WEDDING OR MARRIAGE?
This is part one of a series of articles that look at and compare the tenets of a good marriage in my opinion and goes further to then demonstrate how society has begun to blur the lines and ends up focusing on the wedding and not the marriage
The beauty of the relationship between Man and Woman goes beyond the sanctity of the union enshrined in the pages of the Holy Book. Not even the formulae of science, the reasoning of the elders nor the wit of the young can possibly define it. It is a relationship like no other. Not even a parent-child or sibling relationship can compare to it. It is fully and truly unique in its own way.
The fact that one person can evoke so much affection from another human, some go as far as saying giving you butterflies (or the entire zoo) in your stomach, all this shows just how special this particular correlation is.
However, I fear that a generation or two from now, this sense of the relationship will be lost, that the purity of this union will be lost and lost for good. Somehow I think we are losing the beauty of it and somehow we have been left with people seeking and engaging in Weddings and not Marriages, and the result is not only shattering but also scary. Let me explain why:
There is a time when these two words where synonymous of the same thing and yes even today we use them interchangeably but to me their meaning has diversified vastly. Marriage, indeed weddings, meant the culmination of the purest of things between Man and Woman. In this day and age though, “Wedding” has diluted its value and worth and unfortunately we may not realise this. Marriage was always meant and should be the coming together of two families, not just the individuals, to create one new family, bound not simply by the “I DO” but a boundless love for one another, siblings, mothers-in-law, name it all. It goes beyond this though and delves much deeper. It is the tangible evidence of TRUE LOVE, it involves compromise, communication, selflessness, compassion, focus, vision, and so much more.
Without these essential principals and ethos there is little left to build the next umpteen years of your union on. Communication and planning about important things such as family, priorities and indeed the controversial financial planning and budget schemes, which is my main focus for today.
Call me old fashioned or what have you but I believe that one of the reasons for coming together as two individuals is to build together and grow together, else why could I just not do my own thing as a single being. I have often had several interesting, lively and indeed heated discussions with friends over what their different views and thoughts are about how finances are supposed to be handled within the household. To say the opinions and views differ greatly would be an understatement.
Some are of the opinion that finances and bills or budgets are the responsibility of the man and he alone should face and tackle these. Others think they should be shared, others think whoever gets paid more should handle it. Moving beyond this. Some are of the notion that as a couple you should have Joint bank account, where your salaries go into and where you allocate accordingly each month. Others preferred the split bank account system, others even require a Prenuptial agreement (don’t get me started on this yet). These are just but a few of their views. Now to which category do I belong? A merger of a bit of each of their ideas I guess.
For me, yes, it is essential to have transparency and openness where even my spouse (to-be) would know what my salary is. However, I am of the notion that it is a good idea to have split bank accounts. Hold the horses and don’t stone me yet. In addition to the split accounts, I believe it also then important to have a joint account to which we are both equal signatories with equal access. This account can then be a dual account in that it has both a Savings and Current Account. Here is why:
The salary can go into the individual accounts as per usual but then based on that ever important aspect of communication, a certain percentage or amount of our salaries goes into the joint account. Regardless of who gets paid more and this percentage does not have to be uniform between the both of us but it does have to have been discussed and agreed upon by both of us.
Of this amount that is put into the joint account, it Is further split into two at whatever ratio we choose, between the current account and the savings. The current account then caters for our monthly budget and house bills and obligations whatever they may be, all of this which I hope to leave in the hands of my spouse-trust me, women are good at making sure stuff is paid and paid on time. The Savings portion of the account then caters for annual projects or goals we may have as a family, whether this be a college fund, a mortgage payment, a business venture, that all important Bae-cation, or whatever the case may be. Whatever portion of my salary is left in my account or indeed in her account now remains to me on how to spend it. BUT, and this is a huge thing to note, even if this is my money to spend now, it does not mean that I just up and act without communicating with my spouse about what I have in mind to do. This not only makes her aware that I do care about her opinion but it also helps where she may have a better plan or approach to what I aim to accomplish h. Also, this does not mean that now that we share accounts, things such as surprises or gifts for the wife now have to also be shifted to the joint account. This remains my sole responsibility to take care of and cater for my wife as the good Lord allows me to.
I am interested to know what your thoughts are and what financial strategy you think would suit a family or a couple best so please do drop your comments below and let me know. I am by no means a matrimonial expert, I am not even married yet, only God knows what will actually happen but these are my humble opinions and views.