My Fiancé Has Money and Treats Me Well, But He’s Soooo Cheap! What Should I Do?

My Fiance Has Money and Treats Me Well, But He's Sooo Cheap, What Should I Do?
Evan, what should I do?

I am engaged to a guy who I have been dating for 4.5 years. I love him but I have so much anger and resentment towards him. He is a good person and we have a great time together and I enjoy his company/companionship. He always is happy to see me and be with me. We have a lot in common, but I feel we have some major core differences. He is extremely selfish. He is wealthy and I think this has affected his outlook on money. I am very generous with a big heart, but I find that I am always disappointed. I don’t expect to be spoiled by someone, but he spends a lot of money on his (our) house, cars, gambling when he can, but if I need $200 to go to the store, he makes me feel awkward and here we are supposed to be getting married in December. All our finances are separate, I would be fine even with a pre-nup which I know is coming, but I am not fine with having a husband who puts himself that far above me because of his money. I do expect my husband to help with car payments, medical insurance, basic stuff, I am not even talking about shopping and material things, and this is a guy who is a multi-millionaire, and I made $100k up until last year because of the economy and now until I do something else, am only making about 45k. I am worried about marrying someone who would watch me struggle and not offer to help or was that spoiled that he doesn’t have the “right” consideration for me. HELP!

Lara

You know what they say about rich guys, right? The reason they’re rich is because they don’t spend any of their money

Dear Lara,

You know what they say about rich guys, right? The reason they’re rich is because they don’t spend any of their money! Ha! I kill me.

So first of all, let’s get one thing out of the way first: he’s definitely selfish. There are plenty of people who have issues around money – including yours truly – but your multi-millionaire takes the very expensive wedding cake.

As I’ve said before, many women don’t appreciate the difference between being cheap and being poor. If he makes less than $50,000, pretty much ANYTHING he does for you is generous. However, your guy isn’t poor. He’s rich, and yet you don’t feel he is generous of spirit. That really sucks when you’re facing a lifetime together.

But if you’ve been seeing him for 4 ½ years, I suspect you knew about this trait all along, but dealt with it as just one compromise you had to make in the relationship. It didn’t suddenly surface out of the blue. “He USED to throw me $10,000 birthday parties, but now he only has the Pizza Hut staff put a candle in my calzone!”

I’m not going to defend his penurious ways, and I’m not going to suggest that you don’t have the right to be frustrated. I am, however, going to try to look at the other side – something that you may not have done yet.

So let’s recap: you love him, he’s a good person, he’s super-wealthy, you have a lot in common, you have a great time together, he’s happy to be with you, and you’re engaged to be married in December. Sounds like a promising start, no?

But there’s this one thing – this big thing – you don’t get out of him. It’s a definite character flaw: no generosity. Yet he probably pays for the bulk of the house, car payments, medical payments, vacations, etc. He’ll buy you things and provide a nice life. The only thing he doesn’t want to pay for is you, spending the money that he earned. And since you’re now making less, you expect him to make up the difference.

At least that’s HIS perspective.

I think two things: he’s genuinely cheap, and he genuinely loves you.

Your perspective is that it’s not his money, it’s your money – together. And even though you have everything you want in your life, you can’t get over the fact that he’s so stingy that he won’t let you spend what he considers “his” money. In your mind, it’s not about the money, it’s about the principle! I hear you, and I’m sure a number of readers do, too.

The real sticking point is that his take on “his money vs. your money” is not changing any time soon. It’s deeply ingrained in him. Which gives you two choices: leave him because you feel like you can’t spend your life with a rich man who is cheap, or stick around and appreciate that you have a super life, filled with love, companionship, fun, and tons of material possessions – but your husband is simply a skinflint.

Life is about tradeoffs, y’know?

I also think you may be equating his lack of generosity with a lack of love. He can provide for you in 100 different ways, but because he’s hesitant to give you $200 to go to the store, he doesn’t truly love you. Do you believe that? I don’t. I think two things: he’s genuinely cheap, and he genuinely loves you. If he didn’t love you, he wouldn’t be marrying you. In his mind, he just doesn’t want his wealth to be taken for granted.

Just the other day I was talking with a semi-successful guy – not a millionaire – who took care of his girlfriend when she was unemployed and couldn’t afford to pay rent. The problem arose when, one year later, she STILL didn’t want to pay rent because “he could afford it”.  Ironically, the same way that she feels that “it’s not about money, it’s about principle”, so does he. You think he should pay for you because he can. He doesn’t want to pay for you because you assume he’s supposed to.

Another thing: your boyfriend may be cheap, but I’d have to guess he’s better than the rich guys who equate money with love. Their theory is: “If I buy you a Jaguar, maybe you won’t notice how emotionally distant and abusive I am!”  These type of wealthy men  make the worst husbands because they think that they can buy your affection and don’t have to actually, y’know, listen to you.

All of this begs the unfortunate and delicate question: is it possible that you take your boyfriend’s money for granted? Maybe just a little? After all, you may have taken a pay cut, but you probably still live in a big house with a nice car and have everything you need. So while I’m not going to defend your fiancées behavior – cheap is not cool – I’d have to ask you one really tough question:

Would you be marrying him if HE made $45,000?

And, if not, are you also equating love with money?

It’s not that I’m not sympathetic to your plight, Lara, but it’s my responsibility to point out the side of things that you may not have already considered. Please let me know what you choose to do.

