Would You Marry Someone Who Didn’t Have A Job?

Love and money, money and love — the two are so inextricably linked that innumerable films as well as rap songs have been made pondering their tangled, timeless affair.

And while it might seem like we post-feminist fourth-wavers should have gotten well beyond factoring finances into our marriage decisions, a new survey done by Forbes Woman and YourTango finds that the modern lady is no fool — 75% said that they would not marry a man who is unemployed.

Now, obviously, it makes a big difference what we mean when we say “unemployed.” There’s the kind of unemployment that has to do with a lack of desire to be a functioning adult, but someone like that is probably missing a few other important qualities that a gal might be looking for in a mate.

But if the person you were planning on marrying lost their job, or is between jobs, or is going through a career change, and then you decide not to marry them, that’s a little trickier. On one hand, that smacks of marrying for money, which we don’t judge as long as you’re being honest about your intentions. On the other hand, well, shit is expensive, and if only one partner is employed, it can really put a damper on your plans for the future — house, kids, etc.

Then there’s the whole other issue of dating. Like Darrin, a sad, single, unemployed 31-year-old sack in Meghan Casserly’s Forbes post about the survey who laments his obligation to answer the question “What do you do?” from potentially interested women, I imagine that lots of men get the shaft in the dating world when they’re not gainfully employed. Although part of me suspects that some men — especially men who make a lot of money — might also wonder about the intentions of an unemployed lady who was pursuing them.

What do you think? Would you marry someone who didn’t have a job?

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    • Renae

      I actually considered marrying my friend while he was unemployed for financial aid reasons. Being married would make me independent for the FAFSA, and his being unemployed would mean that I wouldn’t have to worry about his income affecting my EFC.

      I also know some people in the military who marry friends so they can get the BAH (basic allowance for housing, which is not taxed). I knew someone whose enlisted spouse received about $1,300/month for BAH. The enlisted paid the civilian spouse $400/month just to stay married. The non-enlisted spouse lived at home with their parents rent free.

    • Eileen

      It would depend on how otherwise stable he was. Location is a big issue to consider when getting married, so someone who is likely to have to move to find a new job is a bigger risk than someone temporarily between jobs in more less the same city. (This, for example, is why I’d never marry an academic who didn’t have tenure or a reasonable expectation of getting it) Basically, it’s not that I would mind supporting a husband financially; it’s that I would want him to have an interesting life of his own and that I’m unwilling to follow his career around the country (I’m not Gladys Knight, and I’m not going to move to Georgia…)

    • Daisy

      Like you said already, a lot depends on the reasons of his unemployment. If he’s in between jobs, and he has been employed during the time you were dating and/or engaged, then I don’t see the problem. Sure, things won’t get easier on one income, but you’re pretty sure he’ll land another job in the (near) future.

      Then there are, as you mentioned, those men who just don’t want to be a functioning adult. Actually, I just had one of my (not so close) friends declare his love for me recently. Apparantly he’s been head over heels for quite some time, he’s very smart (smarter than me), he has a wicked sense of humour and… he hasn’t had a steady job since I met him years ago. So yeah, that’s a dealbreaker for me, obviously.

      It’s not even about the money, it’s to do with ambition as well. I have two degrees, a nice job, I own my own house at 26. So yes, I want to move forward in life, and I want a man who thinks the same. I don’t think there is anything wrong with that, either.


      • Tom Hearing

        You have a Master’s degree and paid off your house @ 26! Kudos to you!!!

        You should have no problem with a “kept” man.

    • Carly

      To jump on the band wagon; it depends on the reason and length of their unemployment. That being said, as long as they were typically ambitious and stable (having only fallen on hard times) I would absolutely still marry them. I wouldn’t divorce them for losing their job either.

    • sue

      no, especially if the person hasn;t had a job in a long time. if he was looking and had goals and purpose then we might could work around that.

    • sbw

      This is an obvious double standard. High paid executive men will oftentimes marry a woman without a job, and they will gladly support a full-time stay-at-home spouse just so that they can put their career as their highest priority, even higher than their family, knowing that their spouse will take care of all the family needs.

      On the other hand, how many women are willing to support a full-time stay-at-home spouse? That is the primary reason for the huge imbalance between the numbers of men and women in the high-paid executive ranks of most large corporations.

      • James

        SBW-WOW ! Beautifully said and so factual. Good thinking

    • becca

      Yes!! Love comes first. My love was just out of the Army and couldn’t find a job. He was going to relocate to another state to look for work and wanted me to join him after he found a job.
      I said no way! I was going with him no matter what. And family wanted us married before we left, so we got married.
      Within a few weeks he had a job and we had an apartment.
      that was 40 years ago and he is still the love of my life.

    • Brenda Fortson

      Yes, I would marry my man. Because when i meant him he had a job. But now he has lost his job he will b blessed with another job. And also because I Love him.

    • Rachel

      Why are people talking about the reaction towards men. Most men wouldn’t marry a women who did n’t have work why is that not talked about?

    • James

      It’s topics like this that really frustrate the modern man. The modern woman has choices, “equal rights ” ” women’s lib” but and here is the frustration part. Men don’t have choices , we have to work all our lives, if not we are failures. Women have choices, ” I dont have to work that’s the hubbys responsibility. Or early retirement for wife because hubby has a penis and it’s his duty. And I know from experience there are several times I envy a women who is setting on the corner reading a book rocking the striker as I am on my drive to my very stressful worrisome career job as an overpaid babysitter dealing with 6 bosses and 50 immature employees. It’s time for women to tell the truth about hard working good men who do the heavy lifting. Also I do believe in equal right , opportunity and love women it’s just I need more money like most men to keep up with the economy.