Wed | Dec 13, 2017

The penny-pinching partner - Dealing with a spouse who keeps a tight rein on money

Published:Saturday | November 25, 2017 | 12:00 AMCecelia Campbell-Livingston

In a relationship it is the norm for women to take on tasks such as grocery shopping, going to the market and other household-related duties. It is an area of control that men have no qualm in relinquishing. In fact, some abhor it so much that it is a pain to even accompany their partners to the market, as they find the whole bargain-hunting experience tedious.

It is definitely not an official assigned task, but it is no secret that a lot of men shy away from this area of the relationship.

On the other hand, women are only too happy to get the job done, as one of their complaints is that men tend to pay too much for what they (women) could have gotten a whole lot cheaper.

However, there is new trend that many women have found facing them the fact that their partners are not averse to taking on the task of shopping, some even taking it further by not giving the woman any money to spend!

Family and Religion reached out to Dr Edina Bayne, associate pastor and member of the American Association of Christian Counsellors, who shared that based on her experience as a counsellor, a many women were not groomed to be wives nor some men to be husbands.

 

BEING HUSBAND AND WIFE

 

"Without grooming, all you have is a married man and a married woman - not husband and wife. Marriage doesn't make you a husband nor does it make you a wife," she said, arguing that while history sets the tone for how things in the household operated, grocery shopping is not an assigned task.

"It's just history and societal practices, that's the way it worked - sensible and practical. The wife was the manager of the household, so that expectation is carried over in society until today. It was a sensible, natural assignment of the two sexes in the relationship," she shared.

Dr Bayne said things have now changed, as some men who really have dreams of someday owning their homes and putting down firm roots have to be curtailing some of the roles women used to play.

"Sometimes the 'Tituses' (a term used to describe men who are deemed to be mean) in relationships are created by the women. Their spendthrift attitude forces the man to behave this way for financial preservation," shared Bayne.

As a counsellor, Bayne said she has dealt with men whose wives complained about them being 'tight' and not letting off any money, not even for their own personal needs. She said in some instances the women waste the man's hard-earned money on expensive hair "just one more pair of shoes" even at the expense of more important things needed in the home.

"A man who can trust his partner with money will not even take change from her when she comes back from the store, no matter how much it is," points out Bayne, adding that when a woman exhibits a responsible attitude about money it won't be such a hard task getting money from forward thinking men.

 

NEED FOR AWARENESS

 

Still, she said an unemployed woman in a relationship with a man should not have to be placed in a position where she must ask her partner for money to buy personal or hygienic stuff.

"He should be aware that she has needs and make financial allowance for them. She should never have to tell him that," said Bayne.

On the other hand, Bayne said for some men their whithholding money is not about saving, but rather to have control over their partners.

Flipping the script Bayne, said women should be prepared to give their men money if misfortune occurs and they them become unemployed.

"A man can lose his job, and if that happens, don't rub it in his face that you are the only one paying the bills - and she too should think about his needs without allowing him to ask," points out Bayne.

Moving forward Bayne said, unless both partners are willing to sit down and have a heart-to-heart talk about their finances and the direction they want to go, the union could be in serious trouble.

familyandreligion@gleanerjm.com