(Closed) Being the breadwinner sucks

posted 7 years ago in Relationships
Post # 32
2076 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: June 2014 - British Columbia

I used to make more than my Fiance… until he found a different job where he could grow into his career.

Honestly, if I was a sole breadwinner, and if he stayed at home and did all the housework and cooked (maybe work at a grocery-store part time), I wouldn’t have a problem. As long as the two of us work as a team towards a happy home.

ETA: I would much rather him be the house-husband! Kids who are raised by their dads are often found to be smarter — from what I’ve heard.

Post # 33
1180 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: August 2013

Money isn’t everything but it is oh so important. If he is out working every day (40 hours or more a week) then it’s not so bad but if he’s making minimum wage and not trying to better himself, I would have a problem with it.

Post # 34
5398 posts
Bee Keeper

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@Reign14:  I don’t want to work hard so someone else can be comfortable and happy. 

This statement is concerning to me. If you truly feel that way, then I don’t know if this relationship is going to work. My dad has always made exponentially more money than my mom, and it has always been “their” money. There is no his and hers. I grew up with this mentality, and FH and I have the same view of money also. I want us to have enough money to enjoy life together and reach our goals and it doesn’t matter who makes what. It is still ours. I’m not saying you have to feel the same way I feel (or that I’m right and you’re wrong), but if you don’t, I think entering into a marriage with someone who you know will not match your earning potential is a mistake. If you know you feel this way, you need decide if you can get past that and live with it or not. But do not marry him and resent him for it. 

Post # 35
1367 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: March 2013

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@Cynderbug:  I feel the same way. i would not mind being the breadwinner as long as DH could do a great job at taking care of the home. In reality though, he is not capable of or willing to house chores and he makes a lot more than I do so that’s not gonna happen.


I understand where op is coming from and to be honest maybe find someone else who’s more in Line with your goals and lifestyle…



Post # 36
1876 posts
Buzzing bee

@Reign14:  I could not be in a relationship like that for long and feel happy. Unless there was a medical/health issue preventing my fiancé/husband from being successful, I’d want him to be gainfully employed. To me, it is not about just the money but also compatibility. I work my butt off and have three college degrees. A man compatible with me has an oustanding career and is motivated, driven, and well educated.  If a man can not even hold down a decent job, I know he probably won’t soon have a great career.   His lack of success would mean that we were unevenly matched in terms of something, maybe intellect, education, motivation, work ethic, etc.  

I’d really consider this before marrying him, because you already sound unhappy. Ask yourself tough questions.  Do you want to support him for the rest of his life?  What if you have an absolute bedrest pregnancy? Could he take care of you?  What if you get cancer and need a year plus off?

While women can be the breadwinner and things are more equal today than in the past, the fact remains that only women can get pregnant and have babies.  I would not be able to conceive a child with a man who could not take care of me in the case that I fell ill while pregnant and could not work.  I find that socially irresponsible and would not want to have a pregnancy where my child is paid for by society..  I understand not everyone thinks of such things ahead of time, and don’t hold their choices against them, but if you are educated enough to know better, to me that means you have the responsibility to actively prevent such situations. If my fiancé didn’t make enough to support me through pregnancy should an emergency arise, I’d have to have a huge amount of money in savings to even feel comfortable getting pregnant.  Think about how you feel about such things before you marry this guy.

Post # 37
982 posts
Busy bee

My mum was the breadwinner and dad stayed at home with me. He makes a little, but not a salary and not guaranteed. It was difficult for my mother, mostlybecause she could not affford to take much time off to raise me/for holidays etc but it wasn’t the end of the world. The money she made was for all of us and any contribution my dad made was a bonus.

While it wouldn’t be odd for me to have my SO stay at home, it sounds as if it is a big issue for you and I don’t know that you will be able to get past it. 

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@BlondeMissMolly:  +1 

That comment is most concerning and I can see OP harbouring a grudge because of the discrepancy in incomes. You have to be sure that your love for him is stronger than your desire for an equal share of bills. 

Post # 38
264 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: June 2014

@Reign14:  You’re right it is annoying and it sucks.  I make between 2-3 times more than my Fiance.  And sometimes I get so annoyed by the things he spends money on.  Especially when I pack my leftovers for lunch and he insists on buying something while he’s out. What it comes down to is making a choice and deciding how to manage the differences between your styles.  And hopefully figuring this out before you get married.  I know its hard, but at least on this side it’s a lot less messy than with shared assets, debt, and kids.

My best advice is take steps now to avoid the resentment.  So on personal luxuries (lunches out, pedicures, etc) set aside a certain amount of cash you two can spend without consulting each other.  Then split the rest between bills and savings.  I think most people do this by the 4 account method: your money, his money, our money for bills, and our money for savings.  This has really helped us out.  

