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What are the factors you consider non-negotiable when it comes to choosing a partner? Is love what makes your world go round? Or are you open to the idea of marrying for money? Is it more important to share likes and values? Or are you a practical person who understands that future wealth and marrying well are more crucial to a lasting relationship? 

Emotions and feelings aside, it takes maturity and experience to understand that life can be incredibly difficult, and many of these difficulties can be solved by an unlimited spending limit. Whether you want to escape the tedium of your middle-class life or you have your hopes pegged on marrying a millionaire, there’s no shame in playing the money game in the marriage market. Marrying for money is nothing to be ashamed of, and it’s time we were more vocal about such a transactional relationship. 

Marrying For Money – An Age-Old Practice

“Don’t you know that a man being rich is like a girl being pretty? You wouldn’t marry a girl just because she’s pretty, but my goodness, doesn’t it help?” This famous quote by Marilyn Monroe expresses the driving force behind marrying someone for money. According to her, having money outweighed the decision to marry for love simply because it makes life easier. And we have to agree. Today, with issues such as job uncertainty, rising costs of living, inflation, soaring real estate prices, and debts and loans, it’s not surprising that marrying for financial security is a growing trend. And not necessarily a bad one either.

In the Love and Money Survey by Money Management International, reports showed that a majority of married couples from a higher income bracket said they were happier as compared to married couples from a lower income group. More than 60% of unhappy couples regard financial issues as the main source of marital problems. Many of us have seen our parents struggle and don’t want to repeat the same cycle. If one has to pledge forever to another, why not make financial security one of the reasons to do so?

Marriages based on wealth and family connections are a tale as old as time. In the past, royal families, and in the present context, business scions only marry into other wealthy families. Arranged marriages for money are still set up based on dowry and the amount of wealth brides bring to their husband’s families. At the turn of the century, women could not work, and marrying an older man for money was an acceptable solution. None of this is news. Money and marriage continue to be a perfectly acceptable combination for many, regardless of sexuality or gender.

People marry for money for several reasons, and the decision to do so comes with its own set of unique benefits and challenges. And while several surveys claim that women would choose love over money, there is also a contradictory claim where more than 70% of women said they would reject a potential mate if he was unemployed. Women marry for money for the stability it grants them. Men that marry for money may do so for career prospects. Marrying into a rich family may be the only way to get out of a life of debt. Like any relationship, a financial marriage is not a place to comment and pass judgment. 

The Pros And Cons Of Marrying For Money

As with everything in life, there’s a good and bad side to marrying for money, so be careful. This list of pros and cons comes with no judgment. Marriage is a lifelong (hopefully) commitment, and who you marry and why are deeply personal decisions. We are laying it all out in black and white for you to decide independently, hoping there will be no divorce papers to sign or horrible marriage to complain about. And to all those people braying, “But you should marry for love!”, here are some cold hard facts to think about when it comes to marrying for financial stability. 

Related Reading: Love Vs Money: Choosing Love Over Materialism

The Pros Of Marrying For Money 

Let’s look at the best parts of marrying for security rather than love. If you are happy with the decent life you’ve been living and plan to tie the knot, isn’t it better to know what you are in for before you agree to anything? 

1. More money = Fewer chances of divorce

Does money buy happiness? That’s what statistics seem to imply, at least. A recent study indicated a direct correlation between how much money you make and the chances of getting divorced. Maybe this has something to do with the watertight prenup one signs if one is marrying into wealth. Maybe having money really can buy you happiness. Or maybe it’s just a case of being grateful for what you have and not wanting to rock the marriage boat. Whatever the reason, these types of financial marriages seem to go the distance. 

2. The days of struggle are over 

Never underestimate the appeal of leading a life of ease and luxury. While we are in no way implying that you can’t or won’t create your own wealth, it doesn’t hurt to get a leg up on the socio-economic ladder by marrying into a very wealthy family. Let’s not even get into other marriage benefits such as health insurance, free medical benefits, college fees, etc. Plus, your children are also born into an advantageous position when you marry for money, not love. 

3. Money opens doors

Having a rich husband or wife opens doors for you. Ones that would be impossible to open without the backing of wealth and prosperity. Apart from cold hard cash, your spouse will have valuable business connections to help you advance your career path. Besides, your children will get to attend the best schools, interact with wealthy individuals, and enter the workforce with an inbred advantage. So much money is not always a bad thing. 

