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I have been with someone for about 1.5 years. I really do love her to death. We have a few things that are not in-common that bother me but one issue,,Im not sure HOW to feel.
I make about 5-6 times what she makes but I also pay a good bit in child support. I still have a lot more than her but as the relationship continues, I can see money becomming an issue. She is a little old-school and feels its the guys job to pay the mortgage. She says that but I can tell she knows its a thing of the past. If she moved in, Id be so uncomfortable asking for money but its not my fault that she makes less.
My friends are split down the middle. Money is the 2nd most dangerous disscusion to have, right behind sex,,, at least I think so. Am I shallow or being smartly cautious???
 

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People are usually old school when it agrees with what they want. You are being smartly cautious. No time like the present to have a good conversation about money. Pre-nup conversation too.
 

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It is better to have dangerous conversations 1.5 years into a relationship, then to wait 5 or more years to have it. After this much time together, you should be able to tell if this is a serious relationship that will last long term. You should be comfortable enough in your relationship to have the hard conversations.

Maybe you could encourage her to to to college and get a degree so she can find a better paying job?
 

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You're not shallow. You're smarter then I was because I didn't even consider it. I make 3.5 times what my wife makes and it will always be that way as long as I'm employed. I don't mind taking care of my family, but it gets old being the one carrying the majority of the financial load. I call myself the "paycheck mule". I can never drop the ball, but she can because the impact isn't significant. Fortunately my wife feels bad about it and trys to help in other financial areas like managing our loans, working with insurance companies to pay what they say they cover or changing credit cards to find better rates.

You should have a very long talk about financial expectations and how bank accounts will be structured. You both deserve to know what to expect from each other. If you don't do this your being immature like I was. She might be unrealistic about your wealth and expect more then you can deliver.
 

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I think it depends purely on the woman... I am old fashioned and a damn good wife... and when it comes to money, I am one careful Mama....Husband has always let me handle every dime.... He tells people I can squeeze a dime out of a nickel... On his meager income, we were debt free before our last child.. without me working any jobs worth anything. And we own land & have 6 kids to boot. Though we don't live 1st class, because we don't care too.

You are obviously a Modern Man...with modern views....who expects his woman to work and at least meet 3/4 % of your income flow...and to each their own....it's your life & what you want out of a woman after all.

Just be honest with her in your EXPECTATIONS...if you see her as Less than You, if she seems like an Entitlement Queen... this could surely come to haunt you ! Talk to her about her expectations and your own - in the relationship you envision. Couples need to agree on $$... it's one of the top 3 reasons for Divorce... ($$, Sex & Communication)

I feel the one who earns the $$ has every right to be Lord over how it is spent.... If she is not on the same page as you...going in the same direction....this WILL be a horrendous issue.

The only point I am making is... just cause someone is not making the big bucks doesn't = they suck with $$. It depends on how they were raised, their beliefs, their goals. My husband was more of a Traditional Man, he preferred me home with our children. And I so appreciated that.
 

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I feel the one who earns the $$ has every right to be Lord over how it is spent.... If she is not on the same page as you...going in the same direction....this WILL be a horrendous issue.
I'm a homemaker/old school gal too. I agree with this. Its HIS money and HE gets final say so in how its spent.

My husband doesn't expect me to work EVER and is happy to take care of me but if you don't want to do that then yes you need to speak up now as to what you expect.

Don't let her move in without coming to an agreement on finances and if that means a prenup then so be it. It's your life, your money and you need to do whatever you think is best.
 

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Agree with the other posters. Money is a "must have" conversation. If she might move in with you then you're moving into "partnership" territory. You can't expect the practical / financial stuff to just work themselves out. You both have to be comfortable about how things are going to work and who is going to do what. Part of the process will be figuring that out for yourself. What do you expect? What is OK? A little compromise might be alright but if either of you have to come too far away from what your original expectation is it will likely be a lingering issue.
 

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I worry a lot about this in my relationship. I make about a fifth of what SO does but not because I'm unwilling to make more. I just can't because of kids Childcare location etc. it's definitely something I feel insecure about but nothing I can change at the moment
 

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You need to clear any issues before furthering your relationship. Otherwise your heading into marriage with resentments. If your not happy with the woman your with for whatever reason, find someone else.

This issue was discussed before hubby and I married. He wanted me home with the children and I wanted to work. I eventually quit my job and I've been retired SAHM for 12 years now. I won't be returning to work. We have a fabulous marriage that is very fulfilling.
 

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Money and sex are the two things that absolutely MUST be discussed before the relationship goes any further.You don't want to end up back here with issues bc you neglected to approach delicate topics.
I make more than SO which bothered him at first but he realizes I don't look down on him for not making what I do.It doesn't make me more of a woman or him less of a man.he stays with me all the time but I don't ask him to contribute because I don't need it.He still tries to give me money for things and I accept it so i don't hurt his pride.
But if he ever fully moved in we would have a detailed money conversation before anything went further.
 

