The JOYful Method © helps women gain clarity on the missing link that is holding them back from realising their dream relationship with their personal Mr Right. The JOYful Method © gives women the tools, support, guidance and direction they need to bridge the gap to get to their Happily Forever After and maintain a healthy and JOYful marriage.
If you’d like to learn more about The JOYful Method © please get in touch with me directly on: NadiaJoyDating@gmail.com
Over the next couple of weeks I will be sharing with you the conversations that I had in a Q & A session with my clients as they share their story of how they met and married their personal Mr Right
This is Fatima’s Story!
Q: Fatima please could you tell us a little about yourself and your relationship history before you started coaching with Nadia?
A: Sure. My name is Fatima, I come from a traditional Pakistani Muslim family and I have never dated as such. I was in an arranged marriage at 22 and divorced 6 months later. That was my relationship history. My marriage was physically, emotionally, and psychologically abusive and it took me 3 years after my divorce before I even started to think of getting married again. I wanted to find my own independence and my own identity and rebuild my self-esteem and I worked with a psychologist on PTSD, Narcissistic abuse, and trauma I went through in my arranged marriage. When I turned 26 I told my family I was ready to start looking at marriage again and I attended Muslim marriage events and my family and friends regularly brought men home or their sisters or aunties or grannies so they could see me, like I was a perishable item that was getting too close to it’s best before date, I hated it! The family pressure was too much for me and I moved out to go and live with my brother and sister-in-law in London. I got a transfer and started working in a dental clinic in South London. My brother and sister-in-law met online on an Islamic marriage/dating site and they encouraged me to try it and join the events so I can start meeting people my age in London and get to see how the events worked.
Q: How did you first cross paths with Nadia?
A: That’s so funny! I met her at an Islamic marriage event. Nadia was on the same website as me and we sat on the same table, we started talking and immediately I clicked with her, we had a lot in common, we exchanged numbers, the evening ended, I went home and my sister in law was waiting with a bowl of coco pops to hear how the evening went. I told her I didn’t really meet any guys I liked but I met a dating coach and I told her all about Nadia. Later that month it was my 27th birthday and for my gift, my brother and sister-in-law gifted me a 12-week workshop with Nadia. It took me 4 months before I could put the courage together to call Nadia and book my first session.
Q: How did working with Nadia impact you with regard to marriage?
A: I started working with Nadia on the JOYful Method course initially then I progressed to mentoring with Nadia twice a week and I am still mentoring with Nadia. Doing the 12-week course helped me in the following ways:
- I had clarity on my challenges with relationships
- I knew what I had to do to overcome these challenges
- I knew what my personal and relationship values were and how they connected
- I learnt how to be the partner I am looking for
- I worked through the remnants of abuse and trauma to clear the way for my new relationship
- I learnt what to look for in a man, his character and values etc
- I learnt how to read body language and non verbal signs of communication
- I learnt about different red flags and how to navigate difficult situations
- I read The Rules books and applied them to my life
- I got a promotion at work.
- I worked through the relationship issues with my family.
- I learnt how love and discipline are entwined and how one cannot work without the other.
- I challenged every limiting belief that I had regarding marriage and being happy.
Q: How did this work (transformational coaching) affect you externally and internally?
A: On the outside, I was dressing better and Nadia helped and still helps me a lot with choosing outfits where they are Islamic but still elegant, feminine, and attractive. My family say my face changed and I look more at peace. I became more confident and not faking it but really feeling it. On the inside, I feel peace. I know there is no situation so challenging that I can’t figure out for myself with what I have learned and keep learning and practicing. I still feel anxious sometimes but not to the point of anxiety attacks. I am not angry anymore I just have peace and joy and a light and breezy attitude no matter what, well most of the time if I’m honest with you I still have my moments but I now know who I am and what I stand for and that’s the best feeling in the world!
Q: How did this help you on your journey towards meeting and marrying your Mr Right?
