Miranda is a magazine junkie. I have to indulge my habit very carefully or I’d buy up every magazine at the stand. Marie Claire is one of my favorites. This month there were two articles in particular that I think my doppelganger must have written.
One was about how approximately 30% of women who get married admit that they had second thoughts as they were going down the aisle and that they only got married because it felt like it was time for them to settle down. Ummm, yep. My situation totally up and down.
The second article was about how more and more women are paying alimony – or rather manimony - which we all know Miranda is cursed with for another 23 months. Not that I’m counting or anything. According to pop culture that makes me an Alpha Wife.
An Alpha Wife wears the pants in the family because they make more money than their husbands. Whoever has the most money wears the pants. It’s true. It was certainly true in my relationship. It might have looked like we were equal partners on the surface but we both knew I was carrying the lion’s share of responsibility for our family and it threw the dynamics of our relationship WAY off.
If you look at all the celebrity Alpha Wives, every single one out earned their spouse and they all paid alimony. That’s right. Miranda actually has something in common (other than her gender) with Madonna, Halle Berry, Sharon Stone, Kirstie Alley, Janet Jackson, Anne Hache, Jennifer Lopez, Elizabeth Taylor, Britney Spears, and Christie Brinkley just to name a few. All of these women were or are Alpha Wives because they called the shots in their relationships due to their greater earning power.
I can’t tell you how many times in the last year I’ve gotten shocked reactions when I tell people I pay alimony to Duckie. And women paying alimony is a growing trend as more and more women are out earning their husbands. According to the US Census Bureau, the number of American men receiving alimony has more than doubled in the last 10 years.
Before you say I’m just bitching because I pay, let the record show that I don’t think anyone “deserves” alimony. Especially not two income families where spouses both worked full time. For me and Duckie, the only reason he wasn’t earning more money was because he had no drive to excel. We started out with him earning more. That lasted for about a year then I started outpacing him up the career ladder and his own insecurities kept him from striving for more work or hell even going back to school to finish his college degree. Which I used to encourage him to do all the time!When the lower wage-earner spouse just earns less because that is his or her chosen path, why should the higher wage earner spouse have to pay? It makes no sense to me. If it wasn’t for our kids, I’d probably have fought Duckie tooth and nail to avoid the alimony and tell him to get off his ass and get a better job. But it wasn’t worth the damage to my kids to make my point.
If this had been a case of him giving up work to support my career or be a househusband I would feel very differently. But those are entirely different circumstances. This was him simply enjoying the riding on Miranda’s tail feathers.
So ladies, take some advice from Miranda. If you have a career, only date men who make more money than you. And if you end up with someone who earns less, get a freaking pre-nuptial agreement. They are not just for rich people! I know pre-nups are unromantic and harsh but at the root of it, marriage is an economic contract between two people. Yes it’s about love and joining your lives but it’s also about taking on each other’s debts, paying bills jointly, and providing financial support for one another. Learn a lesson from old Miranda because no matter how good mine and Duckie’s relationship is, it still is a bitter, bitter pill to swallow each month when I write that alimony check.