Several years ago, i had a chat with an elderly woman who i respect so much; she was already a grandmother then. I was close to getting married then and we just got talking about marriage. Along the line, she delved into roles of each partner in the marriage. The first statement she made shocked and got me defensive. She said, “men can become spoilt when indulged; whatever you won’t take a decade into your marriage, don’t take when you’re newly married. Her context in this case was as regards roles of each spouse.
She recounted a few decades ago when she got married. She was doing better than her husband because she was very industrious. She had a job but had her hands in several businesses, so she had more than one income stream. Her husband had a job but was also schooling; so he focused on funding his education while she had to take up the upkeep of the home. Children started coming in and she still took responsibility for most things in the home. By the time he finished from school, and with two children, he had gotten used to not taking responsibility in the home and she had gotten used to sorting out every need in the home; afterall, her businesses were expanding.
Let me surprise you that she only started complaining about this after over 20years of marriage. I think she suddenly discovered that she had spent a good part of her life working extremely hard for everyone else expect herself and she felt spent and tired. Accoring to her, he did a few things, but it was always after he was asked to. Actually, she had tried much earlier to make him start taking care of things within the house, but she eventually got it done as most times as didn’t want to ask and “wait on a man endlessly”.
Now, it’s over 30years of marriage, and he’s been working on changing, but because he had become “spoilt”, it was extremely difficult making a switch in roles (moreso, at that time, all their children had finished schooling and they didn’t have so many needs as a family); she says he’s much better now though, but if she could turn back the hands of time, they would’ve had the role sharing clearly back then, and the full responsibility she was taking for the family then would’ve been temporary and with a defined time frame.
Please don’t be quick to castigate either the man or the woman. Love sometimes makes one feel you shouldn’t bother your “struggling” partner. But the time comes when one gets spent and exhausted especially when it gets prolonged. Whatever one does not address quickly gains strength until it becomes extremely difficult to change. So please, for the love to last and keep growing, let the roles be clearly shared from the beginning.
When a man doesn’t take responsibility for his home (no matter how broke he is), he’s cutting down his leadership status in the home, he’s reducing the positive, productive pressure that makes him earn the title’ “head of the home”, he’s cutting short the flow of ideas, initiatives and energies that will make the flow of resources come his way. No man that is laid back can truly head his home. You don’t want to earn your wife’s bitterness or ill-feeling over the years. Place heavy demands on yourself. Have an amount of money you drop for family upkeep monthly, then increase it as your income grows. Take responsibility for your family. Let your wife and children look back and say you went very far for their sakes.
I’ll advise all those preparing to get married; as you prepare for the wedding, plan for the marriage. Let the sense of responsibility be in each partner from the beginning. Assumptions and taking things for granted can be extremely costly. Don’t give too many excuses and indulge your husband (in this context). If you indulge him, you’re destroying him. All the best!