24 Apr 2015

How Money Almost Ended My Relationship of 5 Years

I have been in a relationship since December 2009, and if I tell you it has been easy, I lie. If you have been following this blog, I have probably given you the impression that I have never really lacked money in my life- my parents were bankers, I tradeForex, I won N1 million on national TV, I am a medical doctor, I can sing and I play musical instruments, etc.

You are mistaken- I have always been broke! 
Mostly because I try to pursue too many ideas at the same time, I spend and give out a lot of my cash, I put pressure on my trading accounts among other reasons.

However, in my relationship, to a large extent, we have always been comfortable – we rarely lack cash. When we were students, I single-handedly bankrolled her 21st birthday (though I must confess I could do that because I collected money from my dad to buy Dic, Tion and Ary –if you’ve heard the joke, lol. I have since apologised. A man's sometimes gat to do what a man gat to do). And whenever I had financial troubles, I always got bailed out, or sorted things out somehow.

So we never quarrelled over money until early 2013 after I had won N1 million and started my internship in UCH. Instead of keeping to my word of getting married in January 2013 (my close friends understand this), I opted to start my musical Album project. 
It wasn’t that we fought because I didn’t buy her things or that I was stingy towards her. She believed (and knew) that it was an unwise financial decision to pursue a music career/hobby with ‘seed money’ that should have been better invested, while I've always wanted to catch my fun pursuing my dreams/ideas.

Of course, (instead of being logical) she was emotional in telling me to invest the money so that the returns will enable me to pursue all my dreams, and all I kept hearing was, “Don't use your money for your (music) ideas, let's get married!" At least, that was the impression I got and I told her matter-of-factly, ‘I wasn’t going to get married (to her) until I had pursued my ideas to a logical point’.

You don’t need me to tell you the immediate aftermath of my statement to her. I had poured cold water on her love, and its embers died a slow and painful death. I did not mind anyway since I felt, “Who needs a lady who is not interested in one's life aspirations?’

It took months of struggling within the relationship (–it was difficult and complicated to just end it abruptly), being emotionally adulterous and involved with other people, and then coming back to painfully and bluntly ironing out issues before we fell back in love with each other.

If you still think money, or your individual approach to money issues isn’t going to affect your relationship, think again. No matter how comfortable and rich you both are, you will differ on how the scarce resource called money, should be spent. You will definitely have different individual goals and financial dreams as divergent as your backgrounds. Moreover, because you are one, or hope to soon be, you will have to find a common ground.

Money is more important than love
Like I pointed out in another post, statistically, money is the #1 cause of marital distress and divorces in developed countries. Whether you are married or not, if your relationship lacks ‘the vital resource’ in enough quantities, you will soon see that love isn’t enough to keep the two of you together.

And even the bible didn’t say, “What God has joined together, let NOTHING put asunder.” It says that what God has joined together, let NO MAN put asunder, because money sure can put you two asunder!

Even from the little I have gleaned from my money and marriage survey results (PLEASE TAKE TIME OUT TO FILL THE SURVEY IF YOU HAVEN’T, Thanks!), so far, 100% of my married respondents, say they aren’t financially fulfilled in their marriages.

Don’t wait till one of you lose his/her job, don’t wait till a major medical emergency comes up, threatening to drain your purses, don’t wait till a financial emergency comes upon your marriage like a thief in the night...before talking about money matters and how to best handle it. You should strive to improve each other’s financial knowledge and earning capacity, every day.

In my relationship, I have helped my girlfriend in many ways financially, and she has helped me out too. The most recent one that comes to mind was when she paid my medical license fees for me because I had refused to, seeing that I don’t intend practicing- I actually loaned out the money to another doctor, who has refused to pay me back till date. 

Yeah, I know I am a lucky fool. 
(One of my friends believes my mum dipped me in a 'Luck River ' after I was born. lol). Even as I have been financially stupid a lot, please don’t make the same financial mistakes I have made. Learn from me and be financially savvy. That is why I am taking the pains to educate people, having seen a lot of choices-induced poverty around me.

A word is enough for the wise. (Or is it half a word, like the Yorubas will say?)

I forgot to mention that she is a pharmacist and an entrepreneur too. I hope to marry her someday.

What was that, my guy?
 Her name and phone number...?!
You dey craze? lol

What's next?
Anyway, as regards my personal financial choices and priorities, I have gotten them in order now. I am tired of hearing what everyone thinks my priority should be- 'Practice for a while and raise cash', 'Get married first', 'Start your company right away', 'No, get your MBA first', 'You have great songs, finish your album', bla, bla, bla....

Being a 'foolish Nigerian genius' is my cross, and I happily carry it. Now more than ever, I know what I want to do before I die, and in what order I will do it...no longer confused and pushed by so many ideas at the same time. 

I guess that's what they call 'Maturity'. 

Though I still love being carefree, my life has to take a more responsible turn now -not getting any younger. And because I don't do what I don't enjoy, I know I will enjoy being responsible too. (But why do adults make getting older sound boring and fearful?! Phew!)

Have a lovely weekend ahead.
[Please don't forget to say a word of prayer for my friend, Bobler, and if you are rich enough, please donate something, anything. Thank you.]

You may also like:

Disqus for sijinius