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Men who have a disparity in income in comparison to your partner, what are some of the struggles you’ve had to deal with?

Do your friends and family try to butt in their opinions? Do you split everything 50/50 or do you use different ratios? Has your partner held it over your head and made you feel a certain way about it? What are your stories?

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22 Comments

  1. My wife is basically a stay at home mom. Before the kids were born she was a nutritionist and she’s trying to get back into that as the kids get a little older. Doctors call her for consults and she can come in to meet with patients.

    She never made anything even close to what I made in technology sales.

    It makes absolutely no difference to me or her. I handle the finances. If she makes income it’s hers. Being a stay at home mom is a job which I totally respect. I would never hold anything over her head financially, it just is what it is.

    This is pretty common in our circle of husbands making enough to pay for life so our wives can stay at home with the kids. In one case there is a stay at home husband.

    Part of this is not keeping up with the neighbors. Having cars paid off. No credit card debt. Not being dumb with money. She’ll never spend a lot of money on anything without clearing it with me. We’re a team. What’s mine is hers and she’s smart about it so no worries.

  2. My wife made nearly double what I did when we got married, I paid the mortgage and car insurances, she paid everything else. Now she works very limited hours and I make triple what she brings in, so I pay for everything and she pays for food. The only thing that changed in our relationship is I now control the thermostat lol. No one in our family or her friend group cared, or even knows of our finances, why would they?

  3. My wife started her career before me and was making rougly double what I was for about 2 years. I made a spreadsheet (I feel like I say that so much it should be my catchphrase) and we broke down our weekly, monthly, and annual expenses and did a ratio based on gross earnings. Then we divided our numbers by pay periods per year and each put that amount into a shared bank account, keeping the remainder separate. We only use that money for bills, groceries, mortgage, etc.

    Its amazing because we each have our own money, but we know the bills will get paid on time. My buying video games doesn’t impact her and her buying shoes doesn’t impact me, so we basically never fight about money.

  4. My girlfriend makes at least 6 crap tons more than I do. For the purposes of this, let’s just say that in a good day, she makes more than I do in a month.

    It’s never been much of a problem, except sometimes I have to remind her that I don’t shit gold like she does.

    She’s a lot less budget-conscious than I am. Also, while I’m a careful customer and like to research everything before I make a significant purchase, she just goes ahead, buys it, gets annoyed for 5 minutes if it isn’t good, then buys a better one.

    With that being said, she has her money and I have my money, so it’s not a problem. Each of us spends however we please.

    ​

    >Do your friends and family try to butt in their opinions?

    Her family does, but really, they’ll come up with any excuse to be assholes to me. She doesn’t like them any more than I do.

    It’s none of our friend’s business how much money we make, so they don’t know.

    ​

    >Do you split everything 50/50 or do you use different ratios?

    50/50, always.

    ​

    >Has your partner held it over your head and made you feel a certain way about it?

    Never. She wouldn’t be my partner otherwise. Thankfully, she’s not like that.

    She actually wishes I’d allow her to pay for me more.

    ​

    >What are your stories?

    Not much of a story.

    Neither of us thinks money is a big deal and it doesn’t make much of a difference in our relationship.

  5. My sister and her fiance were about 70/30 in terms of their income when they first started dating. She didn’t care, since she supported herself, and she also had full faith in her fiance’s drive to rise up in his field. They didn’t split things 50/50 as that wouldn’t have been fair, but they split finances based off of their income.

    The main thing was that both of their credit scores were shit, so they worked to raise those. A few years in, their income had a lot less disparity between them, and now, they’re basically earning the same. As her family, we never questioned it because she loved him and he loved her, and that seemed to be the most important. Plus, she was self-sufficient enough where she didn’t NEED him to support her.

    Now, I am in a similar situation where I make more than my man. Not by much, but he is going to take a pay cut beginning next month due to COVID. Since his previous two exes expected him to be the main breadwinner, he had a bit of a complex about it. We talked through it, though, and I explained that while I understand where he’s coming from, there is so much more to him I value than his ability to bring in money.

    Plus, there will be times in our relationship he may be earning more than me. It’s an ebb and flow. We plan to be together the rest of our lives, and as long as it’s us against the problem and not us against each other, I don’t give a shit about anything else.

    I know that may not seem like the most logical or rational example, but I’ve supported myself for the last 4 years. I don’t need a meal ticket. I want a partner, and that’s what I have.

  6. I make double what my wife does. We live way under our means so we never have money issues. As a result of that she can buy what she wants and I’ll buy what I want. We have a joint account.

    I never liked the you pay your half deal in marriages. You’re married, not roommates.

  7. Zero struggles here. We don’t fight about money or who makes more or less. My wife will eventually out earn me and I cannot wait for that to happen.

    I make 60% more than my wife. We share the bank account and both take a personal allowance of 200 a month that we get to spend for ourselves no questions asked. This covers clothes, outings with friends, alcohol, fast food, video games, gifts for each other, etc. Everything else is put towards bills, savings, household items, groceries, retirement, or anything we both would use. We make exceptions to this rule every once in a while. It works well.

  8. was in the situation with my long term gf. I am lucky she’s just as, well, frugal as I am, and we pretty religiously always split everything 50 50. she was more generous with gifts, especially if it was things we both benefitted from, like a holiday or something. always felt it was a good mode for doing things.

  9. I dated someone for a long time that came from money. I insisted on paying my fair share, but she would spoil me at times. It would frustrate me that she didn’t care about money, because there are “more important things in life,” which is only said by people that have always had it.

