For me, marriage has been a blissful journey. I whole-heartedly believe that the reason why I have been able to find the happiness that has always been unknown is that I was lucky to marry the very first man I fell in love with.
When Fahad and I knew we were ready for a lifelong commitment, we knew our union would be based on foundations of love, loyalty and understanding. But more than that, it’s what we were offering one another that convinced us that we wanted to spend our life together — companionship, independence and openness.
For me, the single most important thing my marriage has offered me is liberation. When you marry someone you share a friendship with, you expect love, honesty, affection, and empathy to follow. What I didn’t expect was how liberated I would feel being with someone who is in so many ways different than I.
I choose the word liberation because it was only through my marriage that I felt free from limits on thoughts, perceptions, behaviours, etc. Growing up surrounded by cultural and societal norms, the constant pressure of doing things a certain way for the sake of others perceptions, the constant uneasiness of being in the wrong had placed humongous limitations on me as an individual and prohibited healthy self-growth.
When I got married, there would be so many instances where Fahad would have to remind me that it is not worth the time or effort to please everyone around me, how I must focus on getting my life together before I focus on what others think, that I must not feel that I should justify my wants or needs before anyone as long as I know I am doing the right thing. This positive reinforcement was something that I was missing my entire life and I felt so free knowing that I could actually do anything without the fear of being put down. Many times, you need someone to remind you that you are an individual who deserves to live life according to your own terms and deserve the chance to take a step into unknown territory and discover what lies beyond the limitations. For me, this someone tends to be my husband and thankfully so because I don’t know of anyone who believes in my abilities as much as he does.
With liberation comes the sense of independence. When you know that you are capable of achieving what you desire and believe that you possess the capabilities of making decisions on your own, you automatically feel independent. With independence comes confidence. Confidence has taught me that it is not necessary to always speak to prove others wrong when you know for sure that you are right — confidence is knowing that you are right but choose to let your actions speak louder than words. When you feel liberated from whatever it is that has been holding you back you feel the urge to live life on terms that make you happy and content.
At one point in my life, I thought marriage would restrict my freedom and ability to discover my individuality. I felt doubtful and apprehensive towards the concept of marriage probably because of the negative perception of it in the media and the marriages I witnessed. It was only after I got married that I realized that being married to the right person is such a big blessing! To marry someone who is open to you taking risks and discovering yourself through various stages of life by means of trial and error is not something that everyone has.
The love and companionship of marriage are achieved when two people have a fondness for each others ability to be happy in their own skin. By accepting each other's abilities and shortcomings lead to a sense of liberation not only as an individual but free you from any confusion within the relationship. When I knew Fahad loved me for the person I am, I was comfortable to unfold even my deepest insecurities in front of him because I knew he would work alongside me to make me feel whole. I believe this is what marriage is supposed to do. It is supposed to make you feel loved, wholesome and free.
I wonder if others feel the same in their unions with their significant others. I hope for those who are married, they feel a deep sense of connection with whom they spend their lives with because it is only through this connection that one truly feels enabled to put their guards down and be completely themselves. And in any relationship, being yourself, the truest version of yourself and that too unapologetically is the most liberating and peaceful feeling — one that will not only keep your relationship long-lasting but will allow you to appreciate being in the presence of someone who is able to accept you for the person you are or aspire to be.
what good is a union, a marriage, a relationship if it does not liberate?
if it does not promise love, loyalty, companionship?
if it does not value independence, freedom, individuality?
if you ought to live happily ever after you need to be with somebody whose love liberates you- all the way through
if you ought to just live you must still be with somebody who values your freedom as an individual
for a relationship that liberates is valued and a relationship that must ask for it loses its significance