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He is your husband, not your ‘partner’!

He is your husband, not your ‘partner’!

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Marriage is a covenant relationship between a man and his wife; they become one physically, financially, emotionally, spiritually, intellectually, and in every other way. Thus, a spouse no longer looks out for just his/her own needs, but they both set goals as a couple. They share the different things they have as a unit. Each person in the marriage no longer sees the money he/she earns as “my money”, but as “our money”.

Partnership in marriage cannot be over-emphasised; two people come together to improve their lives by pooling resources together. However, the concept of partnership has been abused to the point that the term “partner” no longer conveys the right message, but is used as in business terms in some homes.

In these politically correct times, it is modern practice for wives to refer to their husbands as “partner”, not “husband”. Judge George Bathurst-Norman, sitting in Chelmsford Crown Court, UK in 2009, expressed his concern at the modern use of the term “partner”, thereby downgrading marriage. In his words – “It’s not only insulting, it’s inaccurate. Why cannot wives be called wives?”

Dr Adrian Rogers of the Pro-family Pressure Group Family Focus supported the opinion of the judge by stating that “marriage is an important institution that ought to be recognised in all public document… The use of partner for wife or husband is also very confusing  – I’ve been a partner in a doctors’ practice, but that is clearly something very different.”

Some spouses take things to the extreme by applying the literal definition of partnership – where two partners managing a business for profit are equally and personally liable for the debts  – to the running of the home. Thus, it is even more damaging to marriages when spouses do not just refer to themselves as partners, but adopt it as a principle.

Some wives believe that as partners, their obligation to the home is only limited to their “quota”. Thus, when there is a need in the home, they contribute their share and nothing more. As long as they have fulfilled their own part of the bargain, they do not bother whether or not their husbands are constrained in fulfilling their part.

A practical example is that of a couple who split their bills. The wife pays her monthly contribution for bills into an account they set aside and also buys food stuff. Once this is done, she is done!  She uses the money she has left to shop for the things she likes; her hands are off anything else that comes up. If for any reason, her hubby delays in paying his contribution into the account, she would make a fuss.

This leaves me wondering what the case would be if a husband does not earn as much as his wife does and runs out of cash for a certain project, leaving him with nothing to contribute for the next project. Would that wife not run out of patience after a while and begin to consider the possibility of doing things her own way? On the other hand, if the situation persists, would the husband not feel inadequate?

On the other hand, some wives believe that they are their husbands’ responsibility, so what they earn is theirs and what he earns is for the family. Some husbands are very happy with this arrangement, but would it not bring some sense of fulfilment to you as a wife when you make some contributions (no matter how small) to the home? In some situations in which husbands feel boxed into this arrangement, a lot of wreck has been recorded because after a while, some start feeling pressured to meet up and snap.

Some practical solutions for dealing with financial issues in marriage include, but not limited to, the following: run a full financial disclosure policy (no hidden income or debts); if you have made financial decisions that you are unable to meet, you can re-evaluate those decisions; understand that life is not a fairytale, work as a team in setting a practical budget and goal.

Spouses ought to pool resources together to achieve set goals. The mind-set should be “when the need is taken care of, WE win“.

Chidi Akunna is keen on building healthy relationships; a UK based solicitor with special interests in Family and Children Law. She is passionate about the challenges and opportunities facing teenagers, 21st century marriages and parenting.

She partners with her husband, Victor Akunna, in running “Romance Masterclass” – a coaching programme and “Lite the FIRE” workshop – a couples’ romance makeover intervention. Together, they write “Connected Hearts” – a leading daily devotional on spicing up marital romance, while also running Foundation for Family Affairs – a charity focused on strengthening families around the globe.

You can follow her on http://foundationforfamilyaffairs.org/

Photo: www.zoho.com

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Comments (5)

  • Michelle Reply

    So, do u think that husband and wife should have only joint bank accounts or is it okay if they have some joint accounts and some personal accounts as long as both have free access to each other’s personal accounts just like their joint?

    August 5, 2015 at 3:41 pm
    • ffablog Reply

      Thank you @ Michelle for your question, I think the right answer depends on each family’s present phase, values and unique needs. Some spouses decide to have personal accounts which can be accessed by their spouses, some spouses agree to have personal accounts in which they keep a minimal amount of money for use, without consulting their spouses, others decide to pool all their resources into a joint account and then create specific accounts for different purposes such as rent, mortgage, self-development, charity, college fees, investment, etc. The key thing is to be transparent and work as a team. Couples accomplish 10 times more when they leverage on synergy.

      August 5, 2015 at 4:19 pm
  • Chinwe Reply

    Nice article Ma. This is a must read for everyone.

    August 5, 2015 at 9:06 pm
    • ffablog Reply

      Thanks a lot, awesome woman!

      August 19, 2015 at 6:50 am
  • Blessing Reply

    I glad I came across this. Thanks the sages of old God bless u ma

    November 6, 2015 at 11:30 am

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