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to think we should encourage our daughters to marry men who earn AT LEAST as much as them?

(348 Posts)
StripeyBear Sun 27-Jan-13 12:35:33

Quarter of a century ago, starting university, I would have furiously disagreed with this. Women should make their own money, and marry who they like!

Now, looking back, I'm not so sure. Nearly all my female friends, however successful in their careers prior to children, have compromised work success to raise their children. (I do have one friend who has a house husband, but that is the exception rather than the rule). Consequently, the lifestyle of my friends has been largely dictated by how much their husbands earn. So the nurse who married the mechanic is run ragged with extra shifts, juggling small kids in a tiny house with a large mortgage, indifferent schools and holidays in Haven or not at all - whilst my midwife girlfriend who married a consultant, is living in a huge detached house, with kids at private schools and just does a few shifts to keep her registration and to keep out of the way of her cleaner.

So AIBU, should we tell our daughters to marry someone who can provide the material stuff, or in another quarter of a century, will the world have moved on again, and fathers will be equal parents, and none of this will matter a stuff?

AnyFucker Sun 27-Jan-13 12:49:54

This is a schoolchild error

There are shit men in higher earning brackets as well as lower earning ones. Some of the worst examples of relationship dysfunction I have ever seen on here have been in a household where the bloke out-earned the woman and frequently used it as just another stick to beat her with.

Narked Sun 27-Jan-13 12:50:30

I'll encourage my daughters to earn their own money and if they're interested in medicine to be consultants themselves.

SPBInDisguise Sun 27-Jan-13 12:50:43

Well no, with attitudes like yours, the world won't change. I want my children to do what makes them happy. I'd hate to think my ds was snagged for being high earning or passed over for not. I'd hate my dd to think she has to marry a man who can provide. In fact I'd hate for her to feel she has to marry/has to marry a man.

MadamGazelleIsMyMum Sun 27-Jan-13 12:51:15

YABU - your daughters (and sons) should marry who they want to.

My DH earns less than a 1/3 of what I do. I am happy to be the breadwinner - I see his role as SAHD and part time worker as an equal contribution, he enables me to pursue my career.

tethersend Sun 27-Jan-13 12:51:26

I would rather encourage my daughters to fight for equal pay, fair maternity/paternity rights and subsidised childcare in order to ensure that nobody, male or female, is penalised for bringing up children.

But, yeah, marry a rich bloke. Or something.

SnowBusiness Sun 27-Jan-13 12:51:45

Sadly OP YANBU. I went to a great all girls school. I agree that the one who consistently earns seems to create the lifestyle. Usually, because of maternity that tends to be men. I'm fed up, for my daughters, that another sodding generation still have to face a family/ career struggle.

Tryharder Sun 27-Jan-13 12:53:03

I would rather that my daughter were also a consultant earning big money than feeling that she has no choice than to marry a rich money if she aspires to having a big house.

I know someone who married a rich man and she is a SAHM to a number of kids while her DH travels with work. She has paid help who do the childcare, cleaning, laundry etc. Someone is even paid to walk the fucking dog.

Her life consists of school runs in her 4x4 and then intense gym sessions in between to ensure she stays slim and youthful as her DH is clearly in demand by other predatory women as he's such a big earner an'all.

I don't think her life is any better than the midwife you mention in your OP married to the mechanic.

JaquelineHyde Sun 27-Jan-13 12:55:00

Yes, yes because marrying for money is always a solid start for a long lasting loving relationship!

gordyslovesheep Sun 27-Jan-13 12:59:03

well god forbid your child ever end up a single parent then - some of us have to earn our OWN money to support our kids and our lifestyles

LOVE and respect make marriages not £'s

SilentSplendidSun Sun 27-Jan-13 12:59:12

We dont HAVE to encourage our daughters, they will do that themselves. Its biology, innit. Over the millenia, women mated with men who could provide for their offspring, and men mated with women who could provide them with healthy offspring.

It was physical strength that decided a man's chances, but now when you dont have to fight cavemean-style, the size of your wallet wil do the fighting for you.

Feminism WRT salary or idealized notions of luuurve are all fine and dandy, but marraige or just finding a partner, will always have a money angle. It just may be hidden very well.

TondelayoSchwarzkopf Sun 27-Jan-13 13:00:19


Also I am really really really glad that your midwife friend has had the NHS pay for her training and now does a few shifts to keep out of the way of the cleaner

We have a midwife shortage in this country FFS angry

wewereherefirst Sun 27-Jan-13 13:00:49

so how does this work in reality? Paychecks seen before the first date to ensure eligibility?

