When Sheila Nabusayi got married in 2011, she knew that the next thing was to move in with her husband. She had been living with her mother and when the time came, she did not want to move all her things from her mother’s house.
“I wanted my mother to remain with some of my personal items, especially childhood clothes, as a gesture that I was still part of her life,” Nabusayi says.
Her husband was, however, unhappy about it – he wanted the whole of her shifted to their matrimonial home. It was a battle.
Before the wedding, there are high chances that the couple might begin staying together.
But regardless of whether you move in or not, the fact is that once one says “I do”, they are expected to live together for the rest of their lives.
Before moving in together, it is important that the couple sit down and discuss what kind of home they want to have and which responsibility each one will hold.
How long will you be renting?
Shawn Okure, who has been married for 10 years, says that his wife, Jasmine, moved into his apartment in Naalya immediately after the wedding.
After two years, his wife started pressuring him to build their own house.
“She was always telling me that the money we were spending on paying rent would instead be better off saved,” Okure says.
He gave in to her demands a year later and constructed a three-roomed bungalow house in Bunga, a Kampala suburb. Both parties handled the construction expenses, which cost about Shs60m.
Footing the bills
Whether a couple will be staying together in a rented apartment or their own home, the bills will always be there and of course, someone has to pay them.
There are cases where a man may say he is unable to foot all the bills. This is when the woman is expected to chip in and help shoulder the responsibilities.
When they moved in together after their wedding last year, Maurice Ochol, a news reporter on NTV, says they divided the responsibilities with his wife Patricia.
“We arrived at a decision that I would handle the rent and food expenses, while she handled the power and water bills,” Ochol says.
Back to Nabusayi, a mother of one, who was battling with her husband over shifting all her property to his home, says her mother was delighted that she had left some of her property in their house, but her husband thought otherwise.
“He often complained and said it was a portrayal that I was sceptical about being with him,” she says.
The complaints only stopped when Nabusayi decided to shift all her personal property.
In circumstances where the woman was living on her own and had lots of furniture and electrical appliances, Bridget Kabasangu, a mother of five, says one may decide to shift everything to her matrimonial home, take them to their parents’ house or sell them.
During courtship, Daisy Kiwumulo Kaggwa and her then boyfriend, Shadrack Kaggwa, lived separately. Daisy was renting while Shadrack had his own house. She was much more organised and clean. Gardening was one of her favourite pastimes.
Her partner, on the other hand, loved inviting friends to his house for drinks. Most of the time, there were empty beer bottles, clothes and shoes littered around the house.
After their wedding in 2010, Daisy moved in, but nothing changed – Shadrack’s life went on. His wife complained but he never bothered to listen. Her request for a small portion of land in their big compound for a bit of gardening fell on deaf ears.
It was only after she involved her mother that the situation changed.
“He was so mad that I involved my mother. But at least I am grateful that she talked some sense into him. He stopped behaving like a child and started acting like a grown up man. ”
Today, his friends don’t visit to drink and he also allowed her to do some gardening in the front yard.
Planning carefully before moving in together, saves the couple unnecessary fights and quarrels.
what if he was divorced?
Imagine a situation where you wedded a person who was previously married but is now divorced. You visit their house and pictures of their former partners are lingering around. It is not a pleasant sight. According to Joseph Musaalo, a counsellor with Adonai Counselling Services, it is important for one not to keep property of their previous spouses around the house. This, he says, can easily arouse feelings of hatred and bitterness in the new partner. If one feels that they want to keep some of their ex’s property, then they should first consult their new spouse.