By Joy Irish

(July 25, 2016)

One question that our readers have been asking since January of this year is, “Should I marry my poor man?” There is no simple answer to this question because it depends on the individuals involved, the chemistry between them, and the combination of both. Certain individuals (man or woman) handle poverty quite well and their character remain unscathed by the challenges it throws up. Such individuals hold fast to the values, honor, dignity, and decency that they developed around themselves, and are not taken off course by poverty, no matter how dire the situation.

Others, on the other hand, might struggle, and struggle really hard to cope with poverty. The challenges can be so devastating on certain individuals that they totally abandon honor, dignity, and values which they had developed around themselves for ages. Yes, the issue is not one for which anyone should be blamed or castigated. The key is to identify which group an individual belongs to, early enough in the relationship, in order to decide whether to marry them, or not. Another challenge to the question is that poverty can be gender biased. Society tends to forgive women more for failure to acquire wealth than it does men. Typically, poverty is not a life stopper for a woman, provided that she is good looking and smart. Men on the other hand are expected to have money regardless of looks and smarts.

Having laid out these background facts, a woman considering whether to marry a poor (or poorer) man should be adequately guided in her decision and, be able to decide for herself what she wants.

I come on the side of affirmation, and do so by assuming that the woman involved has done the preliminary work of ascertaining the character of the man in question -that the man is the type of honor and dignity even if all were to be lost. Obviously such men are not easy to find, because one has to sieve through the mountain of hay to find that single needle; but the search is well worth it. Marriage isn’t about finding a man who has every requirement on your checklist. If you’re only holding out for a rich “Mr. Right” -someone who has everything- you might be meant to remain single, forever.

Why should you really consider marrying a poor man?

Since we have established that men of character are desirable as husbands (irrespective of their financial status), the question turns to the woman involved! Are you a woman of character? Are you someone who maintains her values regardless of financial challenges? This question is as important as the main question because marriage can never work between a man of character who happens to be poor, and a woman of “easy life” -someone who drops her values immediately poverty comes knocking. Life never guarantees anything to anyone; so, everything remains possible in life, including abject poverty irrespective of how well one had planned, and laid all ducks in a row. The “black swan” factor is one that spares no one.

According to a satirical self-help book, “Smart Girls Marry Money” a successful marriage is the one that is based on love, and not money. You may think that having a husband who is financially stable, someone able to carry your financial burden, is desirable ; but, what happens if he loses his job, or source of income -which happens quite frequently these days of increase competition for opportunity and finite resources of the earth? What happens if his savings are depleted and he doesn’t have any money to support you the way you would like to be supported? Your marriage will end up breaking because the money that kept you closer to him would be gone by then.

Another reason you may even prefer marrying a man with less cash is that they actually make women happier because wealth often breeds disloyalty and other negative traits in men. This is according to the survey that was conducted by Dr. Adam Galinsky, who is a renowned professor of management and organizations at Northwestern University in Chicago.

A poor man is more likely to be faithful to you. When Tiger Woods apologized to his wife Elin Nordegren, he revealed openly that he felt entitled by his wealth to have extra marital affairs. Mr. Tiger Woods is not the only successful man who is having affair with women. Not only do studies show that poorer men are less likely to cheat on their wives, but scientists also found that richer men are hypocritical about cheating.

The above findings are also backed by marriage and family counselors. For instance, Ellen Galinsky, who is President and Co-Founder of Families and Work Institute, says that individuals with successful jobs are more likely to cheat on their partners, yet they criticize and condemn others who do it because they are wealthy, and their status evokes feelings of entitlement.

A poor man is more likely to champion his wife’s ambitions. Research published in the Journal of Applied Psychology shows that wealthier men turn out to be more sexist than guys who are low-income earners. This is because such wealthy men regard themselves as alpha males. All the time, they feel that it is their duty to provide. This research was conducted by Beth Livingston, who is an assistant professor of human resources at Cornell University. Beth continues to document that poorer men are more supportive when it comes to their partner’s careers. Joshua Coleman, the author of Marriage Makeover, adds that a man who encourages his wife to fulfill her professional dreams or work tend to be happier.

What do experts say about women who marry poor men?

From private investigator to sex columnist, Catherine Townsend spills secrets to higher earnings for women. According to her article published in the Daily Mail, she reveals that women whose husbands are paid less than $100k per year tend to make more money than those married to wealthier husbands. Such women make more money over time, while those who have richer husbands take home less money. This report is based on the research conducted by economists who tracked University of Chicago MBA graduates for more than a decade.

Financial security is the main reason why some women prefer to marry rich(er) men. But it would seem that such women never gave themselves a real chance at financial success without the involvement of a man. That mindset is one that does not indicate a woman ready for marriage or having a family of her own. Recall the blackswan factor mentioned earlier?

But perhaps the most persuasive argument that can be made to support the idea of marrying a poorer man is that it empowers the woman to take initiative and leadership-support in the home. In short, it serves her interest in more ways than one.

Does a better job help you overcome desperate dependence?

Yes. But it also depends on the attitude you have towards your man (and all men). Research indicates that many women with very successful jobs have less anxiety, emptiness and depression. When you scratch below the surface, you will find that they are more confident in themselves. They don’t rely on others to be happy.

Advice to single or unmarried women 

So if you are a single woman, dating or not dating, make your own money and be your own woman. When it is time for you to choose a life-long partner, never depend or look for a man with money because the money can be here today, and gone tomorrow; and, in the case of “bad” men, the money would always be his anyway, and not yours. If your specific goal is to be wealthy, spend some time taking action in solving your financial problem, rather than depending on others to solve them for you. Spend some time working and saving the money you will get. Your perspective about wanting a richer man will change immediately.

Last thoughts on why you should work

Making your own money not only makes you become financially independent, it also makes you more attractive to men. When it comes to finances, almost 98 % of men really couldn’t care less if you have a lot in the bank, but you need to be making enough so that you don’t turn a financial burden to him. If you earn more than he makes, it means more power to you -smart men value ladies with means and resources.

Financial independence is one of the most important variables that will influence the quality of your life -and his. It is liberation for you, and less burden for him regardless of his financial abilities.

Involving yourself in solving financial problems rather than depending on your husband entrenches your worth in his heart. It allows you more room to maneuver in support of your marriage and home.

Women who are already married to wealthy men

You are not lost. If you are married to a richer husband but you are not wealthy yourself, start investing now little by little. Wealth is something that you accumulate and, unless your parents are rich, it will probably take you a while -but do it!

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