I’m in a 7 year marriage. My husband still does not understand my job and how much effort I put into my work to make my salary. He expects me to share 50% of the responsibility at home when he’s at 30k less salary than me and a 7:30-3:30 work schedule with no responsibilities outside of working hours. What things you do to set balance (including paying for services with your additional pay) in your home? (Additional context in comments)

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To be honest OP, you need to set boundaries.

Have a conversation about how you feel disrespected given your contribution. It would also help to have your husband see what you do, or describe your workday. Ideally, do this in a couples therapy session.

I had a very similar situation with my wife where i work 60–70, she works 20, we have no kids, and I make ~3x her.

I had to set a line in the sand and make it very clear what my situation was and that I needed help. She was telling other people, even jokingly, that I needed to do my part in the home. That toxicity took a long time to get over, but it started with me calling it out regularly.

Your partner won’t respect you if you don’t set boundaries

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Hours is an understandable metric to use when talking about dividing chores. Pay is NOT. It’s definitely not fair to say “oh he makes less so he should be doing more work in the house”. Base it off hours worked instead.

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Also I’m primarily asking for advice on what I can do to help our situation, not change our mindsets.

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Marriage isn’t 50/50 it’s both of you doing whatever needs done to make things work. If one person isn’t performing the other pics up the slack.

In your situation I think you both have a say in how the household income should be spent but a clean and taken car of house is necessary too. If your work schedule doesn’t permit you to do housework then he should either pick up the slack himself or allow you to hire a professional as long you can afford it.

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Thank you, we have plenty of disposable income to put towards this.

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I guess on the flip side:

My husband makes 3x to 4x what I make and he still helps around the house (esp now that we have a baby). He typically makes dinner while I'm taking care of the baby in the evenings. Should I feel bad that I'm "doing less" even though I make significantly less money than him?

He also sometimes has to work more and stay up late, but I'm the one that gets up with the baby in the night (still nursing - has to be me).

At the end of the day try not to think about it like someone is getting the short end of the stick. It's just not productive. If there is something that you both really don't want to do, see if there is room in the budget to pay someone else to do it.

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Thank you for your contribution M4, but its just not what I’m looking for here. I would love to just communicate and solve our issues but that has not been successful so far. We are working with a counselor to help with that and help us figure out how to compromise. My intent was to hear from people what they have successfully implemented in their own homes to improve their situation. I’m not upset with M1, I just don’t think what was being said to try to understand my husband’s point of view is helpful to what I am looking for here. But you’re right, I probably could have just let it go.

Funny thing is, if the role were switched, you would expect him to do at least 50% of the work and he would have to spend the bonus money for the family and not yourself and you’d still be complaining

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You cannot possibly make those assumptions from the small amount of words that I used to describe my situation. I am asking for advice not for a complete stranger to judge me.

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EDIT: If you read this before commenting, I would please ask for respect. I am currently in a fragile mental state and would like to hear only advice, not opinions on my relationship that you are not familiar with. I stated things the way I did to try to share facts about our situation to help people share relevant advice. I realize I did not do a good job with the words I used and I accidentally added emotion in that I did not intend to do. I do not look down on or consider our pay gap to mean that my job is more important or that I should do less at home. I just would like to find a way to clear things up in a way that takes some of the tasks that really bring friction off the table. Or lightens up the task load in general. Because we have not been successful at coming to an agreement on an idea of equal responsibility in the home.

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Of course he doesn’t want to put in the efforts, why would he be motivated to lose the benefits you have been providing? And since he has taken your contributions for granted, taking the benefits away feels unfair to him. Not trying to speak negatively about your husband, it’s just human nature. Hopefully your therapist is good enough to make him realize that and he will learn that he should invest his 100% in the relationship and can recognize and appreciate your contributions.

In terms of things to outsource, other than home cleaning service and lawn care, things I find helpful include premium car wash (if you have a car) that clean the inside of the car in addition to the outside, doggie daycare (if you have a dog) to free up some of the weekends, meal subscriptions (like hellofresh) so you don’t even have to go grocery shop and just follow the instructions to cook. And don’t be frugal on everyday products, like premium cleaning products make cleaning easier, and premium hair products make your hair easier to manage. Whatever your routine responsibilities you don’t enjoy, research on the topic and invest in whatever services or products that make those things easier for you.

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Hire a cleaning person.
It’s a small price to pay for some free time/flexibility when you don’t have time to devote toward certain tasks.

