Post # 1
So, when I first met my Fiance, I knew that he was not on a career path that would produce a higher income. I chose a career where I should be able to live comfortably and even afford a few luxuries. The fact that my SO was not on the same path did NOT bother me, I definitely wasn’t looking for high earning potential in a partner and I’m completely fine with his life choices.
Now that I’m about to graduate and I’m getting job offers, it seems he is getting a bit down. He has brought up a couple of times how he is worried I may grow to resent him for not contributing to our lifestyle as much as I am able to. I reassure him every time that I’m very happy with our situation. I do make sure he knows however, that ***I would not be happy supporting the both of us on my own***. I feel that I may grow resentful if I was the only person working, and busting my hump, and if he didn’t have a job and didn’t contribute anything. I DO NOT care how much he contributes, just so long as he is contributing something and we are working on our life TOGETHER.
But, the more I think of it, the more I wonder, is this a reasonable thing? If I’m able to support us both plus extra, is it sort of unreasonable to expect him to work? The money he would bring in would just be for extra savings/retirement/holiday, which I think would be awesome, but not really necessary. I just wonder what bees would say if a woman came on here complaining that her husband wants her to work a crappy full time job even though he’s able to easily support the both of them. (Not talking about if children are involved- as we have none and are not planning on any.)
So I don’t know, what do you think bees? I’m also asking just for some introspective self-checking. He has absolutely agreed to contribute as much as he can (working full time, trying to branch out into freelance, etc), so this is not an area of argument at all. I just am more asking for some self reflection, whether or not my thoughts are reasonable or stemming from a selfish place .
Post # 2
There’s a middle ground between “You have to work a crappy full time job” and being okay with being the sole provider.
Being the sole provider can produce a lot of stress, even if you are comfortable if your family’s financial well-being and access to health insurance are entirely dependent on you that’s a lot to handle if for some reason in the future you are worried about your job. And even without the stress, you don’t have to be okay with fully supporting someone else.
But wanting your spouse to work doesn’t mean you have to insist they work a crappy job. If they were truly working a job that was awful you could offer to support them for a short time while they look for a new job or be okay with them going part-time.
What is important is that you are both on the same page going into marriage.
Post # 3
I would expect my partner to work- male or female. Getting a free ride through life is not how I was raised. When there are only two adults involved and no plans for children, there simply is no need, nor would there be enought to do, to meaningfully occupy someone’s time staying at home full time.
Rest assured we are not taking about a homemaking and child rearing situation here. That is not what the OP is talking about.
Even if it were, I would encourage all men or women in that situation to find some way to maintain marketable skills. You never know when the primary (or sole) breadwinner will no longer be in your life.
Post # 4
My Darling Husband works pretty much part time, sets his own hours. But he’s 63 so I don’t think that’s what you’re asking. I’d encourage him to get some trainng, or open a business, or find what will make him happy.
Post # 5
I would expect my husband to work unless I was making so much money that it would be the equivalent of two incomes. With that being said, I don’t see putting money into savings and retirement as “unnecessary”. To me those are very important and necessary as I don’t plan on working into my 70s and 80s.
Post # 6
Between the two of us, I’m the higher earner. He has good income potential, but I have more. He spent the last bit of his grad school recently as just a student rather than balancing work and school, now on the job search.
He makes me so happy and is a great guy. It’s been great having him around with such a flexible schedule. However, his skills are very much in demand now, and he is super smart. It would be a shame for him to not make use of those skills. It’s not so much about the money as it is just being productive.
Post # 7
FutureMrsBex : Oh I definitely don’t think it’s uneccesary, it would just be extra! I would be able to save quite a bit just on my own.
Post # 8
My husband and I have very different spending habits; I make a little more than him and he spends a lot more than I do. So in our situation, even if we could afford to live comfortably on my income I’d still expect him to work if he planned on continuing his current spending habits. If your guy was a stay at home dad, that’d be one thing, but if he has the time and ability to work I think it’s reasonable for him to contribute to your life/future together in any capacity he can.
Post # 9
hikingbride : What I meant by crappy job is just that he really hasn’t ever found anything he was happy with. He’s not lazy by any means and has really great work ethic, but he also isn’t happy doing menial work and feels that his goals are out of reach for his age (lofty goals like receiving a historian PH.D. when he has no college credits at current). I plan to support whatever he decides to do, like I said, whether he brings home 10k per year or $100,000k makes no difference to me. I just want to feel like we are both working towards our lifestyle and isn’t 100% on me. I also don’t want him to feel trapped ever because he his financially dependent on me. There’s a lot of reasons I suppose, I was just curious if they were selfish reasons.
