Any women here in hetero relationships in which your male partner is less ambitious/sharklike/wealth focused than you, with lower earning potential? I’m torn between a lifetime of programming telling me I’m settling vs my belief in gender equality and understanding of the benefits of a partner who might put my career first. I’d love to hear how others experience this “non-traditional” dynamic and how it’s worked in marriage once you combine finances and work together toward shared life goals.

likehelpful
Posting as :
works at
You are currently posting as works at
Highlighted IconHIGHLIGHTED

My spouse has decent earning potential and currently makes a little more than me (I’m a career changer and a little further behind but expect to be making more than him in another year and significantly more in a few years). BUT our ambition/earning potential isn’t QUITE the same. He is more domestic minded than I am and willing to cut the work boundaries closer to home than I am. He wouldn’t stomach working more than 45hrs/week for more than a week or two for example. I have a tendency to be willing to die for the job to get ahead. Slight exaggeration but not much. Sad for me lol. We have two kids and a third on the way. I would say I am very very grateful for his energy being on a different wavelength than me. Of course I am jealous of some of my power couple friends who are making a lot more than us. and sometimes we butt heads when our balance falls off the cliff (I have worked too many hours and prioritized work TOO much. Or he’s just cooked dinner too many nights in a row. Etc). But his more domestic/family oriented energy means he’s taking on much more of the load of child rearing. Like picking the kids up from school. Communicating with their teachers. Leaving work early to take the kids to their doctors appointments, etc. and that’s essential to having a family AND a career. Don’t forget that if you want your kid in the best private schools, that requires talking to admissions, the teachers, being involved in parent groups, being available when your night nurse gets sick, cooking dinner when your 4pm inevitably runs long. Having a partner whose career ambitions don’t run in the same rat race can be really, really beneficial.

like

I wasn’t quite as aggressive as your words make you seem but I leaned far into driving my career and working long hours and really lost touch with my motherly side in a way. When I had my first child I desperately felt like I had lost everything I had built. But what I realized is I had over compensated to fit into a male dominated world. Once you work your way into the male dominated and/or childless world and have claimed your spot, and proven your competence nobody can take that away from you. Fitting the worthy and important motherhood (and fatherhood) duties into your career is just as important as what you’ve accomplished without a child. In fact, openly being a parent at work with important parental duties paves the path of opportunity for more people who are just as competent but perhaps not quite as aggressive as you. You’ll realize how much more grace you should have given others along the way :/ If you and your husband want to have a child together, your child deserves the best of both of you and to be a witness to what you admire about each other, not who you hired to help raise them. Raising children for me is not about taking vacations, driving nice cars, doing whatever I want when I want it, it’s about raising good human beings who and ensuring I create space in this world for other good human beings to do the same. This isn’t what you were asking but your words reminded me a bit of myself before I had kids and reflecting back on it, it made the transition to motherhood much much harder.

likehelpful

Beautifully said👌🏼

Recent IconRecent

I think this depends on you separating out whether your feelings are you comparing yourself to others (not relevant to your relationship) or an incompatibility in priorities with your partner. I don’t think it’s about the salary difference itself as much as it is what you’d be willing to accept in your partner (in their attitude toward lifestyle and career).

likehelpful

My spouse is a full time stay at home dad. Does not mean he lacks ambition - parenting is a full time job and he is a phenomenal dad. My career trajectory is obviously prioritised and I wouldn’t have it any other way.

like

Thank you. This sort of experience sharing is exactly what I was hoping for when I posted. I just don’t have many examples of families making this dynamic work and really curious about how it plays out. I really appreciate it you sharing your perspective.

like

My husband is a welder who works 40 hours/week for a decent wage and has Fridays off. I work in Midwest biglaw. Very grateful everyday to have someone on a different wavelength. I tend to be pretty obsessive about work and I appreciate him being able to gently pull on the reins when I’m getting burned out.

like

So much this! My hubby is a field trauma medic/ surgical tech in the army. He puts so much in perspective for me when I’m burning out.