    I sincerely didn’t care she was rich. I didn’t feel inferior because of traditional gender roles and I made sure that my job could always support me. When I bought my house, I put it in my name with my income only. It was a great decision because we broke up a few years after that.

    As for my friends giving me crap about it? Who cares. I was in love and the only thing that matters is what *she* thought about the matter. If I was treated as inferior or belittled, I would have booked it.

  10. My partner and I are both in the arts, but she’s had a harder time getting jobs/finishing her degree later than I had. We lived a few hours away from each other, and to put things in perspective, my cost of rent/monthly living was twice as much as the one she was able to get a hold of. I knew I was more well off than her from the various part times I had along with art sales/awards, so I’d often pay the cost of things like her traveling to see me, our meals together, etc. just casually doing it cause I didn’t want to ask and distress her by making her worry bout paying when I know she had little to no income. She never really had to ask me to pay for anything, I sorta just did it cause I knew her life and current situations well. She’d pay for our meals out/groceries when she could/when she gets to the card payment first and refuses to let me handle it and I know those moments were really sweet of her. She’s got a job now (sorta, it’s on hold since West Coast is on fire and layered in smoke), so now it’s definitely going me paying for most things to it sort of balancing out. Really proud of her.

  11. Not currently, but my ex wife made almost triple the amount I made when we were together. It never bothered me. She respected me, and I respected her purchasing power. I’m a very laid back guy and don’t need much, but when I wanted something it wasn’t an issue. We split bills by percentage of income. For instance if I made 45k a year and she made 55k a year I paid 45% of the bills and she paid 55%

  12. In my “culture” we don’t really talk about money openly. I know that I make approximately double the amount my girlfriend makes. That’s not to say she makes little, she’s very comfortable. We tend to split 50/50, but in reality it’s probably more like 60/40 where I pay 60. Also, sometimes I like to treat her. I like to treat *us*, so that hotel room upgrade or other little extras are often on me.

  13. Wife makes maybe a 3rd of what i make with a more expensive car and similar phone bill.
    I handle the entirely of our housing costs and hakf the grocery bill. She handles the cable light and her own expenses. Biggest issue was her inability to realize how much of our cost of living is something i handle on my own. We have had several major fights over this mostly when she overstates her financial contributions or gets dismissive because i “only pay rent”

    Contribute proportionally to what you guys make. No reason why one should be penniless and the other loaded

  14. Sometimes I have to disappoint her by saying I cant afford things. She is pretty understanding and knows she is putting away 10s of 1,000s a year by living down on my level. She makes almost 2x as much as I do, and also doesn’t have the student loans I do. I feel bad she has to lower her quality of life on my account, but she doesn’t seem to mind too much. She doesn’t like showing off money she makes so sometimes its a tad awkward around our friends as we are definitely the lowest in our circle income wise(my fault). Other than feeling bad for her it doesn’t bother me much, I cant compete with the family money most our friends started with so I don’t even try keeping up.

  15. Well, I don’t know if it is relevant or not. But my partner used to get more internship stipend money than me. And we were all living away from our home city and we lived together at a place that we rented out for 3 months at a different city. Well, I made peace with the fact she’s more skilled and qualified than me, hence she earns more and it is okay. We didn’t fight because of this “disparity”. So we lived by a rule, which was who earns more pays more.

  16. My wife probably made half what I made when we first got together. We turned her side hustle into a full on business. I still always paid for everything when we went out.

    When we got engaged we merged everything. As kids came along she shifted her focus from earning to taking care of the household. I basically provide all the finances. Never thought twice about it.

    She might ramp her side gig up again now that all the kids are in school. We’ll, once covid blows over. If she works great, if not, great. We’re in this together and play our strengths.

    No one has ever put their noses in our finances.

  17. Non-issue.

    If you value your ‘worth’ in your couple just by how much you bring to your bank account, then there’s definitively something not healthy about your relationship.

    Just make what ‘you’ feel comfortable with making and let your SO do the same; whoever else that chips in in telling you you should have a better paying job than the one you have is probably envious of you being able to go to sleep at night from not having a stressful job making them lose their hair early.

  18. Wife and I have always treated whatever we have made as ‘family money’ into joint accounts instead of ‘her money’ or ‘my money’. At some periods she has earned more, other periods I have earned more (sometimes quite a bit). We have very similar spending philosophies (fanatic savers) and are both generally quite comfortable living below our means which eliminates most money stresses for us.

    It works really well for us but does have the corollary effect of simplifying the issue of birthday/anniversary gifts – wife’s philosophy is ‘why are you spending our money to buy me a gift – I’d rather get it myself’. So romance takes a bit of a hit there, but satisfaction with gifts increases dramatically.

  19. If you’re talking about making less than her, that was true when we first moved in and started splitting expenses. We did things proportionally for the major recurring expenses, rent and bills. We figured out what we needed a month and split it roughly along the lines of our proportional income. Groceries, dates and such whoever got it, got it. We never really kept track. It was never a friction point between us or with others.

    I make a decent amount more these days and things work pretty much the same way.

    Carefully sticking to a 50/50, especially for big things like rent or a mortgage always seemed silly. You’re just cutting off options that you could afford as a couple. If you can find a place that works with a lower budget that’s obviously great, but there’s no reason to nix things you could swing comfortably because you can’t swing it 50/50. What’s the point of the extra cash from the higher earner if they can’t spend it on a lifestyle they want, yeah?

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