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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?

FlouncingMintyy Sun 27-Jan-13 13:33:17

"I think the value and worth of a person should not be defined in monetary terms".

Couldn't agree more naily. But its strange how many people really are interested in money and status. Most of the seriously wealthy people I know are rather dull!

sarahseashell Sun 27-Jan-13 13:34:05

narked plenty of women want to be at home looking after their dcs themselves

tethersend Sun 27-Jan-13 13:36:39

If more men worked flexibly, then more careers would have flexibility.

Where's Xenia when you need her?

bigkidsdidit Sun 27-Jan-13 13:37:32

The problem is your female friends couldn't get flexible work / cheap enough childcare / their DHs didn't split childcare hours with them. If they had been able to keep on at work they wouldn't need to marry a rich man.

Narked Sun 27-Jan-13 13:37:43

I've seen on here, very recently, posts from people who are being held back by their DH. They want to return to work and the attitude from their DH is that they won't earn enough for it to be worthwhile.

Narked Sun 27-Jan-13 13:39:10

Yes, some women do for at least a few years whilst they're small. Not all though.

Narked Sun 27-Jan-13 13:40:33

And those same women who stay at home whilst their DC are small can then face a battle when they want to return to work ^

Branleuse Sun 27-Jan-13 13:40:53

i will not be interfering in my childrens love lives if i can help it. Certainly not over how much money someone earns

flippinada Sun 27-Jan-13 13:42:20

Another option which no-one seems to have mentioned is not marrying at all (apologies if I've missed it) and pleasing yourself. It's not compulsory, in fact I recommend it!

amillionyears Sun 27-Jan-13 13:42:24

tethersend, Xenia wont come on. She married beneath herself remember? [joke]

GinandJag Sun 27-Jan-13 13:42:41

I think there is a lot to be said for putting great worth on earning.

The great evangelist, John Wesley, said: earn as much as you can, save as much as you can, give as much as you can.

Society needs big earners to make it work. All those who don't work rely on taxpayers to fund them. It is very wrong and mixed-up to think high earners lack morality.

I certainly am bringing up both my sons and daughters to aspire to high earnings although one of my sons is heading down a dubious path. It is not unreasonable for them to look for a mate who has similar values.

Callycat Sun 27-Jan-13 13:42:59

I think the biggest problem - which you don't discuss in your OP - is the insane cost of childcare.

Also - do we need to encourage children to marry at all? If they want to partner up, fine - they'll do that without parental encouragement.

SolomanDaisy Sun 27-Jan-13 13:43:11

I think people tend to marry people similar to themselves, so usually have similar earning potential. That seems true for most of the couple's I know. Sometimes I've earned more, sometimes DH has. Be with someone you love still seems the best advice...

HecateWhoopass Sun 27-Jan-13 13:43:13

So we should pair people up according to income?

My understanding is that you want them to earn as much as each other. So a man who earns £50000 a year should only consider marrying a woman who earns the same. Or a man who earns £10000 a year should only marry a woman who earns £10000 a year.

What I don't understand is why. It seems to be so that the woman can take time off work and there will still be money. Or have I got hold of the wrong end of the stick.

I really don't understand blush

Because if you pair up two people on minimum wage, and one of them leaves work or goes part time - is that not a terrible financial struggle? But they would have fulfilled your criteria of marrying someone who earned the same as them.

It seems like what you are actually saying is that women should marry rich men.

Because your argument is the nurse who marries the mechanic has to do lots of work.

But if you are saying women should marry men who earn at least as much as them - then you could have 2 people each earning £8000 a year and that would be fine. But that's not what you're saying, is it? You're saying that women should marry rich men. So that they can afford a good lifestyle?

fluffyraggies Sun 27-Jan-13 13:43:44

It is hard for women to do well when they have children, yes. Harder than for men. This is inequality and i hope things will change in the future.

But i don't think the answer is for women to start discarding potential partners because they don't earn enough!

