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Hands Up Who Wants to Marry a Bllionaire?

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By Amy Wilson author of Relationship Status

Your alarm goes off at 6.30am; it's black dark and bucketing with rain outside.

If only you didn't have to get up and go to work, if only you were in the Caribbean... If only you were married to someone extremely rich then your life would be a lot better at this moment.
But apart from giving you another few hours in bed on a miserable winter morning, would it really?

Sure, you would have the consolation of staff to do all your mundane chores, beautiful clothes, large diamonds, a personal trainer to keep you in shape, opportunities to travel and to meet powerful and interesting people.

Actually, all those things would console me very nicely, I hear you cry. But before I talk myself out of my own argument, consider what it really means to be married to a billionaire.
Firstly, in order to do so you'll need an enormous brain and to have established a very successful career for yourself. A pretty face is no longer enough - the ultra-successful tech start-up guy is not marrying the air hostess or model anymore. That doesn't give you licence to be ugly by the way - you'll need to be attractive and well groomed as well as supremely well qualified.

But despite your degree from Cambridge or your MBA from Harvard, as soon as you marry your billionaire, everyone will call you a scheming gold-digger anyway.

Consider Priscilla Chan, who married Facebook creator Mark Zuckerberg in May. The couple had been together for nine years, and earlier that week she had qualified as a doctor at one of top medical schools in the US. She also has a degree from Harvard, where she met Zuckerberg, whereas he left before graduating. But the wedding took place the day after Facebook floated on the stock market for $16 billion, leading to a tsunami of comments on sites like Twitter along the lines of "Mark Zuckerberg has changed his status to 'Married', Priscilla Chan has changed hers to 'Jackpot'."

How incredibly insulting. But if you marry a billionaire, you must expect all your achievements to be overshadowed by his, unless you go on to earn billions more than him under your own steam.

Secondly, having built up your successful career, you can expect to give it all up for charity work and public appearances pretty swiftly.

The kind of work suitable for a rich man's wife does not seem to have moved on particularly since the early nineteenth century. Good Works and Helping the Poor are still the main avenues open to you, although it will now involve setting up a foundation in your name, rather than visiting local invalids with baskets of food.

No one is denying the good done by organisations like the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, but who knows if Mrs Gates would have carried on developing new software for Microsoft - she worked on the Expedia and Encarta systems - if she hadn't married the boss?

There's also the obligation to be seen at your husband's side at all the high-profile events of his life, be they good or bad. Wendi Deng was a junior executive at one of Rupert Murdoch's TV companies in Hong Kong when she met and later married the media mogul. What is she best known for now? Jumping in to defend her husband when he was hit by a custard pie during his testimony in an investigation into phone hacking at his British newspapers. While her quick reflexes and colour-blocking outfit were much admired, it may not be the career-defining moment she was hoping for when she was studying for an MBA at Yale.

Of course a new generation of highly successful women like Spanx founder Sara Blakely have become billionaires through their own ingenuity, without marrying or being born into money. But they still have to get up and go to work when it's cold and dark outside.

Amy Wilson is author of Relationship Status published by Endeavour Press.