For Richer, for Poorer

Marriage is meant to last forever. Unfortunately, it doesn’t sometimes and couples get divorced!

Then comes the question of who takes what and often, it’s contentious, with two people who once had so much love for each other now fighting over the house, car and whatever other property there is to fight over.  Being a woman, I sympathise with the ladies.

Here you are ten or twenty years into the marriage and wake up one day and it’s all over for whatever reason even though we all know it’s usually because of infidelity and while I hate to generalise, it’s usually men who stray or choose the side chick over the wife and what can you do?

Contrary to what some believe, including a court in Kenya that recently suggested some women are gold-diggers, I don’t think women set out to get married just so they can get divorced a few years down the road and grab as much of their partners’ property as possible.

It’s true men are the more likely breadwinners in many homes and so would have contributed more to the couple’s material possessions but we have to remember that women make many sacrifices too, many of which we can’t put a price to.

We’re the ones who have to make a choice between pursuing our careers and starting a family.

Many women eventually have to leave their jobs to stay home and take care of the children, especially when you have a special needs child. Add the daily chores to ensure a functional home.

All these take time and effort and women aren’t paid for any of it. It’s unfair for people to then say, “Oh that’s what women are supposed to do and have done for centuries.” If I’m busy running the home, I’m probably not going to be able to bring in as much money as my man who leaves early in the morning and only returns after dark expecting a home-cooked meal, a clean house and clean clothes to wear the next day.

Personally, I’m not sitting around waiting for my partner to pay all the bills but there are many women who don’t have that choice. Think of girls who got married at 20 or younger. Many didn’t have a chance to finish School or build their career. Taking care of their husbands and children is all they’ve done their entire adult lives. If the marriage ends, they need and deserve something from all the years invested.

Yes it’s an investment. I think what most women find hard to deal with is that in many cases, you would have struggled with this man, having met and married him when he had nothing and when years into the marriage he makes some, he opts to spend it on other women, forgetting all the years you stood by him.

It’s of course different if you marry into a rich family and the man had his ten houses and cars already but even then, I think a smart man would not be so blinded by love he couldn’t sniff a gold-digger. In the event that he doesn’t, should she then be granted half of his wealth?

Probably not but I’m not here for this small margin. I’m thinking about the woman who genuinely loved her husband but the marriage didn’t work. She should be able to walk away with something because God knows she needs all the help she can get starting over!

 

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