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Why I’d Rather My Daughter Marry A Rich Man To Take Care Of Her Instead Of Go To University

This article was previously published on The Mail Online and written by Jocelyn Cook. 

A mother’s hopes and expectations for her daughter are always high, but mine are exacting. I want my only child Megan to marry well and I’ve earmarked a young chap I think will make an excellent husband for her.

He’s called Edward, he has a winning smile, dark hair, blue eyes and he’s always immaculately dressed. More pertinently, he has affluent parents whose palatial detached home set in two acres of Kent countryside reeks of money and impeccable taste.

Horses graze in the paddock, a couple of luxury cars stand on the sweeping gravel drive and a swimming pool sparkles on a terrace with stunning views of the Downs.

Edward’s father Dan is a high-earning City broker, his mother, Sarah, a housewife who has the leisure and money to lunch regularly with friends — me included.

Sarah’s life is precisely the one I covet for Megan: privileged, cosseted and above all, wealthy.

That’s why Edward would have my unequivocal approval as a prospective son-in-law.

It may surprise you that I am being so forthright about my ambitions for Megan. What will doubtless cause more astonishment is the fact that she is still a baby — just six months old — and her little friend Edward is only just approaching his first birthday.

But in the same way that upper-class parents put their unborn children’s names down for Eton, I’ve already decided how I will steer my little girl on her path to womanhood. Call me a modern-day Mrs Bennet if you must, I will not be offended.

She is a gorgeous baby with blonde hair, cute little dimples, big blue eyes and delicate feminine features. I am confident she will grow up into a beautiful young woman, and her physical attractiveness will, I hope, give her an advantage.

Jocelyn with Megan when she was three months old.

Jocelyn with Megan when she was three months old.

Of course, I cannot choose her husband for her, but I can engineer social situations in which she feels most comfortable, thereby setting her in good stead when she does start looking for a life mate.

Edward, and boys like him, I hope, will raise the bar for her tastes and expectations.

Although I know it will excite outrage among my feminist friends, I am happy to admit that, given the choice, I would tell Megan to opt for a rich man over a university degree any day.

The two aren’t mutually exclusive, but she has to get her priorities straight. Look at the evidence: despite gaining 57 per cent of the first-class degrees in Britain, women represent less than 10 per cent of executives in FTSE 100 companies.

They make up half the UK’s lawyers, but only a quarter ever become a partner at the top firms.

The gender pay gap continues to yawn ever wider. Megan can work her socks off for 50 years, but will still end up earning £300,000 less over her working lifetime than a man doing the same job.

I know I lay myself open to charges of venality and materialism — and doubtless the sisterhood will think I am setting back the cause of women by more than a century — but why not encourage her to take the easy path, the one that’s going to make her happier?

She’s going to have a better life married to a rich man, than a frustrating, exhausting existence charging and railing against that glass ceiling, possibly compromising her health and chances of motherhood along the way. Fact. When I express these forthright views among my friends, they howl with protest.

“In these days of hard-fought equal opportunities I know what I’m saying is deeply politically incorrect. But I believe most mothers harbour similar covert hopes for their daughters. They want them to marry a rich man. They’re just too afraid to publicly acknowledge it.”


I’ve thought hard about the lifestyle I’d want for Megan and it is the one, in an ideal world, I would have chosen for myself.

I’m married to a man I love. We’ve been together for five years and married for two, and we have an enviably comfortable lifestyle and a pretty three-bedroom Victorian terrace home in the most desirable area of Tunbridge Wells.

But boy have I had to work hard to achieve this.

We’re both now 34 and our joint salaries qualify us as high earners, but we are still way out of the league of many of my friends. I wish I didn’t have to work as much as I do, and had fewer financial pressures. Who doesn’t?

I was back at my computer when Megan was three months old so we could afford our winter breaks in the Caribbean, our summer holidays in Europe and our meals out in the finest gastro pubs.

And I intend to bring up my daughter with high standards.

I’d be horrified if she looked slovenly or unkempt, and strive to make sure I set a good example. I expect her to covet fashionable clothes and handbags. I hope she will be imbuing from me the habit of grooming.

Of course, I don’t want Megan to be bereft of intelligent conversation or academic talent — far from it — and for these reasons I hope she will work hard and succeed at school.

“A well-informed wife with the ability to hold her own in dinner party conversations and sparkle with wit is an asset. Few high-powered men are attracted to diffident, mouse-like women, however pretty.”

That said, I contend that the pursuit of an ideal husband should take precedence over the slavish acquisition of academic qualifications.

If Megan asked to go out to dinner with a wealthy boyfriend on the night before an A-level exam, I would sanction the outing with the compromise that she should come home early.

I’ve thought, too, about the awful prospect of her bringing home the ‘wrong sort’ of boyfriend. Teenagers can be wilful, obdurate and rebellious.

And I also know if she decides — heaven forbid — to throw in her lot with someone unsuitable, the worst thing I could do would be to forbid the association.


So in the unlikely — and horrifying — eventuality that Megan decided to defy my wishes, I’d sit her down and gently explain the future she would be consigning herself to if she persisted in her perverse choice.

A rented bedsit. Squalling kids. A dreary succession of summer breaks at holiday camps, if she was lucky. No beautiful wedding in a stately home or honeymoon on the Amalfi Coast — because I wouldn’t be shelling out for it.

And yes, yes, I know, I’m a crashing snob, but be honest, which mother doesn’t agree with me?

“Some of you will be muttering, ‘But what if they’re in love?’ and my riposte would be, ‘love withers and dies quickly when it isn’t nurtured and fed with a liberal sprinkling of cash’.”

I know my husband takes a softer line than I do on this. He wants Megan to be comfortable financially, but he would rather she married a man who cherished her — which naturally I also want — but I also want that one who’s rich.

I’ve thought long and hard, too, about the wisdom of investing in a university education for my daughter.

Yes, it’s premature. We have no idea, I concede, what Megan’s talents and aptitudes will be.

Going to university is a costly business and I see it as a commercial decision. What is the payback and is it worth the money?

I went to university in Brighton and took a sports degree, then a post-graduate course in media. I had an absolute ball.

But would I choose this for Megan? Emphatically not, because she’s unlikely to meet a man there who is ideal husband material.

A degree is only worth the investment nowadays if it leads to a good match.


What is university, after all, if not a glorified dating agency? Never, at any future time in her life will Megan be surrounded by more single men. But they have to be from the right backgrounds.

Bolton? Sunderland? Salford? Good Lord no! But Oxford, Cambridge, Bath or St Andrews? I’d sanction any one of them because she’ll be surrounded by high-achieving young men from wealthy families.

“And the truth is, even if Megan is entrepreneurial and sets up her own business, I would not want her to endure the worry of it all and the endless conflicting demands on her time.”

Equally I’d be appalled if she married the sort of man who aspired to be a house-husband or even some sweet-natured ‘new man’ who insisted on sharing the childcare and household chores.

Far better an ambitious young businessman or banker who had the resources to pay for a cleaner and nanny. Then she will be free to pursue any ambitions she might have without needing to worry about paying the mortgage.

I am content with my life and my loving husband, but we all dream of better for our children. Why wish upon them mediocrity and second best? That is why I already have my sights set on young Edward.

When, next April, Megan celebrates her first birthday — not at some godforsaken ball park or McDonald’s, but at a chic little café I’ve already earmarked for the party — my first task will be to deliver a gilt-edged invitation to Edward’s door.

This article was previously published on The Mail Online and written by Jocelyn Cook. 

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