One more thing: Like you had asked, is love enough?  The answer is no because eventually this will wear on you.  But as yourself, is he working to his highest potential and does he do other things that provide value?  

My Fiance is working at his highest potential (high school with some college). He’s a blue collar guy and it would be great if he started his own business or picked up some skilled labor jobs like a mechanic or electrician; but, he’s a product of the choices that he made before me. That being said, no one will ever outwork him as he’s been pulling upwards of 12 hour days and weekends so that we can have money. And no other guys I’ve previously dated (other engineers, and white collar guys) have the heart he has. He’s a simple guy, he loves his family, he cares for me and of course the cliche he’s my best friend.  

I knew my guy was right for me when I had a medical emergency and he not only stayed with me; but also took care of me for the 2 months afterwards.  The guys before him, yeah, not so much.

When I start getting frustrated with my guy, these are the things I reflect on. Is it perfect, hecks no; but, I’d rather have him in the trenches with me than anyone else.

Hope this helps…


Post # 39
8434 posts
Bumble Beekeeper
  • Wedding: April 2013

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@Reign14:  Sorry you feel this way.  I personally could never be the breadwinner in a relationship because I know I would end up resenting the other person.  However, my husband loves being the breadwinner (I don’t work), so it works for us.  Does your Fiance have the potential to earn more?  Is there something that he could do that would make you feel better about this (i.e. second job, go back to school, etc)?  I feel that no one should be forced into the position of “breadwinner” without explicitly agreeing to it in that relationship.

Post # 40
845 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: February 2014

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@BrandNewBride:  I’m happy you ditched him. What a douche!



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@Reign14:  Career-wise I earn a little more, not much at all, but I do feel I keep us motivated which is a huge responsibility. Then I look at the fact that he basically runs our lives outside of work and our lives go smoothly because of his input there. I don’t think the money thing should be a deal-breaker, your guy still needs to find ‘his thing’ support him there and things will fall into place.

Post # 41
885 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: July 2009

@Reign14:  I think the monetary gap should not be an issue if you look at it as what’s yours is his and vice-versa.  Maybe changing how you view money might help.  

I am of the belief that it is harder for a relationship to work when there is a HUGE educational gap (not monetary) because it is hard to find things to talk about.  For example, college, grad school, etc… provide you with knowledge, interests, and exposure to things that make you, in my opinion (and for the most part–there are always exceptions) more well rounded.  If you have a partner who stimulates your mind, engages in meaninful conversation, and has the willingness to progress, then I suggest that the money issue not be an issue.  


Post # 42
666 posts
Busy bee

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@gemchick82: Thank you for posting this!  I think if OP feels this way deep down as well, then the salary differences can be overcome.

Also, if someone has never been IN this situation, then I don’t think they can truly relate or understand.  People are giving OP a harder time than necessary IMO.

OP- in reading your posts, I wonder if you have some resentments about his work ethic, or other contributions to your life with him – emotionally and otherwise, like helping with other things around the house.

I am currently in the situation where I make more than my Fiance, it’s based on the fields we are in.  But I feel secure and cared for because all needs are met in the other important aspects of our relationship.  

How are the non-money related aspects of your relationship? 


Post # 43
223 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: August 2014

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I agree that it would be ridiculous for a man posting about how his Fiance made less money. I do think that men are capable of being Stay-At-Home Dad. Its just not a relationship that I would sign up for because I enjoy my relationship where the roles are more traditonal.

I know OP was just talking about finances, but I think we can agree that finances are linked to our lifestyle and our roles in the relationship. Hence the term “breadwinner” 

I am giving advice from my perspective on the roles of finance in a traditonal/old school relationship. (I don’t want to fall too far down the bunny hole on this, but I enjoy my traditional role as the primary cook, cleaner, and caretaker for the dogs.As a teacher, I want my SO to make more money then myself- we split things 50/50 but his extra money goes into savings.  I am willing to do more at home than he is……whether I am ever a full time Stay-At-Home Mom or not. I get pleasure in knowing he makes more money than I do and that is what he has to offer me, while he is happy that he never has to worry about lunchs or dinners because I always cook meals in advance) 


I appreciate you saying that you have difference of opinion and being tactful and graceful in your response so I wouldn’t feel flamed. 🙂 

Post # 44
786 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: October 2014

@Reign14:  try being the one who cant bring in the money, im working 2 dead end jobs with no hope for ever going anywhere, i didnt go to collage because i need to work to help my mom pay her morgage… im not skilled in anything my Fiance always tells me “you do what you can and i love you for that” but i know deep down he hates that i dont help out, i try but then something always happens my car craps out, hospital, ect…its never ending i hate that he pays for everything im so useless in our relationship and i work way more hours a week then he does Cry

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