He makes less money, so what?!

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For some reason, the same money topic keeps coming up. This has never really happened too often before last month, but now it’s happened at least 5 times in March so far. What is it you say?  

Three people on different days asked my BF how he affords our house. I was in the bedroom all three times and acted like I didn’t hear it because I wanted to see what else the person was going to say. Other times he says that people have asked him at work recently.

My BF doesn’t exactly have the highest paying job on earth, but he has great benefits, and that’s the main reason why he stays. His benefits include:

  1. 4 weeks of paid vacation
  2. 4 personal days and the ability to call in on other days without getting reprimanded
  3. Completely free insurance (no monthly premium) with only a $5 copay (but most of the time he doesn’t pay anything)
  4. Nearly free prescriptions
  5. Emergency room visits are completely free also
  6. His work also pays for schooling up to $20,000 (I think that’s the amount, it might be $20,000 a year, I can’t remember).

 

I think his benefits are great, and honestly make up for the fact that he’s paid less. However, not everyone agrees.

He knows he makes less money. Everything is joint and all of our money is allocated the same way. I don’t feel taken advantage of or anything (even though that’s what people have told me). Thankfully, since he does know that I’m busy, he does do most of everything around the house. All I do is cook (because he hates it), but I also hate cleaning. He does the laundry, cleans, mows the yard, etc. I’ve told you all this before, but I’ve probably made our bed less than 5 times in the whole 5 years that we’ve lived together.

I do realize that the traditional household roles are somewhat reversed in our relationship, but it works, and people shouldn’t be asking!

Anyways, he told the three people (whom I overheard) that we both pay for everything together, and that I make much more money. I think it’s kind of a rude question to ask someone how they can afford a house on their salary, but we’ll forget that point. They always think it’s really weird when a woman makes more money. Why should it matter what I make? I’m still the same person.

Every time he tells people that I make more money, they kind of react rudely and act like he’s not worth anything.

 

I will most likely always make more money than him.  I’m in the financial services industry and about to get my MBA, so obviously I did this for financial security. I most likely make more money than people in my group of friends, let alone just the guys in my group of friends. I don’t think this should affect anything or my relationships with other people.

I honestly don’t think this bothered him until now since so many people have asked him recently, so now he’s been thinking about it a lot. The other day he told me that he wants to start looking for a job with similar benefits and better pay. The benefits will most likely be worse.

I feel bad because he was happy with his life before, but now everyone has him rethinking everything, but maybe this will be for the best. He’s been at his current job for awhile and there’s not much more room to grow unless he gets a business degree (they don’t allow for any other degree in order to advance further).

We have similar goals, get along great, love each other, have fun together, and think alike. Why should money matter?

I really don’t think it should matter, and my opinion obviously means something in my relationship (as oppose to others who are not in my relationship) because I’m the one who makes more. If me and him have no problem, and it’s been working great this whole time, why would we switch it? We wouldn’t of course.

Have any of you come across people being judgmental? 
Will/do you make more or less than your significant other?

 

P.S. I should also say that 2 of these people are not super close friends. The 2 people who came over and asked were friends of friends, and the 3rd person who asked at our house was actually our old roommate. He came over and asked, I don’t know why he didn’t ask before.

Comments

  1. Lesley @ my lively m says

    That's one of the rudest things to ask anyone. I can't believe people have asked him that. Really, who cares? It's none of their business at all and they're probably just jealous anyway. I make more than my husband as well. As long as we're happy, can pay our bills, and enjoy things on the side, it works…

  2. psychsarah says

    I haven't come across any judgmental folks (that I know about…who knows what people are thinking at any time) and I make about half again more than DH on average. I have an advanced degree that allows me to make a good living. DH supported be through most of my schooling as the breadwinner while I studied. I leapfrogged him and started making more once my training was complete. Because I make more money, I took 6 months maternity leave, and he is now on 6 months parental leave. He doesn't care that I make more, and neither do I. He is now starting his own business, and it is likely that he'll make a comparable salary to me, or more, quite possibly. From the time we moved in together, we looked at our money as one entity, so when one succeeds so does the family. Though many disagree with this approach, it's worked for us for 14 years, and particularly in the last 8 months now that we have a son.I agree with the above commenters that it is appalling that people would ask questions about your income or what you can afford. What business is it of theirs? My kindest interpretation is that they are curious how he could manage his money so well to purchase your lovely home, but I suspect they are envious.

