Years ago, I had a friend confess to me that she wasn’t looking for a soulmate in a husband. She dreamt of being a stay-at-home mom, home schooling her kids and traveling the world with them. While the rest of us in our 20s dreamt of finding one true love, she was looking for someone who would financially support the life she wanted to live. Being in love, for her, was secondary.
In the words of Kanye West, I’m not saying she’s a gold digger….
But then again, what if she was?
These days, the term gold digger conjures up images of attention-seekers who would marry the Crypt-Keeper for a reality show and the latest Birkin bag. Yet, until relatively recently in our history, marrying for money was far from a sin; it was the norm.
Up until the 20th Century, in many cultures marriage was more of a financial transaction than it was synonymous with love. Husbands were providers; wives were homemakers. Marriage provided a foundation on which to build and support families. Love was often a bonus.
With American women now able to financially support themselves without relying primarily on a husband for financial support, being in love isn’t just an option, it’s an expectation. But because society has turned away from the previous view of marriage, does it mean that those who still embrace it are wrong?
The traditional marriage vows include nothing about being “in love” with your partner, nor do the words “romance”, or “soul mate” appear. If the couple is committed to honoring their vows, I don’t know why acknowledging that financial stability, or even wealth, as part of the decision to marry is a problem.
Some say that the “wrongness” comes from the deception that often accompanies these types of arrangements. The belief is that the gold digger dupes her husband (or sometimes, his wife—men can be gold diggers too!) into believing that she is marrying for love. I wonder how often the deception truly exists. I’m not saying names, but to look at many of the wealthy athletes and entertainers model-esque wives, it has to have crossed these men’s minds that money may have been the teeniest little bit of a motivating factor in their wives’ decisions.
For me, I am blessed to have fallen head over heels and stayed there. I would choose love every time even if it meant forgoing some of the “finer” things and working a nine to five. But acknowledging that it isn’t something I would do doesn’t make it wrong, and I don’t believe that choosing a provider rather than a soulmate is always all bad.
What do you think? Is marrying for money wrong or does gold digging get a bad rap?
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