Men leading the gold digger train

Men leading the gold digger train

Monday, September 28, 2020

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THE Urban Dictionary has dubbed it “manimony” — money paid from the female spouse to the male spouse after legal separation or divorce as a result of the woman making more money than her husband. And in Jamaica, an amendment to the Maintenance Act 2005 makes the Act no longer gender specific, and now allows men to also file for spousal maintenance.

This has meant that a few women locally have had to either settle payments out of court or disburse a monthly figure to their ex-husbands following the dissolution of their unions. Even a common-law union that exists for over five years can find a man filing for maintenance support.

But even in more casual relationships, more and more men are staking their claim to being supported by their women. Just as how many women look for financial security in relationships, men are asking for what they want financially, are contesting the division of assets upon separation, and are even challenging previous arrangements that may have been in place at the beginning of the relationship when each would have entered believing that what's yours is yours, and what's mine is mine.

Read below some women's experiences with men who had no qualms about having an interest in their assets, and a couple men who you may even label gold diggers.

Debra, 45, business manager:

My ex husband was a few years younger than I was — six years to be exact, but very mature. He didn't have much when I met him, but he was a very ambitions young man, and we instantly clicked. He didn't seem interested in anything I had, and in fact insisted on paying when we went out, and things like that, even though he would have been earning just a fraction of what I was. People now tell me that it was all a ploy to get what I have, but even now it's hard to believe that, though I can't ignore some of the signs. I initially gave him one of my cars to drive as he was taking public transport, and soon after he insisted on an upgrade, which I granted. We got married soon after — within a year of dating — and I not only took his name, but also stupidly put his name on my house title, and on the title of a second property I bought. I guess I was fooled by love. He had always said that he didn't want anything that I had, but when my interest fizzled after about three years and I mentioned separating, as soon as the words left my mouth he was educating me on the laws, using legal jargon to boot, telling me he was entitled to half, and telling me I couldn't dispose of any of the properties without his permission. I had to pay him a good sum in the divorce, as well as give him one of the properties we had held jointly.

Kevin, 30, micro business owner:

For about a year and six months I was what you'd probably call a “kept man”. She was an American who was older, and we met at a hotel where I was stocking some items for the gift shop. She was like my sponsor — we exchanged numbers and when she went back home there was talk of us marrying and her filing for me. I saw it as an opportunity to leave here, and to be honest, I really checked for her because she was funny, even though I wasn't really physically attracted to her. She helped me grow my business, and invested a lot in it and in me. I got a car, jewellery, clothes and shoes, and many trips to other Caribbean islands. But when she tried to sponsor me it didn't go through because I had a record. I wouldn't say that I tried to scam her or anything, but when a woman like that offers to give you things, why would you say no?

Derron, 34, professional gamer:

I thought I had this one in the bag, but I wasn't as smooth as I thought, I guess. I thought I was about to hit the jackpot, as she seemed very romantically interested in me, and I would always visit her at her house and when I'd leave she would beg me to stay. I had room-mates so her coming by me wasn't really an option. I thought she was hooked because I regard myself as an attentive lover and partner, but looking back, the problems started when I started asking her for small loans which I didn't repay. She was taking care of me otherwise, but I wanted to buy some equipment. The last straw for her was when I asked her to loan me some money to pay for rent. She accused me of only wanting her for her money, and dumped me.

Rickardo, 42, athlete:

I make sure that I am always incredibly good in bed — that's my sales pitch. A woman will never leave you when you have that kind of leverage where it really matters. That way I have gotten cars, apartments paid for, travel and outfits. I don't feel any way, because women do it to men all the time.

Shannalee, 32, stockbroker:

He probably didn't start to date me because of money, but I guess when he saw how easily I had it he got “red eye”.

He always wanted new things and the newer version of things — he wanted Clarks because men on social media were posting that their women bought them shoes, he wanted a new car because I got a company car, and “we could afford it”, and one Christmas I made the grave error of buying him a grooming kit, which he scoffed at and said he only wanted colognes or shoes. He was never grateful for anything, would tell me YOLO when I insisted that I wanted to save and invest, but the straw that broke the camel's back was when he asked me to put a PlayStation on my credit card, and I said no, and he asked what I was working for then, if I couldn't afford something that would make him happy. I realised that this boy was trying to nyam me out, and wasn't even being subtle about it.

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