Conflict of Interests
For the past 2 years I have been attracted to a male. He is of Syrian background. We also work together. I also clean his condo, sort out his mail and all his financial stuff was lying around. I really fell in love with him. He takes me out to dinner on a regular basis. He asked me in December if i would come to Ottawa with him for a few days. i couldn’t get the time off work. He told me he would take me to Syria. I thought he felt the same way about me. I started cooking for him everyday and we shared it as it is easier to cook for 2 than it is for 1 He is very appreciative of this. In November he told me he loved me and i told him he didn’t and he said oh yes i do. His parents had a syrian girl waiting for him when he was going back home in January. In the meantime he told me that he met a woman in Calgary from Iraq. It broke my heart. That didn’t last long. I had also asked him what do his parents look for when they search for a woman.He said they look at her upbringing and how she was raised. I said oh I wouldn’t be a candidate as my parents were alcoholics and a tear fell down my cheek he reached across the table and pinched my cheek and said don’t ever say that. Basically we do everything a married couple do, but have sex and kiss. Now he says no he will only ever be my friend that i am his closest friend and that if it weren’t for me he wouldnt eat properly. For me he has led me on and i am so hurt and cry alot. He still smiles at me and seems concerned as he knows i am sad and upset. Where did I go wrong. I really believe he still loves me in my heart. I have a t shirt of his that i sleep with just because his scent is on it. Since last week, now i wake up holding this T-shirt where as before it would be somewhere on the bed. Please help me understand. I had also told him a long time ago in the form of a letter that if we were ever to have a child together that i would support him in raising the child Muslim. I used to leave notes on his bed like Sweet Dreams, or on his closet door for when he came home from Syria Welcome Home I missed you. He thanks me for the notes also, A friend of his is staying with him for a few days so we took the notes down. I would have thought he would have gotten rid of those little notes by now. I was shocked. He also gets undressed in my car every week as i drive us to a sport centre. For me this is not something you do in front of a friend of the opposite sex. Maybe I am stupid???
This is a complicated dilemma to resolve, but every dilemma has a resolution nonetheless. From what I have read, this relationship you share is very one-sided. You’re not stupid, it’s just your emotions took control over your logical thoughts and put you in a vulnerable position. I don’t want to be too judgemental, but since you came to me for advice I find it necessary for me to be honest. It wasn’t the Syrian man you’re dealing with that was leading you on, I think it was you who came on too strong, hoping he’d feel the same way about you. When you got to know him better and saw that very much of his decisions (specifically on marriage) are swayed by his Muslim family’s background, you got somewhat discouraged that your upbringing might not suffice to their requirements. You’re essentially jumping from one extreme to the other, one moment believing you’re perfect for each other, the next moment being insecure about the whole thing.
I’ve known many people and have even been in a situation where parents and family backgrounds played a huge role in relationships. To the person without such family restraints (you, in this situation) it is difficult to come into grips to how a grown man can be so irrational and stay traditional and go ahead with marrying a woman he has never met in Syria just because his parents chose her for him, but the fact is he’s battling this much more than you probably think. Now, he may actually be really into you, but since his background doesn’t allow it and he knows that unless he chooses to defy his family and choose you over them, then this partnership between the two of you may never work. Even though as you said, you are willing to raise the child as a Muslim, Middle Eastern elders have lots of say in how their children’s parternships and families are run. My advice would be to try and come to grips with reality more, don’t assert yourself onto him as much as you do with the notes and all, and try to see if he feels the same way about you as you do towards him by not paying as much attention to him. I’m not saying to constantly argue or ignore him when he speaks, but act more neutral. Basically, treat him as he is treating you. Tell him what he wants to hear but only when he brings up the subject. As time goes on and you see his real intentions, it will become easier for you to either move on or to understand how things may unravel and if you want to be part of that future with him or not. Remember, it’s your life and it’s too short to wait until other people decide how things go for you. It’s difficult to see the positives at times but it’s in those moments in life where we grow strength and learn and hopefully benefit from.
I wish you all the best and hope everything works out great.