As I was going about my business a few weeks ago, I met a very kind man that was probably in his late 50s. He helped me find my way to the bus stop as I was coming from a government institution in the outskirts of Nairobi. Coincidentally, he was coming from the same building and the same department (procurement) to pick the same document that I had gone to get (quotation)
From there on, we started chatting and even boarded the same matatu and in the process of discussing business, the topic ‘money loss in business’ came up.
He started by telling me how successful he was several years ago and then he explained how he got to where he was now (hustling like the rest of us young peeps)
It all started when he decided to get into a properties development business deal with a few white people and business commenced. Little did he know that he was dealing with con artists that were actually wanted by Interpol as he later came to discover, and he lost 18 million Kenyan shillings!!
Besides losing the 18 million, he had to sell almost everything he owned from properties, cars, to some of his businesses; to pay the suppliers, mafundis and the other investors he had involved in the deal. Then of course he had to move from westlands to a less expensive area.
Looking at the pain in his eyes, hearing the disappointment and regret in his voice, you can’t imagine how sorry I felt for him. It can’t be easy to go from having so much to nothing in just a matter of days.
After about a minute of silence, the first question that came to mind after saying a few words of encouragement to him was, ”what was your wife’s reaction to all that?”
With a lot of pain in his voice he said this exact words, ”my house was a world war 3 battle field.” Cliche..i know! But that’s the best way he could describe the situation. She did not understand that some things can just happen and it’s not always in our power to control or stop some situations or occurrences. She even moved out and left him, leading to his depression and almost giving up on life. He neither showered nor ate for days.
OK ladies, now let’s talk..
When your man suffers such a loss, when such a thing as losing everything due to a bad business deal or a decision he has made, please please please STAND by him; be SUPPORTIVE.
Yes! you’ll get upset, you’ll be disappointed, you’ll be in shock and worried about your future and that of your children (if you have any) because you were used to having a good life and you don’t know how to cope with the sudden change; but please, STICK with him and deal with the situation as ONE.
I’m not saying that you shouldn’t vent or shout and let it all out. You’re human and it’s allowed to react..give him a good lecture, a piece of your mind and question his decision making skills. But don’t over do it or overreact and make decisions that could cause some emotional damage which might take years/never to repair.
Just as you praise him and gloat to your friends and family when he surprises you with that car or jewelry, just as you appreciate him for giving you a good beautiful home, taking you for vacations or taking you to good restaurants; sit with him, hold him, hug him and say things like ‘honey it’s going to be alright. We’ll get through this together. We’ll figure a way out and just like you built the lost wealth, we will build another empire’.
And if you’re a smart woman that has probably been putting a little money on the side you’ll say, ”I have a few savings stashed away somewhere. We can survive on that or solve a few problems for the time being”.
Let your man know and realize that by marrying you or choosing you as his life partner, he made the best decision and no matter what happens in his life, he can manage and get through it because he has you, his ride or die, by his side. And more so because you got married to him and not his wealth.