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10 Things You Must Know Before Going Into Marriage

In many cases people go into marriage without having slightest idea of what they are going into. By the time they realize this after they must have contracted the marriage it would have been too late. This leaves them with the statement: Had I know. Before going into marriage, there are number of factors that need to be known, failing which the marriage may be dead even before it is contracted. Some of the factors include, but not limited to, the ones explained below:


Financial Management

One of the principal factors that determine whether a marriage will withstand the test of time is finance. Marriage requires quite a lot of money to be sustained. Its adequacy or otherwise determines if the marital experience will be exciting or not. This will also say much about whether the marriage will succeed or not. There are several things that will require money before, during and after wedding. Some of them include, but not limited to, baby care, medicare, housing, car, clothing, and others. This therefore requires that couples going into marriage should give a primary consideration in their quest marital union to the issue of finance. No matter how small the family budget is, lack of money or inadequacy of it can cause serious crises in the family that will turn what would have been memorable and exciting experience to an unpalatable one. Lets avoid it. Let us plan ahead.


Sexual Desires & Concerns

Are you guys sexually compatible or not? If you are not then you guys need a rethink. Discuss it and dont feel shy. Be bold and courageous to discuss your sexual preferences with your partner. Dont pretend. Say it exactly the way it is. If you dont tell him/her then dont blame him/her. Many people go into marriage as pretenders, not willing to declare who they are sexually. And when their partners could not fathom what such desires and preferences are, then they remain unattended to. Frustrations arising from this could lead to communication gap, marital crisis and this may lead to eventual crash of such marriages.


Extended Family

Extended families are very important because they are the big trees from which our individual conjugal families come from. In other words, they are the sources of various nuclear families as we have them today. No doubt these families need their respective extended family members for one reason or another. But they should not be over relied upon. They should be dealt with cautiously. They should not be allowed to have over bearing influence on the nuclear families in such a way that they will start hurting the expression of the huge potentials that abound in the families. Couples should be careful at the beginning to ensure that what is happening in their homes are not dictated from outside in the name of extended family.


Friends’ Involvement

Both couples have friends, males and females. Some with good intentions, and others with bad intentions. You can hardly differentiate who is who because the holy book says, The heart of man is desperately wicked. Who can know it? Couples should take charge of what is happening within and among them. They should learn to treat their matters with minimum reliance on external parties called friend. Cases abound of where the so called friends took advantage of the gap between couples to scatter their marriages. Empathic communication among couples help removed such unpleasant experiences.


Household Chore Delegation

Who does household chores among the couples? Big question, right? Traditionally, one would say that this roles automatically goes to the woman of the house. But things have changed so dramatically since the modern industrial and technological era. As a matter of fact traditional roles of genders have been altered significantly. So caution is the word here. We have to face reality. Gone were the days when the woman will be doing all the house chores and the man will be sitting in the palour, reading newspaper or watching television. Both couples should make themselves available for domestic chores to help one another and to reduce tension in the family. This is a clear demonstration of love and spirit of helpfulness.


Career Aspirations

What does your marriage mean to your career plan? Death or growth? You need to sit down to talk about this. Everyone has lofty dreams before marriage. The question is, what happened to those lofty dreams after marriage? Will the woman still be allowed to chase the dreams or she will be asked to abandon them and stay at home all day long? Both couples should organize themselves in such a way that they can both pursue their respective careers to the glory of God. No one should be made to abandon his/her dreams. This is the least they could do to help themselves, their family and the society at large. 50/50 rule should apply here.


Parenting Philosophies

Parenting is a major aspect of family function that needs to be handled with great caution. Couples must agree on the belief and philosophy that will be deployed to guide childrens thought process and world view. If the parents are looking in different directions in this regard there will be confusion as the children may be lost as to which philosophy to adopt. The children may be left with no option than to chart new courses for themselves. This new direction may not be what the parents wish to have.


