{ "media_type": "text", "post_content": "Are there women here that have a significantly larger income than their male partner/ spouse? My husband used to make a little more money 10 years ago when we first met (when we were both making under 60k). Then I started climbing a fast track career ladder and now make a total comp of close to 300k and he is still under 80k... (which is totally fine with me btw). But I have noticed that this has caused a lot of serious issues for our relationship. any advice?", "post_id": "617788b2ee173b002eabf66a", "reply_count": 47, "vote_count": 23, "bowl_id": "58f8171d753e990016608c07", "bowl_name": "Women in Tech" }

Are there women here that have a significantly larger income than their male partner/ spouse? My husband used to make a little more money 10 years ago when we first met (when we were both making under 60k). Then I started climbing a fast track career ladder and now make a total comp of close to 300k and he is still under 80k... (which is totally fine with me btw). But I have noticed that this has caused a lot of serious issues for our relationship. any advice?

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My husband has a significantly more than average paying job (80k UK), but my career has fortunately been a lot more high profile than his and I earn almost double now at 150k. Its never been an issue, even when I’m seen as ‘more successful’. I think it’s about making sure that money isn’t seen as the only, or best, household contribution. Sure, my husband does all the cooking, cleaning, that allow me to work longer hours. Most importantly he provides me with all the emotional support I need for me to do my job. It’s cheesy but it is and does feel like a real partnership. Frankly, I would not earn what I earn without him. I certainly wouldn’t have stayed sane at least, and I hope he knows that. Secondly, don’t fall into the trap of thinking or acting that making more money makes you smarter, better, or more valuable to the relationship. I’ve seen that a lot with some couples and once you start losing that equality and respect, that’s when it starts going downhill. Once you start thinking people ‘ought’ to feel or do a certain thing, you end up building resentment which is toxic!

likeuplifting

My husband makes about 70k. I make closer to 200k. Unlike you, though, I’ve always earned more than him.. and have actually kind of acted as a mentor to him in his career. He is ex-military and entered the private sector much later than me… so it’s to be expected that he wouldn’t be in the same place as me. My advice? If he isn’t highly invested in his career, suggest he quit and start his own business. It sounds like you can afford to survive off of one income and allowing him to create a company of his own might give him a ‘reason’ he craves since he isn’t the breadwinner society has conditioned him to be. It’s risky… but if it’s something he’s interested in, it might be like opening the door to his self-inflicted bird cage. That sound advice aside, assuming it’s him causing the relationship strain, that’s kind of an immature dick move and might warrant some counseling.

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I lucked out here. Nobody was as happy as my husband, not even me, when I hit 280k. He was still making 100k then. He makes twice that now, but still less than my current salary. Now he wonders why I don't make 1 million so he can stop working and focus solely on investing and making his own company while being a landlord and spending the day driving the dog around 😅 Suggestion for you - communication. Ask him explicitly what is making him uncomfortable. Is it him, or is it something his peers/extended family keeps reminding him of, making him feel less worthy.

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This is my husband's dream and he's totally cheering me on 🤣

No advice from me but am wondering what you do. I’d love to make 300k! I have been making slightly more than my husband for a long time now. He has no issues with it. He brags to others that I’m his retirement plan.

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I make significantly more than my husband. He makes around 60k and I make around 200k. It hasn’t been a problem for us because we went into the relationship knowing I would probably always make more. It also helps that he loves his job and he makes a pretty high salary for his field (musician). I think communication is the most important thing for us. We both had very different upbringings in regards to money growing up so that’s something we’ve had to work thru a lot in our relationship. Maybe try having an honest conversation about the issues that are arising. If talking 1:1 doesn’t work, you could always try therapy to get another point of view

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Same situation. Married to a film editor but work in high tech. Also raised differently in terms of finances. Totally agree that communication is the key to working out any issues.

