Posted: September 4th, 2013
Is It Wrong to Marry for Money
Marriage is the union between two people who have agreed to live together as husband and wife. The initial purpose of marriage according to the bible was procreation and companionship. The story Pride and Prejudice mostly focuses on romance and marriage in relation to money. It shows how the financial status of a person affects their marriage opportunity and how society relates marriages with money. This is seen in the beginning of the book, by a statement that a man with a fortune should have a wife. Today, there are many reasons why people marry, including money. Marrying for money has its pros and cons. The advantages for marrying for money include financial security. “Find your fortune while you’re young and marry a man with money.” (Ford & Drake, 1). Among the reasons why women and even some men marry, is for monetary security.
In pride and prejudice, when the clergy proposes to one of Elizabeth’s friend, Charlotte after Elizabeth had declined the proposal, she accepts. “I ask only a comfortable home; and considering Mr. Collin’s character, connections, and situation in life, I am convinced that my chance of happiness with him is as fair as most people can boast on entering the marriage state.”, Charlotte explains this to Elizabeth. (Wright). She does not have many chances and has become a burden to her parents. Therefore, marrying Mr. Collins who has money and a home seems the best option. Charlotte’s brothers are also happy that they would not have to look after her in old age. Marrying a financially stable or rich man, guarantees one financial security for herself and her children. A man’s basic needs are food, clothing and shelter catered for using money. Marrying a poor man would mean having to suffer or struggle to get these essential needs.
Mrs. Bennet strives to secure a comfortable future for herself and her children by trying to marry them off to wealthy men. “A single man of large fortune; four or five thousand a year. What a fine thing for our girls!” she comment comments this on Mr. Bingley’s income (Wright). She is also not happy when Elizabeth declines Mr. Collins proposal. In today’s world where almost everything needs money, from food, clothing, medical bills, housing and so on. In order to be able to pay bills and afford some necessities, one would need money. If a woman or man is not earning, it is only logical to marry someone who can provide for them and cater for the various needs that would need money. “A twentysomething New Yorker who described herself as “spectacularly beautiful” wrote that she was looking for a man who made at least $500,000 a year. She’d tried dating men earning $250,000, but that wasn’t “getting me to Central Park West,” she said.” (Frank, 11). Apart from the basic needs, some people also desire a life of luxury where they will be able to enjoy life and live luxuriously; to shop in expensive stores and travel. If one cannot afford this, they opt to marry into money.
Women expectations for money in marriages has gone so high such that China passed a law that states that the person, who buys the family house, gets it after divorce. “Tying the knot without a house as part of the deal is jokingly called a “naked marriage” and widely thought to be a risky choice.” (Telegraph Media). The country hopes to reduce the high expectations of wealth in marriages. In the cases of poor backgrounds, one may lack an opportunity for good education, hence be able to earn a good living. People like this come from poor families, where sometimes they had to suffer to get the basic needs. In order to end this life, people opt for marriage to rich people. Therefore, they would be able to live a different life in which they do not have to struggle for basic needs. The other reason is one’s children. People want to cater to all their children needs. “I do want to marry someone who can financially support both me and our kids.”(Wakeman, 1)
These needs would include the essentials food, clothing, shelter. Apart from these, people also want to be able to give their children a good education. This would consist of the materials they would need for learning and be able to participate in the other activities. Other people also want their children to attend the best schools, which would cost. Another need would be medical needs. If a child gets sick, one wants to be able to take them to the best health cares without worrying about the bills. The other needs would be in order to provide a comfortable life for their children. Another reason for marrying for money would be in order to improve the living status of ones family. Statistics show that marrying a wealthy person improves a person’s living status. If a person comes from a background where they would not afford necessities, they would be able to provide for their and improve the family’s livelihood by marrying a wealthy person.
When married to a rich person, it reflects to the family of the person marrying for money. People who have younger siblings would be able to provide for their needs and get them through education. Some people marry into money in order to sustain and maintain their social status. A person coming from a rich background would marry a person coming from the same background. This, as some believe, is in order to maintain their status in the community and associate with people of the same economic and social standards. It could also be in order to save a family’s financial status, which was falling. Hence, a wealthy person would save the family from financial problems and help them maintain their high standard of living. Money also plays a big part in marriages. ((Ford & Drake, 1))
Mr. Darcy in Pride and Prejudice provides financial support to Lydia and Mr. Wickham so that they can get married. (Wright). One of the reasons that marriages break is due to money reasons. Couples disagree on matters concerning money, due to limited spending caused by insufficiency of money. Due to the economic crisis, it would also be more reasonable to marry a person who can support you. The cost of living has gone high and for those who can fully support themselves or their due to this; it seems like the best option. Some relationships based on money also end up growing into love or care. Due to the financial support and care that a person is receiving from their partners, they could end up loving the person. (Ford & Drake, 42) When there are no financial problems to worry about, it is easy to start focusing on other needs such as the emotional ones. If this happens, it is a good bargain as the partner gets both emotional and financial benefits.