like

my husband is in construction. i personally tried being with someone who was creative and into the same work style for ten years and for me it was pure misery. too similar and too competitive and emotional. again just me but i appreciate having someone as a partner who is very different and also helps give me perspective on how much i stress about things that won’t matter when you’re on your deathbed. it helps me relax a little. and i can laugh about how crazy this industry is when my crane operator husband is like are you realllly stressing about x y or z? he still works his butt off and it’s maddening he doesn’t get paid like anyone in advertising but he gets to leave work and turn off at the end of the day. he wants that and i can see how people would. hell to be honest i eventually i want that before this industry and my job create long term health problems and i finish aging out. i envy it a lot. it also helps when i have to work late or travel to have someone with a different schedule and ability to be more flexible.

like

Very much relate to wanting regular hours and a 'normal' life where I'm not bending over backwards for clients

like

Thanks. Definitely different priorities. I want to maximise my wealth and have a beautiful home in a HCOL city and enjoy all life has to offer (nice restaurants, fancy vacations, etc). He’s happy to settle for a simpler life in exchange for not working long hours or dealing with the pain of constantly pushing for more. I respect his choice of how to spend his days and energy, but I do wonder if we’re incompatible. On the other hand, being with someone just like me (type A shark) would be really intense! And I recognize that many high-powered women married to high-powered men end up having their careers take the back seat due to systemic and ingrained patriarchy

likesmart

Thank you for sharing DSD, I'm in a similar situation and hearing about how you have made it work really helps. OP whilst I do believe it's important to listen to your intuition, it all depends on your needs in life and in a relationship. I don't entirely agree with "you can have it all on your own" if in fact what you want is to share a life with someone who cares about you, understands your goals and doesn't put their own career before you. I value my boyfriend for being laid back, level headed and grounded. He understandably gets annoyed when I'm late for plans because of work but he gets why it's important to me. He keeps our lives going and throughout the pandemic has taken care of me while I was close to burning myself out. Made sure I ate regularly, went outside regularly and gave me much needed perspective. I don't want to be with someone who has the same 'lifestyle' as me and as such I know we haven't got the typical gender roles which I still have some difficulty justifying to others. At the end of the day this is how our relationship works and I can't imagine anyone being a better fit for me. The question for me at the beginning of our relationship was whether he has a lack of ambition or if he's incompetent at his job. Both those things I couldn't have dealt with. He's diligent, always looking for new opportunities, ambitious in a non Accenture Type A personality way and we simply split responsibilities differently to the way society had engrained us with. I guess I'm saying take an 80/20 approach: what are your non negotiables and does he meet/exceed them? And finally it's a two way street, are you with your ambitions and your version of what life should look like the right person for him?

like

My relationship dynamic isn’t like this, but my parents were. My dad had a good job with decent earning potential, but not quite like the career my mom had. It honestly was the only way her career could have worked, because we was able to take on a lot more of the day to day parenting (like getting us to and from school). His job was just far less demanding so he could actually leave at 5 every day to take care of us, while my mom needed to be much more flexible about how she got work and life done.

like

My hubby is the SAH parent - essentially. He has been doing some PT work since our boys are getting older. It completely works for us. The flexibility that it gives us has been a lifesaver and his different life perspective really helps me smooth out my otherwise shark like edges/tendencies. Could we have more/nicer things if he worked? Yes. Would our lives be more stressful and would we have less quality, family time? Yes. Are we willing to agree to having a REALLY nice lifestyle but not a LUXURY, name brand lifestyle to be a close family unit? Yes. Do I sometimes wish I could send my boys to a 30k/yr private school? I do, but I also see the value in the diversity and social network they are establishing by their friends being in the neighborhood or just a few streets away... my advice - stop looking at the Joneses or your friends. Make your life choices for what will make YOU happy long-term.

like

Careers are long, but life is short. I am 7 years younger than my husband and 5 years “behind” him in my career (we are in the same field). We are equally ambitious but right now I make nearly double what he does, but for the first 3 years we were together I made $0. My 2c is prioritize finding a life partner who you love problem solving with, who you can love through life and priority changes. People experience life differently from you even when they are living it alongside you. Today you may feel like an ambitious shark like wealth focused person, and tomorrow something could happen that changes your whole perspective on life. Pick a partner who will weather those storms with you.

