‘Work it Out’- with Vivian: Split the Bills

This episode is focused on single ladies, and how their choice of life partners can affect their careers. 

I was watching a new TV reality show- ‘Date my family Nigeria’ and the subject for that particular episode was a male, looking for a suitable working-class lady to date.  One of his requirements was that the lady must be ready to split bills with him.

The moment I heard that requirement, my mind quickly started roaming to so many factors that could possibly be motivating this thought/ mindset from this young man. I also remembered how the single young ladies at the office lament that these days, their men even expect them to pay the bills anytime they go out for dates.

So, I would love to ask our readers today, “Is this a pervasive behavior?” “Is this what our young men do these days?”. I mean, I could possibly be backward and archaic in my thinking that men are meant to take up the responsibility of catering for their women, and the women would also strive to help their men, out of love.

I remember when I was about to start my business. One of my business coaches made me fill out a checklist of what must be in place before I ventured into business. One of the requirements on the checklist was ‘Do you have a strong family support?’. I believe same requirement applies to work, so I ask, “Young lady, is the young man you are about to marry going to afford you the strong support to thrive in your chosen career or business?”.

I mean, if a lady is constantly pressured with bills, home keeping, babies, pregnancy, house help issues, parents, siblings, in-laws etc. how in the world would such a woman maintain the sanity that is required to excel?

Such discussions do not go down well with me o. I really do not know about you. 

But hey! I am not saying a lady should not pay the bills if she has the money or at the very least, work to cater for her own needs (as this is one less heavy burden off the man, who is someone’s child too). But if a man starts demanding ab-initio that the woman should foot the family bills, what exactly is he communicating? In other words, he is saying, “Do not expect me to carry your financial burden, you must continue to work to earn an income, not by choice or interest or personal desire for career, but by necessity!”. He is also saying, “Just know that I do not have the capacity to make sacrifices, I cannot come and go and kill myself by myself for you”. In fact, this is so ridiculous that I am more than willing to go as low and petty in digging up all the ramifications of this mindset! 

So, dear sister, do not kill yourself. Relationship or marriage is not by force, neither is career. Nothing is by force actually… One should look for a partner who is self-sacrificing, a partner who is a lover, a giver (of self, not necessarily of money), sensitive to the fact that he should be the provider and protector of the woman, sensitive also to the fact that women have their own natural responsibilities in birthing children and keeping the home and therefore should not be ‘made’ to earn incomes in order to split the bills!.  

Relationship and career are such lengthy and bumpy paths that a woman must not allow the momentary satisfaction or the public perception of her having a ‘man’ in her life lead her to boxing herself into perpetual difficulties and unhappiness. If the young lady is desirous (out of love and sacrifice) and has the means/ capacity to work and take care of the home and the husband or even happily split the bills, then this is fine. I have no issue whatsoever with this. This is also biblical, as true love is self-sacrificing.

I hope the readers of this episode will pardon my ‘backwardness’ and ‘old-schoolness’. But this is how I learnt it, both from upbringing and from religion. Life is tough already (marriage, relationships and career being part of it). So, no partner should give the other, tall, precluding conditions to fulfil.

It is true that modernization, coupled with the economic and social situations in our world, is demanding that men and women split roles- in nurturing, in career and in home keeping. The man now does half or even all of the home chores while the woman bears half or even all of the financial burden. But I ask, “Is this the law of nature?”. This is quite different from what our parents practiced, and the divorce rate was much lower or even non-existent, back then. 

As backward as I might seem right now, one question I keep asking myself about this role split is, “What kind of love demands that Partners keep count, so as to ensure that responsibilities are divided equally…?”

Women & Work, work life

Leave a Reply