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I think I made the wrong choice for a wife and I am considering divorce. We have been married for 5 years and have 2 children. I am in business and struggle to run two enterprises which have not yet stabilized but they are getting there. My wife is the direct opposite of what I was looking for in a wife. She stays in the house and manages a business I started for her by phone. She wakes up at around 8 in the morning she makes the housemaid do everything while she lies on the couch watching Nigerian movies and is always keen on spending money rather than investing. She thinks we are very rich just because we have a car and can afford a good life in an expensive neighbourhood. I need someone who shares in my vision and who will help me attain it. Please advice on what I should do. I am seriously considering leaving because I don’t want to die poor.
One can feel your frustration and disappointment that your wife has not turned out to be as diligent and supportive in business as you would have wished. Is this her attitude towards work or it could be that she is not into business and entrepreneurship stuff? Inquire from her and get to know what interests her, probably it is your line of business that she does not like. Or she would prefer being employed.
If it turns out that she is just lazy, all is not lost, because some of these qualities can be taught. Take advantage of your position to help her see the need to be more proactive. Let her know that this is not just about earning money but much more. It is good for her mental and social well-being. Think of people who work as volunteers. There is more to work than money.
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You could also try to motivate her by giving her incentives when she accomplishes a task or meets a target. I know this sounds weird for a spouse especially when they know the value of this business, but do not give up on her yet, keep trying. Let her also understand how the failure of that business will affect the whole family. Talk to her. There is a level of influence that spouses wield.
If the issue is your kind of trade then allow her the freedom to do something else or get a job. Otherwise, an adult who spends their day with a remote before the TV is wasting their life away. This is also setting a wrong example for the children. From these options get what will work for you.
Hilda Boke Mahare has a background in Counselling Psychology and loves to share her knowledge in matters of life and relationships.
Muiruri, you will come to understand that not everyone is cut out for business. I don’t know for how long you courted her and what made you take the direction of investing for her but it may be quite clear that that this is just not her line. The most ideal driver for you to invest in her would be if she was already in business when you met her. If she had a deep passion, commitment and burning desire for success, she would not be running that business on the phone rather she would be proactive and more involved especially being that she does not have other pressing commitments, for example, a full-time job.
But why is she behaving like this? Well, people initiate and manage businesses well to nurture and transform them into tools that with time become their primary source of income. In her subconscious mind, that business is not and will never be her primary source of income – you are. To a large extent, you may be responsible for this. You may have instilled certain beliefs in her that have put her in a comfort zone. You put it correctly that she believes you are rich. Why then should she have to struggle with some business if she is married to a rich man?
It is about time you made her realize that you are not as rich as she thinks you are. If you want a business partner in your wife, you have to remove the emotional aspect and allocate her a share of the financial responsibilities. These would include some bills, household utilities and a percentage of some recurring expenses. She needs to understand that you cannot meet all these costs – not because you don’t want to but because you cannot (even if you can). The aim is to shape her mind towards a certain line of thought.
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You may need to withdraw all preferential treatment and goodies and behave or talk in a manner likely to suggest that if she wants something – she has to work to get it. This will stir up a mix of problems since she will start linking this to emotional commitment to even mean that you don’t love her anymore or you are seeing another woman etc., but you have to keep the focus. The results of not taking action now are fatal. Rather than leave, you can mould her slowly into the kind of person you want her to be over time.
Simon Anyona is a relationships counsellor
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