First she wanted equality. Now she wants equity. Because what Bridezilla truly wanted… is the wallet without the hairy wrapper and his expectations for a lifetime together. Mr. Blue Pill, your margin is calling!
My girlfriend has $20 million. I’m worth $1 million. Should she pay for big-ticket items like her engagement ring and our honeymoon?
‘While it’s obvious I’m the one with limited means, the norm is for me to pick up the tab on dates and weekend getaways’
By Quentin Fottrell
Some moments in life are pass/fail. This is one of those.
My girlfriend has a net worth of around $20 million and, well, let’s just say I don’t. Luckily for me, she truly loves me, and we hope to get married someday. Although we would have a prenup, she has concerns that I will limit our lifestyle in the future.
No-no-noooo!!! Men still fall for that?! “But she pwommished meeee!”
She makes about $350,000 a year — not including six-figure bonuses. I make $225,000 a year with bonuses and overtime. I have around $1 million in net worth including cash, retirement savings and home equity. Aside from separate mortgages, neither of us have any other real debts.
We both have teenage children. I am still trying to save for my two girls’ future college expenses, and her son’s education will be paid by a family trust. Also, her son is accustomed to finer things, while I often buy used stuff for my kids and make them do chores to earn their small allowance.
We are both 50 years old and would like to retire by 60, if possible. Of course, she could easily retire now, but she actually enjoys her work. On the other hand, my job is stressful and exhausting, but I’m able to save about 20% of my gross each year.
Unfortunately, without a willingness to compromise on her part…
We could stop reading here but then we’d miss out on the fun.
…an unexpected windfall for me or some other unexpected change, I’m not sure how to navigate the situation. We are very transparent about our finances and, while it’s obvious I’m the one with limited means, the norm is for me to pick up the tab on dates and weekend getaways.
She wants a fancy wedding, and also thinks I should pay half as a symbol of my love and commitment to her. Between that, an expensive ring and the honeymoon, I will easily deplete my cash reserves if I say yes.
Go for it, dude, because half of those twenty million dollars will be yours in the inevitable divorce. Equality!
Finally, she says that she’s worked hard and saved all of her life and is no longer willing to sacrifice financially. That said, we always end our discussions with a reassuring statement that it’s not a dealbreaker, and that we are both committed to figuring it out.
I’m a bit old-fashioned and love the chivalrous position of picking up the tab, but shouldn’t she just plan to cover the big-ticket items like a plush wedding and honeymoon, extravagant retirement expenses and other posh desires? Or is our relationship just doomed?
The One Million-Dollar Man
The primary Christian answer is that she gives all $20M to her new husband along with the trust funds and all future paychecks, and he does whatever he wants with the money in perpetuity… treating her kindly as the weaker partner in the marriage.
The backup Christian answer is to not get in the way of that imminent train wreck and save yourself. He’s already decided to marry her and wrote for advice in order to have somebody-not-Mommy to blame… the one request he’s willing to honor from that whimpering dissident voice of sanity in the back of his little head.
But which answer will Mr. Fottrell choose? The Equality answer of “she has the money and wants it, so she pays for it” or the Equity answer of “it’s his fault”? (It’s no wonder that the Narrative has fully abandoned ‘equality’.)
Dear One Million,
Agree on a wedding and a honeymoon that you can both afford, and split the costs 50/50. If she would like to upgrade some aspects of the wedding or honeymoon, you can have separate discussions about that. Some of the least memorable weddings I have attended were in five-star hotel ballrooms. Hell is a champagne reception with awkward small talk and stuffy wait staff who smile like they want to be anywhere but there. I have also attended fun, beautiful and memorable weddings that cost just a few thousand dollars that were held in a town hall with long wooden tables, streamers, flowers, and drinks in the backyard with a mobile gin bar.
Excellent choice, Mister Fottrell! The backup Christian answer! There’s no way that Bridezilla would consent to don’t-do-Bridezilla advice so Mr. Fottrell will be officially off the hook when the who-did-this-divorce blame game goes around.
As no doubt you are aware, what we believe to be prerequisites for engagement rings today were spun by the marketing genius of jewelry and diamond companies in the first half of the 20th century. The popularity of diamond engagement rings is traced back to the “A Diamond is Forever” campaign by the DeBeers diamond company, who trademarked the sentiment. It was written by copywriter Frances Gerety in 1947. There are many other precious stones to choose from, including none at all. No marriage should founder on a rock.
EXCELLENT, Mr. Fottrell! “Dude, please wake up… you don’t really need all this expensive shit that she’s demanding… but I can’t say that out loud so here’s a totally unrelated history lesson…”
One word of warning. The bigger the wedding, the shorter the marriage, according to this study released by researchers at the Department of Economics at Emory University in Atlanta. They examined the association between wedding spending and marriage duration using data from a survey of over 3,000 people in the U.S. who got married. Couples who spent $20,000 on their wedding — excluding the cost of the ring — were 46% more likely than average to get divorced; that risk fell to 29% higher than average for those who spend $10,000 to $20,000.
I started this piece expecting to snark at the official answer but must give credit, Fottrell did very well indeed.
These are important conversations to be had now, and it’s a good sign that you are both open to having them.
AND he twisted the knife at the end! Haha!