10 things Nigerian women must discuss with their partners before marriage
There are important things Nigerian women must discuss with their partners before marriage. These issues as small and inconsequential as they seem, might cause big problems if not handled properly from the start.
And there’s no better way to nip in the bud future issues that might spring up in the marriage than talking about them and taking steps to make them happen. The many problems couples encounter during marriage can be avoided if couples had better communicated their expectations about married life before tying the knot.
Intending Nigerian couples should talk about these 10 important issues before getting married.
Money issues are not to be taken lightly. Intending couples should decide who brings in what and how finances should be spent for home, family and personal use. Will you share a bank account or keep individual accounts? or would you do both? And what bills will be paid by what accounts? Will you each put a certain percentage of your income toward shared bills? Do you have an emergency fund? What if one person is out of work or decides to stay home to raise the kids? What’s your plan for affording that?
Couples should talk about how many children they want and when they want them. Before tying the knot is when they should the sex of their children and how they are going to space them. It should also be determined how these children would be catered for.
Discussing sex should not be a taboo. Intending couples should know what turns each other on, what fetishes their partners have and what sex means to their partners. They should also discuss oral and anal sex.
4. Family obligations
How much time do you spend with your family now, how much do you expect to spend with them once you are married and potentially have children, and how much time do you expect your spouse to spend with them (and vice versa)? How do you plan to spend your holidays and what’s your plan for giving both sets of families equal time with you/your children during the major holidays? Are you the type of person who likes to vacation with your family, and if so, how often?
If you practice a religion or have a particular faith, how important is it that your partner share the faith and practice it with you? How does your religion or faith affect your lifestyle? If you plan to have kids, what religion, if any, do you want to raise them in?
6. Division of household labour
Who should do the dishes and laundry and when? Who should cook and how often should that person cook? Barter, negotiate and plead if you have to so that you aren’t stuck doing the thing you least like all the time. If you hate, hate, hate washing dishes, but don’t mind cooking, suggest to your partner that you head meal preparation if he or she agrees to take on the dishes. This works best if the thing you hate with a passion isn’t also the same thing your partner hates with a passion. If it is, find a way to compromise, using your best negotiation tactics.
7. The name change game
It is not every woman who is keen on changing her maiden name after marriage. Women who are famous and have achieved fame or have built a viable business find it hard to change their maiden names after marriage because people know them with that brand name. Intending couples should talk about name change before they tie the knot and come to an agreement. They can decide what works for them before it starts to cause problems in the future. What’s your family name going to be? Will one spouse take the other spouse’s last name? And if not, what surname will you give any kids you have?
How committed is each of you to your careers? Do you live to work or work to live? How will your respective careers affect family life? Where are you in terms of living a “dream career”? Do you have more schooling and apprenticing to finish? If so, what’s the time frame for completing these steps toward obtaining the kind of job you hope for? What kind of personal sacrifices will you have to make to climb the career ladder of your choice?
9. Family location
Where do you want to put roots down as a family when you eventually get married? You have to make sure your partner is on board with that idea. How would you rank location in terms of importance for your well-being? If you love where you live, what would persuade you to move — a job offer, desire to be closer to family, better schools for your kids?
10. Life’s goals
Couples should discuss their short term as well as their long term life’s goals and dreams before heading to the altar. Lack of planning towards individual and couple goals leave couples in confusion when life happens and they don’t have something to work on for a better tomorrow. It is important that couples have a goal they are working towards as they get married. It gives them purpose.