Gold Digger or True Love? Navigating Intermarriage in Affluent Families

Jane* ended her call abruptly, her heart pounding. “Who is that?” Loveth questioned, obviously without expecting an answer.

“Mom, I must be honest,” she replied, “I’m in love.”

“Are you telling me you haven’t ended the nonsense you people are doing? That Ola or what do you call him again?”

“Mum, you won’t understand.”

“I don’t want to understand,” she fumed, “just let it end before I involve your father.”

Jane’s parents weren’t against love, of course, but Jane was marrying into a world far removed from their own. Loveth and her husband had clawed their way out of a working-class background, sacrificing parties with friends for extra shifts, and scrimping to save for their business. Now, their daughter was falling for someone who lives on privileges.

Like Loveth, many affluent families face a unique dilemma in their children’s choice of relationships. It happens whether their child is a male or female. Their primary concern often revolves around the new partner’s true intentions. Does this person genuinely love their child, or are they attracted to the wealth and lifestyle? This worry is rooted in a deep understanding of the sacrifices it takes to build a fortune. Loveth remembers the constant concerns, the missed parties, and the relentless drive that pushed her family to succeed. Can this newcomer, who might not know the value of a hard-earned dollar, truly appreciate the legacy Jane is about to inherit? Does he have the mentality that can sustain success?

This skepticism can sometimes manifest in drastic ways, involving coercion, legal intervention, and even sending their child abroad. While it may seem discriminatory, it’s often born out of genuine concern. Think about your journey. The late nights, the constant pressure, the discouragements and rejections, and the sheer grit it takes to build something from scratch. Trust, especially in such a significant life decision, is hard-won.

If your parents are successful, a healthy dose of skepticism from potential partners is inevitable. Let’s face it, love stories between a prince and a pauper are the stuff of fairytales. African films portray this as love between a prince and a village girl, or a princess and a poor farmer. Some American and Korean films portray this as love between an unemployed teenager and a girl from an affluent background. How many of such have you witnessed in reality?

The truth is that parental wealth alone doesn’t guarantee a happy ending. It’s the values instilled through upbringing that matter most. Successful parents must avoid over-pampering their children. This could hinder them from developing emotional intelligence and building solid relationships. Life experiences, not material comfort, shape the ability to navigate complex emotions and grow empathy.

As you can see, skepticism isn’t one-sided. First, people entering relationships with affluent individuals often face concerns about whether the children uphold values that can sustain a quality relationship. This is followed by the anxiety of being labelled a gold-digger or fortune hunter. Respect, like trust, should be earned through hard work and genuine connection, regardless of financial status.

So, what is the summary?

For parents, it’s about instilling the value of sacrifice in their children. This can be done through practical experiences – household chores, work opportunities, volunteerism, and encouraging entrepreneurial ventures. Idle hands often lead to idle minds and a sense of entitlement. Intentional parenting involves guiding the children to develop a strong work ethic and appreciation for effort.

Truly, relocating to affluent neighborhoods may protect children from certain dangers, but isolation isn’t the solution. Humans thrive on real social connections, which benefits our mental well-being and understanding of the world.

Regardless of socioeconomic background, children can acquire important skills and become valuable to society. One heartwarming example is the experience of Tunde Onakoya, the Nigerian who won the recent chess marathon in Times Square, New York City. Despite growing up in the slums of Makoko in Lagos State where many children were exposed to hard substances, he didn’t give up on achieving his dream and inspiring the next generation. What would have been your perception of him before he rose to stardom? Like Loveth, mentioned earlier in this article, you might have thrown his name in the waste bin. That is a reminder to approach every human with empathy and understanding.

Tunde Onakoya | Source: premiumtimesng

Remember, valuable qualities such as resilience, humility, and empathy are crucial for a child’s development. Let’s invest in their future by encouraging them to understand the value of hard work, build healthy relationships, and create their legacies, not just inherit one. All these can contribute to their mental well-being.

We would love to hear from you. Have you or your parents faced similar situations as Jane, Loveth, and Ola? How did you handle it? And how can we bridge the gap between different socioeconomic backgrounds? Please comment and follow us on social media for more content promoting unity and good mental health.

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*The names Jane, Ola, and Loveth used in this narration do not represent real people, nor is the story real. But these depict real-life scenarios.

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One Response

  1. Though it’s complicated, you must have capacity, clear goals, drive, and reputation to marry a lady from an affluent family.

    Your industriousness as a lady from the majority can put the family at ease. So, stay busy and fend for yourself.

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