Sunday, April 14, 2024

Praise & Oluwaseyi Talk to Us About Navigating Life As a Nigerian Couple in the Netherlands

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Editor’s notice: When you’ve got been on social media recently and following conversations about relocation and marriage, then you should have seen a pattern the place folks come on-line to share how relocation is taking a toll on marriages, and the way their pals (pals’ pals, or somebody they know) is having one marital problem or one other resulting from relocation.   

Conversations round japa have garnered numerous narratives. One, folks advise you to have your individual particular person earlier than you relocate as it might probably get very lonely over there. In the identical vein, persons are having conversations in regards to the influence of japa, new surroundings and tradition on marriages. 

We perceive that navigating a brand new nation as a pair will be robust, and that’s why we’re inviting {couples} to share their experiences, evaluating life in Nigeria versus the nation they now reside in. On this 2-part sequence, we discover points of affection, marriage and japa. First, we discuss to Reward and Oluwaseyi Ogunowowho acquired married in 2020 and relocated to the Netherlands in 2022 on how they’ve navigated their marriage in a brand new land.

Reward and Oluwaseyi

Hello Reward, hello Oluwaseyi. It’s good to have you ever each right here

Hello calabargist, thanks.

Did you get married right here in Nigeria earlier than relocating, and for a way lengthy? 

Oluwaseyi: Yeah, had our court docket marriage ceremony in October 2020, and we relocated in July 2022 with our son.

Nice! What nation?  

Reward: We relocated to the Netherlands in July 2022. We’ve been right here for 21 months exactly. 

How did you run your private home earlier than leaving?

Reward: It was a breeze. Our son arrived in October 2021, and with each of us working within the tech business, we primarily labored from dwelling. Seyi needed to commute to the workplace twice every week, however I loved the pliability of absolutely distant work with a world firm. With the help of our prolonged household and a nanny who got here in each day, we have been capable of cherish each second with our child. As formidable younger mother and father, we didn’t should sacrifice our skilled careers for household. It actually felt like we have been dwelling our dream life.

Oluwaseyi: Earlier than we relocated, we mixed our funds. There weren’t any particular bills every particular person needed to bear and this labored for us. We each labored and so we had a nanny who sorted our child and after the day’s work, we sorted him.

How has the method of relocating overseas impacted your relationship? Have been there any important challenges, surprises or tradition shock you confronted throughout this transition as a pair?

Reward: Tright here have been lots of challenges. Initially, we have been thrilled in regards to the prospect of beginning our household within the Netherlands (and that pleasure stays), however the actuality shortly dawned on us. The bills piled up quickly, and inside three months of relocating, we had depleted all our financial savings from Nigeria resulting from heaps and many month-to-month payments and extra taxes on the whole lot. We have been unhappy. 

The gap from our households and the accountability of caring for an eight-month-old baby created lots of pressure in our relationship. We needed to adapt to this new actuality and develop coping mechanisms. In contrast to our life-style in Nigeria, the place we may continuously exit, we discovered ourselves questioning if we actually craved Spaghetti Bolognese or would simply save the cash for water payments. This positioned important stress on us initially however with time, we acclimated and issues improved. We regularly constructed a social circle, made extra pals, met lots of wonderful folks, grew to become a part of a church neighborhood, and ultimately, the Netherlands began to really feel like dwelling.

Oluwaseyi: Nannies are costly right here so we handle our son by ourselves. One profound tradition shock is the truth that there are wait instances for daycare admissions, so we needed to look forward to some availability earlier than our son acquired into daycare. That wasn’t the case in Nigeria. One other attention-grabbing factor we realized or acquired accustomed to was making appointments. The Dutch are extraordinarily time-conscious and love making appointments. We’ve had a number of situations the place we needed to make appointments nicely upfront earlier than we acquired something finished. 

For the primary few months, relocating did have some influence on our marriage. For one, arguments grew to become frequent, as a result of the help methods we had in Nigeria – nanny, prolonged members of the family – have been now not obtainable. We grew to become accountable for each facet of our home lives and our careers, which may result in some heated conversations.

Inform us about this influence relocation had in your marriage and one outstanding change you needed to make 

Reward: There was a specific second a number of months after our relocation after we discovered ourselves reevaluating our marriage and the state of our lives. We requested the large, robust questions. We have been each on edge, participating in frequent arguments and disagreements over trivial issues, overwhelmed by the challenges of beginning another time in a international land. The fixed cycle of job interviews adopted by quite a few rejections, having to pay closely for daycare so we may work, studying a brand new language, and having to spend two instances our annual hire in Nigeria on hire month-to-month right here weighed closely on us. As if that was not sufficient, regardless of our respectable earnings, we struggled to construct any substantial financial savings. 

Nevertheless, we swiftly recognised the necessity to confront these difficulties head-on and, reminding ourselves how God had particularly chosen this place for us, was such a reassuring anchor throughout these robust instances, which was loads to start with.

Oluwaseyi: One outstanding change was that we positioned extra construction into our funds by assigning bills to one another. As an example, hire and utilities are taken by one particular person whereas black tax and others are taken by the opposite.

Hmmn, not like once you have been in Nigeria

Precisely!

Now that you simply’re within the Netherlands, what ideas/values information your marriage and the connection you’ve gotten with one another?  

Reward: God helped us, that’s the brief reply. At any time when it felt like we have been drowning and asking ourselves why we have been right here, we simply had to return to God’s guarantees for us and our household and that was how we navigated these seasons in our marriage. We grew to become higher for it and stronger. Now, we’re starting to eat the great of the land.

Oluwaseyi: For me, these are the ideas: We’re Christians, we imagine in God and his son, Jesus Christ, and he has helped us via this course of. Sticking with the particular person you made a vow to regardless of how laborious it will get and at all times see issues from a “we” perspective, not “I”. The girl I married is virtually accountable for what I’m right this moment. Regardless of how laborious it will get, I’ll at all times stick together with her. Apologize, even if you find yourself not at fault.

Do you’ve gotten any recommendation for {couples} planning to relocate?

Reward: Put God first in all you do, it’s a troublesome world out right here. Solely transfer when God says it’s time to go, if not you might be pissed off by all of the adjustments occurring too shortly. 

Additionally, know why you’re doing this within the first place, not simply because your mates are relocating or as a result of it appears cool to be an overseas babe. Be grounded in your rationale for shifting, as a result of when these robust instances come, which they’ll, fiercely and severely, what would hold you levelled is the “why” behind your relocation.

Oluwaseyi: Be prayerful. Prayer will at all times provide you with readability of thought wherever you must go. I prayed for months for the chance to relocate with my household earlier than it even confirmed up. Be affected person, and don’t be determined, all issues are within the fingers of God. If he believes it’s in your curiosity to go away the place you’re, he’ll create a manner. Issues will get laborious, however ensure that your marriage doesn’t collapse, that may have lots of penalties. Lastly, don’t get married with the hope of relocating shortly after, particularly when you shouldn’t have the means to but. That may be a flawed premise for any marriage.

Thanks, Reward and Oluwaseyi

Reward and Oluwaseyi: Thanks for having us.

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