Hi, Nao Mih,
Please hide my identity. I have been staying with my girlfriend for a year now. Two days ago, she was admitted with severe malaria, and her hospital bill is now at Sh70,000. I have been helping with a few hospital charges, but I feel that’s not my responsibility since we are not married. Please help me understand: Is it my responsibility to pay her hospital bill, or should I let her parents take care of such needs until we get married?
Relationships are complicated and tough. It gets tougher when unfortunate things (death, sickness, financial hardships) happen and one struggles to get back on their feet. This is also the time when loyalty in a relationship is tested. This is where you get to know your partner’s true colors, if they will leave or help you until you get better.
The decision to be responsible for your girlfriend or not is one that you’ll have to make on your own. But, before you decide, consider the following: was your girlfriend dependent on you or was it a 50/50 situation for the past year; are you financially stable; what was your relationship like before she got sick; is she appreciative; do her parents know you’ll be living together; and, finally, how will she feel if you don’t support her when she needs you the most?
If your girlfriend had a job, you may decide to use some of her savings plus yours to help clear the medical bill. If your girlfriend wasn’t working, then you might as well involve her family. Let them know that their daughter is admitted. You can only help out if you’re willing and in a good financial position. Don’t overburden yourself if you feel it’s not your responsibility.
You know your girlfriend better than I know her. There are people that you may help when they’re in need, and maybe they won’t do the same for you if you ever need them. At this moment, your partner needs you. But I don’t mean you should pay all her bills. Help out where you can. I hope you make the right decision. Good luck!
Naomi Makassi from Kitale, Trans Nzoia County, is a graduate of Rongo University who finds passion in helping young adults build successful relationships through writing.