Since I started writing this blog, my family, friends and readers have been getting in touch and asking me to read their stories or trending stories in the news and asking for my take on them – I must admit I do love delving into these stories and sharing my take on them. Last week, my sister, who hardly asks me to read anything or my take on any trending story drew my attention to a couple of stories that were in the news and one story in particular caught my attention. As I read more on this story and listened to interviews of the people involved, the more I noticed that there were issues happening in relationships that were not being discussed openly. In the news was a woman who had taken to social media to inform her ex boyfriend that she would be coming to his wedding to disrupt the ceremony because he had broken up with her a few days to his wedding with another woman!
As I delved into the story, I guess I understood why she felt she needed to go to the wedding to stop the ceremony – because up until a few days to the wedding, she still believed she was in an exclusive relationship with this man. She would later go on to explain that she had used her savings and gone into debt to help this man finish his training in the Ghana Armed Forces – he had not reimbursed her the money but had rather sent her a small percentage of the money when he ended things. I most certainly could understand her anger and a part of me wanted her to go and disrupt the wedding – however, that was not fair on the other woman who may not have had any idea what the man she was marrying was doing. So this ex-girlfriend took to social media to share her heartbreaking story and it was not long before her story was trending. As the story trended, people were divided on this lady’s proposed action and there were several commentaries out there from both sides on what she should have or not have done in her relationship and especially on what she should or should not do concerning disrupting the wedding of her ex-boyfriend. In the end, she did not disrupt the wedding, but I was certain that she would never be the same again when it came to trust in relationships.
My sister was of the view that no one should use their money on the person they are dating because you never know if this relationship would last or not – and in the event one decides to help the other, there should be clear a understanding on what is expected should things end. She explained that she would rather use the money on herself than use it on another person and I could understand where my sister was coming from but I was not sure if I agreed with her completely. I don’t find anything wrong with helping the person you love and care about to reach a certain goal to better themselves or even to help them out of a tricky financial situation – however, if what is being given is expected back, then that should be made clear from the very beginning. However, my sister was adamant that people, outside a legal partnership and especially women, should use their money to better themselves – and our debate continued for several minutes but not longer than our debate as children, when one of us declared that the earth had several moons in orbit – lol.
Looking at what my sister and several social media commentators were saying, I realised that the problem was not the money being given to other person in a relationship but rather dishonest people who prey on good people and take advantage of their kindness. When you care about someone, you want to see them evolve and become a better version of themselves – so if they express a desire to do something to better themselves, there should be no fear helping them achieve that goal. However, many people these days have done exactly the same thing only to be heartbroken and out of pocket. So what does one do in such a situation? Because when it comes to relationships, money can be a very tricky path to navigate. I can remember a time I loaned money to a boyfriend and he promised to pay back as soon as he was paid – however, 2 weeks after payday, he had not mentioned the money. So I had to have the awkward conversation of getting my money back and putting it back where I took it from. I had set out my expectations from the word go so I was able to ask for the money. If he had explained that he was having difficulties again, I would have agreed with him a suitable time frame to pay me back – however, he explained that he had simply forgotten.
But I think when it comes to money, it is the broken promises that makes it difficult for people to trust the person they are dating when it comes to helping them financially. While my sister and I debated this issue, there was another story I found on social media where a woman had lied to her husband about her salary and watched him rack up debts while she used her salary to invest in property and other businesses in her father’s name without her husband’s knowledge. This particular story made me angry and I remember telling my best friend that the husband of this woman would never be the same again – his trust is completely shattered. Once again, there were different narratives out there and many people, mainly women were of the thinking that it was this husband’s job to be the sole provider for his home so this wife had done no wrong. It seems when it comes to contributing financial in relationships, most women suddenly do not want equality. Then there were stories from several men about how they had paid for their girlfriends through higher education or to train for a certain profession only to be dumped without reason after these women completed their studies. This is mean and should not happen – no one should be used by others to get to where they want to be – that is abuse in itself!
There were too may stories out there the more I delved into these issues, but these two stood out to me – the girlfriend who in good faith helped her boyfriend with the hope that they would make their relationship permanent so she could then pursue her dreams or the wife who watched her husband go into debt and kept her money for her own use even to the detriment of her own children’s future. When we claim to love and care for people, we should not put them in situations of abuse – the two victims in these stories will never be the same again and I am not sure how they will do in future relationships. My biggest concern was how some people, especially women, dismissed these stories as if the victims were at fault for trusting the people they loved. These behaviours would see these victims move on and hurt other innocent people if what had been done to them is not addressed and they not giving themselves time to heal. For the women out there, if we are going to talk about sharing domestic responsibility please understand that this includes finances, especially if you are both working. This notion that a man should be the sole provider in a home is archaic and should be done away with.
For the men and women who feel they need to put other people’s children through school and vocational training – make sure that you make your expectations known before you commit to anything. Know that this is a very risky investment and you may never get what you put into the relationship back – so make sure all parties involved are aware of what is expected. For the beneficiaries of these investments – make sure that you know what is expected of you, that whatever is being spent on you is not charity and that there is the possibility that you may feel different in the future and that you may need to pay back. I am all for self empowerment and improvement – so invest in your own self. By all means accept help when it is offered but it is not the responsibility of the person you are with to shoulder all your financial burdens and if you do accept the help, do the decent thing and pay back if that was the expectation – do not use people and dump them when you no longer have a need for them.
Thank you for always getting in touch and sharing your stories – they help me see the world through your eyes and change my stance on several issues I was not informed on. Do continue to get in touch so we can effect change by sharing our experiences.
It seems when it comes to contributing financially in relationships, most women suddenly do not want equality.Tweet