Even though society might not say it outright, is marriage dependent on the amount of money a man has or his ability to make it? Every Woman correspondent Dyson Mthawanji asks.
Are you a married woman? If yes, then you have probably been asked what your spouse does for a living. And, if you are not married, perhaps you have asked a relative, friend or colleague the same question.
Could this reflect on the fact that some women would like to fall in love and settle down with a man who is financially stable and able to take care of them? While most people might not admit this outright, some women have gone to the extent of saying thatÃ‚Â a Ã¢â‚¬ËœrealÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ man must belong to three Cs category, meaning they should have cash, cars and cellphones. If you are a man and you donÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t have these three things, forget about an urban woman, some people say.
But is it right to expect a marriage partner; especially a man, with lots of money? Considering that money is the backbone of our day-to-day life, can happy marriages exist without it?
Isaac Joseph Nkhoma of Kasungu says marriage and money are two different things, therefore, it is unjustifiable for people to set financial stability as a condition for partnership. Nkhoma emphasises that marriage can exist without money.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“Let us look at people in villages; many of them live without money in their pockets, yet some of them have happy unions,Ã¢â‚¬Â cites Nkhoma.
Traditional Authority Mponela (real name Chiyembekezo Chakhaza) of Dowa concurs with Nkhoma. He, however, points out that even though marriage can exist without money, considering the high demand for various things that are necessary within the marriage, money is always needed for its progress.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“In the past, marriages survived despite a husband being poor. But today, things have changed as everything now needs money. Therefore, it is a wake-up call to people to financially prepare for marriage,Ã¢â‚¬Â he says.
Celebrated musician Dan Lufani, who is popular with love songs such as Part of Life, Mphete and Nsanje, disagrees with Nkhoma. Lufani says unlike in the past, todayÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s marriages cannot easily exist and survive without money. According to him, marriage and money cannot be separated because money is what makes marriage enjoyable.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“Our ancestors were able to stay happily married in the absence of money because they had plentiful land to cultivate crops. They produced their own food and not much else mattered.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“However, this is not the case these days where everything requires that one has a bit of money. For this reason, marriage and money cannot be separated,Ã¢â‚¬Â says dreadlocked Dan Lufani who recently got married.
However, Lufani is quick to point out that it is not a prerequisite for a prospective spouse to own cars and other luxuries.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“Money is essential for basic needs such as food, good accommodation and clothes. These are the things that the man, as head of the family, should strive to provide with the help of his wife. Other things such as posh cars are mere luxuries that will be an added advantage,Ã¢â‚¬Â adds Lufani.
A sentence in Tara Siegel BernardÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s article Ã¢â‚¬ËœA key to wedded bliss? Money mattersÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ published in the New York Times reads:
Ã¢â‚¬Å“Today, while most of us marry for romantic reasons, marriage at its core is still a financial union.Ã¢â‚¬Â