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Read Letter

He Doesn’t Want Me To Work

My dear Jil, thank you for your mail. In your mail you stated your fiancé doesn’t want you to work after marriage. Indeed if he has his way you’d stop working right now. You’re getting married in two to three months. Well, finance is a major thing in marriage. Without finance a marriage comes under enormous pressure. There’ll be tempers, fuses will blow. Couples become miserable when there’s no money to spend. A lack of money brings things into very sharp focus in a marriage. It generates clarity fast. All the lovey dovey stuff take back seat immediately. You don’t get lovey dovey when there’s lack. You aim for survival. And we all have thresholds of what we can cope with. Some have low thresholds, some have high thresholds. People can turn nasty when there’s no money available in a marriage. The fundamentals must at least be taken care of – things like food and rent.

Men in particular are prone to depression when there’s no money in marriage. Immunity breaks down from stress. The man becomes susceptible to even common cold. The sense of obligation to family coupled with a sense of responsibility will produce that depression. It’s like the weight of the world is upon you. And when children are involved it becomes tougher. Children recognise hunger they don’t understand excuses. Just won’t understand why there’s no food at home. And so the young man who insists his wife must not and should not work must at least have the wherewithal to take care of her and meet all those familial obligations. That’s assuming of course you’re both in agreement you shouldn’t work. There has to be agreement. This issue is coming up a few months to your wedding. What then have you guys been discussing during all that courtship?! These are the kinds of issues you should have discussed long before you got to this point.
What I’m saying is, you need to ascertain whether he’s asking you to quit your job because the pay is poor, or whether he’s saying his wife must not work. They’re not the same. If what he’s saying is that his wife should not work then that’s a serious discussion you need to have, given the fact YOU want to work. It’s a serious issue. Can lead you into depression. You’ll be unhappy if you’re not in agreement with his philosophy of marriage. But even assuming you agree you shouldn’t work how exactly is he going to take care of you? He’s just starting work himself. Is this some ego talking on his behalf, or is it his cultural pride or some whim of foolishness? He barely has enough money himself. You can’t be poor and arrogant. You’ll be very hungry. Yes, what you earn now may not seem much but at least it’ll contribute something to the family purse. It will buy some stuff at home. Can take care of one or two things. If you don’t work you will have to rely on him for everything, including materials for women hygiene. Even your undies have to be sponsored by him. Now, if that’s what YOU want it’s okay. Whatever works for both of you is okay.
But in considering what will work and what cannot work you must appeal to wisdom. Is it therefore wise for you not to work when he can barely take care of both of you? Your earning at least gives you some discretion. That discretionary power becomes reduced when there’s no income coming in for you. Besides it’s good to wake up in the morning and go to work. Work is a gift. To a serious young man or woman there’s nothing as depressing as waking up in the morning and having nothing to do. It’s saddening. All your mates are at work. If he thinks things are stressful now he will learn what stress is when he forces you to quit your job. He has to carry you on his head. You become his moral obligation. Only strong men can do that. He doesn’t have that strength. Can he cope with the emotional demands you will place on him when you don’t work? In the evening when he comes back from work he must be ready to give you full attention. He can’t come home and say he’s tired. Tire for where?! Your day starts when he gets home. You’ll be looking forward to him coming home. You need to unburden and share.
When we earn little we must be diligent and faithful so we qualify ourselves to earn more. You can’t qualify yourself for promotion being unfaithful at your job. Unfaithfulness is not the basis of promotion. I’m just saying that job paying you little for now is your platform for promotion. IF you’re diligent and faithful you’ll be promoted. It’s why we don’t despise small beginnings. And we all start somewhere. You have to start from somewhere. No one starts at the top. We all start from relative bottom. Things are tough in your country now. You’re barely out of recession. There are few jobs. Should you then lose the one you have at the urging of your fiancé who has no Plan B for you? Is that wisdom? I can almost bet you’re going to put your marriage under terrific strain if you follow this course of action. There are millionaires who are glad their wives bring something home and can take care of some stuff for the family. This despite their fortune.
Let’s reverse the equation. What if he earned poor pay and you tell him he should quit his job, would he? You also have to ascertain if his urging you to quit your job is a means to gain control of you. Some men want to economically weaken their women so they take control of them. Happens. If you take yourself out of the job market at this stage in your life there’ll be a gap on your CV. You’re going to have problems explaining that gap at job interviews. Someone’s going to ask questions about it. But like I said these are discussions you should have had long before now. There are critical discussions a young couple should have before they approach marriage. These discussions include health and genotype issues. They include agreement on number of children, or lack of children. Finance is another major topic. You should have all these discussions before you approach marriage.
It is the agreement on these issues that should inform marriage. Without agreement on these major issues the marriage will be plagued with a spirit of disagreement. Let everyone put his or her card on the table. How many children do you want, assuming you want children? Do you have reproductive issue? Do you have a health challenge? Discuss. Is our genotype compatible? If not do we want to go on? Should we go on? What are your plans for us? Is there Plan B if Plan A doesn’t work out? Where are we going to live? What can we afford? Are we emigrating? What steps are we taking towards emigration? What’s the interim plan? What are the things you’re particular about? What means a lot to you? You need to ask these questions because people tend to do things to manage a relationship to the altar, even things that are contrary to them. Then after marriage they flip and the other party feels deceived.
The older you are the more frank your discussions as a couple should be. You shouldn’t be playing Ludo in your relationship. You’re adults. You shouldn’t assume in a relationship. Better to be clear on issues. Assumptions can be literally loaded. If two people are clear on getting together they should put the Ludo game aside and get into a card game. They must lay their cards on the table. The feeling of being deceived is dangerous to a marriage. The feeling of being outsmarted or cheated is even worse.
It’s up to you whether you want to work or not. It’s not a decision that should be made for you. If you want to work and he feels you shouldn’t there will be stress in the marriage. If you come home late any day it will be an issue. And if you’re promoted at work he won’t rejoice with you. If your company organises weekend retreat he’ll take exception. In other words he’ll give you so much trouble till you accede to his request. The issue will hang in the marriage. Two can’t walk together without agreement. Does he want his wife to work or not? Find out before marriage. It’s not just about what he says, it’s also about his disposition and body language.
I wish you wisdom. It’s the principal stuff.
Your mentor, LA
© Leke Alder |
Finance is a major thing in marriage. Without finance, a marriage comes under enormous pressure. Click To Tweet
Tags : housewife, career woman, things to discuss before marriage, finances in marriage

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