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The Pandemic Reveals the Danger When Women Rely on Romance

Depending on a partner financially puts women at great risk

“That blueprint we give women isn’t working for us anymore, the blueprint that says one person can kind of resign from the responsibility of taking charge of her own life and hand that over to someone else, that is not a viable blueprint for the length and the challenges of the typical adult life in the 21st century. … The pandemic is just another version of what I was writing about. You can’t necessarily in the long run count on anybody but yourself so you need to take responsibility for your own life, you need to plan for various eventualities, some of which may not be the ones you want, and figure out how you can survive them. Because it’s a long journey and life presents a lot of challenges if you live long enough.”

“I often wonder: If I had been dependent on James financially, would I have walked out so easily? It brings up a question that can only be posed uneasily: Is it better for the longevity of a marriage if one party (usually the woman) feels financially trapped? … I still would love to experience life as a pampered princess, at least once. I’d love to be the kind of woman you see in jewelry commercials around the holidays who sits before a fire, a cashmere throw over her knees. Suddenly, her beloved swoops in with a velvet-covered box, bearing some hideous pendant that nevertheless cost real money. I envy this woman because she is so taken with her beloved’s generosity. She never says, “Honey, why did you buy me this piece of crap when you know I need a new crown on my back molar?” … I would love to be a woman who is able to indulge in the magical thinking that romance always matters more than money.”

Award-winning journalist, coauthor of “The New I Do: Reshaping Marriage for Skeptics, Realists and Rebels,” mom, changing the narrative about older women

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