Marriages have their ups and downs, but when couples decide to punish one another by stopping all obligatory responsibilities, what does it portray? Is it right to use obligatory responsibilities as a weapon against the other?
Ngozi (not real name) explains, “I have a problem with my hubby who works out of town. Whenever we have a misunderstanding, he stops sending money for our upkeep and even extends it to not paying our son’s school fees. Is this right? How do I handle this situation as he always likes to see me suffer and beg even when he is at fault?”
Maryam Suleiman, 40-year-old accountant, believes that men are generally very proud when it comes to apologizing to their wives. “It’s different when one is not yet a wife; they can pet and do anything for you as a lady but as soon as you become their wife, everything changes. I will suggest she finds a way to manage her hubby. My husband too hardly says sorry even when he is wrong, initially it used to hurt but I found a way around it because if I get annoyed the whole situation would get worse. When he starts acting like that, I’d tell him that it’s disheartening and not healthy for our marriage and he sees reason with me and tries to diplomatically tell me he is sorry. As for his refusing to carry out his fatherly responsibility when they have a misunderstanding, they should both have a conversation about it as it’s not healthy for any relationship.”
Bola Folayan, 38-year-old teacher, suggests the lady in question takes up a job. “I will advise she takes a job to save herself the trouble of a man using his finances as a power over her and her child, especially in a case where he is a visiting husband. The moment he sees that she can handle a few things financially without waiting for him, trust me he will drop his ego and even start to respect her more.”
Amina Musa, 39-year-old lawyer, does not agree with some of the opinions and says, “We easily conclude when women raise such issues that she should find a way to be independent of the man. Don’t get me wrong, the importance of being independent is great, very awesome and stress free but see, that’s her husband and their kid. What we don’t know is whether she is working or not. What if she is working? What if she takes care of other responsibilities? What if they’ve split bills? She spoke of just two bills so obviously she pays other bills. Sometimes I feel like we are encouraging husbands not to take their responsibilities seriously. Marriage is a pact, misunderstandings are bound to happen, but as a couple we should not act irresponsibly by avoiding our responsibilities as a way of punishment or form of hurting our partners. In the support of men, some women are also guilty of this responsibility blackmail. Couples need to grow above the gimmicks of this game and move forward as a family.”