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Does it matter to you how much your partner earns?

(767 Posts)
brusslesprout Tue 07-Jan-14 23:52:45

Not wanting to start a debate or anything like that just a general musing really if this is a really important factor for everyone?

I wonder when looking at the bigger picture does it make the relationship better/easier?

My bf doesn't earn much which bothers me a little sometimes but on the same merit has no debts or bad spending habits as he's always had to be careful.

Growing up my Dad had quite a well paid job but isn't too good with money so still is in a lot of debt when he should be relaxing into retirement.

So yes does it matter in the grand scheme of things?

LaQueenOfTheNewYear Tue 14-Jan-14 13:18:29

Yes, it does matter to me.

What very first attracted me to DH was that he was very ambitious and that he was never going to be a 9-5 plodder - he had set up his first company before even leaving university.

Having said that, we've had some very lean financial times, and believe me, there is nothing romantic about lying awake at night stressing about money. That type of worry wears very, very thin very quickly - it eats away at you, and erodes you and your relationship.

Having money just makes life so much smoother.

LauraBridges Tue 14-Jan-14 17:53:05

I think we can agree that it is wise that parents ensure both daughters and sons equally realise how important being able to support yourself an earn a living is rather than bringing up daughters to think all you do is marry and then a man keeps you. The latter is too risky.

None of us want our children to suffer although if you have a reasonable amount of money you do need to consider how not to make things so easy for children they don't work at all which is common with some rich people's children.

You could almost do a mathematical model on the thread of the combinations. If A is ambitious hard worker of ether gender who wants to get to the top and earn a lot and B is unambitious want to trug along not doing much in career terms you might have marriages of

A+ A - two alphas each helping the career of the other, proud of the other probably go out to dinners with other A As where both husband and wife are wealthy and successful, dual careers. Can work. I know a lot. You have the money to pay for cleaners too and usually you take it in turns as to who gets home from work first.

B+B - probably most people in the country, average pay is about £24k in the UK - he might drive a taxi and she's a nurse, probably doing shifts so they don't pay for childcare etc They can be very happy too.

Then we might have the A+ B coupling - alpha male man who is probably rather sexist and thinks a woman's place in the home and she loves the home as her sphere and that he cares for us and says she's a saint doing the hardest job in the world. Or happening more these days A woman with the B man - who out earns him or he just works part time and is around at home a lot. Can work fine for some couples.

I think the problems come with A man marries A woman but A woman for whatever reason is at home or part time and she hates it and he keeps her at home. Or both are BB and neither really wants to work but they are forced to in jobs they hate.

NearTheWindmill Tue 14-Jan-14 19:44:48

What about us though. Both A but I was happy to have 8 years with the DC. Still am A but have compromised because of the DC and wanting them to have best off both worlds. Feel I can straddle both camps - one of my good friends is managing p of a magic circle another is a subordinated B who has been at home for 16 years. They are both valuable. I work f/time on a professional salary but public sector because it gives me the best of both worlds

Creamycoolerwithcream Tue 14-Jan-14 20:06:45

I'd give you an A minus.

NearTheWindmill Tue 14-Jan-14 20:50:57

[Grin]. Thanks. I've skyped DS today and asked him if he thinks I'm a feminist. He said "nah, you're just normal". It pleased me.

LauraBridges Tue 14-Jan-14 20:55:01

Any normal man or woman in the UK who believes men and women are equal under the law and want fairness at home is a feminist. I would be surprised if any mumsnet or her partner was not a feminist. If they aren't we need to convert them.

Crowler Tue 14-Jan-14 20:56:08

(raises hand) feminist

funnyossity Tue 14-Jan-14 23:38:54

Agreed Laura!
I've been a SAH feminist too, it is possible.

