From Black Voices — Harsh truth: When a man has his mind on his money and his money on his mind, you are not a priority.
This issue is highlighted in ‘Tyler Perry’s Why Did I Get Married, Too?’ which made its way to the box office over the weekend. Characters Sheila and Sheriff Troy, played by Jill Scott and Lamaan Tucker, have some marital challenges because Sheriff isn’t working — their problems in the move raise an interesting question that mirrors one that is probably occurring all over the country in this tough economy. When a man’s finances are not in order, can he truly focus on love? I spoke about the controversial and timely issue with actor Richard T. Jones, who plays Scott’s character’s ex-husband Mike in the film.
From a very young age men and women are socialized in such a way that it’s often virtually impossible to see eye to eye on issues many relationship issues. One of those issues is money and how the lack or abundance thereof affects the dynamic of a relationship. Often it is little boys, not little girls, who are taught they are responsible for the well being and comfort of the opposite sex, while women are taught they are to be cared for.
“Men are programmed to be the provider, so when the woman is making more money or providing, our insecurities start falling in,” Jones said. “The world is telling us we have to get this money, before we get the girl. But then you get the money, and now I can’t trust the girl. It’s all a catch.”
Because men sometimes measure themselves by what they have attained and how much they can provide, a man without funds can be a very unhappy man. A unhappy man will create an miserable relationship, that in turn will ultimately include an unhappy woman trying to figure out how something she considers so trivial is driving a wedge in a loving relationship.
This is hard for women to comprehend, because women on the hand, are often taught to support and nurture, forming our own distorted truth that love is the remedy for all. No matter how you package your response to your man’s empty pockets (“It’s OK baby, we’re going to be alright;” “I don’t care about what you have or don’t have;” “I make enough to carry us;”), it’s never going to be music to man’s ears.
Many might argue that the tables have turned and there aren’t as many rigid expectations put on men, because women are more financially independent. However, if a man can’t bring anything to the table, it doesn’t matter how supportive you are financially or otherwise. A real man will not be able to accept the situation due to his innate need to provide. So instead of respecting the supportive and liberal stance that women take to ride out a bad situation, many men will retreat.
Photo Source: Corbis