What about when the comfortable lifestyle is punctuated with physical, emotional, or sexual abuse? Is either marrying or staying for money worth it?
I like to say that if you marry for money, you earn every penny for it. In cases where money and a sense of security are the sole reasons for a marriage, often so many other parts of the relationship are defunct that it just seems like undesirable work. Often the sacrifice made to live a lush lifestyle when more substantial reasons for marriage are absent result in unnecessary emptiness and pain.
For relationships that have been built on the foundations of love, trust, loyalty, and commitment, sometimes things deteriorate. Of course, there often are red flags that something is wrong early on, but down the line, it seems that out of nowhere, things go awry. Is staying for money worth your wellness and that of any children you may have?
Each person has to determine the answer for that. After all, living with the consequences of staying or leaving sit with the person IN the relationship. Contrary to popular belief or even the intention to leave an unsavory relationship regardless of income, some times there are reasons a woman chooses to stay. Consider two examples.
Just over two weeks ago, we saw two women, in very different circumstances, but stuck in a similar mentality that led the public to question, why stay. The first, an unnamed woman who wrote into Essence magazine to inquire what she should do because her Caucasian husband calls her racial slurs like "Nigger bitch" and tells her he purchased her freedom. She explained that she loves him and he treats her better than any black men ever did, and they live a lavish lifestyle as if to say, though what he does is not okay , this lifestyle kind of balances things out so that she doesn't REALLY want to leave. Needless to say, when reading her experience, I was floored.
Another, more public relationship, that of Tashera Simmons and her husband, famed rapper Earl "DMX" Simmons, gives us a different angle on the staying for money option. Tashera who has been in a relationship with DMX since their preteen years is no stranger to entertainment news sites and reality TV having had to endure children out of wedlock, verbal abuse, her husband's drug addiction, and criminal activity, and most recently, public shame from the televised manifestation of it all on the season premier of Iyanla, Fix My Life on the OWN network.
On the show, Tashera explains to spirituality coach, Iyanla Vanzant that she loved and was loyal to Earl despite his addictions, in a conversation where Vanzant proclaims, "You married your father," whom Tashera had been a caregiver for and who also had been drug addicted. As for staying in the marriage after two decades, Vanzant clearly outlines that there was financial benefits that kept Tashera there. She closed with the advice that sums up this article--you can't sacrifice your overall well being for money.
What both these women, the writer of the Essence article and Simmons have in common is the belief that money trumps self-love and self-advocacy. This seems to happen in persons with a history of enduring abuse so it's hard for them to separate abuse from love, and by extension the things that money brings from wellness on a nonmaterial level. This is not to say that all relationships where there is a monetary benefit are superficial and harmful, but it does beg the question that those who are seeking the financial comforts over their physical, emotional and spiritual well being are making a very pricey sacrifice.
After all, they will in fact, earn every penny that they get by means of being subjected to things that are not present in a healthy relationship. Women and men, should not make that trade off for money and only learn the hard way that their doing so is regrettable and leave them feeling empty and used. The only choice that should be made is to be treated well by means of being assigned a high value in the other's life, or not be in the relationship at all.
What are your thoughts on this subject? What value does money place in your life? Are there circumstances you feel that would require one to stay for money? Please share your thoughts in the comments below.