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Wife makes more than me...

Discussion in 'Married Couples' started by aaron3719, Jun 6, 2012.

  1. aaron3719

    aaron3719 Newbie

    33
    +11
    Lutheran
    In Relationship
    I have a situation and I hope someone can provide me with some advice on how I should react. Basically my wife earns double of what I make and I've never had a problem with it, I knew when I was dating her. However, recently I feel down and angry everytime someone makes little general comments as though whatever I have is from her money. They're not intentionally saying it to make me feel that way so I know I'm a little oversensitive I guess.

    Like the place we're renting, her family would refer to it as my wife's place but not me. I know it's not a big deal but everytime someone not refer to something as "US", there's something inside me that gets angry.

    It's not like I don't have a job, If I don't have a job then okay. It's her money.

    She was asking me if she can get her hair cut and one of her nephew said "you're actually asking him to use your own money" That just makes me feel like ****. Am I wrong for feeling like that?
     
  2. JRSut1000

    JRSut1000 Newbie no more!

    +295
    Messianic
    Married
    I do think it's natural for a man to feel a bit uncomfortable when his wife makes more money than him. It takes something away in him as the traditional breadwinner of the family. Sometimes these situations are unavoidable in certain situations but it's not wrong to feel like that. I'm a pretty traditional woman myself, you won't find that too much on CF so it maybe hard for people to understand [with empathy] how you're feeling. I dont suggest making your wife feel bad for it though. Honestly, I prefer the man to make more money than the woman and I know I'll probably get rebuttle on that, but oh well I'm used to it by now. I cant help it.
     
  3. chaz345

    chaz345 Well-Known Member

    +543
    Christian
    Married
    US-Republican
    I wouldn't say you are wrong to be annoyed by their mentality. In my opinion all money made at the regular job of both parties in a marriage should be viewed as belonging equally to both of them. The whole "this is my money and that is your money" thinking in my opinion has no place in a marriage because it's can't unite it can only divide. Not that it necessarily WILL divide. The only exceptions I can think of might be a marriage later in life where one or both has significant assets that they want to have go to their own kids or other family members. Or a case where one wants to spend signifiant extra money on something for just them and takes on extra work to earn the money. Assuming that basic needs are being comfortably met, I can see the extra money earned being considered as belonging to the one that earned it.
     
  4. JRSut1000

    JRSut1000 Newbie no more!

    +295
    Messianic
    Married
    Yeah, my hubby makes the money (Im a SAHM), but we only have one bank account. "Whats yours is mine n whats mine is yours" is our motto.
     
  5. BigSigh

    BigSigh Guest

    +0
    I don't think it has to do with right or wrong. It is how you feel. Being in this situation currently, I can say that at some low moments I do get bothered by it. However, I usual get out of that thought pattern quickly as my wife never uses her wealth in any way to demean/control me. Plus, I have a very strong working mother so we never really had an issue with it to begin with. It was what I was used too. As for other people, sure they make comments about me being a kept man and for the most part I just laugh it off. I usually play it off as it being a good thing and joke about how much other people are suckers for not being in the same situation. It is not like I can complain... it is nice to be a 'kept man' sometimes ;). So, for me, the more important thing has always been how my wife and I feel about it. It has never been okay for her to hold it over me and I don't let her. It is us together. As to other people, I just joke it off... it has worked well so far.
     
  6. aaron3719

    aaron3719 Newbie

    33
    +11
    Lutheran
    In Relationship
    Money is not our issue, We have one account where we pay all the bills too, She use it to pay the rent and everything and I have no problem with it. Our paychecks goes straight to this account. But it's this feeling that bothers me everytime other people make those kind of comments
     
  7. JRSut1000

    JRSut1000 Newbie no more!

