So you married a Prince and he turned out to be a pauper by the time your marriage rings were getting replaced by contentious divorce petitions. Sounds familiar? The story seems as old as the hills, or well at least since the beginning of various marriage acts across the globe. When was the last time you heard of a husband coming forward willingly and paying off the wife her legitimate financial claims in marriage. She has to dig deep into her physical, emotional and financial reserves to get some of the financial treasures of her husband. Then she is painted as a gold-digger, a blood sucking vampire and several of the same ilk.
The underlying message, especially in patriarchal countries like India and even the ‘so called’ progressive countries like America and UK is that women don’t deserve any money of their own unless sanctioned by the man in their lives. In India, the laws up until less than a decade ago, didn’t allow girls’ to claim their father’s inheritance and if the father left all the money to his son it was permissible by law. Essentially, the girls’ could not challenge their father’s decision in court. So the girls’ have to be dependent on handouts given by their brothers or other males in their family. In order to get these handouts they must stay in line and not displease the family, especially the males. The entire attitude spills over to marriage and other aspects of life wherever there is money involved, correction, and money involved to be given to women. The question that the majority ask is, ‘DOES SHE DESERVE IT???’
When these questions are primary in our narratives then perhaps it’s time to take charge of our financial lives and quit being the sacrificial lamb in the abattoir of finances controlled by men. Instead of begging on one hand or fighting on the other why not choose a middle path. This would be keep our self-respect as well as our wallets and bank accounts intact. Taking charge of our own finances should be our resolution for March, especially when there is an acrimonious divorce playing out in our lives. When we become mistresses of our own money minus all the guilt then we have truly triumphed. The guilt is perhaps the most important factor to be dealt with, and it should be delivered a death knell.
The money that we earn is entitled to us.
This should be the path going forward and once we are on this there should be no looking back. Then -there is no justification, guilt, unnecessary and unacknowledged sacrificing. Being a woman does not mean that you should have your entire financial existence dependent upon a man’s good graces. And the minute you disappoint him in marriage he has the right to dispossess you of everything and put you out on the streets.
And perhaps our March resolution should also be that we should not do the same to the man.
Till next time…..Be Brave and Conquer the world
Originally published at medium.com