Monday, May 28, 2012

Can You Hear it Ring....Ka-Ching!

Finally back to the 5 pillars with number 4: Financial.

This is a bit of a touchy subject among people in general, anything concerning money tends to be. But let’s face it, some problems in a marriage could very well be money problems which could blow up and lead into bigger problems. Needless to say we all know how marriage is costly on both sides at first (wedding preparations and what-not), but we all have this notion that from then on the husband is fully responsible. A few things I have to say about that:

  •       Assuming that is the case, it is pretty clear that this man who is looking to marry should be financially capable of taking on the responsibility of his spouse. Providing a place to live, food to eat, way to get around, etc. A concern that is multiplied with the addition of each new family member. If said man is not financially ready to do so, that could cause problems. Also, if said man is doing so while relying on daddy, you may survive for a while, you may survive forever, but do you really expect someone who isn't capable of standing on his own two feet to be able take care of you?! And vice versa, how can you expect to take care of others if you can’t even take care of yourself. Plus, being reliant on the in-laws gives them the power to intervene on your life together. There will always be the threat of ‘do it our way or else’ and you could very well remain at their mercy. Of course that’s not always the case, but these are very probable situations and I for one won’t risk the chances of that happening. We are part of a culture in which by and large we continue to live under our parents’ roof until marriage, meaning we don’t have much expenses to worry about other than our own, it’s all pocket money and savings more or less. So going from that to not just being on your own but having someone with you is a huge step, and we must make sure we are prepared for it.
  •       Ladies, ease up on the men. Don’t expect the high life from the get-go. Very few women are lucky enough to get it, and even less want it after they realize that they’re not happy and it’s not what they wanted out of a marriage. Don’t be so demanding at first, grow into your life of luxury, at least it is a life you built together (again, not at the mercy of in-laws). You’re part of this marriage too so you need to start doing what’s best for you as a couple. If that means settling for the BMW rather than the Rolls Royce (I know, the horror!), it may well be a sacrifice you have to make. Whatever financial decisions you have to make, it is important you at least discuss it if not make the decision together as a couple. Whatever prudent decision you land on, you have to support your spouse. This goes for any financial problems you may come across (God forbid) as husband and wife. Even if he is the primary bread-winner, don’t make it so damn difficult for him to please you. If things get rough, make sacrifices and stand by him. He will love you eternally for doing so. If he doesn't, wait till he builds his fortune again, dump his ass and leave with half!
  •       I think I've already pushed it too far with the concept of the man being the primary bread-winner (I feel the burn of frustration exuding from feminists everywhere). Particularly in the Middle East, that notion is standing strong. Believe it or not quite a few men are too proud to accept it otherwise. The truth of the matter is, among the middle class especially, with rising costs of living, there is a growing need for some households to depend on two incomes rather than just one. From my experience, I found this point is especially harder to swallow among men! If the man is happy to provide and won’t have it any other way, so be it. But if need be, don’t be too arrogant and refuse any help from your wife. Remember this is your life together, if it’s needed she should help out too, and neither one should be ashamed to do this! This is the reality of the situation sometimes, and you have to face it together.

Finally, we come to a great misconception among society. People choose to believe that only those from the same social class (i.e. similar financial standing) should marry. I ask, why? Fair enough, those from a similar background/upbringing are likely to get on and lead similar lives. But marriage should in no way be restricted to this. More importantly a marriage should not be refused solely for this purpose! If all other measures of compatibility match up, don’t let something this silly ruin it. As long as both parties know what they’re getting themselves into (one party will always have to make adjustments for the sake of the other). This is in no way a measure of a successful marriage. However, realistically, it isn't something to be ignored either.

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