A: If I’m honest with you before the course and the work I couldn’t tell you what I wanted and needed from a relationship. I just wanted to be happy. I didn’t even know what will make me happy I just wanted to be happy and fall in love. Working with Nadia I felt qualified to put myself out there and ready for marriage because I finally knew who I was, who I was looking for and why and I knew what I was prepared to do in order to get to my aim. I also learned a lot about love, what it is and how falling in love is not real love but the lowering of ego boundaries.
Q: Without dating how did you meet men?
A: We created a schedule of activities. Nadia brought my family together, we populated the spreadsheet and I knew where I was going and who I was going with to meet men in real life. We also included 3 Islamic websites, 2 apps and a matchmaker. I only consented to this as Nadia would be in full control and the first point of contact for vetting men that came through the matchmaker and Nadia was responsible for putting together my biodata for the matchmaker.
Q: What sort of activities did you do?
A: Lectures, seminars, weddings, talks, comedy shows, concerts, plays, meetups and 1 funeral.
Q: How did you meet your husband?
A: At a funeral. *laughing*
Q: Come now Fatima, we want the details, tell us more!
A: The first time we saw each other was at a funeral. My sister-in-law’s uncle passed away and he was there helping with the funeral arrangements. I went to buy milk for tea and when I got back I gave my brother back his car keys and my husband was standing outside talking to him. I didn’t pay him any attention, I didn’t greet or smile I just went back to the kitchen helping make tea and prepare food. The next day he came into the kitchen with my brother, they went to buy some groceries so we could cook. According to my husband, my brother and my sister-in-law, my husband greeted me and I walked away but I seriously don’t remember that. I went back to London that evening and back to work. A week later when my brother and sister-in-law came back to London they said that my husband had asked my brother about me and if he could call me and speak because he wanted to get to know me. I said ‘Sure, sounds good’ and I forgot about it. My brother sent him my number and the next day in the middle of my workday he tried to call me on FaceTime and I ignored it. The next day when I got home from work he was sitting in the living room having tea with my brother. My sister-in-law was lurking in the background making eye signals for me to meet her in the kitchen so I went. She told me he came to London to take me out and it’s not enough notice so we need to disappear. It was hilarious! It was Tuesday and my day to meet Nadia so my sister-in-law went to tell my brother it’s Tuesday we are going to see ‘sister Nadia’ and we left. Nadia gave me a plan on how to navigate the situation and coached my sister in law how best to help and support me. We were so relieved when we got home and he was gone, awkwardness avoided. Then my brother tells me he’ll call me later in the evening. He called, we spoke for 7 minutes and I agreed to have lunch on Sunday.
Q: Tell us about your lunch date.
A: I don’t know if I would call it a date but sure. My sister and brother in law came with as my chaperones, they sat a few tables away so they could keep watch but not close enough to listen in on our conversation, not that there was much talking from my part, he kept the conversation going asking questions and telling me about himself, I kept making mental notes. Never married, stable job, good manners, very polite, very intuitive, calm nature, grounded etc etc. I took my bathroom breaks and made notes on my phone for later. I didn’t feel any butterflies or lightning bolts though I was nervous I had done this so many times before I felt like it was just another fact-finding mission. I ended the date first, he paid our bill and my brother’s bill and walked us to the car and asked if he can call me and see me the next week. On our date, he told me had liked me on an app and a website but I didn’t like him back and he wasn’t able to message me so he was glad we met even though it was at a funeral, so funny!
Q: How long did you court before you got engaged?
A: After 3 dates he said he was going to marry me and I didn’t know what to say so I just said ‘You’re funny!’ he then asked to meet with my family and ask for my hand, this was really difficult for me to navigate because I didn’t know how to get to know him better and still maintain the formalities that come with Islamic courting I was so anxious I couldn’t go to work for two days but Nadia spoke to my brother and sister in law and they worked it out with my parents. My family gave him their blessing to court me with a chaperone so we can get to know each other. We got engaged after a year, and married a month after that just before my 30th birthday, we celebrated my birthday on our honeymoon in the Maldives.
Q: If you hadn’t been coaching with Nadia how would you go about meeting a man for marriage?
