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Who makes more money -- you or your husband? And does this affect your relationship? ”





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  • I am self employed and make substantially more than my husband. His job brings in little income (comparably) but pays for benefits, which are very good at his company. He seems to think my job is a cake walk compared to being supervised daily. From my perspective, he does not value my work or job other than being able to brag about his wife working at the "executive level" and enjoying the ample lifestyle it provides us.

    I manage the budget and pay the bills. He's pretty good about sticking to the plan, though I wish he had more of a desire to be actively involved in our finances because I feel like "mom" dishing out cash, and adjusting the budget every time he (or I) over spend or have something come up. His income is fixed and my income is adjustable and the more I work, the more I can make. I feel like I need to constantly make more to keep up with everything. He wants expensive "toys" and seems to think he cannot have less than the best. I carry guilt about his long wish lists.

    We have two children. A 2 year old and a 6 month old. It's more than obvious in our house that the kids are my primary, if not sole, responsibility. Although my husband loves our children very much and is a very good father is incredibly short tempered and has a hard time with his patience. I think this frustrates him, so he leaves the kids to me. I worry about this and his stress levels with the kids, so every time I have needed to be away from the children, I have arranged his support from grandparents or a sitter. I somewhat resent having to do this, but feel it is a better alternative them him losing his mind and taking it out on all of us. As a result, he has only spent three times alone with our children for more than an hour since my youngest was born.

    Another point of contention between us is that because I work for myself, and there is more flexibility, I also want to be sure the kids get really good quality time at home. I shorten my days as much as I physically can, without abandoning my work. Therefore I have a lot of work to accomplish in a very short period of time. This is incredibly taxing but it's so important to me the kids have very valuable learning and attention/loving moments that I know they do not get at daycare. My husband thinks because I work at home, I can do the dishes, the laundry, and get everything done while I am working. He constantly compares our jobs and tells me how hard his is, that he has a boss and rules, while I can just "do whatever I want." My job is actually incredibly demanding, deadline driven, and requires a lot of dedication. Before our children came along I often worked through the nights my husband was gone just to keep up. Now, some things just don't get done unless they are required for me to be paid. I feel really crappy about that because it affects my quality of work and my pride in my work.

    One thing that would dramatically help me accomplish more would be if he dropped off or picked up the kids on a regular basis. My husband has a very hard time picking up or dropping off the kids, unless I push and say I need you to do this so that I can work. He ONLY does it in these instances and seems to just think this is my job. Almost daily he picks up a coffee or buys breakfast somewhere and goes into work when he is ready, which is quite early, but he has admitted is not at an expected time. This is a HUGE point of contention between us. He does not understand why I am bothered and is doing little to accommodate my schedule or work needs, unless I pretty much mandate it.

    Although my husband doesn't make as much, to move up, he often pulls really long hours and has recently started school again. I think he is also trying to "catch up" with my degree and income on some level. I respect this and let him work whatever hours he needs to, including late late nights for work and most of Saturdays for school. He usually tries to come home for dinner and bath time with our two year old but often leaves and goes back to work. I am not sure if the over time is required, expected, or by choice. I think it's a combination of the these factors. Working can be much easier than managing two little ones and I feel he would rather work and leave the house to me at times. I, on the other hand, am never able to work overtime even when I have a big client, a crunch time, or the opportunity to make extra money. I want to be with our children whenever I can, but I resent the inequality in this.

    So, as a result, I manage the household.. everything from orchestrating the childcare to washing his laundry and socks (which I rarely find the time to fold while hot or put away and have heard about this on more than one occasion). With all that we have on our plates, we do have cleaners twice a month, but the day to day with two little ones and a business in incredibly difficult. Since his income does not cover the mortgage there is not an option to stay at home and i have already scaled back my work as much as I can and am as efficient as I can be. I sacrifice a lot of sleep and almost all opportunities for me time. I like the house to be picked up each night so that the next day is easier to get out the door and so that I can work from home without worrying about it.