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I think you should clearly establish your expectations about every aspect of life before moving in. Money, sex, cooking, cleaning, etc. Particularly later in life where patterns are more firmly entrenched and people are less likely to change.

More important than the income situation, is protecting the assets you accumulated prior to getting together. Last thing you want is a few years down the road losing a portion of your assets reducing your ability to support your children. If she truly loves you she's not after your money and will have no problem with a pre-nup.
 

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There's being "old fashioned" and there's being lazy and greedy.

My Memere (grandmother) was old fashioned. She worked when money was needed but my Pepere was the bread winner. He handled the money and the bills etc. and they never wanted for anything. She was a SATM and she took care of the house, the kids and my Pepere.

Money isn't the only contribution into a household. Currently my wife makes twice as much as I do. Additionally, I have child support (that equals our mortgage) so in reality I contribute about 25% of our monthly income BUT it's not an issue of entitlement, it's just the cards we're dealt and my wife and I look at each other as 50/50 partners. There's no "I do this more so I get this advantage" in our marriage. If the roles were reversed, I'd still approach money exactly how I do now.

Then there are the "I'm old fashioned" people who say that because, they're not TRULY old fashioned, they're lazy. Is she going to wake up before you EVERYDAY and have a hot breakfast waiting for you, with your shirts ironed and all the things you need for your day laid out. Is she going to do all of the household chores, make sure your shirts are ironed...just the way you want them, make sure you come home to a hot dinner EVERY night...Because that's the other side of the "old fashioned" coin.

In true old fashioned-ness (can that be a word LOL). One person earned the income and managed the money while the other person took care of and managed the house.
 

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Actually I think money is harder to talk about than sex in many social situations. And yes, you need to discuss your feelings with her and plan what your future together will look like.

When my wife and I married many years ago we were both broke and had similar education levels.

I worked and she raised the kids. I managed to climb the career ladder and we did quite well on my income. She volunteered to keep sharp, mainly at stuff pertaining to the kids, PTA, church, scouts, ect.

I even paid for her to go back to school and finish her masters degree.

She still has the professional volunteer mentality, but her pursuits are now aligning to her own interests. So, we are working on her getting a JOB to make more money so we don't have to rely on my income. Which was our plan from early in our marriage.

Not that I plan to quit my job. But working becomes much less stressful when you don't have to worry about next weeks paycheck.
 

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I think it depends far more on the expectations than the dollars. From what you mentioned, it sounds as though she may expect that your paycheck is to support the family and hers is for her to play with. That's a problem.

Otherwise it's a matter of how the two of you prioritize things. Her earning less may not be a problem if the expectation is that her primary role is to have/care for kids and take care of the house. It becomes a problem if the expectation is that you'll be equal or comparable finanical contributors with the kid and house stuff allocated differently.

Relative age and career stage make a difference too. My ex made more or less the same amount the whole time we were together. When we got together, I made probably a bit more than half of what he did. By the time we divorced, I made more than he did. That's what 10 years will do, I suppose.

I think there are really too many variables for it to be a black and white answer across the board.
 

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I'm a woman.

In the last 10 years I have made more (sometimes as much as 6x more) than every boyfriend I had. It bothered me sometimes when I saw that that person didn't have any motivation to do anything with their life.. they just drifted. If I had a boyfriend that did what he loved and made less, it was never an issue.

My STBX made 20% less than I did, and after saving for 3 years we decided I would take some time off. Mind you, all the money was saved from my paychecks. He wanted me to quit because I worked far away and had an illness, and he felt like it was destroying our relationship (it wasn't)
After I quit we have had a ton of arguments about money, mostly HIM spending it... while I can't buy anything without his approval.

I am now looking for a job and new husband :)

So this is really your issue.. why do you feel this way about her and her money? Is she bouncing around from job to job? Is she careless at work.. is she not motivated?

I have found that it's not the money, but the attitude of the partner that is usually the issue.
 

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Rep,
This is a HUGE issues that you must have settled to your satisfaction before moving in together in order to avoid to serious stress in the future.

What's interesting here is that this is a second marriage for you and you already have kids. Something that is hugely important, and relevant to all the advice here: What does your and her future look like regarding kids (and her past/status)?

Assuming a relationship is going to go the distance, there are two (three) major paths you can go down:

1) You both have kids from prior relationships and/or are done with having kids. No Kids.

1a) A possible path - You both will work full-time more or less until retirement age.

1b) Another possible path - Only one of you will work full-time, while the other is part time or non-working, until retirement age.

2) The new kid path - You or Her wants to have kids/more kids. This means someone is going to be the primary care-taker, and very likely (she, most probably) will not work full time or at all, for an extended period of time.

3) The really not-likely path - you or her are independently wealthy enough to never have to work again.


In all these cases, it is assumed that you will do your best to raise the existing kids and get them launched into the world eventually.

Which one of the above paths are you looking at going down?

