Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Marriage and finances

Hi all,

I heard a story today I would like to share with you. There is this couple, the husband was an accountant with an accounting firm while the wife is a confidential secretary with one of the banks. Some years after their marriage the husband lost his job and getting another job was very difficult so he decided to venture into business. There was no head to that either. Since the husband lost his job, at the end of the month, the wife gives her salary to the him and he will decide how the money will be spent.

Last month, the wife feeling the need to upgrade her wardrobe bought a couple of outfits and shoes before giving the husband what was left. The husband was furious, he refused to collect the money  and he told her she doesn't have the right to spend the money. He hit her then told her he is the one to decide if she needs new clothes or shoes. Shoes and clothes are not their priority cos they need to save up to start another business. The husband insisted she must apologize for spending the money. The wife refused to apologize. She called one of her uncles and he said she must apologize since the husband was one of the people who helped to pay her school fees in higher institution. The battle is on.

When I heard this story, these thoughts came to my mind :

1. As a third party, you never can tell with a married couple. The story might not even be the full story and facts might be distorted

2. Communication between couples is very important. During courtship, people spend little or no time on talking about situations such as if a spouse loses a job, finances, family budgets etc. We always assume that things will always be rosy without challenges. We think the most challenging is  planning the wedding. That, in real life is not the case, most times.

3. I don't know why she chose to agree to give all her salary to her husband; but since she did, she should have told him that she needed new clothes and shoes for work instead of going behind his back to buy them. She must have her own reasons for doing that, maybe she already asked/ told him and he said it wasn't important because he had a project he was planning for. And now that she did it, he sees it as disrespect.

4.I have zero tolerance for men who hit women. Instead of hitting her, a simple talk on priorities would have sufficed. What man would even tell his wife to give all her salary for his own project and house-keep. Isn't he supposed to be the provider and the wife his help-mate?  The man has wronged his wife and if family *cos it will get to family to settle* say the wife should apologize, the husband must also apologize to the wife. He vowed to love and protect her, but who will protect her from him now that he has turned to Mohammed Ali.

It is very important as couples and those of us planning to get married to communicate and most importantly make plans for when these kind of challenges come up.It is also important to be in agreement on steps to take on how you handle finances. Some men are the sole providers and the woman's money is her money. Some people decide to have a joint account or pool of funds and they agree on what each partner will contribute to the pool. Some couples have a budget and they pool both salaries.* Some people won't like this cos they don't want their partner to know what they earn.* Explore all options and see what will work for you. Proper handling of finances is important in committed relationships.

Did the woman in the story do wrong? Was the husband right? How do you plan to handle finances in your home?


  1.'re so right! Talking about finances and unfortunate events like loosing one's job is very important!

    I wouldn't say the woman did wrong, but since she agreed to give him her whole pay check, she should have told him in advance (like you stated)...The husband needs to calm down, it shouldn't have gone as far as him hitting her, he can be upset but that crossed the line!

    In my home, I pray that finances will not be an issue and that we'll agree to have a joint account or what ever will work for both of a woman, I've heard that no matter the's important to have a "secret stash" for emergencies I plan to do that also!

  2. I cannot relate at all...the beating, the "owed" apology, none of it! As far back as i can remember my mother has taken care of the finances of the house (as in arranging bill payments and such). Personally I don't see why anyone should be giving their check to the other. You open up a joint account where you deposit money from your check so you can pay the bills each month and call it a day. Finances are shared and thus both parties should have equal mental (and financial if possible) investment in it.

    I agree that major purchases should be addressed before they are made but unless her buying some clothes was going to significantly impede getting the bills paid, i don't see the problem.

    As for handling situations where one spouse is out of make cutbacks and be supportive in their time of need (especially if the "male ego" is involved) ...that's what makes sense to me. What else can you really do?

  3. These are the kind of stories I hate to read about or hear. They make me feel depressed these days.

  4. Interesting write-up. Most couple during courtship fail to discuss fundamental issues; and get carried away with emotions and feelings. Communication is very vital and actually responsible for most marriage palaver.

  5. you said it all, that is not the whole story.
    they have a big communication problem and i could have suggested the wife apologize but since the man hit her i think dat is canceled
    the man has ego problem too

  6. when couples are dating in the early phase, I think love blinds their eyes , they talk about nothing but romance. When they enter into the marriage, their eyes Serious topic that needs to be addressed.

  7. There has to be more to the story.

  8. I agree with your point #1. The 2 of them know each other best but I'm not cool with him hitting her though.
    There is alot of background info we don't know but I'm lost on why they are stuck on who owes who an apology. I see 2 major egos clashing.

  9. God bless you for this post cos it's really something to talk about more and more and even more now that one is not married yet. The issue of finances is very important. I've heard of a couple that got divorced because of a $500 issued that resulted in an unresolved quarrel. Space wont permit me to share the full story here. Yoruba warns that, "Money often rubbishes the face of a friend". May God help us.