    • Michelle P says

      I think you are right. I think they wonder how we are able to afford things, which makes sense since we are young. But I just think it's odd that so many people have asked within the last 2 weeks.

  3. Broke, Married, and says

    I make about twice as much as my wife, and my job carries all of our benefits. Even while we dated, and going through college, I always made more money then her. We share expenses. That's the way it works (and should). If she made more than me…I honestly wouldn't care. and I think that's the way it should be. If you don't feel bad about it, and your boyfriend doesn't feel bad about it….then who cares what others think !

  4. Daisy @ Add Vodka says

    I'm a little horrified that people are actually surprised at that! It's incredibly sexist and gender stereotypical to degrade a man based on how much he makes in ratio to his girlfriend/wife/significant other. We're not in 1950, women work and women have value. It shouldn't matter who makes more. Nobody would bat an eye if you said that HE makes more.

  5. stackingpennies says

    Yes. I'm only half surprised people have the gall to ask, and irritated at the reaction.My husband is just finishing a PhD program, and people have made comments and judged the whole way, implying that me (or before we living together, his parents) were paying for him to go to school and for him to live on. Which wasn't true. He's always made enough to live on, though I'm sure my income subsidized his lifestyle here and there.It always really annoyed me. In about a year from now, he'll probably make more per a year than I do. But for 6 years, that has not been the case.

  6. WorkSaveLive says

    I think most people are accepting the idea that the wife can earn more than the husband. However, I will admit that I judged a person a few years back when he told me he was a stay-at-home dad and his wife was a OBGYN.I don't think my judgment was overly negative, it just caught me off guard. Frankly, I'd love to stay at home all day if I could (and if my wife was fine with that)! :) My wife definitely makes more than I do right now. It doesn't bother me and I'm grateful she makes the income she does. It has allowed me to pursue a "dream" job and take a significant pay cut.

  7. Dy says

    I made more than my exhusband, and I also did all the housework, yard work…actually I did everything. I never cared about the difference in earnings, but the division of labor is one of the major factors in my divorce. I say if your boyfriend is doing a large portion of the housework and he doesn't mind continuing then take the cost of hiring someone else to do the work into consideration when thinking about his real contribution to the household income. As for people asking how he can afford a house, maybe those folks were looking for ways to buy a house of their own?

  8. Shannon @ Bungalow96 says

    I make far less money than my boyfriend… but that's "typical" for women. It still sucks because people think that I don't chip in. I pay for half of our mortgage and utilities and I chip in on groceries. He handles a lot of the bigger stuff like house projects and such, but I still chip in a little on those too. Ignorant people are frustrating.

  9. Well Heeled Blog says

    I make more than my fiance. My salary is a little higher, and I typically have bonuses / side income that push me even higher. But I see us as a little economic unit – whether he makes more or I make more, what's good is that WE make more. I actually wrote about this last year http://www.wellheeledblog.com/2011/12/05/relation…Society is changing and our concept of "what's normal" is as well, but there are still people who think this is an abberation (and who are, apparently, very rude about it!)

  10. Kari@ Small Budget B says

    Shame on them for judging you. I make less then the bf, but like Shannon said, that's perceived as "normal" in our society. But I still pay half of our rent (soon to be mortgage). I pay for all of our groceries and he pays for our utility bills. We think it makes sense since he makes more money then me, so really I'm paying in proportion to what I make. Either way, I say as long as the arrangement you have works, ignore everyone else. If you're happy that's all that matters.