Post # 10
mingogo4 : well. what do you mean by “not working.” Already on this thread, we have the comment that everyone is expected to work (by work they mean, integration into modern capitalist industry) because no one should get a “free ride.”
Underlying this is prevailing cultural attitudes about the worthlessness of domestic work – homemaking, childrearing, etc. Of course, it is not a coincidence that the work traditionally done by women is considered to be low value and the occupation of a freeloader.
You probably can guess, but I’ll come right out and say that your SO can make significant and valuable contributions to your family as a homemaker.
Now, for the most part men (and many women nowadays too) are conditioned to believe that “just” staying home is beneath them. Obviously a family won’t function well if one of the members feels this way about how they are spending their lives.
Even people who highly esteem domestic work can find some level of integration with capitalist industry beneficial where mental health is concerned.
From a risk management perspective, it’s good if members of a family who can work make arrangements so that they are ABLE to work – maintain requisite skills, get requisite education etc., Different situations arise in life where the primary $ earner may not be able to continue in that capacity.
TL/DR: yeah, its fine if you think SO should work “on principle.” But just make sure you’re aware of what “principle” you’re talking about.
Post # 11
I can understand your situation. My husband just got out of the military and is going to school full time and definitely isn’t able to contribute to finances as much as I am. I’m pretty much supporting the majority of our living expenses for the time being. The career field he is getting back into just won’t ever match the income level I have with mine and that is ok. It is a rare day that both partners make the same income and can financially contribute the same amounts. There is nothing unreasonable about expecting him to work. But that is neither here nor there because is sounds like he wants to work, he just won’t be making the same level of income as you. Your SO sounds a lot like my SO in that he would be much happier working and contributing what he can as opposed to not working at all.
Even if him working is not financially necessary, it’s important part of a contingency plan and planning for the future. What would happen if you became disabled? Or lost your job? Plus it never hurts to put more money into a retirement plan, or college savings if you want children, or a larger down payment on house. I would tell the exact same thing to a woman coming on here complaining that her husband wants her to get a full time job even if he can support them. If it would put you in an even better financial standing and help prepare for anything that could come up unexpectedly, then I don’t think it is unreasonable.
Post # 12
It’s so funny you brought this up!
Fiance had to train for his job from October Through the holiday– which means home study– which means he studied in his apartment and took phone calls.
Meanwhile I drove through Manhattan and Westchester and Connecticut ALL DAY EVERY DAY. He took 5 days vacation and I was so angry lol. We had to address it bc I was becoming so resentful. Unfair yes, but case in point I know how you feel.
Post # 13
TeresaBenedicta : Well, we don’t have any children and plan on remaining child free. The homemaking part we split the chores 50/50 and we are able to keep up with them while maintaining full time work (the both of us). We will be renting a luxury town home so there won’t be any landscaping/yard work/home improvements needed to be made. Yeah, I would not consider weekly laundry, light cleaning, and cooking to be on par with working 40+ hours a week to earn an income. I would much rather the stay at home and keep the house clean option if I had to pick between the two. But, I am also happy to work and provide an income to live off of, I just wanted to know if it was a selfish thing for me to want him to do the same.
Post # 14
mingogo4 : Nope you’re not selfish. It is about working together to build something. That’s completely normal and expected.
Post # 15
If I were in your situation, I would expect Darling Husband to be doing something. This could be returning to school to help him achieve his goals (with or without parttime work), it could be pursuing a freelance career, it could be working parttime at a job he doesn’t really like whilst pursuing a freelance career the other working days, it could be working fulltime – it doesn’t matter what it is, just something. I do tend to think that simply keeping house is not enough of a contribution (however, if there were kids in the picture and he was the sole carer for them it would be different).
Darling Husband and I do split household chores. I wouldn’t say they’re split down the middle – I do more than he does, but I am also particular about certain things so would much rather do them myself. Unlike you, we do plan to have kids and I will be a Stay-At-Home Mom for a few years. During this time, I will be taking on all of the household chores simply because I will be home more (although Darling Husband will still be looking after his garden, I’m not allowed to touch that lol). I cannot see myself being a Stay-At-Home Mom forever – it would drive me nuts – so I will return to the workforce when we’re done having kids.