How Important Is It To Be Financially Independent In A Relationship?
I never really considered the notion of saving for a rainy day until I went through my own struggles with money. As a child, going shopping for school supplies filled me with both anxiety and excitement as the thought of having tons of fresh, unopened items meant the start of something new ahead. As an adult, August signifies the beginning of my wallet dwindling in preparation to send my sons off to school again.
When my significant other and I couldn't start our kids off with what was supposed to be mandatory for their first week, my inner guilt came across as fury towards my children's father. I blamed him for not having enough to send just one off with everything he needed, cursed him for not making enough to make ends meet, and argued with him over bank statements and spending habits from months prior. In hindsight, he did the best he could with what he had and his response to my tangent reminded me of a lesson I learned through observation growing up: "What do you have? Where is your money?"
A girl has to have her own, right?
I recently spoke to a friend who told me about some financial roadblocks she's hit. She was a stay at home mom who worked really hard to maintain her household including raising her two daughters alongside her husband. They were now faced with living with in-laws or moving into a shelter. Without prying into any of her business she did not expose herself, I listened to the weariness in her voice as she told me stories of depending heavily on her husband.
"I didn't think to work. He took care of anything me and the girls wanted and needed, and I grew comfortably into life at home, without a job," she told me. I've heard this story too many times before. I sympathized with her, trying the stay-at-home mom move myself and realizing a mere a month and a half in that I had to support my own family, even if my partner did work.
There were things I wanted for myself that I could not buy. I grew accustomed to sticking my hand out to my partner for money and in a cycle of asking for things excessively, my partner felt frustrated and eventually, rejected my demands. What did I have for myself? What was I doing for myself?
Through my own experience and taking my friend's account of dependency into consideration, I was led to ask several married women and stay-at-home mommies about their thoughts in relying on their partners. Many had careers and suggested having separate bank accounts to avoid the headaches and hassles of finances. Some found purpose in their lives in raising their children at home and still held their own from past jobs that didn't allow them to be contingent on their spouses paycheck. Others reminded me of trust and the significance of that part in traditional wedding vows that swears you tough it out for richer or poorer. "For me, I have to believe my husband won't leave me without anything, especially with children, because we made an oath before God," one girlfriend told me.
In watching my mother marry someone with a much higher credit score and more stable lifestyle, who later divorced her and left her in a financial bind that affected immediate family members, I've become slightly cautious of putting all my faith in one basket and living off of someone else's income. I don't ever want my reality to suddenly shift because my world was wrapped in someone else's and I couldn't do for me. As a young girl, I did bad all by myself, and as a woman, I know the importance of having your own.
Read what these five ladies had to say about the importance of women having their own, trust, and financial dependency:
Having Your Own
I have always been independent, down to changing my own motor oil. When I got married, that didn't change–I just learned to combine my powers with his. The freedom of being able to buy what I want without having to explain why is awesome. Plus if he ever falls short financially, I have the power to pick up the slack. – Kimani Fisher-Wynter
Too often a woman “having her own" in a relationship is positioned solely as financial independence. But, we forget that money is tethered to other aspects of our lives. Obviously having your “eff you" money in place is important. But, having your own is also about mental and emotional independence. Financial freedom equates to freedom in so many other arenas of your life. There's peace of mind that comes from knowing you have options. – Tyece Wilkins
The first time I realized that women were supposedly an extension of their man was post nuptials when a woman asked me "so, who are you married to?". That immediately gave me pause because I am my own woman and although my husband is an amazing man, he is my partner, not my parent. I never knew that some women were assumed to be codependent because my mother was always very independent and my husband's mother was as well. I have never felt like I had to choose my relationship over my career because I married a man who wanted an independent and capable woman. I think that is one of the most important parts because it is difficult to have and maintain "your own" if you are with a person who wants you to rely solely on them. As the director of an education nonprofit, I am many things to many different people. It certainly helps to know that I'm married to someone who supports that and is not envious or annoyed by it. My independence is not a burden to him but a blessing, and I love him for it. – Brittany Brady
At 28 years old, I will be celebrating 6 years of marriage this Fall. I've worked outside of the home and have also had the pleasure of being a stay at home mom for over a year - a personal choice that was very important to me. While I now take pride in being able to significantly contribute to my households income, I never felt less than when I wasn't bringing in a check as a SAHM. Being home gave me a chance to re-group, figure out exactly what I wanted to do and most importantly bond with my baby. I also financially prepared to be home, so I made it a point to have my own and even started a successful small business from my kitchen. My clique of millennial mommy friends all have hustles and business' that we run when our families are asleep - it's all about maintaining a sense of self. – Jhéanell Adams
I've been a stay at home mom for roughly nine years and being financially dependent on my husband is honestly the best fit for the vision we have for our family. It's our highest priority for me to be home raising our children and my mind to be fully dedicated to that at this point in our lives. So, while he's out making the money to support our family, I'm home building the foundation for our lives–emotionally, spiritually, and academically. Sure, it hasn't always been easy not having my "own" money to do what I please, but at the end of the day, the bigger picture requires a joint effort, and my contribution doesn't require a financial aspect. Sure, I worry about the what if's, but aren't the most financially independent people as well? I mean we live in an unstable world. I definitely try to take the time to stay abreast with the job market, to better myself and hone my skills so I'm prepared when and if the time comes that I may need to support myself and my family. I trust that it will be okay. I trust that my husband will hold it down while he has to, and in the event that he can't, I trust that I'm resourceful enough as a person to pick up the pieces and do what I have to. Having a trustworthy partner and having the utmost confidence in yourself is what makes financial dependency a somewhat easy pill to swallow. – Tiffany Perez-Figueroa
Should you have your own or is it okay to depend on your significant other? Let me know your thoughts and share your own stories in the comment section below!