    I don't agree with hitting a woman at all. I don't pray anything would anger me to the point of raising my hand against my woman in Jesus' name. However, I've seen this couple that the woman lurked the husbands cloth to his neck and it was almost getting too much. The man having resisted for several minutes had to respond with a hit to get out of the house cos the woman wouldn't let him. Who do we blame?

    You have said it all and I quote, "As a third party, you never can tell with a married couple". May God help us.

    - LDP

  10. there is more to the story, but from this part of the story, i think the man was wrong to hit his wife. After all it is her money.

  11. I would go with Lady Ngo based on the the story so far. I just can't relate to this, maybe some of it. My husband too is out of work, I am the one currently working and I do not submit my salary to him, we both know our income and we already know who pays what. Luckily, he gets unemployment checks, so that helps a lot. We both have access to our accts, personal and joint and none of us have abused it so far. I can't imagine getting beat up by him over me spending money.

  12. Beating is just wrong. Nothing should ever make you do that and on top of that, he's demanding apology? smh vigorously

  13. I don't really understand this, i guess there has to be some missing information, why would she submit her salary to the man, if her hubby is out of work thy should agree on how much they are spending for what, and if it's not possible for any reason to follow the budget that month, it's not cast in stone, they are couple they should be able to talk about it and compromise..i have been out of Job at some point, same as my hubby, we have supported each other through it and come out stronger, i don't get the extreme offence of the man because she brought herself clothes without telling him, its not supposed to be a big issue,after all she is the one working,it's not like she brought a car or something. Would he have told her about such a 'small' purchase if it were vice versa, i bet not..and beating her..that's arrant crap, don't even get me started about the 'owed' apology...i don tire to talk!

  14. My problem is the beating. But like you stated in the first point, we really do not know the whole story. Was that a beating or a fight? Only them know.

    I think instead of handing over money, couples should have a joint account and then have personal accounts where they both agree the percent of their personal money they can keep each payment period. This way, who is or is not working is less of an issue. Of course, this is based on agreement after proper discussion.

  15. Your #1 is well noted.

    There maybe more to the story. Maybe an initial mutual agreement of how and what the money would be used for.

    But.....He is talking about her apologising to him for using her money to buy clothes,does he also intend to apologise to her for hitting her??

  16. I cant imagine anyone living like this... you hit her and she's suppose to apologize for spending her own money?

    The woman should never have agreed to submit all her earning to the man in the first place...

    ps: Thanks for dropping by my blog, I follow you now. please follow back. Wa do oooo

  17. I will never, ever stay with a man who hits me. I refuse to live in fear for myself and my children for the rest of my life.

    It sounds to me like the husband has the ego that is typical among many African men. Whatever happened to being equals and coming to a mutual agreement on key decisions that affect both parties? I do think that the wife was wrong to spend the money first since she had apparently clearly committed to giving all of the money to her husband to disburse as appropriate around the house. That's like getting your paycheck, spending some of it on yourself, then giving 10% of the remainder to God. That's straight disrespectful. She made the commitment and agreed to it, seemingly without being forced to. To then spend part of it on herself without first checking with her husband connotes a certain "after all, it's my money, so I can spend it if I want to." That is not how partnerships should work in my opinion.

    However, I don't think the husband was justified in his violent and unreasonable reaction. Any relationship where both partners cannot disagree without being violent or refusing to give up their pride doesn't seem healthy to me.

  18. Like you have mentioned. COMMUNICATION, COMMUNICATION AND MORE COMMUNICATION needs to be priority. Having learnt and still learning am willing to discuss everything as in EVERYTHING from family illness, to history, karma, money issues, blood related issues, background info and even death. Me like to know your take on everything ohh, if you dont have an answer straight away its cool but me am not gonna give up.

    About the issues of money: I like to know from day one whether u are in debt or not. This will ultimately determine how the money will be spent. If you are in debt as in the UK as we take student loan, let me know ohh.. lol. Ok on a serious note, I like to think we will have a joint account where we will split the bill between personal account/joint. I 2nd myne response on finance issues. So yeah, abeg no hitting pls.

    I do think discussing the issues of joblessness is important during the financial convo. In fact, am planning on writing things down so as to cover everything through his Grace. Even though, random situations might occur, let me be rest assured we communicated enough.

    Is my own too much sef. YES ohh..we live to learn.

  19. i know/have heard that with a husband who's out of work tempers are 'higher' and i think the nigerian factor which doesnt seem to encourage communication between man and wife too fuels the frustrations!!!

    Even though the money is hers, its not likely the husband would have allowed her buy 'clothes' while he is trying to set up a business!!!

