hello - hope this isn't too far away from the thread of teen sexuality and i feel a bit unsure about even posting this but i'm just interested in what the general opinion would be about taking a materialistic v. romantic attitude to marriage.
I have two (in fact three but just talking bout the two) older sisters - one of whom definitely married for love, the other who right up to her wedding day kept on saying she wasn't sure etc. but her husband-to-be was a very wealthy, very nice, decent guy... i was quite a bit younger then and i thought if she weren't sure then she ought not to marry him. As time has gone on, my sister who married for love has found out, unfortunately, that her husband is an irresponsible, alcoholic, abusive man and their standard of living is worse than terrible... she has ended up with three scarred and scared children in a complete financial mess and her life is a nightmare - I even think the love has gone.
My other sister, however, it seems has grown to love her husband and they have mutual interests - her children are well-adjusted, go to great schools, want for nothing (have ponies, skiing holidays, swimming pool, tennis court, lots of space to run around and security etc. etc.) they also have a great social life and my sister can wander around (if she wants) checking out the designer shops to make sure she has the right clothes for all the parties etc. that they attend - in short, a fairly enviable, easy lifestyle...
She always says to me "never marry a 'useless' man....." that is her catchphrase to me!! and i always thought that the emotional side was by far the more important and never thought i would change from that opinion but now I am beginning to wonder....
What does everyone else think? I can see that my sisters are at fairly extreme ends of the scale... and that by marrying for love it doesn't necessarily mean that your husband is likely to be abusive at all!!! and that if you only marry for the lifestyle there is no guarantee that it will always be there... or that you will be happy.
I know that my sister wouldn't want me to marry my current boyfriend as she considers him not rich enough/lazy (or probably to use her words faintly 'useless')....??? My immediately previous (very short-lived) boyfriend was worth a fortune and i have to admit that i love flying first-class; and loved the weekends at his cabin in Tahoe; the sailing; eating out at amazing restaurants; just doing loads of stuff and meeting loads of interesting people --- but he was an absolute a*****e too and I can't believe I went out with him at all now (ie he was full of hate - shockingly anti-semitic, very aggressive and i never found out how he made his money but he once told me how even at age eleven he used to force kids in his class to give him a dollar every day... and i expect he does a similar type of thing now just in a more adult way) - i didn't know all that about him at first, obviously, initially we had lots of fun.
I am quite sure that I am not smart enough to make a fortune of my own/or even that I want a fortune although the superficial side of me really does love the ease of money... what does everyone else feel about it?
Is it more a question of compatibility or is money and status as important - more important than emotional compatibility? Is it even relevant with equality and women earning?
My brother-in-laws friend is getting married to a duke (from Northern Ireland) and everyone is so pleased for her (she's very beautiful and amazing) --- although he is not good-looking at all and kinda arrogant but she will the Lady XXXX (i think - titles not being my thing???) and will be secure for the rest of her life i guess with a huge old pile of bricks in Northern Ireland to look after. Is that what one should look for? (*and what exactly is a 'useless man' - guess i should ask my sister that**)
Just wondering and apologies to all those who might find the topic offensive/disgustingly materialistic... but really interested in everyone's viewpoint. all the best cj
A couple of points to add some food for thought:
1) Some feminists have argued (since the 19th century) that there's no fundamental difference between marrying someone for their money and prostitution.
You're making an agreement to live with someone and have sex with them, for the sake of money. The only difference is that one version is "respectable".
Now, maybe sex work is something you're okay with personally and morally. But if it isn't, then you probably shouldn't be getting into it ...
2) The exploitation factor.
You could say to someone, "I don't love you, in fact I think you're a pretty lousy guy..." or at best, "I don't love you, you're a nice guy but you don't rock my world ..." and then continue "... but hey, I want your money, so I'll be happy to marry you for that."
And maybe you could find a guy who'd settle for that, and work out a deal. There are cases where people have made marriages of convenience, knowing that's what they were getting into, and ended up getting on okay.
And there are some situations where someone says, "I don't have big romantic feelings for you, but you're a good person and I really care about you as a friend, let's see if this could work out." And sometimes it does.
But if you're saying "Oh my love, you are the most wonderful man I have ever met, I would love you even if you worked minimum wage cleaning toilets" when that's not true - then let's be honest: you're lying. You're manipulating and exploiting someone in order to get money out of them.
None of this means that romantic love-at-first-sight is any sort of panacea either.
As your example shows, it doesn't guarantee that someone won't be abusive - or, as we see every day on the boards, that two people will be able to communicate, get on, and handle the long-term negotiations and emotional adjustments involved in making any relationship work.
And in a relationship in adult life, issues of money and careers may come in - not whether you or your partner have money or not, but whether you have similar attitudes to it, how much you value material goods or prestigious careers, whether one of you is happy to support the other financially, and so on.
But there's a very big jump from acknowledging that feelings of romantic love aren't enough on their own to make a relationship work to saying "well, love doesn't work, all that matters is money".
[This message has been edited by logic_grrl (edited 09-09-2004).]
