Marriage is as much a journey into self-exploration as it is about discovering and deciphering someone else. “Whatever belongs to me, belongs to you.” is one of the most clichéd reiterations romantic and/or married couples generously sprinkle over each other. However, pocket, phone or privacy in general, many don’t spare a thought to mark boundaries or lay down clear exceptions.
An impromptu plan of potluck and dressing up brought few of us girl friends together the other day. We babbled about everything under the sun while cackling incorrigibly on the lamest jokes. As our eyes watered and our tummies hurt from the laughing, our conversations slowly veered towards marriage. To my surprise, some of them confessed stealthily raiding their husband’s pocket since their husbands kept close tabs on their expenses.
This was quite a revelation for me. More so, because I and A don’t even touch each other’s wallets without permission. We exchange our credit and debit cards occasionally but feel uncomfortable keeping them with us once the transaction is done. It isn’t about trust, mind you, it is about giving each other and our personal things space and respecting it.
We’ve handed over large sums of money to each other from our personal accounts on occasion and we’ve also paid them back. Although we never use them, our passwords aren’t kept secret either. I haven’t had to account for a single penny to A as yet. I keep aside (after quibbling of course) even the odd note he forgets to remove while putting his trousers in the laundry bag.
Women, like my Mom, can be excellent financial planners when it comes to their household. She took the challenge of setting up her home with Dad’s modest income head on and managed to turn it around impressively. “Insaan ki niyat acchi honi chahiye” she would tell me when I was a kid. I’m glad that some of her virtues and teachings have rubbed off on me too. Mothers are indeed our first and best teachers.
What if your husband walks out of home unbeknownst that you’ve emptied his wallet? Wouldn’t he be embarrassed if he can’t find any bank or ATM around? Taking few tens or fifties from a pocket is like lose change. How many times would one have to resort to this exercise even to get a decent purse? As wives we have a right over it but do we really want to use it in this fashion?