    When it comes to the house, I have to push him to help out with things if its outside of the realm of an occasional dinner, bathing our son, replacing the water, taking out the trash, getting the mail, or feeding the cats. He strongly sees his roles as fixed. He somehow self decided his jobs and we just sort of fell into these categories. I don't like the roles but he seems to see ti as black and white now.
    I want a little more flexibility and blending of roles, kind of the “pitch in where as needed”. I’d love to be the one cooking more. He loves to cook and dominates that space, rarely letting me in the kitchen when he's home. However the time he spends on making more complex meals, which I often don’t value enough as I wish this time was spent on helping contribute to the household chores. He does not do dishes, laundry, or manage anything around the childrens stuff or supplies. Though he likes to do the shopping because he likes to spend. I'd prefer if he doesn't do this though because it always costs us quite a bit more when he goes and he doesn’t stick to the list..

    I love my husband very much, but the inequality factor is taking a huge toll on us and really affecting my desire to be partners and be as intimate. We rarely spend time alone together anymore. All in all, I don't think he's unhappy with things because he'd rather be able to do what he does, without the added responsibility, than have more stress on top of a full time job with a lot of overtime and a degree. I on the other hand am at my wits end!

    Flag as inappropriate Posted by Jane on 1st February 2010

  • I am soon to get married and I make much more money then my fiance' as he is a full time student. He brings in money for side jobs and such but he takes care of the laundry, cleaning, and all of the household maintenance stuff. I am an RN and I make enough to support us just fine. I will never be a "full-time stay at home mom" but I wouldn't mind at all if he wanted to stay home with any future children. He is great with my 12 year old daughter from a previous marriage. It was a struggle at first to deal with him not making as much money but he is furthering his education and really trying to pull his own weight in other areas. Its all about managing expectations and what works for us. I will say that we get alot of flack from our friends and family about our arrangement.

    Flag as inappropriate Posted by NinaBRN on 15th January 2010

  • My day starts at 5:30 AM. I catch a bus 1.5 sometimes 2 hours each way to work Monday through Friday. I start work at 8 and end at 4. I have to be at daycare to retrieve my children by 5:30. I then have to contend to after school activities on Thursday (where I must pick up by 5). I rush home to fix dinner and get my girls to bed by 8:30. I then have to clean the kitchen, wash at least one load of laundry and get myself ready for the next day. My husband 95% of the time, drops our daughters off at daycare. He is self-employed and works 7 days a week averaging a minimum 12 hours a day (I say by choice he's addicted to working, he says otherwise). When he comes home, he eats and goes to bed. He loves his business and is very lucrative at it. On the weekends, I spend my time running all the errands that did not get done during the week. As for cleaning, I am a bit of a neat freak. Not a clean freak, there is a difference. I make sure everything is picked up before bed and the house looks neat even though there might be some dust in the corners. I encourage the children to pick up, but as with my husband, it is a struggle. My husband feels like his work is a lot more strenuous than mine, truth be told, physically it is. Maybe not mentally, however, he feels that fact alone has earned him the right to do no choirs around the house. We have paid someone to come in every two weeks (as my husband suggested), however, she has been unavailable for the last month. I think if a couple works full time away from home, everyone is responsible for the same duties at home, no matter who the major bread winner is. Getting my husband to believe that has proven to be harder than it sounds.

    Flag as inappropriate Posted by Dawn on 30th October 2007

  • I do make more money than my significant other [I refuse to enter the contract of marriage and lose my independence as governed by the state of Missouri]. Although he indicates that this does not bother him, he clearly has a chip on his shoulder relating to the fact that I can for the most part, live the lifestyle I want to, which he benefits from this too. I have encouraged him to pursue the completion of his degree to help forward his career in management, yet he drags his feet and has a million excuses why now is not the right time. So more than money, my drive and desire to accomplish whatever I set my mind to causes more issues/problems than anything else, but there is clearly an issue with the salary that I make which is about 3X what his is.

