The Millionaire Next Door

Unselfish Spouse = Wife for Life

I have been receiving an increasing number of inquiries about “will I be happy, will I be rich” if I marry Susie, Sally . . . ?  Guys, I don’t have a crystal ball when it comes to choice of spouse.  All I can tell you are the qualities of a spouse that contributed to millionaires’ successful marriages.  The large majority (86%) of male millionaires report that “being unselfish” is a major contributor.  Also, most of these millionaires tell me that their wives were raised in a loving, stable and nurturing environment.  Acute jealousy and envy of the consumption habits of the so-called rich kids were generally not part of their early socialization process.  Therefore, today they are not driven by the need to hyperconsume to overcompensate for “humble beginnings.”


As I stated in the chapter “Choice of Spouse” from The Millionaire Mind:


The typical millionaire couple has been together for nearly thirty years and their bond tends to be permanent as well as economically productive.   . . . ask the husband or wife to explain their household’s productivity . . . .  Each gives substantial credit to the other.


For every 100 millionaires who say that having a supportive spouse was not important in explaining their economic success, there are 1,317 who indicate their spouse was important.  Of the 100 who did not give credit to their spouse, 22 were never married and 23 were either divorced or separated.  That leaves only 55 in 1,317 [4.2%] who believed that their spouse did not play an important role in their economic success.

3 thoughts on “Unselfish Spouse = Wife for Life”

  1. Some spouses, husbands and wives, are a hurdle to financial success.

    It’s comforting to see that this number is so low.

    As a statistical matter you would think more frugal and productive people would marry an otherwise responsible and respectible person who feel the need to compensate for their upbringing.

  2. Here’s what John Calvin had to say about selecting a wife:

    In 1539 when John Calvin was 30, his friend Farel wrote to him with the suggestion that he had found a woman who would be perfect for Calvin to marry. Calvin wrote back, explaining that he was not especially the marrying type, and that only a certain kind of woman could possibly suit him:

    “Remember what I especially desire to meet with in a wife. I am not, you know, of the number of those inconsiderate lovers who adore even the faults of the woman who charms them. I could only be pleased with a lady who is sweet, chaste, modest, economical, patient, and careful of her husband’s health. Has she of whom you have spoken to me these qualities? Come with her. If not, let us say no more.”

    The next year, Calvin married that woman, Idelette de Bure

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