There’s nothing wrong with a woman being a breadwinner. Women are equally capable of providing for their families and have proven times without number that they can do it. Today’s economy does not help matters.
Reciting bible verses that a man must provide will not suffice in today’s world. We are in a competitive society, where a man doesn’t automatically get a job because he’s a man, but a matter of who has the better qualifications between a man and a woman.
We are not in the 60’s where the working space was saturated with men only. So, it makes perfect sense for women to rise up to be breadwinners.
However the only problem here is that women cover up the fact that they are breadwinners to protect the ego of their husbands. A man has no qualms arrogantly ranting how he provides for his family alone, but women protect these men the other way round.
The deal is that you don’t want to disgrace the man by telling the world you are actually the breadwinner. This issue will continue because we like to pretend in our society, of which Nigerian women have perfected the art in. Many women I know are breadwinners, so why are we still deceiving ourselves?
The issues of finances can cause serious problems between couples if not properly managed.
Many men argue that when a woman wears the financial pants in the home, she becomes unsubmissive. But women swear that no matter what they do, like tip toeing around their financially incapable men so as not to hurt their ego, these men still find a way to complain about trivial things because their women more financially capable.
Some men and women shed more light on this very important relationship issue. Below are their views and experiences.
Chisom: Most Nigerian men have complex issues
The truth is female sole breadwinners will never be able to get away with half of what male some breadwinners get away with. If he says something and she asks why, it is interpreted as pride because she’s the one making the money.
No one will think it out of place if a working man comes home and gets upset because the wife was home all day and didn’t make dinner for him. The woman can’t try that because she’s a superwoman. And if she dares, all hell will be let loose. It becomes she’s controlling him and turning him into a houseboy because he’s not making money.
In Nigeria, a female breadwinner has to take on the many family responsibilities and must remember to smile, grind, wash, cook and endure all the snide remarks of being the man in the house so that she won’t be labelled proud and arrogant. Do you get to work in the morning, come back late and have the nerves to ask him why there are dirty dishes everywhere?
Also make sure to tell people he’s the one that bought your car for you so that you won’t be the bad wife that’s taking the glory for being financially responsible. It is a complex problem for Nigerian men. No woman is that evil to start treating her husband badly because she is the bread winner. Men should learn to appreciate the efforts of their women.
Martin: Women breadwinners shouldn’t be blamed for reacting
I know a few women that are bread winners and their frustration in acquiring such a status hardly ever shows. But what we must remember that a man and a woman are two different beings, different in physiology and characteristics.
A woman’s nature makes her require protection in her life and a man provides such a protection, financially, physically and emotionally.
So when a woman feels the weight of being the breadwinner in a family for so long and she breaks down, that can be understood. It means she’s reacting against the unnatural order of things in her home. When it happens, she shouldn’t be blamed.
Valerie: My mother has been the sole breadwinner for over 25 years
A man who is the sole provider in his home would not feel that way because it is his natural role as a man to be the breadwinner in his home. When a woman has to take care of her husband and children it becomes very frustrating.
No woman enters a marriage expecting to be the sole breadwinner and when this becomes the case, she begins to resent the man, as this was not the life she bargained for.
This resentment inevitably leads to disappointment, disgust, dislike and disrespect for the husband, especially if the man is making no real efforts to change the situation.
If the man now spends his time in different churches, fighting enemies, both real and imaginary, and not making any physical effort to provide for his family, who would blame her for disrespecting him?
My mother has been the sole breadwinner for over 25 years and somehow, she still manages to love him. Yet her disappointment and resentment is evident.
David: Women behave anyhow when they are sole providers at home
In such a situation, the woman would definitely disrespect the man. A woman is supposed to be under the authority of her husband as the head of the house. Women tend to behave anyhow when the man loses his position as the leader of the home financially.
John: A woman will be encouraged to provide with her husband’s support
There is a difference in a man who is hard working but not really making it and a lazy one not ready to look for a well meaning job because his wife is catering for the family. Fate deals with some in the sense that they work so hard but have very little to show for it. A woman will be encouraged to keep providing if she sees a truly hardworking man besides her. Some men are born lazy. I always pray to God not to let me be in a situation where a woman will be paying my bills.
Anthonia: My dad doesn’t appreciate my mum’s efforts
My mum has been the breadwinner since I was in primary school, now I am in my final year in the university and it’s still her who pays my school fees, rent and everything.
At first, things where okay with my parents and this arrangement. She even started a business for my dad but he decided to secretly sell the business to his friend and gave his mother all the money. When mum discovered, she lashed out in anger and his family members termed it disrespect, but I saw the stress she was under trying to please my dad. I admire my mum because it’s not easy picking up all the bills but Dad doesn’t respect her and takes her for granted and people say respect is reciprocal.
Ikenna: Women should help out till their men find their feet back financially
When a man earning a steady income falls on bad times, it is understandable that his wife who is said to be a helpmate would assist until he gets back on his feet. But where a man once had money, but spent it on his extended family and mistress, leaving the bulk of running the home to his wife, when the chips are down, the wife can never respect him. There are also unappreciative men. These men would complain about everything, from food to the number of meat inside the soup, yet they make no money. How can such a woman respect him? I doff my hat to women that are breadwinners.