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💯 this will allow both of you to spend quality time and to things you enjoy money comes and goes but you can never regain time lost

(Continued) I understand that I need to work on my schedule a bit but still struggle with the expectation of 50/50 split of maintaining the home. He gets upset when he doesn’t feel like I’m contributing my fair share and thinks I’m being lazy when in reality, I feel as though I contribute just as much in life comforts from my salary. And the hard work I put into my job to be successful there is what gives us that. I also get a 15% bonus yearly that we have used for home renovations, his car payments, and more. He doesn’t think I should get to use it for myself at all.

Also open to advice on how to level set and explain how I see our contributions leveling out.

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Gotcha. No, my BIL knows my sister is his meal ticket and wouldn’t dare tell her she’s not carrying her weight of responsibilities.

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OP, regardless of whether I agree with your view of splitting household chores and financial burdens in a marriage. Here is what i would do if I were you.

1.) separate finances with your husband, have you own bank accounts and retirement savings, etc.
2.) list out all household expenses and create a budget, then allocate financial responsibilities between the two of you based on your income. So say you make 60% of the household income, then you would take 60% of the household expenses. Have a very frank discussion and make everything absolutely clear.
3.) list out all household chores and responsibilities, then allocate based on the opposite of your income ratio, so say if you make 60% of the income, then he would take 60% of the responsibilities. Negotiate and assign each task, like daily cooking, cleaning, lawn care, etc.
4.) with your share of the household responsibilities, outsource with your money if you wish, like hiring a cleaning service.

helpful

I’ve read the situation completely differently, he calls her lazy when she works tons of hours, so he focused on how she couldn’t do 50% of the chores and not recognizing or appreciating her financial contributions, which is to me is ignoring the financial burden that she bears. All I am saying is if someone wants to split 50/50 then don’t stop at chores, let’s do everything 50/50. It’s not because it’s a good way to handle a marriage, it’s because someone needs lesson that 50/50 doesn’t work.

OP, kudos to you for sharing specially such a fragile situation. I’m sure you’ve already went through this exercise but if you stepped into his shoes, what would your expectations be of your partner making more but having less time?

What would happen if you had another responsibility dropped on either of you? Who would pick up the slack / how would responsibilities be divided?

There are times when one person gives more then receives. A strong relationship is built when the partner supports the one in need. When partner two needs support, partner one should also be willing to jump in. A 50-50 relationship doesn’t exist imo. Sometimes it’s 60-40 and sometimes it’s 20-80.

There’s no right or wrong answer to the above questions as everyone’s situation is different.

Also I think we’re all envious of your partner if he has a 20 hr wfh job that affords him a great work life balance. #grateful

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To address SA1’s comment. I work 50-80 hours per week with 30% travel. My husband submits 40 hours a week on his timesheet but in reality works about 20, his job is very easy according to him.

By maybe over simplified I meant to imply that I was not intentionally trying to be disrespectful of his job. I don’t think it’s a bad job and I don’t want people to think I resent him for working less hours and making less for work because that’s not a dynamic or issue that we have.

Is it cultural? Where did your husband grow up?

I do think it is a different in values instilled when growing up though. He found success helping inside the home because his dad wouldn’t do it. My parents praised success outside of the home (being good at sports, volunteering, investing in relationships, etc.)

Do you have kids?

No

I think you guys need to come up with a list of daily/weekly/monthly chores and divide them up. Does he have more time to cook (and does he enjoy cooking lol) while you can clean up after and load the dishwasher? Is he able to throw a load of clothes in when he gets home from work while you fold them and put them away? Think outside the box on ways to divide these up in a way that seems equitable to both of you. Rather than bickering that one does more than the other, just find a way to get to equal effort.

Usually when I get into this type of argument with my wife, we end up having sex and nothing changes. YMMV

In all seriousness, my wife is a stay at home mom and I contributed to house work. Isn’t this equality? Lol

I am a women who makes 3Xs my partners salary.

My X husband:
We both worked hard but I worked more hours. He did not do anything; grocery shopping, cleaning, cooking, laundry. Not a single thing. He would pick up dinner on his way home. The difference between us is that he knew that I worked hard and acknowledged that. However, he was not willing to do anything about it. Therefore, I had to outsource it to a cleaning company/house keeper. Otherwise this was a rough spot because I felt like I was getting the short end of the stick because I did all the house work and made money to support us and our lifestyle.


My new partner:
I also make 3X more money than him. BUT, he cooks, cleans, goes grocery shopping, anything really to help out. However, I also do house chores. I don’t feel like I am slighted because this is now more of a partnership and I don’t see it as my money VS his money. We’ve both been in failed marriages and are now working towards a better relationship.


Relationships are hard work and I didn’t recognize that when I was married. Communication is key.

If anything: pay for housekeeping which will take loads of stress off your plate.

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