Tell us a bit about yourself!
Hi! You can call me Mindy – though that’s obviously not my real name. I am in my late twenties and have two school-age children. I own and run a small real estate team. I am an avid outdoor enthusiast. I run, rock climb, and jump out of planes from time to time. I live in Boise, Idaho and we work out of San Francisco.
I consider myself a fun loving and honest person and a good parent.
Growing up, how did you feel about relationships?
When I was a small child I thought my parents had a perfect relationship. I had older parents who were in their forties by the time I came around. As I got older, I realized that my parents struggled with money. My mother was great with managing it and my father made it and had no problem spending it. We weren’t poor by any means, but my parents argued about money a lot.
My father was also an alcoholic and I remember a lot of nights where they slept apart. My parents divorced when I was 14, due to my father’s affair. My parents are back together now, but it is not what I would call a happy marriage.
I had a lot of relationships in high school and got married right after I graduated. He wasn’t motivated to work and I spend those three years pregnant and working to support our family. I always felt like I was one step away from never being able to pay the bills we had two girls over the course of a three-year marriage.
After my divorce, I had a string of partners that all wanted more from me than I was willing to give. I was proposed to three times during the seven years after my divorce. I can honestly say I was in love with two of them. I sabotaged ruined the relationships because their lack of financial success made me nervous. I always felt like I needed to find someone who could make my life stable. I wanted a partner who had money and ambition. I didn’t ever want to feel like I was supporting someone again.
Can you tell us about your relationship with money?
My relationship with money is complicated. I’ve always been a saver and I’ve always afraid of what was around the corner. I had a job from the moment that I turned 15, but it never felt like enough.
I paid for my own cars and college. I am one of those people that always has money in boxes hidden around the house. I will admit that I have spent many hours on the bed counting that money when I was feeling stressed or insecure about a situation. Money has always been a security blanket; if I had it I wasn’t stressed. If I didn’t have any, I thought about it all the time.
What’s your husband like?
My husband is 15 years older than I am. He had one child but had never been married when we met. He has been working in the same field for 18 years. He works in as a director of operations for an international internet company. He is smart, sensitive, analytical, funny, and controlling at times. He’s very attractive. He’s in great shape and cares about his body. We met on Match.com.
What was your financial situation like when you met your now-husband?
I was doing fine financially when we met. I was keeping my head above water but never felt like I was secure. I had been diagnosed with cancer before we met and I was dealing with the possibility of being financially shattered.
I was actively seeking someone that would at least be able to make me feel secure if my cancer got worse and I was unable to work. I wouldn’t date anyone that seemed to be struggling financially.
If you could break it down into percentages, how much of your decision to marry your husband was based on personal compatibility/affection and how much was based on financial stability?
I would say 80% security and 20% love/capability the day I moved in and I would say it was 60% love and 40% security the day we were married. As I type this, I am very much in love with my husband.
Is your husband aware that financial stability played into your decision to marry him? Are the people in your life aware of this?
My husband is very aware of finances. He knew from my dating profile that I wouldn’t even consider anyone who made under 150k a year. I am guessing he knew it was a factor that played a large role. We talked a lot about money when we were dating and I signed a prenup. He helps fund my business and keeps me on track. We don’t share a bank account, but I do get an allowance and it’s enough that I have never had to ask for more. He understood why I was seeking security for myself and my girls.
Did you have any second thoughts on your wedding day? Have you had any second thoughts since?
I have never had a second thought about marrying him. The day I married him was the last day that I felt like my world could crumble at any moment.
How is your life different now that you’re married?
My life is a lot different. I used to login to my bank account on a daily basis checking balances. I couldn’t get my hair cut or do anything that I felt was a luxury.
I haven’t looked in my bank account in years because I know that he is taking care of it. We never have any money-related stress which is something a lot of married people fight about. I never worry if the mortgage payment is on time or if I am going to be able to buy the organic milk. I can take care of all the girls’ needs.
What are the benefits of your marriage? The drawbacks?
The benefits definitely outweigh the drawbacks. My husband travels a lot and that’s hard. His work gives us a lot of flexibility but that also means that he’s away a lot. Since my father had affairs, I struggle with trust so spending so much time apart is hard for me.
My husband has specific ideas of how I should look, I need to keep up my body. He makes comments about my weight when I gain a few pounds. Mind you, I am 5’5 and 128 pounds right now; yesterday he asked me if it was time to stop snacking and start a juice fast or maybe add an extra day of cardio into my workouts. He can be very “his way or the highway.”
What would you say to people who don’t approve of your decision?
I think I would congratulate them for not letting money be a factor in their choices. I wish that it wasn’t so important to me, but it is and I am not going to be ashamed of that. I would never have been happy without having the support that I wanted. It wouldn’t have mattered how in love I was, money would have been an issue for me.
I feel like there is the misconception about why some people marry for money. I didn’t want to buy everything in sight. I wanted my children to be able to go to college, play piano, take gymnastics. I wanted to know that if I change careers or decided to stay home and raise children that would be a possibility. I didn’t want to go to Paris and buy Prada.
Thank you so much for sharing your story, Mindy. Do you guys have any questions for her?