An awkward silence spread in the air. I couldn’t hide my disappointment.
To me, she was a goddess. She was stunning, successful, and educated. She had the body of a model. And, even more spectacularly, she had just been invited to serve on the executive board of her company. She used to know and date the most famous men in her country.
And now what? She was going to marry a boy 10 years her junior! He was a car mechanic, and his salary was a fraction of hers. He had never finished his higher education, either.
I didn’t know how to approach the topic. After a long pause, I asked, “Are you sure he’s right for you? Is he the best candidate? Are you certain you won’t become disappointed in a few months and seek a higher-status man instead?”
She lowered her gaze. The thought of marrying someone else ran through her beautiful head. “You know,” she said, “there was a time I got very sick. All my rich suitors disappeared and left me to deal with my problems all on my own.
They want me at my best but are unwilling to accept me at my worst. My man was the only one who remained by my side, taking care of me. He brought me his grandmother’s jam and made chicken soup for me. It did not taste great, but it sure was hot and fling. I want to be with a man who I trust–and who I can help grow.”
I understood her fear well. I knew what it means to be disillusioned with high-status men. But was hopping into a relationship with a poorer man from an entirely different background the right thing?
I just wanted her to be happy. I wasn’t sure she could truly love her man; up until that point, after all, status and money had constituted her core values.
She married him. It was an interesting wedding: she was the princess, and he was the lucky guy. He was thrilled to be marrying her. Her guests were rich, famous people; his were boys from the hood.
She then began to change them. She changed the way he dressed; she also changed his haircut. She enrolled him in English language courses (which he masterfully skipped).
She took him around the world, hoping he’d grow more ambitious. Around that time, she got pregnant and gave birth to a beautiful child. Another one followed. He cared for their children; she, on the other hand, returned to work.
The woman’s former suitors returned to her life. They swarmed around her, inviting her to secret dates and luxury vacations. They, however, offered neither marriage nor care for her children.
She realised meeting them would be a waste of time. She also realised her husband would never become a successful businessman and meet her expectations. That’s when true love was born.
You can only love someone when you know and accept their strengths and weaknesses. You can only know someone once you no longer idealise their image.
The man’s love did not change. He adores. They still have great chemistry and love each other.
She keeps on shining, reaching great success and making money. He keeps on fixing cars.
They’ve been together for over 10 years. I have a few friends like that, and they’re truly happy. They’re loved and adored. They have children and a family.
There’s no right or wrong. We’re all different, and we all aim for different outcomes. Don’t look for a man with wealth and status; understand that happiness often lurks in little things. Happiness is where love and acceptance are.
Interestingly enough, the friends that refused to attend this woman’s wedding (reasoning she deserved far better) are still single. They’re busy searching for the perfect man.
What do you think about this story? How do you choose your partners? Would you marry someone from a lower socioeconomic background?
Well, do you want to learn more? Check out my upcoming program… Business Geisha.
Psychologist, family therapist, author
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