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Dear Aunt Nadithi: My husband has changed

I am a 31 year old woman and been married to my husband for five years. We have a three year old girl. The first three years of our marriage we enjoyed a smooth existence with my husband consulting me on how to spend the family finances.

My problem is that all this has changed and he does not consult me any more. He works for an NGO and I for the government. Of course our earnings are miles apart. While I appreciate that he does everything for the family in terms of our needs, it is difficult for me with my small salary to even buy clothes for our child.

The other problem is that my husband does not share his money with me which would allow me to buy other necessities. He will not even give me money to change my hairdo, although he is the first to tell me how bad my hairdo has become.

I always have to ask him for money when I need to buy something and I feel ashamed of this. Does a woman need to ask her husband for the money or should he do it on his own? Is there a time when a man gets tired of telling his wife his plans and start doing things on his own? Should I follow suit?

Confused Wife

Dear Confused Wife

Please do not follow suit. That is, do not start making plans without consulting your husband. There is a time for tit-for-tat, but this is not one of those times. Try pointing out to him the next time you see him full gear into a project on which he has not consulted you. Point out to him that you feel being sidelined in the plan. And please stick to the current project, do not bring out a history book on projects he has done in the past. Stick to the present and let him know that you would like to be involved.

You should ask your husband for money whenever you need it; you should not be ashamed of doing this. It would be shameful for you to ask for money from another man when your husband is there to help you.

YES, a woman has to ask her husband if she wants money. Unless your husband is a mind-reader, there is no other way that he can tell that you need the money. Tell him you want some money any time and every time you need it. This is your husband. He is there to help you.

Lastly, many people work in the government or other low paying jobs, but they manage. What you need to do is strategize, plan and even save money to buy the clothes that you want your child to wear. Do not make the mistake of leaving everything for your husband. Learn to do with the little that you make and contribute to the family’s needs.


In dire need of help to greener pasture

Dear Aunt Nadithi,

I am an 18 year old boy and have been staying with my uncle who has been supporting me since my form one education. I am the only boy of a poor family of five.

In my mother’s family, she is the last born and sadly the poorest of the three (uncle, elder mother and my real mother). To my disappointment, the two always look down upon my mother and even insult her and say bad things about her in my presence.

My elder mother is rich because her children send her money. To my surprise they help each other a lot and will not stretch out a hand to help anyone outside themselves. I am embarrassed because of our poverty.
I have now finished form four and got 24 points. But no one is willing to help me. Where can I go for help? I get so tired of crying that I even think of committing suicide to escape and eradicate my problems.

Wondering Man

Dear Wondering Man,

Opting to commit suicide will not help solve your problem. Suicide is an easy option and not the very best. It will leave your poor mother in even more problems than before. So please do not think about this anymore.

You are a bright young man and have a very bright future ahead of you. I see your cousins as having played a key role in mentoring you, although without their knowing it. They send money to their mother in the village and this is how you classify your elder aunt as being rich. She is not rich in her own right; she is rich because her children make her rich.

Likewise you too can make your mother rich. You can be the outlet for your mother’s misery and poverty.
These are days for the imaginative. You need to develop your imagination and dream of ways for making money. You can do this either through getting youth loans or rural development loans and even bank loans. With such a loan you should try to come up with a business venture that would generate moneys for your further studies.

Your uncle has helped you up to form four, and this is something you need to be thankful for, because there are some young people in similar situations as you are, but who do not have a willing uncle to pay for the fees. So again like your cousins, you need to show the gratitude to him, by being positive and see how you can go the remaining mile by your own wits. If you decide to go to the University, there are student loans, which you can take and pay up once you finish your education.

You can do it.
©The Marai Post 2012

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