Everyone knows; marriage is a stressful event. There’s no denying it. Add moving to a new city to that equation and you’re left with one terrified bride!
I recently had the opportunity to speak with Nafisa Begum, a lovely young woman, who relocated to a different city after her wedding. She was generous enough to share her insights and feelings surrounding her experience. We hope her story helps anyone out there also preparing for the big move!
Did you know anyone there before your move?
I didn’t have immediate family living here, however I did have a couple of friends living here along with one extended family.
How did you prepare?
I tried to mentally prepare myself a few months before marriage by telling myself that I will start the next level of my life and it will help me grow as a person by starting a future with my spouse.
What was the experience like? Living away from home without your parents for the first time?
It was a comfortable experience and wasn’t too bad for me because of my husband’s emotional support, mature and understanding nature alhumdulillah. It did not even hit me that I am living away from family because I kept in touch with my mom often. However, there are times where I definitely miss my parents a lot. At that point, I made sure to visit them every couple of months to make it easier for all of us.
How long did it take you to adjust?
It took me about 1 week to adjust and started working right away, setting up my home and starting a new life as a married woman.
What helped you adjust the most?
What helped me adjust the most was my husband who was constantly looking out for me and making sure I am doing ok. Also I stay connected with my family by calling them every day (I call my mom more than 5 times a day to keep her updated and so she does not feel far.)
What did you learn about yourself that you could of only learned by moving to a new city?
I have learned that I am independent and self-sufficient without needing the help of anyone to cook, take care of the household and thinking positive.
What skills did you need to develop in order to help ease the transition?
I needed to be open-minded, strong, independent and staying positive.
Getting married, moving in with a guy, and moving to a new city can be stressful….how did you cope?
For me, by the grace of Allah swt, He has made the process so smooth and natural for me. Since my husband had a strong sense of deen. Alhumdulillah, he has been understanding and looks after himself. This made the process a lot easier to live with him. It helped that we clicked and had the same views before marriage. The most important way to cope is to trust Allah swt fully and takes things one at a time.
Any suggestions for other girls who have to move after marriage?
I would suggest to keep in touch with your family everyday after the move if you are feeling lonely whether it be on social media, phone call, skype; it definitely makes it seem like you are not too far from home. Also, my advice would be to always plan your next trip back home so you have something to look forward to, whether it be a month away, 6 months or a year away.
What resources did you find helpful for making new friends, getting involved in the community?
I became friends with my husband’s friend’s wives at first which lead to them having girl’s get togethers that helped me meet other people. I also getting involved in masjid activities, Islamic events that help networking.
Advice for girls who a bit shy and find it difficult to network in new places?
Try to have your husband set up a double date night with other couples so it can be easier for you to open up with him being there in a personal setting rather than an overwhelming social event with many people.
Also, I really thought that everything in our marriage would be very culturally driven. For example, I thought I would mostly be taking care of the house and cooking for husband. And of course i’d be the one doing most of the compromising. But I was pleasantly surprised after I got married. My husband helped out with most of the housework and even cooked dinner sometimes! Since we both work full time, it made sense to divide responsibilities. I believe my husband was able to step up and share responsibilities with me because he had a good understanding of Islam and realized what his role is as a husband.
How did your relationship change over the first year after your move?
I have to give credit to my husband for making the transition into a new city smooth for me, alhumdulillah. Even though my parents and siblings were far away, my husband opened up his heart and slowly filled that void.