Rich, Miserable Jerks and Their Rich, Miserable Wives

Wealthy couples splitting up now that the money's gone

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    NEWSLETTERS

    TK
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    If your marriage is just a financial arrangement, don't be surprised if the arrangement dissolves along with your finances.

    Our new national recession ushered out all sorts of things we'll actually miss: easy credit, nice houses, jobs of some sort, maybe some retirement savings. But one thing nobody will miss is a particular breed of shallow, rapacious quasi-human who only stayed married while there were buckets of money involved.

    Witness this charming woman quoted in the New York Times over the weekend -- a woman who at least had the good sense to maintain her anonymity:

    One mother in TriBeCa, who is married, at least for now, to a Wall Street executive, put it rather bluntly: “My job was to run the household and the children’s lives,” she said. “His job is to provide us with a nice lifestyle.” But his bonus has disappeared, and his annual pay has dropped to $150,000 from $800,000 a year. “Let me just say this,” she said, “I’m still doing my job.”
    This is particularly hilarious when you consider that "her job" of "running the household" probably involved the hiring of people to actually run the household, while "running the children's lives" involved the hiring of a $25,000-a-year nanny from Poland. So her husband shouldn't despair -- even if she leaves him, he'll be able to replace her for just a fraction of the original cost. Recouping the pedicure bill alone would probably save him a small fortune.

    Of course, the husbands are to blame here as well. If the health of your marriage is predicated on your being able to take home a million a year in perpetuity, you should not be surprised if and when your money runs out and your concubine walks. Take for example this poor sap mentioned in the Times Online:

    One New York divorce lawyer said one client was worried that his wife would leave him if she found out that his net worth had fallen from $20 million (£10 million) to $8 million after he suffered huge losses on property and other investments. To keep his wife he was trying to mask his declining fortune by borrowing to pay for her clothes and holidays.
    Who is worse, the terrible pampered spendthrift wives, or the husbands who decided to marry a woman whose affection he could purchase rather than somebody he actually, you know, liked? The answer is that each is more terrible than the other, and all of these people should be herded, fish-like, into a net by a Portuguese water dog and airlifted to the middle of the Gobi. In the meantime, the rest of us can go back to feeling very superior that our marriages will fail due to adultery or boredom or actual bankruptcy, and nothing so petty as a simple salary cut.

    Sara K. Smith writes for Wonkette, and she still believes in love.