A couple of months back, the name Osinachi was as popular as coca cola in the Nigerian media space. She was one of the victims of physical violence who never lived to tell the story. The grapevine has it that she tried to conceal all the assault, unfortunately to her peril.
Among the testimonies against her husband is how he would not only bargain for the amount to be paid for her performance but also received the money into his account. On one occasion, months after her had returned, she wondered the reason for the unusual delay in payment of honorarium. Upon inquiry, she was told that the money had been credited into her husband’s account shortly after the event. The man did not stop at bargaining, he had graduated to owing PHD in wife manipulation. Indeed, handshake had gone beyond the elbow.
Recently, I had the opportunity to speak on financial management in the home. One of my nuggets is: don’t look at a woman’s finances if you really want to have peace in your home. I could see curiosity in the eyes of the man in the meeting. I went ahead to explain that women are naturally wired to look up to men, hence looking up to the woman financially or eyeing her pose will result in contempt and sooner or later erode a man’s respect. I explained further that she can support if she is so willing, but she is not obligated to take over the family burden on her shoulders.
Recently, I participated in a workshop on Gender Based Violence (GBV). One of the resource persons who is the coordinator, Domestic and Gender Based Violence in the ministry of justice exhume part of the Violence Against Persons Acts (VAPP) that criminalize the act of depriving a woman or your wife her income. Nothing could be more incriminating.
Since discovering this secret few years after wedding, I made up my mind to mind my business financially. She earns salary like me (which I consider a huge privilege as she could choose otherwise), I told her to take care of herself with it while I handle school fees, medical, upkeep, a long list indeed. The peace I have enjoyed in my home since that decision is unquantifiable.
Mr. Ogwu, the husband of Osinachi began with physical violence, went into bargaining and finally received money behind her. He played the Russian roulette that attracted dire consequences as he is presently behind bars.
You don’t have to end that way. Stop that violence before it stops you. Even if your home is an exception where her income is two or three times yours, look away from her finances nonetheless. For one, such an attitude will make you strive harder towards better job or more income/resources. Secondly, it will increase the deposit from your wife into your “respect account.” Thirdly, your wife will naturally support or complement your effort in a way that you may never have imagined. Fourthly, you will have more authority and respect with the kids, your in-laws and society (as whatever goes around comes around). To top it off, from your “meager salary”, in addition to the monthly upkeep money, try to tip her with pocket money. This way, you would have finally hit the bulls-eye.