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Thread: When she makes more than him, or when he is a Stay at Home Dad

  1. #1
    SheLikesKitties's Avatar
    SheLikesKitties is offline OW/YM 21YR GAP
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    When she makes more than him, or when he is a Stay at Home Dad

    I decided to make a thread about this situation of the woman making more money than the man.
    This has been my situation since Nick decided to come to Panama to live with me. He used to make as much or more money as I did back when he worked in the US, but never since then.
    I do not know how common that is in OW/YM relationships, but I know several couples where this is the case, some same-age, some are AGRs.

    How Stay-at-Home Dads can Deal with Their Wives as Breadwinners
    As a stay-at-home dad, you may not be the only one who is in a rut because of your lack of breadwinning. Your spouse is dealing with the role reversal as well, and possibly more often because she is out working every day in a professional pit of misconceptions.

    As often as you get asked how you feel about being supported by your wife or if she is your boss, she is defending herself and you to those same people. She also might be feeling a lot of pressure to not let the family down and to make sure there is enough money to live on.

    She also has dealt with a lifetime of ingrained gender roles, as well

    Donít dwell on your insecurities when she is having it just as rough. That can be selfish. And nothing good can come out of you both being in a dark mood because of your breadwinning roles.

    A better idea is to defend her honor as well and team up on the doubters. Your unity in dealing with the situation could help you both get past your own issues with the reversed roles.
    In my particular case this adjustment to role reversal has taken years to be solved and accepted by us, and by others. I feel that we have reached a balance and that is the reason we are getting along much better. To me the problems brought by the age gap were nothing compared to those from the income gap.

    Would you like to share your own experience or what you have observed of couples in this situation?
    You know it's love when the pain of being apart is greater than the pain of being together.

  2. #2
    CrazyLove's Avatar
    CrazyLove is offline Member
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    Up until the last year or so, I was the primary wage earner. Its never been an issue.

    I realized that it would be a while until his employment experience would be significant enough for him to become the primary wage earner. Im proud of what he has accomplished.

  3. #3
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    RadoG60 is offline Senior Member
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    I earn more than my OM. It has never really been an issue. It has never been a topic of arguments, or cause stress between us.
    I enjoy to cook, so I will make fancy dinners a few times a month. In return, he takes me out to lunch or dinner time to time. Things balance out, and we both feel we have done something nice for the other.
    Angel likes this.

  4. #4
    SheLikesKitties's Avatar
    SheLikesKitties is offline OW/YM 21YR GAP
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    In our case, the main problem was to get an actual green card that would allow him to work legally. I did not want to be the sole bread-winner, and getting a green card was extremely difficult. It took us years, and a lot of stress. I do not think it is a matter of ego over income. It is a matter of a balance in the home.
    Faith, debralee, Stiletto and 1 others like this.
    You know it's love when the pain of being apart is greater than the pain of being together.

  5. #5
    Angel's Avatar
    Angel is offline Anger Thrives In A Fool
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    There have been moments where I wished we were in a better place financially, but we've always had what we have needed.

    I believe in my husband and I know his earning potential will increase because he's done everything in his power to increase it. If I felt taken advantage of or that he hasn't tried to improve himself for the family's sake, then I could see the financial aspect being important to me. But, he's a hard worker and he learns tasks to save us money, installing a water sprinkler system or simple car repairs, for example.

    If he can't afford to hire someone or learn it himself he will figure out a way to get it done (interning or bartering) to increase our quality of life so I don't need his paycheck to dictate his value. I know his worth.
    Last edited by Angel; 01-02-2014 at 01:37 AM.
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  6. #6
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    Ellethe is offline Ex-Marcy'd
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    Quote Originally Posted by Angel View Post
    I don't need his paycheck to dictate his value. I know his worth.
    Everything Angel just said fits us too. I am pretty sure that everyone already knows that this is our situation. In fact, it isn't even just limited to the big age gap, but also a big experience gap and a big education gap as well. In fact, Devon will never actually reach an income potential that will ever exceed mine. It doesn't matter in the slightest. We are both bringing things to this relationship and his contribution is definitely equal. He's an enthusiastic parent who never misses anything. He contributes to team meals and events and revels in our little special snowflakes each achievement. He has grown into such an extraordinary parent over the years that it is more than a shame we are running out of kids to raise! (not that I'm complaining LOL) He cares for the house and the pets and me. He works when he gets a gig he's into. Devon is a media content provider for gaming websites and that is a kind of Wild Wild West freelance sector of the economy .

