“It’s not easy something,” Abigail said.
“Submission is never an easy subject,” Toya said. “And when we listen to the older generation, it’s a different ball game entirely.”
“True. I couldn’t believe when my mum told me she submitted,” Sybil did the inverted comma sign, “all her income to my father at some point.”
“I thought your parents were never married,” Toya said.
Sybil scoffed. “That’s what I thought too. We lived alone but he visited. I thought he had other wives. I don’t know.”
Abigail frowned. “It’s incredible. And she gave him all her salary?”
“All her income. Capital and profit. She didn’t earn a salary,” Sybil said.
Toya shrugged. “Then what?”
“Then he would give her what we would feed on for the week, or month.” Sybil shrugged. “I don’t know.”
“That sucks.” Toya gasped. “Well, it just proves what I was saying. I never asked my mum how they handled money, but I remember she told me she had a secret purse.”
Abigail groaned. “Hmm, that’s a huge subject o!”
“Well,” Sybil sighed. “Let’s see what this post is about.”
Dear BSS Crew. My name is JJ. I have been married for just three years plus. When I first got married, I was working in a bank, but I left the job some months later after I couldn’t get a transfer to join my husband in his city. For some months, I couldn’t get a job, then I got pregnant, and had the first baby. Then the second came almost immediately.
“Toya, shut up.”
Well, now I’m back, and I just got a job. Before now, my husband gives me a weekly allowance and if I need anything, I tell him and he adds it. But now I have a job. I’ve had it for two months. A colleague asked me recently how much my husband gives me and I was confused. Since I started work, he hasn’t given me anything and really, my job pays well. I replied my colleague that I just ask when I need money, which is partly true, but I haven’t done so since I started work, and hubby has not given either. My issue is this: when it comes to money, must my husband give me something? I have been buying food and small stuff for the kids. He pays rent and daycare for the babies. Is this something we should sit down and discuss? And if he must give me money, how much is appropriate?
“Hmmm! Big, but important questions.” Sybil looked at the others. “Oya, go personal.”
Toya sighed. “Well, to be sincere, Frank and I never talked about money. Every month, he dumps a hundred grand in my account. We don’t have kids, as you both know. Don’t plan to have for a while.” She shrugged. “I use the money for housekeep and for myself.”
“A hundred grand for just two people. Now we know the rich ones.” Abigail laughed.
Toya pouted. “Very funny. You like to do comedy, sha.”
“Talk your own, jor. Let it out now!” Sybil clapped.
“We all know my husband is a farmer. Ah.” Abigail gasped. “What does a farmer’s wife need?”
“Oh dear. Abigail!” Sybil snapped. “If I come and catch you there.”
“Honestly, to God. He pays for everything. I have a bank card, but I have never bothered about the balance.” Abigail covered her face. “I have to check the balance on that account o.”
“Okay, we got you. Blank cheque.” Sybil laughed. “I get five hundred pounds every month.”
Toya arched an eyebrow. “That’s it?”
“Yep. That’s it. We don’t pay rent as you know.” She shrugged. “I share a lot of stuff with the other women, you know, officers’ wives, we bulk buy food.”
“What do you use five hundred pounds for?”
“Isn’t that small?”
“I don’t spend it on anything. Jimmy funds all the credit cards for monthly expenses. Even to groceries.”
“So, basically, I am the only one who gets a regular amount for housekeeping.”
“So, how did we get to these agreements? For me, I saw a hundred grand in my account at the beginning of our first month and asked what it was for? He said housekeep. And that’s it.”
“You’ve been married for three years. No increase?”
“What about inflation?”
“What does a farmer’s wife know about inflation?”
“Okay, what’s the verdict? JJ asked some serious questions.”
“Well, she’s had two months of silence, and if it’s bothering her, she should raise the matter with her hubby.”
“What if he says she’s working now and doesn’t need money.”
“Then she tells him, she needs money. She doesn’t have to fight. Just discuss.”
“But he stopped her allowance for two months and she said nothing. Which means she doesn’t need it!”
“I’ll just say a man needs to give his woman money. It’s part of his obligation. She should talk about money with him.”
“What if he says she’s working…”
“Then she has to tell him yes, but she wants them to start spending together, saving, doing capital projects and so on.”
“Some men don’t like to have that conversation.”
“All women need to have it. If your man doesn’t like it, then you need to find a way to bring it up.”
“Money is important.”
“Money is crucial.”
“So, how much should she ask him?”
“I’d say they have that conversation first. She should feel him out. Know what he thinks.”
“I’d just say what he gave her before she got the job. He still has it, he’s just not giving it.”
“Or a fraction. Since she works now.”
“Ah, I had a colleague back when I was teaching, whose husband told her, keep your money! I own you.”
“What’s God forbid? The girl had no problem.”
“No o, we own each other. Simple.”
“Hmm, as in, you understand nah!”
“That’s where it starts from. All that I own you doesn’t work for me.”
“Another piece of advice for JJ. She could you know share responsibilities. If he earns more, she could take housekeeping while he paid school fees, house rent, the big stuff.”
“That’s a good one too.”
“And the nosy colleague who wants to know how much JJ gets, if she does?”
“If not for you ladies, and what we are trying to do here, no one knows how much I get. Not even my mother.”
“Do we have a verdict?”
“That was not too difficult, I think.”
“Just complicated, hah!”
CASE 14 – WHAT’S NORMAL? ONCE A WEEK OR TWICE?
“I’m not talking about sex.”