    I guess this is why I am not sure that our relationship of four years will turn around to the right direction as I continue to move up the ladder in my chosen career of nursing. I recently accepted a new position as an Infection Control Practioner and I think this may have pushed my significant other over the edge. He has congratulated me and goes on and on about how happy he is for me, but I cannot buy into this from him as the sincerity is truly questionable. In addition, he has become distant and overly sensitve about every small money issue, ie paying for dinner. I hope he gets past this as he is a great guy, however I am not willing to compromise my career to stroke his ego either. What a blessing it would be to share life with a man that does not have such insecurities.

    Flag as inappropriate Posted by Mishia, RN on 7th October 2007

  • I make more than my husband and no it doesn't bother him or me. As long as the bills are paid, and he has time to do his artwork all is good in his world.

    Flag as inappropriate Posted by Kim Begnaud on 5th October 2007

  • I make alot more money than my husband (like 4X), and I provide all the benefits. This often causes struggles! He works in a small best friend owned retail business, which doesn't provide alot of flexibility in terms of his helping with the kid stuff during the week. It can get pretty frustrating because I do bear the brunt of the fiscal and child responsibility. He does recognize that, and tries to do more house stuff than I do to make up for the unevenness..but he's a real slob so that doesn't always work. We can easily live on my salary so I'm keep trying to convince him that he should be a stay at home dad, or just work part time. I think he deep down feels like he wouldn't be contributing (or maybe it's a manliness thing) if he stayed home. He's got two good male friends (neighbors) who are stay at home dads.

    Flag as inappropriate Posted by OliveMartini on 4th October 2007

  • We are about equal, though he may have eeked out ahead of me this year. For the most part, it doesn't matter: He has student loan debt, and I have three kids from my first marriage. So, we keep most of our finances separate anyway. I do like feeling like I am making the same though, so I am probably the more competitive of the two of us. He has a steady salary, and I am self-employed, though, so it's interesting.

    Flag as inappropriate Posted by Jen Creer on 4th October 2007

  • I'm the primary breadwinner and it's hard because I'm in law school at night. I have to keep working full-time because we need the money and the health insurance. I make twice my husband's salary, so you can see the issue. We, too, hired someone for housecleaning twice a month because I'm just too overwhelmed!

    Flag as inappropriate Posted by PT-LawMom on 4th October 2007

  • For many years I was the primary breadwinner but recently the roles have reversed and he is the primary breadwinner. Basically, we make similar salaries but I still manage to take on the majority of child care, household and financial planning responsibilities. My husband is fine when asked (told) to do something but I do get resentful when I'm the one that needs to anticipate, plan and orchestrate our daily living. In other words, it takes a lot of energy to be the one that knows birthday parties need to be planned, Dr's/dentist/ortho/eye dr.appointments need to be made, gifts need to be bought, clothes need to be bought, etc... So while I love my job and earning a good salary - I do get overwhelmed with the responsibility of raising three kids and maintaining a healthy marriage - it's not easy.

    Flag as inappropriate Posted by Megan on 4th October 2007

  • We own a fairly new business and the expenses and overhead are huge- I am working full time with another comapny and need to bring in the income as the breadwinner until the business gets off the ground.

    Flag as inappropriate Posted by Sally on 4th October 2007

  • I make more....and much like Kate mentioned it is tough since I will never have the option to stay home (although I'm not sure I could!) My husband definitely doesn't care that I make more money...and for the most part we split household chores...

    Flag as inappropriate Posted by Sarah O on 3rd October 2007

  • My husband makes a lot more money than me. I make very little since I'm at home with our (almost) four month old during the day. After the kids are in school and I start looking for more permanent work we'll see how things shift. I'm sure he would be absolutely fine with me making more money.

    As for housework, I do most of it. However, anything that is left for the weekends is split 50/50...at least that's the theory.

    Flag as inappropriate Posted by mamajama on 3rd October 2007

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