Relaxation Time (what they like to do in their free time)

This may sound funny but it has to be given all the seriousness it deserves. Having an idea of how, when and where you want to spend your spare time and sharing same with your partner may be a very powerful way to get yourself understood by your partner. This may in turn create room for mutual understanding and trust. For instance, if you have never told your wife that you enjoy attending night club at your leisure time and she discovers that you always go there, this may create trust issues and brewing point for crisis. Such crisis may shake the marriage to its foundation if it is not well managed.

Personality Traits

Do you know the personality traits of your partner? Is he/she short tempered, gentle, aggressive, etc? Is he/she gentle, harsh or calm? People are not the same on all these traits. And the traits each of the couples has will go a long way to affect his/her approach to the other partner. This in turn may have serious implications for the marriage.

Similarities & Differences of the Families couples grew up from

The Similarities between the families the couples come from may go a long way and overall stability of their homes. Although this is not a guarantee but the chances of success could be high. This explains why people are often afraid of going into inter-ethnic marriage.

13 Useful Lessons from Coronavirus (COVID-19) Pandemic

By

Ronald Olusegun Olaiya

Every unpleasant experience in the life of a man has its own negative and positive sides. Coronavirus (COVID-19) Pandemic is not an exception in this regard. So as we are talking about the challenges this pandemic has brought to mankind, we should also be talking of the lessons that come with its incursion into the global social, economic and political arena. These lessons include, but not limited to, the following:

  1. Humility

COVID-19 gave nobody any notice of its rude incursion into the global system. Before anybody could understand its nature and, structure it has started wrecking havoc on the entire global community from all fronts. No nation could boost of having any clue on how to cure it. None could as well lay claim to how its spread could be contained except through social distance. So all nations were and are still cut off guarded. I saw big nations that are renowned for their scientific and technological advancement expressing their helplessness while the virus is doing devastating blow to human lives. The Prime Minister of Italy amidst tears admitted that his country had tried all options that could not stop the virus from spreading to and killing people. He said it was only God that can help Italy from the excruciating effect of the pandemic. Donald Trump of the United States was busy trading blames in the face of the helpless situation. Queen of England and the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom were both infected by the virus. For the very first time in recent years nations were humbled and are compelled to come to term with one reality; and that is the fact that theatre of war has been shifted from the physical field to the field of medicine and pharmacy. Who knows where the pendulum will swing tomorrow?

  1. The Closeness and Interconnectedness of Mankind

Prior to the arrival of COVID-19, human beings out of their pride and hatred for one another erected psychological and social walls against one another. In some cases physical barriers were erected. They believe that doing this will limit their interactions with one another, especially where they perceived each other as enemies. Even in the face of globalisation this sentiment still prevails. Unfortunately, COVID-19 is no respecter of such barriers. Rather it has come to demonstrate that we are closer to one another than we had ever thought as it is transmitting from one perceived enemy to another to another, from one perceived friend to another. So we are not even so far from one another.  We are closer than we thought. As it is, the entire human race has no option than to come together in one spirit to find solution to the pandemic. Nowhere to hide anymore; be you white, black, rich, poor, political allies, or political foes, it does not make sense to discriminate in this situation. We are all in this together.

  1. Equality

Every human being is treated as being equal by COVID-19; it infects everyone that crosses her path. The entire human race has been finding it difficult to come to term with the fact that all men are equal and should be treated as such. It infects the rich man who is exposed just the same way it infects the poor man who is exposed. So it does not make sense to say it is a rich man’s or poor man’s disease. It belongs to the two categories of people. Nature and COVID-19 do not recognise your wealth and position in the society. It is your nature that really matters; your biological and body chemistry. The only thing that can stand you out is your immunity.

