Sunday, 25 May 2008

Love is ... a good job and a hefty salary cheque

With redundancies looming, trophy wives start planning to cash in and get out
Not just trophy wives and senior City executives either.

The piece in the Guardian talks about the top end of the market, but more women now regard marriage not as a relationship for mutual support through "sickness and health, richer or poorer". They take richer and health as preconditions - and there is no such thing as unconditional love. Marriage is so that they can answer their biological imperative - which means not just a potent mate but one with earnings. And even after the child rearing years are over, there is a calculus going on about "is this relationship worth it?" endlessly discussed with friends and relatives as well as the agony columns. Commitment is a quaint historical relic, confined to fiction.

The piece also is confined to jobs, but of course the big bait in all of this has been the huge equity built up in the family home in recent years. As soon as the market starts to look a little wobbly, people start to bail. And that is happening in this region now. Prices have not fallen, but the fear is that they will, so the home is unloaded as fast as possible. There are now more sellers than buyers which makes a price fall inevitable if sales are to be completed. The rule here now is that the equity is split 50/50 - and as most women earn less than their spouses this is as good as finally getting paid for all that housework and child rearing.

And then of course, the imperative is to hang on to what you have got, as women live longer than men. So all those sites that claim to pair up the newly single are full of women looking for "financially secure" men. Not those knocked sideways by the ruinous divorce settlement.

No comments: