Sure, some people marry for love, but have you ever wondered what it’s like to marry for money?
In three separate Reddit threads from a while back, people who married for money are sharing the reasons behind their decision and what it’s actually like — and they even revealed their biggest perks and biggest regrets.
Here are some of the most fascinating — and eye-opening — stories:
1.“Not me, but my aunt did. Her husband is a gigantic prick, and she knows it. He is the most uptight man you will ever meet; you could shove coal up his ass, and it would produce diamonds.”
“He constantly hassles her about her weight, and he does this in front of the family; I can’t even imagine what he says in private. Last time my parents watched their kids, he flipped out because we had let them play Angry Birds — this was during their summer vacation from school, and we volunteered to watch the kids because my aunt was going through chemo. I know she hates being with him, but she won’t leave him because A: his family is loaded, and B: they have two young kids, and she doesn’t want to break up the family.”
2.“When I was 21, I met a woman from a very wealthy family. I grew up poor, her parents were worth around $6-10 million, and she was madly, I mean madly in love with me. I didn’t have anything else to do, so I married her. I didn’t really know how estranged from her parents (and their money), she actually was. I kept waiting for the cushy job at her dad’s company, the free house, the big payouts — they didn’t come. We got some stuff, a couple cars, a few trips to other countries, nice presents, but no big payout. After time, we had a kid, and the kid was spoiled rotten. I realized that even though I would never get my big payday, my child would never have to suffer and struggle the way I did when I was little.”
“Eventually, I came to love her for who she was. This had more to do with me getting my sh*t together than anything else. It’s been more than 10 years. It hasn’t always been easy, but when I’ve wanted to leave, the thought that just another five or 10 years, and we will have enough money to travel and never work again keeps me hanging on. The way I see it, most people are going to work a job they hate for 50 years to get a little payout one day — I can get more by just staying married than I could ever get working, and it’s not gonna take 50 years.”
3.“I grew up as an expat in the Middle East, moved away to go to uni, and couldn’t really handle it as a poor student. I met someone who cares a lot for me, though in the beginning, I was 100% in it for the money. We moved in together, and I actually became very attached to him. He loves me and treats me with great respect, supports my ambitions, and generally takes very good care of me. I wouldn’t say I’m head-over-heels in love with him, but in my own way, I love him.”
“Where I previously never had any emotional stability, he provides it. I wouldn’t think of cheating on him or ending it, because, frankly, I think this works much better than any other relationship I could have. He doesn’t cheat, either. I’m currently studying for a doctorate in geology, and at the end of it, I’ll be debt-free.”
4.“My parents had an arranged marriage. Both my parents are Brahmin, but my dad’s family is also very wealthy. My mom grew up middle class in the US and married my dad because he was a wealthy doctor from an appropriate family. They’ve been married for 25 years and have three children. I can’t say it’s a bad arrangement. Thanks to my dad’s money, my mom got to quit her job in programming (that she hated), go back to school, and become a teacher. I don’t think my parents are or were ever ‘in love’ — however, they’ve never really fought or been bitter towards one another.”
“Both my parents are really good, reasonable people at the end of the day. The money is just kind of a ‘perk’ in their marriage.”
5.“While I didn’t marry for money, I found out he had a sh*t ton of it. I married young and was very stupid. I thought the man I married was an average guy; he came from a very sophisticated and educated family, but I didn’t realize how much money they had until after I married him. As the marriage went on, the more money I realized that he had, and the more I realized he was a miser. His entire life, his family had the money to spend, but chose to live as close to the bare necessities as normal. Now, I’m not knocking this, but I am knocking how he ended up treating me. At 21, I came into the marriage with nothing and didn’t sign a prenup. He had a lot coming into the marriage and was also seven years older. From the day I said ‘I do,’ it was an indebtedness. I constantly ‘owed’ him for everything he ever ‘bought’ for me — and he made sure I knew that.”
“I realized I had stopped eating because I didn’t want to explain why I was spending money. He checked the bank statements daily, and would comment ‘Somebody got breakfast this morning!’ or ‘Somebody bought x, y, z today.’ I decided the marriage wasn’t worth it. If I wanted to marry for money, I would have stayed in that marriage. His sister and brother just had babies — and they got $30k a piece just for the kids from trust funds. Money is the root of all evil. I avoid it like the plague.”
6.“My grandmother married for money after my grandfather died. She grew up in the Great Depression and was afraid after my grandfather died that she would become poor again. So, she saw my step-grandfather as her savior from that fate and married him, despite my father’s objections.”
“My step-grandfather made my grandmother miserable, and she became depressed. Her depression turned into shrewish harping at everyone, especially her family. So, I grew up loathing to be around for any length of time, and she barely spent any time with her children and grandchildren. Three or four years ago, my step-grandfather died, and my grandmother has been reverting back to the person my father grew up with, who is actually fun to be around — but I know that my siblings and I are still leery about spending time with her because we have such vivid memories of how she was when we were growing up.”
