Ever since the popular book “Smart Girls Marry Money,” came out in 2009, the subject of women marrying for money has become a hot and controversial topic.
We all know the tired and clichéd scenario that is portrayed so often in Hollywood flicks: the gold-digger woman who goes looking for a rich man to marry, only to move swiftly on to her next victim after she has milked the poor old geezer for every penny he is worth.
Of course, if you are considering a marriage of convenience, it is unlikely that you are planning to go to such lengths. Presumably, all you want is a bit of security and a life that is free of stress and hardships. Maybe you had a difficult childhood and had to fight for every scrap of food on your plate. Perhaps you had a business that ran into the ground, or maybe you are just disillusioned with the Prince Charming fairytale that has been shoved down your throat ever since you were old enough to tie your shoelaces.
Whatever your reasons, you should know that marriages based solely on money do have some pitfalls. Before you make a decision based on visions of sparkling diamonds, gleaming yachts and fancy dinners, we are here to tell you why marrying a man for his money may not be your best idea yet.
1. Women need ambitions
Whether you are a feminist or not, you will have to agree that the desire to snag a rich man hardly qualifies as an ambition. Not having a goal to work towards will leave you feeling unsatisfied and unfulfilled in the long run.
When we are young, we often have big dreams and ambitions, but as the years drag on and we are faced with problems like debt and failure, we tend to sacrifice our dreams for security. However, security will never be able to replace your desire as a human being to accomplish something in life and leave your mark on the world. Before you trade in your ambitions for security, take a good hard look at yourself and see how much are willing to give up for that comfortable lifestyle.
2. Money does not equal happiness
Yes, it’s the old cliché that money can’t buy you love, but in this case, we aren’t necessarily talking about love. In the same way that you shouldn’t rush into a marriage just because you are in love, you should also never get married just because there is money involved. No matter how attractive that big house in the suburbs seems at this moment in time, you need to consider the future.
Is this really the man you want to share the rest of your life with? Do his values and ambitions match up with yours? Does he want children? Do you want children? These questions apply both to marriages for love and marriages for money. Love is often blind, but money can be equally as blinding — and if money is your only motivation for marriage then you will probably not be very happy.
3. Co-dependency affects self-esteem
Planning your life entirely around someone else’s life and career will cause your self-esteem to take a hit. You may not feel that way now, but just wait until you have been living comfortably off someone else’s salary for a few years and see if it doesn’t make you feel a little less than adequate.
4. Your marriage will lack romance
A man who knows you married him for his money is not likely to continue to woo you with flowers, moonlight walks or simply taking time to hear about your day. He has no motivation to impress you because he knows you are not going anywhere. If a lifetime of romance is a high priority for your marriage, don’t marry for money.
5. A greater risk of infidelity
Research has also shown that wealthy men are more likely to be unfaithful in their marriage than men with lower incomes. Scientists found that the reason for this is that wealthy men tend to feel entitled to cheat due to the fact that they have earned their success. This may not happen to you, but be aware that marrying for money puts you at higher risk.
6. Rich people are rude
Absurd as this statement may sound, research has shown that the richer someone is, the ruder that person will be. Scientists at the University of California, by studying the body language of 100 undergraduate students while they were engaged in conversations, discovered that those from higher socio-economic backgrounds were far more likely to be rude during gaps in the conversation. Those from lower income families made more of an effort to be engaging by making eye contact, raising eyebrows or laughing, while those from richer families would fidget or begin grooming themselves.
Psychology professor Dacher Keltner who led the study commented, “Men with less money try harder socially because making connections is a survival skill—and rich men may subconsciously believe they don’t need it.”
7. Money may not last forever
Last but not least, you should consider the fact that nothing lasts forever. People can make bad decisions, lose their jobs or go bankrupt, and then what will you have? This may sound fatalistic, but basing your whole life on something that could be gone within a split second is risky to say the least.
At the end of the day, it’s your life and you need to do what you think will make you happiest. But don’t fall into the old mindset that says you need to marry well in order to be happy. If you are unsatisfied with your career or romantic life, you are the only person who can change that. Sure, marrying into money will give you financial security, but is that really going to make you a happier individual in the long run? It is highly unlikely.
Ally is part of the team that manages Budgeting Spreadsheet and How to Save Money, which are both personal finance-related sites based in Sydney, Australia. Before joining BS & HSTM, she was a Media Planner in McCann Worldgroup Philippines, Inc., with award-winning executions, including the Levi’s 501 “Live Unbuttoned” global campaign.