My best friend married for money. We met in our late teens and although she was attractive and clever she always said she would marry a rich bloke because she wanted kids and wanted to be a SAHM. (not exactly the situation the OP describes but still has the marrying for money slant)

Anyway - she ditched her lovely long term boy friend when she was 21 and she found her big earner. They got married. He was a controlling, arrogant prick bad match for her personality wise. She was soon SAHM to 3 kids, a shiney 4x4, gym membership, 5 bedroom house, coffee mornings, cleaner etc etc. She was still attractive and clever, still my best mate. She was a great mum and adored her role as SAHM. Our children were the same ages.

But she was not in love with her husband and wuld confide in me about how she had to get drunk and fantasise wildly in order to 'let him have sex with her'. Which she did roughly once a month to keep him happy. She did this to keep her lifestyle. I always found it very sad.

SolomanDaisy Sun 27-Jan-13 13:44:01

Bloody kindle fire and its random apostrophes there.

amillionyears Sun 27-Jan-13 13:47:20

GinandJag, surely if a woman has married a man for his income, the marriage is more likely to be on shakier ground?

libertychick Sun 27-Jan-13 13:47:57

I think if you are going to encourage your DD's to marry men who earn the same or more than them then you had better be prepared for them to never marry (or be in a long term relationship). Women are outperforming men in almost every field and women in their 20's have closed the pay gap.

I earn a lot more than DH (we earned about the same when we got married but my career took off) so I only took 6 mths mat leave and he has been SAHD for just over 18 months now. There are up and downs to both roles, I often wish I could have more time with DD and it's stressful to have the pressure of being the sole earner. DH often worries about the impact of the time out of work on his career and finds it difficult how little respect people have for his chosen role. But for both of us, it hugely important to ensure that DD has the stability of a FT parent at home up to age 3 and we have jointly agreed to make sacrifices for that.

I do think money can help provide security and make life a bit easier but rather than focusing on earnings I will be encouraging DD (and a DS if I am lucky enough to ever have one) to be resilient, adaptable, positive people and to seek out similiar people as long term partners.

GinandJag Sun 27-Jan-13 13:48:40

"should we pair up people according to income?"

No, we shouldn't try to control anything. That smacks of forced marriage and social engineering.

It is up to the young people themselves as to what they do. They will act according to the values that have been instilled in them. For me and my house, we place high emphasis on reaching your own potential, which means earning high and giving high.

Saying that people should only marry shack up with their own kind denies any kind of social mobility, which is totally wrong.

freerangelady Sun 27-Jan-13 13:50:25

Bigkids - in the case of my friends it's nothing to do with childcare etc. it's the basic fact that they want to stay at home and be mums for a while. They are all in pretty well paid careers eg lawyers,'accountants etc.

I do think the op has phrased this badly. Of course women shouldn't only marry within their financial ''class" but I do think you need to be aware of the consequences of your decisions. If your daughter can accept
Those consequences in the name of love then that's fine.

bunnybing Sun 27-Jan-13 13:52:59

Stripeybear - so your girlfriend has married a consultant - does that not cause problems in itself re jealousy, infidelity?

<childish emoticon>

amillionyears Sun 27-Jan-13 13:55:21

Reaching your potential is reaching your potential whatever that level is.
You assume to know already that your children have capabilities of high earning.

But no, young people dont always act according to the values instilled in them, as social pressures from outside the family, come into play a lot too. As does their own inherent personality.

NumericalMum Sun 27-Jan-13 13:58:33

I will encourage my daughter to aspire to be a high earner. The only thing I want for her is to be able to be independent and never trapped in a loveless marriage for financial reasons.

I want her to be happy but I would like her to be independent most of all.

GinandJag Sun 27-Jan-13 14:00:57

Um, that's why I phrased it as "reaching your potential" rather than attributing an absolute level/goal.

I am not the kind of parent who automatically assumes their children will be brilliant although in my case, they are, mwha ha ha

amillionyears Sun 27-Jan-13 14:00:58

I too have both sons and daughters.
And I have already realised, that over the course of their lifetimes, the sons are likely to "make more money" because they may well be going to full time work until old age.
Whereas, it is quite likely, though definitely not guaranteed, that my daughters, if they have children, would take time out childcare wise, and thus their earnings will not total the same as my sons.

But I have taken equal time in helping them,education, career and job wise.
As nothing in life is guaranteed.

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