Marriages are seen as the most important institution of the society. Some marry for love; some marry for social security and some for financial security. Since time immemorial, women have been raised to believe that a woman’s role is that of a home-maker who would take care and support the family unconditionally. Whereas, men are conditioned to believe that they are the bread-winners and guardians of the family.
Most importantly the reason why men and women marry is that the wife’s socioeconomic status doesn’t exceed the husband’s in the society. Therefore, this traditional gender roles most of the time can trap women in unhealthy and toxic marriages. This fear of women not financially supporting themselves is known as The Old Maid Syndrome.
Why do women get stuck in it?
The reason for marrying a man just for monetary stability might work for some but for most married women it is a harrowing experience. The damages of a dysfunctional marriage – where respect, safety, intimacy is overpowered by the comfort of financial security can trap the women in an unhealthy relationship.
Women in such a situation, feel powerless and worthless since they are not able to contribute financially to the family. After a point of time, these women become way too comfortable with their situation and do not even consider changing the rhythm of their lifestyle as they don’t want to deal with dividing families, vacations and bank balance.
Such women stay, and find out ways to either avoid their spouses or their unscrupulous activities. Hence, maintaining their appearance of ‘everything is normal’ around their friends and relatives.
How to get out of it?
To avoid such a situation, women should want to provide for themselves and not depend on the husbands’ earnings to do things they want to do. When the man is the only breadwinner and decision maker in the family – a lot of power and control is being handed over to him in the relationship. Hence, it is important for a woman, whether single or married, to be able to contribute to the family’s financial goals.
Women should also be prepared for any emergencies in life. Be it medical ailments, job change or heavy EMI’s, the lady of the house should help the husband to make the ends meet. The most important factor for women to be financially independent is to be able to take their own decisions and be self-sufficient to fulfill their dreams and aspirations. This in turn boosts their moral and gives them the confidence to face any adversity in their life.
How does one do it?
In today’s times, women should become more engaged in their finances. For a better approach, it is better to put your strengths together rather than having one partner handle all of the family money. If you are getting some sort of a pocket money, save a portion of it, however little. Get knowledge about savings and deposits. Different kinds of deposits that may work for you. For example, if you are saving up some money every month, then a Recurring Deposit account in your local bank is great! If you have a hobby, plan to earn from it.
Contribute some to the family, spend some on yourself and save some for the future. This is a great way to get out of the old maid syndrome. Not only does it create a position in family but also boosts your own morale and increases independence.
With the saved money, get knowledge about what all you can invest in, it can be life insurance, it can be on your own self, it can be mutual funds, it can be a term deposit, it can be gold, depending on your needs and suitability.
Good role model for the future generation
Remember that it is also very important to become a good role model for the future generation, where the lady of the house can support the family financially, emotionally and socially. This helps in breaking gender biases and portrays women in a strong light in the society. With financial independence, women can also own emotional independence as this kind of freedom also connects to all the other types of freedom which women should and must have in the society.
Most importantly, it will stop the next generation to develop the old-maid syndrome.
So what are you waiting for, get rid of the ‘security’ mindset and get into the ‘independence’ one. Nothing like paying your own bills and being independent!
Try it and see!