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I recently go a jump to $185k, hubs makes $57k (by choice so he can set his own hours) and works from home so he does a LOT of things around the house. I think that's where the potential resentment could come with one spouse making more. Both spouses have to feel they and the other spouse are equally contributing to making the home work as well as seeing the total household benefitting as well. I've seen some that divvy everything based on contributing income but that just leads to resentment and anger. It's a communal pot of money and you both have to agree on budgets. They don't have to be completely equal, but ahreed upon and fair to both. An example is I have $200 a pay period going into a spending account for food and commuting expenses, office clothing, etc. He doesn't. He's home so he doesn't need that extra $$ set aside. BUT, when he wants to buy something fun for himself and we have the $$, he does. Our only mutual agreement is if an item is more than $200 we discuss it together first so there are no nasty surprises when the bills arrive at the beginning of the month.

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Correct. It's a completely shared pot of money. The critical part is communication. We discuss budgets and large purchases prior to making the financial commitment.

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This is such an open and honest thread - thank you! My fiance is a civil engineer at a reputable Global firm. He makes a healthy salary but I found myself in the good fortune of the tech world where I'm making nearly 3x. He is very supportive and would happily be a stay-at-home-dad if the opportunity presented itself. I never thought I would be successful in business. Perhaps it was my upbringing but I always envisioned my focus would be my family. I'm not sure I would want to be a stay-at-home-mom (by the way, something about this phrase feels wildly antiquated and 1-dimensional), BUT I do sometimes feel pressure to maintain my salary so we can maintain our lifestyle. That's a me thing. Just offering it up in the spirit of sharing.

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I make 92k, my partner is unemployed. He had kids young, has always worked in service jobs, and is taking the time now to finish an associates degree now that they’re older. It doesn’t cause any serious issues for us.

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I make about three times what my husband makes, but we always knew this would be the case because of the career path he chose. I highlight what he brings to our relationship frequently and with sincerity because I want him to know that finances are just a small piece of it all. We also regularly meet with a therapist both separately and together [I am a big proponent of investing in mental health the way we invest in physical health] and this helps our communication and trust.

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Yes, and for the past several years he has been a stay-at-home dad. It was hard at first for him to just acknowledge that instead of saying he was a freelancer but we're open about it now. People make ignorant sexist comments about it sometimes, including family and friends but it works for us. The more we accept this, the more normal it becomes.

likehelpful

What do they say and how do you respond? Disappointing to hear this is a thing in 2021.

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PRO tip, use that awesome insurance you both have and go get a couple's therapist. It really cannot hurt, and you could get a few new tools to add to your belt for communication and compassion for each other. The time investment is high, but it's your marriage.

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Depends on the guy, I made about double what my first husband did and he would frequently make comments about how I’d lucked out getting my job and that he didn’t know why they paid me so much. He got so resentful he started doing less and less work himself and therefore widening the salary gap between us. Even when I asked for a divorce he made the comment well you need to take the house as I can’t afford the mortgage ( there was very little equity in it). The guy I’m with now could care less but we do keep our finances separate as it makes it easier to know I’m spending what I can and vice versa. House is mine, he contributes to utilities and we each have our own car. It works for now after my first experience.

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I'm curious can you expand on what exactly it means to separate finances? I mean doesn't marriage mean really everything will belong to both no matter what?

I make about 20% more than my husband and it just makes me buy more watches. As long as you aren’t rubbing it in his face or treating it like it’s your money and not both of your money, I can’t imagine why he’s be upset unless he’s a misogynist

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I make 84k as an engineer ii, my husband 40k as a warehouse picker. He's a spender, I'm a saver and yes, it's not good and we have separate accounts. I pay all the bills except electricity and gas and carry the insurance. It sucks. Any tips would be great but we've been married 13 years and it's always been this way.

