"Think'st thou Hortensio,
Though her father be very rich,
Any man is so very a fool,
To be married to hell?"
— Shakespeare, Taming of the Shrew, 1, 1
They say that you must take sleep and mark death. In other words, use the smaller thing as an indication of a larger event to come. The French call sleep “La petite mort”, the little death. So when that guy, Gremio, in the quote above, warned his friend that even though the woman’s father was very rich, and she, by extension, also wealthy, he was to be careful, for with her riches, despite her wealth, being married to her would be hell. was he making a statement or asking a question? Was he implying that because of her great wealth, she would make his life a living hell, or was he merely saying that he’d be a fool to marry such a woman just because she was rich, as she would rub his nose in it?
The fact is, money is at the central point, and on the face of it, all the money in the world cannot make the devil do angelic things for the long term. But money can make some people’s lives a living hell — one, if they haven’t got it, and two, if their spouse has lots of it and flaunts it.
Usually it’s the man who has more than the woman, conforming with traditional economic history, mores of society, and the dictates of men in charge of decision-making who determine that policy.
So what happens when the script is flipped and women are more financially uplifted than their male counterparts? Does that defy the natural order of the universe, and if so, how do the men deal with this perceived anomaly?
We’ll find out, right after we see what these readers had to say about my take on ‘Loving older men’.
They say that, ‘You can’t choose who you love.’ If that is true, then young women are choosing to be with older men, but not in love with them. Sure, after a while they can become in love, but I believe that most just love, like loving a family member. I can’t see what the benefit is for an older man to be with a younger woman, other than the obvious. The benefits are greater for the younger woman.
I really think that when a younger woman takes up with an older man she has an agenda, more that bordering on hidden, and certainly pushing the limits of ulterior motives. The point is, you will never see a younger woman loving a much older man who is poor. It’s always an older man who has money. Read between the lines.
It’s been said that a woman’s best protection is a little money of her own. Sure, we all know that a woman has to have a little nest egg hidden away, vex money they call it, just in case the man deserts her and she has to fend for herself. That term ‘vex money’ is derived from the notion that a woman should always have her own money when she goes out on a date with a man, just in case the evening doesn’t turn out well and she gets vex, she can always find her way home by taking a taxi with her vex money.
Men have been known to put women out of their cars in the middle of an evening because it wasn’t going as planned, and women have also been known to get so disgusted with the man that they chose to leave the scene as quickly as possible. Hence the vex money.
“Make sure that you have your vex money before you go out with him.”
All that’s been accepted by society, and has been so even more in modern times. But what happens when the woman has more than vex money, but so much money that the man gets really vexed with her for having more than what he has?
Yes, it does happen, as some men are steeped in the tradition that women must not have more money than them. In his eyes it may be a cause of embarrassment and ridicule from his friends.
“He is the bread winner, but she owns the bakery and makes all the dough, hahahaha.”
“He brings home the bacon, but she owns the pig farm, heheheheh.”
Those and more are derisive comments about men who are less financially viable than their women. There is some unwritten law of the universe that states that a man should be more financially viable than his woman, and that should not be deviated from.
“Ha, she can buy and sell him 10 times over.”
This is done even subconsciously by men when they choose a mate, as in most cases, a man will only get involved with a woman who is less financially stable than him. He will not go above his class, but will stay in his lane. Let it not be said by onlookers that, “Oh dear, she married beneath her station.”
You will never see a waiter, security guard or gas station attendant try to romance the female CEO of a major institution. The disparaging remarks would come from without and within.
“But him must lick him head, asking her to marry him, she’s way out of his league.”
Still, there are some brave, misguided, ambitious, foolish men — take your pick — who venture out of their pay scale and squire a woman of the champagne class, even though he only has beer money.
So what happens when a woman is in a higher tax bracket than the man and has far more than he could ever dream of? It may rattle his self-esteem, and shatter his ego, for he knows that all the trappings of life that he enjoys, such as the house, car, and such, were all bought and paid for with her finances.
But how did he get there, based on what I said about a man’s reluctance to go beyond his reach? Well, maybe they started out on equal footing, or with him having more, but as she moved up the corporate ladder and became vice-president of her organisation, suddenly the balance of power shifted, tipped, grew in her favour when she got that huge promotion and all the perks that go with it.
Instantly her financial portfolio is five times more than his, and no matter how he tries, he can never catch up to her financially. She can now purchase what he can only dream of, and the crushing blow came when she parked her brand new SUV beside his little beat up jalopy in the driveway.
That can cause problems, for even if on the surface she may not indicate any difference in her outlook, deep down she knows that she can buy and sell him 10 times over, she can kick him and pay him, as the old saying goes.
With her increased financial upliftment comes great power, more than he could ever dream of, and we all know what power does, it corrupts. As for absolute power, it corrupts absolutely.
Some women will not make a big deal out of it, while others will flaunt it and rub the man’s nose in it.
“That little pittance that you’re earning can’t even pay the light bill.”
There’s this joke about a wife who raced home and breathlessly shouted to her husband, “I won $50 million in the lotto, start packing.”
The ecstatic husband replied, “Yes honey, where are we going, Paris, Rome, Dubai?”
To which the wife shouted, “Who said anything about we, I meant you, start packing and get the hell outa my life.”
We can take serious thing and make joke eh? But what’s joke to young boys is death to bullfrogs. When a woman is more financially uplifted and has considerably more money than her man, it can manifest itself in a variety of ways, with many not being positive.
Her respect for him will be eroded, maybe just a little at first, but diminishes after time. The balance of power will have shifted, and she feels her strength.
“After all, I don’t need this man for anything, I’m my own woman.”
No longer can he call the shots, dictate any terms of her fiscal, fiduciary, financial fantasies and any other F word either. Yes, even that she will hold over his head, for it’s been said that for a woman, power is the ultimate aphrodisiac, and money is power.
If he hasn’t got as much money as she does, how can he turn her on? You may wonder in disbelief, but look around and see for yourself, it happens more than you can imagine. Who knows, maybe you are experiencing what I’m referring to as we speak.
“She’s so turned off me since she got that big position at the bank.”
She now belongs to the millionaire’s club, and he belongs to the kennel club on the corner. Worse if the man loses his job and his finances are floundering, dog nyam him supper, for the pressure will be turned up. The trouble all began when her financial upliftment flourished and his floundered.
Footnote: Children used to be fun back in the day. They were mostly respectful, obedient, playful and a joy to parents and society in general. But something happened along the way, and children are not what they used to be. They are violent, aggressive, selfish, vindictive, ungrateful and spiteful. Not all, mind you, but so many are, that it’s a cause for concern. We see it in our schools, on the streets and in the home, where children are committing acts of violence that only hardened criminals used to do. We were warned, but little heed was taken. Now we reap the whirlwind. And guess what, it starts in the home where many parents defend the terrible terrorists.