I have been married for over five years but my husband still does the shopping for the home. At the end of every month, he demands for the list of everything we need. He never queries the content of the list; he buys everything I put on the list. He also buys clothes, shoes, bags, toys and anything that catches his fancy for the children and I. In addition, he ensures I don’t lack money to spend on other things I may want for myself and children.
Ordinarily, I should be happy but this habit of his is embarrassing me among my family and friends. My father in particular calls him a ‘she man’ while my friends are of the opinion that he is stingy. According to them, only a man who is stingy would insist on going to the market.
Even though he has been the one taking care of my family since we got married, my siblings also think he is stingy for not allowing me go to the market. The only person in the family who thinks highly of him is my mother. She has repeatedly cautioned me against allowing my siblings and friends ridicule my husband. I agree it is wrong but isn’t he justifying their opinion of him by disallowing me from going to the market like other women? I have attempted to dissuade him from this habit of his but, he keeps insisting, he enjoys doing it.
I know my husband loves me dearly but this isn’t the way to demonstrate his love for me. My father thinks only weak men shop for wives because God has defined the roles of the sexes. For this reason, my father doesn’t accord him the respect he deserves in the family.
A friend of mine suggests I go against his wish by going to the market to signal my seriousness on the matter. I don’t know what to do anymore.
Please, Agatha help me.
What is embarrassing about your husband going to the market and taking care of you? Where is it written that only women are allowed to shop for the home? Why are you creating problems where there are none? Why do you want to destroy your wonderful marriage because of the opinion of people who have no business in your affairs? Why are you exposing your husband to the ridicule of your family and friends? What does it matter who shops between both of you? What difference would your going to the market have on the quality or quantity of foodstuff?
Be careful you don’t, through your own carelessness, drive your husband into the arms of another woman. What kind of friend would tell you to defy your husband; certainly not one who has your best interest at heart? What point would you be proving by going to the market against his will? From your own account, he isn’t denying you anything whatsoever. Many women would do anything to have your kind of husband, one who isn’t ashamed to do anything for his family. If you are smart and wise, discontinue your friendship with this friend or any person encouraging you to rebel against your husband.
Take it from me, those friends of yours encouraging you to be rebellious against your husband are jealous of your home. If they are truthful, they also would want their husbands to shop for them because that way, they wouldn’t have to use their earnings to supplement their housekeeping allowances. Due to the rising cost of living, a lot of women daily add their money to whatever they get from their husbands to avoid issues at home.
Unlike you, most women have to struggle through the headache of spreading out money that is never enough. Believe it or not, it isn’t a tea party when rising cost of living makes nonsense of one’s monthly budget. The fact that your husband does the shopping means you know nothing of the daily challenges millions of women who aren’t as fortunate as you go through trying to maintain a financial balance.
Your attitude is exposing your husband and marriage to undue interferences and manipulations from your family and friends. It is out of place for your family and friends to be castigating your husband for doing what he believes is best for his family. To brand him “she man” or stingy isn’t right. Just as your father has the right to be the lord of his home, so does your husband whose only offence is loving you too much. Your father is clearly out of line here.
If your husband were stingy, he won’t assist your family in anyway. Insults and hostilities aren’t what he deserves from your family. If the reactions of your siblings can be excused due to their inexperience in marital affairs, your father should know better. Encouraging your siblings to be rude to a man who has shown them nothing but care, is unfair to your husband who is denying himself in some areas to meet up with the responsibilities he has taken towards your family. Time is now to enlist your mother’s help in discouraging your father from further weakening the position of your husband in the family. If your father thinks him a weakling, he should not be collecting his money at all.
In your own interest, keep everybody out of your affairs if you value your marriage.
In any case, truth be told, you are to blame for all these. If you didn’t broadcast the happenings in your home to friends and family, they won’t know who is doing the shopping. Even if they know, what is their business any way? It isn’t as if your husband is maltreating or denying you anything. Refuse to be bothered by the opinions of these people because they aren’t important at all.
You and your husband are the only parties in this union. If you feel so bad about this issue, call for a dialogue between the two of you. Chances are, he may be unaware of the extent of your resentment towards his decision but, talking to him about it will certainly help him understand you better.
His reason maybe encased in his love for you but if it is making you unhappy, he might just allow you be! Marriage is an everlasting book of dialogues and compromises. He won’t know how you feel unless you sit him down to a peaceful meeting.
Another way you can resolve this seemingly difficult issue, is to accompany him to the market when next he goes shopping. It will help both of you work out a more acceptable routine.
As a woman, never forget the place of prayers and wisdom in the affairs of your home. To do anything without the presence and direction of God, is to give an open invite to marital anarchy.
You may not have thought about this, what happens when he agrees to step down and your house-keeping money isn’t enough to stock the home? At that point he may not be so understanding or willing to part with so much money as he is doing now. Be wise. View every issue holistically before acting to avoid a backlash.