  11. Stephanie says

    Ugh, I've gotten that attitude from my own father! I make more money than my husband, and it's my job that provides us with benefits. My husband does a combination of part-time and freelance work. It's less money, but incredibly flexible, and since we want kids it puts us in a great position for him to be the primary caregiver without our income taking too much of a hit. When I mentioned something to my dad about kids awhile back, he started grumbling about "no health insurance", as if my health insurance didn't count!Then I pointed out how sexist he was being, that if the roles were reversed and we were getting health insurance through my husband's job and I was the one working part time and/or freelancing, he wouldn't have said a word! Fortunately, a lot of couples we're friends with are in similar situations, with the wife making more, and none of them make comments about the role reversal. As long as between the two of you, there's enough money to get by, and you're both contributing, who cares who makes more??

  12. Marina K. Villatoro says

    I make more than my husband and have since we met. At first we kept everyhting together, but now it's separate – he wanted it that way. He's still a student and wants to be able to take care of me with what he earns, rather than looking at all our money together.Ironically, no one has ever judged us on that , except for himself. He's not against me earning more, but wants to know that his money can take care of us too. Even though it's substantially less!

  13. lora kathleen says

    Ugh, I'm sorry that is being brought up!My parents have similar roles. My mom is the clear breadwinner in the family and my dad has been in his job 15 years without so much as a promotion, but they're happy. My dad cooks, handles yard/repairs, deals with the cars, etc, and my mom cleans. I sometimes wonder about how things were when they were younger, but my mom has always been the higher earner (she had a masters when they married and a more advanced degree soon after).Either way, I don't think it's anyone's business. I've only ever asked 2 friends what they make, and only because we were having a frank discussion of our financial situations and how to improve them. Until I'm asked for help, I try to stay out, ESPECIALLY when something is working well. But I'm sorry that's being brought up and it's actually making your bf reconsider something he used to be happy with… It shouldn't matter to anyone else as long as y'all are happy and it works for you.

  14. CeCe @Frugalista Mar says

    Wow. people sure are nosy. I'd never ask someone that even if I wondered. Just do your best to make sure he knows that you are okay with his income and what he contributes (I'm sure you do) and that's all you can do. I make less then hubby and I always will…unless something major happens with him. He's on his way to a degree so he'll do even better after that. I have really good benefits and have come a long way to trying to make peace with not making much money…it has been super hard. I felt very worthless for a good long time over it. I kind of know how your BF might be feeling now except he's probably feeling it even worse because of expectations placed upon men. In my previous relationship I was the breadwinner so it was strange to be the struggling one for a while. I took a major pay cut to be where I am now b/c the old job made me miserable.

  15. Rafiki says

    I can totally understand this situation. People will always be judgmental once something is outside the "norm". It takes a lot to be able to ignore people and be comfortable with yourself, even the strongest branch on the tree can sway if enough wind blows.I can't relate directly but I think I know what your BF is going through. Right now my significant other is in school so I make the most money, once she is finished though, she will more than likely make way more than me. I am mostly comfortable with this and I've even gone to the point of deciding that I would be perfectly happy being a stay at home dad and letting her be the breadwinner. Sometimes though, I sway and I tell myself I should be the one taking care of her, no matter how much she makes, I should be able to provide for her. This belief comes from the old school and I know it's not a good one, but I really would like to provide for her and she wants to provide for me just as much.Sometimes it's hard to fight the norm and ignore judgmental people but you will have too. My solution is to find something you both are happy doing and ignore how much each other brings in(and those unimportant judgmental people), look at it as a partnership through and through.When they ask, tell them some sort of unbelievable joke like, your mortgage is paid for in candy, or anything along those lines because it really isn't any of their business if their intention is to be judgmental.

  16. Sarah says

    I don't really think it's anyone else's business if/how he can afford the house. If y'all live there, clearly you can afford it. He needs to not let those other people get to him. If y'all are both happy then there's no reason for him to let other people make him feel bad about it. Chances are, those people aren't happy or feeling good about their life and misery loves company. So as long as you guys are ok with you making more, it doesn't matter.

