I Earn More Than He Does
It can be tricky when you make more than your spouse. Here’s how some couples deal with it.
Although the glass ceiling still exists, a growing number of women are making more than their male partners. Here are the effects this has had on their relationships … Turns out that even in 2009, gender roles can both strengthen and stress a marriage.
It Makes Their Relationship Work
Gina Madison, 28, of Pittsburgh, works in corporate communications and brings home more bacon than her husband, who works in landscape design. She says this works for them: “In fact, he enjoys bragging to his friends about the fact that I make more than he does.” Gina enjoys being independently financially stable — and she loves to shop and get pedicures without guilt or judgment from her husband: “I love that my shopping trips are rarely questioned because, after all, I am earning the bulk of our money.” Plus, their future goals are in alignment. “I am an extremely motivated and career-driven woman. Although I would like to have a family some day, there has always been the fear in the back of my mind on how I would manage the whole work-life balance. Since I am the breadwinner, my husband and I have set ourselves up very nicely for him to be ‘Mr. Mom’ down the road — something that we both fully embrace,” says Gina.
Men Can Be Surprised — And Not Always Pleased — By the Disparity
Pamela Ricci, 25, of Boston, knew that she earned more in marketing than her husband-to-be did in sales, but he didn’t: “My husband discovered that I earn more than him after we were married when we put together a budget. It was a surprise to him, and he seemed a little wounded at first, but he has come to accept it and it doesn’t seem to bother him.” She also likes the freedom to spend: “He will say things like, ‘I can’t tell you not to spend your money, but I think you could have spent it on something more important, or saved it.’ I think if it were him that were making more, he would be more vocal about my spending.” While her husband is now cool with her earning the bigger bucks, she’s more than okay with it: “It’s empowering for me as a new bride. I went into this marriage with something to offer financially, and that reinforces my position as an equal in the marriage.”
Tricia Kent, 36, of Vero Beach, Florida says that while “it’s never been an issue,” she is sensitive to her husband’s pride. Says the public relations partner and mother-of-two: “He’s mentioned a few times about me not rubbing it in his face — I never did of course.” She wouldn’t be against him earning more, though. “It wouldn’t be a bad thing — it would certainly ease my mind a bit about finances and taking care of two children,” says Tricia. “It would be nice to be able to wake up and go to work not because I have to, but because I love what I do for a living.”