How do I tell her to stop stealing?

Thursday July 29 2021
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By Evelyn C Kharono Lufafa

My friend keeps stealing money from her husband. One day she stole about Shs800,000 meant to pay for electricity connection but she told her husband she did not know where it was. She came and confessed to me, and said her husband is naïve and will always believe what she says. Another time it is Shs400,000 while not so long ago she diverted Shs600,000 for tiles.  This (stealing) has been going on for some time that it has started bothering me. I have spoken to my husband about it but he always brushes it aside, saying my friend’s 40 days will come to an end soon. Mind you, the husband – a doctor - provides everything that the family would need all the time.  What should I do?

Anonymous

Dear Anonymous,

Thank you for being concerned about your friend’s behaviour.

I have come across more of these stories and some ladies, feel that picking money from your spouse’s pocket or wallet even without their knowledge is normal.

I know this is usually associated with women but I have also had ladies who complain of their husbands picking money from their purses without asking.

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Money is among the chief causes of conflict in marriage and if not well-handled can cause separation or even divorce.

It is unfortunate that this important area is taken for granted by most couples. Seemingly, your friend interprets her husband’s non-reacting behaviour as a chance to keep picking money from him.

This is the same as stealing from yourself since this money will in turn be used in the family and everyone will benefit.

In a family where one person is earning, the ideal is that money belongs to both of you and this means if one is picked from another without asking, it is considered rude and unthoughtful.

If this is your friend as you mentioned above, you can use this opportunity to support her since she has chosen to confide in you.

First, you need to understand that this is a behaviour of concern and it is important to separate it from the individual. Do not be tempted to blame her but instead discuss with her the importance of financial independence.

Plan your response and review it, putting in mind that this is not your problem but hers, and your role is not to forcefully change her, but instead, share the ideal way of asking for money from her husband instead of just stealing it.

You can self-disclose on how you handle finances in a way that helps you to stay in control. If you are married share your experience of finances in your family.

Ignorance is no defence according to the law but from working with people, I have discovered some people have underlying self-defeating behaviours that were learned through their environment and therefore need time to unpack them.

Let her learn that the temporary gratification she feels after picking the money will in the long run cause a long-term negative impact on her relationship.

If stealing from her husband ever comes to the surface, it may put a long-lasting strain on her marriage because this will have an impact on the trust. However, since this is her problem as I mentioned, you are not even sure of how much she values this relationship.

The value one attaches to their relationship will enable them to mind about how their behaviour affects the relationship do everything in their means to change.

In fact, this is seen when people come to appreciate that a relationship is more important than material things since money can be made at any time but a relationship takes time to build, and yet if broken, it is even more difficult to rebuild the trust.

Let your friend choose wisely.

If you are not assertive enough to articulate this without attaching emotions, refer her for counselling and also financial literacy sessions. Remember you can only change yourself but can’t change someone else. Do your honest part of talking to her and leave the rest for her to decide.

You can let her know how you feel uncomfortable with discussing the topic especially if the behaviour continues after trying all the above.  This will enable her to do an introspection of her behaviour and possibly unlearn and learn new ones.

Reader advice

Her ways will end her marriage

Patience Natie Nampa

Talk to her about the dangers she is putting herself too. Explain to her that she might think the husband is not aware but he is aware and probably planning to get her some day. At the end, her theft might lead to the end of her marriage.

Let husband handle his business

Matumbwe J Christopher

The husband knows about it and that might even be a trap. May be he is buying time as he collects more evidence to help him chase her away. Leave them alone to handle their issues.

She should be careful

Peninah Kiiza

Men tend to keep quiet for long time but once they are fed up, they lose trust. Its hard to change to the good people they were. She should be careful.

Do you have another agenda?

Mary Martha Nanume Kanobere

The relationship is for two not three so stop assuming importance here. Mind about yours unless you have another agenda. How about she lies to you that she has stolen just to see if you have lugambo.  It is her husband not yours, period.

She doesn’t know what will hit her

Morgan She Wolf

Mind your business. Your friend on the other hand might be lying to you or the husband is aware she steals but he chooses to keep quiet. This your friend is childish and naive about what awaits her if she keeps on this gossip about her marriage!!!

Do not interfere in their marriage

Phoebe Miriam

Talk to her and counsel her as well as pray for her! But do not try to interfere in that marriage. The husband will one day find out! Nothing lasts forever.

Caution your friend

Georgina Nabagereka Flav

She is wicked. Pray for her and also tell her you will cease being friends if she continues doing that. She is making you a thief before God and when her hubby finds out you will be one as well. The saying goes, a good name... caution your friend seriously. The Bible says a good woman builds her home. Instead of building she is destroying it with her own hands.  I smell divorce once he finds out and you sound a good person she will hip it all on you.

Facts

No emotions.

If you are not assertive enough to articulate this without attaching emotions, refer her for counselling and also financial literacy sessions. Remember you can only change yourself but can’t change someone else. Do your honest part of talking to her and leave the rest for her to decide.

You can let her know how you feel uncomfortable with discussing the topic especially if the behaviour continues after trying all the above.

Evelyn Connie Kharono Lufafa is a counselling Psychologist at Sermotherapy Counselling Foundation

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