- If You Love Your Spouse, You'd Make Them Financially Independent ›
- What To Do With Your Wonderful-But-Broke Boyfriend ›
- How To Get Your Partner On Board With Financial Change - The ... ›
- Would you start a relationship with a financially broke person ... ›
- If Your Partner Does These 11 Things, It May Be Financial Abuse ›
Exclusive: Gabrielle Union On Radical Transparency, Being Diagnosed With Perimenopause And Embracing What’s Next
Whenever Gabrielle Union graces the movie screen, she immediately commands attention. From her unforgettable scenes in films like Bring It On and Two Can Play That Game to her most recent film, in which she stars and produces Netflix’s The Perfect Find, there’s no denying that she is that girl.
Off-screen, she uses that power for good by sharing her trials and tribulations with other women in hopes of helping those who may be going through the same things or preventing them from experiencing them altogether. Recently, the Flawless by Gabrielle Union founder partnered with Clearblue to speak at the launch of their Menopause Stage Indicator, where she also shared her experience with being perimenopausal.
In a xoNecoleexclusive, the iconic actress opens up about embracing this season of her life, new projects, and overall being a “bad motherfucker.” Gabrielle reveals that she was 37 years old when she was diagnosed with perimenopause and is still going through it at 51 years old. Mayo Clinic says perimenopause “refers to the time during which your body makes the natural transition to menopause, marking the end of the reproductive years.”
“I haven't crossed over the next phase just yet, but I think part of it is when you hear any form of menopause, you automatically think of your mother or grandmother. It feels like an old-person thing, but for me, I was 37 and like not understanding what that really meant for me. And I don't think we focus so much on the word menopause without understanding that perimenopause is just the time before menopause,” she tells us.
Photo by Brian Thomas
"But you can experience a lot of the same things during that period that people talk about, that they experienced during menopause. So you could get a hot flash, you could get the weight gain, the hair loss, depression, anxiety, like all of it, mental health challenges, all of that can come, you know, at any stage of the menopausal journey and like for me, I've been in perimenopause like 13, 14 years. When you know, most doctors are like, ‘Oh, but it's usually about ten years, and I'm like, ‘Uhh, I’m still going (laughs).’”
Conversations about perimenopause, fibroids, and all the things that are associated with women’s bodies have often been considered taboo and thus not discussed publicly. However, times are changing, and thanks to the Gabrielle’s and the Tia Mowry’s, more women are having an authentic discourse about women’s health. These open discussions lead to the creation of more safe spaces and support for one another.
“I want to be in community with folks. I don't ever want to feel like I'm on an island about anything. So, if I can help create community where we are lacking, I want to be a part of that,” she says. “So, it's like there's no harm in talking about it. You know what I mean? Like, I was a bad motherfucker before perimenopause. I’m a bad motherfucker now, and I'll be a bad motherfucker after menopause. Know what I’m saying? None of that has to change. How I’m a bad motherfucker, I welcome that part of the change. I'm just getting better and stronger and more intelligent, more wise, more patient, more compassionate, more empathetic. All of that is very, very welcomed, and none of it should be scary.”
The Being Mary Jane star hasn’t been shy about her stance on therapy. If you don’t know, here’s a hint: she’s all for it, and she encourages others to try it as well. She likens therapy to dating by suggesting that you keep looking for the right therapist to match your needs. Two other essential keys to her growth are radical transparency and radical acceptance (though she admits she is still working on the latter).
"I was a bad motherfucker before perimenopause. I’m a bad motherfucker now, and I'll be a bad motherfucker after menopause. Know what I’m saying? None of that has to change. How I’m a bad motherfucker, I welcome that part of the change."
Gabrielle Union and Kaavia Union-Wade
Photo by Monica Schipper/Getty Images
“I hope that a.) you recognize that you're not alone. Seek out help and know that it's okay to be honest about what the hell is happening in your life. That's the only way that you know you can get help, and that's also the only other way that people know that you are in need if there's something going on,” she says, “because we have all these big, very wild, high expectations of people, but if they don't know what they're actually dealing with, they're always going to be failing, and you will always be disappointed. So how about just tell the truth, be transparent, and let people know where you are. So they can be of service, they can be compassionate.”
