Upper East Side Wives Might Be Getting 'Wife Bonuses' From Rich Husbands

If raising competitive, well-bred children is a full-time job, then the wealthy stay-at-home mothers of New York City's Upper East Side are working overtime.

In The New York Times promo for her splashy new book, "Primates of Park Avenue: A Memoir," author Wednesday Martin let a phrase slip that immediately echoed across the Internet: a "wife bonus."

According to Martin, who married into the neighborhood, loaded men, commonly investment bankers or managers of hedge funds, often give their spouses extra checks depending on how well the households are managed and the success of their children.

Martin explained,

A wife bonus, I was told, might be hammered out in a pre-nup or post-nup, and distributed on the basis of not only how well her husband's fund had done but her own performance.

Although Martin's revelation is ruffling the feathers of feminists everywhere, it's hard to tell just how accurate her claim really is.

As part of a reactionary piece, The Washington Post consulted several New York City divorce lawyers on the subject.

None claimed to have encountered a legal version of the wife bonus, but many backed Martin's claims on the economic dependence of highly educated women who sacrificed their jobs and rely on their husbands' careers.

What's more, Business Insider received only skepticism during interviews regarding the theory it conducted with a variety of men in finance.

Some suggested the phrase was a girls-only joke about spending money and Martin may have taken it a little too seriously.

Of course, it didn't stop readers from poking fun at the idea.

If the #wifebonus is a hoax, I owe my wife so much money... — Thornton McEnery (@ThorntonMcEnery) May 18, 2015
Haven't brushed my kid's hair for a week. No #wifebonus for me. — Deborah Chasman (@DebChasman) May 18, 2015
Ok just saw "wife" in someone's bio somewhere and thought "ooh I wonder what sort of bonus she gets!" — JJ Jay (@tharsheblows) May 19, 2015
Do #dadbods pay better #wifebonus ? — Charlie (@34bps) May 18, 2015

Citations: Poor Little Rich Women (The New York Times)