  1. Disruptions/Limitations of Forecast

In Nigeria the year 2020 recorded the earliest time the National budget was passed by the National Assembly and signed into law by the President. Everybody was expecting that the implementation of the budget will start early and that this will enhance the performance of the budget. The incursion of coronavirus has made nonsense of the budget expectations at the federal and state levels. Instead of the budget implementation, we are now talking of budget revision. Through the revisions of the budgets at the various levels of government, revenue generation capacity will be restricted just as employment generation will be contained. The same will go for capital expenditure. This is an indication that COVID-19 has shattered the dreams and expectations of government and the people as well. Within the space of two months, the price of crude oil has dropped from $57/barrel to $16/barrel. How would you implement successfully a budget based on $57/barrel benchmark when the price has dropped to all time low of $16/barrel. Already many employers from the private sector, especially those in the aviation and banking are reducing the size of their labour force. This is what one invisible virus can cause to the dreams of nations, organisations and people across the globe.

  1. Immunity

How strong is your immune system? Your answer to this question will determine whether you are likely to survive the virus or not after infection. Reports from the various isolation centres across the country are in support of the fact that the stronger one’s immunity is the greater the chances of surviving the COVID-19 infection. This sends a signal to all of us to develop a proactive management approach in taking care of our health. Prevention is cheaper and better than cure. Keep living a lifestyle that supports enhancement of your immunity at individual and family level. Do not wait till when something happen before doing this; make this a habit and lifestyle as no one can say with certainty when another challenge may come that will require our immunity to stand as our defence.

  1. Looking Inward

Coronavirus (COVID-19) has also taught us to develop ourselves and our system for meeting our needs locally instead of always looking outside our border in search of solutions each time we are faced with any challenge. All the countries we have been looking up to like the USA, UK, China, Germany, Spain, Italy, and others are all grappling with the challenges posed by COVID-19; the same problem we are faced with here. No nation has luxury of time and resources to attend to the other nations right now. Each is busy trying to address her own problems created by COVID-19. The message here is that Nigeria should strive to look inward to harness the opportunities to develop home grown solutions to this pandemic, and other developmental challenges facing the nation. Nigeria can do it; it is our internal politics that is holding us back.

  1. Diversification

All these years, successive administrations at the federal and state levels have been paying lip service to the subject of diversifying the nation’s economy. Even at the level of individuals, the body language is supportive of: “Let us continue to do things as usual”. This lukewarm attitude is based on the belief that even if the crude oil price is unpredictable in the global market, the price would not go below certain minimum benchmark. Coronavirus has made nonsense of such assumptions by crashing the crude oil price to all time low. This is a signal to the effect that if the COVID-19 stays around for too long, the socioeconomic system in the country will collapse completely. The solution is for all of us- the governments and the citizens- to brace up for the challenge of diversifying the economy post COVID-19 without further delay. We have had enough of this lip service. Agricultural sector should be expanded, solid minerals sector should be activated, tourism and entertainment should be given a boost among others.

  1. Demystification of the Mighty

COVID-19 and its attendant challenges demystified the nations and people considered to be too big for any unpleasant experience, perhaps because of their deep pockets, social, and political clouts. Unfortunately some of these so called big men were the first targets and victims of COVID-19. The Nation was locked down and all international fights were suspended. Big men and women could not travel for overseas medical treatment. Big guys and their relatives were made to go for treatment in the same hospitals and medical facilities they have abandoned for long. So what goes around comes around. The nations that were adjudged powerful suddenly turned out to be so powerless and clueless on how to tackle coronavirus in the war front. They were all seeking for help just from anywhere. We do not know which pandemic is coming again and for how long. So post COVID-19, investment should be made in the direction of the medical sector to get the sector upgraded.

  1. Change Can Come Overnight

Change may come sooner than we expect. The change may not be any of the things we anticipated. Change may not necessarily be pleasant’ it could be very unpleasant.  COVID-19 is a typical example of change that is sudden, shocking and unpleasant. Everybody was caught unaware and the spread spares no part of the globe. A change of this magnitude throws spanners into the works of planners at various levels. Many organisations that were hitherto very buoyant have gone. Rich men and women have turned to poor people. And funny enough, some of the poor people of yesterday are now fast becoming rich. This suggests why as individuals, organisations, and nations there should not be any room for complacency. It is always important to be proactive and forward looking in our management approach. Substantial provisions should always be made for some sudden changes with heavy waves to minimise the shock impact.