Gabrielle’s transparency is what makes her so relatable, and has so many people root for her. Whether through her TV and film projects, her memoirs, or her social media, the actress has a knack for making you feel like she’s your homegirl. Scrolling through her Instagram, you see the special moments with her family, exciting new business ventures, and jaw-dropping fashion moments. Throughout her life and career, we’ve seen her evolve in a multitude of ways. From producing films to starting a haircare line to marriage and motherhood, her journey is a story of courage and triumph. And right now, in this season, she’s asking, “What’s next?”
“This is a season of discovery and change. In a billion ways,” says the NAACP Image Award winner. “The notion of like, ‘Oh, so and so changed. They got brand new.’ I want you to be brand new. I want me to be brand new. I want us to be always constantly growing, evolving. Having more clarity, moving with different purpose, like, and all of that is for me very, very welcomed."
"I want you to be brand new. I want me to be brand new. I want us to be always constantly growing, evolving. Having more clarity, moving with different purpose, like, and all of that is for me very, very welcomed."
She continues, “So I'm just trying to figure out what's next. You know what I mean? I'm jumping into what's next. I'm excited going into what's next and new. I'm just sort of embracing all of what life has to offer.”
Look out for Gabrielle in the upcoming indie film Riff Raff, which is a crime comedy starring her and Jennifer Coolidge, and she will also produce The Idea of You, which stars Anne Hathaway.
Let’s make things inbox official! Sign up for the xoNecole newsletter for daily love, wellness, career, and exclusive content delivered straight to your inbox.
Feature image by Mike Lawrie/Getty Images
Romeo Miller Reveals His Daughter Is 'One Of The Younger Cases To Be Diagnosed' With Type 1 Diabetes
Romeo Miller has a lot to be grateful for during this holiday season, and of these is the health of his 2-year-old daughter.
Late last month, the 34-year-old artist revealed that his daughter, River Rose Miller, has type 1 diabetes.
"River Rose Miller aka my little rocket! Before I go to bed tonight, on this special day I give thanks to you and for you,” she expressed in an Instagram post. “Behind that comely smile, there’s a fighter! I’ve never met a stronger human and I thank God every day for assigning me to be your papa."
The businessman shared a montage of heartfelt moments with his daughter undergoing treatment in the hospital along with clips of their playful daddy-daughter times, praising her strength and resilience in facing the challenges of her condition.
"At her age, there are many challenges and random sleepovers at the hospital, but our faith has never wavered and little sister Winter and Mama Drew are always by her side,” he wrote. “The silver lining? Our bond is even stronger because it's a must I be there for my daughter medically."
According to the Mayo Clinic, type 1 diabetes is a chronic autoimmune condition in which the pancreas produces little to no insulin. Insulin is a hormone that plays a crucial role in regulating blood sugar (glucose) levels. In individuals with type 1 diabetes, the immune system mistakenly attacks and destroys the insulin-producing beta cells in the pancreas.
Miller adds, “We’ve kept things private, but my daughter is one of the younger cases to be diagnosed with T1D. Type 1 diabetes is a chronic (life-long) autoimmune disease that prevents your pancreas from making insulin. It requires daily management with insulin injections, shots, and blood sugar monitoring just to survive.”
The exact cause of type 1 diabetes is not fully understood, but it is believed to involve a combination of genetic and environmental factors. Unlike type 2 diabetes, which is often associated with lifestyle factors such as obesity and physical inactivity, type 1 diabetes is not linked to these risk factors.
When a child with type 1 diabetes shows symptoms, it indicates that their body is not processing glucose properly. Common signs of Type 1 diabetes, also known as juvenile diabetes, may include: increased thirst, frequent urination, weight loss, fatigue, and blurred vision.
Despite his daughter’s health challenges, Miller shares that his family has been “blessed” to work with top doctors to give his child the best care possible. The Nickelodeon-alum shares his nearly two-year-old daughter, River Rose, and 8-month-old daughter, Winter Snoh with fiancée, Drew Sangster.
“I wanna give that knowledge and access back to all whom are going through a similar journey. @omnipod and @dexcom has been a life saver, but my mission is to help the T1D community find a cure. We have some exciting news coming soon! The @mylittlerocketco is an all purpose company and charity inspired by my daughter and owned by my daughter. Romans 8:28 🌍🙏🏾,” he continues.
The entrepreneur is inspired to spread awareness around this health condition and concluded his post with the famous quote: "You never know what someone is going through, so be kind.”
Let’s make things inbox official! Sign up for the xoNecole newsletter for daily love, wellness, career, and exclusive content delivered straight to your inbox.
Featured image via Romeo Miller/Instagram