Everybody loves getting married. A marriage is a celebration of love, and it is something that transcends everything. However, according to former finance minister from the state of Southern Kaduna, Nigeria, Senator Nenadi Esther Usman, it is also important to be realistic. Yes, love transcends every problem, but that doesn’t mean problems won’t exist. Usman herself is in an interfaith marriage, so she knows like no one else how important it is to resolve issues before they become real problems. So what are the key issues that should be resolved before getting married according to Nenadi?
Key Disagreements to Resolve First
Esther has taken a long hard look at her own life, and she has come up with the main issues that people disagree on. They are:
- The issue of the toilet seat and other inconsequential gripes. Nenadi Esther Usman quickly found that tiny little gripes – leaving the toilet seat up, not putting laundry in the basket, placing cutlery in the wrong drawer – quickly add up. Communication is key. Talking about these problems, in a lighthearted, positive manner, is hugely important.
- The who does what where gripe. Nenadi was the economic and financial minister for the Kaduna state, and that was a huge job with a lot of responsibilities. This meant that there had to be some real clarity over who had to do what in the household. Discussions had to be had between Esther Usman and her husband about who was supposed to do what, not just in the household, but also beyond.
- The issue of children. Nenadi Esther warns people that nobody should get married until they have discussed their desire to procreate, or not to procreate for that matter.
- The issue of religion. Being in an interfaith marriage, Esther Nenadi Usman understands the importance of respect for each other’s faith like no other. Interfaith marriages face some significant challenges and it is important to be very realistic about those. This also moves into the procreation debate, as there has to be clarity in terms of which religion children will be raised according to.
- The issue of sex. This is often a touchy subject, and quite a taboo one, but sexual expectations have to be discussed as openly as possible between a partner. Too many relationships fail because of misaligned expectations and lack of communication about this “thorny” issue.
- The issue of looks. Love is blind, they say, until someone puts on a great deal of weight, chooses to have plastic surgery, or even just change their style. It is very important to be realistic that the way you look now is not the way you will look in 20 years, and you have to be ready to accept someone regardless of how they will change.
- The issue of money. Another very tricky and touchy subject, finances have to be discussed. How money is spent and what on, should be a joint decision.
- The issue of in-laws. Last but not least, how often in-laws should be seen also has to be discussed.