Are "trophy" women right to expect some form of tribute in relationships with average looking men?

A local businessman has been engaged for around a year now and recently broke off his engagement a few weeks ago. The reason is that his fiance with whom life had been fabulous to that point re sex, life, love etc. more or less stated that she expected her Christmas present to be a diamond tennis bracelet since that is what he got his ex-wife. She knows because it’s a small, local upper/upper-middle class social set. He’s been divorced about 10 years).

At first he laughed at her and thought she was joking, but he rapidly discovered she was as serious as a heart attack and a breakup fight ensued. He’s a bright, hardworking guy with a fairly successful company, but he’s quite average looks wise, and she’s a few notches up on the looks ladder vs him. He’s in his mid 40’s and she’s a bit younger, but not more than 5-6 years.

He’s decided to move on, but after hearing the story I had to ask myself if she was really wrong in being aggrieved. In most of these scenarios there’s usually a tacit quid pro quo where the trophy woman, in exchange for fabbo sex and arm candy presence etc., usually expects to be rewarded on some level (often materially) for these services. If she is not then he is (on some level) breaking the deal.

Her specific metric was that he should treat her no worse than he treated his ex wife back in the day who got a big, spangly tennis bracelet as an engagement Christmas present. His laughing at her expectation of this was a dire insult.

Was she wrong to demand diamonds?

She comes across as a selfish whore. The real quibble is the amount she thought she should be “paid” for her “services.” No love lost because there appears to be no love to lose.

Before I start calling anyone names here, I’ll acknowledge that if the relationship they have is indeed trophy woman and guy who supports her in style, and they are both good with that, then yeah, he did break the “contract.” I don’t think either of them are people I’d enjoy hanging out with, but I can see her point.

If everything in regards to their relationship (sex, love, etc) was good, then it doesn’t really seem like a trophy wife situation. People don’t deserve compensation for being in a regular relationship with someone uglier than they are.

Sounds more like a case of immaturity and jealousy to me.

Seems more like plain old jealousy then trophy-wife entitlement to me. I guess I would be a little miffed too in her case. Suppose my husband gave his ex, back when they were together, a really big gift. Or made a really romantic gesture. He knows I know this. When I let drop some jealous hints that I would like something similar (say, a romantic poem) he laughs in my face. Yeah, you reckon there would be a fight.

It doesn’t really matter that this women wanted diamonds. Everyone identifies primarily with one of the five love languages: Words of Affirmation, Quality Time, Receiving Gifts, Acts of Service, and Physical Touch. For this woman, it was gifts. For me, it is acts of service. If my husband remodelled the kitchen when he was together with his ex, but laughs in my face when I want him to hang some new kitchen cabinets…whoa boy.

From him, apparently yes.

From my perspective, her request/demand plainly put the relationship at a commercial level. I can see him having a general awareness that part of what she wanted was the financial benefits of being with him – nice house, nice car, etc… But insisting on that particular gift takes it from a matter of generally being well-supported to putting a specific price on her company. It seems to lay it out that there is NOTHING worthwhile for her in this partnership besides the bucks.

For all we know, he may have been planning to get her something even more fabulous and expensive than what she asked for, but couldn’t abide the crassness of her stipulation. He would do better with a trophy wife with a little more heart and a little less greed.

Dwelling on what he did with/for his ex is childish. Demanding the diamond bracelet was incredibly shallow at best, and straight up prostitution at worst.

Unless she stated right up front that she was only with him for his cash, and that she had no genunine, emotional attraction or bond with him, then she had no contract, and was entitled to nothing. If she presented herself honestly as a prostitute, exchanging sex for material rewards, thm she would have more claim on a “contract” of sorts. If she was trying to pretend she as really in love with him and cared about him, then she’s the definition of a gold digger.

Just because one partner is more attractive than the other doesn’t mean a relationship can’t be real, by the way. My wife is way more attractive than me. I think women, in particular, are able to see past looks and find qualities to genuinely fall in love with other than superficial, physical attractiveness.

May I suggest that you are reasoning from a less than stable set of assumptions?

Gifts are just that: gifts. Anyone who demands a specific gift from me has just ended the relationship. I don’t care who they are or what they look like. I’ve got better things to do.

Well… it’s kind of expected that men will give women gifts for well… being women. It’s a social expectation as old as the cave, and I honestly think most men enjoy getting stuff for women. It satisfies some very deep male impulse. I wouldn’t mind a woman giving me some guidance on what she likes at Christmas, but it’s my decision to execute that wish or not.

Agreed. But if the “guidance” is in the form of “buy me a Lexus or I’m gone”, then I guess she’s gone.

The only thing I’d really object to is if it really were a straightforward extortionary scheme… she claims to be entering into a marriage as a romantic relationship, and then changes it to an explicitly transactional arrangement after that. That would be deceptive and wrong. But it sounds a little more complicated than that.

I think what upsets this lady is that it’s a visible sign of a status change between the first marriage and the second marriage. Either the husband doesn’t value her in the same way as his first wife, or his financial status has gone down since his second marriage. It’s the same whether it’s a diamond bracelet or a trip to Applebees on their anniversary… he’s less generous with his second wife, and everyone knows it.

The man is an idiot if he thinks he can stop observing an established social norm without changing his social group or the type of woman he marries. It’s like thinking you can drive on the opposite side of the road just because you bought a new car. Same road, same rules.

Hmm, so he is getting his ex better/more expensive presents than his fiance? I assum she would not have a problem with the bracelet per se if she were being valued as highly or higher than the ex. Maybe there are other issues going on. I think I would have a bit of a problem with a fiance who is showering his ex with expensive presents. Diamonds aside, I would want to know if I’m taking a back seat to the ex in terms of the relationship.

My impression was that the bracelet was something he had bought for his ex when they were married, not something he was giving her currently, but I could be mistaken about that. If he was buying his ex-wife more expensive gifts than his current fiance, I could understand why that would be more upsetting to her.

No. Read the whole OP and you’ll see the comparison is to what he gave his ex in the past, before he had actually married her.

I don’t think it’s “right” or “wrong.” Those terms don’t really apply to the situation.

Apparently, what she’s looking for in a relationship is someone who provides her diamond tennis bracelets. Her “trophy” status isn’t really relevant. If that’s what she wants (and since it’s not something that hurts anyone), she should pursue that. Apparently, he was looking for a different relationship. They found out that their expectations didn’t mesh and they moved on.

Her criteria aren’t my criteria, but that doesn’t make them “wrong,” we just have different priorities.

Of course she was wrong to “demand” diamonds. That’s just tacky. Every trophy wife knows that she can get all the diamonds she wants once the ink is dry on the marriage certificate and his credit rating = her credit rating.


Technically that’s all true - being given really expensive presents is apparently very important to this woman and she should go find a man who is happy to oblige - but I think I can safely add myself to the consensus that thinks she was being hopelessly shallow.

Which makes me think that despite the crassness of the expectation/demand that she really was looking for indications of a real bilateral “love me (but give me what I want)” relationship vs a more unilateral and mercenary “I’ll wait till we’re married and then I’ll get what I want” scenario.

I don’t know how applicable the words “right” and “wrong” are, but it’s certainly quite shallow and greedy to exploit a relationship for material goods. It’s disingenuous to say that it’s just one thing that people can look for in a relationship. She doesn’t want a relationship at all. She just wants to use a guy to get stuff. Whether it’s meaningful to call that “wrong” or not, it’s not exactly admirable, and it’s not a character trait that begs for respect.

Well that makes the fiance’s demand even more crass and ridculous. He did the right thing firing her.