    • Frugal(er) says

      I agree completely. Also, if he has less take-home pay but has to pay out less for benefits, he's coming out way ahead because he probably pays less in income tax. People suck. Don't let the haters get you down, just do what works for you two.

  17. DebtnTaxes says

    If you love eachother, it doesn't matter who earns more. I earn more than my wife, but if it wasn't for her income, we wouldnt be able to afford all that we have, and I let her know that all the time. I do want to provide for her, but if she was the breadwinner I would be fine with that. Like others have said, it's your life. Don't worry about rude people asking stupid questions.

  18. Anthony Thompson says

    Your BF is doing his very best to provide his fair share into your household, and that's all that really matters. So, he makes less money than you do! Who cares? This is a slam on you, because you've obviously made some very sound financial and income decisions. And, it's my guess that you're likely more financially savvy than he is. However, for those quasi-friends of his to pass judgment on him because he makes less money than you do is not only unnecessary, but is outright childish and idiotic. Besides, who knows where his income will be in the next 5 years? As long as he continues to build and grow, he'll stand a very good chance of improving his income by leaps and bounds. Who knows? It might even surpass yours.

  19. Hannah says

    You know what? I think our generation is the first to see MORE successful women than men. Women are taking over the corporate world, and a lot of household roles ARE being reversed. And I'm all for it. Why should a woman be a stay at home housewife when she truly enjoys working and earning her own living? My BIGGEST pet peeve is when people ask how much I make. I think it's completely rude and none of their business. And it puts you in the awkard situation of either telling them, and regretting it later, or saying you don't want to share and have them think you're a snob. That's like asking someone's weight…you just don't do it!

    • 444 says

      Hannah: So that people don't think you're a snob (like if you flat-out decline to answer), try saying something like, "It's so complicated I'm not sure I could even come up with a figure." If they press, say, "I'd have to look at my taxes because I have no idea." They might think you're making up that answer – and they'd be right, so that's fine – since they shouldn't be asking in the first place! Worst case: they'll think you're incredibly airheaded.

  20. Newlyweds on a Budge says

    I make more than my husband, and it has been a constant source of tension in our relationship because even though I make more, I'm still expected by SOCIETY to be the primary housekeeper. It bugs me to no end. I work a full time job (my husband works part time) but when people come over, if the house is dirty, it's seen as if I'm not doing my job! I see however, that you guys have worked that out, so if it were that way in our house, I'd be all for it! I guess even though my husband makes less though, his schedule and job is more physically demanding, but still–we need to find some sort of compromise. I know he tries t help, and things have gotten a lot better, but it irks me to no end when I hear people say how great it is that my husband helps me clean, and i'm like "uh, he doesn't HELP me, he's doing his half of the work!" and as for people asking him how he affords that house, I think guys are more blunt and they talk more freely about money. I also think they're just curious most of the time.

  21. shopping2saving says

    I was in this position before when my BF was at his previous job. The toll it was taking on him was horrible because he made less money than me, yet he worked much harder. He was at work constantly and putting up with all of his horrible co-workers and just being overworked. The benefits sucked and the long commute was horrible. I think the fact that I made more than him (albeit only $5,000 more a year) made him feel like he hated his job even more because I didn't have to suffer as much. Now that he has switched jobs and he makes a little more than me, I can see a difference in how he acts but I also think it doesn't matter. This issue has come up and I asked him if he was OK with me making more. His response was that he is OK with it. So I guess we shall see if that happens!

  22. shopping2saving says

    Wow – I said horrible in my last comment a million times. =XAbout your BF, I think constantly reminding him that your money is "OUR" money will make him feel better. Also this is 2012, people should be less judgmental. It's your business, not theirs!

