"It was her who taught me to love myself and others again," he said of the 'Selling Sunset' star in a touching anniversary tribute
In a touching Instagram post in honor of the couple's second wedding anniversary on Monday, Tarek, 42, shared that he was "sad and lonely" before the Selling Sunset star, 36, came into his life.
"I sometimes pinch myself because I can’t believe this is my life. I have three amazing kids and an incredible wife," the HGTV personality wrote after wishing Heather a happy anniversary.
"Before Heather, I really lived a different life and I know a lot of you can relate," he continued. "I was honestly just sad and lonely without her. It was her who brought me back to life. It was her who taught me to love myself and others again. It was her who made me believe I deserved more. It was her who gave me hope."
Tarek went on to express his excitement for the future with Heather by his side.
"This has been the most incredible two years for the entire family and I’m so excited for dozens more! I just love you bunny more than the universe and it’s me and you forever!" he concluded, using his affectionate nickname for his wife.
His anniversary post featured a series of photos of the couple, including two throwbacks from their October 2021 wedding day and a fun candid shot of the pair holding hands in a hotel room.
Heather posted her own loving message to her husband for their anniversary. Alongside a collection of photos from their nuptials, she wrote, "Happy wedding anniversary my sweet love. I can’t believe it’s been 2 years of marriage & going on 5 years together."
She went on to detail all the ways Tarek has been a wonderful husband and partner for her. "You have stayed true to the vows that you said to me two years ago: you have loved me for all that I am, you have protected my heart and put our family first — always — and you have shown me that I picked the right man," she wrote.
"You are an incredible dad to our baby Tristan and Tay & Bray and nothing makes me happier than the family and life that we have built together," she continued, referring to the couple's 8-month-old son, Tristan, and Tarek's two children with ex-wife Christina Hall — Taylor, 13, and Brayden, 8.
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Tarek has previously opened up about how he felt lonely after splitting with Hall, 40, in 2016 after seven years of marriage.
In a December 2022 Instagram post, he admitted that the holiday season was particularly difficult for him when he was newly divorced.
"For a while there, I had some lonely holidays," he wrote in the post's caption. "I'm never going back!"
“Physically, spiritually, mentally, I was so broken,” he said. “I just never really thought I would open up to someone again. I never thought I would be vulnerable again.”
Then he met Heather, around whom he said he "just lit up inside."
“I had this feeling that I hadn’t felt in like 20 years," he recalled. "I was married for a long time, I was with my ex for a long time. I hadn’t had that feeling towards another women. So it was really, really new and exciting.”
Tarek later reflected on how lucky he feels to have Heather in his life, admitting that he didn't think he would find love again after ending his first marriage.
"If you asked me a few years ago if I thought I was going to meet another woman to be a part of mine and the kids' lives, I'd say no, but who knew I was going to find my best friend, my confidante, my soulmate 😍," he wrote in the caption of a June 2022 Instagram Reel.
"I believe everyone has a soulmate that they can spend the rest of their life together. I'm lucky to have found mine, the woman of my dreams," he added.
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