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Q: My husband and I work together in our own business. However, recently whenever I try to take an interest in our income or I question anything regarding, he usually tells me to focus on the work and to leave the financial aspect to him. This often ends up in an argument.I feel like he doesn’t respect me,both as a wife and a partner. I suppose since this is how we’ve been handling our business this entire time, I can’t blame him completely as I should’ve taken an interest sooner. How can I fix this issue without it affecting our business and marriage?—Daiyan, Kuala Lumpur
A: In any business/job, things go smoother when people know what their responsibilities are, and what job task they are assigned to. There are positions, and there are boundaries. Families working together make these boundaries a little blurry because of emotions and taking things too personally. Sounds like you and your husband have a clear-cut line as to who is in
charge of what i.e. him finances and you the work. However, I do not see how taking “an interest” in the income should be offensive to him, as at the end of the day you are partner in this business (forget the wife part), and therefore have every right to know what the business financial status is, where the money goes, and how it is being used. There should be transparency.
The fact that he gets upset when you wish to take an interest in the financesor question him about it, sounds, sorry
to say, dodgy. If he has nothing to hide, then he should have no issues sharing the details of your business finance. If
he’s just being overly sensitive with a “Honey, so you don’t trust me?” attitude, and throwing a fit, well what can I say? He needs to see this as a business interest on your part, and not as a husband & wife thing.Can you fix this without it affecting your business and marriage? Well, it doesn’t just depend on you. It’s not like you alone, can solve this amicably because it will also depend on his receptivity and response. If he’s overly sensitive and egoistic about it, or you are accusatory about it, it would not go
well. I suggest you and your husband get into the habit of setting aside a day a week/month, to a sit-down meeting over coffee, and discussing all business aspects (no home, family or relationship stuff). This should be done routinely and as part of your business activity. So ‘having an interest’ or ‘asking questions’ becomes part of the norm rather than the exception.
Q: My fiancé is being relocated to a different state and I’m expected to leave my job and build a new life
there together once we’re married. I’m almost 30, so the pressure tosettle down from friends and
family has never been greater. I want to keep my job here, but what if that means potentially straining
our relationship?—Naya, Ipoh
A: Dear Naya, forget the pressure from friends and family to settle down. Your decision to get married should be
because YOU want to, not because they or society thinks it’s time you do! Long distance relationships are not potentially a strain; they are a strain. It’s putting emotional stress (missing each other), mental stress (wondering what the other is doing), and physical stress (having to travel often, to be with each other) on the relationship. However, this does not mean it cannot work. It just means that it’s more a strain than if the two of you were living together in the same city. Regarding keeping your job and staying here, versus giving it up and moving to live with your future husband: it boils down to which is more important. There are wives who leave their husband and children to work in another country (like maids, for example) not because they don’t
love their family but because the salary is more important and can feed their entire family back home. Self-sacrifice for the family. There are, of course, those who prefer to have jobs that take them away from the family because one, the cool lifestyle that a high
salary can provide is more important than being with the family, or two, because the ‘freedom’ they enjoy is more important. So, what’s more important to you? Who’s more important to you?