A fair amount of angst in yesterday’s comments that the wife was a gold digger. In fairness, she may well be, but then again that just makes my point… women on the whole react positively to men with money. If you have a choice between having more money or less money, the more money route is the best choice by default.
The other concern in the comments was that the husband might fail and his wife leave him in the lurch. This is also quite possible and is simply the Hypergamy impulse. Women happen to be more attracted to winners than losers. Whatever it is that you do, I advise you to be a “winner” at it. Even in terribly geeky things there is a pecking order of winners and losers. If you’re in the chess club, at least be the big swinging dick in chess club that everyone fears to play.
Jennifer and I both have worked at a non-profit for what amounts to 95% of our entire careers. We’re by no means impoverished, but the reality is that I don’t think that was a wise choice for both of us to make. Yeah MMSL is a payoff stemming in no small part from my life experience, but writing a successful book is a very long shot to take. I tried making a break into higher earnings by going into real estate sales in 2006 and met the crashing housing market and to be quite blunt, failed remarkably hard. That’s failing remarkably hard despite genuinely putting in effort to make it work. Jennifer is by nature supportive, not crazily motivated by money and quite bonded to me. I failed and she stayed.
Jennifer isn’t a gold digger… but money is part and parcel of reality… so while she’s probably not a silver digger, she’s at least a copper digger. Take away medical insurance, ability to pay the mortgage, money for food and clothes for the girls, I would expect her eyes to start narrowing to slits when looking upon me. I would expect her rationalization hamster to start getting into motion. But that would only be fair wouldn’t it?
So I failed hard at real estate, and nursing was still being sort of a financial equivalent of a goal-less soccer match. Not winning or losing, but it’s boring as hell. So I started MMSL planning to win, but also knowing it might fail. Something I did not tell Jennifer before I started writing was that if it all turned into a second round of serious failure, I planned to offer her a divorce and cash her out with everything that was left. Note I said offer divorce, not threaten divorce. I don’t think she would have accepted, but you never know. I think she would have taken it as the most profound apology I could make. I don’t know if I would have been much fun to live with after that though.
As it is, it’s all working out quite well. I won. We’re by no means rolling in dough, but we’ve made an excellent step in the right direction. Jennifer is visibly happier and less stressed about money. We’ve had a pretty great marriage and this last year has been easily the best year we’ve had together sexually. At this point I’m more excited about making more money than she is. In the end, neither one of us is particularly motivated by expensive toys and bling, I just want her to feel unstressed by money, and for me to get to do MMSL all the time and see how it all plays out over the years. I want to travel and speak and write and talk to people. I want Jennifer to work for me so we can be together for work instead of apart. The money is just a tool to get to do that.
So enough of me, let’s talk about you…
Naturally I am not advising ya’ll to quit your day jobs and just believe in the power of your dreams. I did that once going into real estate and it was a disaster. Nor am I saying everyone needs to start a blog and write a book. Based on Amazon data I’m somewhere in the top 0.5% of authors for book sales and I make a way better royalty split as a self-publisher than 80% of the books out selling mine. So I shit you not when I say trying to make a livable income from writing books is like The Hunger Games in essay form.
However, whatever it is that you do for work, you’re at a certain level of status and income. There is as you know, another tier of status and income above you. By default, women are wired to be more attracted to you if you are at that next higher tier. So the questions to ask yourself are (1) whether or not you can realistically make that step up, (2) whether the risks and effort associated with making that step up are reasonable, and most importantly (3) whether you can afford to not try and make that step up.
Stepping up to the next tier is going to take time, effort and some risk. The world seems fresh out of easy advancement, but that just makes it all the sweeter for advancing. To be sure not all women are gold diggers, some are silver diggers and some are copper. The real gold diggers give the copper ones a bad name. If a copper digger gives you the I Love You But I’m Not In Love With You speech and waves goodbye from the passenger seat of some dudes BMW, it’s fairly likely it’s more your fault than hers.
Could have, should have, would have, didn’t.
Sometimes the biggest risk you take, is to not take enough risks. Be the Captain.
Jennifer: hey…I would have stayed. And boy is he happier now that we are not so money-stressed. The truth is that he has the talent and ideas to make the switch to another career while I am stuck where I am with no hope of promotion or moving elsewhere for more money. That’s not to say I’m not happy in my job, I am…but I am at the limit of my earning potential in my current career.