(Closed) Income discrepancies?

posted 6 years ago in Money
Post # 3
Member
5475 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: August 2012

We are the other way around… so I’ll lend you my perspective ๐Ÿ™‚

 

When we first moved in together, he relocated from another part of the state so he was looking for work.  He ended up working 2 part time jobs as it took him around 8 months to find full time employment.

I paid for our living expenses, helped him buy a newer, more reliable car, and I even bought my/our house with no assistance (financially) from him.  I also paid for the majority of our wedding.

I did ask for his help in other ways though, since he expressed to me some of the same hesitations you mention.  He didn’t want to feel like a mooch, he wanted to contribute, but knew he couldn’t match my contributions financially. 

-When we moved into our house, I was on crutches, so HE actually did all the moving.

-While wedding planning, he offered opinions/insight/ideas, and helped me call and e-mail potential vendors.  He and his family suggested an ‘acquaintance of the family’ who is a professional DJ- this saved us TONS on the music. 

-He does more of the cleaning than I do, and he does all the yardwork (except weeding, that’s all me).  He cooks meals, takes care of fixing small things.

Now that he’s working full time (and has been for a while) he does contribute to the household financially- he will buy groceries, pays for the internet service, etc.

At no point did I feel like I had to do it all myself, I know that making more money or being able to contribute more doesn’t mean I’m the superior partner.  We are partners, and we each contribute in the ways that we can, and often those are just different ways ๐Ÿ™‚  Every time I offer to buy something or help him buy something, I look at it as an investment into our future. 

Anyway, sorry that got long, I hope it at least helps shed some light from the other side of the coin.

Post # 4
Member
7647 posts
Bumble Beekeeper
  • Wedding: July 2012

I can’t relate, but you do well for yourself and that is something to be proud of. Just keep saving and bring all that into the marriage. You can also use it to still pay for wedding related items, but if he doesn’t want you to then just save it and bring it into the marriage for a great honeymoon, baby, whatever.

You may still feel guilty, and unfortunately there isn’t anything I can say to help with that. Just know you are helping in many other little ways that will count for big things later ๐Ÿ™‚

Post # 5
Member
8444 posts
Bumble Beekeeper
  • Wedding: April 2013

@LindyLu:  Don’t feel bad, the truth is, your SO wants to marry you, therefore, it’s something he wants to spend money on.  I’ve been a live-in girlfriend/FI for almost 4 years now, and the cost of the wedding falls on my Fiance (as well as bills, mortgage, etc) who is happy to do it.  You and your SO have to see yourselves as a team, where all resources and responsibilities are shared.  If you go down the road of “keeping track” of who is contributing/helping, you run the risk of resentment creeping into your relationship.

Post # 6
Member
6123 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: August 2012

@LindyLu:  

Yeah, there’s a glitch with the paragraphs sometimes!

 

I would say maybe start thinking of you two as a team with joint goals.  Everything you both do is all for the greater good of Team Us!  You contribute things, he contributes things – it may not all be just money but you both put forth effort to make the relationship the best it can be.

Post # 7
Member
9053 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper
  • Wedding: June 2010

I think there are some measurements that aren’t able to be calculated monetarily that come into play in a lot of these situations. In our case I do all right and certainly could support myself but dh makes about double what I make.  I certainly have more earning potential but at this point we tend to cater to dh’s career needs.  assuming we want to remain non-long distance relationship I’m limited to looking for prospective jobs in the area immediately surrounding his work. So, his job directly impacts my ability to seek better pay.  This is a decision we’ve made as a team about the priorities in our life and we don’t really keep track too much that he “supports” me if we both want the lifestyle our combines salary provides. 

Its just like any team.  Sometimes the offensive players score all the points but to win you still need defence That might not get the same glory. 

Post # 8
Member
1607 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: October 2013

I can abolutely relate (see some of my earlier posts on the bee.) Our situation is similar: Fiance and I both have bachelors degrees, but his is from an ivy league school and his job is way more prestigeous than mine. He makes aprox 4X what I do (and I have a decent salary and work a normal, 9-5 type job.)

When we moved in together, before we were engaged and before I met his family, I thought about money a LOT. I had a ton of guilt even though I contribute to the household (I pay about 1/3 of the rent and certain bills and he covers the more expensive bills and most of our “recreational” spending) and I felt like his family would see me as some sort of gold digger. It was really becoming an issue for me so we talked about it.  A lot. He needed to know how I felt and needed to know where my feelings were coming from- his family is quite wealthy and, while he was not spoiled or anything, he never had to worry about if they were going to be evicted from their two room apt like my sister and I did growing up.

We had a couple of long talks. There were some tears. I started feeling better.  Then I met his family and they LOVED me (and were awesome, amazing, down to earth people) and slowly I started feeling like one of “them.”  When we got engaged his stepmom sobbed and welcomed me to the family. They post on my facebook page about how they can’t wait for me to come visit and drink wine on the porch with them. I’ve come to realize that they’re not obsessed with money like I have always been because it’s not a source of stress for them. They donated a few thousand dollars to a local animal rescue that we love in our names as a gift.  They are good, kind people who don’t notice that I’ve had the same pair of pumas for 4 years.

