Nadiya Hussain details the financial struggles she and her husband Abdal faced at the beginning of their marriage as she graces the cover of Women & Home
Great British Bake Off winner Nadiya Hussain has revealed the struggles she and her husband faced at the beginning of their marriage.
The 38-year-old star has been happily married to her spouse Abdal for 15 years, with the pair meeting just once before tying the knot.
But in a new interview, Nadiya admitted she and her husband struggled financially to raise two children on just one wage.
She told Woman & Home: ‘My husband and I struggled at first. We were young, with two young children, and it was hard having just one wage, but financial stability has meant I can help not just my own husband and children, but my family.’
Nadiya and Abdal share sons Musa, Dawud, and daughter Maryam.
Candid: Great British Bake Off winner Nadiya Hussain has revealed the struggles she and her husband faced at the beginning of their marriage
Further discussing her family, she told the magazine: ‘It’s nice to send them money if they need it and buy nice things for my grandma. Nevertheless, I’m always tightening the purse strings.’
In addition, she noted that she doesn’t like to ‘waste’ and claims her mentality has come from ‘growing up in an immigrant household’.
The baking star added: ‘I’m naturally frugal and don’t like to waste. That has come from growing up in an immigrant household where we ate and had a roof over our heads but had nothing extra.’
Nadiya also noted that she doesn’t want to bring up her kids in a world where everything is ‘handed’ to them.
She added: ‘I don’t want my kids to think they’re growing up in a world where everything is given to them, so I’m encouraging them to get part-time jobs. My eldest is looking right now. He’s so charming, he’ll get one in no time!’
The mum of three also revealed how she suffered from colourism within her own family and is still getting to grips with her anxiety.
When speaking about her struggles, she revealed, ‘In my culture, colourism is rife. If you’ve got darker skin, you’re told, “I don’t know what we’re going to do with you. You’ve got really dark skin. It’s not going to be easy to find you a husband.” Everyone says it, and it’s something I experienced from family members and my parents’.
She then revealed that everyone told her she was not beautiful and said her ‘skin was a problem’.
Happily married: The 38-year-old star has been happily married to husband Abdal for 15 years, with the pair meeting just once before tying the knot
‘Within our culture, it’s normal for the skin colour of kids from the same mum and dad to be different, and everyone always prefers the fairer one because she is considered naturally beautiful. As a kid, that made me feel rubbish because everyone told me that I was not beautiful and my skin was a problem.
‘Then you don’t want to be in your skin, and what’s worse than not wanting to be in your own skin? I would try and scrub it in the shower in the hope that there was something fair underneath. It’s taken me 30-something years, but I’m happy where I am. I love the skin that I’m in, and I wouldn’t be in any other skin,’ She concluded.
In the past, Nadiya has been open about her struggles with anxiety and has claimed before that her husband is the ‘still waters to my tsunami’.
When talking about her anxiety, Nadiya revealed how she has come to grips with it: ‘I definitely have a handle on my anxiety. I seem to be managing it by carving out time for myself. I’m always focused on other people, but I’ve recently got into a rhythm where I’m doing things for myself.
Marriage struggles: She told Woman & Home: ‘My husband and I struggled at first. We were young, with two young children, and it was hard having just one wage, but financial stability has meant I can help not just my own husband and children, but my family.
‘Every day, I take 90 minutes to walk 6km in the woods. My husband and I go out together, and it’s really peaceful. I love it,’ She added.
It comes after Nadiya revealed that she wouldn’t want her children to have an arranged marriage like she did because she doesn’t want them to ‘blame’ her if it goes wrong.
During an interview two years ago, Nadiya admitted she didn’t want her kids to go down the same path, simply responding ‘no way’ when asked if she’d consider the arrangement.
Further discussing the idea of an arranged marriage for her kids, she told OK! Magazine: ‘If my own marriage didn’t work out, I think I would blame my parents. I wouldn’t want that for myself. I trust that I’ve given them the right tools to want the right things for themselves.’
In addition, she noted that it would be ‘OK’ with her should they also make the ‘wrong choice’ for them.
The baking star added of arranged marriages that it was too much ‘hard work and responsibility’.
Family: Nadiya and Abdal share sons Musa, Dawud, and daughter Maryam
Mentality: Further discussing her family, she told the magazine: ‘I’m always tightening the purse strings’
Meanwhile, Nadiya candidly discussed her union with her husband, explaining to the publication why their marriage works, noting that one key point is that they were so ‘dissimilar’.
She explained: ‘It works because we have interesting conversations. But we are similar in how we want to raise our family. Although we spoke to each other for six months before we got married, we really didn’t know each other’s personalities that well. We are so like Married At First sight. It’s unbelievable!’
Discussing their romance further, the TV personality told how she and Abdal got engaged on the very first day they ‘laid eyes on each other’, marrying just ten days later.
She added that their relationship has been ‘all about compromise’, with the pair committing first and then learning about each other along the way, adding that they were one of the ‘lucky couples’.
Elsewhere, Nadiya claimed that she doesn’t have any plans to add to her brood, despite her son’s wishes, but joked she’d happily add more pets to the family.
The baker said: ‘Musa always calls me old, but the second I say I don’t want to have a baby, he retracts it! He is adamant and on my back every day to have a baby. I don’t know what it is! I’m like, “No, no, no!” I might get more pets, but definitely not more children. It’s not for me.’
Arranged marriage: It comes after Nadiya revealed that she wouldn’t want her children to have an arranged marriage like she did because she doesn’t want them to ‘blame’ her if it goes wrong (pictured in December)
Successful marriage: Nadiya has been happily married to husband Abdal for 15 years, who she met just once before tying the knot in an arranged marriage
It comes after Nadiya admitted in 2020 that she didn’t feel the ‘textbook rush of love’ for her first child straight away.
The author said she felt the ‘rush of love’ a few weeks after her son Musa was born.
Speaking on Spinning Plates, a podcast hosted by Sophie Ellis-Bextor, said: ‘As a mum, you’re constantly told, and you read that you’ll get this rush of emotions and you’re going to feel love like you’ve never felt before.
The November issue of Woman & Home is on sale on Thursday, 28th September
‘When you’re anticipating that, it’s the worst thing because, when you don’t know, you can’t quite pinpoint whether you’ve felt it yet.
‘So I remember after I’d had him, I was like, have I felt that yet? You expect the bells and the whistles and the fireworks, and I was like, why haven’t I felt it? When does it come?’
It wasn’t until a few weeks later, after her husband Adbal went back to work, that she experienced the textbook rush of emotions she was told about.
Initially, she was unsure about being left alone, explaining that she sobbed because she didn’t know whether she could do it on her own.
The baker said: ‘It was in that moment where he had gone when I had that textbook moment where they say you feel that rush of love genuinely.
‘It was a few weeks later where he had gone off to work, and I realised that like this little human being needs me.
‘And in that moment, I realised I think I needed him more. And that was when I felt it.’
The November issue of Woman & Home is on sale on Thursday, 28th September.
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