We were sitting down on a bench waiting for our car and we starting talking about our memories together, and Salama said “It hasn’t felt like ten years”. It was the first time I had heard it that way, we’re approaching our ten year anniversary this Summer and what sounds like ages has gone by so quick, and with our boys it has felt even quicker.

I am often asked how we stick together, like their is a secret formula to a loving marriage, I won’t say happy marriage because that hasn’t always been the case, there have been good times and there have been hard times, happy times and sad times, but we have always loved each other, here is how I think we make things work.

Our first is the “Never let it burn” rule. What I mean by that is that whenever we feel even the smallest bit of hurt because of something the other said or did we say it right away, we never let the anger burn inside us, we get it out of our system right away. That way whatever comes out is only a portion of what could have come if we let that anger sit inside us for hours or even days. It allows us to get through any argument easier and quicker, and focus on what’s important, enjoying our time together.

The second is tolerating each other’s bad habits, and never using a weakness against the other. For example Salama doesn’t enjoy planning dinners, whenever we go out I am responsible for making the plans, that doesn’t mean she doesn’t want to go out, or doesn’t want to spend time with me, it just means that she doesn’t like making all those arrangements, and that’s cool. I can’t after ten years use that as excuse to get upset and say “You never plan anything for us” because it is something I know she didn’t enjoy doing in the first place. The same goes with me and making travel arrangements, Salama has to do the work there because she knows I take forever to book tickets and hotels. Sorry 🙁

The third is just taking every opportunity to be kind and good to each other. In our Holy Quran there is a verse that says “Good women are for good men، and good men are for good women”. I feel that verse is something that should be part of our day to day lives, to always try to find a way to make the other happy, as being good is not a one time thing. It could be a simple rose, a hug, a walk on the beach, telling them how proud you are of them, just doing whatever you can to be a source of joy in the relationship, to make them smile and know that you feel blessed every minute they are in your life. الحمدلله