Money can buy a lot of things. Some people think it can buy them happiness. In fact, people who don’t have money often think that having more of it will solve all of their problems. But check out the research that’s been done on former lottery winners who went from rags to riches overnight, and you’ll hear a very different tale with many not-so-happy endings. Money and the accoutrements of wealth can provide creature comforts, but it can never buy you respect, dignity, freedom, class, good taste, common sense, or true friendship, and certainly not love. I know from personal experience that there is no correlation between the amount of money you have and the happiness you feel. I have been broke and financially sound at different times in my life, and I have been happy or unhappy regardless of my net worth. Studies show that one of the biggest points of contention for married couples or co-habitants is money. We have a tendency to think it’s only a problem when there is not enough to go around, but that is not always the case.
I’m sure we’ve all known successful men who make a lot of money and ‘take care of’ the women in their lives. Maybe she’s living in a 5000 square foot house in Malibu and has been able to quit her job to stay home and take care of the family. Then at some point in the marriage, she is so tired from running the kids to soccer practice and ballet classes that she has no energy left for her husband, and little or no interest in sex. Hot nights in the sack turn into rolling over and going to sleep. The husband gets tired of the rejection and seeks other ways to get his physical needs met. There are plenty of ways to do that. If a guy has money and travels for business, he might find himself in the right place at the right time, when the right opportunity presents itself. There are many women who don’t care if a man is married or not. Maybe he’ll even start browsing the escort sites. He may feel guilty at first, but he’s a man with a healthy libido. He’s a good provider and a good father, but he has physical needs. This is what might be considered by some, justifiable infidelity. Unfortunately, secrets and lies will slowly wear on a marriage the way a trickle of water can wear away rock. I’m not implying that it is always the husband who strays in this situation. Conversely, it may be the bored housewife who finds a little excitement on the side because her husband is never home. Sometimes the roles are reversed and the woman is the breadwinner. It can also be the man in the relationship who loses his sex drive, interest, or ability to perform, particularly with age. We all know how easy it is for a woman to find sex if she wants it. The point is, money can’t buy you love, nor can it buy you any guarantees.
There are more powerful and successful women in business today than ever before in history. When I worked in the software industry in the 90s, most of my female colleagues and I earned 65 to 100% of our household income. We were bringing home the bacon, cooking it up, and providing a lifestyle that the men in our lives couldn’t have had on their own. It’s not that we were all married to slackers. Some of these men were struggling business owners, or had chosen a profession that didn’t pay the six-figure incomes that the tech industry offered us at the time. Some of them were continually going back to school to get another degree to change careers, or trying to figure out what they wanted to be when they grew up, while we paid for it and provided them with a comfortable lifestyle. Many of these women weren’t necessarily happy in their careers. Some of them would have preferred to spend more time with their children rather than traveling 50% of the time. Some would have preferred to be cooking gourmet meals and working out more, instead of working 12-hour days. Others (myself included) would have preferred spending that 60-hour workweek in a career or business they were passionate about. But none of us could stop, because if we did, we weren’t the only ones to pay the price. And today, the number of women as primary breadwinners continues to grow according to a study done by the Pew Research Center.
I think it’s important to point out that the inequality between salaries for women and men doing the same job still exist despite these statistics. Studies show that women are still paid only 77 cents to every dollar a man is paid in equal positions, in spite of a half a century of fighting to prevent this discrimination. Even though my female colleagues and I were well paid for what we did in the 90s, the wage discrepancy compared to our male counterparts was even greater at that time. Nonetheless, depending on choice of profession, women today often find themselves making more money than the men in their lives. Historically, men have controlled most of the money in our society and in relationships, (and we wonder why we’re paid less for the same jobs?) which translates to the theory that money equals power. What’s interesting, however, is what some women choose to do with that ‘power’.
Now pay attention, ladies. You cannot buy a man’s love. You can pay them to have sex with you, if you think you need to, or prefer to. You can pay them to spend time with you. You may be able to get their attention for awhile by giving them money or lavishing gifts upon them. But true love cannot be bought. For centuries, rich and powerful men have thought that they could buy anything they wanted. They went out and found themselves some arm candy, whether it took the form of 2nd or 3rd wives, mistresses, girlfriends, or companions. Shallow? Maybe, but what’s sad is seeing women today who will happily give their money and their power away to men who are undeserving.
Women have worked so long and hard to gain credibility and rights in what used to be a ‘man’s world’. At this point in history why would some women reverse all the progress we’ve made? Women should, at the very least, take a tip from men in this arena. If you have the money and want to ‘buy’ a man, treat yourself right and buy the best. Why waste your cash on a man who does whatever he pleases, disrespects you, takes you for granted, and cheats on you? History has already shown us that money can’t buy love. If you’re going to pay for a man, be honest about what it is and what it is not. A smart woman with money would find herself a hot young stud to do her bidding. He would dote on her, make her feel like a goddess, and attend to her every need. She would call all the shots and make him her ‘bitch’. Powerful men have been doing it for centuries. Trust me, if I had the money, I would maintain my power, and I would become the female version of Hef. And then I would spend the rest of my life teaching by example, and hope that women would finally ‘get it’. Men have been using their money and power and running the world for eons. If we are going to start role swapping, why not do it right? Maybe this is what Lou Dobbs and Erick Erickson of Fox News are really worried about.