like

My fiance is a software engineer but his goal is just to find a 40/hr week job he doesn't hate and stay in it forever. I can't comprehend the idea of not always working towards the next promo, but it creates a good balance in the relationship, and we've agreed if we have kids he'd be the one to stay home

like

Additional info: I’d like one kid several years in the future, but I want to spare no expense raising it (baby nurse, private school, summer camp, family vacations). HCOL city. The actual logistics of numbers are part of it, but it’s more the mindset of feeling like I’m dragging him along with me and the “keeping up with the Joneses” feeling of seeing my similar-achievement friends marrying hedge funds managers and consulting partners

like

I think you've hit the actual problem here. I recommend exploring the feelings around this and having an honest conversation about what you both want.

like

I feel you! I am the breadwinner by far. But we’re both proud of it. My husband use to be more ambitious (wanted to start his own company etc) and have really dropped all of that since we married. Now he strives to be a stay at home dad and I’m waiting for my career progression to a salary point where I think we can make that happen. I love him to pieces but it’s hard for me and none of my friends could relate. I manage all the finances for our family including our retirement planning. All that said I’m not sure I would change it. We dropped out of the rat race (was in HCOL) and now am not and are much more comfortable with the truth of where we are financially. I think for a while I got caught up with the Joneses and when we reflected back on what’s honestly important for us and makes us happy it’s really not that. We moved to the burbs he’s still working a much lower paid job until I reach a salary where it’s comfortable enough for him to stay home. We’re planning a second child and we’re extremely happy. I never talk down to him or make him feel like he’s not contributing but I do share that I we are in it together and he needs to provide until we reach our goal. But girl… I feel you! You are not alone. DM if u want to chat more

like

Why did you leave salesforce

My husband is teacher who makes roughly half of what I do. It doesn’t really affect our relationship as we’re both cheap, budget-conscious people. He is, admittedly, less ambitious in certain respects, and I always try to nudge him in the right direction when it comes to furthering his career, skills, or hobbies. I love the dude no matter what.

like

My career takes priority and I love it. When having kids we talked about him taking the lead on the home front. As long as you’re open with your priorities and understand each other then you’re good. If he doesn’t understand your goals or want to push to help you get there then there’s an issue.

like

I just want to be honest with you, it can be hard. My husband works in a more “noble” profession, makes less money, works long hours has his priority not as much on career, etc. but has very good values. He helps with the kids, etc. but I would still say it is even or I do more. I find myself downplaying the “prestige” of my career and settling at times. I feel a bit like a martyr about it because I know it does help keep me more grounded and I feel good about not getting so caught up in materialistic things and values. However I work hard for my money and sometimes I would like to spend it a little more frivolously on luxuries. In the end though he is the absolute best person I know and I am really proud of our kids and the values we are raising them with so I look at these things as just small annoyances in the scheme of our marriage and let them go. You need to know how big of a thing it is to you though and if you will ever feel that way or not.

like

A career can vanish in an instant. You could become incapacitated and unable to work. I know people this has happened to! It’s real and sobering. So think about who you would want to wipe your bottom if you can’t do it yourself. That is true love and a real marriage. Who do you want to be there with you as you are lying on your death bed? As you are nursing a sick child or parent? Who can you not imagine your life without? That is who you marry. The rest of it doesn’t really matter and just gets in the way. Money and the great lifestyle it can bring are nice to have, but when the realities of life surface, no amount of money can give you what true love with a partner for life will give you. Follow your heart and your gut.

like

My husband is my best friend and biggest cheerleader. I wouldn’t be able to do this job without him taking care of the Homefront, especially when I travel. We are southern so sometimes people make hurtful comments about the difference in pay but for us, as long as he is happy, I am happy. We have a traditional marriage where he is the head of the house. This did not change when I made more money, he is still our family’s leader. I think that has also helped me not be responsible for both the “man” and “woman” jobs. The only difference in our marriage is the paycheck being deposited in our joint account.

