Joint account cumbersome and clumsy
Running a joint account by couples is one controversial topic that generates divergent views any time it is raised. Good as the proponents of the idea would want to paint the picture, some people don't seem to agree with it.
This is because, according to proponents of anti-joint account, a couple that understands and trusts each other could still spend their incomes together without having to go through the rigours of a joint account.
One of such advocates is Pastor Ibukun Ayanwale of the Four Square Gospel church.
The Asipa-born man of God from Ife North Local Government of Osun State, in this interview with Sunday Sun, bares his mind on such marital issues as running joint accounts, courtship, divorce, sex and other sundry marital matters.
Some people have argued that keeping joint accounts with their partners is not ideal while others think otherwise. What is a joint account all about for married couples?
When a couple approaches a particular bank, collects a form and opens an account, meaning that two of them are signatory to the account and must be present whenever they want to withdraw money from that account, you can say they are running a joint account. The two of them have to be present so that the bank will understand that one has not come behind the other to collect money.
It is okay. I used to have a joint account with my wife in one of these banks that merged with others during the banking consolidation and anytime we wanted to withdraw money, two of us would go there. When we looked at the cumbersomeness and clumsiness of operating the account, we said was it that we didn't trust ourselves or what? And unfortunately, when the consolidation was over, we didn't go back to revalidate the account. So now, each time we collect our salaries, we plan together with it. We spend our money together, there is no hidden spending anywhere; before the month ends we will have our plan.
We want to give Mr. X this amount; we want to use this money for that project; this is the amount for home upkeep; this is the amount for tithe in the church and so on, we analyze it. Basically, my own salary is what we use to run our house and other things like paying tithe, assisting people, paying school fees and all that. Then, that of my wife is used for projects that we have at hand, for instance we contribute to a particular cooperative society. If we want to buy things like gas cooker, refrigerator or piece of land, her salary is dedicated to that. So, we have made her salary a project account salary while my own is used to run the home and for other miscellaneous expenses.
For how long has this been going on?
It has been going on since we got married and we have been married for over ten years now.
How did you develop this confidence in your wife considering the fact that most women would think that their husbands might take other wives?
I will take you back to the scriptures; in the book of Psalm 11 verse three, the Bible talks about foundation. The Bible says that if the foundation is destroyed, what will the righteous do? Now, the basic thing you can take away from that verse is that the foundation of anything matters a lot. The way people meet their partners will determine the level at which they will relate and also the level of trust they would build for each other.
For me, I met my wife as a Christian and she also met me as a Christian and of course, we know our antecedents. So, starting from that level in our courtship, she found out on inquiry that all the things I told her about myself were true. In the same vein, all the things she told me about herself, I equally found all of them to be true.
So, the trust was developed before we got married and so the confidence and trust have always been there and nobody has betrayed it so far. Apart from that, there was a time I didn't have a job for over two years and she never complained for a single day. At that time, we were spending her money and even when I started working, she never caught me in any negative thing; so, to develop and build such trust in me was not anything difficult for her.
At what stage would you advise a married woman to quit her marriage?
As a marriage counselor, the Bible teaches us in the book of Malachi that in the house of God, divorce is not encouraged. Now, if God says He does not encourage divorce, what it simply means is that there is no challenge facing any family or marriage that cannot be resolved. Is it the challenge of lack of trust that we have just talked about?
Is it that of the wife or husband having extra-marital affairs? Is it barrenness? Is it that one of the couples has a particular sickness or ailment that is incurable or whatever problem that can arise in marriage? God said he hates divorce; what God is simply saying is that there is no problem that cannot be resolved. So, I wouldn't say a particular couple should get out of the marriage when certain things happen because God does not want any relationship to break down as they were laid on the foundation of Jesus Christ.
Are you aligning with those who argue that only marriages not joined by God can break?
Well, I quite agree that not all marriages are from God. That's what I have said earlier when I was talking about foundation. The way couples neet if you look at it, you find that they are in different categories and without even a soothsayer, there are marriages you see and you know that God does not have a hand in it even though a pastor joined them together.
