Transparency in a marriage

What exactly do we mean by transparency in a marriage? Are we just talking about spouses being faithful to each other, or are there other facets of this critical aspect that we need to be mindful of? When most wives call for transparency in a marriage they will be thinking mainly about the use of such family resources as money.

John Makumbe
John Makumbe

Some husbands are rather selfish about how family money is used. They are the only ones who make the decisions regarding how the money is to be spent. The wife may be told some things from time to time, but she is not consulted prior to the use of the money. As a result, some serious mistakes can be made, mistakes that could have been avoided had the wife been consulted in advance.

There are some wives who are gifted in business management and the use of a family’s financial resources. It is a shame not to recognize such gifting while the family is struggling to make both ends meet.

But transparency in marriage is more than just disclosing and discussing money matters. It also pertains to inter-personal relationships between the spouses and their relatives and friends. It is critically important for each spouse to know who the other spouse’s close friends and relatives are and how they are to be handled when it comes to visits, gifts, personal assistance and even the borrowing and lending of money and other items.

Tension can arise from small mishaps such as refusing to allow your children to visit the family of your husband or wife’s friend or relative. Some of these things happen when one of the spouses is away from home, making it difficult to consult them.

A close family once had a major quarrel when the wife refused to let her husband’s friend borrow a wheel-barrow when the hubby was away. The friend took strong exception to his friend’s wife on this matter, and when the husband got home he gave his wife a severe tongue-lashing. This same husband was usually very strict on the use of his family assets when he was away.

Transparency in marriage requires that when one spouse needs to buy presents for his extended family then the other spouse should be informed in advance and their opinion sought. There is no point in telling the other spouse after the deed has already been done. It is crucial that the spouses agree on what presents to buy.

Ignoring this practice will very quickly result in all manner of suspicions that the other spouse is secretly giving presents and other forms of assistance to their side of the family. This can have negative effects on intra-family relations and the whole marriage can become quite unhealthy.

Finally, transparency in marriage should also be viewed in terms of how the spouses deal with their own children. Parents should never have favourite children. It is a serious failure as a parent to like some children more than the others. In most cases children will quickly find that out and they can become very bitter about it.

A parent who discriminates one child against the other runs the risk of being despised by all their children in the end. A good parent will always be transparent about how all their children are treated fairly and equally at all times.

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Post published in: Opinions & Analysis

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