Who pays the Bills?

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Have you ever heard the expression “Your money, our money, my money is my money”. That sounds like a line from a typical housewife who believes her husband should pay all the bills, as part of his leading family roles. Is such a wife right or wrong?

Money plays a major role in the success of marriage relationships if it is well handled. Money has been one of the major causes of disagreement and crisis in many homes today because the people involved lack the knowledge on how to handle it properly. Money management is a very important factor in marriage, which can either make or mar a marriage relationship.

When it comes to money, few couples are soul mates. Typically, one is a saver and the other is a spender. One is more conservative and the other is more of a risk-taker. That’s why conversations about money so often deteriorate into arguments.

In this part of the world, majority of women would love to be with a man whom they were sure could take care of them. Some would say, “the man had better be ready to pay for a trip to the salon, a vacation abroad, meals when they are out, gadgets including mobile phone credits, and shopping sprees”. In fact some ladies would ask that of what use the man was if he could not provide for them? Love is equated to gifts, if a man gives stuffs to a woman, then he clearly cares about her.”

If a man is wealthy, then it would not be a problem to provide for his woman. However, if he were struggling and earning a certain income like the woman, it may seem unreasonable to expect him to cater to everything. Some would say that men are providers, and feel much more happy and in control when they are able to provide for the people in their lives without having to ask the woman to contribute. But doesn’t it also depend on the relationship being shared by both parties? If both people are in a partnership built on a solid foundation of friendship and equality, then naturally most responsibilities will be shared fairly depending on income bracket. In this part of the world though, that seems farfetched, as most relationships are still very traditional, with the woman expected to be submissive to the man, the man is in control and is not necessarily accountable to her for his actions.

In order to maintain his position, a man is required to pay all the bills and occasionally give a monthly allowance to his woman. Her responsibility is to take care of him and the home front, prepare the meals, raise the children, respect and honour him, and defer to him, even though she has a job.

To women, when a man takes care of the finances, it makes it easier for them to submit and revere him as tradition or society requires. A woman once shared her experience that she often found resentment in her heart, because her husband did not play any active role in the house, except grudgingly paying the bills. She had a job as a teacher which did not pay much, however, she was on her feet all day, and was exhausted by the time she got home. He insisted on freshly cooked meals, and would never get up when the baby cried at night.

 

There are men also who would never marry a woman who makes more money than they did. This to them would be too dicey. Women can be quite mouthy and unable to control their emotions. More money would give a woman a big head, and she would very quickly slag off her husband and be disrespectful. Some men would even say “She can keep her money, I will provide for my house. I am the head of the family.”

Again it depends on the situation, if a woman kept all her money and spent all the man’s income (if he’s not rich), will there be resentment at the end of the day on the man’s part? Will he wonder what she did with the money she earns?

Someone once said that he was married to the most selfish “nuisance” on the face of the earth. Apparently, she refused to tell him how much she earned, but she knew his’. He could tell that she made quite a bit of money, about 10% less than he did, he knew because he determined the average salary of people on her grade level. He pays for everything in the house including her personal items and “grooming” including brazillian hair which cost him a lot of money to buy, and which she proceeded to weave unto her scalp. He was nagged for months until he saved and paid for the expensive hair. She would go off with her girlfriends and buy really stunning jewelry and beautiful shoes, and then ask him for money for food for the house and toiletries too.

Couples to be, should discuss money matters during the courtship period. They should not wait until marriage is in place. They should be able to discuss how money will be handled in the home when they are married.

Questions like who will be responsible for the bills, house rent, school fees, clothing, food stuff among others should be answered. Also if there is need for joint account, individual saving account and investments, all these should be properly discussed and agreed upon before the marriage. With that in place, there will be no room for problems or disagreements on these when they are finally married.

 

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