In my life, not too long ago, there was a long phase where I didn’t even know money existed. I asked for things and those things were given to me on a platter. I had all the food I wanted to eat on my own dining table, I was always appropriately clothed to match the occasion as well as the climate. I was taken on outings, picnics and short vacations. I had all of this while I was growing up and never once did I actually see the money exchanging hands or the topic of money being discussed between my parents, my extended family or in my community. Hence, honestly, I actually grew up quite unaware of what a force money was.
Unfortunately, such innocence doesn’t last for too long.
For college, I went to study in the city of Pune and since the college hostel did not have a room immediately available, I went to live in a nearby community apartment. Fees, rent and food bills were quietly paid off by my parents but for the first time in my life I had to independently manage my pocket money.
For the first time, I experienced the power of money and it just seemed to be disappearing. No sooner was I given some that was to last me for a full month, but within a week or two every last penny seemed to disappear. My lessons with money had to begin.
Soon enough I learnt how to manage my pocket money and when I started work, my respect for money grew. I was soon excited about making my money grow. As my money started growing, that’s when the question occurred to me, “Does money have magnetic power?” or “Does it have karmic power?” “Does ‘it’ have the power over us or do we make ‘it’ powerful?”
Historically, worldwide, the man has been the breadwinner for his family and whosoever holds the purse-strings yields the power. For centuries we have experienced a patriarchal society wherein the male dominated and the woman stayed on the margin. Circumstances in the world finally did change and the credit goes to the world wars.
While the men were out fighting wars, the women got the opportunity to step out of their traditional roles and take over the empty spots. The vacancies had to be filled for the wheels of the world to keep churning. Out of the ashes rose the phoenix; the women tasted financial freedom at last.
The wars were over and the men came back but the women refused to retreat into the kitchens. Women started proving that they were capable of balancing work and home. Of course, it all came at its own price. The sudden and the newly found independence did tend to go to the head of many women who did not bat an eyelid to pounce upon.
Money- Independence- Confidence is interrelated for every individual. No woman feels comfortable asking for money for her petty expenses and further being questioned for it by her husband. She doesn’t feel trusted. More and more women are becoming economically independent now. There still exist men who are prejudiced or thrive for their importance when their wives ask, plead, furthermore, beg for their expenses or maintenance.
Women, who are not allowed to work or who don’t have economic freedom, tend to go haywire in their lives. I have seen women from affluent families manipulating situations or bills to extract money from the husband. A few women I know are continuously in debts and managing their funds and in extreme cases women also lie.
I have a close acquaintance who keeps talking about her property and riches but thinks twice to shell out pennies. I feel sorry for such women. I have a close relative who has to beg for each penny and she maintains a record for the same. I also know of a couple who flaunts of going abroad every now and then but little does the world know that he hacks employees' account to get there. Is this really ethical?
The keyword to all problems is communication. Every family must share its issues. Men should feel happy if wives are ready to share the burden and not feel insecure about her newly found identity. Let her be the second earner. It’s the need of the hour to maintain a certain quality of life.
Thus, give her the due respect. With newer opportunities coming each day women can also balance their household chores and work from home.
Fortunately, I belong to a modern family that has let me bloom, grow and prosper to make an identity. In our society, it takes a large heart to see the wife do well. Of course there are women who splurge their husbands' hard earned money but again, communication is the only way to address any problem. Treat it as your family. Men, break your barriers and prejudices and treat her as equal in all aspects. It will actually complete you.