like

I made more than my man at first. I knew he was doing places and he didn’t have college education like I did. He soon made more than me. I like to look at potential and someone’s purpose . I think many professions earn less bit that’s not for to someones drive. Maybe he is above average in other areas though to make up ? Like my hubby def is focused while working and doesn’t like distractions

Me! Meet him 5 years ago and been happily married for 3. Personally I am more “driven” or “career focused” than he is BUT he is amazing helping me with cooking and more stuff around the house (since he has more time). We have managed to both pay the same for fixed expenses (rent, services) and if the other person wants to splurge or have any additional expenses (gym, drinks with friends) it’s up to that person to pay for it. Kids wise we don’t want any at the moment but we talked about him being a “stay-at-home” dad while I continue to work. Another friend of mine has managed something similar and she has been married for 5 years.

Related Posts

What is the best way to address a seeming lack of diversity at our agency? Should I speak to HR? There was a push to create a diversity board , but other than a questionnaire about what holidays we all observe, I have not seen any other results in 5 months?

like

🐠- I have received a check for lump sum pension payment. Am looking to deposit it into my Fidelity IRA account. The app prompts me to select deposit type as contribution or rollover (direct or 60 day). What should I be selecting? Also, is there any difference between depositing into a traditional IRA vs rollover IRA? Appreciate any guidance

like

White folks are getting increasingly salty about the focus on diversity and inclusion. How do y’all react when you encounter the passive aggressive digs?

like

Which firms have the best Asian diversity employee groups and partner representation? Eg BCG Asian diversity network

like

Looking to Connect with special educators in my first post. I am SPED with behavioral specialization in Elementary (full inclusion) - how about you?

like

"I have no idea what it's like to have my life circumstances affected by my race or gender but listen up because I've got a really important take about discrimination"

like

I wonder how the NBA and NFL will start to embrace more diversity and inclusion going forward. Any guesses?

likefunnysmarthelpful

Just a shout out at the diversity I have been seeing while on-line shopping. It is something I am really happy to see. The various skin colors, hair types and body sizes are refreshing! Finally, I see people that look like ME! There are still some aspects that I am trying to fully embrace because for too long I was feed the lie of what the "desirable" body or hair type was. BUT I am changing and I am glad my children will not go through that brainwashing.

likehelpful

Can more experienced associates exit into PE? I’m looking at a PE associate roll in a pension fund but I’m Already 30-35. Have an MBA as well…

like

What do you think: Teachers should/should not discuss their opinions and ideas around sexuality, gender, and religion with students.

Can someone who has done the research let me know what supplements are worth it (if any)? My general understanding is vitamins are not proven to change basically anything unless you have a real deficiency and are best obtained through diet. Is there anything else that has proven benefits? Thinking of upping my morning smoothie game, would love tips.

like

If all c-suites took a 10% pay cut 1) they would still be very well paid 2) the income gap would shrink by 10% 3) you could hire lots of people out of scope that could be funneled into mentorship programs, scholarships and overall diversity efforts.

likesmartuplifting

What are some Diversity & Inclusion strategies to implement in the workplace ? Additionally, if you are starting a D&I committee internally, what are some key factors to consider?

like

Fam— would anyone be interested in a Glassdoor for black people? i.e anonymized reviews of companies from POCs. I think it would be massively helpful in gauging the diversity and inclusivity of a company outside polished recruitment processes and would publicly hold companies accountable. Thoughts?

likesmartuplifting

looking for suggestions for how to price standing up Diversity Consulting Services for startup consulting firm?

Please be kind I’m a noob but really want to get into the game. I was advised to “open new ira & roth ira accounts. Contribute 6k to ira and make contribution for 2020 and then roll it to Roth” I have a few questions 1. Who should I open an account with? There are so many options it’s intimidating. I don’t work for Deloitte anymore so not limited 2. After I open the account, do I just transfer the money from my checking account or does it have to be from my 401K?

like

There have been many positive changes in my life and while I feel better, at the same time I am scared of losing it soon. Changed to a job that has better culture and aligns with my goals, got more active and social, back to my hobby, able to have free counseling now under new firm's benefits and the new therapist seems more helpful than the ones before, casually seeing some great guys… I feel my mental state is so "hyped" that idk if this "good" feeling will last…

likeuplifting

Do you prefer working for male or female managers and why? Include your gender.

