A female friend asked me over a drink one day whether I had any tips on how she can lock down her husband forever. I immediately started imagining her throwing her hubby in a dark cage after sunset and maniacally laughing as she twisted a thick key to keep him hidden from the world. Her husband is a wealthy fella who is charming enough to have a whole lot of extracurricular fun if he wanted to. She’s attractive and successful as well, but still she has fears.
My friend’s situation reminded me of a UC Berkeley study that found wealthier people are more prone to cheating, taking candy from children, and failing to wait their turn at four-way stops. This is pretty obvious if you think about the correlation. When you’ve got more money, you’ve got more options. When you’ve got more options, you’ve got more temptations. When you’ve got more temptations, the chances of fulfilling those temptations goes up.
Men who know you’re the best thing they’re ever going to get are much less likely to cheat. They’ll probably appreciate you much more, be more attentive to your needs, wash the dishes, do the laundry, vacuum the floor, take out the trash, keep the bathrooms clean, give you foot massages, buy you flowers every week, take you on romantic trips to Target, and maybe even let you go out for drinks with your handsome physical trainer. Nirvana right?
I’m always on the lookout for any type of correlation between relationships and money because the topic is so fun! Several years ago a blogging buddy sold his personal finance site for $4 million dollars. Soon after, he divorced his wife and decided to travel the world with another woman. Coincidence? Or did money give him the courage to break free? It’s like Obamacare allowing millions of Americans to no longer be tethered to a job they despise anymore. Screw you boss! I’m outta here!
Let’s discuss three strategies women can deploy to lock down their men and create happier relationships.
ADVICE FOR WOMEN WHO WANT TO KEEP THEIR MEN
The highest chance for a woman has of losing her man is when he is between 32-52 years old, depending on age of marriage. At 32 years old, a man is finally coming into his own after 8-10 years of work. He still looks relatively young and is probably finally where he wants to be in his career. He’s making more money and can afford a car and probably an apartment as well. He’s much more confident than he was in his 20s. I put the upper limit at 52 just because of the confluence of age, fitness, attitudes towards dating, and fading energy. Many of the playboys I know get this “what the hell am I doing” moment after reaching 40 and 50 if they are still single.
Most men are average to below-average looking compared to women. But if you give an average man some money and some platform shoes, he’ll feel better than average. And if you give an average man a lot of money, then he may start thinking he’s God’s gift to women.
If you’re insecure and feel that your man is going to stray, then I suppose you can sabotage your man’s wealth building efforts by talking bad about him to his bosses and colleagues. You can secretly syphon money out of your joint bank account. Or you can prevent him from sleeping so he’s grouchy and doesn’t perform well at work. But that might make you guys both miserable. Instead, here are three better ways to keep your man when it comes to money.
1) Make more than your man. It doesn’t matter if your man is making a tidy $200,000 a year. If you are making $225,000 a year, your man will feel a little bit insufficient. He wants to at least make the same. The poorer you make him feel, the more you can control him. It’s much rarer for men to have sugar mamas. If a man stumbles across one, he will hold onto her for dear life. I’ve got a couple friends who married female doctors and they give me high fives every week when we meet up in the middle of the day for tennis. I’ve got another friend who married into mega wealth and his life revolves around throwing parties, taking private jets to the Super Bowl, raising money for charity, taking care of his children, and traveling the world. He is never going to stray from his wife because he doesn’t have his own way of making a steady source of income!
2) Come from a wealthier or more powerful family. If you can’t make more than your man, then at least come from a wealthier or more prestigious family. If your parents are CEOs of multi-national corporations or won gold medals at the 1984 Olympic games, your man will feel extreme pressure to try and make himself worth more to you and your parents. It doesn’t matter if he’s already perfect. What matters is that he won’t feel perfect, and will therefore be more appreciative. Coming from a family of politicians or a politically connected family also does the trick. Power is often more intoxicating than money because less people have power.
3) Demonstrate amazing talents. If you can neither make more money than your man nor come from a wealthier or more prestigious family, then you must develop an amazing talent he both admires and envies. Figure out what type of lessons he took growing up. Maybe he always wanted to be a violinist, but failed after book five of the Suzuki Method. Maybe he wanted to be a painter, but was peer pressured into only playing sports as a man. If you can be that amazing musician, dancer, or artist, he will have an enormous amount of appreciation for you. Do something well that he enjoys, but doesn’t do well himself.
CONSIDER LESS WEALTHY BUT KIND MEN
If you are fearful of a dishonest boyfriend or husband, perhaps the best type of man to keep forever is a lower income fella who is average looking and kind. A sixth grade teacher making $60,000 a year who likes to play softball with his buddies is a good example. Teachers are inherently caring, but are woefully underpaid for what they contribute to society. It’s much easier for you to make more than $60,000 a year than to try to outdo some private equity guy making $1,000,000 a year. Those guys get so much action it’s unbelievable.
Money emancipates many men. No longer do they want the average looking woman even if the men are themselves below-average looking. They want the super model. No longer do men with money show tremendous patience at four-way stop signs. They’ll barrel on through because they think they are now better than people like me who drive Honda Fits.
You can’t totally fault guys for eating too many cookies when a plate of warm chocolate chip cookies are taken out of the oven and presented to them every day. You can only understand their temptation and try and make them smell a sizzling steak instead.
Finally, it may be better to find a man who has already been wealthy for many years because he’ll have grown accustomed to his wealth. Men who start off with little money and suddenly have a lot are ones to watch out for. Such a man is going to work through all his demons and desires until he finally returns to center. Sometimes you’re just going to have to trust your gut and hope for the best. What matters most is if he still loves you at the end of the day.
I recommend everybody be an independent person and stay on top of their own finances. Check out Personal Capital, a free financial tools software that allows you to track your net worth and optimize your finances. It’s one of the best tools you can ever use to growth your wealth. I’ve been using it since 2012 and have seen my net worth surge higher since.
Photo: A kiss on Waikiki beach during sunset, 2020.