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Comments:

  1. 91
    Mary

    Vino,

    If a man wants a woman to give her all to a relationship, child rearing, and a home, etc. then he has to make that possible. All this takes a lot of time and energy and it’s not like women have an unlimited supply.

  2. 92
    A-L

    Yes, men give half of their earnings to their spouse during marriage. But so do women. And as stated in my #125 from the I’m in my 30s and I don’t want to waste my time thread 25% of working women earn more than their husband, so it’s not always the women who comes out financially ahead within marriage.

    Vino wrote, My point is that you can have all of the great stuff of a good relationship, emotional support, love, intimacy, etc Money doesn’t enter into those things.

    Vino’s right. But, for most women at least, all of those good things are enhanced by marriage. You have made a commitment and publicly stated before your friends and family that you’re in it for the long haul. I’d say this is incredibly liberating emotionally, and allows for a significantly stronger bond than when the two of you were just dating exclusively.

    Vino wrote, I rarely, if ever, see the giving, sacrifice and generosity in the other direction (you rarely hear specifically what giving and generous things they do for the monetary demands).

    I’ll use the classic example, because this is probably true of the majority of relationships out there. My boyfriend almost always pays when we go out to eat, at his insistence. But I’ll cook us dinner, often spending several hours for each one. So I probably spend less monetarily for each meal than he does, but then you should also consider the extra time I put forth in preparing it.

    Other examples: planning vacations and making all of the arrangements, saving significant amounts of money; providing chauffeuring service for several days while a car’s in the shop; taking the time to research answers for random questions in the middle of the day; giving massages after stressful days None of these things are big financial burdens, but they do take time.

    As is probably obvious from my other posts, I do think women contribute financially as well, but they also are generous in non-financial respects as well. Though I agree with Vino that some women are self-centered and money-hungry and don’t do anything for the relationship besides look like a pretty trophy, I think it’s definitely a minority, and that the majority are both financially and emotionally generous.

  3. 93
    vino

    @ LK’s 129 –

    – We may not agree on all points, but I like your posts. In any event, the common thread I see between what I am saying women generally do in dating/marriage and your experience is that you are looking to maximize your financial opportunities within the marriage realm. Of course, the difference is that you are the one willing to provide it. Kudos. Though, it isn’t without challenges (much smaller pool of guys).

    @ Kristen’s 130 –

    – I hear ya, and don’t disagree with what you are saying. However, I’m saying something different – that most women are seeking/demanding ‘financial security’ from guys as a prerequisite to any LTR with them. And I don’t disagree with the way you verbalize partnership in a relationship context, it’s just that under what we’re discussing, there is no ‘partnership’ w/o him 1st providing the dough. I just don’t think that is an acceptable paradigm. And if money’s on the table, the partnership should be analyzed like a business partnership – the way marriages have historically been viewed. Who brings what value.

    @Mary’s 131 –

    – Can you be more specific about “woman to give her all” to a relationship? What specifically is she giving? More to the point, what is she giving that he should pay for it? Companionship? He’s giving that too. Love? He’s giving that too. The generalization unfortunately doesn’t say much.

    @A-L’s 132 –

    – Not to be argumentative, ’cause your statement “25% of working women earn more than their husband, so it’s not always the women who comes out financially ahead within marriage.” is true on its face. But, women only pay 4% of the alimony, though earning more a quarter of the time. You’d think that in a marginally fair system those #s would be closer.

    “But, for most women at least… and allows for a significantly stronger bond than when the two of you were just dating exclusively.”

    – The publicly stated commitment isn’t really a commitment, if you can leave without any more reason than boredom. That just how it is, not that I like it or saying it. I know you think incredibly liberating emotionally, and I would think that too if I stood to gain more (what happens by seeking ‘financial security’). However, when you look at the flip side, it simply isn’t that liberating, taking on someone else’s adult burdens.

    – Also, I don’t want to tit-for-tat on the who does more scheduling or cooking. What about his washing the cars, mowing the lawns, taking out garbage, etc? Is that not generous also? I think all of that stuff tends to wash itself out as the daily stuff of living. This leads to 2 thoughts – One. If it does wash out, I don’t see a basis for the financial prerequisite demands. If it doesn’t wash itself out, then value it & pay for it.

    – BTW, I do think women contribute financially as well, but not nearly to the scale they demand and expect in return. I think reading the posts on the whole confirms this. I am not saying they lack generosity in non-financial respects totally, but I don’t think they value the other side’s similar contributions equally and, quite frankly, over-value what the non-financial aspects are.

    Let me reiterate, I think relationships are a good thing. I think they should be sought. I think that marriage is not the final destination for a relationship, though. As I’ve noted above and in other places, the risks, burdens and costs are simply not worth it. I wish it weren’t so. The thing is, I read the responses and see not one scrap of empathy or understanding for what I (and a few others) have said. I’m not expecting it. You don’t even hear denials that’s it isn’t a great deal for guys. Essentially what I’m hearing is, “So what vino. Shut up, suck it up, and keep paying. You shouldn’t mind this.”

    Guess I was always contrarian, but that sounds like a bad deal for me and not something that actually has my best interests at heart rather than their own. Lord knows I wish I were wrong.

  4. 94
    girl-with-glasses

    @vino #127
    You are obviously very intelligent, I do concede with your reasoning. For instance, on the legal system issue , which at this point I do see as granting what amounts to total legal unaccountability to the woman in a marriage. I no longer find it possible to argue against the male view on this basis, the factual objective one.

