So, you’ve probably heard all about trophy wives. Attractive women, usually young, married to older, wealthy men in positions of power. The term is often seen as derogatory, implying that these women are little more than statement pieces for their husbands to show off. But what about trophy husbands? Do they sail in the same boat? Are they, too, seen as convenient and good-looking objects for their wives?
First of all, trophy husbands are relatively rare. Also, there’s a major overlap between a trophy husband and a stay-at-home dad. In fact, a man staying home and taking care of the kids is almost a trophy husband synonym. Secondly, studies show that as recently as 2020, the gender wage gap in the United States was still prevalent, with women earning 84% of what their male counterparts in similar positions make.
Therefore, for a woman to earn more than her husband or male partner is still more difficult than it should be. Which means it would be tougher for a woman to be the sole earning member of the household, maintaining a trophy husband and children. This would explain why trophy husbands aren’t exactly filling up census data records. But what would constitute a trophy husband in the first place?
6 Signs You Could Be A Trophy Husband
What does it mean to be a trophy husband? By now, we hope you have some clarity on the matter. Simply put, he’s the male counterpart of a trophy wife. So, the quintessential charming, handsome, good-looking young man married to a rich woman, who is possibly older and not in the same league of physical attractiveness as him.
It may be hard for many to wrap their heads around the idea that women would choose a partner based solely on his looks. That has long been considered a male bastion. However, the times they are a-changin! Even though we may have a long way to go before gender parity in the professional realm is unequivocally established, it’s also true that today more women than ever before are breaking glass ceilings and scaling professional peaks.
With this shift, it’s not so hard to see why some women may look for qualities of a trophy husband in their life partners. Breaking away from the trend of seeking partners who could offer them security, protection and affection, modern-day self-reliant, self-sustained women may just want a pretty partner who makes them look good in the public eye. Are you that partner? Let’s look at these tell-tale signs of a trophy husband to find out:
1. Your wife earns more than you do
What does it mean to be a trophy husband? Being married to a woman who is far more successful and wealthier than you. Money equals power, and there’s no doubt in anyone’s mind that your wife leads the relationship power dynamic in this marriage. Not that all trophy husbands stay at home, but it’s a foregone conclusion that your work will be less significant and not as well-paid.
It’s also possible you’ll need to put work aside and be available to take care of the house, the kids and be a general house-husband as well as a trophy. Your wife will not only be paying the bills, but she’s also in charge of pricey holidays and hotel stays and probably bought the snazzy house with a pool that you live in. Not to mention an extensive wardrobe, both for herself and you. It may seem like the perfect life from afar, but boy, it’s hard being a trophy husband.
2. She insists that you maintain a level of physical fitness
Gone is the image of the husband sprawled on the couch, beer in hand, his belly comfortably flopping over his waistband while he watches television and waits for dinner to be served. As a trophy husband, you’ll need to stay in shape. Your spouse will probably insist you hit the gym a few times a week and don’t go overboard with the carbs. A six-pack and defined muscles are probably part of the reason she chose you anyway, so she’s not going to let you get lazy about your physical maintenance.
In fact, she might also want you to invest in a good skincare routine to make sure you stay supple and glowing and youthful as long as possible. A trophy needs to be polished up at regular intervals to remain shiny and noticeable, after all. You see why being a trophy husband is exhausting. These skewed power dynamics can also take a toll on the couple’s relationship if boundaries and terms are not clearly defined and agreed upon.
3. She supervises your fashion choices
As a continuation of ensuring you’re always aesthetically pleasing, your wife probably likes to buy your clothes and have a say in your fashion choices. Not that you never get to wear sweatpants at home, as long they fit you well! But mostly, she’ll want you to be decked up for her pleasure.
No matter what trophy husband memes, taking on this role is not about chilling for the rest of your days. You’ve got to earn the perks that come with being a trophy husband. Sure, you may not need to work hard in the conventional sense, it still takes constant effort to make sure you exude the right qualities of a trophy husband.