7.“I didn’t marry him for his money, but he got pretty wealthy while I was with him. We met in college, dated for four years while we were both dirt-poor (but his parents were very well off), and then got married. My degree seemed to be a busy, so my career wasn’t going anywhere. His took off after a couple of years, and he moved up in salary fast over the years. We decided we were financially stable enough to have a child after five years married. I had a spotty job history in customer service, so we lived on his growing salaries. While I was pregnant, we met and made friends with a woman whom I became close to quickly. After a year, I was venting to her one day about his spending habits and disclosed how much money he made. Looking back, I realize she didn’t seem to start getting closer to him until after that. He ended up leaving me for her less than a year later. I was with him a total of 11 years.”
“So, I didn’t marry the guy for his money, but he was definitely changing during our decade together. The frivolous way he spent money and lived on the edge of his budget drove me nuts. We had no savings, he wouldn’t pay off any debt, and every time he got a raise, he would spend it. I strongly believe he was squirreling money away somewhere, because even being extremely generous, I couldn’t figure out how we were spending that much money every month like he said we were. He’s married to his affair partner now. They had a kid, and she’s a stay-at-home mom. He was extremely manipulative to me, and he’s very good at it. She’s manipulative, too, but much more transparent. We’ll see how long that lasts. I’ve lived that life with him, and it sucks.”
8.“Not me, but I have one or two friends who made this choice. One is unemployed and depressed, but indeed rich by way of her husband’s money-making. She is also on the asexual spectrum, so I feel it helped her choose money over passion. She and her husband are good enough friends, but many of us feel he acts like he doesn’t respect her — even though she would disagree.”
“The other got divorced and is now a single mom of two special needs children. Their marriage was tumultuous, and he cheated a lot. However, she’s very financially well-appointed, both due to a good divorce settlement and intergenerational wealth of her own.”
9.“My spoiled, rich friend’s mother comes to mind. She spends six months of the year living elsewhere in the state in a beach house (apparently she doesn’t care to be around her husband all year long). When my friend was growing up, her mother was a stay-at-home with two kids, a nanny, and a housekeeper who also prepared most meals. She didn’t have to lift a finger if she didn’t feel like it. She had a VIP parking spot in front of Nordstroms from having dropped so much money there, and she golfed all the time.”
“It seemed like she loved her life.”
10.“My sister married for money. She had a big house, expensive cars, unlimited spending limit, etc. She was happy because she got everything she wanted. We grew up poor, and she worked hard for years before she met him — but she didn’t love him, and she cheated on him with the man she loved.”
“She left her glamorous lifestyle to live in a one-bedroom apartment. She now works at the meat deli. Do what you want, but set up a bank account and some money for a rainy day — you may end up like my sister… Or you may grow to love the person you’re with in time.”
11.“I was in the military and took part in a contract marriage. Basically, a friend of mine from back home agreed to go to the justice of the peace and sign the paperwork. She lived in Virginia, and I was stationed in Texas. It equaled out to me getting roughly $900 a month, plus the option to live off base, and a higher allowance for food. She also got free medical benefits. When it was time for me to separate from the military, I went to legal aid, filed paperwork, and was divorced three months later for about $61 — the cost to file the paperwork where we married.”
“We are still friends to this day. She has, like, five kids and is married.”
12.“One of my mom’s friends met a very rich guy in New York, married him, and was taken care of for a few years. Then, about five years into the marriage, she began to insist that they move to Boston. She eventually got her way, they changed their residency, and she divorced him.”
“In Massachusetts (at the time — it may have changed since then), a marriage of at least five years guaranteed the wife 50% of the husband’s estate (if there was no prenup). In New York, she would have had to wait 10 years. This was a blatantly strategic marriage, and while I don’t agree with her actions, I don’t think she has any regrets about putting in about five years of work for several million dollars.”
13.“My mother married because she hated living with her aggressive mother, and was sort of in love with my father. She was a stay-at-home mom, slowly working towards her degree. Now, 22 years later, she’s 45 and with barely eight years of working experience, and she hates her relationship with my dad and hardly loves him anymore. It’s a horrible marriage, but she doesn’t divorce because she won’t have a maid, a brand new car, or basically money to buy every f**king thing she wants to buy.”
“Personally, I believe it’s really horrible, and once she said she was going to get a lover to satisfy her emotionally. I was furious and told her it would be really horrible, and she would be basically leeching off my father. It wasn’t pretty.”
14.“I married for money to help out a friend’s sister. We fell in love in the process. After a while, things got sour, and we fell out of love. After a long while, she got her citizenship. One year later, we got an uncontested divorce. No attorney. We had a pleasant divorce and remain friends to this day.”
“Not bad at all.”
15.“I have two distant cousins. When they were in their late teens and early 20s, I would hear them talk about how their goal in life is to marry a rich guy and get pregnant. They were very vocal about this. Everyone in our families knew. The younger one got married first. She was 23. The guy she married was a genuinely nice guy — very successful, but not private jet or helicopter successful. They lived in a very nice place in the city, and drove $80k+ cars. Months after they got married, she got pregnant…just like she planned. A few years go by, and, surprise, surprise, they got a divorce.”