    So with a little indulgence on your side, I’d like to make an argument on a purely emotional side. You seem to indicate that you perceive the male to be usually the more generous, responsible, and generally more loving party in the relationship. To a certain extent, I’ll admit that’s also true. I do feel that lads are sweet and generous creatures by nature. But there’s one point of contention that I want to make (probably the last one before the fort is given up)…and it’s that men don’t seem to feel compassion for women, or an understanding of their current plight. It’s a possibility, though too naive or ideal to ever come true, that if men had behaved with more kindness in the first place, women would not have resorted to such mercenary, and truly heart-wrentching tactics in the divorce courts. And believe me, when I say this will never come about, I really mean never , because haha, sex, exists. But back to my main point, your lack of understanding of women.

    Let me use as an example, your apparent anger towards the segment of female population know as ‘golddiggers’. Your condemnation of them seem to indicate your hatred and contempt of them as less than truly human, but they were also made and not born this way, and it happened quite logical and naturally.

    Women, like men, are social creatures, we want to live up to cultural standards. You indicated previously your lack of interest in feminism, which is fine and good, but feminism does affect women, all of whom have been told they should have both a career and family, and if not effortlessly, atleast while maintaining their youthful appearance. On top of this absurd superwomanish notion, nature and biology has seen to it that her childbearing years are in her 20s and 30s.

    A man starts truly becoming a man and an adult member of society at this age, but in many ways, women are told they have to have absolutely *everything* in place by this age. Can you imagine, being out of college, not really knowing a single thing about the world, but feeling like you have 5 years to become the perfect person, or otherwise you lose you chance forever? I’m not blaming anyone, just pointing out nature and society are hard on women.

    Yes, I do understand men are under pressure as well, but in general, you can afford to be single minded in pursuit of that one thing that will lead you to career glory, which will lead to money, which will lead to a good sex life and marriage prospects, and the possibily (though gradually becoming slimmer and possibily nonexistent) of a happy family life.

    And as we all know, which has been debated ad naseum on this forum, men don’t really care what a woman’s career achievements are.

    So what’s a girl to do? After all, in this society, cash value is still a measure of a person’s success. Why invest time and effort in a career achievement, which won’t pay off and will just detract from her primary biological needs, why not make a career of catching a rich man? Is this less than an noble endeavor? Of course, but are men so innocent? With the present highly sexual and pornofied culture, in the mating market, a woman might feel she has to pull out all the stops sexually and attractiveness-wise anyways. Men, with their hair-trigger sexual responses, not to mention, good lord, eventual and increasingly quicker habituation and ever present need for variety, what smart girl really thinks she has a chance at long lasting, faithful, happy relationship anyways? Does this make her sad and weak? Of course, but we’re talking about someone in her early to mid twenties.

    No matter what other women shout about career advancement, I don’t see how the majority will achieve it. The majority of advancing careers need high concentration of mathematical and engineering ability. If a woman is thinking of becoming an artist, it’s even harder, in my opinion.

    Do you see why women become golddiggers? Most of them never had a chance to begin with.

    But for women who aren’t, is it so wrong to expect that the one person who claims to love them, to want to provide shelter, legal and financial, as a bulwark against the world? Does she lose sight of the man in the relationship? Sadly yes. I understand your avoidance of golddiggers, they do bring nothing but ruin. But it’s tough being a woman, and so in trying to form a long lasting relationship with a man, a lot of tangent issues come up.

    So final question, with no financial or legal support, do you really think men support women emotionally?

  5. 95
    A-L

    RE: Vino’s #133

    What percentage of husbands get custody of the children in a divorce? Because I suspect one reason why 25% of women earn more than men do but only 4% of women pay alimony/child support is that usually the women are the ones who have the primary responsibility of raising the children and the courts expect the father to continue to contribute toward their child’s upbringing, even if they earn less than the wife. I also recall in some thread that I’m too tired to search for that we both speculated that the primary risk for a man is not marriage, but rather, a marriage with children as most courts are no longer doing alimony (barring if you’ve been married to a guy for 40 years and been a housewife the whole time).

    As far as the breakdown of chores, a couple of things. If you’re in an exclusive but not live-in relationship each person takes care of their own garbage, car washing, vacuuming, etc. So if you’re cooking, yes it really is just for the other person. I eat a lot of cereal for dinner when my boyfriend’s not around so don’t say I’d be cooking anyway. If you’re married there are far more time-consuming chores relegated to the female than to the male. And I didn’t mention any financial things because you were asking about the nonfinancial (or at least that’s how I read it).

    But basically I think we have a different way of seeing life. I run across a lot of men in my life. Men who abuse their children or wives. Men who repeatedly have affairs. Men who don’t allow their significant other to have any contact with the opposite sex. Men who won’t let their significant other make any kind of joking comment about them. Men who still live with their parents and haven’t had a real job in years. Men who physically intimidate sed parents. I know lots of men like this, and at the moment I’m actually almost frightened when I start thinking about how many men of this type I actually interact with. Even though I know a scarily large number of guys like this, I believe that most men really are good guys.

    That’s where we’re different. You’ve run across a lot of women who have only married for the money, knowing they’re going to divorce the guy. You’ve seen women claim to be abused when nobody’s even lain a finger on them. You’ve seen women accept a date only because she wanted a free meal. You’ve seen women spend small (or large) fortunes with all their free time while their husbands slave away at work paying for all their expenses including maids and cooks. From your posts it appears that you, however, feel that it’s the majority of women who are like this and there’s only a small slice of womankind that has any virtue left.