    +295
    Messianic
    Married
    If it's only what people are saying, then just shrug it off. If you two have a happy marriage and things are fine, then everybody else can just lay off. (I'm in that sorta mood today, lol)
     
  8. Cute Tink

    Cute Tink Blah Supporter

    +4,378
    Humanist
    Single
    US-Libertarian
    I would suggest that when someone makes some comment about something be paid for with "her" money, that you gently remind them that the two of you are married and as partners in life, the money you both make belongs to both of you and that you discuss all purchases before deciding to go through with them (as that's what it sounds like you do).
     
  9. Tamara224

    Tamara224 Well-Known Member

    +2,240
    Charismatic
    Married
    Why was she asking you if she could get her hair cut? What I mean is, was it her asking what your preference was or was it her asking for permission?

    Because, I'd have to join the nephew in wondering why she needs your permission to spend your (collective) money.

    Personally, I'd say that whenever anyone says something like that about it being her money or her things, just interject a correction. When they say "her", you say "our". Perhaps you could also tell your wife that it bothers you because it makes you feel like they are diminishing your contribution and ask her if she will make those corrections, too. I don't think that would be unreasonable.

    It would probably only take a few times correcting to clue people into the fact that they're saying something that bothers you.


    Also.... you may be being a little over-sensitive. Her family might naturally be referring to your house as "hers" more because she is theirs than because they think of the house as being paid for by her. I know that I refer to my brothers' and sister's things as theirs and don't always include their spouses. For example, referring to the apartment where my brother and sister-in-law live as "Jonny's apartment" sometimes. When I do that, I don't have in my mind any idea of who is making more money in the relationship. It's just easier to say "Jonny's apartment" than it is to say "Jonny and Heather's apartment" and since Jonny is the one I have a deeper connection with, I use his name.

    What I'm trying to say, perhaps poorly, is that they might not be thinking in terms of who is making more money at all. You may be reading that into their words because of your sensitivity to the subject.

    It's not always easy for men who make less than their wives in our culture. With the traditional expectation that the husband be the main bread-winner, people can react strangely and unthinkingly look down on men in those instances. But, IMHO, it's just silly. It doesn't make a man less of a man if his wife out-earns him. Don't let it get you down.
     
  10. Puptart

    Puptart Live, Laugh, Love.. and adopt a dog :)

    947
    +80
    Muslim
    Married
    CA-NDP
    There is no "my income" and "his income" in our marriage... there is only "our income" and "our money". It all goes into the exact same bank account and yes if either one of us wants something, even a haircut, we ask the other.. because we need to ensure that we know what money goes where at all times, as we do not exactly have a ton of money.
     
  11. JaneFW

    JaneFW Well-Known Member

    +570
    Christian
    Married
    I agree with Tink, Tamara and PupTart. It is both of your money, and anyone suggesting otherwise is just plain rude and ignorant - but you say that "they're not intentionally saying it to make [you] feel that way" so the only person that can help you with that issue, really, is you. I agree with talking to your wife about it, and seeing what she can do to defuse where the comments are intentional. I also agree with Tamara about the reason for giving the apartment as your wife's during conversation. When we are around my family, I tend to say that we are going to "Marie's house" or "Michael's house" (my sister and brother) rather than saying sister and spouse's house/brother and spouse's house. It's for abbreviation, not for any other reason.

    My h and I also would talk to each other if we were spending a lot of money and check it out with the other. Not to ask permission, but to make sure that it was something we had budgeted for, and the other knew about it. If the nephew is unmarried, he might not yet have realized that spouses kind of check in with each other on these things. But that was a rude comment all the same. That is where I would suggest that you ask your wife to have a swift response ready.
     
  12. JaneFW

    JaneFW Well-Known Member

    +570
    Christian
    Married
    So she should go and get a lower paying job?

    And - in what way is it untraditional for a woman to earn more than a man? Where do we see that in the Bible?
     
  13. WalksWithChrist

    WalksWithChrist Seeking God's Will

    +1,240
    Unitarian
    Married
    A few years ago, my wife made quite a bit more than I did. Times have changed and now things have basically flipped.