4. A luxury lifestyle is worth it 

Let’s not pretend that staying in five-star hotels is not better than saving up for a two-star holiday. Or that flying first or business class is not more enviable than being forced into cattle class. Marrying for money vs love allows you to experience a lifestyle of luxuries in terms of clothes, cars, homes, holidays, and hobbies. Where’s the difficulty in choosing this? 

Related Reading: 15 Tips For Financial Planning For Newly Married Couples

The Cons Of Marrying Rich 

A simple internet search about ‘how to marry up?’ or ‘how to marry rich men?’ can be eye-opening, to say the least. Some Wiki pages give you a step-by-step list of how to marry rich men. There are books written about how smart women marry for money or how rich men and their wives can avoid being taken advantage of financially in a relationship. The hows are clearly mentioned.

So, if you are interested in knowing where the millionaires are and what you need to do to nab one, delve right in. However, if the shoe is on the other foot and you are the wealthy one in the relationship, then you need to keep an eye out for the signs that she’s marrying for money vs love or he loves your moolah more than you: 

  • Your partner only is happy when the gifts are extravagant and expensive 
  • If her friends only date older, richer men, this is one of the signs that your girl is marrying you for money as well. Likewise, if he was a serial dater and has had a string of relationships with older, richer women, the writing is pretty much on the wall
  • He/she asks many questions about your financial situation early on in the relationship
  • They use sex and looks to get their way 
  • He/she never offers to pay 
  • They associate marriage with money and are not ashamed to say it 
  • They are obsessed with class and status and obviously trying to climb the social ladder 

Now let’s look at the downsides of the age-old question, “How to marry well?”

1. The need to prove that you are good enough 

Low self-esteem can be a b*tch, and when it comes to marrying a richer man or wealthier woman, your mental health may take a beating. By this, we mean that the wide economic gap between you and your spouse could lead to low self-esteem behaviors and resentment. When someone controls your purse strings, it can be extremely disempowering, so make sure you aim for some sort of balance by holding on to some facets of independence and personal wealth. 

2. Living according to society’s rules 

The rich live by certain rules. And by entering the realm of the wealthy, you will also have to follow these rules. It could affect all facets of your life – from your personal style to your friend circle. You will be scrutinized and judged even more closely since you hail from a different background. When you get into a contract marriage, these are the rules, and you must now live by them. 

Related Reading: Does It Help To Talk About Mutual Finances Before Marriage?

3. You will need to develop a thick skin

Don’t be shocked when people call you greedy or a gold digger. The larger the gap between the economic status of your spouse and you, the nastier the gossip. Even if you truly love your partner (and are doing pretty well for yourself), the insults will always simmer away. 

At the end of the day, the decision to marry into wealth is yours and yours alone. But beware of the pitfalls and peaks involved. Love and money aside, the one thing that is a surefire recipe for marital success is respect and admiration. If you plan to marry for money and not love, at least, be sure you respect your spouse and vice versa. 

Relationship experts suggest doing the following to increase the chances of a successful marriage

  • Retain your independence as much as possible. Just because you don’t need to work for money doesn’t mean you shouldn’t work at all. Climbing your career ladder is a big self-confidence booster 
  • Maintain your own hobbies and interests. Don’t capitulate completely to your new lifestyle so that you forget who you are and where you came from 
  • Similarly, keep in touch with your family and old friends. Don’t drop them as soon as the new flashier ones come around 
Pros of marrying for money  Cons of marrying for money 
You may have a better shot a successful marriage You have to live according to the new societal rules of the very rich
You have a better chance of getting ahead in your career  You may have to struggle more to prove yourself in your career 
Your children (and family) have the upper hand with regards to wealth and privilege  There will be a lot of judgment about your decision to marry for money
The advantages of a luxury lifestyle are undeniable  But there is also increased scrutiny, which may not bode well for everyone
Your days of struggling to make ends meet are over  It can be disempowering to have someone else hold the purse strings

Marrying For Money – Is It the Right Choice for You?