A: I wouldn’t be meeting men I’d still be single.
Q: Do you really believe that?
A: Yeah! I would have gone online and not really given it any attention or make excuses not to meet suitors that my family and friends introduced me to. I didn’t know how to leverage my social network to meet men and I knew nothing about what to look for and look out for in a man. I didn’t have the know-how of what to do as a practicing Muslim woman to meet eligible marriage material men. I had no clue absolutely none as for dressing like a creature unlike any other and still maintaining my head covering and Islamic clothing, I’d still be walking around like Nadia says – like a wizard, hiding in my black cloak *laughing*.
Q: What was your family’s reaction to you getting a coach?
A: My sister-in-law is my biggest champion when it came to my coaching experience. She is a nutritional coach herself and she helped my parents see the value in coaching and now they tell all the girls in our friends and family circle if they want to get married they need a coach!
Q: What’s the best thing about having a coach?
A: You learn so much. You learn about who you are, your wants, needs, desires and dreams and you know what you need to do when, where and how to do it. You can just enjoy the process without worrying if you’re doing something right or wrong. You can feel free and secure at the same time and allow yourself to be vulnerable because you know you have guidance the whole way. Well, this is what it was like and is like for me.
Q: What was not so good about having a coach?
A: Initially it was the accountability I had difficulty with and resistance to. I admit I was lazy and the work I had to do was challenging, difficult and heck it was painful, but once Nadia explained the process, I think it was the 50th time, then I got it. Without pain and suffering there is no growth or expansion and nothing good happens in the comfort zone. My relationship with challenges and difficulty are much more positive now and I am starting to embrace obstacles as opportunities for growth not as problems that need to be solved or ignored.
Q: What was the most challenging time in your courtship with your husband?
A: When we started dating he was in the process of handing in his notice but he didn’t have a job lined up and was unemployed for a few months while we were still getting to know each other. He didn’t even have a job to go to when he met my family to ask for my hand. In hindsight, this was a good thing because it allowed me to see his character and how he was like under extreme pressure. Although he didn’t have a job he was always there on time every weekend to pick me up without fail. He barely spoke of his challenges he just dealt with them. I now know he was in a financial pickle but he never showed it and never made it an issue in our courtship. Another thing I was worried about was moving to Birmingham, luckily my brother and Nadia helped me with that and we worked on a compromise to see what would be best for both of us and our start in marriage, we live in Essex now and I will be leaving my job at the end of February, I want to focus on my marriage for a bit and focus on what I want to do next.
Q: How did he propose?
A: So the proposal was in a few parts. First he asked my brother for permission then got my dad’s permission and then met with the rest of my family. We only knew each other for a few weeks so it was too soon for an answer and we started our courtship. He courted me for a year, he asked me 2 more times during the year then got permission from my dad and brother and he asked me again, the third time I said ok, he didn’t have a ring so I was a bit disappointed. After dinner he dropped me off at home and my brother invited him in, The living room was full of flowers, balloons and rose petals on the floor, my sister-in-law was on point with her camera recording everything. He walked me to the living room, sat me down then he asked me again, this time with a declaration of love and his mum’s ruby ring as a temporary ring, he got down on one knee and I said yes. The following weekend we went to pick up my ring at a jeweller, he had it specially made for me and I love it. We got married one month later.
Q: How did you plan the wedding so quickly?
A: It was so easy, really effortless, my husband hired an event planner couple, they organised everything, he paid for everything except my outfits for the 4 days. It was so effortless on my side that I worked until the day before my wedding.
Q: Would you like to share any words of wisdom or encouragement with our readers?
A: Yes. If you’re serious about getting married and you’ve been trying everything and then some and it’s not working, get a coach, work on yourself, get clarity on what you want for your life, get clarity on what you need and how to get to that place. Then become the person you want to spend your life with. Self-help and guidebooks are very helpful so read a lot but remember if you have low levels of commitment and discipline then you need a coach to light that fire under you. Invest in yourself and you will see the returns a hundred times over.