    @Okeoghene you rightly pointed out that couples should discuss what should happen in the event of challenges. You're absolutely right!!!

  20. I really have a problem with the beating thing. It was unprovoked and unwarranted. I think the way the man reacted is typical on Nigerian men whose egos become so fragile when they lose work and can't keep up with their financial responsibilities.

    I also don't think she should be submitting all her income to him. It's just plain absurd if you ask me. As someone here suggested, opening a joint account is a much neater way to go about things.

    Pls check out my blog and let me know what you think:

  21. That man was totally wrong!! It's always good to be open about money however!!

  22. Lol...the second I read this, I thought...this has to be a nigerian couple. Don't get me wrong, this can happen in ANY part of the world but it tends to happen too often back home. it completely INFURIATES me when I hear stories like that and ANYBODY who can say the woman was did wrong in spending money on herself ( clothes for the job that brings in the money) must not have a heart! hiss....

  23. Na wa oh! Communication cannot be compromised o! Infact, when a suitor comes along, my first yardstick is always how well we can exchange information and get across to each other. If we cant communicate, there's no point o! Talk about everything! I sooooo agree with you, we cant portion blames cos we don't know all that went down.

    Thanks for always coming by my blog :)

  24. On no account should the husband raise his hands on his wife,it is very wrong.He really should be ashamed of himself for even raising dust simply because she refused to give him HER salary.The money is hers and he should be grateful for whatever money she gives to him.Some men really amaze me,living off your wife and not according her the respect due to her?! He should be whipped real good.He better focus on how to get a job or raise finance rather than beat his wife up for not giving him money!

  25. Say NO to domestic violence! There are better ways to resolve issues...

  26. No matter what their agreement was regardng finances, he lost the case the second he lift his hands to hit her.

    Finances are definately going to be a topic of discussion before it tie the knot cos these stories are getting to many. Thanks alot for sharing and God bless you

  27. I think she was being nice by giving him her salary. But my question is, before he lost his job, what was her salary used for? Did he decide what she did with it?

    1. "The man is the head of the home", BUT that does not mean he always the final say. A wise man/ woman knows when to allow another person share the glory.

    2. Two wrongs don't make a right. If he believed his wife had wronged him, he could have paid her back with the same kindness she showed him by giving her salary to him. I am by no means advocating emotional manipulation because some people are very good at making you feel guilty for taking a fair decision, but I believe words spoken honestly but kindly can go a long way.

    3. The moment he lifted his hands to strike her, he lost his case. Bullying is a crime in my book. Beating your woman just because you can ...

    4. Asking the woman to apologize is not necessarily wrong. Since we don't know the full story, it is possible some harsh words were said and the Uncle might have asked her to apologize for something she did wrong. But to say that she is to apologize because her husband paid her school fees is ridiculous. So, if I received scholarship money from a bank for school, does that mean I MUST bail the bank out if they go bankrupt? Men should not use their women as investment opportunities just like they would use a business venture. On the other hand, women need to be careful when they accept financial assistance from their men.

    5. Have the talk! Leave nothing hidden. Explore every possible scenario before you marry. You may be sounding like a prophet of doom, but better to marry clear headed than fuzzy-filled with infatuation. Love is more than a feeling. It is a decision. You may feel intense passion for a person, reciprocated feelings too. But, without the talk, you may be walking into a self-set trap.

  28. I Believe more than ever before that all intending couples must seek counselling cos obviously most people do not know what courting is all about!

    No man should be 'proud' of havin his wife submit her salary to him; even if she initiates it, resist, she's still the home maker, why not trust her wit the expenditures?

  29. Blessings and happy easter.

    there is so much i can say on this subject but I will limit to this. COMMUNICATION COMMUNICATION COMMUNICATION, REAL AND AUTHENTIC, not after marrige but before. COMMUNICATION on expectations, finances, who will be paying what, on how the household will be run, how the children will be raised, values and ethos. Couples needs to operate with each other from a place of transparency and truth and there need not be any secret agendas that can later railroad the marriage.

    stay blessed.

  30. However a husband and wife decides to organise their finances is really up to them. I don't necessarily think there's a right or wrong way of doing so as long as both parties are happy with whatever arrangement they come up with.

    Your first take on the story sums it up for me really, "as a third party, you never can tell with a married couple".

    I don't want to maintain the moral high ground by judging what this couple should or should not have done. The reality is that unless we're faced with situations like this ourselves, it's impossible to predict how we may react.

  31. a man beating a lady gets me upset. Yes we dont know the full story but I have an issue with handing all your salary to the man.There ought to have been a meeting point(at least half way) in this issue. I think the man had his ego bruised with the failed projects and just carried it out on the lady.Perhaps she shld apologize but what is the guarantee of it not happening again?

  32. Nice post thank you John