“First comes love, then comes marriage, then comes the baby with the baby carriage.”
That pot of lies is the foundation for the dreams most little girls live by, the problem is those little girls grow into women who quickly end up realizing that real life is far from fantasy. The first problem with their little fantasy is that sure love comes first, but it often comes broke as hell and unfortunately all that “all you need is love” crap doesn’t pay Con Edison. Millions of couples each year realize, as they argue over everything from the rent to retirement, that maybe money should’ve been the leader of the pack.
My parents married for love and even though they have been married over 30 years, they’ve always had a mistress in between them and her name was money. Watching them fight day after day, year after year about money helped me to see early on that love comes with a price. When I was 16 and finally allowed to date I had no shortage of suitors, but I wasn’t about going dutch or covering your train fare with my allowance because you were short, so I made sure the senior with the Altima and the part time job was the one who caught my “heart.” In college, I met a man who made me rethink my ideas of financial love. His name as Justin and I fell for him hard. I didn’t mind being in broke college student love with him, in the beginning, but when we started arguing constantly about not being able to afford simple date nights or cell phone bills, I realized it was time to get back on the money train.
I was on a “Not Gon’ Cry” mini vacation with my girls when Shawn walked into my life. After watching the scene and doing a little intel I learned that not only was he handsome, but he was an entrepreneur who came from a very wealthy family, had no kids, no known drug habits and was quite the ladies man. I made it my mission to be the only lady on that man’s mind before the weekend was up. During our short time together Shawn wined and dined me, and even my friends. It wasn’t love at first sight…but it was definitely love at the first sight of his bank account. After dating for awhile, I can’t say I fell in love with Shawn, but I did develop feelings for him. Unlike my parents and countless others who I’ve watched argue time and time again about money, Shawn and I lived relatively argument free and I loved it. That’s why when he dropped to one knee on our two year anniversary and asked me to marry him I said yes.
Now please understand that I wasn’t planning to live entirely off of him, I do have dreams. I finished my degree and started a very successful career in marketing that I love. And no, when I walked down the aisle towards my future husband I was not in love, but I was in security and that meant a lot to me. In my mind, marriages face enough obstacles, the last one it needs is one revolving around money. I don’t want to go to bed stressed and angry at my husband because money is tight and creditors are calling. I don’t want to deny my children things that will enhance their lives because mommy didn’t get that big promotion or bonus at work. I want to be able to focus on loving my man and my family and with Shawn’s money keeping us secure I can do just that.
Some may call me a gold digger, opportunist or whatever other negative word they can find to describe my choice, and that’s fine with me. Marrying for love is admirable and brave, it’s the stuff fairytales are made of, but like I said before, life isn’t a fairytale. While those people who married for love are arguing over rent and school fees and others are planning divorces they can barely afford to pay for, I’m living comfortably.
It’s almost 6 years and one bubbly baby girl later and though our marriage hasn’t been perfect, I have managed to live my own personal fairytale. I may not have loved Shawn in the beginning, but over the years I have fallen so deep in love I can’t see straight some days and watching him love on our daughter brings me such amazing joy. These are the moments that get lost in the fighting and the arguing over money and with that stress and burden off my back I can live every day confident that marrying for money was the right choice and I wouldn’t change it for all the love in the world.
~As told to Danielle Pointdujour