  1. Knowledge is Power

One of the first factors that hampered the fight against COVID-19 was the fact that not much was known about the virus by the people, the laymen and experts alike. So while the virus was on rampage, not much could be done to prevent its spread as well as curing it. So the entire human race was helpless and still is. Unlike sicknesses like malaria, typhoid, and others whose treatment procedures have been standardised, the whole world is still in school to study coronavirus (COVID-19). The take from this is that more investment in the areas of education and research is urgently needed to build capacity in order to enhance service delivery in the health sector.

  1. Imperativeness of Strong Health System

The role of a very strong health system cannot be over-emphasized in any society.  Sizable proportion of the national budget should go to the health sector.  Unfortunately, the budgetary allocation to the health sector in the country is abysmally low even before the outbreak of COVID-19 pandemic in Nigeria. It is by far lower than the 15% recommended by the World Health Organisation (WHO). So the pandemic came to meet a weak health system and over ran it. This accelerates its spread. The lesson from this is that the going forward our health system should be massively upgraded to meet the health needs of populace. Apart from the investment outlay that should be enhanced, corruption in the health system just like any other segment of the society should be squarely addressed to reduce its undermining effect on the functionality of the sector.

  1. Integrity

The management of the health system should be done with high level of integrity. Anything short of this is a like a suicide mission to the health sector and the entire populace. It appears that some state governments are trying to manipulate the records of what is coming out of their states to create the impression that their health systems are better managed than the others. Cases in point are Kogi and Cross River States where no confirmed cases of COVID-19 have been recorded to date. This is like sitting on the keg of gun powder. The efforts being made at suppressing the true status of the two states with regards to COVID-19 are capable of undermining the genuine efforts that have been made and which are still being made at curtailing the spread of the virus in other parts of the federation. This is disservice to the underline principle of ethics and integrity. Recall that at the beginning of this pandemic in the country, some states like Kano, Jigawa, Katsina, and others were lackadaisical in their approach to the pandemic, trying to be politically correct. But the sudden jump in the number of confirmed cases from these states in the last two weeks and the number of strange deaths are pointers to the fact that they have not acted right at all. Our leaders should have learnt by now that it is better in the long run to say the truth than to distort the fact for whatever reason.

  1. Greater Use of Technology in Problem Solving

Social distancing is a new concept that is associated with COVID-19 and other viruses that spread from human to human. And this is fast becoming a popular slogan all over the world today. The quest to get jobs done without necessarily coming together at point (venue) is now gaining ground on daily basis. Important meetings, seminars, workshops, conferences and others are now taking place online. Zoom, Skypes, WhatsApp and other similar platforms are now being maximally utilised to drive productivity. Teachers in Primary and secondary schools are now holding classes with their pupils and students respectively online. Perhaps, what COVID-19 has done is to deepen the use of these communications tools to increase the level of productivity among the work force. If this culture is sustained post COVID-19, it may be possible to regain some of the lost grounds immediately after the pandemic.

Quarantine Diary – Final Episode 15

Mr. Kim and Mad. Akorkor both paid their fines and bought the items for the rituals.

The rituals were performed on behalf of both parties.

Mr. Kim then met Mad.Akorkor to discuss and agree on something.

Mr. Kim: What do you think we should do about what our children have done?  I’ve been trying to figure something out but my pillow can’t carry what I have on my head.

Mad. Akorkor: I’ve been confused as well, I haven’t been able to talk to my in-law all this while.

Mr. Kim: I think we should both meet their spouses and tell them the whole truth and hear their opinions because we can’t predict what is happening in their homes now. They are all traumatized at the moment. This is the time to show our parenting abilities.

Mad. Akorkor: That’s not a bad idea anyway, just hope it turns out positive. I wish we could go there but for this lockdown.

