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Do Women Still Marry for Money?

When a friend of the family announced her engagement, my mom remarked that the bride was marrying well. “Was she marrying for money?” I asked my mom.

“I don’t think so,” my mom said. “She just happens to be marrying a guy that makes a lot of money.”

Marrying for Money

As my mom and I talked about the engagement, I wondered how many women still strive to marry for money. In this day and age, a woman can make just as much, if not more than, her partner. So how important is it for that partner to come from an affluent family or earn a high salary?

Women Who Marry for Money

My mom’s female friends earn much less than their husbands. Her friend’s children also earn far less than their spouses.

“To form a successful partnership, both spouses must share the same ideas about money,” my mom said. “They have to agree how to spend the money they earn.”

Financial Ground Rules

My mom didn’t marry for money, but she did want to stay home after her kids were born. My dad provided the means for my mom to quit her job, and together they set ground rules for that decision. 

My mom and dad settled on two ideas:

  1. Purchase a modest home they could quickly pay off.
  2. Never live beyond their means.

If my mom wanted to stay home, she would have to watch over the family budget. My mom was more than happy to forgo shopping trips and other expenses for the pleasure of being a full-time stay-at-home mom.

Of course, I think things are a little different now. My mom and dad were married in the early 70s. These days women can make more than their partners, less than their partners or stay-at-home, and not make any money at all. 

Marry for Love or Money

There are so many options available to women these days, but I wonder if marrying for money remains one of the goals. While women may not strive to marry a wealthy partner, do they seek to marry a partner that makes more than they do? Especially when that partner is a man?

Are the stereotypical, bread-winning roles of men important to women? If women want children, do they want a man who makes enough money to provide them the option of staying-at-home?

Paradise to Manhattan

Monday 12th of September 2011

doI really think it's more about marrying someone you can wake up next to every morning. It matters more that they're smart with the finances they do have than how much they actually make. My husband and I are both professionals, and make decent money. I actually enjoy our more low-key vacations in the country even though we've been to fancy resorts in Hawaii. Money does not buy happiness and never will. Security is a lot more about how you spend the money you do have than how much you make.


Thursday 4th of November 2010

I am jealous of those who have wealth not the namby pamby few 100 million or a billion here or there in US Dollar. Real wealth as in close to US$ 200 Billion and above in Money (in family terms), there are such people, you just have to research and look for them, my boss's son married one of his workers a girl and she has one of the best life ever. She was diagnosed as being unable to conceive a child, a few million dollars later they have a healthy baby boy. My boss's son is worth in the deca-millionaire range, owning lots of commercial property, he can stop working anytime but because he does not need to work he spends more time with the family and they have the best of everything. I think the person / she marrying him was smart. And I have my regrets for not approaching him first. The introductions was done by a senior management person, she is his daugther and that person is also a millionaire but still pale in comparison to the guys wealth.

Hope to Prosper

Wednesday 7th of July 2010

I will be happy to weigh in on the subject as a married man.

Marriage is a partnership. In this day and age, either partner can be the bread winner, the care giver or both. If they prefer to stay at home and can afford to do it, they should. If they would prefer to pursue a career, they should. As long as both partners agree and finances allow, there should be no guilt or judgement of what a couple chooses to do with their finances.

As for women who marry a man just for their money (aka Gold Diggers), they will likely find money, but they probably won't find happiness. In my opinion, this is a subtle form of prostitution and the moral baggage is about equal.

As for women who expect a man to be financially responsible, I couldn't agree with you more. Raising children is hard enough, without having to raise a dead-beat husband. The same can be said for wives who can't control their spending. Both are selfish and ruinous to the rest of the family.

I know this sounds very harsh and judgemental, but it needs to be identified straight-up for what it is.

I will have been married for 20 years in October and my wife has never worked. I have always supported her and she has always taken care of the children. At times, it was very difficult financially and my wife hasn't always appreciated how hard I have worked. But, I stepped up in my career and my wife did a fine job raising our children. We are happy with our choice, but your choice may be different and that is fine by me.

Broke by Choice

Tuesday 6th of July 2010

I can't speak for all women, but the one's I do know want to have the options to be a stay at home mom for some portion of their children's life. They want to have financial security in their marriage, to do this both people were most likely secure prior to the marriage.

I want to marry a man that shares similar view and values about money with me. I do want the option to stay at home, but I may not exercise the option.


Tuesday 6th of July 2010

I think this might depend on how you figure you'll arrange your financial partnership. My husband and I have our finances 100% combined, so if one of us makes more money, we both benefit. While I was training for my career, he made a lot more than me, but I now I've surpassed him by a lot. We're both happier to have more money to save and do the things we want to do.

He doesn't have any issue with me making more money (he knew that would be the case with the career path for which I was training). I certainly appreciated his financial support during my training, but didn't seek that out. I have always been very independent, and would have gone down this path regardless. I suppose it comes down to how you were raised-I was raised to be independent, financially and otherwise, so I didn't seek a man to depend on. Others might have been brought up to seek someone to care for them.