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Coping with a wife who earns more

By Ugodre Obi-Chukwu (

Ugodre Obi-Chukwu
Does your wife earn more than you? Do you feel like you need to get another job? Does she get home later than you do? Did she buy the cars at home and pay for the children's school fees? Do you sometimes wish you could just have her resign her work and just stay at home taking care of the kids? Not to worry, you are not alone in these thoughts. Most men in your shoes share similar reservations. While it's typical to think this way, how should you then deal with it?

Take the story of Julius, a schoolteacher who happens to fall in love with a banker. They soon got married and had children. His wife's salary was more than his, making her the breadwinner of the house. She funded their four bedroom apartment and cars. She even funded vacations and their children's school fees. Julius didn't mind abdicating his natural responsibility as a breadwinner. In fact, he makes it up by being at home on time, going through home work with his kids, making sure dinner is ready for his wife and patiently waiting for her every night till she is back. He believes if he can't meet with the financial needs, then he should compensate in other areas of family life.
Evelyn, on the other hand, is married to a lawyer whom she met and dated back in the university. She now works with an oil company and what she earns in a month is equal to the six months pay of her husband. But that's how far her edge over her husband goes. He instructs her to pay all or part of her salaries into his account every month and gives her an allowance for the month. She says, it's not a situation she likes, but after several rebuffs by her, he threatened her marriage and she had no option but to give in.
Emma, a medical doctor, has over the years established himself as a seasoned consultant. His wife works for a multinational and is equally successful. On the average she earns well over her husband but he doesn't mind. He likes ambitious women and pushes his wife to achieve more. He believes his earnings, though less than that of his wife is enough to cater for his family. He takes care of everything in the house, even if it means borrowing; he will not allow his wife to spend a dime. To him, a man must take charge.
Adelice, an accountant with one of the top accounting firms in Lagos, is married to a self-employed businessman. He believes he should be the breadwinner but can't turn away from the steady income that comes the way of his wife as his is far from regular. In fact, when they initially got married, he almost asked her to resign believing her job may one day make her insolent. He, however, thanked his stars he didn't do that. Today, his wife's steady income augments his sporadic earnings as they both contribute to the day-to-day running of their home. He gets to take care of one off payments like rent, vacation, school fees, etc, while the wife takes care of consumables like food, fuel, utility bills etc.

Peter and his wife of two years have had issues dealing with her job. She earns far more than he does, a situation he hasn't been able to deal with. To make matters worse, she regularly comes home late from work. It just didn't go down well with his traditional beliefs. “A woman must be under a man no matter what.” His wife loves him so much and can no longer stand the incessant quarrels at home. She accepts his instruction to resign since he can't find a better paying job. Now they live on his salary.
The above, depicts how most families deal with this thorny issue. If it were you, who would you be – Julius, Evelyn, Emma, Adelice, or Peter? Adelice and her husband seem to be a model middle class couple. A husband and a wife should find ways to contribute to the family's finances. It shouldn't be the sole responsibility of one person. Women like their men being in charge even if they earn more. A man is naturally the leader of the house and should do so not by inertia but by actions. It is important to recognise the role women now play in modern society and in family building. They should be encouraged to advance their careers and allowed the independence to manage their finances. Times have changed such that behind every successful family is a successful woman

How to save cost on your first date
By Ugodre Obi-Chukwu (

My friend Ken was recently introduced to a beautiful lady whom he hoped to impress on their first date. He thought the best way to impress her was to take her to a fancy restaurant strategically located on a pent house with a fantastic view of the ocean.

His colleague, who had recommended the restaurant, said it was a nice romantic place. On getting the menu, Ken suddenly felt sick in his stomach, a discomfort that had more to do with the price list. He quickly told the waiter that all he wanted was a glass of water to the astonishment of the lady. He explained that he was on a medication that didn't allow him to eat late at night.

Though unconvinced with his explanations, she went on to order her three course meal while he mentally did the calculation hoping that he had enough to pay.

Most people find themselves in such situations all in the bid to impress on their first date. But should spending so much money on a date determine how a guy impresses a lady? Aren't there other ways of achieving that without spending so much? Take the case of Jite, who after several attempts finally got a nod for a date. Rather than take her to a fancy restaurant, he invited her over to his house for dinner. He says he wanted her to see a side of him she didn't expect. He had his dining beautifully laid out with candlelight and romantic dinner sets with soft music from the background. With his apron on, he went into the kitchen and made her a beautiful meal served with a tasty bottle of wine. All of these, he says cost him less than N5,000.

He opines that by inviting her over and seeing him cook she felt a lot more relaxed and impressed. She in between talking looked through his pictures, books, games and array of CD collections, which endeared him more to him.

Chike, who isn't so much of a good cook always had an eye for a good deal and so he snapped up an offer online for a dinner for two at a four star hotel of his choice in Lagos. The offer came with a 40 per cent discount for a buffet, which would usually cost about N5, 000 for the meal with the exception of drinks.

With the coupon secured weeks before, he took his long sought after date to a posh restaurant. To ensure he enjoyed every bit of it, he made sure they both skipped lunch. They had intimate discussion as he wooed her to try out several dishes and deserts. With a buffet, he ensured she had a variety of what to eat giving him room to display the right personal touch and make the right jokes that more than left a good impression on her.

Being impressive on a date has much to do with striking a good rapport and even less to do with how much money you spend. Rita, a customer service agent opines one of her best forms of dating was picnic at any secure open door spot in Lagos.

She and her partner enjoyed the unique blend of nature and romance and always looked forward to picnics at the beach or at any of the reserved parks in town. They cook their own food, buy their own drinks and even go with their own games. She recalls each time they make that trip, they get to resolve any emotional dispute that may be weighing down on their relationship. It's an experience that money cannot buy she claims.

Sola, an undergraduate never has to worry much about going on an expensive date. With N3,000, he says he gets a unique opportunity to spend two hours with his date at a cinema or arcade in a relaxed, cheerful and entertaining environment.

It's paying less for more since students get a generous discount at the cinemas. In a country with limited dating spots, the cinemas are a popular destination for students and lower middle class earners. Another dating tip is to find out what your lady really likes to see. A lady who loves to sing will surely adore a date at an open mic session or karaoke in one of the regular bars in Lagos. Most offer free sessions, leaving only food and drinks, for you to worry about.

At the end of his much anticipated date, Ken luckily escaped with the help of his ATM card as his bill was just about N2,000 more than the N10,000 cash he had with him. Unfortunately, he wasn't at his best as the uncertainty of what he was to pay weighed down heavily on his mind and eventually on his ability to impress the lady. On an expensive date he ended up looking cheap.

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