An Unlikely Love Story {Part 1}

I’m trying something new today, so be nice yes?
I ‘met’ Sam through Twitter (if you’re not there already, get over there right now – I held back for so long, but it really is a fantastic support network, and for people planning a wedding, it’s a total gold mine for super suppliers). When I heard about what her and Monty have gone through just to be able to get married, it gave me a bit of kick up the ass – we all have days when we feel sorry for ourselves, but these two have had to fight so much harder than most of us, and it puts most all of my wedding worries to shame.
So here is Sam with her story – it’s so inspirational, (and fascinating for those of us who’ve only ever seen the standard traditional western weddings), that I’ve split it over three parts….stay tuned for the next two posts…
An Unlikely Love Story…
Many people say to me how lavish and extravagant it was to have two weddings. How glamorous, and how lucky I was. But I never really saw it that way. To me, the Indian ceremony was simply a motion that we had to go though so that Monty could hold on to his family.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m incredibly lucky to have experienced an Indian wedding and to have a civil ceremony just around the corner to look forward to. But it’s never been easy, and at times it felt as if we were climbing a mountain.
 
When we got together after years of being best friends, I always knew how difficult it would be for our two worlds to come together. We were, quite simply, from two completely different backgrounds – two parallel universes. But right from day one, I was determined we would get through it together because, to me, that’s what love is all about.
Monty was brought up in a strict Muslim family. He fasted during Ramadan, he prayed five times a day and he didn’t touch alcohol or non-Halal food. His Quran takes pride of place in our flat and he’s always been very reserved, unsure of how to act around girls.
I on the other hand was brought up to be a free spirit, and to believe whatever I wanted to believe. I was loud, headstrong and an undeniably big flirt. Sometimes it seems impossible that we ended up together – but we did, and it was perfect. In my mushiest moments (which I am prone to every now and again!), I like to think it was fate.
For so long, we had to hide our relationship from his family. Although we lived together, they had no idea I even existed and I would have to pack my clothes and shoes into suitcases and go into ‘hiding’ whenever his family came to Birmingham. I would also have to fall into complete silence whenever his family called, and
Monty would have to make up stories of long hours at work to prevent them from visiting. During this time, he slowly started to lose his religion. I never asked him to, nor did I ever want him to, but I think he began questioning things which he had never questioned before.
We always knew that broaching the subject of marriage with his parents would be impossible. Things moved very quickly and we were talking about marriage within weeks, but because of the issues involved and because I had no intention of converting to Islam (he refused to even let me consider it and I’m far too strong-minded), it was actually three years before we put everything into motion.
In fact, as unromantic as it sounds, we’d already booked the civil ceremony and our venue before we even got engaged! It came out of nowhere. We’d gone back to my parents’ house for lunch, and they suggested we went along to a wedding fayre – we walked out with a date, a venue and the terrifying prospect of having to tell his parents! 
When we finally did tell them, it was everything we expected and worse. There was talk of them disowning him if we didn’t have an Islamic wedding, and they told him he would go to hell if he went ahead and married me. To be honest, a lot worse has been said since we ‘came clean’, but I’ll leave that for now as it’s pretty unprintable.
All in all, it has been an incredibly difficult journey. To be honest, I gloss over the hard times because I still find them difficult to talk about and, in reality, we have had major bust-ups over the whole issue.
But however much I moan, I like to try and keep things in perspective. I feel lucky and truly blessed to have met someone as loving and as wonderful as Monty, and I doubt he would be the same way if he’d have a different upbringing. Every day that I get upset about something his family says (them telling me I’m fat was one of those times!), I remember how happy he makes me and that it isn’t really his fault.
I know there are other couples out there who have probably experienced a similar situation, but sadly I’ve not met any of them yet. My only advice? If you are in that position – whoever you are, and whatever your background – just remember why it is you want to get married because it will be worth it in the end. It’s made us really appreciate each other and created an unbreakable bond. At the end of the day, we love each other and nothing else matters.

See? I told you. We all have it pretty easy don’t we?

  

Categories: Wedding Reports
9 interesting thoughts on this

9 Comments

  1. Posted August 18, 2010 at 8:30 am | Permalink

    What a great introduction Sam! A beautiful story. Good for you and Monty XD
    I had a Muslim boy-friend, a friend who's a boy (to put it in highschool terms) and it never went any further because of his religion. It's such a shame. It takes a lot of courage to stand up to your parents. I can't do it and I don't have the worries of being sent to hell on my shoulders. And from what I've seen, my dear, you aint one bit fat :D xx

  2. Posted August 18, 2010 at 8:52 am | Permalink

    Thank you :)

    It really has been hard, but however hard it has been for me, I think it must be a million times worse for him. Like you say, it's never easy to stand up to your parents!

    I couldn't have done this for anyone else in the world. That's true love! :) x

  3. Posted August 18, 2010 at 10:12 am | Permalink

    Can't wait to read part 2 and 3!

  4. Posted August 18, 2010 at 10:56 am | Permalink

    Thank you Genevieve!

  5. Dream of Home
    Posted August 18, 2010 at 2:04 pm | Permalink

    I've never seen this blog before and stumbled upon it. But this post really hits home with me – I am going through a very similar situation myself and it is good to know that there are others out there going through it.

    Luckily we don't have anything to do with the side of my hubby's family who disapprove anymore, a positive in some respects as life was hell when we did; but I know hubby misses them :-(

    Any tips on an Indian wedding much appreciated… I have mine in 6 weeks time (already married in the UK!).

  6. Posted August 19, 2010 at 9:14 am | Permalink

    I'm sorry to hear that, Dream of Home :(

    It is a horrible situation to be in, I wouldn't wish it on anyone else. Monty, my OH, tried cutting his family out but it made him so miserable and that hurt me a lot.

    Feel free to email me (sam_thorne@hotmail.co.uk) and I'll go through the Indian wedding with you. How exciting that you've got that to look forward to!! x

  7. Posted August 21, 2010 at 10:46 am | Permalink

    Wow, what a truly inspirational post.

    As a girl from Belfast I can understand how religion can divide a family so much.

    I am all for people sticking by their beliefs, but I think that when it becomes malicious and hurtful, it's really just going against what is essentially the core of most religions… to love.

    Ironic eh?

    I'm off to read part 2.

  8. Posted August 23, 2010 at 3:41 pm | Permalink

    It is really nice to read the positive spin on this tale. I would like to think love conquers all, so I will :)

  9. sam_thorne
    Posted August 24, 2010 at 9:29 am | Permalink

    Thank you all so much for your comments. Your support really means a lot to both me and Monty! I know that when he read this post, he cried. Bless him :) I really hope it helps everyone to see that love can get you through anything.

    x

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Hello! We're Clare, Aisling and Anna and welcome to a corner of the world where smart, flawed, real women talk about the bigger picture; about their experiences, stories and opinions on all aspects of being a woman today, from marriage to feminism to pretty, too.

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