With increased competition between men and women, some marriages fail because the women get more in come. In that case, when a woman is financially stable, it would be logic to marry a man who is financially stable too, in order to avoid future problems. That would seem like the logical thing to do as the woman is only looking out for her marriage, by marrying a person who earns more than her. However, there are also disadvantages of marrying a person because of their money. Most of the times when a person marries another because of his or her money, love is not present in the relationship. When the person gets tired of the money, they yearn for companionship, which they cannot get from their partners, because they do not have feelings of love for them. ‘Her friends get tired of her complains that she is not happy.” (Norment, 26) The person gets miserable and is not happy in the marriage.
This, in turn, could lead to problems in the marriage, as they do not feel fulfilled. Surveys show that, most marriages that were based on money have a higher chance of leading into a divorce. “The least satisfying marriages were those in which both spouses cared strongly about material goods.” (Pappas, 3). Divorce cases affect the whole family, including children who can be mentally affected. Women or men who marry for money sometimes lose their independence. This is because their partners want to control them because they are the providers. A man in the Ebony paper says that he was in a relationship with a wealthy woman, but he got tired of life because the woman wanted to control him using her money (Norment). Another woman tells of how she is told to quit her job by her husband because, he is earning an enormous amount.
The person no longer has control over his or her marriage and is limited when making decisions. This could also lead to loss of pride due to the lack of control of one’s own life. In Pride and Prejudice, Elizabeth keeps her pride and principles by refusing to marry Mr. Collins just because he was rich. (Wright) She also refuses to change her attitude towards Mr. Darcy just because and only stops judging him when she learns that he did not have any wrong motives. When marrying into money, some people marry people who are too old for them. The age difference in the marriage could lead to conflicts. The individuals may have different reasoning, which could result to disagreements. This is because the parties may not have the same level of maturity and hence disagree on various issues. The parties could also lose family support. This would weaken the family ties and bonds between the parties and their families. It could also cause problems for the couple from issues that might arise from disagreements with the in laws.
The hobbies and interests of the two parties might also be different. One may find their partners interest too boring or too wild, for example, in a case where the younger person wants to have fun partying, while the older person might just prefer relaxing at home. The age difference could also lead to infidelity as the one of the partners; mostly the younger party would not be satisfied sexually. These differences could lead to problems and conflicts in the marriage. Apart from as a result of age difference, infidelity could also result from marrying into money. (Pappas, 4) Since a person is not attracted to their, but is only in the marriage because of the money, they could look for emotional connection outside the marriage. This would lead into infidelity, which in turn might cause a divorce.
Marrying a person because of their money might make a person stay in an abusive relationship because they have learnt to rely on their partner and cannot support themselves. The assets might be in the name of the person. (Norment, 26) Even in the case of a divorce, someone might be denied the custody for their children because they cannot provide for them, as they have no income or have poor income. This is because everything was provided for them by their partner and so they did not have to struggle for finances. When there is no more money, in a marriage for money, it could lead to many problems in the relationship as it was based on money. The marriage does not have a strong foundation, as the only thing that connects the partners is money. Hence, when the rich partner experiences financial problems it causes misunderstandings, as the other partner had signed for a life with no financial problems.
Spending of money therefore has to be reduced, and some of the luxuries that the family had been enjoying have to be cut on. This is problematic to the other party, as the only thing that keeps them there is money. There is also no trust if the other person knows that you married to them for their money. (Pappas, 3) The person would not be able to trust you, and as trust is one of the foundations of a relationship, it could again lead to conflicts in the relationship. Distrust in the relationship could also lead to emotional disconnection between the partners. This could in turn cause the failure of a marriage. If the family and friends of the person are aware that you married the person because of their money, it could cause problems with the family.
The family and friends may not accept the person and might even try to break the relationship. In Pride and Prejudice, Darcy thinks that Jane is interested in Mr. Bingley because of his money (Wright). This is because Mrs. Bennet’s motives to marry her daughters to wealthy men are clear. Mr. Darcy thinks that these are also Jane’s motives, and he tries to separate the two, Mr. Bingley and Jane. He later learns the truth that Jane really cares for Mr. Bingley and supports the relationship. Mrs. Catherine also tries to convince Mr. Darcy not to marry Elizabeth.
Some of these marriages arise from an arrangement by the parents so that they can receive financial rewards. Mrs. Bennet in Pride and Prejudice tries to marry her daughters to wealthy men so that she can also gain fro the marriage.
The problem of an arranged marriage is that the partners do not know each other well. These could cause disagreements in the marriage as the parties could be having traits that are not desirable to both of them. The two people do not get along, and this could lead to more problems and even to the point of the marriage breaking. (Lieber, 7) Marrying someone for their money puts pressure on them. When China passed the law, that the marital home will belong to the person who bought it even after divorce, it relieved most men in the country. “The ruling should also help relieve some of the burden on young Chinese men, many of whom fret about the difficulty of buying even a small apartment.” (Telegraph Media) The men said they felt relieved, as there was too much pressure in building a house for marriage.
