What’s in a name? It has the same effect whether you call it ‘Mula’, ‘Benjamins’, Mo1s’ or simply money. They say that money is power and that it makes the world go round (as if it wasn’t already orbiting round the sun). We have seen it transform people, right? Come on now, accept it – an Eve or Adam who was not ‘all that’ seems more handsome or pretty (he he he) the minute they start bringing in serious ‘Mula’.
If it has these ‘effects’ (outward, I know), then no one should underestimate, the power of money to ruin even the strongest of relationships. This is because money has a place in all our lives, we need it to survive. Due to various changes (high cost of living, the equality debates, women’s empowerment, etc) that have occurred in society, the responsibility of ensuring this survival no longer rests on Adam alone. Eve too has to chip in almost at the same level as Adam (if not more at times), and there lies the problem; this has led to a distortion on the balance of power in relationships.
When Eve brings more ‘Benjamins’ than Adam, the equation seems not to balance. When Adam brings in more than Eve, it seems that x+y=xy. Many people say that when Adam is the one providing and taking up a big chunk of the financing, the relationship seems to ‘flourish’. The issue comes in when Eve is faced with a situation where she has to support Adam especially during those hard times. All of a sudden, Eve has a problem with it. This could be a valid observation, and I think it has to do with the way we are socialised. Steve Harvey, the author of ‘Think Like Man, Act Like a Lady’ said that Adam is defined (by himself and society) by, among other things, his ability to provide. Now, when this power to provide is reduced or simply absent coupled with the fact that Eve is doing better than him, his ego can be battered – sometimes irreparably. May I also add that if Adam is not wise enough to ‘discern the times’, he might contribute to the annihilation of his ego?
So let us delve into this picture where Eve is the one with the ‘Mo1s’. For example, Eve could be engrossed in a conversation and then say something which ends up hurting Adam, not because she intended to, but because Adam is aware of the fact that when it comes to money issues, he does not have the upper hand. I know, I know; sweeping with a broad broom, but picture these scenarios.
Scenario 1: Typical Adam: Eve makes a suggestion to go on holiday to some glamorous place (someone say, ‘Shompole’J), the dude is looking at Eve like, ‘how am I supposed to finance that?’ Or Eve is going through a household interior design magazine pointing at the kind of bedroom or kitchen she would like to have and all over sudden, Adam gets uncomfortable. This is all because he knows that he is supposed to provide so he feels pressured; he does not want to entertain the thought of co-financing, because he has been brought up believing that he is ‘the man’ in all aspects’ especially when it comes to providing for his own. Any footing of expensive bills by Eve may make Adam feel like she is ‘rubbing it in’. Eve is left wondering how on God’s earth she is supposed to cope with Adam’s feelings of insecurity. This of course depends on what kind of Eve we are talking about here because while some Eves will wield their pay cheques like WOAD (Weapon of Adam Destruction), others are wise enough to know when Adam needs support and do so with grace and without grumbling.
Scenario 2: Atypical Adam: This is the one who wants what he cannot underwrite. He does not have the ‘Mula’ to do it but since he knows that Eve can finance it, he becomes a true thorn in the flesh. He wants to install an expensive music system in his ride (like it is an engine); dons expensive designer clothes (he never wore any before Eve came along); swims in the most expensive liquor (what happened to ‘my country my beer’?). He wants Eve to pay for cable TV, so that he and probably the ‘boys’ can come and enjoy soccer in a cozy environment every other weekend especially when the money to throw liquor around is in short supply. Since Eve loves the guy, she might try to come to a compromise, but there is a big problem because she is not sure how to balance the act without feeling drained. Maybe she is the frugal kind, yes she may have a six figure salary but she does not want to spend on ‘vanity’; this six letter word does not come cheap.
All these scenarios present a quandary for the pair; the relationship must stand not only the test of time, but the test of ‘Mula’ too and only the wise ones know how to pull out of it together and emerge strong. So Eves and Adams, what is your perspective on this issue and is there a way to strike a balance?
Have your say!