So, not all relationships come from God. I think the most important thing is for anybody to discover what is not going on well in the relationship before marriage and work on it or end the relationship. But if after marriage they now discover that this is not the will of God for them, I wouldn't want to give a blanket solution to what they are going to do. I will advise such people to seek the face of God and whatever they feel God asked them to do, they should do it.
Recently, I was involved in a case of a lady who got married to a man and later on the two said they didn't believe it was the will of God. Well, when they said so, we tried to advise them… I remember I particularly asked the man: now you are saying it is not the will of God, what if tomorrow you realize that you are the one that has made a mistake saying it was not the will of God, what would you do? Of course, he told me that if he realizes so, he would be very much ready to come back to the lady. So, precisely, my advice to such couples will be to seek the face of God and whatever they feel God is telling them, they should go ahead to do it.
If the man or the woman no longer goes to church and the woman's life is threatened, would you still give the same advice?
I understand where you are going but I still stand by my point. The Bible says that all of us will stand before the throne of judgment to defend our actions. I have a case at hand. There was a lady who ran to me to tell me that she was married but the marriage had crashed. I asked her why and she said it crashed after three weeks because she didn't know that the man was impotent before they got married and the man did not tell her.
So, you can see what I was saying about foundation; they started the relationship on the foundation of falsehood; though, unknown to the woman, according to what she told me. If the man had told her, probably she would have said well… I have seen a man who told a lady he wanted to marry her and the lady kept on foot-dragging but eventually told the man that before she gave her life to God, she had lived a very rough life, which led her to have several abortions.
She told him that as a result of the various abortions, she had had, doctors had told her that she would not conceive again. But the man told her that the decision to marry her was from God and that since God had instructed him to marry her, nothing could stop him. He went ahead to marry her and they gave birth to children; not just a child but children. But the foundation is that the lady told the man the truth from the beginning.
So, after the lady said the man hid his impotency problem from her, I said well, in my own human judgment, since the man didn't tell you the truth from the beginning, it means that the marriage was built on falsehood; the best thing for you is to leave the relationship, though she had already left the relationship then. Such cases can happen but like I said, everybody will be left to take his or her own decision after consulting with God because everybody will defend his or her own action.
Talking about joint account, you said it was cumbersome because the two would have to be physically present, but I understand there could be an arrangement where either of the parties could withdraw. Are you not aware of that?
No, that was in those days. Recently, a female banker told me that the policy in their own bank is that the husband and the wife must sign together before withdrawal could be made. In fact, she told me that if I want to open with my wife, we can't just write Mr & Mrs Ibukun Ayawanle because the bank will not accept that rather we will write Mr Ibukun & Mrs Kemi Ayawanle because there could be another Ayawanle that want to share the same name with Ibukun who is a female.
So, that is my understanding. But why I have not bothered about the joint account is that my wife is not giving me any problem. She is not complaining. We have discovered how we are going to be spending our money; we use her own for project and my own to run our day-to-day expenses.
Do you advise couples to run joint accounts even when it has been established that some are extravagant and some men are so randy that they spend money on anything in skirt?
Yes, it's okay. But in marriage one of the things that run home successfully is the understanding between the couple. Whether you run a joint account or not, if a woman wants to be extravagant, she will still be. For instance, I have heard of some women who go to the school of their children to collude with the proprietors or the bursars regarding the school fees.
If the school fees are N100, 000, they will tell the husband that it is N200, 000 just to be able to satisfy their extravagant life styles. So, whether a joint account or no joint account, a woman who wants to be extravagant will still be because she will know how to siphon money from her husband. But when the understanding is there, it will not mean much to the man how much the woman spends.
My wife can spend so much on her hairdo but as long as I understand her, there won't be any problem. There was a time my wife bought many dresses and I just bought a few but I didn't see her as being extravagant because I understand her and she understands me. So, when couples understand one another, it will take away the issue of being extravagant and all that.
What about sex in marriage? What is the role of sex in marriage?
Sex in marriage is a sort of thing that brings intimacy between couples, that is between a husband and a wife. Quite a number of people misunderstand what sex is all about. Some think it is just for procreation. Of course, it is allowed because that is actually one of the reasons God established sex.