  23. Out My window says

    I have always made more money than my husband. I could work part time and make more money than him. I am just more productive. He does how ever have great benefits. I do not have benefits, nor am I medically insurable. This makes his small almost non-existent income very important. We have a great deal more than most of his co-workers and we save a lot more. I also know that he has been passed over for raises because we have more. We had one of the big bosses drive by our house and then make a comment about how we could live in a nicer neighborhood than him. I actually beleive that in State agencies uppers will keep people below them down if they have a wife that makes more money and causes the family to have more than other workers. It is also well known in his office that he saves about 13% of his income. This is unheard of. Yesterday several of them went to a small town in rural Idaho for an applicators school. When they got out every one was starving so they went to a little hometown grill and had burgers. Hubby was the only one that had a check book and cash. Every other man wanted to put his burger on a CC. The place did not take CC's. So hubby paid the entire bill in cash. Funny thing is everyone with him was higher on the pay scale! It does get me down sometimes because I really would like to be taken care of, but in this day and age I think many women make more than their husbands. So what?

  24. Photon0312 says

    First, he DOES have excellent benefits, especially the help with school – so he's smart to stay. My husband has always made more money than me, but a new job offer may change that. He's ok with it – he says he wants me to be his sugar mama!

  25. Cori H. says

    I honestly don't believe that it should matter who makes the most money in the relationship. If you both are contributing and bills are getting paid, then who cares? I don't believe in one person working and the other one doing nothing to help the household, but that's not the case here. It sounds like your BF has a great job with awesome benefits. I think the benefits outweigh the money in this situation. If he's happy and you're happy, then no one else should matter. They need to keep their opinions to themselves!

  26. Alex M says

    I earn more…. but probably not for long as my job is being eliminated. But since we've both worked and saved, it will make little difference. And when times got tight, he took on extra jobs. I love my husband (24 plus years married) and not once has it mattered that I earn more. I get our benefits too. But when we are in the pinch, he's the one that pulls us through!

  27. Michelle says

    Jeff is the bread winner here as I'm a stay-at-home-mom. If I had a job that paid more, it wouldn't bother either of us. I wouldn't feel like I were too good for him or anything….that's silly. I think it's just an outdated mindset that some people can't get over. I really don't get the double standard.

  28. Bryan says

    While I don't discuss my salary too much with a lot of people (at least in real life), when I have shared, I haven't been made fun of. Maybe it helps that my wife and I work at the same company, she started there first, and she's a supervisor while I'm an analyst.However, this year, my wife (due to how awesome she is at her job, and, you know, in general) was able to get into the "managers" bonus pool and structure instead of the "supervisor" bonus pool in structure, the result being that her 2012 bonus plus salary will be more than two times my 2012 bonus plus salary. I haven't really discussed this with anybody in real life yet, so I can't say anything about what the responses will be, but it might raise some eyebrows when/if I do discuss (my wife has said that she doesn't feel like she should even talk about how much she's making this year, even with her parents, with whom she's fairly close).Shoot. She should be the PF blogger instead of me! :)

  29. Kris @ Simple Island says

    That's a bummer! I'd let him be happy in the job he's at – unless he wants career advancement. Money is overrated when it compares to happiness, and if he's happy then you'll be happy. My husband was making close to six figures but was miserable – he was turning into the type of person the company wanted him to be – aggressive, pushy, arrogant, and an alcoholic. We chose for him to make a change instead of ruining our relationship and maybe even his life (lots of driving drunk was encouraged). My parents used to look down on him because he was a waiter when I met him. I've been with him for 11 years and am very happy, whereas they've been married for 40 years and have been miserable most of my life, but they won't get a divorce. My dad has millions but uses it as a point of control and to look down on people. Money isn't the most important thing in the world. A solid relationship built on love and respect is worth more than anything else.

  30. B. (Below Her Means) says

    It's 2012, people! M. makes less than I do right now but is more qualified than I am and will likely work somewhere else where he makes more soon. Neither of us care. People are nosy assholes.

