By Pastor Okokon Ating
I explained earlier the fact of adjustment which couples are bound to face no matter their spirit-ual, educational, social and moral status. This time, it is Interpersonal tension.
It’s a known fact that, when two people became one in marriage, each of them had a long standing lifestyle exp-eriences brought from the home, environment and social groups he/she was born into or brought up. Each of them has attitudes that are not in sync with that of the other and could some-times be difficult to resolve even when they want to come to compromise. At a point there may be an un-willing spirit from any of them to change to the other person’s view points or a total refusal to acknow-ledge their differences.
This could bring tensions which may not be controllable. This can eventually result in a broken home. There may be some hidden facts which each partner could find very difficult to disclose to the other partner, despite the fact that they are married and probably have children. Such interpersonal tension can be caused by the follow-ing reasons:
MONEY: Many couples may not have put into serious consideration the issue of money during their courtship period. They may not have discussed how money will be earned or who will be in charge of money management before they say ‘I do’.
Now that they are married, the situation had turned out to be a snare to them. This struggle of who supplies, controls and spends money has come a menace and unhealed disea-se in the family. In many traditional settings where women are not counted to be somebody, except to give birth to children, the issue of money control and spen-ding is solely resting on men.
Dr. Danfula Kore (1989) in his book, Culture and the Christian home, says: ‘’…. husbands have a very high control of the family finan-ces. But wives, despite their high economic contribution have little control over the family economy.” He furth-er states that in so many cultures, husbands control every aspect of the family economy, especially money and foodstuffs while wives have no authority even in the things that personally be-long to them.
Thirdly, he said: “in some cultures, wives are not supposed to know the amount of money and food-stuffs that the family has.” The author is of the opinion that: ‘this practice shows a serious communication gap between husbands and wives that will hinder joyful and peaceful marriage’’.
Let us look at this fact vivid-ly: first, if there is a commu-nication gap between a husband and a wife, how do they manage the house? This means whether the husband is wrong in the affairs of the home or not, the wife is just a mere robot controlled anyhow by the husband.
Secondly, if the husband alone controls the family money, he could decide to starve the wife and the children if there is any little grumbling from them. Some men who are repulsi-ve to correction may decide to send their wives away or abandon them to marry others who may like his do-ings.
Again, Tim Lahaye in his book, This Spirit Filled Family says: ‘’the basic problem in over 70 per cent of the marriages that fail stems from finances’’. He noticed that, ‘’when one compounds the normal con-flict and disagreement in a home with the financial pressures from overspend-ing and credit buying, the end result can be hostility, bitterness and in severe cases, divorce’’.
Rev. (Dr) Gabriel Oluwa-segun in his book, The Ideal Christian Family Life says: “lack of money or its mis-handling has crippled many couples and put so many other couples asunder.’’
I want to say here that cou-ples, who are well related in sex, communication, etc, should equally be related in financial management in order to avoid dissolution or discrepancy in marriage. If there is to be a harmonious marriage, there should be a harmonious financial relat-ionship too. Dr. Oluwasegun says: ‘’the point of conflict apart from sex is money or love of money or what each partner want to do with money”. Problem becomes visible when the following points are found between the couple:
*Couples lack the trust for each other, and so are worried about being cheat-ed.
*Either one of them or both spouses are selfish, proud, love money or wealth too much, or is materialistic, covetous, high-minded, anxious of tomorrow, fear-ful, suspicious, stingy, etc.
*Negative experiences of relations or friends or money matters, are allow-ed to dominate one’s thought.
*Couple rob God of His dues (Malachi 3:8)
*There are demonic or evil attacks on the family finan-ces.
I understand that some-times financial crisis comes between the couple because Christians envy other Christians whom God has caused to prosper.