Monday, May 27, 2024

Agnes Sikuku: How Kenyan men are financially abused by working wives

Co-Op post

This opinion feature on financial abuse in the marriage was written and first published by Agnes Sikuku: The seed of financial abuse in marriage comes from the standards women set. Ever heard women say, “I want a man who can pay all my bills once we are married?”

Then I am like, “but you are working sweetie, what will you do with your money?”

“Aaai, pesa zangu ni zangu. Nitafanyia shughuli zangu”

When you look at it, you realize that even with financial resources, most working class women prefer to keep their money.

I will use diagrams to explain the level of financial irresponsibility and abuse that working women have on their men.

I have this bestie earning substantial income but her husband pays all the bills. I asked her to give me an account of what she does with her money. Girl, apart from spending it on her family, buying clothes every month, setting a badly thought out business and saving in a Chama, there’s nothing much she does with the cash.

She’s happy that she bought a piece of land secretly. With four kids in the marriage and living in a rental house, she’s waiting for hubby to set a home for them.

Another acquaintance rejoices in taking out loans, spending it mysteriously but still asks hubby to provide everything.

Her net income is so low that she can’t afford anything for herself.Anytime her loan balance reduces, she gets an appetite for more loans. So, she’s always repaying loans or spending her loan cash on things her husband can’t explain.

While such women believe they are doing the best thing and having the life they deserve, they are being unjust to themselves and their kids. Let me point out the negative effects of having a man pay all the bills.

1). It breeds financial irresponsibility and illiteracy. If you can’t pay bills, understand which percentage of your income should go to which expenses, run out of cash, know how much extra income you need to stay afloat, but spend all your income buying useless things for your family, your day will come. Utalia na kusaga meno siku moja.

2). If something happens to that man, you are finished. Even if he leaves millions in the account for his kids and you, managing those millions will be difficult. Refer to financial irresponsibility and illiteracy.

3). If God forbid, you pass on, your kids will be disadvantaged. I know a couple where the wife let her husband pay all the bills yet she earned more. She spend her money on her relatives, bought silly stuff and treated herself from time to time since she is a baby girl.

Even with plots in town bought by her hubby, she never moved to have them own a home. When she died, her hubby lost his job and could not sustain himself and their kids in town. Her siblings had a field day promising how they would take care of her kids but rationed money meant for her kids.

4). You become comfortable and believe life and financial life is easy. You will refuse to hustle harder and do more for your family. Your business moves and ideas will come from a comfortable place, of let me just do this and see how much I can earn. It hits different if it comes from a place of responsibility and need.

Kenyan woman builds parents mansion, shares how she did it at age 30

Like always, men have perfected the art of using money to woe women. And like a sword, money has a way of cutting both ways. It can get you, your dream girl but still, use the same dream girl to turn your life into a living hell.

A friend once told me that money is the root of all marital problems. He insisted that if you have an understanding and workable plan about your finances, you will live well. If you can’t agree on money issues, you are done.

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