By Maria Famakinwa
In any marriage, the emphasis placed on submission cannot be underestimated. This assertion, which could be found in the Bible as well as in the Quran, admonishes wives to be submissive to their husbands. A verse in the Bible says, “wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord.” This quote identifies the headship of the husband over the wife. Hence, with the above assertion, should wives submit salaries to their husbands?
Some of those who spoke with The Hope though, agreed to the fact that the man remains the family’s head and a wife should submit to and respect her husband but not to the extent of giving her salary to her husband. While others who supported the idea argued that it was done during the days of our fore-fathers which helped them to grow in love and unity and the major reason they lived together till death did them part.
In the words of a salary earner, Mrs Kikelomo Oludolapo said she cannot do it and would never advised any woman to. When asked what was her reason, she said: “Do you expect me to give my salary to my husband who spends his salary in a beer parlour? If I can even get his salary I will collect it to prevent him from spending lavishly on beer. The only way I know if my husband has money or his salary has been paid is when he comes home late and drunk. I cannot give my salary to him.
“Even if my husband don’t spend his salary on beer, I can’t still give him my salary. Since he can’t give his salary to me as well. It is better each person handle his/her money to avoid quarrels because I cannot be asking for permission to spend the money I worked for. If I buy anything with the money without telling him, it becomes a problem. Everybody should be in charge of the money he/she sweated for.”
Sharing a similar view, a civil servant, Omodara Abiona, who warned women against starting what they could not continue explained that submitting salary to one’s husband is not an act of being submissive.
She said: “ Submitting oneself to one’s husband does not include salary. It simply admonished wives to reverence their husbands. Once a wife start giving her salary to her husband, the man will not take it likely with her any month she fail to do so regardless of her own financial needs. Her husband might accuse her of having another man who collects her salary. The man, as the head of the home, should be able to fend for his family. There is nothing wrong for a woman to support her husband in providing for the home but not to submit her salary to her husband as a way of being submissive. Doing so simply means that the man will be collecting double salaries at the end of the month. Wives who tried it when they newly wedded have their sad stories to tell.
“Let us remember that women did not fall from heaven, they equally have parents, dependants and other needs. I am not working on behalf of my husband. I am working for myself, to support him and the family. A husband, who wants to be the head as Christ is the head of the church, will not ask his wife to submit her salary. If in any case I would have to submit my salary, it should be out of my own will,” she said.
An architect, Mr Lanre Oseni, who also opposed the idea of wives giving their salaries to their husbands said that such does not fit into today’s reality and should not be encouraged as it could easily be abused by men, especially if the husband is irresponsible.
He said:“Women will see it as one of those schemes men who have wives that earn significantly more than them will come up with in order to help their ego. No man should seek to collect the wages of his wife’s labour and vice versa. Men should work and stand tall on their own and leave a woman’s money for her. If I cannot give my salary to my wife for house upkeep, I should not expect same from her. It’s like enslaving women. I dare not try that with my wife. Men should live up to their responsibilities and appreciate any little effort from their wives to keep the homes running smoothly ” he said.
Reacting differently, an artisan Mr Ifeoluwa Adeola, sees nothing wrong if a woman submit her salary to her husband and added that it would help to foster unity and trust between them and make their home heaven on earth.
His words: “During the days of our fore-fathers, that was the practice then. Women then gave their all including their earnings to their husbands. This was one of the reasons why they lived together happily till death did them part. My mother told us before her death that she used to give her money to our father who would decide how it would be spent without objection. Due to this, I began to pray for such a wife like my late mother.
“When I eventually married and brought the idea to my wife, she warned me against repeating it if I didn’t want to incur her wrath. She said that if I could not submit my salary to her I should not expect such from her. She reminded me that a woman is a helpmate and not an apprentice who is expected to submit her sales to her master. She told me that she has the right to her money and her salaries, and she is not obliged to give her salaries to her husband. Even if she does that, it is out of love for her husband, and it is not an inalienable right of the man. She reminded me that a husband, who wants to be the head as Christ is the head of the church, would not ask his wife to submit her salary. Since then, I never raised such issue with her again.
“To me, a smart woman could do that to her advantage. It is one of the strongest weapons to win her husband love. However, women are very cunning, I would not want my wife to submit her salary to me only to turn around and make request that is more than the salary submitted. I think any one that is big enough to earn salary is also big enough to manage it appropriately. Submitting salary to one’s husband is not a sign of obedience. But, if my wife brings her salary to me, I would jump for joy and pray for her, but I don’t see my type of woman supporting such idea,” he said.
A salary earner, Mr Joe Bobajo, believed that the idea is okay if a woman could come to term with It. According to him, it shows the wife’s level of commitment, understanding, love and submissiveness but maintained that 90 percent of today’s women would give it negative meanings.
He said: “A woman who can do this will enjoy her husband till the end. But I doubt it if we can find one in 30 women who can do that today. I want to tell you that some husbands don’t know how much their wives earn monthly. Do you expect such women to give their salaries to their husbands? My wife cannot do it and I cannot even discuss such before her if I don’t want a problem. If some women are doing it, it is commendable because it will further boost their husbands’ love for them. My advice is that we should always do what works for our family. What works for me might not work for others. Avoid anything that will ruin your home,” he advised.