  31. hklover86 says

    It is pretty out of line at times to ask someone those types of questions. But I think its only human nature to be curious. I mean, when I see someone whom I know (or assume) makes less than me, buy something really expensive or move into a place that looks pricey I can't help but wonder HOW?? But it's once thing to ask someone you don't know that well how they can afford there place, and another thing when its a close friend. It they didn't really know your bf that well its a little rude of them to ask!

    • Michelle P says

      I agree, I understand people can be curious, but two of these people were people he's never met before, and I still have never met them. So that's a little weird!

  32. Mackenzie says

    It doesn't matter who makes more money. Why people feel the need to make something out of nothing, is beyond me. It's your guys' relationship. People really have nothing else better to do.

  33. Liquid Independence says

    I made less money than my ex-girl friend did when we were dating. No big deal. I don't really care how much people make. I'm more interested to know how responsible they are with their money.

  34. Live Simply- Live We says

    I make way less than. My husband now, but that was not always the case. I used to make more than him. I think that's crap that people act that way. Y'all are a team a d both are contributing. Those people that act like that are losers.

  35. shanendoah@The Dog A says

    Time for you and BF to take a step back and breath.Here's the thing- norms are changing, and they are changing fast. This recession has helped speed up the change, but it was happening any way. Still, as a society, we have a very hard time letting go of what we've always known. The old norms are not going quietly, and we're seeing a lot of pushback.Talk to your BF. There's a good chance he was thinking about changing jobs anyway, and these comments just finally gave him the final push. There is nothing wrong with wanting to earn more money to better take care of your loved ones, regardless of whether you are male or female.If it's only the money thing that's bothering him, you need to talk to about it. Its not wrong for him to be bothered by it, given the society we've all be raised in, but he needs to figure out now if it's going to be a dealbreaker for him, since it sounds like, given the paths you are on, you will always be the primary breadwinner. And just so you know, I am the sole breadwinner in my relationship. C and I have known from the beginning that I would always make more money than him- I have more education and more ambition. In fact, the one time in our lives when he was making more money than me, that was my impetus to find a better job. Perhaps my self esteeem shouldn't have been tied to the amount on my paycheck, but it was (and still is to some extent)and the truth is, getting the new job was great for us.Right now, C is back in school. There's a very good chance that he's going to end up with a higher degree than me (PhD to my MBA- right now he only has an AA) with much higher earning potential than me. And you know what- it is going to be difficult for me to accept that. Its not a dealbreaker, but it will require an adjustment in my thinking.Now, its obvious in our lives that I am the breadwinner as I have a job and he's a full time student. All of our friends know it. All of our family knows it. As far as I know, there hasn't been any judging of it, but that's also because they probably know how I'd react to it. I'd like to say that the only opinions that matter are your's and your BF's, but that's only true to the level you two make it true. And for some people, others' opinions matter a lot.You and he need to have a sit down and talk about this specific issue. You need to find a spot where you are both comfortable enough that comments from others don't phase you.But if he really wants a better paying job, then support him in that. It takes two to have a happy relationship, and being ahead of the "norm" curve can be difficult.

  36. tinysarah says

    Whatever works for you two is all that matters – everyone else can shut their pie hole. Maybe bf can use some of that generous school allowance offered through his workplace to pursue something else on the side…?

  37. inbudgetswetrust says

    So awkward. I make significantly more money than my future husband. He used to be really irresponsible with his own money and back then, I worried I would be taken advantage of. Now that he has been paying down his debt rapidly and setting an allowance (of his own money) for himself every week, I feel far less concerned.I think it's rude of people to ask those questions out loud, but there are times I want to ask my friends the same thing. I think those people who asked fell into the trap you recognized: the assumption that the man carries the relationship financially.

