When I first got married, I was a stay at home mum although not by choice. This position made me vulnerable and although I did not suffer any physical violence, I was subject to emotional and financial abuse. And there was hardly anything I could do because I did not have any source of income.
My husband took care of the feeding in the house but he never wanted to spend a dime on me especially for my personal grooming. That was not his cup of tea. He always made it sound like I was a burden on him. I adjusted and made sure I never asked him for money to buy anything personal, apart from once a month to do my hair. I never asked for money for my family, even at one point when there was a dire need to put money together for my mum to help her, I had to tell my siblings we weren’t able to accommodate that expense and they all understood. I couldn’t even broach the topic with him because he would call me selfish, wanting something for my family while we had bills to pay.
Even the money for my hair was given with so much reluctance and degrading words I cannot afford to repeat them here. I was made to feel increasingly useless and was always being treated like a burden. So I learned to stay within my bounds. I prayed to God to change the situation for years and eventually the miracle happened and I got a job.
At first, I was eager for sweet revenge but I couldn’t turn myself to a horrid person just to exact revenge. I never really understood why my husband chose to be repeatedly mean to me, making me beg and account for every kobo like a child. I eventually reneged on my decision and thought I could teach him a thing or two about caring for one’s family with whatever is in your hand.
My husband then got a business opportunity which we were ecstatic about. But he didn’t have the finances for it and I offered to make the dream come true. My husband concentrated so much on this new venture and before I knew it, I was responsible for the upkeep of our home. I began to pay rent, school fees, in short, I took over everything(my greatest mistake ) including paying one-third of my salary into my husband’s account for his personal use.
My home ran very well on this arrangement for a couple of years. My husband was content as I never took the pains to ask him details about the personal money I gave him or the business(my bad I know). I didn’t want him feeling oh it’s because it is her money she wants to run things, what on earth was I thinking ?. However, the recession came and hit my company badly and we were given notice before the company eventually folded up. I started to make extra savings in the last few months, giving the money to my husband to keep for the rainy days ahead.
Eventually, work ended and when I asked my husband for the additional money, he initially said he had kept it in the bank. I became suspicious after a few months and checked his bank account. There was not even a dime there! I wish I could tell you my husband tried to act remorseful that he had spent the money. He just casually told me eventually that there was no money and he had used it on the new business. Period. No courtesy to even cook up a convincing story to show regard for my person.
I got back to ground zero eventually, jobless again and the nightmare started again. We returned to the status quo with my husband only concerning himself with the family feeding. In all, I have invested a couple of millions in the business and for his personal use. I never denied him the use of my debit card, I never asked him what he spends my money on. I thought I was helping him and our home as a team. I didn’t know I was setting myself up for a big letdown.
Let me give you an instance. I was so stranded at one point and had to beg a friend to help me with some money to recharge my phone. My husband found out and flew into a rage saying that it was an embarrassment to him, and I was making my friend think he was not able to take care of his responsibility. I apologized and told him that he would have his chance to prove that point when the need arose again. After about a month, I needed the phone credit again and asked my husband. He turned deaf ears and I waited three days before I approached him again. The same man I had given millions to when I was working turned it into an interrogative session claiming that since he used one-quarter of that amount on his phone, I could not be using that amount to recharge mine as I was jobless. I was so mad. Imagine! I told him exactly what I thought about him.
I thought I was helping out by carrying the financial burdens of the home but I was wrong. I was just enabling bad behavior. When the tables turned again, my husband did not even act like I ever gave him money without questioning for several years. I have an interview next week and hopefully, once I get another job, I will act accordingly. I have learned the hard way
Even if I do not get the job, I will not allow myself to be lied to that I am worthless anymore. Most stay-at-home mums are treated like they are not contributing anything but I have now come to appreciate that being at home with the children cannot be compensated for financially .
Some of my friends had told me before based on their experience that it was not a good idea to take over responsibilities from a man but I thought I could prove them wrong. I did more than, I proved my own self wrong . I am seriously hoping for a new job because I know that with my own source of income, the effect of this financial abuse sting by the love of my life will be lessened.