*This is a work of nonfiction based on actual events as told to me by a family friend who experienced them firsthand; used with permission.
Do women prefer rich men? According to Psychology Today, "In study after study, in country after country, psychologists consistently find that men strongly prefer looks over resources, whereas women value resources over looks."
However, it's neither a good idea for a man to pretend to be rich to get the woman he wants, just as it isn't good for a woman to make certain financial demands on her partner to determine whether he makes a good match. A good relationship is built on more than money, or at least it should be.
A man met the love of his life and wanted to make a good impression. He brought her to fancy restaurants and bought her the best of everything. When special occasions like her birthday or their anniversary rolled around, he showered her with presents.
His attention and his gifts delighted the woman. She often said she could tell from the car he drove when she met him he was her soulmate. Unfortunately, she wasn't joking.
When the man couldn't afford something his beloved wanted, he charged it on his credit card. Whatever she asked of him, he bought for her until he was deeply in debt.
Their wedding was as spectacular as it was expensive. The happy couple spared no expense.
Of course, the bride was clueless that the groom was penniless because the man took out loans to pay for anything he couldn't afford without telling her. She still thought she was marrying a wealthy man; she wouldn't learn otherwise until after the wedding.
They bought their first house, which meant more debt. The woman didn't like any of the home's original features, so she brought in a team of contractors to have everything demolished and rebuilt to her taste.
By then, she had already learned that what her husband lacked in money; he made up for in debt. Unfortunately, that didn't slow her down. If anything, it spurred her on to spend more.
A mutual friend felt bad for her husband and asked her about her penchant for spending money he hadn't even earned yet.
"Why do you spend so much money on everything?" he asked her. "Your husband is working three jobs just to make the minimum payments on the bills."
"That's too bad," she replied. "He should have thought of that before he led me to believe he was rich. Now, he has to keep me living the way I've become accustomed if he wants to stay married and keep me happy."
The couple has been married for over thirty years, and they are both in their late fifties. They have two adult children together. Both of their children are married with families of their own.
He still works multiple jobs to make ends meet, and his wife still feels like she's entitled to be kept like the wife of a rich man, even though she isn't.