  38. Karunesh @ chase-a-d says

    I don't consider anything wrong if a Women earns more. Women are as sharp, as hardworking and as much hungry to achieve success as Men. so what's wrong if they make more money.different people have different perceptions. I think best is to ignore those people. Don't even try to explain it to them. What is important

  39. Tanner says

    Wow, you're in the same situation as my older brother… he makes less than wifey, and boy, is he unliked for it and looked down upon. I'm like… seriously? You have to be kidding. They're a couple. People do look down at guys that make less than their girls for whatever reason, but you know what, it's not about those people. It's about boy+girl and whatever works for them. Besides, that kind of "innocent inquiry" is right up there with "when will you have a baby?" and "is s/he adopted?". Have a talk with bf. He shouldnt have to make a decision based on what other people are saying (even if it's your mother)! First, it's none of their business. Your and his financial security is your (both of you)'s matters. He may feel pressured and insist he wants to make the decision for himself, but if he really likes where he's at, he should stay.

  40. financialconfessions says

    I come across this all the time, sadly. My boyfriend doesn't have a job right now, though not for lack of trying(kind of his own fault because he screwed around in high school and still hasn't finished it, when it's the minimum most companies want), and even when he does have work, I bring in more than he does unless he pulls massive overtime. It doesn't make much of a difference now considering we don't live together or anything, but I am worried about how it would work if we were to get married. It's pretty much guaranteed that I'll always make more than him as I will have a professional designation, and I'm fine with that- but I've heard him make a few comments about how the guy needs to make more. He very much believes that a man has to take care of his wife, and that he's a failure if he doesn't. Other people's comments make him feel worse.As far as people asking how he can afford the house… seriously? What planet are they from if they think that prying into finances is acceptable? I'd say next time someone makes a comment like that or about the differences between your salaries, just (politely) tell them it's none of their damn business. If it works for you, he loves the benefits, and he's happy, who cares?

  41. Amy says

    Although I can't relate directly to this article, as I'm single, I can relate to the fact that people seem amazed that a woman can be a "breadwinner". I purchased my own house last August, and I continually get shocked looks from people when they find out I don't have a man around to support me.

  42. frugalportland says

    Wow, this makes me wonder if anyone ever talks like that to my parents. My mom has always made more than my dad. I should ask them if that ever came up, or if we're just in a rude, classless generation.

  43. Vanessa says

    I always imagined myself being with a man who makes more money than me but, to this day, I never have.BF 1: Engineer in training, only worked during the summers whereas I worked all year round. His hourly wage was higher than mine but my quantity of hours overtook hisBF 2: Asshat. He was always "trying to do better" but his best paying job was a security guard at 12$/hr. I was making 11.73$/hr at the time but working full-time vs his part-timeBF 3: Another engineer, similar story to BF 1

  44. Kris @ BalancingMone says

    It's funny, I have made more than my husband for almost our entire relationship. The only person to ever question it was my late FIL, because he was super old fashioned – but he dropped it the minute Bruce said he didn't care.I'm ambitious, I'm driven, and I worked hard to get my MBA while working full time – I intend to use it. Bruce has a job he loves that makes him happy, and also does the bulk of the parenting! We found balance. :)It's your relationship – the only people who should care are the two of you.

    • Michelle P says

      Your life pretty much sounds the exact same as mine (except I don't have children). But we've already talked about it, when we do have kids he will most likely be doing the bulk of the parenting as well!

  45. ermusings says

    That's insanely rude. I currently make a fair bit more than T but my earning potential in the ling run in journalism is not high. It's likely he will make more eventually. He's also thinking of leaving his job due to frustration with management/room to advance so we'll see where that goes in the next few months.

  46. MemeGRL says

    I made more than my husband for years. I think he was secretly somewhat relieved when he started making more than I did, and I will admit–it rankled me, even though I didn't think it would! But it gave us enough to save so I could stay home with our kids for the first few years–a nice break for me, I worked 20+ years straight (well, summers at least–I started when I was 13 and went straight through to a week before I gave birth), and now I'm back part-time. When I'm full time again–we'll see who's the higher earner. Life is long–do what works for you. You are awesome to have a good attitude and a good plan. Have a GREAT vacation!

  47. South County Girl says

    I have some of the same issues with my husband and my family. I will always be the one with the benefits and the career… and that just doesn't please anyone.It's hard, but sometimes you just have to fight through what society tells you.

