My wife of ten years has asked me to always leave more than Shs. 10,000= for kameeza. It feels draining. How do I tell her to stop? Anon
Dear Anon, Money can be a stressful factor in any relationship. When there are intermingling finances, bills to be paid and considerations to be made about saving for the future, money can become a source of conflict. In a healthy relationship, each partner feels like they have a say in decision-making, even when it comes to money. It is important to discuss how you are going to deal with your financial issues in a marriage for instance buying groceries, food, clothing, fees or even a house, car, and utility bills. She may even be influenced by neighbours. Otherwise money can be a major source of conflict in a relationship and it is important to talk openly and honestly about it and agree on how to handle it.
So you need to talk with your wife and agree as to what is the appropriate amount for kameeza. You need to consider what you earn and what your requirements are that she has to spend on. You would also consider what you were initially leaving kameeza money, was it sufficient to cover the needs? Sometimes she could be expressing a need that she has failed to put in words, and passes it on to you as a demand. Maybe you spent money on something she did not like. Or maybe she needs to save money for an item. She could be suspecting that you spent money on relatives or friends, etc but she should be able to talk to you.
No one can read her mind so it would be important for both of you to talk through your money issues. If you find it difficult please seek help from a trusted friend or professional counsellor. One’s lifestyle needs to line up with what their income not what they wish. Today issues associated with running a home together need to be assessed so that neither partner becomes overburdened.
Managing money is complicated, so it is natural that conflicts may erupt. To find solutions, communication and teamwork are key. Remember that cultivating a solid marriage takes time and work.
When it comes to marital problems, money fights are the second leading cause of divorce and infidelity. Marriage is all about compromise.
Joseph Musaalo is a counselling psychologist