 

The guilt is subsiding.  Fiance and I are opening up a joint bank account soon for household expenses and “fun money” and it will be funded mostly by his bank account. It still feels weird to go out to dinner and have a $350 bill without him batting an eye, but I realize that he works hard for his money, is good at his job and WANTS to take care of me as he’s said so many times. Now, I spend about 80% of the time being exceedingly grateful (and the other 20% waiting for the ax to fall, but thats just how I am.)

 

My advice would really be to talk to him about it.  I think the real turning point for me was him saying the words “I want to take care of you.”  His actions always showed it, but knowing that he was conciously saying it made me feel like I wasn’t “swindling” him in some way.

 

It seems really stupid, but I know how hard this can be. Good luck!

Post # 9
Member
2755 posts
Sugar bee

@bkrocks13:  Wow, can I just say THANK YOU for this post?

I am in the early stages of what you described – my SO is *very* well off and it’s been hard getting used to that because, as you described, my life has been all about worrying whether bills will all get paid and having food to eat. I have so many of the same fears you echo in your post – his family/friends thinking I’m a gold digger, feeling inadequate, etc. He recently paid $1,000+ to change my plane tickets so I could visit him next week instead of this, and acted like it was NOTHING – that’s the kind of money I can only dream of having to spend whenever.

Anyway. Thank you, your perspective is majorly helpful and I think I may have a similar talk with him as we draw closer to moving in together so he understands how I feel and where I’m coming from.

Post # 10
Member
1607 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: October 2013

@MissCalifornia:  I’m so glad to be helpful!

Its a weird thing- I have a lot of friends who didn’t come from wealthy families (and his family is probably the wealthiest I’ve ever encountered) and they tell me that I’m crazy and to just enjoy it…but I feel like being REALLY poor growing up (and really until recently- i worked my way through highschool, paying a portion of my families rent and then worked through college and straight through until now) gives you a different perspective. It’s kind of damaging and has made me a hugely anxious person- my relationship with money is not healthy, but its getting there.

Dont even get my started on what it feels like to be wearing more than twice my moms annual salary in the form of an engagement ring.  Surreal is all I can say.  And I am so, so lucky that the man who I fell in love with (before knowing any of this) also happens to be able to provide me with a more stable life. Very lucky ๐Ÿ™‚

Post # 11
Member
3625 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: June 2012

I know where you are coming from. In fact, one of the issues I’m talking about with my therapist is the issue of money, which has always been a source of guilt and problems growing up. Darling Husband knows about this and makes an earnest effort to say “our money” and “our savings” rather than his, even though it is predominately his. We both have advanced degrees but I started my career later than him so it will take me some time to catch up. Further, Darling Husband is his own boss whereas I’m subject to the whims and regulations of a corporation.

I think a lot of it has to do with time and being confident in yourself and realizing that he knows that he is the main breadwinner when he came into this relationship and it’s not about the money. It was still hard to grasp this concept when we first got married but it gets easier with time. Does he know you have these concerns? If you have children, it gets progressively easier after that.

Post # 12
Member
2755 posts
Sugar bee

@bkrocks13:  Good lord, reading what you wrote felt like I was reading something from my own head. I know exactly what you mean – I almost broke up with my SO early on because I wasn’t sure if I could handle being with someone who didn’t get where all my anxieties came from. Like, how do you begin to explain to someone wearing a $300 shirt what it’s like to wear the same pair of jeans for months because you can’t afford to go buy a new pair?

My big thing right now is trying to establish myself before and after we move in together, so that it’s not him strictly taking care of me. I want to let him so badly, but there’s a part of me that, like you mentioned, is waiting for the other shoe to drop and I’m constantly paranoid about getting too comfortable.

Post # 13
Member
979 posts
Busy bee

@DaneLady   +1  we are the exact same.

 

I make far more money than my Fiance.  He does the laundry, cooks and has dinner on the table when I get home from work because he gets home before me. He cleans up while I take care of my kids and their homework.  He shops and buys food and things we need, while I pay the bills. If I need help once in a while, I’ll ask him to help. But we are in it together.  He has no credit. He’s always paid for everything for cash and doesn’t have credit established, so that is all on me, but I don’t mind since my credit is perfect.  We don’t let finances come between us, that’s not what makes our relationship.

Post # 14
Member
1920 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: March 2012

We have the same situation. My Darling Husband made almost double of what I did last year.

I definitely struggled with feelings of guilt when we first combined our finances, especially when I wanted to buy something for myself. However, Darling Husband and I have talked about it repeatedly and really truly our money is OUR money. It doesn’t matter how much either one of us contributes.We agree that just because I make less than him doesn’t mean I deserve less than him.

I really don’t agree with some PP statements about contributing in other ways such as housework, making supper, etc. If you’re both working full time, there’s no reason that because someone makes less financially that they should “owe” you things in housework. If however, one person doesn’t work or works part time it does make sense to me that they would pick up more of the housework.

Post # 15
Member
1069 posts
Bumble bee

We both make good money but he makes a LOT more than I do… plus he has a much bigger savings account, higher credit limit (which he owes $0.00 on) and he’s way better with money than me. He doesn’t shop, or waste money like I do. For the first year or so that we were together I felt like you do… I felt bad because he always pays whenever we do something and he pays for the majority of our household expenses, etc. Then one day I told him how bad and stressed I feel about it and he laughed it off. He said he considers it to be our money and he likes paying for us to do things, he said it’s never crossed his mind because it’s just something he does. He also pointed out that I do all of the cleaning and about half of the cooking so he said we’re more than even at home.

I’m guessing your fiance feels the same!

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