  48. Anonymous says

    That's a rude question about how you all are able to afford your house. I was in a somewhat different situation a couple years ago right after my husband and I bought our house. We were getting ready to move into the house we had just bought, and his boss showed up out of unexpectedly at the front door to give us a bottle of wine and congratulate us on being new homeowners. We were not there ar the time, so he left the wine on our doorstep. I make roughly twice as much money as our husband. We would not be able to afford the house we bought on his salary alone. They never asked any questions, but have made comments like "That is a nice house you've got there". My husband works for a small business. They are pretty old-school, so I don't know if they're thought of the possibility that I might make significantly more than he does. I work for a big company, so it's not that obvious from my description of my job how much a make. In some ways I would like to tell them how much I make, because I think my husband's boss thinks that the way we afford our house and other lifestyle choices (a new car, vacations, etc.) is that we live beyond our means, and I hate for them to think we are irresponsible.

  49. Nathalie says

    Interesting post, Michelle. I agree that other people asking you how you can afford things is incredibly rude. If everyone minded their own business, life would be much more peaceful, don't you think?All through my first marriage I made more than my husband. He the college graduate and me, the college drop-out (well, I have an A.A.). I also had the job that provided the benefits. It didn't matter while we didn't have kids. But I started resenting that he seemed OK with his low-paying, no benefits "but I looooove what I do!" job while I felt stuck at my job because I felt that we needed my pay level (that was before I knew about making a budget and sticking to it!) and we definitely needed the benefits. Then we started having kids. After our 3rd child was born, I insisted he quit his job (since I couldn't) and be a stay-at-home dad. I wanted to be a stay-at-home mom but we needed our benefits. He was (is) a great dad but eventually that resentment and other issues led to our divorce.Fast forward almost 20 years. I'm married to my second husband who's always made more than me and now makes a heck of a lot more than me because I've been a stay-at-home mom for 8 years and he's on a pretty good career path and a hard worker. Sometimes HE's the one resenting that I get to stay home and spend his paycheck while he has to make a living. But I went back to work last year with only a low-paying part-time job and it made us LOSE money because my almost non-paying job made us move 1 notch on the IRS tax rate ladder. So now he doesn't complain about me not working anymore :)We don't discuss our money with other people. I try to be very careful with it although I could definitely be MORE frugal than I already am. I think most of my friends earn a lot less than my husband does, but spend more. Also, I tend not to care about what other people think. It makes life a lot less stressful!If it works for you, then it works for you! And YES I think your BF's benefits are AMAZING! My husband has wonderful benefits at his current job and everytime he makes noise about finding employment somewhere else, I remind him that his benefits are part of his compensation and he would need a HUGE raise to make up for what he would lose in benefits. So he's staying put :)As far as your mom not liking your BF "because he makes less than you", I'm sensing a lot of issues there (I just read your blog now for the first time). Since apparently you have been supporting her financially since your pre-teen years, it's really the pot calling the kettle black, IMO. My ex-husband not making as much as I did didn't make him dumb or a bad father or less of a person. But it did prevent ME from doing what I wanted to do while I felt he could indulge in doing what HE wanted to do. And that wasn't OK with me anymore after 12 years.

    • Michelle P says

      I agree, I need to stop thinking of what other people think. I'm extremely self conscious of everything.And yes, there are a ton of issues with my mother.

  50. Liquid says

    Some people are unbelievably rude these days. As for who makes more, it doesn't matter as long the couples are happy. It does appears that there are more female enrolled in university than males, so I expect more and more ladies will be the main breadwinner in the future.

  51. Alice @ Dont Debt says

    I'm with 444, it's none of these folks business. I think my response would be something along the lines of, "unless you're offering to help me pay, it's none of your business." End of conversation.

  52. Michelle P says

    That's what I'm hoping. I'm hoping that he'll rethink everything and find something he loves. He REALLY hates his job now because he keeps analyzing everything.

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