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‘Married To Medicine,’ Mariah, And The Meaning Of Money On Bravo

By Kari Wells



When you’re watching one of your favorite Bravo shows, like “Married To Medicine” Sunday nights, it’s easy to think that you’re glimpsing a fantasy world where money is endless and never a problem.

Nothing could be further from the truth based on my experience in life—and as one of those women in Atlanta on “Married To Medicine.” (Please don’t confuse us with “The Housewives of Atlanta.”) The reason I signed up for the show is actually to help women master what I call “the business of living” by taking full control of their financial destiny.

kari wells standing elbowsI am the Chief Financial Officer of my husband Duncan’s orthopedic practice, and I was responsible for turning his financial life around personally and professionally. That’s why I grow so concerned with the role of money in women’s lives on the show.

Most of the focus on the Bravo show this week will be on the ugly fight at my house between Mariah and Toya—no surprise there, because it was ugly and awful. But I want to put this in the context of three financial decisions made by Mariah before and after the explosion:

  • When she finally showed up—two hours late—she came with a gigantic Hummer limousine.


  • She surprised her husband by buying him a brand-new car and wanted to present it in front of all of the guests.


  • She then cancelled all of her payment towards the party, as she did not think she should contribute.

I think there’s a clear pattern here: money used willy-nilly to manipulate, one of the biggest problem faced by women.

Mariah paid for the limousine (and arrived late) to make a big, showy entrance and to make sure she was the center of attention. She bought her husband a car that he probably didn’t need as a big, showy declaration of love and money. She decided not to pay the bill or any of the damages caused at the party as a way to show that she (not me) was calling the shots.  She lives completely beyond her means trying to keep up to a lifestyle that she cannot afford, by renting expensive cars and homes.

Can you imagine a more irresponsible use of money in a 24-hour span? I can’t. Mariah spent more money that most families live on in a year—and she did it in the blink of an eye—and then she didn’t fulfill a REAL financial obligation to me.  I guess money cannot buy class.

On my web site you will see how my experience, (and the accumulated wisdom of economists, psychologists and sociologists) reveals that money should not be used to manipulate people (even those closest to you), but ideally should be used only to  create comfort and security for your family.

Just as a small example, I believe in giving back. If we have  money that we don’t need for security and comfort, we would prefer to give it to a charity that’s  close to our hearts, like, for instance, “Thriving Children” or “Doctors Without Borders” Do I buy expensive cars?  Sure!  But I own them, I buy them cash without borrowing any money.  A car depreciates as soon as you drive it off of the lot.  It is not an investment.  I only buy expensive things after I’m satisfied that I have fulfilled my obligations to society.

To each their own. It does bring me back to the important things in life and women taking sensible control of their financial destiny is paramount.



April 22, 2013

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