I don't actually think you're terribly materialistic when you think of financial security, I wouldn't say all the posh things your sister has are necessary, but I do understand that you wouldn't want to be in a marriage where your children suffer for it. However, you ARE capable of making something of yourself (everyone is) even if that doesn't mean you're rich. I have similar dilemmas in that I am scared to death of poverty, but that's why I plan to work hard and be successful (at least enough to support myself and any children I might choose to have) on my own. That doesn't mean I don't want a successful partner. I guess my opinion is that it's bad to marry someone for their money unless both parties are relatively aware that's what's going on and are happy with that outcome. (And even with the feminist argument of prostitution, my only issue with prostitution is the frequent lack of safer sex. Not that I'd ever do it myself.) It sounds like you want someone who will provide both security and love, and there's not much wrong with that. There's no guarantee in life that at some point something bad would happen and "bye bye security!" But in the meanwhile, it's not unhealthy to look for a guy that's motivated and successful. That might just be character traits you go for, I know I do. The difference is, I wouldn't marry a guy who was solely motivated and successful but didn't possess any of the qualities I deem necessary in a guy I could love. Just my two cents.
Posts: 218 | Registered: Apr 2002
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In a time and place where women can have careers and support themselvs -- and sometimes their children and partners as well -- I don't think there's any good reason to marry for money but the obvious.
I made the choice I did for love and happiness, and because I knew the person in question was willing and able to care for me, should I need to be cared for. I also made sure to do all I could to care for him, and to prepare to be the only one bringing in money, if need be. When I wasn't able to work (loonnnggg story, interesting only if you're into bureaucratic stuff) I did what I could to make the money we did have stretch as far as it could. We didn't make those choices for love of money, though, but out of knowing that being responsible means taking care of financial matters as well as emotional. But then again, because of my morals and situation, I didn't have to choose between the charming pauper and the wealthy arsehole. Even in LA. As logic mentioned, most of the time choosing to marry someone is about choosing someone with similar values and goals to your own, and someone you can live with happily. If you're looking to start a partnership for money, it's probably better to start a business.
------------------ Milke, with an L, Mrs BD to you, RATS, TMNTP, MF, CWCD, WAOTA
hello thanks all for all your replies - it is good to hear everyone's viewpoints. just to add - with my older sister her husband was always in love with her (she just wasn't sure about how much she loved him) but she went for it anyway and perhaps it was more the fact that she could respect his talents/decency as well as the life-style he offered that allowed the love to grow --- and vice-versa that my other sister's husband's 'faults' (i guess) that allowed the love to die.... could that be possible?
i think i am a little cynical about marriage but i don't believe that either of my sisters either married for sex or were married for sex (not that i'm offended by that implication if there was one btw)... i think they were married for who they were but that one sister's choice was influenced by love alone and the other's more by financial security etc.
what i find funny is the status that comes with 'marrying well' and the pity that comes if you 'marry badly' and it goes horribly wrong - somehow it (society/people) seem to make a judgement of your worth.... ie if you marry rich and come out of a divorce well that's fine but if you divorce and it was a disaster marriage and you have less than nothing you've failed/effed up and wasted your life on this goodfnothin - what's that all about i wonder?
what's that phrase a cynic (is it?) is someone who can see the price of everything and the value of nothing... i'm sure that's how i look at marriage - a bit???????
but thanks for the replies - all the best cj
[This message has been edited by christinejones (edited 09-10-2004).]
quote:(she just wasn't sure about how much she loved him) but she went for it anyway and perhaps it was more the fact that she could respect his talents/decency as well as the life-style he offered that allowed the love to grow
Yes, that's very plausible. And frankly, I'd guess that his talents/decency played a much bigger role in the development of her feelings than the lifestyle.
Even the biggest swimming pool in the world can't make someone lovable, just like the cabin in Tahoe didn't make your previous boyfriend any less of an a*****e .
quote:i don't believe that either of my sisters either married for sex or were married for sex (not that i'm offended by that implication if there was one btw)
For the record, I wasn't intending to imply anything about your sisters (especially as it doesn't sound as if your older sister did in fact "marry for money") - I was talking about the ethics of "marrying for money" in the abstract.
[QUOTE]Originally posted by logic_grrl: (especially as it doesn't sound as if your older sister did in fact "marry for money") -
hey there logic - well, i guess this isn't the exactly place to delve around into my sister's psyche (a murky place indeed) but.... it is kinda difficult to quantify as she wouldn't have married him had he been poor/unmotivated that's for sure... as she always says to me 'never marry a useless man'!!!!
she wouldn't have married someone just for being rich either - but the financial security he offered played a part i'm sure... she's always been quite difficult/demanding/high standards kind of girl --- but maybe that was the compatibility factor between them both in the end - they both expect and enjoy the benefits of success and status.
she loves me, my sister, but i think she worries that i will end up marrying someone hopeless and regret it. slowly, slowly, she is begininning to make me think more about the practical/selfish 'what's in it for me' attitude as opposed to the more romantic 'love conquers all - that's what is important' style.
in the end, however, it is probably my other sister's marriage that has pushed me to reconsider my original ideas on the romantic v. materialistic marriage.... especially the fact that my mother is still having to worry about my sister (financially,emotionally,everything) and i would never want to be an additional burden to my mother - all that sort of stuff.....
