Destined for an arranged marriage, I chose to follow my heart

As a teenager, true love seemed like an impossible dream, but I was determined to marry for love and not obligation

This year, my husband Richard and I will have been married for 10 years. It may not sound all that long, but it feels quietly significant to me, this decade of us, not least because there was a time that I could not fathom a world in which we could ever be together at all.

I grew up expecting to marry someone my parents chose for me: a suitable young man who would share my Pakistani family background, my cultural heritage and faith. I can’t remember how old I was when I understood this – only that I did, without it needing to be explained. It was what my cousins did and the daughters of our family friends did. It was the way things were.

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