- Dr. Love in the Media
He Wants to Change Your Religion
September 10, 2001 Ask Dr. Love Advice Column
I just wanted to say that I'm a big fan, you're fabulous. I have a question for you, i don't know maybe if you can answer this question or not but I'll give it a shot-I have been with my boyfriend for approximately 1 year and 8 months.
He is Christian and I am Roman Catholic. Never before did he ever say he had a problem with the fact that were both from different religions. We were engaged last September and it seemed like we were both already considering our lives together ahead.
Now just very recently he came to me with some problems; I want to go to a fashion design school in LA. Were both attending college in AZ right now but I'll be done in December and he'll be done in two years. Before when we talked he always said he would follow me wherever I went now he says he wants me to stay in AZ with him until he finishes college.
Not only is this the problem but now he says my religion is a problem for him. He told me what are we going to teach our kids? and I said you knew my religious status from day one, why is it now you're telling me this? and he says it's because now he is thinking things over very seriously now because were almost adults now and were in college.
Don't get me wrong, I think religion is very important for our future kids' but I also told him that we could incorporate both religions. He told me that he wanted me to change and become a christian, but I told him no I wasn't going to change because he has to accept me the way I am and that means to except everything and that I wasn't going to change for any man no matter how much I love him.
I do love him, I would do anything for him. He said he dosen't want me to change for him but for myself. I don't know what to do as far as LA and the religion thing. What do you take of this situation? I would so much appreciate some input. Thanks Dr. Love in advance. Your fan. . .
Thanks for the kind words. It's very uplifting to hear from a faithful reader. Glad to know you're out there.
This man is slowly trying to take you over. He said you should convert, not for him but for yourself. What kind of garbage is that? You have a religion and have never felt the need to change it, so who is he kidding?
He is also asking you to place your own education and self-development behind his own. He is trying to take you over. This relationship isn't a collaboration between two equal partners. It sounds more like a dictatorship. You need to ask yourself why this man thinks that he can take you over. Notice you said to me, 'I would do anything for him. ' If you say these words to me, he surely knows of your willingness to give yourself up for him.
You don't have to tell him directly; he can read your unconscious and your willingness to wipe yourself out for the man you love. Many women are willing to do this and it is most unhealthy. If you are willing to wipe yourself out, then he will think nothing of making unreasonable demands on you. He will expect you to roll over.
You also need to study if these sudden demands are a smoke screen for a deeper issue: that he is afraid to tie the knot with you. I wonder if he is putting these demands on you all of a sudden as a way of driving you off. You need to ask him this and encourage him to explore the dark recesses of his soul. You also need to ask him why these demands are appearing all of a sudden. Is he getting cold feet? Is he trying to drive you off?
If fear isn't driving his demands, then we are dealing with a man who thinks he can take you over. Before he will stop trying to run you, you will need to grow within yourself to the point that you no longer are willing to say 'I would do anything for him. ' It isn't healthy to think this way and he isn't going to get that he can't demand anything from you until you have shifted your position.
When you have shifted and you mean business, then you can tell him that he needs a major attitude adjustment. He needs to be told that a relationship is a partnership in which both people work together to come up with a life that works for both of them. If his plan to have you live with him isn't good for you, then it isn't good for him, not if he intends to be with you. If you are miserable, so will he be!
He also needs to understand that he has no right to ask you to annihilate your essence, your religion being part of your essence. If he isn't willing to collaborate with you regarding a plan that makes room for your educational needs; and if he can't respect your wish to remain Catholic and find a creative way of raising your children with both religions, you would be wise to do some couples therapy. He will need to understand why he feels the need to control you, and he will need to see that the relationship cannot work if he continues in this manner. Let me know what happens.
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