But I think sex is that instrument used to bring more intimacy in marriage between couples because when you talk about sex, you are talking about a situation where the two of them see their nakedness; where they knit together, where they are able to get into each other. So, it is not just only about giving birth to children, though that is the ultimate. I believe it is one of the things that bring real intimacy.
Some women are so crazy about sex that even when their husbands are wealthy, loving and caring, they will still go outside their marriages to see other men. What is responsible for that?
When you see a woman that is not satisfied with her husband, I think such a woman is possessed such that until she sleeps with another man, her husband cannot satisfy her. For instance, a woman confessed that anytime she sees a handsome man, she could never be at rest until the man sleeps with her. So, what do you think is responsible for that? Definitely, there is a spirit behind it that is pushing her up and down.
The same thing happens with young men and women of today. When the young men see a lady with a pair of pointed breasts, they will pursue her until they sleep with her and that's when their urge will abate. It also happened in the Bible. Remember the story of Tarma and the son of David. It was the son who was pursuing this lady up and down just because he saw the beauty in her and at the end of the day his mind came down when he had slept with the lady.
And the Bible said the hatred he had for the lady after he had sex with her was far more than the love he had for her before the act. So, initially, what he had for the lady was not love but mere lust and infatuation. So, these things are sometimes spiritual and that's why after the act, you see such women crying and regretting their actions. Another dimension to it could just be to align with the saying that variety is the spice of life. Some ladies just believe that having sex with the same man is so boring and would want to taste something different. It could also be the man saying the same thing, 'Same woman, my woman is getting older with saggy breasts; let me taste young girls with pointed breasts and fresh bodies and see how it feels.' That is another aspect which I would not know what to attribute it to but I think it is just lust.
What about the women who complain their husbands' libido is very low; that they suffer weak erection and some times they have small penises? How can their case be handled?
Let me use myself as an example. When I agreed to marry my wife, I agreed to marry her with all her 'liabilities' and she also agreed to marry me with all my 'liabilities,' because that is what marriage is all about. It is about two imperfect people coming together; it is about two people from different background coming together to rub off on each to perfect each other.
That's what marriage is all about. I've heard about all that. Some women are saying that their men cannot go more than 'one round;' he can't satisfy them and others are saying the penises of their husbands are too small. If that is the situation, I want to believe that there is no challenge or problem that does not have a solution. If it is a matter of the husband not being able to go more than one round, why not visit a doctor and complain?
Why not look for marriage counselors who will advise them on how to go about it? However, on many occasions, it is even that the woman who is complaining that is responsible for the man's inability to go more than one round or why she cannot enjoy the husband. For instance, when the husband wants to have sex, she will complain for about 30 minutes before caving in and of course, we are all human beings, the man will be discouraged and definitely when he comes, within two minutes, he has released. But if the understanding and intimacy is there, by the time the man is asking for sex, the woman too is ready and it will be a kind of enjoyment. It will not be a case of only you want to enjoy, well let me just give it to you to avoid trouble. So, that understanding and intimacy must come to play.
Talking about courtship, how do you see it and for how long do you think is necessary to court?
Well, courtship is the time that an intending couple takes to know each other and to correct each other as much as they can. It is a time to know each other's families, background, discuss issues and plan for their future so that they don't just come into marriage without knowing the next step to take. That is what courtship is all about. I always tell people in courtship that there are places to go while in courtship because if you go there when married, it might not worth it. There are certain discussions you have to hold while in courtship and not when married, otherwise it will not really make sense. That's why I said that courtship is a time to know each other and to plan for the future.
How long should a proper courtship last?
It is not always good for a courtship to be too short and it's not always good for it to be too long. I will tell the reasons.
How short is too short and how long is too long?
If a courtship has dragged on for like five, six, seven years, for me, it too long; but if you are talking about courtship just for four, six months, it is too short. Basically, it should be between one to three years except they are fooling themselves. Of course, we have people who fool their partners in courtship; they keep pretending and at the end, nothing concrete will come out of it.