    And I think that’s why you encounter such defensiveness among the female posters here. I expect that most women would agree with you that the judicial system needs to be reworked in terms of divorce, that there are women who are only in it for the money, and that men bear the brunt of the financial demands of a relationship, at least in the beginning. But saying that the vast majority of women are this way probably hurts your argument more than it helps it, because when most women read that they know that most of the women they know are not like that.

    RE: Girl-With-Glasses #134

    Sorry, but I’m not buying it. I’m a 28 (almost 29!) year old female and according to this theory I should be agonizing over how to maximize my career, romantic relationship, children, and appearance and perhaps beginning to think about golddigging my way out of this scary big hole I’m in. Perhaps your theory may have been true 30+ years ago but I don’t think that’s the case today.

  6. 96
    girl-with-glasses

    @A-L #135
    Sorry, I wasn’t trying to speak for all women, maybe it did come out more theory-ish than what I would’ve wanted. I was trying to speak up for ‘golddiggers’, lord knows why now, but just to say even some women who fall into that category might be more complex and warrant more than cursory disregard. I probably took a hypothetical way too far…

  7. 97
    Mary

    Doing things such as deep regular cleaning and Betty Crocker cooking really takes a lot of time. Also doing things such as laundry, dry cleaning, dinner parties, decorating, landscaping, taking care of pets, bills, appointments, shopping and a whole list of other things too numerous to list. Then have a husband and children (and maybe the relatives too) who need attention and to be listened to. Also if you have an emergency or even have a doctor’s appointment what happens if you both work and can’t get off work, or can’t get there for awhile? Anways, the man creates an opportunity to have a woman all to himself and not have to worry about someone else’s needs coming first. Some guys really like this.

  8. 98
    Joe

    A-L, what would your boyfriend be eating for dinner if you didn’t cook anything for him?

  9. 99
    vino

    Re: Mary#137-

    Some guys do like what you posit. There are lots of them. I’ve never said there weren’t. I’m simply noting that the numbers of them are dwindling (over 1/2 couples are cohabitating now, not marrying. And rising).

    And fyi, I haven’t met anyone under 40 doing regular deep cleaning or Betty Crocker cooking. Ever. The rest of the stuff I can do myself quite easily (and do often re: deep cleaning), and most importantly, ain’t worth 1/2 my income. Not. Even. Close.

    Re: A-L’s #135:

    Big picture – All I’m basically saying is that when you look at the starting point of dating to the end goal of marriage, ladies in general demand more from the guy in very material terms at all stages of the process than they are willing to give. IOW, their approach is “what’s the benefit to me” All the facts support this.

    You are actually mistaken re: assumptions in lumping alimony & child support together for custody. Alimony & CS are 2 different things and are treated as such. Alimony exists where there are no kids. It’s based, among other things, on the standard of living enjoyed during the marriage. Blech. So if you decide to leave me, I have to keep you in the same (or close to it) standard you enjoyed during marriage? You gotta be kidding me. Again, all burden to me, all benefit to you (assuming you married up economically).

    The chore breakdown stuff is nonsensical. If you read above, they are given as justifications for demanding that guys provide ‘financial security.’ IOW, pay for household chores. I think men in marriages do tons of chores too, washing out the argument for paying wives for household chores. And if you do want to be paid for it, let’s value it, and his chores, and see the difference. I can guarantee you it ain’t much difference, and is even more nonsensical to demand financial security for household chores the more money he makes.

    Honestly, I don’t get where you are coming from with the paragraph re all the bad things you’ve seen guys do. BTW, I’ve seen much the same, particularly the abuse things you mention. So what? I’m not saying seeking money in dating/marriage is inherently bad. It’s been around for thousands of years. It just is.

    I’m saying a few different things. I’m saying that where you can earn the same money for the same work there is no longer a basis to seek money. I’m saying that those who do in the 21st century care more about their own benefits and less about their prospective partner’s. I’m saying that when you actually look at the facts, at all stages of dating & marriage where the guy is paying, there simply isn’t sufficient value for the high risk proposition that is marriage. I’m saying that, in the end, women ‘take’ and expect to give as little as possible at all stages of dating & marriage. They are doing what benefits them. This isn’t an indictment. It’s simple marketplace behavior supported by the facts.

    And make no mistake, sex and mating/dating is a market.

    Of course I’m vilified for daring to mention this, and actually analyzing what people do withing this market. All I’m saying is that once you analyze the benefits and burdens of dating & marriage as a guy, not marrying benefits me as a guy. The burdens & risks outweigh the potential relatively few benefits.

    And saying “Not all are that way” simply doesn’t work. There’s no reliable way to determine that. Divorce court is chock full of people who said “I’d never do that”

    And again, I’m not seeing (nor expect to) an acknowledgment of any validity to what I’m saying. All I see are tortured justifications of doing chores (that’s weak, btw), or trying to intimate I am somehow angry and only focusing on the negative. All the while ignoring the factual basis for everything I’m saying. BTW this tells me that those who do so only really do care about their benefits derived from someone’s expense, and not at all for the burdens of the provider of the benefits.

    I guess this will play out in higher numbers cohabitating, with increased out-of-wedlock births (already high), and reduced births among the more educated populace. You’re already seeing this. On a smaller level, you’ll see more apparent good dating/marriage guys & gals in their 30’s with good jobs who date around.

