-A Woman’s Statement to Men on Finances – Part 1 –
As women and wives, we love and respect you, husband.
We honour you as the special man in our lives.
You are very dear and special to us.
May you achieve your greatest goals for the good of family and society.
May your legacy be for a better and stable family, and a better Nation.
As Mamalette NG put it: “When a woman has a good husband it is easily seen on her face.”
Money could be a unifying or dividing factor for a couple, depending on the choices they both make. Nothing prevents a couple from making decisions together regarding the use of finances in the home. Yet we know this is not always the case.
Decisions can be made together. This is irrespective of who makes the money. You know we are in this together. Couples can generally agree on the division of financial decision-making within the household.
For instance, the woman may often make financial decisions regarding the kitchen, though this should not exclude the man’s input. Daddy could take care of school fees and I could take care of food purchases. The underlying point here is the need for agreement on how we do what.
The one making financial decisions tends to grow in financial knowledge, so both husband and wife need to be part of the decision making so that they can both gain that knowledge. This is better for the family.
As a wife, I would like to be treated as an equal in our financial decision-making in the home. Let the love we share in our marriage also extend to dialogue about our home finances.
There are homes where financial harmony does not exist. There could be a number of possible reasons for this. One factor could be lack of trust.
Trust Issues: This is an irony because we are supposedly in a loving and committed relationship. Yet we do not trust each other? Interesting, but true. As for Trust issues, we can do better. If we are in a loving relationship then we would need to sit down and have a dialogue on any reservations or prejudices we may have towards each other regarding our finances.
Perception of being Wasteful: A partner may perceive the other as being wasteful. This could make the other rethink his or her openness regarding finances. Sometimes we get things we really don’t need. We spend on what is not needed at a particular time. Dialogue over the perceived or real “wastefulness” could help. Buying an item above the real price could also amount to waste.
One or both do not feel free to share with the other what the take home pay or income is. Perhaps if she knows, she will become more demanding or even more insulting. We could improve ourselves and our thinking. If you know each other’s pay or income, then you can plan expenses together. This is not impossible. We can change.
Another possible factor why there is lack of financial harmony: It often happens that a partner is not earning. So, only one partner, man or woman, is bringing in income. There could be this attitude and may even be expressed in words like, “This is my money. I am the bread winner of this family!”
However, looking at the nature of our commitment, the money we make is collectively “Ours” in the sense that we plan together and make best use of it. It is not for one partner to take and squander at will.
Certainly, opinions are diverse on this ground. Some women would say, verbally or non-verbally to their husbands, “My money is mine. Go make your own money and come take care of your family. Ain’t you the head of the family anymore?”
As a man, you may say this is “my money”, but then she labours to support you while you made that money. Words have their effect. The one not earning may feel estranged; at your financial mercy.
In all these factors, there is need for “Oneness of mind”. We need to encourage each other to seek opportunities to attain financial freedom. It will help us do better as a couple and as a family.
Hence, it is important that where possible, and if there are no conditions, health or physical issues preventing a partner from earning some income, partners in a marriage relationship should each ideally have some earnings to support the family.
- Linda Ellah
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