The feeling of isolation, moving to a new city and making sense of it all - one bride reached out to me as she struggled to adjust to life after marriage. 

The glitz and glamour of the wedding has now faded, you’ve explored in great detail which shade of red lipstick you’ll be wearing, how you want your hair to have those wispy bits to soften the style, whether it’s fish pakoras or chicken tikka for starters, or both.

That’s all in the past now and you’re left to fathom life as a newly wed. Not something you’ve really given all that much thought to. Surely it’s all ‘romantic walks and dinners?’ Or is it?

How was the build up to your wedding?
The wedding build up was a mixture of emotions. I found parts of it stressful as I come from quite a small family and being the only daughter, I had to pretty much organise everything myself with the help from my mum and my dads credit card. Alhamdulilah for parents. 

You don't realise how true a parent’s love is for you until you get married.

I became a bit of a bridezilla which I never saw myself becoming, telling my brothers what colours they HAD to wear, luckily for them they went along with my demands.

I was excited about getting married, getting dressed up and completing my deen with my amazing husband and starting a new chapter of my life. 

What did you enjoy most?
I enjoyed the dress hunting and fittings the most and getting dolled up on the day.

I got you ready on your big day, how was that experience for you? 
You got me ready for my big day and my mehndi and I can honestly say I'm so glad I picked you. I was super excited and anxious at the same time but you made me feel so calm and relaxed, by talking to me as a friend would. I loved my looks for both days. Thank you.

You reached out to me, was that because you felt you had no one else you could turn to? 
I was feeling incredibly isolated and depressed and had considered getting in contact with you for a while as I felt like I could reach out to you. Loneliness is a terrible feeling. I figured that there are probably many other girls in the same boat as me not knowing who to turn to.

Was it an arranged marriage? 
Yes it was an arranged marriage but we had got to know each other a little beforehand. 

Did you have any preconceived views of what life after the wedding would be like, did life after marriage meet your expectations?
I thought life after marriage would be nothing but bouquets of roses, romantic walks and dinners, to be honest I do get those now and then - well the dinners out anyway Alhamdulilah.

I didn't really think about the little things, the stresses of what to cook for his dinner, or making sure his shirts were all washed for the following working week as I have to admit I was a bit of a princess before I got married.

Was it difficult to settle in a new city, have you been able to meet new people and make friends? 
It’s been incredibly difficult settling in a new town. I've not met any new people or been able to make any friends at all as I don't know where to go and make them.

My neighbours tend to keep themselves to themselves, I try to make an effort, giving gifts, cookies or cake on Eid or anything food related especially during Ramadan etc, but I think its a lot harder to make new friendships when you’re older and working full time. 

What is your relationship like with you in laws?
My relationship with my in laws was fraught in the beginning but has improved slightly.

This was mainly because they are very traditional and are not used to independent, educated, working women in their families, so me coming along and sometimes speaking up against cultural norms that weren't always Islamic didn't often go down too well. Having said that I love them very much and hope our relationship becomes stronger.

What did you struggle with most?
I struggled with moving towns, and the expectation that the daughter in law should basically to shut up and put up, something I found difficult as my parents brought me up to stand up for myself and speak up if I felt wronged. 

Luckily my husband is very supportive and always defends me if he feels I’ve been spoken to inappropriately.

In the first three months, I struggled with the thought that my in laws were not trusting of me and nervous of me due to my independent nature and the fact that I wore western clothing. 

They would often keep tabs on me, calling me if they knew I had gone out to see friends for example, often driving up to the house my husband and I live in to see if I was home and calling me at my mums home phone if I had gone over to stay over for a few nights, asking me when I was coming back. 

Luckily my husband put a stop to it all asking them to stop meddling because after all, if my husband was fine and trusted me they had no reason to worry.

How hard have you found making new friends? 
I have found it super hard, I don't have a single friend here not even anyone to go for a coffee with. It saddens me because I had a good social life in my old town. My husband’s happy for me to see my old friends whenever I like but it would be good to have friends here also. 

Do you think more could be done to help a newlywed integrate into a new city/community? Absolutely, it’s tough when you move into a new place where people have lived forever and are already a part of a clique. I just wish new brides to the town/city had an outlet to reach out to one another and make friends.

Has your husband been supportive during your transition? 
He has been supportive, but at the same time finds it difficult to understand why I feel isolated as he has a huge family masha’Allah but still, it would be nice to have my own friends in my own age group.

What would you do differently at the beginning if you could?
All couples argue and at the start of your marriage it can be quite frequent as you settle in together. Looking back I shouldn’t have been so quick to call them up and tell them about all the little tiffs my husband and I had, it only leads to parents worrying and then before you know it you've already made up.

What advice would you give to a bride to be reading this? 
Keep praying, it brings you peace and be patient, things take time to settle. Getting married is beautiful but very challenging. You could be two very different people from very different walks of life coming together, already set in your ways. 

There will be things about you both that annoy the hell out of each other but remember the key is to communicate. Oh, and my favourite advice is to never go to bed annoyed with each other! 

If you are struggling with any issues above, or if you are feeling particularly lonely or depressed, do not suffer in silence. Talk to someone, friend or family member.  Alternatively go to or call 0300 123 3393 for further support.