Marrying for Money?: Thoughts from Mothers & Daughters

I thought folks would find this clip from the Tyra Banks Show interesting. It features a group of moms and their young daughters discussing marriage, money and (sometimes) love.  Particularly interesting is the coverage of a “social experiment,” which looked to find out at what age these pre-teens (or “tweens”) start recognizing “men with money” and their emerging ideas about wealth and happiness.  I imagine many of you will find it offensive or pathetic the way some mothers seem to be training their daughters to be “gold-diggers” — but the big question is why.

Why, in this day and age, are many mothers still so intent on having their daughters “marry into money”?  How is it that such young girls already have a keen awareness of “men with money” and have developed close associations between wealth and happiness?

Or is this “marrying for love” vs. “marrying for money” dichotomy — the idea that we must make a choice between (“irrational,” passionate) love and (rational) materialism — oversimplified?


9 responses to “Marrying for Money?: Thoughts from Mothers & Daughters

  1. Although it is a pity that mothers encourage daughters to marry for money instead of love, I can see (and try to provide an answer) why they do so.

    My mother grew up in a poor household – my grandfather was a construction worker with 7 children to feed. She was not born into the lap of luxury and her family had a very strict code of ethics and morals. So when it came time for my mother to get married they were pushing for her to marry a rich man so she could live better than she had her whole life and to possibly give some of the new wealth to her family.

    My mom obviously did not marry for wealth, the idea probably wasn’t ground into her head enough. She has, however, pushed for me to marry a doctor or a lawyer my whole life. When I asked her why she told me it was so I wouldn’t have the stress of not having enough money to pay for things weighing on me. It makes sense in a way although the better answer would be for daughters to become financially independent and marry someone of an equal socioeconomic status.

  2. alexandrazayas1

    There are many shows in which women marry for money and are not afraid to admit it. On VH1 and MTV shows such as “Basketball Wives” and “Baseball Wives” have women blatantly admitting on camera that they love living that lavish lifestyle and married their husband solely for money.

    My grandmother lived in an extremely impoverished area growing up and then met my grandfather who was significantly older than her and swept her off her feet. Although she doesn’t flat out admit to this, my father constantly says that he believes that my grandparents got married simply because my grandfather had money.

    This was the case 50 years ago and is still seen to this very day. Mothers who perhaps did not have a father figure or a great childhood want the best for their daughters and might want to somewhat live through their daughter and want her to have what she did not. It is truly a shame that they are implanting these ideas into them at such a young age. A girl should be taught to be financially dependent and not have to depend on a man to support them. They should go to school and get a career that they enjoy and be able to stand on their own two feet. If these girls marry for money then something goes wrong where does that leave them?

  3. rosemarieangeline

    It is dispicable some of these mothers are teaching their daughters to judge a life partner by their wealth. What about family values? If a wealthy doctor has no family values and chooses to leave which at the divorce rate today is very possible; where does that leave their daughter? One mother states if her daughter “isn’t strong enough” she wants her to have a man that is independent himself. What does this say to her daughter? This mother should instill values of motivation to find a way to provide for herself.

    My mom married a contruction worker. My dad is the most hard working and dependable man I know. I didn’t have it all growing up but he did everything he could to make sure his family was provided for. My aunt, my moms sister married a wealthy business man. He did not have family values and they later divorced, left to find a way to support herself. My aunt’s daughter the same age as I, was able to have what she wanted material-wise growing up. She has had no motivation to chose what is in store for her future but to find a wealthy partner. On the other hand, I may have grown up with financial struggles but I learned from the motivation of my father. I am graduating in may with honors and attending grad school in the fall. I am thankful to not have had it financially easy but to have the family values I learned from my parents who are happy and very much in love after 22 years. My point is, it is the values of the partner that is important, not their wealth or career.

