Some days ago, several disagreements on social media led to a very important issue that has been a serious matter in several homes. The way in which bills are shared in a relationship is something worthy of note, and the rants on the internet had been about whether it should be equal or not.
I made a post to this effect on Facebook, stating that men who wish to split bills equally with their wives, should also understand that they should be actively involved in raising their children – it shouldn’t be left for the wives alone.
In a society where women have been consigned to being the major custodians of their children, apart from the well-observed kitchen activities allotted to them, it seems somewhat disturbing for a group of persons to state that women must share bills equally with men.
The “must” is the problem there.
All other things are meant to be considered if we are to universally accept the 50-50 rule. This is why a lady, out of anger, said this on Facebook:
“If a man is looking for a woman to split 50-50, then the man should marry himself.”
According to her, it’s wrong for couples to share equally in the bills. The man has always been seen as the provider, according to African tradition. The advent of modernism seems not to have changed this culture in many African homes. About eighty per cent of the family bills are expected to be settled by the man, if not all the bills.
This trajectory has sent some men to their early graves because they had no source of financial support from their wives, coupled with mockery from society, for failing to have made it in life.
But education is something we should be grateful to, because, with it came some sort of enlightenment that made lots of women understand that they can also start earning – that they can also earn more than the men.
I know ladies who earn more than their partners and even pay most bills in their homes.
I know a certain lady who works with Shell, while the husband is an accountant with a certain company. He earns about 150k a month, while she earns triple his salary. She understood the need to support their home in some financial decisions and has been quietly doing so, without the public knowing.
I got to know about this when they wanted to build a house of their own, and I noticed she was the major financier of the project. I was their Architect. The man’s younger brother, who was in charge of supplying materials to the construction site, made me understand this.
“My brother is lucky he married an understanding woman,” he began, after which he gave me the details.
If there are women who spend more on the family than their husbands are able to, then why does it seem like taboo to certain persons when they hear a couple split bills equally?
I believe it should be this way: Whoever earns more, should spend more. It’s only normal that it should be this way.
But there is a problem that makes certain women think it’s absurd to give their family equivalent financial support to what the man is giving.
When a man expects a woman to be the major guardian of their children, it becomes unfair to expect equal splitting of bills. A man should be actively involved in parenting his kids, but we know this is hard in most cases. Proper parenting is left for the woman while the man hides from his obligations, using “I’m hustling for money” as an excuse.
With women also making money, it would be unfair to expect them to be hundred percent available for their kids.
But if the men are available for their kids as much as the women are, the women angry about the equal distribution of bills, won’t really feel bad. There would be balance, and not the man overworking the woman.
If this harmony is achieved, I don’t think most modern women will complain about the ratio of bills.
When the woman remembers that her husband is very active in school runs, kitchen duties, and other aspects of family welfare, she would be happy to partake in the financial implications of running the home.
Written by: Edward Amah