When I look at my honeymoon pictures, I can see the frustration and sadness that I felt in our first few months of marriage. 

My husband and I came from opposite ends of the worlds. He was raised in Iraq and I was mainly raised here in the US as a North American Muslim. I shaped my identity and culture based on a mishmash of experiences. He came from a culture and experiences based on the Iraqi traditions. 

Though we both found comfort, love and companionship with each other; we had different ways of expressing our values, sometimes even different values and different dreams. Compatibility was not what brought us together. 

Looking back, we also both had less than ideal role models as parents. The cultural impact was great as well. It wasn’t about the food we ate or didn’t, or the clothes we wore or didn’t, it was much deeper than that. How we wanted to practice our religion, how we expressed our faith, what we meant by respect (yes I believe respect is a loaded word – it can mean different things to different people). These were the differences we struggled with.

We have come a long way since then. 

Here’s what our marriage looks like now. 

We have been happily married for almost 9 years. We love each other and our love continues to grow. We are the proud parents of our 4 year old daughter. Our pictures show the joy we feel inside.

Working together, we made a BIG decision to move across country. We did this together, helping each other, discussing each others’ needs and making a plan together. 

Of course we get angry and upset at times, NOW we talk about it. We look at each other and have discussions. We ask for our needs.  

We still have room for improvement, however, I’m not drowning in emotional pain anymore. 

I’d love for you to feel the strength and confidence I feel with myself and in my relationship, if you’re struggling you don’t have to be alone. I used DBT Skills to help myself and my marriage thrive. 

When you’re ready, reach out and we can talk about your path to bringing happiness back into your life.