GinandJag Sun 27-Jan-13 13:01:14

When I was at school 30+ years ago ouch I remember have a Debating Society debate: this house believes we should marry for love rather than money. I remember the headmistress and all the other teachers voting for marrying money.

This is not to say marrying for money as such, but to just make sure you fall in love with someone who has earning potential.

I don't see what is disgusting about this attitude. It has been human behaviour since the dawn of time. In hunter-gatherer times, women would be attracted to men that were physically strong, for example. The behaviour also goes on in the animal kingdom.

meadow2 Sun 27-Jan-13 13:01:23

Silentsplendidsun- I am glad I dont think like you.

EvenIfYouSeeAPoppy Sun 27-Jan-13 13:02:02

My parents rejected my dh (then dp), to the point of consistently refusing to meet him, partly because he was still a student (as was I), had a working-class background and they believed he wouldn't be able to 'support' me.

We have been married twelve years, he is in a high-responsibility medical job, outearns me by a considerable margin and our two sons do not see their maternal grandparents.

I will encourage my sons to do what they are good at, makes them happy and enables them to live (not necessarily rake it in), and love who makes them happy.

YAB so U I feel quite despondent.

tiffinbaker Sun 27-Jan-13 13:05:47

YABVVVU and that kind of attitude is rather sexist as it assumes that your daughters should structure their aspirations for living in an unjust unequal and sexist society rather than trying to be part of building a society of justice and fairness.

I would hope that both my sons and my daughters should form relationships with people based on mutual love, support, shared insterests, ambitions and sense of humour and then structure their lifestyle according to their income rather than trying to form a relationship based on what income bracket they want to aspire to. I would hope that both my sons and my daughters would have enough respect for their life partner, of whatever gender, and enough interest in their offspring, to do whatever they can to share the childcare of my grandchilden (if they do come along) and that which parent earns more should not be used as a reason for one parent to barely see their children. I would hope that they would never see earning power as a cypher for the amount of respect someone is due, and that it therefore should be comepletely irrelevant which member of the couple earns more.

amillionyears Sun 27-Jan-13 13:06:08

Even, is it your choice, your DHs choice, or the grandparents choice that they do not see the grandchildren?

AKissIsNotAContract Sun 27-Jan-13 13:06:51

YABU. I earn double what my DH to be earns. We are very very happy together though. We play to our strengths, he's much better at household stuff than I am and when we have children his career will take a back seat to mine. We are very lucky to be living in a time when we can make that choice.

SilentSplendidSun Sun 27-Jan-13 13:06:57

Just facts, meadow2. I'm not saying women are all grabbing, money-minded harridans when it comes to marriage. We are not Austen heroines, after all. But a woman looking to settle down will subconsciously weigh future prospects- can we start a family, can we pay the mortgage etc? That does not mean she cant impulsively fall in love. Just that the person she falls in love with will come from a small pool of similar minded mates.

meditrina Sun 27-Jan-13 13:07:20

The ting I most want lot encourage DD to do is to think for herself.

And to think through choices before she makes them: educational, employment, domestic, marital. Some choices may not work out as well as she hopes, but an ability to think should help her improve her life or gather the means to escape to a new one.

Income level and prospects of a fiancé bear little resemblance to overall course of life in the decades to come.

Jinsei Sun 27-Jan-13 13:07:33

YABVU. I will encourage dd to marry a decent man who treats her well and respects her as his equal. If she wants to get married at all, that is.

I will also be encouraging her to make the most of her education and develop her skills in order to maximise her career choices in the future, so that she can pursue whatever kind of lifestyle she chooses.

FWIW, DH and I earned about the same when we got married. I now earn twice as much as he does. It makes no difference to our happiness at all.

amillionyears Sun 27-Jan-13 13:07:42

Who here thinks things will be much different in the next 25 years?

Not that I agree in the slightest with marrying a man for his money, or possible earning potential.

SilentSplendidSun Sun 27-Jan-13 13:09:09

Not me, amillionyears. Things ARE different, but in a regressive way...

MrsAFlowerpot Sun 27-Jan-13 13:09:23

In some ways I understand this, OP. I earn more than DH and it's likely to always be the case. It means ill never have the option to be a SAHM or work part time, although DH will (note I am not a particularly high earner based on where I live, but my salary covers our mortgage and utilities). It also meant I had a v short ML after DD.

However, would I change DH? No!

LadyMcSplodge Sun 27-Jan-13 13:09:28

Well I may well be in the minority here but I will definitely be encouraging my daughters to marry men that are well off and in professional, high earning roles. I will also be encouraging both girls to have their own highly paid careers too, but I wouldn't be happy if they married a postman, or a milkman, no.

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