    I’m not saying any of this is great for society as a whole, but when the benefits and burdens of marriage are so out of whack, people will do what benefits them more. It ain’t more complicated than that really.

  10. 100
    LK

    Vino said, “We may not agree on all points, but I like your posts. In any event, the common thread I see between what I am saying women generally do in dating/marriage and your experience is that you are looking to maximize your financial opportunities within the marriage realm. Of course, the difference is that you are the one willing to provide it. Kudos. Though, it isn’t without challenges (much smaller pool of guys).”

    Well, I’m looking to optimize my financial opportunities in the context of balancing them with the other facets of my life. But I am willing to roll up my sleeves and put in the effort required to do so. And I would expect the same thing of my partner. Do you really think it’s such a small pool of guys who feel that way too?!! Oye, no wonder I’m still single! ;-)

    “Guess I was always contrarian, but that sounds like a bad deal for me and not something that actually has my best interests at heart rather than their own. Lord knows I wish I were wrong.”

    Vino, forgive me if have said this before, but I’m guessing based on your comments that you don’t want to have kids. If you don’t want kids, then a lot of these sharing-of-financial-resources issues do become irrelevant. In that context, I can understand a lot of your points. Kids require so much time and attention that in my opinion a different level of partnership and division of labor is required, and this shifts around a lot of elements in the equation. If the woman in a partnership is the only one who wants kids and expects her husband to be the sugar daddy, then your points CERTAINLY make sense. But I don’t understand why a man would agree to have kids under those circumstances. I assume that both parties enter into the spawning process in good faith. Maybe that’s an unrealistic assumption.

  11. 101
    Mary

    Vino,

    If you really care about someone, then you’ll take a leap of faith. If you don’t, then you won’t. So a third option of living together is not really necessary and is off the table, at least for many. Now it’s not like you can’t do a prenuptual or discuss how you’ll be spending money first.

  12. 102
    vino

    Re: LK’s 140:

    “Well, I’m looking to optimize my financial opportunities in the context of balancing them with the other facets of my life. But I am willing to roll up my sleeves and put in the effort required to do so. And I would expect the same thing of my partner. Do you really think it’s such a small pool of guys who feel that way too?!! Oye, no wonder I’m still single! ;-)”

    – Not too sure you got what was meant by the quote you referenced. Then again, there wasn’t much explanation behind the smaller pool comment. I gather from your situation you described earlier that you made notably more than your bf/ex-bf. I’m going to put forth 2 basic things I believe (inferred from the few known facts) are in play.

    – First, if I recall your post (not gonna scroll up & try to find & re-read), the essence of the situation was that if you were to marry & raise a family, he had to give up his career dreams, since you made more $$. Most guys worth their salt shouldn’t give up their dreams, and wouldn’t. Also, the approach seemed a bit, well, ‘my way or the highway.’ Sheer guess, but I bet he didn’t love that either, particularly as a preview to marriage where he’d have to depend on you… These are but a few pitfalls of successful women dating & marrying less financially successful guys.

    – And in every single instance I know of where she did make more (couple dozen), it was an unmitigated disaster. She began to resent financially carrying him because, you know, he’s the one that should be doing the carrying. Then it gets ugly. That’s just what I’ve seen.

    – Second, as this thread (and all known facts) indicates, most women are seeking some type of financial security from their partner. I think in general (not saying you do) most detest the prospect of possibly financially supporting a guy. Hence, seeking the provider. I don’t think this changes no matter how much she makes, so the $150k/yr lawyer will seek the $250k & up guy… Mathematically, if you are financially successful (top 20+%), it stands to reason there is a smaller number of available guys who make the same or more, particularly once you factor out the already married ones.

    – So it isn’t about a small pool of guys “willing to roll up (their) sleeves” and put in the effort required to have a marriage and family. It isn’t about rolling up sleeves. It’s about the likely small number of guys that are successful where both of your career and family dreams align to create the conditions where both of you will be happy because your joint dreams can be realized, not just one of your dreams.

    – I’ve been pretty open about not wanting kids. That said, the sharing-of-financial-resources issues even with kids to me is still unreasonable. Here’s why.

    — You can do everything men can do career-wise. LK, you yourself prove this.

    — I keep coming to the family laws, ’cause that’s where all of this plays out. If I agree to take care of you and progeny and you later leave because you are bored (so much for ‘commitment’ and ‘rolling up sleeves’), you most often (except in rare cases indeed) take the kids. You get 1/2, alimony and child support (tax-free to recipient, btw). So you get my kids and my money. Patently unjust. Guys who may want kids shouldn’t opt into a system where this can even happen once (and it happens A LOT every day). I understand that ain’t reality, so the only choice is not to play. Make me king for a day & I’d abolish gov’t intrusion into families, including child support.

    — Again, the financial resources argument derived from a time where ladies couldn’t even get an education, let alone be able to go out and earn a living. That’s gone by way of the dodo.

    “Kids require so much time and attention that in my opinion a different level of partnership and division of labor is required, and this shifts around a lot of elements in the equation.”

    — I don’t disagree with this in theory, but in reality, where you can later change your mind (and enforced by the state) about the ‘partnership’ and any element in the equation, I’m stuck with no choice.

    – “I assume that both parties enter into the spawning process in good faith. Maybe that’s an unrealistic assumption.”

