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My Husband Was A Stranger In My House & Then He Changed

Marriage

There I was, sitting on the floor in the middle of my bedroom, crying my eyes out, telling my husband I wanted a divorce.


I can't say there was any one single moment that led to that point, it was, however, a culmination of things that often left me lying in bed at night wondering if he and I even still loved one another. There were some days I would look at my husband, and to me, he looked like a complete stranger. *Cue Tamia's “Stranger In My House“*

In hindsight, I feel as if that was a defining point in our marriage.

We had only been married for two years at that time. Yet, here I was, wanting to throw in the towel because things just weren't going the way I wanted. Before we wed, I pictured endless days and nights of grand romantic gestures, or at least small ones that I could continuously gush over, much like I did while we were dating.

But there was nothing.

We both were working, coming home to kids, exhausted from the myriad of early days and long nights. We were constantly on the go, so much that we could barely keep things together. Not being able to do so caused a rift between the two of us that grew and grew until things just fell apart.

It was in that moment of yelling, screaming, and crying that my husband kneeled down and said to me, “We're going to get through this, no matter what." Of course being pissed off, I said to him, “I don't want to get through it, I want you to leave."

With a firm “no," he told me I needed to pull it together. He acknowledged my pain, he understood how overwhelming life had become, and that it was obvious that we were just longing for the other to make the first move.

But it never happened.

There were so many days where we felt like we were just treading water. Then, there were other days where one (or both) of us just completely sank. Long exhausting hours going to work and dealing with shitty bosses, then coming home and literally wiping shitty butts, cooking dinner, and dealing with bedtime meltdowns made it impossible to put anything extra into making sure one another was happy. Yet, we each had this expectation that the other would shower us with compliments, foot rubs, premade hot bubble baths, and whatever else it may (or may not) lead to.

Once again, it never happened.

But one day, the tides changed for us. It was one of those nights and he and I promised one another that we would work to strengthen our marriage and that we would always put each other first – even before our kids. I know that statement in itself isn't very popular with some people. But I am of the mindset that once my children leave the home, it is my husband that I will be left with. I don't want to be one of those empty nesters sitting in silence while my spouse is sitting in a different room.

We both said we want every day to feel like it was the first day we met.

Has it been like that? NO! But the fact that we have been making the effort makes all of the heartache and tears we went through well worth it.

Our life still isn't 100% perfect. We still argue, as most married couples do. But what we have learned is how important it is for us to take time out for one another. There aren't deliveries of flowers on my doorstep weekly, no little blue boxes from Tiffany's, and I can't even say he went to Jared.

What I can tell you is that on Saturday and Sunday mornings, he wakes up at 7 am, gets the girls dressed, and cooks breakfast for the family so that I can sleep in and will take them out the house for a few hours so I can have alone time. Then he comes back home with a Reese's cup and Mountain Dew because he knows that I'm on a diet, but they are still my faves. On Friday nights, he will call on his way home from work and tell me not to worry about cooking dinner, he has it taken care of.

It's him loading the dishwasher after dinner at night and putting them up at 5 in the morning before he leaves the house for work that day.

It's me making sure every single night when he gets home from work, his favorite meal is on the table and that the kids are already fed so that he and I can eat together. And for those nights that I can't deal anymore, he takes over even when he has just spent the last 16 hours at work.

Whether he is sacrificing a Bulls game or I'm missing the latest Golden Girls marathon, we both have come to realize that in order for us to maintain our marriage, that it's just something we have to do. Together.

And we are completely okay with that.

Natasha Brown is a former chemical engineer turned stay at home mom and fulltime lifestyle blogger. She currently lives in South Carolina with her husband and four kids. You can follow her on Instagram where she is steadily working on her photography skills.

Before she was Amira Unplugged, rapper, singer, and a Becoming a Popstar contestant on MTV, she was Amira Daughtery, a twenty-five year-old Georgian, with aspirations of becoming a lawyer. “I thought my career path was going to lead me to law because that’s the way I thought I would help people,” Amira tells xoNecole. “[But] I always came back to music.”

