My wife and I have been involved in the provision of financial literacy for 10 years now and during a huge part of this period we have counselled many couples who are either preparing for marriage or those already married on the subject of money and marriage.
Over the years I have come to the shocking realisation that a good number of married people are very mean to their spouses when it comes to money.
There is the mean wife who is either a salary earner or business proprietor but her husband has never known whether she earns any money from either her employment or business.
She has never declared any income to her husband and does not contribute a coin to anything that she considers to be family expense. The mantra of the mean wife is, “His money is our money and my money is mine alone to use.”
There is also the mean husband the kind of man whose wallet is guarded more closely than the nuclear weapons activation code of the president of the United States of America is guarded.
When the mean man is forced to get money out of his wallet while in public he will pull out the note he wants to extract while the wallet is still inside his pocket so that no one can tell how much money he has.
When it comes to property acquisition, both the mean husband and mean wife will not want the name of their spouse to appear on the title deed.
Some extend the meanness further by insisting that their names must be on the title deed of property financed by their partner while locking out the same partner when it is the mean spouse buying the property.
The more I encounter mean spouses the more I wonder if I am not hopelessly romantic or perhaps naïve.
I have always thought that marriage is a partnership where spouses do their best to be trustworthy a partnership where spouses compete in giving instead of taking a partnership where “I share everything with you” including money and property.
I always think that a married person should be guided by the value statement: “All my financial decisions and actions will be done with the best interest of my spouse at heart.”
James Abola is the Team Leader of Akamai Global.