3 Tiny Signs You Might Be A Trophy Wife

Financial infidelity is a thing.

Blissfully unaware trophy wife Prostock-Studio | Canva

It's the Cinderella story. You marry the man of your dreams and he's a prince, otherwise known as rich enough to support you so that you don't need to work for a living and can spend your life eating bonbons and living a life of leisure. Is this fairy tale all it's cracked up to be? Not necessarily. What are the downsides?

There are pitfalls to this arrangement; problems that may not show up immediately. The fantasy of being taken care of is a powerful one. It can be an extension of childhood where we are loved, cared for, and protected without adult responsibility. One problem in this arrangement is that the caretaker may begin to view the other adult as a dependent child. Power is a factor in these types of relationships. The breadwinner can easily feel taken advantage of once the thrill of conquest is past. The wage earner often feels entitled to make decisions without questions about matters that affect the family and also may feel they should be free of criticism of how they spend their time, where they go, and what they do.


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Here are 3 signs you're a trophy wife:

1. You don't have any financial power

Often, I hear the women in these relationships complain about a lack of power in their marriage. "I'm an adult!" they cry but they have relinquished, by the nature of the financial arrangement, a degree of adult independence. Men in these relationships often feel justified in spending money without question. They may love to lavish gifts on their wives or girlfriends but they may not allow their financial autonomy to make those decisions independently.

@msmoneymartin Important PSA if you know anyone without financial autonomy in their marriage #personalfinance #womenpower #womeninvestors #moneytok #savingmoney ♬ original sound - MsMoneyMartin

2. You hide your spending

What often occurs is sneaking around behind the breadwinner's back. A trophy wife may start hiding purchases or squirreling money away to buy items of which her spouse does not approve. When the breadwinner partner does things that the woman (and it is still primarily women in these arrangements) objects to, she can become angry and frustrated when the man responds, "I work hard all the time, I can do what I like. I don't have to listen to you." The pattern is set: parent and child, employer and employee. The more this continues, the more resentful both parties are likely to become. This can lead to the eventual breakdown of a loving relationship.


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3. You aren't looped into major financial decisions

While trophy wives may pay everyday household bills, the man typically makes all the major financial decisions such as when to buy a house, how much to spend on a house, education for children, and investment decisions. I am constantly appalled to learn how even highly educated women in these marriages are ignorant of finances: "Oh, he does all that." Women are often completely unaware of how much income is made, how much there is in savings, and what investments are made for the family. Just because a man is successful in his career, whether it be a business, finance, law, or medicine, does not mean they make sensible decisions about spending and investments. A trophy wife may choose to remain ignorant of these matters or the breadwinner spouse may exclude her from knowledge and decisions.

@thechiderapeters Not sure why but seeing women choose ignorance when it comes to family/combined finances triggeers me a lot because why are you putting yourself at risk sis? Why? #personalfinanceforwomen #personalfinance #uk #couplestiktok #moneytips #moneytoks #womensrights #financialeducation #finance101 #financialplanning ♬ original sound - Chidera | Money + Lifestyle

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You might be wondering what happens if the relationship turns sour. As I've pointed out there are pitfalls in this type of relationship that can cause it to deteriorate. If it is the woman who thinks about leaving, she often feels trapped by her financial dependency and her habituation to a life of ease. I often work with women who are unhappy and ready to leave their men who have no idea about their financial position and what will happen to them if they divorce. They often feel stuck with men they no longer love or respect. Couples in these relationships can be happy if they are open about their situation, discuss it fully before they assume set roles, and constantly negotiate their relationship as well as their finances. Happily Ever After IS a fairy tale. You have to work at it to make it work out. Unlike a fairy tale, the story does not end when you marry the prince.

RELATED: Being A Trophy Wife Was The Most Dehumanizing Experience Of My Life

Dr. Robin Goldstein is a licensed Psychologist and Past President of the Palm Chapter of the Florida Psychological Association. Her work employs an active, empowering approach that is geared toward breaking dysfunctional patterns, increasing self-understanding and maximizing growth and strength.