It’s time to empower your spouse financially By Kenneth Doghudje

women-money

I’m no relationship expert, but if you desire a peaceful and successful marriage it is absolutely essential that you invest in your partner’s financial success. Enough of being the only one who controls all the resources, instead use some of it to build income streams for your partner so that their dependence on you for all their needs and wants significantly reduces.

The truth is everyone has needs and wants which require financial resources to meet them. No one prefers to ask their spouses everyday for money to buy one thing or the other. This tends to wear out the providing spouse who is sometimes not favourably disposed to parting with resources. The depending partner may thus recourse to lies and manipulations, or even blackmail to get the money.

There have even been instances of providing partners who hide their salary information and financial dealings from their depending spouses, thus misleading them about the state of their finances. Marriages cannot be built effectively when one spouse is hiding information of this magnitude from the other.

Now marriage is a union made up of two people who have differing views about money, which is a function of their education, backgrounds, environment and religious beliefs amongst others. Some like to spend while others prefer to save. Certain individuals are able to discipline themselves and focus only on their needs, whereas some others believe money is meant to be spent, thus electing to take care of their wants as well. Because differences exist it makes sense for every party to earn their own money so that they can manage it the way they want. If husband and wife control reasonable resources then each party can spend based on how they see fit, thus making money less of an issue.

In many homes today money is the issue. Disagreements and arguments about money is one of the major reasons for divorce. It is common place to have differences on the way money is spent. With the man being the breadwinner in most homes he might be torn between giving his wife everything she asks for which can lead to abuse; or not giving into most of her requests which might cause her to manipulate and blackmail him. None of these situations are ideal which makes it of the utmost importance that the wife earns money for her upkeep.

I make bold to assert that when your spouse earns money it affects her self-esteem as she is more empowered. A good woman will take from what she earns to support her husband if he is going through challenges financially which happens from time to time. There is a huge benefit when both parties are earning which reduces the pressure on the breadwinner.

Supposing the man loses his income or is suddenly unable to earn anymore a financially empowered woman can easily step into his shoes so that the family does not suffer. This is not the case if the woman is not empowered, she will have to run from pillar to post trying to take on a role she is little or no experience handling.

This is why I always counsel men that your wife is should be your protégé, while to the women I emphasise that your husband is your mentor. Men should teach their wives all they know about business and assist them to establish and run businesses of their own while they are still able to do so.

A woman running her own business will develop skills and attributes that will prepare her to one day take over your business when you are no longer around. A spouse is the best person to commit your resources and business interests to because she is the closest person to her husband and thus best positioned to continue building upon his legacy and taking care of what you have left behind. Don’t allow your family suffer when you are no longer available by shielding your dealings from her.

Now my position is premised upon the fact that many men did their due diligence before settling on a spouse. This is why it is more important to focus on a woman’s character traits than physical attributes. You do not want the fact that she now earns good money to go to her head. A good woman would not lose her values because she controls wealth because it will not change who she is.

I urge every man to take a portion of his hard earned resources to invest in a worthwhile business opportunity for his spouse. Know your wife’s gifts and talents, passions and pursuits and set up a viable business opportunity or venture that she should manage. I have seen some men even give their wives top positions in their organisations which is commendable. The key is for her to manage something and earn her own income.

Considering that she may also have dependants and responsibilities to members of her own family makes it necessary for her to earn. There is a limit to what requests she can make to her husband with regards to his in-laws. Each party can thus focus part of their resources to meeting the needs of their extended family members which is a must in a society like ours.
Now empowering women is scriptural, as advocated in the Holy Bible where the concept of a “Virtuous Woman” is highlighted in the thirty-first chapter of the book of Proverbs. A virtuous woman is expected to be engaged in many productive activities, thus bringing her praise and commendation from many quarters. She is not only beautiful she possesses the attributes of being hardworking, loving, kind, prudent, diligent and supportive.

I want you to start today to empower your spouse financially. Your marriage will be better off for it. The beauty of it is that more people respect the spouse of a successful woman than one who is not actively engaged doing something. An investment in your spouse is bound to yield high returns.

BUSINESSDAY