(Closed) Being the breadwinner sucks

posted 7 years ago in Relationships
Post # 3
47439 posts
Honey Beekeeper
  • Wedding: November 1999

@Reign14:  It is no longer written anywhere that the man shall make more than the woman, or even that they shall make the same.

Now that feminism has opened up so many job opportunities for women, it’s only to be expected that many women will be earning more than their partners.

I woud hate to think that something like this would come between you. Society simply values some jobs more than others, even though the people in the lowest paying jobs are often the ones that we simply can’t manage without.

If it’s bothering you so soon into your relationship relatively speaking, it will likely bother you even more as  time goes by. I suggest you give this some serious reflection before you marry.




Post # 4
12244 posts
Sugar Beekeeper
  • Wedding: May 2013

@Reign14:  I made more than one of my exes. He said something along the lines of “Well, you can’t take maternity leave. I don’t make enough money.”

And I ended up breaking up with him a few months later. For me, not being home with my (theoretical) baby was a dealbreaker!

Post # 5
920 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: June 2015

i understand the PP’s point, but the OP isnt saying he needs to make more than her… i think she is looking for a more level playing field…

however i totally see how frustrating that can be having to pay for nearly everything. i would say as long as your SO is putting effort into finding a job that supports the needs of both of you, it shouldn’t be entirely about the dollars. is he actively looking for a better paying job he likes? or is he showing no sign or urgency since you are making so much more?

Post # 6
154 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: May 2014

@Reign14:  I can not relate to your situation but I can understand your feelings. I guess, without knowing more, my opinion is that it is important to think about. I believe marriage should be a partnership and one party shouldn’t have to pull the wait for both people at ALL times. I can see times when it’s unavoidable – mat leaves, someone going back to school, getting laid off etc. but as a rule I think both people need to try and evenly contribute in some way. Have you tried talking to your SO about your feelings? I know I am on the opposite side (my Fiance makes about $30,000 more a year than I do) and I feel bad lots of times. It is a struggle I am trying to learn and grown from because I hate that I feel I can not pull my weight in the relationship. Unforunately my career path just does not make the same kind of money. So ya, money is not everything but you do need more than just love to make a life and future together. You need to address the issue now because you do not want to come to resent you SO because you feel you are stuck paying for everything. 

Post # 7
7624 posts
Bumble Beekeeper
  • Wedding: June 2013

I personally wouldn’t mind being the bread winner as long as DH was putting in an effort at work. If he didn’t work that would be a different story.

Does your SO work hard as well? Is he good with money or does he spend a lot? 


Post # 8
9129 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper
  • Wedding: November 2013 - St. Augustine Beach, FL

@Reign14:  If you’re not cool with it then you need to figure out whether this is a lifestyle you want to live.  I make significantly more than my Fiance but it doesn’t bother me because I would rather my Fiance be happy with what he is doing than work at a job he is miserable at.  It works for us but I understand that it is a lot of pressure being the primary breadwinner and if you’re not comfortable with it you have two options: 1) come to terms with being the primary breadwinner; or 2) break it off with your guy or hope that with encouragement he will step up and balance out the share of the financial burden.

He was so miserable at his “real” job that I encouraged him to quit and start writing full time.  He is so much happier.  It works for us because I like being the primary BW and he is willing to be a happy house husband and stay at home dad.  I would much rather have a happy man doing what he loves than being miserable working a job he hates just because he makes more than I do.

If you don’t like this situation you need to encourage him to take a better job with more pay, come to terms with him making less pay, or leave him and find a guy that makes more money and fits your other criteria for a good SO.

Post # 9
823 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: August 2013

I am in the opposite boat. Fiance makes $40,000 more than I do and technically, he definitely pays for more of everything. We lovingly joke that my paycheck is pocket change ;P  I don’t take Fiance and how hard he works for granted, but our different career paths do seperate us on the financial playing field. We love each other and see everything, including money, as ours. 

At the end of the day, loving the person you’re with matters more than money. It wasn’t so long  ago that Fiance was unexpectedly laid off, couldn’t collect unemployment, and we lived off my very tight salary for nearly 8 months. i didn’t resent him or make him feel guilty for making less (or none) and now our roles are reversed. You never know what might happen, and being married is about being a unit and depending on each other. 

i also agree with a previous poster that you being a woman doesn’t make you entitled to make less money or not work as hard. 

Post # 11
1377 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: March 2014

Do you feel that his layoffs have been because he’s a low performer and they were looking for a reason to get rid of him? Or have they simply been a matter of being in the wrong department at the wrong time? Is there anything he can change about how much he makes, ie advocating for himself better regarding raises and promotions?

Post # 12
101 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: May 2015

I agree with everything that 

View original reply
julies1949 said.

It’s sad that people (women and men) feel that they’re not pulling their weight in a relationship if they’re not bringing in 50% of the income. Just because society has decided that their jobs aren’t worth as much doesn’t mean that they as people are worth less or have less to contribute to a relationship. Take SAHMs for example. Just because they don’t earn as much money does not mean that they’re not working as hard. 

So, unless your financé is unemployed and not looking for work, I don’t see the problem here. To answer your question, I don’t think that love is enough in a relationship. Relationships take work and mutual respect, but you shouldn’t need to work to find respect for your life partner. He shouldn’t have to ‘prove’ that he can make more money.

Obviously, I don’t know the whole story. If he’s not making much money at all (to the point where you’re struggling financially) and could be making more in a different job, that’s something different.

Either way, I think that you should talk to him about your feelings. My partner is currently supporting me financially 100% while I try to get my business off the ground. However, we sit down and discuss our money situation often. I make sure that he doesn’t feel any resentment. If he did, I would try to get a PT job to help alleviate his stress. I trust him to be honest with me about his feelings, or else this wouldn’t work.

Good luck!

Post # 13
1004 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: May 2013

@Reign14:  I would not mind one bit if I were the breadwinner… in fact, I often wish I was because I hate knowing that we rely so much on DH’s income. What confuses me is why you care, unless you are hoping to eventually marry someone who makes enough that you don’t have to work or you just want to earn more as a couple.

 Are you confused about whether you can live with being the primary breadwinner, or whether you are happy in your relationship enough to continue even though you’d rather have more money?

I kinda feel sorry for your guy, if you have actually said anything to him like “I’m waiting for you to prove to me you have earning power”… if my SO said that to me, the relationship would be over for me because money is not the most important thing in my life or my relationship.

Post # 14
3370 posts
Sugar bee

@Reign14:  I never minded being the bread winner. But in the one relationship where I was the bread winner he only worked 6 months out of the year (and that went on for 5 freaking years), refused to look for a second job or a new job altogether and also gave me shit about watching our kids (which he called babysitting). So it didn’t bother me being the bread winner, it bothered me that he was lazy. My Fiance makes more than me now (not the same guy), but if someday I make more it’s fine by me as long as he keeping putting forth the effort to work.

Post # 15
339 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: June 2016

I would leave my SO in a hot second if she made a fuss about money like this. Unless you’re living in a van down by the river and he is flat out refusing to get a job, I see it as a non issue. 

Why do you have such an issue with paying most of your trips or rent or whatever? Serious question, not snarky. 

I don’t work and I am a Stay-At-Home Mom so 100% of the money is brought in by my Fiance. She has never once complained that I don’t work or told me that I need to work. I have more value to her than money. 

Post # 16
2552 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: April 2013

If he is a hard worker and you love him and don’t have issues otherwise, try to get past this. It is very difficult to find someone that makes exactly the same as you make. Would you have a problem dating a man who made more money than you? What bothers you exactly?

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