In the last article we talked economic abuse against women in heterosexual intimate relationships. Though economic abuse is a malady that women in intimate relationships mostly suffer from in comparison to men; a number of men are also sufferers of this malaise.
In other cases men may be married to domineering wives who dominate the financial decisions in the home without due regard to the man’s feelings or voice. This mostly happens if a man fears the controlling female partner and fails to stand up to her even when his rights and those of his kids are relentlessly trampled on.
There are many reasons why employed women may wilfully refuse to monetarily add value in the home or consult their male partners on financial matters upon the financial demise of their partners. Sometimes their refusal is just born from sheer irresponsibility and selfishness. Certain patriacharl beliefs that still exist in our societies that a man should be the sole provider in the home have also shaped some females’ philosophies. The philosophies of such women breed bitterness when their partners go through a financial winter. Due to bitterness they refuse to financially contribute or consult men when making financial decisions in the home. The monetary void created by these working women in the home contravenes the reciprocal duty of support that spouses legally have towards each other in a marriage. Moreover, it defeats the purpose of marriage as a partnership; a lifetime partnership where parties have vowed to love and be there for each other throughout all the seasons of life.
The majority of men crave the support and approval of their female partners. When women dominate financial decisions or fail to consult them on economic matters in their home it wounds their ego and male pride. Physical and sexual abuse in the home is sometimes birthed from economic abuse against men. Economically abused men without emotional intelligence may end up physically and sexually abusing their spouses so as to assert their masculinity; a masculinity that society and his partner may deem to be ailing and wanting for lack of money. Some also suffer in silence and drown their sorrows in alcohol and promiscuity due to the way society or their partners’ shame and ridicule them for lack of economic resources. However, economically abused men who are personally developed may bury themselves in worthy pursuits until they bounce rebound financially. They may also seek help and reconcile with their partners if possible.
It is time that certain quarters of our society forgo the notion that men ought to be lone providers in the home. Both men and women if financially capable ought to have the responsibility of keeping the family finances intact. If certain quarters of the society embrace the viewpoint that males and females have to jointly contribute to the financial upkeep of the home if able, some women will most probably be able to gracefully weather and rise above financial storms with their partners without economically abusing them. There is also a need for our communities to create more platforms where men can freely look for assistance whenever they are economically abused. Conclusively, the fire of love ought not to be doused by economic abuse, for love can be a fire that ignites our zest and passion for life.
• Gaone Monau is a Practicing attorney and Motivational speaker. For bookings on gender-based violence awareness seminars, motivational talks or consultations on relationships, confidence building, stress management and self-discovery contact +26774542732 or [email protected] Her Facebook page is Be Motivated with Gaone.