“I liked my husband to wear long-sleeved shirts with the sleeves rolled up,” says Anna, 42. “He has very sexy forearms and I like seeing them on display. Also, shirts need to be tucked in, else it just looks slatternly.” Anna’s husband, Richard, is 30, and quite happy to do her bidding. “It’s hard at times, being the butt of trophy husband jokes,” he admits. “But mostly, it’s pretty liberating not being the breadwinner etc.”
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4. She likes showing you off in public
Like a trendy new handbag, she likes having you on her arm to show off. At glitzy events or work parties, she makes sure you’re wearing an amazing suit and she’ll introduce you with pride. You might be expected to make polite and charming conversation and impress her professional and social circle, but not too much. You’re expected to remember that she’s the star here. And everywhere. Always.
This is a clearly transactional relationship, there are no two ways about that. Your wife may always have an upper hand in your dynamics. That’s why a lot of times men realize that being a trophy husband is exhausting in the long run.
5. You need to put her career and her needs first
If she needs to work late, you need to ensure the house, kids and anything else is taken care of. If she needs to travel frequently for work, or if she needs to move countries for her career, you’re expected to pick up and follow. Apart from career, all her other needs will come first too, including sexual ones.
If she’s been working very hard and needs some release, you’ll usually be expected to deliver the goods in bed. On the flip side, if she’s not in the mood or too tired and so on, you don’t get to complain or remind her that it’s been a while. She’ll probably tell you to fly solo, and she won’t be too polite about it either! Yep, it’s hard being a trophy husband.
6. She likes to maintain control of your life
A woman with a trophy husband is very likely someone who likes to be the partner in control. She’s a boss at work, and she’s the boss in the marriage. She’s particular and you’ll have to adjust accordingly. Right from how she likes her eggs in the morning, to where you vacation, to how you dress and conduct yourself.
Not all trophy husbands live quaking in fear of their power wives, mind you. Michael, 32, who’s been married to his wife Maxine, 40, for three years now, says, “She knows what she wants, and frankly, it’s what attracted me to her in the first place. Michael doesn’t openly admit to the term ‘trophy husband’ when describing himself, because, in his words, “I’m both decorative and useful. But yes, Max is the boss everywhere she goes. She likes a hassle-free personal life, and I’m happy to provide it for her.”
Famous Trophy Husbands
It takes a lot to find trophy husband examples, but they do exist, and in fact, have existed throughout history. Speaking of top trophy husbands history has seen, the Queen’s marriage to Prince Philip shines through as a classic example. And there are several other stellar couples in public life who can join ranks with the royalty.
It’s doubtful whether all of them would agree to being called trophy husbands, but they certainly have stepped back and let their partners claim the limelight. These top trophy husband examples are proof:
1. Oprah Winfrey and Stedman Graham
Oprah Winfrey is an internationally renowned media phenomenon with a net worth running into the billions. Her long-term partner, Stedman Graham, while not younger or relegated to eye candy, has long known that Winfrey is the star of the partnership, in terms of fame, finance, and power. While theirs is certainly a partnership rather than outright power play, there’s no denying that he’s content to facilitate Winfrey’s hugely successful career in any way that he can. Who wouldn’t want a partner like that!
Related Reading: Tips From A Successful Trophy Husband
2. Jennifer Lopez and Casper Smart
Listen, as far as I’m concerned, JLo’s always the power player in her relationships, so everyone she dates or marries is a trophy. Casper Smart, a backup dancer and 18 years Lopez’s junior, was her beau for 5 whole years following her divorce from singer Marc Anthony.
In fact, JLo’s first husband, Ojani Noa, was 5 years younger than she was, and a waiter when they met. The pair was married only a year following which Noa had threatened to leak a sex tape of hers. Guess all trophies aren’t quite so shiny.
