Saira Khan married her husband Steve Hyde on 17 December 2004 after meeting three years prior, and the Loose Women star has opened up about their marriage in an emotional Instagram post.
"16 years ago, at the age of 34 I got married to the person who I was (and still am) in love with, my choice, my decision and in a manner that suited us," she wrote alongside a black and white photo of herself on her wedding day.
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"Those words are so easy to write, but in reality, going against religious obligations, cultural boundaries, parental expectations, societal norms were heartbreaking at times, but fundamentally necessary for my personal happiness and mental health.
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"The pressure to do the right thing to please others should never be a factor when you decide to get married.
Saira Khan on her wedding day
"Other’s saw our differences, the colour, the religion, culture, background.
"I only saw love, common values, upbringing and a person who was strong enough to respect me for who and what I am.
"I believe in marriage with all my heart. It’s not easy. We’ve both questioned it at times, come so close to calling it a day.
"But what has saved us time and time again is everything we did on that day 17th December 2004 - made vows, promises in front of the people we love to be there for each other through the good, bad and hard times.
Saira Khan previously shared another photo from her wedding day
"It’s ok to have wobbles, argue, have differences and at times wish the other half would just bloody p**s off! It’s ok to have time off, get some space, make mistakes and even get help. That’s life, we are human, and marriage is not about perfection - it doesn’t come with a handbook. It’s unique and it’s what you make it.
"Instagram couples go through the same s**t as everyone else - they just don’t share it.
"This year, more than at any other time in my life, I appreciated my marriage, my husband and the family we have created within it.
"I don’t take marriage for granted. I work hard at it. I make an effort to be a good wife and mother yet still finding time to meet my own needs and be independent to enjoy my own career, friends and experiences.
Saira Khan says her husband is one of the kindest people she knows
"In my opinion marriage should never encounter violence, hate, resentfulness, abuse, guilt, shame or even the feeling that you have to do it.
"I am grateful that I married without being forced, coerced or persuaded. Everyone has the right to marry who they want.
"In a world where the institution of marriage is being questioned. I still believe in it with all my heart."
Saira and Steve now share two children together: Zac, 11, and Amara, 9, who they adopted from Pakistan.
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