Post # 1
Darling Husband and I are kind of stuck. I bought the house we live in a few years before we got together. When we started dating he was actually house shopping but held off because we both knew our relationship was something special.
Fast forward, we live together in our (my) house. He contributes 50% to all bills/groceries, etc. He also pays probably 60-70% of our going out expenses (meals/entertainment). I pick up the tab on some of his daughters clothes and things so I feel we pretty much balance out. However, we are planning to buy a bigger house in 2-3 years and in the meantime there are things that need done to this house before we sell (bathroom/kitchen updates). He is really struggling because I am paying for majority of those things and other suprise expenses that pop up. He feels as a man he should be paying 50%+ of everything. It makes him feel like this isnt really “his” house too. It also makes him feel like he isnt carrying his weight as a man (his words)
The issue is we both make similar money at our day jobs (decent pay for our area), but I also have a side business that brings in an extra $~1000 per month. Thats mainly the money I use for the extra things that need done/pop up. Like tomorrow I am paying cash to replace our AC system that broke last year.
We have lots of talks about this and logically he understands it, but it still makes him feel bad about himself. He loves and supports me and is grateful, but he wishes he could do more. It seems the only way to not make him feel bad is to not do these things as fast and let him contribute as he can but it would take far longer and we both agree that doesnt make sense.
Ive also told him that marriage is a journey and right now I may be doing better but we have a lifetime ahead of us and those roles could reverse many times over. Maybe I get sick and cant work, or he loses a job, etc. Im trying to get him to see that its not a “him vs me” thing but a “we together” thing. He knows logically that is right and agrees but hes still stuck feeling bad about it.
How do I help him get over this patriarchal idea? He’s very “team us” in every other way but this societal expectation really does a number on him.
Post # 2
I think the best way to handle this is how you are already- positive affirmations and reassurance. If he has certain ideas and expectations of what a man should be, it will be hard to break him out of this mindset. But just continue to remind him you guys are a team and he is in no way inadequate. Good luck love !
Post # 3
I think you have two options.
1. Fully combine finances – this way there is no ‘his’ and ‘mine’ but instead just a single pot of cash. given you haven’t done this already I would assume there’s a good reason so this is probably a moot suggestion
2. Continue with positive affirmations – for having separate finances, I think you’re taking the right approach here and just reminding him that this is the financial structure of your marriage right now but that you’re a partnership and finances will ebb and flow on both sides throughout your marriage
Post # 4
Darling Husband and I have made practically the same money for our entire relationship, I currently out earn him slightly. I think his issue is he thinks money is the only way to contribute to a household which is far from true
Is he handy at all? Could he contribute free labor as a way to compensate for the $? Or is he already doing this and not recognizing that that is in fact a big contribution?
Also, he is likely contributing to your success and vice versa. If you have a side hustle it likely means he is picking up slack via housework or cooking or even emotional support. If hes not he should be
Post # 5
anonbee90210 : this would drive me up a wall. He should make more because he has a dick even though you have 2 jobs and he only has 1? That’s what he’s saying whether he is thinking that way or not. It’s 2019 and plenty of men have said f-that to the sexist and outdated belief that the man must make more in a relationship so I don’t think the societal pressure is there as much as you think. Tell him to stop keeping score! Joint finances may help. My husband works for the government (so a set pay scale, nothing he can negotiate) and he forgets his salary half the time lol. It doesn’t matter what we each make so long as the total family income is enough. If you work more hours for money he can “make it even” but doing more housework.
Post # 6
LGenz : Yes he definitely picks up a lot of slack. He does a good amount of the work with the house, kids, cleaning, cooking, etc. More than most husbands I know. He takes a lot of weight off my shoulders and makes our house run smoother for sure! I think thats a big contribution but he sees it separately from the financial stuff
Post # 7
The last thing I would want to do is pander to my husband to raise his fragile ego while I work full time and run a business on the side.
You might think this sounds dramatic but I guarantee you this will be a red flag for future behavior.
Post # 8
anonbee90210 : very interested in seeing the responses here—tuning in!
Post # 9
He doesn’t want to pay more – he wants you to pay less, so that his fragile fee-fees aren’t hurt. Screw that.
He has two choices:
(1) Increase his contribution (get a raise at his current position, start a new job, etc.) or
Post # 10
I find it odd the way you describe “my money” and “his money.” Are you not married? Do you not say “our money”?? I significantly out earn my husband, but our paychecks get deposited into one account. There’s no mine and his— just ours. Maybe you both need to re-evaluate the way you see the ownership of your funds.
Post # 11
sparkosity : We have separate accounts but split expenses. We review our household bills monthly and plan together for long term goals/savings. We just dont have joint accounts (our preference)
Post # 12
I think you’re already doing/saying the right things and don’t let yourself feel bad or even guilty for making more money and be able to pay for more things, which makes him feel worse.
This is a problem of HIS ego and while you can be understanding and patient, HE needs to work through those feelings until he really understands what you’re saying to him.
Post # 13
Jnicole94 : I agree! I am the breadwinner in our family and it took D.H. a while to get used to the idea that me making more did not make him any less of a man. We throw everything into the same accounts and call it our money, so I don’t think he really thinks about it much anymore.
Post # 14
As a female professional who was dating for a good while before meeting my person, I’ve run into this in a few short-term relationships (6 months or less). Invariably, each of those guys was uncomfortable that my career was higher-powered and more successful than theirs.
You’re obviously aware that this is a societal construction and makes a lot of dudes uncomfortable. I’ve seen a few PPs recommending that you continue to reassure him. Why? This is *his* insecurity that *he* needs to work on. It’s not something you can fix.
Quite frankly, I don’t have the time or inclination to baby the fragile male ego. It exhausts me, and I have plenty of other things to worry about.
You don’t have to be financially equal to be an equal partner. He is going to sabotage the relationship all on his own if he continues to struggle internally with this. Would he be open to couple’s counseling? Rather than reassurance, it seems like he needs a wake up call.
This is 2019, dude. Be glad you have a beautiful, successful woman by your side, bring your best to the relationship, and stop fretting over who pays for what.
Post # 15
anonbee90210 : I don’t get these nasty responses to the guy. As a female, I would feel like crap if I didn’t own half the house and never contributed to making it better in someway well my partner was spending their extra money on improving it. He’s right – it’s not his house! For anybody who doesn’t feel they are helping out, it can be a little – I don’t want to say emasculating but I can’t think of a term that is unisex – to not feel like an equal contributor. There’s nothing wrong with wanting to be equals no matter which gender you are. Why do we have to make it patriarchal to want to do well for someone we love or to be able to take care of them? Why shouldn’t we all strive for that?
That said, you’re going about it the right way. He’ll get over it in the long run, just as my husband has gotten over it that my parents are giving me my inheritance bit by bit before they’re gone so that we can get addition for our own home that we otherwise would have to do without – he knows that even though that is technically my money, it will be our house, and our addition, though he wasn’t thrilled initially.
Logically the sooner you can move to a house you choose together, the sooner he will feel more equal in that aspect of the partnership, though he might need to remember that money from selling your house will likely go toward buying the new one. Until then, he’ll live. Since you’ve already hashed it out, I would ask that he stop bringing it up though. That’ll get old really fast.
Sorry if there’s a giant font halfway through. Phone is being weird.