i'm sure it will all work out in the end though. marriage eh? - what a concept, who thought that one up....
btw - a different topic entirely (if you get to read this far) if a married man makes a pass at you - and you know his wife, should you tell her? i can't see the point - but was wondering what advice you might have on that as you seem pretty together on these kind of issues....
he's a complete sleaze bucket and always ogling me etc. and i like her ten thousand times more - i can see her sometimes watching him as he watches me and i can see it annoys her. i have just avoided seeing either of them recently --- it wouldn't do any good to tell her though would it? i mean she is married to him and i doubt i am the first he has tried it on with - and i don't want to be the bearer of bad news anyway... what do you think? just leave well enough alone?
You know, I have exactly the same situation as you in my family. I would go into it, but my story is literally identical to yours, apart from my sisters possibly having different names!
I've wondered the same things myself. I've been in relationships where I dated for emotional reasons, but then they treat me like.... **** .
When it comes for falling for someone, for me, it's hard to pick and choose! But I do have some good friends who are so kind and respectful to women, and in a way I use them as models in my head! I find it easy to get myself carried away with a guy I'm attracted to, but since I haven't let myself get involved with anyone unless they have as much respect for me, and my feelings as my 'model' friends do. Relationships have been a lot better since!
I don't think there's any way you can find a recipe for a great marriage, you can only try it and see!
Your relative marrying the Duke will become a Duchess .
As for the situation with the married man, if he has not actually touched you, or suggested doing anything with you, I'd try to avoid being around him, and next time he makes you feel uncomfortable, you could confront him, only in a public place, but only so as you two can hear. You could tell him you are unhappy with his behavior, and you would not tolerate sexual harassment. A friend of mine tried this, and it really worked!
If he has tried anything, I would definately speak to your parents, a sister, or anyone else you think you can trust, who can help you speak to the wife and bring the issue up.
Either way, it's bad behavior on his part, and a very bad example of marriage! I'd definately talk his behavior through with someone you trust. That's the best advice I can offer you, hope that helps!
Posts: 45 | From: Durham, NE, England | Registered: Aug 2004
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hi mia - thanks for all the good advice (actually i got it wrong she's marrying an Earl - what does that make her an Earless????? - never mind...)
i got a super-sweet boyfriend right now whom i love and maybe i shouldn't let all this 'material success/what can you offer me' bullshit worry me - in the end. i just am waayyy too susceptible to other people's opinions - when i went out with 'k' (filthy rich guy) everyone was really impressed with all the baggage that came with it - the jet-set lifestyle etc. and i lapped it up too but in the end he was an insane, nasty person..... what can you do? but there is something weird i can't quite get my head around it - to do with if people want a piece of you somewhere you can put a price on yourself and start to be demanding and calculating in return and it all gets mixed up with status and where you want to be in society and i don't know --- can't get my head around it quite. but i don't want to fall down and i don't want to be poor or struggling - that's for sure (and bearing in mind i am fairly irredemiably thick - i can't quite see myself making the millions????) and nobody could see my current boyfriend as doing anything either!
anyway i don't need to get married right now - plenty of time, no? success and wealth are probably hugely overrated --- who knows? where's a good philosopher when you need one (come back socrates - all is forgiven).
oh re. husband - yeah, i'll let him know (i think he knows already there's no chance in hell...) i was just wondering whether if I were in the wife's position (and she's sooo nice) --- i would want someone to tell me or not? and i am not sure - and i now know for a fact that he has tried it on with two other girls (one of whom went so far as to let him masturbate her kind of in a corner at a party!! - she was drunk she says, that's her excuse anyway) all the best cj
[This message has been edited by christinejones (edited 09-13-2004).]
quote:if people want a piece of you somewhere you can put a price on yourself and start to be demanding and calculating in return
The question is: is that how you want to be? And is it how you want to relate to intimate partners?
quote:i don't want to fall down and i don't want to be poor or struggling - that's for sure (and bearing in mind i am fairly irredemiably thick - i can't quite see myself making the millions????)
You know, you don't have to make millions (or be able to afford swimming pools and skiing holidays) in order to have a good and reasonably secure life. It's not as if the only options are Donald Trump or the breadline!
And I doubt very much that you're really too "thick" to be self-supporting.
When people do end up long-term unemployed or struggling to keep their heads above water financially, it usually has a lot to do with economic conditions - a shortage of jobs in the area, no training resources, trouble finding jobs with childcare or which are disability-accessible, etc. - or, sometimes, having a commitment to a job or vocation which is valuable but poorly-paid. It's not because they're "thick".
sorry logicgrrl about the 'thick' part - was a bit flippant i guess. i can't see myself making millions but whatever... i don't know why i see it in such black and white extremes - i do have a sort of apprehension that either you sink or speed thru the water like Ian Thorpe. i'll work on changing that attitude - better all round i guess. anyway flying back to LA today - hooray could do with some loving and sunshine... all the best to you cj
Posts: 139 | From: los angeles | Registered: Jul 2004
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