A Tarnished Trophy Wife

We all know the trophy wife stereotype often referred to be a “bimbo” or “arm candy.” Her main job is to look sexy, be sexy, and make the husband feel sexy.  But I think there is more to this – the classic trophy wife has changed.  Beware: if successful, today’s trophy wife can get your husband, his money, and your money. 

The new trophy wife is the result of the rise of feminism and increased female participation in the workplace.  She is still much younger than her husband – slim, beautiful, and accomplished.  Today she also must be intelligent.  She probably has a career and is successful but not not the extent that he is.  A big part of her job is to look good, make him look good, and rebuild his social life.  Typically, the trophy wife is a second wife, and there is a prenuptial agreement.  This second wife is often replaced with a third version in a few years – one with the same prerequisites.  There may be children in each of these marriages.

There are trophy wife collectors.  I am sure you can think of several celebrity marriages that fit into this category. Oftentimes, the last trophy wife is replaced just before the prenuptial agreement is set to expire.  A replacement is on the way.  If you have been the second wife, the trophy wife, this can be devastating.

I should note here that the media has recently become enamored with yet another trophy wife stereotype.  This version of the trophy wife is not viewed as arm candy.  Rather she is a strong, self-possessed, professional and armed with a potent educational background, lots of ambition, substantial income, and good looks to boot. In other words, she is a likely candidate to be an alpha earner (a woman who earns 60% or more of the household income).

In my book, Fair Share Divorce, Second Edition, I discuss how to create a fair share divorce if you are the trophy wife now finding yourself being replaced.

Contemporary men seem to be increasingly attracted to these characteristics.  Some observers see this as a major shift in male values.  I believe it is creating a whole new category of divorce – I call it the “alpha-alpha” divorce group.  It is populated by mutually ambitious, high income couples desiring a mate worthy of of their own skills, accomplishments, and successes.  Children are secondary to career, and any significant change in one spouse’s stature places intense strain on the relationship.  It will be interesting to watch how this new category continues to emerge in our society.

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