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My marriage ended for many reasons - but at the heart of it was my career. He started his career strong at PWC and had major issues keeping jobs. He believed he was going to be a partner at PWC and he just couldn’t keep the momentum I did career wise. When I was making 400k and he was making 90k at a small IT firm he couldn’t handle it. He also wouldn’t help with the kids much and I did way too much for too long. After 6 years of trying to fix it - I left. Tried counseling and talking through it but he could never say he was jealous. Most men can’t :(. Being divorced is really hard - but I continue to have an amazing career and so happy now. Without someone constantly criticizing and being jealous of me - my career continues to flourish. He should have been supportive and happy that he had a kick ass wife. All of us working women know how hard it is to move up and manage through all the egos and to have one at home too was just too much!! I hope your husband can get over it and support you - we all deserve it!!

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I make 160 (with high potential to make much more in a few years), my husband makes 100. Not a huge difference, and I’ve only recently begun out-earning him. But when we met, he was making 140, and his total comp made it up to 350 before he got laid off a few years ago. He has no problem with me making more than him, but I’ve found myself becoming increasingly resentful over the years, especially since I work extremely long hours and he rarely cracks 40hr/week and has no desire to work any harder.

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I can relate to this, well I used to relate to this. I’m separated and going through a divorce but it can be so stressful being the breadwinner to a man that has too much pride. Majority of the time it’s the husband that indirectly can not handle that he isn’t “taking care of the family”. My divorce is due to so much more than this issue though.. but we are still friends and co-parents. But even when I got a huge increase in salary recently from a new job when I did share the news his reaction was how depressed it made him, not “congratulations” 😒. I am always amazed at how much we do as women, and mothers, all while giving everything to our careers!

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OP, what position are you working as at IBM to have a total comp of 300k?

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I make 60% more than my husband. He has never showed any resentment and is very supportive. He also does a lot more than I around the house. The only annoying part is when we have money constraints and he calls out my spending (honestly I do not spend that much). If I discuss a big holiday trip or any other larger spend he is normally against it, however I work hard and get well paid and therefore I want to get a nice holiday that the kids can enjoy. This results in me resenting him for not being more ambitious and not looking to improve his income. He hasn't changed his job in years or looked for other offers. Maybe I'm the problem...

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I’ve always made significantly more than my husband. He just retired but I was making 3x his salary by that point. It never was a big deal to either of us. Our money is just our money. We have always shared everything and cheered each other on. We’ve been married 40 years so it works for us.

likeuplifting

I make exponentially more than my partner (tech vs. handyman/gig-work). He still works hard to meet me halfway on day-to-day expenses but I usually splurge on things like trips or events for the both of us. I’m also the only one saving. It mostly works out fine. But I do find myself feeling resentful that I because I primarily work from home I also end up being responsible with most of the housework. Trying desperately not to have to fill the gender stereotype of primary homemaker while also having to be the primary breadwinner.

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I think this is an important thing to talk about—As another commentator said, partners share the work in the relationship. If your partner has some more free time than you, then they can contribute more to household tidiness and chores to help out (or something else, if you would appreciate support in other ways). It doesn’t even have to necessarily be because you need to balance out the income disparity, it could simply be because they have more time, and you two are a team. My partner takes on a lot of the cooking and household “tasks” (handling our remodeling project, taking the car to get a check up, planning our trips) while I pay for all the day to day costs (groceries, supplies, meals out, etc). We had (several) direct conversations about this setup though, it didn’t all just naturally happen.

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I felt this. For most of our marriage he was the major earner and I stayed home with our kids. He brought in about 110k per year. Then he lost his job... I mean WE... Lost his job. I took matters into my own hands because I was tired of that happening. Now I make more than he does and there were times at the beginning of this period where he was feeling really unsure of what his role was in our family. He would make comments like "now you think you're all that because you have a degree... Or a better job..." So yes.. It's difficult, but he's got his job now and I've got mine. It finally got to the point where I told him if he was unhappy then maybe he should consider going back to school or taking a class to level up. It was a hard conversation we had to have. It's helped so far.

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I have overearned my partner for over a decade. Communication, asking follow up questions, and allowing each of us to have our responses is key to long term.

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