    — In many cases it is good faith. I’d say the majority. But many aren’t. You know that doctors and some therapists estimate that anywhere from 10-25% (I’d say closer to 10%) of kids’ fathers aren’t really the biological fathers. Google paternity fraud & poke around. It’s fascinating (& disconcerting). Ever wonder why there isn’t already mandatory automatic genetic paternity testing at birth?

    – Not trying to be argumentative, but I still don’t see a great benefit to me as a guy. Ladies don’t need guys financially nowadays. They aren’t necessary to have kids (see high single mother birth rate). And the only rationalization I see is really to help make mom’s life easier (assuming kids are in the mix). Aside from having a child (assuming guy wants one), why does she need to be paid for it? It makes no sense logically. Plus, he has far greater number of burdens and risks, with relatively few benefits (most of which I’m still trying to see).

    – I guess what I’m conveying is that when it comes to financial ties and marriage, there is no reason to do it at all. It is too expensive and risky a proposition. It’s like asking me to buy a really expensive car that has a 50% or better chance of blowing up every time I start the ignition.

    Have a relationship where you love each other? Yep. Have a relationship where you confide in and encourage each other? Heck yea. Have a relationship where one pays the other to be there? Nope.

  13. 103
    JerseyGirl

    All in all, I don’t think most women are interested in investing time and energy into men that seem to think women have it so easy and men are the only ones that face hardships and trials in the dating world. I don’t think most women aren’t interested in investing time in men that appear to be selfish with any part of themselves. Whether that be their money, love, or faith in women in general.

    I would say that 95% of women aren’t even close to being “gold-diggers”. However, lets not confuse “gold-diggers” with the very real and legitimate fact that women DO want a man that can and will provide for her. I think the main clause here is not how much money a man has but his willingingness to share himself. Because at the end of the day, a man that wants to share his resources with you is saying that YOU are important enough to him to make that type of “sacrifice”, if you will. And a man that doesn’t want to share his resources with you is making a very clear statement and drawling a line in the sand about where you stand with him. Which isn’t very promising in my opinion because it’s apparent that the money is more important to him.

    Lastly, the last thing any woman wants is a man that makes no attempt to understand women, their needs, their trials and is more self involved in worrying about his own. I KNOW that is true for men as well when it comes to women, as it should be. But lets stop confusing a woman’s desire for a man that will want to provide for her with a woman that only cares about a man’s money. When men date, they are not completely seperate from their more shallow desires to pick women. Why as a man would you expect women to be?

    It’s not about his money. I think it’s more about a woman wanting a man that will want to share parts of his life beyond himself because he truly wants to make an effort to make her a part of his life. Not put into little compartments that only give *him/her* the greatest benefits. Men are not more aulteristic when it comes to picking women. And I think it’s foolish to expect women not to have any concern over the ability of a man to provide for her. Women might have joined the work force but we are far from equal and we are still women who want a man to be there to protect us. To expect women to be completely aulteristic when you as a man can’t, isn’t exactly fair is it.

  14. 104
    girl-with-glasses

    @vino #142
    A woman is *not* a female version of you, you know. Your main objection seems to be against the legal constraints of marriage. Even if a woman would agree to sign a prenupt, or to demonstrate future earning potential, you seem to think her just wanting to be married to you indicates she has it out for you. If that’s your view, fine. Btw, if you’re a finance man, maybe a finance analogy would work better. If you’re doing a plain vanilla swap, you don’t look at what party A and party B’s rates are in themselves in the fixed and floating markets, but the relative advantages they have in each. You seem to think either, a woman should offer the exact same benefits to a man as he to her, and/or one woman isn’t that different from any other. My prior point on *love*, is that sometimes the man ends up thinking the woman is special and superior to him . A second economic argument would be just a simple case of prisoner’s dilemma, where individually, taking a optimizing position would get both parties worse off, but taking a sub-optimal strategy to both individually, would actually be the maximally optimal solution for both. To me marriage is the pledge of loyalty and faith that’s necessary, a pledge always requires some prior faith and commitment, and precludes other future interested parties, aka, the sacrifice , work, and prior emotional investment required. In these times, a woman saying she has initial standards maybe laughed at, but what does it matter, we do these things individually, and as long as my potential mate comes of his own free mind and accord, that’s more than fair in my book. To me, a relationship were people just go in for fun times as long as it lasts, isn’t much of anything. I’m a woman so I’m not as lax on time wasting in these matters as men tend to be. Well, I want kids, so that might be one reason why marriage is so much more important to me than you. Finally, do I look a man’s net worth? Even subconsciouly, sooner or later, yes. But that’s more of an individual characteristic. Just simple supply and demand. If I can get it, all the more power to me, if I can’t, I can’t. I don’t find it morally damning =p.

  15. 105
    Caramel

    I CANT STAND A CHEAP AND STINGY MAN! I have definitely encountered several in my day! As far as the money goes, if she has been sleeping with this guy for the last 4.5 years, why shouldn’t he give her money? I don’t know whats wrong with women today, but sex is not for free! We all know that we don’t get something for nothing!!

  16. 106
    Selena

    #145
    Troll?

  17. 107
    Johanus

    #145 – Caramel – I think you missed the point. The woman isn’t trying to sell herself to the man. She wants a relationship. If a man wants to pay for sex there are other options. Same goes for a woman. Yes, sex is for sale in this world, but in a relationship the giving in the respect of sex is mutual and beneficial to both parties.
    .-= Johanus’s last blog ….How to Set & Keep Goals =-.