Mr. Kim:  Well, since they can find their way here let’s find a day and call them over.

Mad. Akorkor: What has your wife said about this whole thing.

Mr. Kim: She tried confusing the whole scenario at a point in time so I told her to step out of the issue and leave it to me.

Mad. Akorkor : Well, when do u intend calling them over then?

Mr. Kim: I am always available. What about you?

Mad. Akorkor: I’ll be available anytime, my son’s home matters to me.

Mr. Kim: Since they are experiencing the lock down I’ll enquire from them when they can find their way here so we can meet.

Mad.  Akorkor : Alright then,  see you.

Mr. Kim then scheduled to meet both couples in his house.

Bill suspected something like that so he called Mina and informed her about it.

To Mina’s surprise Bill made mention of Louis’s father.

Mina had always known Louis to be fatherless.

She did show sign on the call anyway.

She asked Louis later that evening where his father was and Louis was tempted to voice out everything. But after taking a deep breath he said, it’s the reason why my mum wants to meet us. Please calm down and be patient everything will be alright. Okay.

Mina: Hmmmm, I’ve heard you.

Two days later, both couples met in Mr. Kim’s house.

They had a very long conversation. Bill wasn’t so shocked upon hearing the rest of the story he never knew of.

To Mina, everything was like a movie show. She taught it was dream, she was in dismay, she couldn’t hold herself but burst into cry.

Bill played the man role by trying to accommodate whatever was going on and helped to calm Mina down.

After the conversations, no secrets were left and both innocent spouses (Bill and Mina) were asked by Mr. Kim to say what they got and what they ought to do.

Bill: I am very shocked at everything that happened but the other side where Louis and Bella ain’t aware of this, is another worry to me. All the same, I promised to build one home and keep it till the end, but I’ll need some time to say my final words.

Mina: Dad, I don’t have anything to say. But knowing Louis, I know very well that if he knew he had a child who’s whereabouts he was aware of, it wouldn’t have been hidden from me. But what I’m finding it difficult to forgive him is what he did with Bella without my notice.

I found in his wardrobe a visa that was meant for the two to go spend holidays in South Africa. Bill here has Louis’s Voter’s card with him. I am very much aware of all that they have been doing. But I can’t lose my husband for anyone. I love Louis and I want us to maintain our home.

The boy should be brought to me, I’ll take care of him,  the unborn one should come I’ll take them all. I love my husband and can’t let him go.

Mr. Kim: Well, Mina you have been my worry all this while, but you have relieved me from trauma a little. You are a lady so I was contemplating on how you are going to take this whole scenario.

I’m very happy you made a decision to keep your home. Let’s give Bill sometime to tell us his mind, probably some days.

They all agreed as such and the meeting ended.

Days after, Bella woke Bill from sleep so depressed and worried. She apologized for everything and confessed she didn’t love him from the onset,  but for how he has stayed around her upon all she has done, she is not going to lose him for any woman. She pleaded with Bill to pardon her so they restore happiness at home.

Bill told her to sleep so they talk in the morning.

In the morning Bill woke and prepared breakfast in bed for Bella. She was shocked.

Bella: Bill, it’s been decades you treated me this way.

Bill: I miss these moments too my dear,  I’ve let go of everything. I don’t mind taking care of that child when it comes. Let’s maintain our home and make sure we don’t commit same mistakes anymore.

Bella smiles as tears roll down her cheeks. She grabbed Bill and they kissed for some minutes.

They sat to take their breakfast like newly married couples in joy and happiness.

Mina and Louis also reconciled at home and we’re perfectly cool.

Bill called Mr. Kim that evening and told him to worry no more for he has solved everything with his wife and they are happily living.

The news got to Mad. Akorkor and she was overwhelmed with joy.

Mr. Kim then called both sides on phone advised them as a father.

Both couples became friends and planned a get together dinner to take effect after the lockdown.

THE END

Stay safe and stay home. Protect yourself from COVID-19