The power and sex balance

So, what does your man want?

So, what does your man want?

Published Dec 25, 2010


While the sexes battle for equality in their relationships, it seems being the solvent one can turn into a double-edged sword. The debate over who pays has long been put to rest and women often choose to reach into their purses and pay their way.

The problem is that financial contribution in a marriage or relationship fluctuates and does so with the power balance in relationships.

However, while it should be a good idea for the woman who brings home the bacon to contribute more at such times, the hand that receiveth does not go unpunished.

Men who bring in less to the table leave women cheesed off.

Take the case of Tyler Perry’s Why Did I Get Married in which Angela played by Tasha Smith argues with Marcus (Michael Jai White).

Angela is drinking too much, is verbally abusive towards him and is sexually demanding because Marcus has taken the submissive role working for Angela in her hair salon.

Bernice Bosman, a family therapist, says it is natural for female relationship providers to be resentful towards their partners. “Naturally contributing towards your partner’s welfare creates a certain expectation because you are thinking: here is someone, a grown-up with the ability to provide for himself and I have to go out there, work and hand it to him... The role of man is that of a supplier.”

And men say it is hard to notice the signs at first. They say wealthy control freaks lure men in slowly and systematically.

Take Jill Scott for instance.

While she is a remarkably successful singer/composer, and has proved herself to be a great actress too, she does not seem to have the manual for relationships.

Scott, who is said to be extremely giving and bossy, has been so resentful of people taking too much from her that she makes them sign an affidavit on when they will pay back. “People with money are always faced with the decision to either protect it or find suitable partners to share it with,” says Tami Rasmeni, a relationships counsellor.

Although happiness seems elusive to women with more cash, it seems the boyfriends are left scarred.

“Economic power also entails the abuser having total control of the money and making the man dance to her financial tune,” says Bosman. “In its extreme cases, she will put the man on a strict ‘allowance’, withholding money at will and forcing him to beg for the money until she gives him some money. It is common for the man to receive less money as the abuse continues. This also prevents the men from pursuing education or obtaining employment so that they remain in the submissive role and dependent on the abuser,” she says.

“I never looked at it that way,” says Liz Mapane a stylist who confesses to having lost many relationships despite funding them.

“I just thought that when a man is down on his luck or struggling to find a job, it was because they wanted to fleece me for all my worth and so I would just put my guard up and put them in their place before I became a statistic.”

Rasmeni agrees that men tend to become comfortable when they are involved with hard-working women. Mapane recalls a guy who seemed to have a bright future ahead of him until she opened a décor shop.

“When he saw the furniture in the shop, he asked me to come clean about my wealth. I refused to. But after a while, gone were the radio jingles he used to make when I met him. His friends were also frequenting our place on hungry stomachs... it just got too obvious that I had become his ticket out of earning a living.”

But they say opposites attract and wealthy or better-off women get into these relationships with their eyes wide open.

“I had a child by a woman who made more money than me,” recalls Randy Williams an IT specialist. “We tried to stay together but couldn’t make it work because of our financial differences and spending culture.

“After the baby was born, she gave her the most opulent lifestyle and when I couldn’t meet her demands for the child, she relinquished my fatherly rights over the child. I don’t think that women with more money tend to be evil about it, I know that for a fact.”

Why have a child with a man who can hardly meet your financial standards? Such acts are like a set-up.

“The thing is, there is still no manual for relationships and whether we are on the same financial scale or not, in love, we all take chances,” says Rasmeni. “Money can be a problem when only one partner has it because it is natural for them to want to guard it. It also creates intolerance to the solvent partner.

“My advice is to find someone you really love because tolerance comes easier when you love someone unconditionally.” - Sunday Independent

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