Am I An Irresponsible Wife Because I Stopped Cooking For My Husband?
I and my husband live in different towns. When we got married, I wasn’t working. I was looking for a job but none turned up at the time so he was the only one doing everything to keep the marriage afloat. He’ll stock the kitchen at the end of the month, give me housekeeping money, and even gave me money for my own upkeep. He never complained about his duties. He instead encouraged me day by day to have patience and wait for the right time when a job will come. A man who does that is very easy to love and I loved him for all the moments he sought to make things right. He made me feel secured and created the environment for me to believe that he was going to provide for me forever. Oh, the random things he did made me love him the more. He’ll come home bearing a gift. He’ll randomly dash me something whenever he sensed that I was in need.
About two years ago, I got a job. We were so happy we had a dinner to celebrate the occasion of me having a job. Right the following month, the water in our lives started running dry. The kitchen became empty. The stocks ran dry empty. Our light went off—no not from ECG. It went off because the bill hadn’t been paid. Same with water and other petty things that needed to be settled. “Why is this man not paying for these things?” I asked myself.
I was in no rush to ask questions so I kept quiet for a while, watching as things unfold right before my eyes. When changes come, they come with questions—questions that ought to be answered. He didn’t answer the questions why so I started building up excuses to cover the neglect of his duties; “Maybe he is going through some financial crisis. It’s possible.” I was working so I took up the mantle. I didn’t hesitate to pay the bills. It went on for too long I didn’t have any option but to ask what the issue was about.
I brought it up before bedtime one evening. I asked, “Is everything ok with you at work?” He said, “Yes, everything is fine.”
“You’re not going through any financial crisis?”
“No I’m not but why do you ask?”
“No, feel free and tell me. I’m your wife.”
“I’m saying everything is fine. What are all these questions for?”
“You have not paid any bill or given me money in a while. What is happening?”
His answer came out aggressively; “You have a job now. you should be able to cater for all that. What is the essence of working if you won’t use your money on yourself and things that matter? What are you using all the money you are earning for?”
I couldn’t comprehend why he would want to stop everything because I got a job. I would have been ok if he suggested that I help out but to leave everything to me didn’t seem fair. It is not like my salary was anything out of the ordinary. My husband’s take-home is thrice more than mine so I couldn’t get the rationale behind his action. After several fights with him, I gave up and decided to take care of myself and the children on my own. After all, he wasn’t living with us.
He still pays the school fees of the kids. When we travel to visit him where he works, he gives us money for food. Those are the only financial obligations he has committed himself to. Any other thing; light bills, water bill, rent for the apartment I live in with the kids and everything else is on me.
Previously, I cooked a variety of meals for him to take away whenever he came to visit. When I started doing that, he was giving me money to use for the foodstuff. Currently, he had stopped giving me money for that one too. I thought it was an oversight. I thought too much thinking has made him forget the one thing he was providing for. I asked him, “Would you give me money to prepare the meals you’ll take along when leaving?” He said, “I don’t have money.”
I didn’t want to come off as an irresponsible wife so I continued cooking those dishes for him with my own money. Unfortunately, I have come to the end of me in terms of how much I can take on financially. The kids are growing so their expenses are becoming unbearable and the kind of economy we live in has made everything become so expensive. I am literally living from hand to mouth now. No savings. I fear if I continue on the path that I am on now, I will not survive. My kids and I will end up starving to death.
I tried talking to my husband one last time to see if he would change his mind. I wanted him to reason with me. I brought the topic back to the table again. He said, “I still believe that you’re capable of meeting the basic necessities of the house. You earn so you should be able to manage these little things.”
In recent times, I’ve stopped preparing food for him to take away whenever he visits. He hasn’t complained but I feel very bad that I have stopped. Some days I feel like I am not being a responsible wife. What do I do? Is there a way I can get my husband to go back to being the provider he was? Even if he doesn’t, do I continue to feed him? Am I wrong for choosing my kids and myself over my husband?