  18. 108
    Caramel

    For Johanus (147): I am not missing the point. I know what you are saying, but at the same time, why shouldn’t she get something out of the relationship? It’s not about a woman SELLING herself to a man, but in a relationship, you just dont get something for nothing.

    You men are always trying to justify something! I know if I were her, and he’s just sleeping with me for a long time and doesn’t want to give me money every o he is out of the door! Like I said in my post, sex is not for free! The more that women understand this, the better off they will be!

  19. 109
    Caramel

    For Johanus (147): I am not missing the point. I know what you are saying, but at the same time, why shouldn’t she get something out of the relationship? It’s not about a woman SELLING herself to a man, but in a relationship, you just dont get something for nothing.

    You men are always trying to justify something! I know if I were her, and he’s just sleeping with me for a long time and doesn’t want to give me money every once in a while, he is out of the door! Like I said in my previous post, sex is not for free! The more that women understand this, the better off they will be!

  20. 110
    Nicole

    I have a story… I had a huge fight with a boyfriend who made anywhere from 10k to 40k for a website and I made 800euro a month. He couldn’t understand that we could ever compare the money he makes with how much I make. He would argue he had more expensive bills and such but I kept trying to explain that regardless the money he has leftover is still more and so on. I never expected him to pay for me.. However if he wanted to do something like vacation in Dubai he would say I don’t have enough money to go with him.. I would ask if he could consider doing something a bit more economical and his response was that he worked hard for his money and this is what he deserved… Always leaving me behind. This man was stingy. I only wanted some help so that we could enjoy things together. If I ever tried to offer to pay for something I could afford, like a cheap meal, he would get extremely mad saying he doesn’t need my petty change.. So…. I was very confused.. And lets forget I said Dubai.. I live in Greece and we have our gorgeous islands so if he planned to go to an island then I could only go if I could pay my half at a 5 star hotel and restaurants… He always said he was not my sponsor.
    I do not, by any means, expect a man to sponsor me. And I’ll take care of myself and I know that we will split bills or I’ll even pay entirely sometimes. The guy I am seeing now is a student (going for his masters just to clarify) and I know he isn’t swimming in extra cash but I offered to stay in and cook more, or watch movies at home, go for walks etc. however he takes me out and pays for me.. If I have something to offer that is great. I sometimes look for deals to treat him to.. I just got him a massage that was on sale for 8euro from 80euro.
    Money is not my issue but it should not be an issue. Sharing is caring (and it goes both ways) but if they are trying to help you out then that’s all you can really ask for. Who wants a man to pay for everything? That’s what daddy is for.

  21. 111
    maria

    What more do you want?  It’s his money so he can spend it.  Do you want to live like a queen just because you know he’s a rich?
    C’mon….

  22. 112
    jexy22

    Good grief.  I do not for a moment believe this woman is a gold digger.  She just wants to feel like this man truly values her; the way he values himself.  It’s not so much about the money; it’s about what he chooses to do with it that matters.  Love is a verb; we watch how others treat us by their actions, whether those actions involve money, time, thoughtfulness, generosity, etc……This guy is saying (with his actions) that she comes in second.  He is a multi-millionaire and she makes $45K?  That is a HUGE difference in income.  Girl, find a different guy. We all know it’s not so much about what someone “gives” to you but rather what one is willing to “give up” for you.  What happened to the virtue of sacrifice.  I’ve never made more than $26K in my life but I’m very generous to those I love.  They may not be expensive gifts but I give what I can.  That’s what it’s all about.  Another truth about money – whether you have 50 bucks in your bank account or 5 billion – on your deathbed – you can’t take it with you.  Remember the old story: How much money did the billionaire leave behind when he died?  Answer:  all of it.
    Find a less selfish man.

  23. 113
    Androgynous

    Helen, it is interesting the way you brought evolutionary biology/sociobiology into this discussion. In the cases you cited, bird and fish do not “carry” their young. The young is deposited outside the body (in protective eggs or shells) that both parents are able to care for equally. In the case of birds, there is true (and equal) division of labour given the very precarious existence birds, especially hatchlings face (predation, mercy of the weather and seasons). Male and female are monogamous, take care of their young in equal measure and take turns to look for food. Birds are not social animals hence the monogamy and equal division of labour. Humans are so so we deviate from the “bird” model so to speak. Also, female humans in the past tended to be pregnant most of the time (usually not by choice) and so feel vulnerable to predation or attack. Try fighting off attackers and defending 3 of your young children while 8 months pregnant ! The only way she could ensure her safety and wellbeing, and that of her children was to depend on a strong healthy male. I think this explains the hard wiring in women’s brains to seek out a male “protector”. I think your brain would be wired that way if you had to live that way for thousands and thousands of years.

  24. 114
    Androgynous

    As an aside, I have to say that while I am a thoroughly modern woman, earning good money, fiercely independent and well educated, parts of me still respond in a “reptilian” or primitive way to certain stressors. In that scene in Mel Gibson’s Apocalypto where the hero’s heavily pregnant wife was forced into fighting off a panther/jaguar (?) to protect herself, her young child and her unborn baby – still makes my skin crawl and break out in a cold sweat every time I think about it.