like

In my early thirties, still an Engagement Manager only making $355k basic, plus benefits and guarenteed minimum bonus of $100k. What did I do wrong? #Satire #DoesAnyoneElseFeelThisTypeOfDiscussionHappensWayToMuchHere? #WhyDoSoManyPeepsNeedValidation? Not trying to put people down, but seems there are far too many people on the hamster wheel just churning and in need of validation. Any thoughts? Am I off base?

likefunny

Could you claim tuition paid to a church for daycare when they were closed due to COVID as a donation? Normally tuition isn’t tax deductible but during these periods of time no reciprocating benefits were received. I plan to talk to a CPA but thought I’d check here?

like

Additional Posts

Have an interview with EY FDD that includes a case and meeting with two senior managers. I heard the case was excel intensive. Any ideas on what to expect?

like

Does anyone here regret joining MBB? If so, why?

like

Seattle question. Offered base salary 110k as a finance manager in Seattle in the industry and I am a 1st year audit manager at KPMG now. Is this fair or I have been low balled?

like

Deloitte - Do you have Fourth of July week off? About to accept my offer and have PTO planned.

like

What am I supposed to do on a mental health day? I’d like to make this time productive, but I’m still answering emails and afraid to turn my phone off.

like

Post interview follow-up emails -- looking for advice. I don't want to sound too generic, nor do I want to sound too intrusive. (It's for a smaller PE firm). TIA.

like

I want to become an art director with zero design skills. I’m going to have someone else comp everything up for me. The ideas might be solid. Who wants to hire me?

like

Does anyone know what’s the salary range of a Cyber Manager in Grant Thornton? Is $170 too high for Chicago?

like

Maybe this isn’t the right place to post this. My sexual performance anxiety has gotten out of control and I cannot perform during sex with my girlfriend of two years. First year we had great sex, second year (COVID) derailed my mental and physical health and I’m still recovering. We haven’t had normal sex since January. Last night she initiated (shocked me) for the first time in forever and I got anxious and she started crying. I can’t keep breaking her heart like this. Most attempts (cont.)

like

What has covid19 taught you about yourself?

like

Which consulting firm in B4 has the worst negotiation tactics?

like

What’s your price to quit right now expressed as a percentage of your total comp? Curious how this differs across firms.

like

OKAY KPMG D&A FISHIES— I have an interview!! Tell me what I should know or study!! Please I really want this! Thank you!! KPMG

like

Is McKinsey the only one of the MBB’s that has a direct BA to EM path? For example does BCG have AO direct to Project Lead? If not, doesn’t McKinsey have an advantage for faster career progression?

like

SuitSupply fans- anyone know if there is a way to convert miles/points etc to redeem for SuitSupply gift cards? Thx.

like

How much do you bill for reviewing a client email and/or sending a response? Do you ever get any pushback billing for that?

like

MBB 🐠Does interviews round 1 performance impacts the final decision to extend an offer or does the final round matters most? Gauging my chances when I feel like borderline passed round 1

like

Which would you choose: MBB consulting or FAANG product management? Why?

likefunny

Anyone working at DHG in their tax group care to share their experience? Thinking about leaving a b4 for it and want to hear what people think

like

What is the best way to address a seeming lack of diversity at our agency? Should I speak to HR? There was a push to create a diversity board , but other than a questionnaire about what holidays we all observe, I have not seen any other results in 5 months?

like

New to Fishbowl?

Download the Fishbowl app to
unlock all discussions on Fishbowl.
Download Fishbowl to see what others are saying
That was just a preview…
Sign Up to see all discussions
  • Discover what it’s like to work at companies from real professionals
  • Get candid advice from people in your field in a safe space
  • Chat and network with other professionals in your field
Sign up in seconds to unlock all discussions on Fishbowl.

Already a user?
Login here

Share

Embed this post

Copy and paste embed code on your site

Preview

Download the Fishbowl app

Get realtime notifications and see
what's happening in your industry
from the palm of your hand.