "respect" their beliefs when in their presence and have atheist and muslim friends. Also my parents do not like the idea of dating and have a very distorted view of the youth of this country, thinking that all they do have sex, do drugs etc, it's incredibly distorted and their ignorance disgusts me.

    So yeah, they want me to be with a christian syrian when I'm older to marry her. That is NOT what I want, and I am happy for now with my girlfriend, who just so happens to be English, I've managed to keep her secret for this long and it's incredibly freaking difficult. I do not like having to live a lie in front of my parents and living this double life, I plan on leaving home to go to university in 2 years time.

    So I have written this simply to ask you guys for some feedback on my situation that I am in. Obviously it's probably going to remain the same for these two years, in having to hide my atheism and girlfriend, go along with what they do, but what concerns me is what I do after I leave to go to university. Obviously there will come a time when I'll HAVE to tell them, but I'd like to keep ties with my family, because, well, they're family right?

    They would not approve of me being an atheist and nor would they approve of me being with any girl who doesn't meet the criteria that I have described above. But if being able to show my true identity will cost me my parents' love then so be it, I will not change to suit their ways.
    So what I'm simply asking is what could I do in my situation and what would be a good course of action for the future.
    keeping lieing to them till you've got your own income and you don't need to run to them looking for help. at uni u'll hardly see them so the lieing period will be blessedly brief.

    then when the big day comes that you have the argument you can tell them that it was a bad plan for them to raise a child in a largely athiest country that also has a tiny syrian community. so really they've only them selves to blame. you've adapted to the enviorment that they chose for you to be in.
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    (Original post by Mick.w)
    keeping lieing to them till you've got your own income and you don't need to run to them looking for help. at uni u'll hardly see them so the lieing period will be blessedly brief.

    then when the big day comes that you have the argument you can tell them that it was a bad plan for them to raise a child in a largely athiest country that also has a tiny syrian community. so really they've only them selves to blame. you've adapted to the enviorment that they chose for you to be in.
    Oh not only that they've raised him in a largely atheist country, but also that being both doctors they pushed for education and mainly science from a very young age, and so I became a skeptic quite young.
    But yeah, thanks for the input, sounds like a good plan, wouldn't want to be cut off financially while at uni.

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Updated: August 1, 2012
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