3. Madonna and…well, a lot of them
Queen of pop Madonna likes her men younger, and as lithe as she remains at age 63. Her romantic life is rife with trophy husband examples. Her current paramour Ahlamalik Williams is 27, and one in a long line of young and easy-on-the-eye men she’s chosen to bestow her attention on. From Brazilian underwear model Jesus Luz, to trainer and dancer Timor Steffens, Madge has never lacked for trophy men. And why would she!
4. Elizabeth 1 and Robert Dudley
As the queen of England, you probably have plenty of trophies all around. While Elizabeth I had more than her fair share of suitors, Robert Dudley, Earl of Leicester, was her favorite. 30 years her junior, he is known to have been head-over-heels in love with her. He couldn’t quite progress to become a trophy husband, as the queen famously never married. But their intense affection for one another was well-documented, and several theories and rumors swirled around their relationship.
5. Efren Styles and Christopher
For all my love of power wives with trophy men, my favorite trophy husband of note is a queer man called Efren Styles. His husband, Christopher (no one seems to know his last name), is a doctor, and Efren is, by his own admission, a 1950s-styled housewife, except he’s a trophy husband.
Instagram loves him – his 200,000+ followers get to gawk at his astounding lifestyle, filled with diamonds, furs and dirty martinis. Throw in his cut-glass bone structure and awe-inspiring muscles, not to mention how he carries off his furs, and it’s easy to see why he’s known, loved and probably hugely envied.
Is A Trophy Husband The Same As A Boy Toy?
The trophy husband memes will have you believe that these men are mere playthings for the women in their lives, however, that’s not necessarily the case. Of course, it’s possible that you’ll be younger, less powerful and majorly attractive if you’re a trophy husband, but it’s also possible that your relationship is based on more than good looks and sex.
While a trophy wife seems to be necessarily part and parcel of her husband’s campaign to appear virile and successful, trophy husbands could, in fact, also be emotional partners. Of course, this could be due to women being deeply conditioned to put an emotional spin on every relationship, but who says you can’t have a younger, super-sexy partner who listens to you and makes you happy!
Related Reading: 10 Reasons Why Sex With A Younger Man Is Better
Is Being A Trophy Husband A Negative Thing?
Again, this depends on your perspective. Being a trophy husband is exhausting if your partner is controlling every aspect of your life and leaves you with little time for yourself. Then again, maybe that’s what you signed up for. But on the other hand, a trophy husband synonym could just be a guy who takes care of himself, his wife and kids and home, and has no problems acknowledging that his partner is the star of the show.
Maybe a trophy husband is a really secure man, who likes bowing down to his successful, boss-woman partner. Or, he could be someone looking for a good time, having fun with his wife’s money and enjoying the pampering his status affords him. It’s quite something to have a man who’s not worried that his wife’s making more money.
There’s really no right or wrong answer here. But, if all parties concerned have been clear about expectations from the start, there’s no reason why a trophy husband and a power wife can’t be happy together.
So, Who Is A Trophy Husband?
The spectrum of a trophy husband seems to be somewhat broader than a trophy wife’s is, sometimes unfairly so. While a trophy wife is necessarily seen as a bimbo who married her husband for money and status, a trophy husband can be the good guy who took a step back for his partner or a young buck with fabulous cheekbones who exists for his lady’s pleasure.
Now, while trophy husband jokes still outnumber trophy husband examples, there seems to be less shame in being a trophy husband. In fact, a lot of cruel barbs are still directed at the ‘cougars’ who ensnare younger men who are more attractive than them. No doubt being a trophy husband is exhausting sometimes. And it’s more than possible that you deal with the stigma about your wife wearing the pants in the relationship and how you’re not contributing anything to the relationship.
Maybe at these times, remind yourself that actor and super-stud George Clooney himself once joked that he is a trophy husband. I totally agree with this, by the way! Amal Clooney is a million times more accomplished and attractive than he is. And by George, if Clooney is the willing poster boy for trophy husbands, I’m fairly sure plenty of us are ready to sign up.