I think the issue is more about whether you are making an informed, educated decision before you agree to marry someone than just bringing it down to marrying for financial stability. Men and women who marry wealthy but also financially intelligent, ambitious, hard-working, and secure people choose a partner who aligns with their values. When you marry someone who appreciates what money can buy AND encourages you to be independent, you know you have struck relationship gold. Ask yourself the following questions to know if marrying for money is the right choice for you:

  • Does my partner share the same relationship values as I do regarding saving, spending, and work ethic? 
  • Does my partner treat money as a crutch or a tool to advance?
  • Do they take their wealth for granted? 
  • Will my partner allow me (and encourage me) to retain my own independence? 
  • Will I continue working or following my passions and dreams? 
  • Will my decisions and spending habits be respected? 
  • Will I have to ask my partner or their family how I spend my time or money? 

There is no shame in taking control of your future and making choices that will make life easier. If you are ready to take responsibility for your financial decisions and are unafraid to be open about it and get married for money, kudos!  Times are changing, and people are more practical about being in a financially-motivated marriage. As people marry later, they tend to have seen more of life and are ready to make more weighted decisions regarding their life partners.

According to a recent study, more than 51% of people claim that they value financial security over infatuation and love. When asked whether they would choose $1 million a year over finding the love of their life, more than half the survey respondents chose cash. Further investigation indicated that one of the reasons for this choice may be the “feelings of uncertainty regarding their future” that over 70% of respondents reported. So, the fact that in the battle of love and money, money wins over love in most demographics is unsurprising. 

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How To Make A Financial Marriage Work

As mentioned before, many couples enter such transactional relationships without fully understanding their implications. When two people from differing socio-economic backgrounds enter a relationship, it can bring unique challenges. The greater the discrepancy of wealth, the greater those challenges can be.

If left unaddressed, these differences can get magnified and, over time, cause resentment and even destroy a partnership. So, arming yourself with the good, bad, and ugly can give you the ammo required to power through the tough times and emerge victorious (and wealthier). Here are some ways you can be proactive and identify future threats to handle and minimize them immediately:  

1. Talk it out 

The key to any successful relationship is to talk openly and be honest with each other. Accept the fact that obstacles will crop up, and the only way to get past them is to be open to discussions. 

2. Get clarity about roles and responsibilities 

From the get-go, be clear about who is responsible for what in your relationship. If one partner is the breadwinner, the other one’s role has to be clearly defined, and vice versa. Ensuring both are on the same page can help keep expectations realistic and resentment in check. 

3. Don’t overlook financial planning

Just because there is a lot more wealth doesn’t mean it doesn’t need to be budgeted. Agree upon a monthly or annual budget and discuss all expenses and spending that will come up. 

Related Reading: Understanding, Identifying And Handling Marital Conflict

4. Put all your cards on the table 

By this, we mean to be honest about how much you know about investing and business, how much you are willing to learn, and how involved you would like to be. This is especially important if you are marrying into generational wealth or to a partner who comes from old family money. 

5. Bring in a third party 

Sometimes, having an impartial arbitrator is the easiest way to agree upon things. With their help, write down all that is agreed upon. You can even decide upon actions to take when and if circumstances change. Being prepared for any eventuality is never a bad thing. 

Key Pointers

  • Today, marriage is more of a union of two people looking for emotional AND financial stability
  • Marrying into wealth can bring a new level of comfort and luxury into your life. But it also comes with its own set of relationship challenges
  • From being labeled a ‘gold digger’ to losing self-confidence, knowing what you are signing up for is important before you tie the knot
  • One way to face all challenges head-on is to be prepared. Enlist the help of an impartial third party. This could be a lawyer or a marital counselor and spell out all the expectations and roles at the beginning of the relationship

“Our habits of expense make us too dependent, and there are not many in my rank of life who can afford to marry without some attention to money”. – If Jane Austen in the early 19th century could write this in her famous novel Pride and Prejudice, it is a true testament to the fact money has been a guiding force in marriage – and continues to be. At the end of the day, there are a lot of advantages to understanding your economic situation and financial obligations before entering any partnership.

Be it a business partnership or a romantic relationship, spelling out what both parties bring to the table may sound heartless but is, in fact, practical and more conducive to longevity. As humans, we will continue to fall in love with multiple people. And when faced with a choice between two people – except one earns more than the other – and you have to ask yourself, “Should I marry for love or stability?”, there is no question about what you need to do. Always go for someone who will help you lead a more comfortable life. Go ahead and get married for money – you won’t be the first or the last to do so! 

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