    Our relationship works for us. Its all that matters. I will say my confidence was given a pretty good boost a few years ago when a real life couple we hang with said that from a distance, before you know us, we seem like an odd couple, but getting to know us even briefly makes the oddness (gaps of any and every kind) disappear completely.
    Psycho hatchet wielding midgets deserve to die

  7. #7
    dragonflysky is offline Member
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    The younger guy (age 41) I (age 58) briefly dated made waaaaay more then me and more than I ever will. He's a business major/accountant. I'm a social worker. He has a Bachelor's college degree. I have my Master's college degree. I made far less then my first husband (chemist/business major), and I made more than my second husband (house painter). I do think it's another societal expectation/stereotype to be overcome just like the YM/OW in many situations.
    Mebel likes this.

  8. #8
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    fiorinda is offline Senior Member
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    I've been the sole-earner through almost all of my relationship with Lee so far. It did take some getting used to. I was married and my then-husband earned twice what I do (he still does but I've never had a penny in support from him. However, he has borne the burden of supporting our son through University). However, I think the times I found the fact of Lee's unemployment and lack of income stressful were more about other factors - since our relationshiop has settled and I'm more sure of it generally, I don't get stressed out about it anymore. I disagree with TM though that these things only matter if you see your worth as being linked to your income or status. When you are trying to manage on one (low) wage between two people, it matters! Not that the other person earns less, but it matters if you are both struggling. When Lee and I met he had lined up a place on a course that would equip him to then go to University. He gave that place up to move across the country to be with me. He's now on another similar course here, and will (all being well) go to University this September. So we're resigned to being poor for another 4 or 5 years till he finishes and finds decently paid work. He's still looking (always looking!!) for part time work that fits around his course.

    I was REALLY miserable with my ex-husband, despite having the money to buy nice things and take lots of holidays. Now, we are maxed out on credit cards and overdrafts and have a tight monthly food budget and are unlikely to get one holiday this year... but I am soooooo happy!!! That's what is really important!

  9. #9
    Drewright is offline Neophyte
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    Earning more?

    Putting it all right up front, my older girlfriend makes more than me. Is it a problem? No, first because she's been at her career longer than I have, and second because I have my own career that I love and my own income. So, who's paying for what has never been an issue or a concern for us - not when we're on vacation or spending time together. Also, we don't live together - so there's no joint assets, etc.

    That said, what can be an occasional issue for us is WHERE I am in my career. Her career is at a place where she's earned more flexible in terms of time, benefits, etc (which is good, considering she's the single mother of a 5-year old daughter). On the other hand, I'm still making my reputation in my career and have less flexibility. I'm not always able to get away for a long weekend on a moment's notice and have had to cancel dinner plans at the last minute because of work.

    We actually broke up once over this - but reunited when told me that the reason she's a mom now...is because she was too busy building her career to be one then. So, while it still can be an issue - it's no longer a dealbreaker.

  10. #10
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    This is mostly an OW/YM issue, but not necessarily. Some of us YW in our 30's & 40's earn more than our OM during their retirement.

    I think it has to do with the contribution both partners make to the relationship. We've all probably heard that relationships are a 50-50 deal. They're not. They're a 100-100 undertaking, in which each partner gives his or her best effort to the relationship.

    Sometimes, my 100 percent contribution might be less than half of the overall resources necessary for the relationship to function. Sometimes, his 100 percent contribution doesn't add up to "half." If the best each of us can bring to the table works out to a 60:40 split on the monthly expenses, I'm okay with that.

    What I'm not okay with is a half-hearted attempt. Whether he's older, younger, or peer-aged, if my partner expects to sit on his butt and do nothing, or expects every day to be Saturday, while I'm busting my hump at work, I'm not cool with that.

    MM
    "Our past is a story existing only in our minds. Look, analyze, understand, and forgive. Then, as quickly as possible, chuck it." ~ Marianne Williamson

  11. #11
    PurpleFever is offline Member
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    It goes up and down...

    When C and I met, I made a lot more than him, but I just lost my job (ugh) and am likely to make less than him now...because I was lucky to have that job, need to find something else quickly, and am unlikely to get another one making as much...OTOH I also had more savings so that will help me float for a month or two until I get something. I do things like pay for cable/internet, which he didn't have until I moved in (and which he greatly enjoys), and buying extra-nice food when I buy the groceries. Also if I shop for myself, I'll pick up something like a t-shirt or a sweatshirt for him.

    I really think everything balances out...He can fix anything, so we save a lot of money on appliance and car repairs. And our home is absolutely beautiful because of the work he did on it -- we live in an expensive area and could never afford a house this nice, with this many beautiful upgrades, on just our earnings. So that's a huge contribution that he's made to our living standard. When I moved in, I brought cable, two brand-newTVs, and nice kitchenware--stuff he didn't have before...so it goes back and forth. All I know, all I need to know, is that we are in this together. My last bf made a LOT of money and I would not have had a moment's financial worry if I stayed wtih him, plus a nice house, fancy vacations, fine jewelry, you name it. Yet I am happier with C, eating hot dogs and drinking box wine
    karlsgirl and SheLikesKitties like this.

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