In the recent weeks we seen two high profile divorces, Wendy Williams and Adele. Both cases represent a situation where a highly successful woman marries a less successful man. In other words, what I call “marrying down” rather than practicing hypergamy. While we all do not know the specific reasons behind the divorces, this situation highlights the higher divorce rates in marriages where the woman is the higher wage earner.
So after all that we know about the divorce rates among such unions, the question then becomes why do couples keep choosing to go against both nature/nurture? The way society and biology works it encourages that women practice hypergamy and accept marriage proposal only from men that earn higher than them.
Lets talk about how society encourages hypergamy for women in marriages. Simply men in society financial out earn women in society. While this is slowly changing, it still stands that men still outpace women in earning. The male dominated career fields get higher pay than female dominated fields. In north america, women( taking into account racialized differences) in general make 68 cents to 90 cents for every 1 dollar a man makes. Finally most of the powerful and leadership positions (CEOS, and political leaders) are dominated by men
In terms of biology, the fact that women give birth and men do not, often results in different experiences in the world. Also men innately have the desire to build and protect. While women innately have the desire to nurture and care
Now that we have discussed this, lets take a look at why women choose to continue to follow the path of most resistance and accept to marry men that earn less than themselves:
- Low self esteem/ self worth. Many women like Wendy Williams may have high self esteem in their careers and work life. However in their personal life they would have low self esteem and believe that they are not entitled to have access to high quality men that believe in providing, building and protecting the women they marry
- Some women have the rescue mindset. They often have the sacrifice mentality and they place value on how much they rescue or nurture people around them. I often call this “over mothering instinct” syndrome. The natural instinct for the women to nurture and care is put into overdrive in this cases, that the women feels its their job to self sacrifice for all people including men that do not deserve her sacrifice
- Childhood and cultural upbringing. Many women get programmed by their children experiences and cultural groups to feel obligated to take care of the needs of men without reciprocity. Whether they saw their mothers do so, or their aunts, grandmothers do so. In terms of marriage it is better to approach it with the give and take philosophy. It is a man’s interest to provide, build and protect his wife and family in order for his wife to be able to nurture, care and provide for him
- The last reason, I call the “Turandot Syndrome,” the woman is under the illusion that the more they self sacrifice themselves, the more a man would grow to love them. However much like the opera turandot the young maiden decision to sacrifice herself for the love of the man ends up backfiring when the man chooses the women that didn’t care for him at all rather over her. At the end of story the young maiden kills herself after she realizes her selfless love had been used by a man who didn’t really love her.
The moral of the story woman should aim to practice hypergamy, and if they find any or all these reasons apply to themselves, they should seek counselling before entering into any type of any relationships