You need to know, and you need to set financial boundaries in your relationship (just like people do for dealing with opposite sex friends, etc).

I can tell you right now that a lot of women, especially ones with 'old-school' tenancies, or that have never found / pursued a career that engages them, upon seeing the income differential you have, are looking hard at path 1b or 2, yet might tell you they're going to do path 1a (especially if they're not looking to have more kids), until after the Marriage contract is signed. At that point, they will then 'change their minds', either overtly or passively.

A lot of women see it as their right to "retire" in marriage and enjoy a life of leisure once the kids are out of the house. They see it as your job to take to provide enough for the lifestyle they wish to become accustom to - the details of how are your, not their problem. I know some women don't see it the way, but some do. And of those that do, they're not going to show it to you full on, until after they're married, because that's how they see themselves securing their future. My ex-wife was one of these. I lost count of how many times she screamed at me "Ten Thousand dollars is *NOTHING*, we should be able to buy (fill in the blank)". Now remarried after the alimony ran out, and trying to find a job, Karma is brutal. :rofl:

And because you have kids and child support... it's a double-stressor. If you're the one paying for everything, it could easily become a situation where she every dollar you spend on them as a dollar taken away from her. And a dollar saved for their college funds? Does that mean she's thinks she's being denied that trip to Italy she's always dreamed of??. And if she had kids from a prior also, and she's not contributing, then she could often be mama bear and want to spend your money to do things for hers kids as a priority over your kids or spending/saving on something for your joint future. If not understood upfront, that could be a huge flashpoint.

I'm not saying don't get involved with her... but damn, if it's going to go the distance, you .. and her... have got to have a real clear understanding of what you are getting yourselves into, and a meeting of the minds on priorities, responsibilities, and the future paths you are going to go down (together).

Before meeting my fiance, I did some post divorce dating (it was glorious :smthumbup:) . I was making pretty good money then, nearly 200k (while sending 50K+ to my ex & kids). I met plenty of nice ladies while dating, and while I went out of my way to not mention specifics about how I was doing economically, they could often sniff it out (things like the the $70k car, the week-long trips to Maui, Cabo, the Caribbean, etc kinda implied enough), and with more than one I clearly saw or got them to acknowledge that path 1b was looking like a great idea to them. But for me it wasn't. It's not that I had something against supporting someone I really loved through thick and thin, but two things kept coming up - 1) with no new kids, the lifestyle imbalance was going to have less rewards and greater risks, and 2) I couldn't tell if they were 'in to me' for me as reason #1 and not because they wanted security and comfort and saw me as the meal ticket.

My fiance is a bit different, she's a has advanced degree and a successful career of her own that's taking off, and could support herself fine if I'm hit by bus tomorrow. She also is a non-custodial parent (only happens 4% of the time) with kids the same age as mine. We're going at this very much in as a partnership in parallel, to the point of having a prenup that clarifies a lot of important things (Like kids college savings, inheritances, etc) and minimizes possible conflict points. This is a significant part of our compatibility and defiantly contributes to both our happiness's.


It may sound like I'm complaining about women here, but I'm not. What I'm point out is an important gender difference. In our society, men are defined by their work and expected to work and provide their entire lives. That's it. We're raised from birth with this expectation of our destiny. We have words for men who don't follow this: "Bums" "Deadbeats" "Losers". Girls, on the the other hand, get to choose. Motherhood, or just housewife is a totally acceptable path in life, in addition to now having every 'economic opportunity' that men have to have a career and make money and support themselves. We don't have similar words for women who choose to never support themselves (unless they get too smug I suppose).

I'm not saying one side has it better or not, but it is something to recognize that your partner's expectations for their life may be very different than their expectations for yours, and it needs to be clearly understood. I suppose it can't hurt to point out that our Family Law system and Courts are way behind the times, and can choose to reward a spouse who *chooses* not to work or contribute with even more of the other spouse's hard earned resources, even if that person took a c**p all over the marriage by cheating, etc. Just all the more reason to not enter into the contract lightly.
 

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Money is often over rated. When my wife and i first got married we decided being finacially well off was the most important thing, looking back on it now its really not and i wish she never would have bothered going to Grad school it was a waste as she doesnt like her career and would rather be a stay at home mom and honestly thats fine by me, nothings worse than a 9+ hr work day that sucks only to come home and have your spouse be just as exhausted and the dishes arent done, laundry is piled up, etc...Im not saying one spouse has to be a servant to the other, i just know there are plenty of times were we had tons of money in the bank account but no time or energy to spend it lol
 

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She is a little old-school and feels its the guys job to pay the mortgage. She says that but I can tell she knows its a thing of the past. If she moved in, Id be so uncomfortable asking for money but its not my fault that she makes less.
You can be sure she won't offer you any money if she moves in. So if you don't ask, or even if you do, she will expect that you will be responsible for the finances.

Can you live with that? Forever? If not, then yes, your relationship will eventually crash & burn. You have to be on the same page when it comes to money or the relationship won't work.
 
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