  25. 115
    Serena27

    I scanned the comments for a response from the OP, but I didn’t see one. I wonder how it worked out for them. I don’t think she was being selfish or a gold-digger. I think the couple were having communication problems about money. She said she got a weird look from him when she asked for $200 to go to the store. People have commented on the lack of information, what kind of store, what was she buying? I’d like to know if she told him he was giving her a look that made her feel uncomfortable and started a disscussion about what he was feeling? I wonder if they discussed her new, lower salary? There are lots of helpful suggestions on how to deal with finances in a relationship whether two people make similar ammounts or one greatly out-earns the other, or if one spouse will stay home to raise the children. I thought my ex-husband and I would not have problems with money b/c we would discuss them. But we weren’t very good at discussing anything, and we had very different values about money (and many other things) and we could not come to an agreement. When we separated we both made $50-60,000/each. Same income, just very different values.

    I don’t think it’s fair to expect the lower-income earner to pay for everything 50-50. Will one person eat kraft dinner for supper while the other has foie gras? (an exaggeration but you get my point). Will they take separate vacations? Will they receive different medical treatments?

    I don’t see how you can love someone and not happily take care of them if you have the means and they don’t. This does not mean that your low-income spouse can expect $10,000 shoes or watches and fancy meals in restaurants every day (or week). But I think they can expect to enjoy higher quality groceries and health care at no additional expense to what they can afford on their own salary.

    I have a wonderful, new relationship now, but the topic of money still makes me nervous. We are planning a camping trip next month and have to budget for it together so we will be discussing money a lot for the first time. I’m applying Evan’s advice to take each relationship on it’s own and not put up walls based on the past. Not an easy thing to do, but absolutely necessary!

  26. 116
    DJ

    “If he didn’t love you, he wouldn’t be marrying you.” That statement, if it is being applied in general to men, is wrong. Men marry for many reasons, and it’s not always love. I know, my husband of 26 years was stingy and VERY controlling with money from day one. He never lightened up. And in the end he told me he’d never loved me. We’re divorced now and guess who got nearly everything…Yes. He did. We started out on a very equal footing, financially, in our late 20s. Soon we had a business we started together and it is still operating decades later. In the divorce he won 100% of the business, our real estate, our home and all of it’s possessions inside, and all our bank accounts. He had grabbed everything we owned, when we separated, and got two attorneys. I went into my divorce pro se (without an attorney) and I lost nearly everything I’d ever worked for. I’m 55 and starting over, earning barely enough to keep an apartment roof over my head, and I drive an 18 year old vehicle. My ex lied in court and played dodgeball and hide-the-bank-accounts, from every angle. In my gut, I knew when I married him that he was stingy and self-centered and controlling about money. I married him anyway. He never changed, he only got worse as time went by. And I will always now pay dearly for not listening to my gut when I had a chance. Girl, you better run, run fast as you can. There’s a better man out there for you. Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise. I have lived the life you are headed for.

  27. 117
    Clare

    I made this comment on another story, but I really do think that whether your *attitudes* towards money are compatible is much more important than how much you actually earn.

    I grew up with a mom who was a single mom, and a teacher, so never had a lot of money, but always made sure to buy lovely gifts for other people, and made sure there was plenty of wonderful food. I have adopted this way of being, and although I am not a great earner and don’t ever expect to be, I am always generous with those I love.

    I find I get along much better with people with a similar attitude, and if I sense a stinginess in someone, I tend to stay away.

    My boyfriend earns far more than me, but we have a similar generosity with each other when it comes to money. He knows that I will give him whatever I can, will never say no to him regarding money and will never take advantage of him. He in turn is very generous with me and helps me wherever he can without my asking.

    I think it’s this trust of each other and this openness which makes our relationship work particularly well in this respect. It happens to be particularly important to me that the man I’m with trusts me financially. It is one thing to be sensible and practical about money, it is another to be withholding.

  28. 118
    katrina

    i have just read this piece for the first time. TBH after reading all the comments I find myself in a bit of dilemma. Yes he is paying for the house they live in (which is in his name and not hers I presume), both cars, and probably some food too. But he is also gambling high amounts of money and won’t even give her $200? She doesn’t seem to be asking alot and lets be frank a millionaire lifestyle is going to cost her more if she has to pay out of pocket then a middle class one. If he has as much money as she claims then $1000 doesn’t seem like an awful lot for spending money a month. Sweetheart if you are reading this I would just say to be patient. He is probably so used to hearing gold digging horror stories that he is a bit scared about everything. And he is new to the responsibility. Once a baby comes along then he will have to pay alot more things and also take care of you better as well. As others have said I would see what the prenup says and at the moment not worry about him being cheap. When the baby comes then ask for a joint account. Thats what I did! The bastard still left me with nothing but then I was in love when I signed my prenup and not thinking straight!

  29. 119
    katrina

    The good news is that you could potentially put all your cash aside and invest in a property and rent it out and have all your income to play with to gain wealth of your own.

    I bet if you ask his advice and he starts helping you a bit he may even find a project and become your partner. So no matter what happens to the relationship in the future you have something to fall back on and don’t end up miserable and broke. You shouldn’t be paying to keep up with his lifestyle either.

  30. 120
    Sarah

    What if they had been together for over four years and he worked constantly out of state but stayed with her when he took off 3 months a year or visited? (still making over 100K) What if her job was unexpectedly eliminated and she owned a home with a lot of equity, which they were eventually planning to use when they can be permanently together? What if she couldn’t sell that house now because of needed repairs? Repairs he doesn’t have time to help with?

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