This month marks my husband's and my 5th anniversary. Many said "just wait until you are married then you will see" then it was "just wait until he gets his greencard, then you will see" then it was , "well it certainly wont last 5 years". Many times I have wondered what makes us different than the majority and I think it boils down to the following: 1. Realistic expectations and basic cultural understanding by both parties. Before marriage he had lived in the west and I had been married to someone from the east we already knew what we liked and didnt like about the cultures. We lived a similar lifestyle and had reasonable expectations of each other. 2. We hammered differences out early on before marriage. Forcing yourselves to discuss difficult topics is not easy but better to make sure you can work them out before marriage rather than after. 3. No mistreatment, bad behavior, infedelity, mistrust, dishonesty etc prior to marriage (or after) I see a lot of times there are signs of these but they are shrugged off or the man convinces her that it never happened "they make sabotage" "i was hacked" "I get jealous because I love you too much" "she is my cousin" "I was too sick to answer the phone" etc. I never had any negative gut reaction about my husband. There has never been that "I dont know exactly what it is, but things dont quite add up" feeling that we so often hear women say early on. On the contrary, things felt natural and calm with him. I didnt ignore signs of rattery and had it magically work out, he simply has never acted in any way that would cause me to question him. 4. True representation of our real selves. While everyone wants to put their best foot forward, we were both very transparent regarding who we were including our shortcomings and challenges. We met online and after 6 months of honest conversations there were no surprises when we finally met and married (except that he hogs the blankets and rolls himself up like a mummy in them- THAT was an unwelcome surprise). Whatever the actual success rate is for Tunisian-western marriage, whether it is 30% or 1% I am grateful to be in the minority. There will ALWAYS be exceptions...but dont allow the knowledge that SOME relationships do work to cause you to second guess yourself.