I was at a friend’s church last Sunday – she’d invited me over for a special programme the church was having that Sunday. Being February, the theme of the month is “Knowing Your Spouse more”. On this particular Sunday, the issue of information was being discussed, what to tell one’s spouse and what not to discuss- too much information, should privacy be allowed? or not etc. It was highly interactive and eye opening too, but I had a good time all the same.
During the question and answer segment, (people had been advised to write down their questions anonymously and hand over to the ushers at the beginning of stage sermon), a man talked about his wife knowing what he earns. He’s been married for 2 years now and they have an 8month old daughter. According to him, he teaches Chemistry in a private secondary school and earns around N48,000. He then does private lessons for some students in their homes every other day so at the end of the month, he goes home with about N90,000. His wife is in the know of all these monies.
Last November, some issues came up as regards finances in the house only for his wife to bring up a sheet of paper and a pen and started asking “if you earn XYZ, what did you do with everything? What did you buy? Yes, you did this and that but you should still have XYZ left?”. He said he was astonished but he didn’t make a fuss about it. His wife has been making such statements since November now and he feels it’s solely because she knows how much he earns.
Some men in church said it wasn’t wise of him to have divulged his salary to his wife while some supported his decision. The pastor eventually said he didn’t see anything wrong in telling your spouse every kobo that comes into your pocket – trust/honesty is very important in any relationship.
Now, I did a little ‘survey’ myself and from what I gathered, elderly couples seem to be ‘less into’ what their husbands earn – as long as he takes charge in the house. In fact, a particular woman told me she’s been married for about 35 years and she has no idea how much her husband earns/earned. She felt it is disrespectful to ask him such. Two elderly men said they wouldn’t disclose their earnings to their wives because “you women, you’ll now start monitoring our money”. Another woman said she knew from day one how much he makes, because he feels they are one despite the fact that he’s not a salary earner. Some women said they knew how much their husbands earned, but a good number of them had no clue and they weren’t even interested. A young lady in her early thirties said she and her hubby already talked about income before they got married and there’s no financial information they withhold from each other.
Marriages these days are quite different, times have changed, we have more financially independent women these days, we have lots of women who prolly earn way more than their husbands. Besides, the economics of family living have changed so it’ll be a tad unfair to leave all the financial responsibilities to the man these days.
PS: I had a conversation with a male friend some years ago about financial responsibilities in the home. I was of the opinion that before getting married, both parties need to sit down and discuss who will take care of what in the house, who should pick up certain bills etc. The other party can help out sometimes though. I felt it should be discussed properly before getting married to avoid certain financial issues. He disagreed with me totally and he had just one point – “It’s a marriage, not a contract! I’m not going to sit down and tell my fiancée you’ll buy yams while I buy fluorescent bulbs. You’ll buy Christmas clothes for the kids, while I pay rent. Nope. It’s not a contract abeg”.
Do you think partners should share ALL information with each other especially financial or are there no go areas?
Photo Credit: newsevent24.com