A music lover since childhood, Amira grew up in an artistic household where passion for music was emphasized. “My dad has always been my huge inspiration for music because he’s a musician himself and is so passionate about the history of music.” Amira’s also dealt with deafness in one ear since she was a toddler, a condition which she says only makes her more “intentional” about the music she makes, to ensure that what she hears inside her head can translate the way she wants it to for audiences.

“The loss of hearing means a person can’t experience music in the conventional way,” she says. “I’ve always responded to bigger, bolder anthemic songs because I can feel them [the vibrations] in my body, and I want to be sure my music does this for deaf/HOH people and everyone.”

A Black woman wearing a black hijab and black and gold dress stands in between two men who are both wearing black pants and colorful jackets and necklaces

Amira Unplugged and other contestants on Becoming a Popstar

Amira Unplugged / MTV

In order to lift people’s spirits at the beginning of the pandemic, Amira began posting videos on TikTok of herself singing and using sign language so her music could reach her deaf fans as well. She was surprised by how quickly she was able to amass a large audience. It was through her videos that she caught the attention of a talent scout for MTV’s new music competition show for rising TikTok singers, Becoming a Popstar. After a three-month process, Amira was one of those picked to be a contestant on the show.

Becoming a Popstar, as Amira describes, is different from other music competition shows we’ve all come to know over the years. “Well, first of all, it’s all original music. There’s not a single cover,” she says. “We have to write these songs in like a day or two and then meet with our producers, meet with our directors. Every week, we are producing a full project for people to vote on and decide if they’d listen to it on the radio.”

To make sure her deaf/HOH audiences can feel her songs, she makes sure to “add more bass, guitar, and violin in unique patterns.” She also incorporates “higher pitch sounds with like chimes, bells, and piccolo,” because, she says, they’re easier to feel. “But it’s less about the kind of instrument and more about how I arrange the pattern of the song. Everything I do is to create an atmosphere, a sensation, to make my music a multi-sensory experience.”

She says that working alongside the judges–pop stars Joe Jonas and Becky G, and choreographer Sean Bankhead – has helped expand her artistry. “Joe was really more about the vocal quality and the timber and Becky was really about the passion of [the song] and being convinced this was something you believed in,” she says. “And what was really great about [our choreographer] Sean is that obviously he’s a choreographer to the stars – Lil Nas X, Normani – but he didn’t only focus on choreo, he focused on stage presence, he focused on the overall message of the song. And I think all those critiques week to week helped us hone in on what we wanted to be saying with our next song.”

As her star rises, it’s been both her Muslim faith and her friends, whom she calls “The Glasses Gang” (“because none of us can see!”), that continue to ground her. “The Muslim and the Muslima community have really gone hard [supporting me] and all these people have come together and I truly appreciate them,” Amira says. “I have just been flooded with DMs and emails and texts from [young muslim kids] people who have just been so inspired,” she says. “People who have said they have never seen anything like this, that I embody a lot of the style that they wanted to see and that the message hit them, which is really the most important thing to me.”

A Black woman wears a long, salmon pink hijab, black outfit and pink boots, smiling down at the camera with her arm outstretched to it.

Amira Unplugged

Amira Unplugged / MTV

Throughout the show’s production, she was able to continue to uphold her faith practices with the help of the crew, such as making sure her food was halal, having time to pray, dressing modestly, and working with female choreographers. “If people can accept this, can learn, and can grow, and bring more people into the fold of this industry, then I’m making a real difference,” she says.

Though she didn’t win the competition, this is only the beginning for Amira. Whether it’s on Becoming a Popstar or her videos online, Amira has made it clear she has no plans on going anywhere but up. “I’m so excited that I’ve gotten this opportunity because this is really, truly what I think I’m meant to do.”

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