GBENGA ADENIJI examines the views of married couples on the best ways to cope with tightfisted spouses
Twenty-nine-year-old Mrs. Serifat Atobatele always encounters difficulty anytime she asks her husband for money.
The development, according to the housewife, is responsible for her desire to start trading to meet her needs.
“I am not a wasteful wife but sometimes, one can need money to take care of some pressing needs. I used to run a shop before marriage moved me to Lagos and I was unable to continue maintaining the shop. It was my husband’s idea that I should not work,’’ she told SUNDAY PUNCH.
The fair-skinned woman further said that apart from money for feeding, her husband doesn’t like giving her money for other things. She added, “I think it is stinginess. He doesn’t spend on me. I try to manage the little he gives me to cater for my five-year-old daughter. If I ask for more, he would tell me that it is not easy to get money. If he doesn’t have money, I would understand. He has. I think if I am working, things will change.”
The same situation is what an Ondo State-based graphic artist identified as the problem with his wife.
Sola, who said he refused to make it an issue so that people would not label him a lazy husband, described his wife’s stingy nature as extreme.
“I am aware that she has money as she earns more than I do being a nurse. But she keeps her money and expects me to provide everything. It is an attitude I noticed before we got married. She hardly jokes with her money. I thought she would adjust after marriage but I was wrong,’’ he said.
The Director of a Plateau State-based theatre outfit, Total Stage2screen, Mrs. Jumoke Laka-Fashakin, advised couples with stingy partners to first get busy and work towards making a good living.
Laka-Fashakin stated, “What I mean is that they need to have a constant source of money no matter how small. The reason is that you will have to cover up for their lapses while you wait for the change in their behaviour. Also, stop panicking and getting angry, it will take you or your family nowhere.
“Also, realise that your partner needs help because stinginess is a psychological issue. Find out what makes them behave that way. It could be that the partners went through much lack earlier in life and the fear of not having enough makes them stingy.”
Noting that many reasons could make a person stingy, she said some of them included pain from being milked financially by people who they once dated.
“You must find the root cause. Finally, talk to your spouse about it calmly and in a good environment. Find the appropriate therapy for your spouse and support him or her, encourage the partner constantly with words of assurances and not condemnation. You can also pray for the spouse and watch him or her change one day at a time,’’ she said.
A lecturer in the Republic of Benin, Mr. Adausu Emuobo, said depending on the methods and environment, some wives with stingy husbands search their pockets at night.
Emuobo noted, “Some can inflate the amount of things or confront their spouses who are stingy and make an issue out of it.”
Also, an accountant, Mr. Segun Sobowale, said coping with a stingy spouse cannot be an easy experience because there would be constant quarrels.
“I believe such habit is caused by the situation the stingy partners grew up in. I am optimistic that with humility and understanding, one will be able to convince his or her spouse on why there is a need to give more money to meet the set goals. It may take some time but with good communication, everything will fall in place,” Sobowale stated.
A teacher, Mr. Segun Obadare, urged married couples with tightfisted partners to seek counselling from an expert on family matters.
He also advised them to meet with the persons respected by their miserly partners and report to them.
Obadare said, “The parsimonious partners will want to listen to the people who they always respect. Those who need advice should talk to those people to help talk to their partners and see what the outcome will be. But they must also be prudent and trustworthy. It will be easy to change the minds of their penny-pinching partners once they too are generous with money. Prayer is equally necessary. I believe that any heart can be changed through it.”
A relationship expert, Faye Rowe of insidedivorce.com, urged those with stingy partners to discuss with them on how their behaviour is affecting them and their relationship.
Commenting on the issue, a worker with one of the leading commercial banks in the country, Mr. Babatunde Aribisala, said he would continue to play his financial role by providing for the kids and the home upon noticing his spouse’s meanness.
“I will not stop doing my part but will only meet 60 per cent of her personal needs since she has money but doesn’t want to spend because she is stingy,” Aribisala said.
A lawyer and father of two, Mr. Titus Bright, who said his wife used to think he was a miser, said a partner might misconstrue frugality to be stinginess.
“I was trying to save money for house upkeep after we got married having spent much during the wedding. But my wife thought I was trying to be stingy. I told her that I was not. It took several discussions before we could settle it, ’’ Bright said.
According to him, some spouses become miserly after noticing extreme demands on them either from their partners or extended family members.
The lawyer added, “Some people are unrepentant misers but for those who suddenly started exhibiting the behaviour, the best solution is to speak with them to know what went wrong. For both set of individuals, the best approach is conversation. It is the best way to go. I have walked the path before and it worked for me.”
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