The person with the wealth might be insecure that if the wealth is not present, their partner might leave. This hence, puts pressure on them; they could constantly tryin g not to disappoint their partners. It could also lead to too much spending even in the time when there is not enough, as the person does not want to tell their partner that there is not enough money for their spending. This eventually might lead to extravagances and debts that the person has to pay. In today’s world, marriage is greatly influenced by money. A survey was carried out on whether a person would be influenced or not influenced to marry a person depending on their financial status. Most women who cohabit with their partners say they would not marry their partners because they were not financially stable.
Most black women, who married for money, did this because they wanted to experience a good life, as most of them did not have that opportunity before. In reference to a survey by a wealth research company, the average price marrying for money is $1.5 million. The survey was done on people earning between $30,000 and $ 60,000. When asked if they would marry an average-looking person whom they liked for the money, two thirds of the women responded that they would, while half of the men responded in the same way. The responses were also dependant on age such that most women, who responded yes, were in their 30s, while men in the 20s had the least responds of men that would marry for money. “Women in their 30s were the most likely to say they would marry for money (74%) while men in their 20s were the least likely (41%).” (Frank, 11) A percentage of 61 of men in their 40s replied that they could marry for money.
The price for marrying for money was also different depending on the age and gender, of the respondents. Women in their 20s would marry a man for his money, if he had an average of $2.5 million, women in their 30s stated $1.1 million and women in their 40s said $2.2 million (Frank, 11). The difference in the money range is because women in their 30s have pressure to get married compared to women in their 20s, while women in their 40s don’t mind being independent, hence have a higher demand, as they are in no hurry. Men, on the other hand, had a lower demand. The average price was $1.2 million. Men in their 20s would marry for money to a person who had around $ 1 million, while $1.4 million, men in their 40s would marry for money. Of men in their 40s who would marry for money, 27 percent of them said they expected a divorce. Of course, when the mercenary marriage proves disappointing, there’s always divorce.” (Frank, 11). Seventy one percent of women in their 20s, who said they would marry for money, said they expected a divorce.
The tradition of marriage for love is now being overlooked by some who first look at how they would gain financially in the marriage. “It’s more likely that a couple will marry if they have money, and if the man is economically stable.” (Frank, 11). Others just prefer to keep their pride and follow the tradition, marriage for love. In both cases, there are many sacrifices to be made, for whichever side one chooses. Marrying for money has many cons, but it does have its pros too. At this point, it depends on what best works for a person
Ford, Elizabeth, and Daniela Drake. Smart Girls Marry Money. Philadelphia: Running Press, 2009. Print. This book talks about how smart women should marry into money. It questions the society norm of not marrying for money and explains that a man’s money has a lot to do with his character.
Frank, Robert. “Marrying for love of money.” The Wall Street Journal. 2007. web. 23 May 2012. This journal shows a survey in the US on the rising cases and preferences of marrying for money.
Lieber, Ron. “Money Talks to have before Marriage.” The New York Times. 2009. web. 23 May 2012. In this article, the writer talks about how money affects marriages.
Norment, Lynn. “The Pros and Cons of Marrying for Money.” The Ebony n.d. web. 23 May 2012. This is an article that gives the advantages and disadvantages of marrying someone because of their. It gives a few experiences that show this.
Pappas, Stephanie. “Love of Money May Mess Up Your Marriage.” Live Science. 2011. web. 23 May 2012. The writer talks of how money and material things affect marriages negatively.
Pride & Prejudice. Dir. Joe Wright. Working Titles Films/ Studio Canal, 2005. Film. This movie is based on Jane Austen’s novel Pride and Prejudice. It shows the connection of money and fortune to marriages, how it affects the decision to marry.
Telegraph media group limited. “China tries to stop women marrying for money, rather than love.” Telegraph media group limited. 2012. web. 23 May 2012. The article is about China’s rule that has been set in order to reduce the cases of marrying for money.
Wakeman, Jessica. “Why marrying for money isn’t a bad idea.” CNN Living 6 July 2012. web. 23 May 2012. The article is about why women should marry for money. The writer states that it is not about a man providing for the woman, but someone who seems focused.
Ford, Elizabeth, and Daniela Drake. Smart Girls Marry Money. Philadelphia: Running Press, 2009. Print.
Frank, Robert. “Marrying for love of money.” The Wall Street Journal. 2007. web. 23 May 2012.
Lieber, Ron. “Money Talks to have before Marriage.” The New York Times. 2009. web. 23 May 2012.
Norment, Lynn. “The Pros and Cons of Marrying for Money.” The Ebony n.d. web. 23 May 2012.
Pappas, Stephanie. “Love of Money May Mess Up Your Marriage.” Live Science. 2011. web. 23 May 2012
Pride & Prejudice. Dir. Joe Wright. Working Titles Films/ Studio Canal, 2005. Film.
Telegraph media group limited. “China tries to stop women marrying for money, rather than love.” Telegraph media group limited. 2012. web. 23 May 2012.
Wakeman, Jessica. “Why marrying for money isn’t a bad idea.” CNN Living 6 July 2012. web. 23 May 2012.
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