A financial slump for anyone can cause a strain in any relationship, but it can be even more strenuous when it is the man going through it as he is traditionally seen as the provider in many relationships.
Atop being expected to protect and be emotionally and romantically available in a relationship, men are also expected to provide. But what happens when a man goes through a financial slump while he is dating? How long is he expected to lean on the financial crutch of his girl before it can be considered too much?
Radio energy presenter Denzel Leroy aka NSK believes there is no limit to this grace period as long as the woman is in a position to help. “If a partner is in a financial position to help the other, they should. It’s a relationship. That means help each other where possible, especially in today’s economic times where women and disabled people get more opportunities—in order to remedy past imbalances,” says NSK.
He believes because women are more likely to be in better financial positions, they should support their financially limping man for as long as they possibly can. “The man obviously has to try and find his feet and demonstrate to her that he is doing something to be on par with her.”
Harry Msimuko who has experienced that phase in his life says that he was grateful that his wife was able to pick up the bulk of the monetary burden. “I was working for an NGO and they had trouble finding funds so sometimes we would go for months without a salary. During that time I was into strategic thinking and planning ways to get out of that situation.”
He says that he did not take it as bad most would have taken it as he had an understanding with his wife. “How long a woman should support her man depends on what they’re aiming for. If he has a multi-million dollar plan in place, it might take a bit of time to bear fruit so she might need to be more patient,” Msimuko quips.
Meanwhile international Namibia model Meriam Kaxuxwena says, “it depends on whether she is married to the man or if they are just dating. If they are just dating, then she is not obliged to take up such responsibility. However if they are married then she has to do it until the man finds his feet because marriage is a commitment.”
There are two extreme reactions for a man being supported financially by his woman. The first is to receive it with hurtful pride, causing the man to feel his manhood is being called into questions, while the opposite extreme is to altogether lax and become complacent in the situation.
When should the milk tube be plugged up? NSK says, “when she makes it negatively obvious that she has the financial muscle to his friends, and especially his family. No Africa appreciates that, which is the problem with many independent women, they get so caught up with their financial prowess they forget the man is still the head of the house.”