I have been married for four years to a man that truly loves me and takes care of me and my children. Before I met him and during the time of our courtship, I used to work as a secretary.
But when we got married he demanded that I quit my job so that I direct my energies on raising our family, which I obliged as it made a lot of sense at that material time.
However, during the period of my employment, I had used part of my salary to support my siblings and relations, who, for one reason or another, cannot fend for themselves.
At the inception of our marriage, I had been reluctant to approach my husband’s hand at assisting with my relations’ numerous problems.
But when I gathered enough courage last week, he told me in no uncertain terms that he was not obliged to help as my family is not his burden.
I do understand his position, which is mainly based on the argument that my relations are older than me and should be able to fend for themselves.
He even went as far as accusing me of creating a dependency syndrome by encouraging them to rely on me.
While the first part it true, I still feel it is unfair because God uses one member of the family to pull the rest up. I feel that I am the one that God chose so everyone is blessed through me.
But still, my husband will have none of it and this has caused a strain in our marriage added to the fact that my relations have started saying bad things about me behind my back.
See just how ungrateful your relations are? Just because you have gone a while without supporting them and they are all over town talking about you.
That is what I always told my sisters: I can support them up to a point, but there comes a threshold when I have to cut the weaning.
The problem with relations is that, once you offer yourself to assist, you open yourself to abuse.
Hard as it might be, these relations of yours are not your problem, let alone your husband’s.
They have to find a means of fending for themselves and the sooner they realised that, the better.
Surely, you write from Ndirande, Blantyre, and I assume your relations are from there as well. Knowing Ndirande as well as I do, it is a land of opportunities and, with a little creativity, your relations could be making a couple of kwachas.
But as long as you make yourself available, their problems will be your problems and you will have no peace for a very long time.
Your husband seems like is a sensible man and it is time you started taking care of your family than this lazy bunch. You have children to raise, you have a husband to take care of, so why should you stress over people who will not even raise their hands to wipe their nose?
The only bone of contention would have been if your husband supports his family and ignores yours.
But since you have not established it here, the question of bias does and will not arise.
Stop being sorry for yourself and for other people and invest your energies into your young family. That is a very fruitful endeavour, believe you me.
I have supported my family for years and what have I got in return? And I don’t think I am an isolated case. Ask around. This business of supporting grown up men and women is a thankless job.
Ndatha ine wanu,
Big Man Wamkulu
Thought for the day:
All happy families are alike; each unhappy family is unhappy in its own way.— Leo Tolstoy