Relationships can be tough enough without having the whole country tune in.
But when you’ve overcome as many obstacles as Ottawa residents Sarah and Tom Rizk, you might want to share your success story.
The couple will be featured on Crazy For Love — a VisionTV reality series that launched last month — when the episode airs Tuesday.
The series, which recounts meetings and marriages, shows how Canadian couples — including pairs of different races, religious backgrounds and even from different continents — make it work.
Just over a year ago, an online posting for couples to submit their controversial love stories to be profiled in a TV series immediately captured Sarah’s interest, bringing back memories of how she and her husband met.
“I have an Irish background and Tom has a Lebanese background,” she said. “I thought we had a story to share that could help people experiencing the same thing.”
They met in 1994 at a restaurant where Tom was the manager.
While Sarah’s family was accepting of the couple, Tom’s was not.
“The idea of me not continuing the Lebanese heritage was the problem,” he said. But when Tom’s father died in 1996, Sarah was there to help, and the family saw how close the couple was.
“By that time, Tom’s dad had accepted me as a daughter-in-law,” she said. “I became closer to the family after that.” They married in 1997.
The message here, Sarah said, “is that in this day and age, in this country, you can make it work. There are trials and tribulations that you have to go through, but if you love someone, you hang in there.”
Aside from sharing their story with viewers, Sarah hopes that their children, Jada, 11, and Benjamin, 10, will better understand their parents’ story.
“It is possible,” said Tom. “Two cultures can get together and make it work as a happy family.”