NO, I didn’t marry the man of my dreams 34 years ago, but let me tell you the man I married turned out to be the dream man every woman dreams of.
I just celebrated my 34th wedding anniversary! Nabeel Youakim and I have a loving, committed and happy marriage. We have three beautiful (inside and out) children, a wonderful home and a blessed life.
Like everything in life, you have to work at love. The grass grows the greenest where you water it. If you want to excel at anything, you have to give it the attention it needs. If you want to be an ‘A’ student, you have to study. If you want to be the star soccer player, you have to practice. If you want to have a happy marriage, you need to nurture it. Nothing is perfect. I believe you need to work at your relationship and make the best of everything.
Now, I married Nabeel at a young age. At the time, I was very unsure of myself. I had low self-esteem and did not feel confident. The other young women that I had known in my teens were very judgemental of the way I looked. I didn’t talk like them, dress like them or look like them. This made me feel bad about myself. When I met Nabeel, he LOVED me for ME. He thought I was beautiful that way I was. He let me be myself and that was everything to me.
Nabeel was not tall, dark and handsome. He was not the “dream man” that young girls fantasize about, but he turned about to be so much more. His inner beauty, acceptance, and love for me made him the most beautiful man in the world.
We argue at times. We have different opinions at times. Love does not mean you have to like the person all the time. I love my husband, but I don’t always like him. We have differences. I am emotional and he has his infuriating logic. We compliment each other in that way. Acceptance of each other’s limitations is a form of flexibility, like yoga, in that stretching is uncomfortable and shaky, but before long the two of you are mentally focused, at peace and attuned to each other’s rhythm of thoughts and feelings.
I love Nabeel more today than I did yesterday and I will love him more tomorrow than I do today. I make sure he knows that. I make sure he knows I am grateful for our life together.
To learn more about my journey, Beyond Beauty – A Refugees Journey in Pursuit of Happiness