Our TAFES colleague Mr Seth came around for dinner a while ago. His wife wasn’t able to make it because she was organising things for their daughter’s kitchen party as she was about to get married. Just before the wedding it’s customary to have a ‘Send Off’, which the men attend too, a big party for the wife’s family to farewell her from their household, but the kitchen party is where the bride receives advice about marriage and being a wife.
I asked Mr Seth, “Do you also have the opportunity to say something to her future husband?” With a chuckle he said, “Yes, but we call it a bachelor party!”
Here’s the advice Mr Seth said the prospective groom will receive at the bachelor party:
- Being a husband means taking responsibility, including financially. You must never force your wife to work. If she wants to work and to contribute, that is fine and you should support her in that, but it must not be the case that you are reliant on her.
- You must share money and budgeting. There is to be no sense in which you dole out money to her, even though this might be a traditional African model. Come to the table together and decide what you will spend your money on, as money that is yours plural, not the husband’s. Pursue agreement and unity.
- Set aside time to spend together. You cannot only provide financially. You must grow together emotionally as well. Confide in one another. Play together.
- Recognise that you are now part of two families and that will bring pressures of its own. Do not favour your own family background because this will bring you into conflict with your wife. Work out who you guys wants to be as a unit.
Sounds like pretty good advice to me!
Tamie Davis is an Aussie living in Tanzania, writing at meetjesusatuni.com.