“Why? Because the economy tanked, and his business failed. The kicker is that they still had millions of dollars AFTER the market tanked in assets and investments. Apparently, this wasn’t enough for her. She now collects alimony. There are enough stories about this one to fill a book.
The older one got married a few years ago. While she was in it for money, she was more about love. She had boyfriends she fell in love with, but ended the relationships because they weren’t rich enough. One of them was a small business owner whose business took off shortly after, and I remember her being depressed about it. She ended up marrying a very successful guy, and she ended up pregnant months after. They are still together, and I give their relationship a decent chance of lasting only because she is more loving. Her sister is cold-hearted and an all around b*tch.”
16.“My cousin married for future wealth. The pre-engagement agreement was that he would work in IT while she goes to medical school, and then, she would work and he would take care of the future children. She didn’t go to medical school and decided to take an $8.00/hr job at the hospital. They are divorced.”
17.“Well he wasn’t wealthy, but he was higher than me on the social rung, and I wanted a ticket in. I married him for a visa. It was an awful relationship, but I did what I had to do: I got away, will soon be a citizen, and remarried for love.”
“Unless the person is truly so wealthy that they bleed money, most are extremely frugal and don’t just spoil the crap out of you, no matter what they promise at first.”
18.“A friend of mine got married in the military to double his pay. He thought to ask a woman who was an ex but was who was also his seemingly toned-down stalker. She wasn’t toned-down at all. The money outweighed the thought, I guess. It went horribly bad.”
“It’s been about four years now, and she’s creepily sending him mail from her base and constantly, negatively harassing him — even though they both agreed it was for the dough. She refuses to sign divorce papers, so it’s making his life incredibly difficult to try and separate. Though, he probably should have thought before marrying his stalker. In retrospect, he said it wasn’t awfully worth it.”
19.“I have never married, but I have been living with three different men over the last six years. My family fled from what is now Croatia when I was a kid. My family was pretty messed up, when I got an ‘offer’ to live with one of the more respected gang leaders in my area, I left my family and haven’t spoked to them again. Since then, I have been sort of moving up the food chain, and I am currently living with a middle-aged CEO who spoils me to no end.”
“I have never been in a loving relationship, and I’m not sure I know what that means, but I know I love my life the way it is now. I do plan for a future when I’m older, and I have enough set aside to still live a fairly decent life if I’m kicked out today. Also, I’m not stupid enough to think this will last for ever.”
20.“I am currently dating someone who I am not as fond of as I should be, considering how serious we are, but it’s hard to think past the money. Her immediate family has approximately $100 million+ in the bank — the largest and most dominant business in their respective market — and she loves me beyond control. Her driveway of Ferraris and Bentleys and knowing that I could be handed a six-figure job any time I want one if I’m willing to commit is troubling to my mind and my soul.”
“But I cannot get past the thoughts of ‘what if…'”
21.“This isn’t about me, but it’s about my mom. She grew up on a farm in the middle of nowhere. She did well in school and went to a state college, where she met my dad — a graduate student studying abroad (he’s from the UK). My mom pretty freely admits she wasn’t happy with the ‘farmer’s wife’ kind of life that she saw her mom living, and she wanted a ticket out of there. I do believe she loved my dad, but a lot of the attraction was hitching a ride to his wagon, as he was about ready to finish his doctorate and had pretty decent prospects. They married and moved to the UK, then back to the US, with him chasing various academic jobs and trying to make it up the ladder to deanship and consulting money as fast as possible. He always made pretty decent money, so she stayed home with us kids. In the end, though, my father had the money and used it as a source of power.”
“The power dynamic at home was never healthy, and my dad would constantly hold over everyone’s head that he was the sole provider. In his eyes, he brought home the bacon, so EVERYTHING else needed to be done by my mom, period. In my whole childhood, he never bought a birthday gift, or made dinner because my mom had a hard day, or anything like that. He did the absolute bare minimum and didn’t really want anything to do with us kids, and thought we shouldn’t really be either seen or heard. We used to hide out in the basement to play because of his hair-trigger temper. Long story short, my dad and I never really got along so my mom was able to blame a lot of the family dynamics on that.
Finally, they divorced. My dad was shocked and couldn’t understand why. He felt that marriage was about him paying and everyone else (wife and kids) obeying. He didn’t think he did anything wrong. In the end, my mom went through some tough years, but she kept working. She started dating. She ended up meeting a man of reasonably modest means and got remarried. It’s clear her and my stepdad’s relationship isn’t about power and ownership, it’s about love.Being ‘acquired’ just isn’t a good idea. One person having the power leads to abuse of that power in all too many cases. For the same reason, even though I knew I was abandoning my inheritance doing so, I stopped seeing my father entirely because of his abusive and manipulative ways. One by one, my siblings did the same. My father remarried a woman who wanted a rich husband. Good luck to her — she can have that money. It just wasn’t worth it.”
WOW. Have you or someone you know ever married for money? Feel free to share your story in the comments below.
Note: Some responses have been edited for length and/or clarity.