So we got your attention? Great. We are so romantic with most of us probably believing to marry for love. But hear us out. Do you know where marriage came from or why it was created and whether love played any part at all? We take a look at the history and how today’s realities have impacted the choice of marriage.
How it started
“Pair-bonding” began in the Stone Age as a way of organizing and controlling sexual conduct and providing a stable structure for parenting and the tasks of daily life. The first recorded evidence of marriage contracts and ceremonies dates to 4 000 years ago, in Mesopotamia. In the ancient world, marriage served primarily as a means of preserving power, with kings and other members of the ruling class marrying off daughters to forge alliances, acquire land, and produce legitimate heirs. I bet you feel your strong sense of feminism surfacing right now! Even worse, women had little to no say over whom they married. Pair Bonding was a duty to fulfil the purpose of production of heirs.
When we swoon hearing the word matrimony, think about its origin - the Latin word “matrimonium”, which is derived from mater meaning mother. So where was the love in duty? The answer is love did not feature for a long time to come. Who was going to allow such fickle emotions to dictate such important duties of a daughter and preservation of the family?
Finally, in the 17th and 18th centuries, when enlightenment thinkers pioneered the idea that life was about the pursuit of happiness; they advocated marrying for love rather than wealth or status.
How it is today
Today’s women are independent and liberated. We have only our own kingdoms to protect. We work hard and pay our own bills, we have overly ambitious dreams and we are fearless in chasing them. So how does marrying for love without money impact today’s modern women?
Marriage is hard friggin work at the best of times so why add additional stresses like shortage of resources. Of course I am not saying make marriage a business transaction. Love is an absolutely beautiful pure experience and should definitely be at the top of your list, but practical things like money should also feature.
Here are some reasons you should consider the resource of money in your relationships:
#1 Cost of Living
Once you are over the honeymoon phase, and this could be from dating to thinking about getting married to the actual honeymoon, bills have to be paid, homes have to be rented or bought and the small items start stacking up. Small items like insurance, pay TV, domestic help and date night can easily go over R5 000 every month. As your little family grows, school fees become increasingly exorbitant, perhaps a bigger house for the kids to play and the grandparents to stay over? Unfortunately we cannot pay in kind.
#2 Money doesn’t buy happiness, but I’d rather cry in a Mercedes Benz
The “happiest” of people by whatever perceptions you have, go through rough times. The difference is it’s more comfortable to have your snotty tears on leather backed luxury right? Money gives us comfort and security, it makes things easier and it allows for the cushion to bring the best versions of ourselves to the relationship. Majority of fights happen when something cannot be attained; especially when you are pushing ever so hard and your partner cannot do the same.
Kanye West comes to mind. We are so jokingly referred to as gold diggers when we are attracted to security and comfort and such a term is heavily frowned upon by men. Flipping the coin, when a man looks for the most beautiful girl, it’s suddenly okay. They are not termed beauty diggers or made to feel bad for wanting their strongest attraction factor satisfied.
Marrying solely for money is as disastrous as marrying only for love with none of the practicalities, but we as women should not need to justify wanting to fall in love with a partner that is able to push just as hard in your career, business and life goals as you do and in so doing providing the luxuries that money bring.
#4 Men naturally have more money
Equal pay for equal work is a global thing because women are still paid less than men in similar roles! There is only so much we can fight the system and whilst the system is changing, we are disadvantaged. One way to hedge ourselves is to marry a rich and kind man!
Women also tend to worry more and save less, men are diligent in saving for that nest egg at retirement. Lesson 1 is learn and do the same for yourself and lesson 2 is find a man mature and well off that can do this for you and your family.
Divorce in South Africa and in the world is extremely high. Sadly a significant number of cases show that the reasons are linked to romantic love. Not knowing the person you married and how you would navigate life’s very real struggles. Having a husband and having a true partner is two very different things in today’s age. A husband just has to love you, a true partner loves you and pushes and pulls 365 days a year hand in hand. Money gives that added comfort on your life’s journey together.
#6 There are plenty of fish in the sea
Take this literally. None of that will-I-find-someone or too scared to take a chance. There are millions of people out there that would be equally compatible if given enough time, so as far as soulmates go, eh. We cannot pay with kind. And what’s not to love about a wealthy man, jokes, see disclaimer!
#7 Family Planning
If you’re thinking about bringing children into this world, what kind of life would you like for them? Jobs are disappearing by the second. 85% of jobs that will exist by 2030 haven’t been created yet. So how do you prepare for your heir’s futures? How do you make sure they have a safety net if they cannot secure a job one day? Would you be able to support them with an apartment, a car and living expenses? You will with money.
For reasons disclosed above, we conclude: Marry for money or the potential thereof for a less bumpy ride on this road called life.
Disclaimer: Money doesn’t make up for being a complete a-hole. We therefore exclude cheating, abusive, dishonest and similar partners.
Image: Rachel Wakefield