I have a friend who is seeing this woman who he wants to marry. My friend is very generous and in a great financial position. My friend has taken his lady on romantic vacations, lavished her with gifts and given her money.
The issue is his lady seems to take advantage of his generosity. She not only expects him to give her money, she demands that he support her family financially as well. He really wants to marry her, but cannot see himself continuously supporting her family.
This woman is not only demanding of this financial assistance, she seems ungrateful as well. His birthday came and she did not buy him as much as a pack of bubble gum. How could someone not celebrate their loved one's birthday?
I think this is ridiculously out of bounds, my friend struggles to let her go. He also feels like he will have a hard time finding a woman who will want him just for him, and not his money. I told him he will probably have to seek a woman on his level financially in order to take money out of the equation. He has a good heart and is a great guy.
My question for you is: when a person marries, is he just marrying his mate, or is he also marrying her family?
Concerned Friend --Charlotte, NC
Dear Concerned Friend:
It is often that one finds him/herself successful in business, yet lagging in love relationships. Your friend seems to be one of those people unfortunately, for now. However his lot in love can change. It seems that what his current love has in store for him is not the best can do. From your letter, it appears that her version of love is more of a misery trap.
First, let me get into your core question. In essence, when you marry a person, you virtually merge two families. That can be good in many instances. Family gatherings become larger, opening you to the best that each family has to offer. Children born of the relationship have access to an abundance of love. What one family lacks, the other may have a lion's share.
I have seen women develop mother-daughter relationships with their mothers-in-law that they did not enjoy with their own mothers. I have seen men form brotherhood bonds with their brothers-in-law when they had no brothers of their own. It can most definitely be a benefit to the parties in the right situation.
However, there is a negative side as well. Although it is true, in a sense, that you "marry the family", that does not mean it is now your responsibility to carry the burdens of that family. Of course, some cultures may determine that a man takes on his wife's family as his responsibility, I don't know of any.
Your mate is allegedly in it for better or for worse, but that worse is supposed to be about your household, not the households of every family member you have. To ask your spouse to carry the load of your parents, your siblings, aunts, uncles, and cousins thrice removed is a bit much.
If your spouse offers to do those things, that is one thing, but demanding it of him is something wholly selfish and downright disrespectful. Although I am not an advocate of getting into other people's personal lives without invitation, I understand your concern about your friend.
No one likes to see people take advantage of someone they love. As a friend, you can give wise counsel, but be supportive of the friend (not the decision, necessarily) no matter what he decides.
At the core, it is not his money that matters at all. In order to take the money off the table, he will have to stop leading with the money. He can show his generosity in other ways. Leading with the money will most definitely draw persons interested in his money. With a good heart and great character, he can turn it around so that those traits are seen without lavishing his paramours with expensive outings and gifts.