    I have not had a problem with people making comments about our money situation really. But I have had trouble with other sorts of comments. Regardless, if you feel like someone is making comments that are not fair, say so. I had to do that more than once with my mother and it eventually started sinking in.

    For me, I started feeling better about myself once I knew that I had expressed myself and left the ball in the other person's court.

    I hope you find a good balance in this situation.
    :)
     
  14. WolfGate

    WolfGate Senior Member Supporter

    +1,705
    United States
    Christian
    Married
    This is getting thematic here. My wife is a SAHM, but in no way, shape or form do I think of the money as anything other than "our" money. We set a budget as a family, and the two of us, together, stay within the lines of that budget. The only way I could see my wife feeling like she needed to ask if she could spend money on something is if she was unsure where we were budget wise or if the item was large enough it might impact the budget. Same thing with me.

    The kitchen is "hers" though, after I clean it for her... (snicker)
     
  15. JRSut1000

    JRSut1000 Newbie no more!

    +295
    Messianic
    Married
    I didnt say biblically traditional, I just said traditional. I dont feel like going through this argument, the OP isnt asking for an argument so I'll just leave what I've said at that. :)
     
  16. WolfGate

    WolfGate Senior Member Supporter

    +1,705
    United States
    Christian
    Married
    Wrote my previous post and entirely forgot to give any advice. Since this seems to be her relatives a lot, could you talk to her about making a point when they say "her" something for her to respond "oh, it's his too" or "it's ours".
     
  17. JRSut1000

    JRSut1000 Newbie no more!

    +295
    Messianic
    Married
    Thats a great idea Wolf! :)
     
  18. David Jerome

    David Jerome Active Member

    682
    +15
    Deist
    Married
    Cultural expectations can be a devastating thing.

    To the OP, the only thing I can suggest, is to have a sharp wit about it. Try to make it so that people wouldn't dare say anything about it. (Mind you, there's a difference between a sharp, witty retort, and a disrespectful one with a bad attitude).

    I don't know. Maybe if you pull her toward you, give her a nice squeeze on the butt, and say "My love's worth every penny", something like that might that might work. It's a manly, yet loving thing to do, that shows you're not intimidated by her salary, or their opinions.

    EDIT: If she makes you sandwich right after doing so, I guarantee her family will shut up forever.
     
  19. Root of Jesse

    Root of Jesse Admiral of the Fleet/First Sea Lord Supporter

    +3,589
    Catholic
    Married
    US-Constitution
    You are not wrong for feeling that, but you would be wrong to react. It's pretty natural for people with money to denegrate those in-laws that don't earn good money. My wife's family owns a hospital and two universities, and every one of her brothers and sisters has degrees, and all her nephews and nieces have professional degrees. They were pretty vocal when my wife was making more than I was, but inside my heart, I had to remember what her sacrifices were for me. She earned more so I could develop my career. Now she works part-time, and I'm the one supporting her, and the family sees that I was a good 'investment'.

    Sometimes it's just a way of protecting the family, because my wife's first husband was a vacuum for the family $$$. He used up every dime of my wife's inheritance from her mother, and then some, leaving her scraping for a living after years of marriage. So it was understandable how the family could feel that way, as in "Oh, no, what has she gotten herself into now..."

    You may want to find out (from your wife) where those comments are coming from-if there's a family history of people latching on to their money or what...
     
  20. Romanseight2005

    Romanseight2005 Guest

    +0

    First of all that is normal. Anytime someone makes you feel like less than a full partner, it is normal to feel slighted. Woman go through this all the time. Also, as to the asking if you can spend part, any couple who shares expenses needs to communicate and agree on how and when to spend, regardless of who makes more money. Tbh, that comment to your wife about asking you if she can spend money just sounds snarky, and frankly it's none of that person's business at all. My advice to you is first to take it to prayer, and let it slide when you can, but when someone says something as out of line as that comment you shared, I would as calmly as possible tell them that it's none of their business.
     
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