  4. I think a reason why mothers teach their daughters to marry for money instead of for love is because of our gender roles. Our culture still may be tied to the traditional gender role where the man provides for the woman. Even though nowadays women are more independent, there are still people who believe that the woman should stay at home and the man should be the one who works for the family. Also, our culture emphasizes financial success so it was no surprise that the little girls chose a person who had money instead of a person who had a job in where they don’t make as much money. Personally, I think that the idea of marriage should not be based on money but we do see a lot of people that only marry for money.

  5. this video was very interesting and i find it crazy how some of these mothers were actually advicing their daughters to marry for money. I understand that many problems arise in marriages over money issues but that does not mean that every woman should marry for money. Money could never buy happiness and i believe that marrying for love is so much more important than money. I just thought that it was actually very degrading to women when these mothers were saying to marry for money, that just leads a woman to be of lower status than a man and that women have to depend on men for things when that should not be the case. Women have just as much power as men do and are able to support themeselves just as men can, so marrying for money just leads a woman to be of lower status than a man.

  6. After watching this clip, I feel really bad for the young girls whose mothers are teaching them to marry for money. The values that some of these mothers are teaching their daughters is going to hurt them in the future. In reality, money can buy you beautiful and luxerious things but when there is no true love between a husband and wife than you will never be competely happy in life. There is no way that a marriage can be succesfully between two people if it is solely based on money. If these women were smart, they would teach their daughters to get an education and have a successful job where they can support themselves and they wouldnt have to look for someone else to do it for them. People who value money more than love are ignorant because at the end of the day the clothes, bags, shoes, cars you have can never make you happy 100% than a loving husband could. For me, money will never be able to buy happiness, happiness is priceless.

  7. This video clip from the Tyra Show is extremely polarizing. It exacerbates the notion that women will always have a preference for a man with a stable financial background. Personally, I do no find this video quite stocking at all. Our current social values promote the accumulation of wealth, and the ability to live like the “elite”. Women in present day are now being raised as girls to look for a man that will provide their facility with the easiest lifestyle possible, and has great access to the means of production. Working in mid-town manhattan, and being part of the dating scene it was quite clear to me early that an individual’s occupation, wealth, and aspirations have substantial importance. Women are now willing to eliminate a great individual from their lives just because their income doesn’t meet their standards.

    It is quite unfortunate that things have become this way, but like that cute little girl said, “Karma always come back to you when you marry for money”. An individual’s assets at times aren’t really real, they are just numeric values that increase that individual’s chances of purchasing expensive materials and allowing them to have an easier lifestyle. Love is real however, it is something that is felt between two individuals, and is not created through exploitation, manipulation, or insubordination. It is created by memories, affection, communication, and adherence to each others values. Remember money does not last forever, external catastrophes can occur to dramatically change the status of your assets. However Love can only be taken away through your own intuition, or loss of an individual, it cannot be forced out of you.

  8. What most of the mothers on the Tyra Banks show are teaching their young daughters is that they can take the backseat in life and can coast on the fruits of their husbands labor. While it is important to marry a spouse that is financially secure and follows the protestant work ethic, money does not buy a happy and loving environment to raise a child in. If one is married to someone they do not love then there are not many reasons for them not to cheat and remain faithful. This lack of trust and true love between parents will inadvertently have a detrimental effect on their children. It is crucial that the proper family and moral values be instilled in children at a young age. Not values that teach daughters that they are inferior to men and cannot be a breadwinner and contributor and thus must be dependent on a wealthy man that she may not even be attracted to. Instead if a parent is concerned that their daughter may not have the glamor life because she sacrificed wealth for love, the parent can teach their child to be attracted to men with ambition and the desire to succeed and join that man on his journey towards those goals. Through that journey together, love and success will be acquired as opposed to marrying any man strictly based on his assets.

  9. I found this clip to be really interesting. I was so surprised to see such extreme mindsets from such young girls, but I guess it really reflects what they’re being taught at home. I think marrying for money is a very controversial issue. I loved the opinions of the woman who teaches her girls to marry for love and for noble reasons. However, at the same time money is the number one cause of divorce in America. I’ve never been married so I can’t be so close minded to say that money shouldn’t be a thought when choosing a partner, but at the same time marrying on that fact alone is a depressing idea.

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