Last year, around this time i made a new friend. She was wife of another recently made friend who ran a business close to where I worked. We became fast friends because we realised we shared many things in common. For one thing we shared a similar name and we came from the same place and lived in the same place. Kindred spirits.
We had many conversations on the evenings we drove home together, like new friends usually do. And also like most new girlfriends do, we like to talk about men and share our love-hate relationship with these very special creatures. I was at the time out of a not-so-great relationship and presently just dating different people.
She told me to make my decision to settle down carefully, that it would take more than love to keep us together once i made my decision. Of course i was doing my best to not roll my eyes and think how every newly married woman thinks they are an expert on marriage these days.
She went on to tell me about that after a ten-year relationship that had had its share of ups and downs, a normalcy, she claims, she walked away, met her husband and within a year was married.
“And i think i made a mistake”. She said, while she kept her eyes on the road.
Of course i don’t think that was what anyone would be expecting to hear. On reflex, I asked, “What? Why would you say that?”
The story I was about to hear pretty close to what i usually watch on IDX, “Who did i marry?” I have said this before, haven’t i? A love story that fast turned sour once it was pretty clear that it was built on lies and half-truths. For an hour and half, i stared, gaping at this beautiful lady who was obviously carrying a lot of unanswered questions and baggage around. So i’ll cut the drama and go straight to a few facts i learned about her marriage from the conversation.
– He lied about how much he was earning
– He lied about how much more he had and how much he was making.
– He owed months of rent for his office space and home.
– He had debtors in his ear 24/7
“For me, I was just playing my part, Maame, I furnished the house we lived in. The furniture, the beds, the curtains, the fridge, because I thought I was helping my husband. But he really didn’t have anything. He was just putting on a show so I could marry him.”
Ever heard this thing before? Well, these days i keeping hearing more of it. So really how open should you be about your finances with your partner before you settle down? Are most men averse to telling their partners how much they earn and are women unwilling to ask? Is it ok to consider your income and finances personal and separate? What are the right questions to ask and when do you know it’s a deal breaker ?
I’d love to hear your thoughts on this! Thanks!