I can see my son being a SAHP at some point.

nooka Wed 15-Jan-14 04:46:48

I'd be pretty sad if my son said that unless he meant that being a feminist was in fact normal, as it should be. I can't see from what you have written why you think you aren't a feminist unless you have in your mind's eye something 'other' that is a feminist. You can be a feminist SAHM indeed you can be a feminist SAHD (assuming that the theoretical 'you' is also a man and a father of course!).

and you can hold some feminist views and some more conservative pro-men/anti-women views at the same time. Being a feminist doesn't mean all your opinions and actions are always in line with feminist beliefs (and depending on the school of feminism the beliefs can vary quite a bit) the only real exclusion I think comes when you believe that men are better than women and that women should therefore subordinate their needs and desires in order to please men/a man.

My mother for example is not a feminist when she puts my BILs happiness before my sisters because she thinks my sister's fundamental role is to support him (even thought he is an arse)

NearTheWindmill Wed 15-Jan-14 07:58:21

It was said tongue in cheek nooka - a mum and her grown up boy having a nice conversation.

I probably am a feminist but whilst I believe men and women are equal I also believe they are different and for me being a feminist also involves being feminine and there is a bit of feminism that tries to marginalise that. As a woman I like dresses and nice hair and some traditionally feminine things like cooking and sewing and I don't think those things make me less of a woman but there is in my experience a brand of feminism that would have women behaving just like men.

in my experience a brand of feminism that would have women behaving just like men.

ime that's a very very infinitesimally small barely there brand of feminism. And that the majority of feminists would prefer to sort out the behavior of men rather than get more women to act like them grin

TheDoctrineOf2014 Wed 15-Jan-14 09:02:17

Feminism recognises that often cooking and sewing are seen as less valuable hobbies than, say, car rallying and fishing, and considers why that might be.

GoshAnneGorilla Wed 15-Jan-14 10:22:48

Doctrine - Exactly. We had a thread recently on women's hobbies over on FWR and it was quite interesting how women's hobbies are marginalised, or that women aren't expected to have the same time/access to leisure activities as men. Also, that basic grooming, like having a bath, face masks etc, are dressed up as pampering and a treat.

GarlicReturns Wed 15-Jan-14 14:30:19

a brand of feminism that would have women behaving just like men

I love this strand of (anti) feminist discussion. It spotlights the question: What does it mean to behave like a man?

Which of those behaviours are inappropriate for women, and why so? Which behaviours are 'like a woman', and what would it mean for men to behave 'just like women'?

GarlicReturns Wed 15-Jan-14 14:39:30

Doctrine & Gosh - One of XH2's many complaints about me was the amount of time & money I spent on cosmetics (broadly speaking.) I eventually resolved this by getting him to understand that this was a hobby of mine, like his vintage car to him. I don't NEED five different kinds of highlighter; I don't need any at all. But decoration is an interest of mine - I enjoyed finding out about different techniques & experimenting with different products.

It also showed that he saw my self-decoration as a basic function - not so much a creative interest as a gendered necessity. But that was a stride too far for his philosophical desert of a mind!

nooka Wed 15-Jan-14 15:59:31

I think it's very dodgy to think that women and men are intrinsically different simply by virtue of their gender. But then I have a strongly individualist streak and hate the habit of segregating and stereotyping people in general (I hate marketing generational guff too).

The trouble with this narrative is that it 'others' and justifies inequalities by saying things like women aren't say as successful as men because as a group they just don't want to be. Now some of the narrative might hold true of some women but we're not some sort of homogenous mass.

LauraBridges Fri 17-Jan-14 11:21:45

Indeed, nooka, that is correct. I never like comments like "behave like a man" but then I was the child who loved to climb tress and my penknife so even as a young girl I didn't fit sex stereotypes and yet am as much a woman as those women who spend time on their hair. Lots of women have a range of hobbies - plenty fish and race cars even. Many of us love success at work and are ambitious. These are not male or female things. They are just things humans have or don't have.

You can certainly be a feminist as a man or woman and shave, wash and look smart.

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