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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?

TheDoctrineOf2014 Wed 08-Jan-14 06:39:04

Household income is important,'s been great for is to both work and both earn similar amounts.

MistressDeeCee Wed 08-Jan-14 06:40:09

OH works full-time, Im part-time self employed mainly work from home and he earns far more than me. Yes, money does matter to me. I do pull my weight in many ways but I also like the feeling of being looked after & OHs earnings facilitate that. In the past I had a longerm OP who earned loads more than my current, but he had a real aversion to spending. We never went on holiday once, & his kids couldnt stand him as he was so tightfisted. I left him alone with his money. So its all relative, is nice, but the main thing is the kindness of sharing..

NotJustACigar Wed 08-Jan-14 06:41:27

How depressing. I was raised to believe I couldn't count on a man to support me so I would need to have a career of my own. Now I'm married, work in a field I love and earn 3x what DH does. DH works in the charity sector and I'm extremely proud of what he does despite the low wages. I'm proud to be the main earner as well.

Before meeting my DH I had just broken up with a man who earned lots but was quite selfish. There are so many important qualities in a man that come way, way ahead of what he earns in choosing a husband!

To the poster who said she would marry someone poor "only if he was really special" - why would you marry anyone who wasn't really special??

I really hope we teach our daughters to be self sufficient rather than to look for a sugar daddy!

Norudeshitrequired Wed 08-Jan-14 06:43:51

It matters that we have enough money to live on, it doesn't matter which of us earns it.
I married my husband, not his wallet.

SaltySeaBird Wed 08-Jan-14 06:48:01

I'm the main breadwinner which I don't really like as I'd much much rather be a SAHM but DH works damn hard, full time and does want to progress. He is a junior manager for local government so they have been hit hard with wage freezes over the last few years.

He is careful with money though and always puts his family first. I wouldn't change him at all.

HappyMummyOfOne Wed 08-Jan-14 06:49:48

What a depressing thread, so men have to be high earners to be considered and a lack of ambition means they have failed. Yet they need to do this so the wife can stay home all day not working hmm

simmerdown Wed 08-Jan-14 06:57:01

I don't think that's the message coming across from this thread mummyofone.

Logg1e Wed 08-Jan-14 06:57:18

Absolutely agree Happy. Can't believe people are saying, "yes, because it means I don't have to work or work more".

To me it's more about shared work ethic and responsibility than earning.

In answer to the OP (which we weren't supposed to debate) it is absolutely not important to me. That is probably because I'm lucky enough to have financial independence.

Fairylea Wed 08-Jan-14 07:00:34

It doesn't matter to me in terms of being a high earner but I appreciate the fact he earns enough for me to stay at home and we manage - I would hate to have to work again!

mumtosome61 Wed 08-Jan-14 07:02:05

I don't work - I'm a student and semi-medically retired. I would dearly love to work, which is why I'm trying to gain qualifications that mean should I be able to return to work, I can pay my way.

OH works very hard. We don't have a great deal of money between the two of us and we have to think practically about most purchases. But everything is joint; he passes things by me, I do the same with him. Without his loyalty, rather than his hard work, none of this would have been possible. For a long time it wasn't possible and I returned back to my Mum's to ensure my OH wasn't having to support me constantly.

Fortunately we are in a position where we are just above water. Sure, more money would be nice. It would be nice for my OH to not feel the pressure of hard work constantly. I make up for it in other ways - I am solely responsible for household management and take it very seriously to make sure our lives are as easy as possible. Between studying, appointments and management, I work harder than I ever have before; and I love it.

My Dad was a self-made richboy who had absolutely no concept of money or debt and owed £100k when he divorced my Mum and sold the house (leaving her with nothing). I would far rather take less money with more stability (it is possible) and honesty in joint decisions. I grew up with the opposite.

annieorangutan Wed 08-Jan-14 07:04:46

Nope the only thing that mattered to me was true lurrrvvve and thats what I got. Money cant buy you love any way I can easily make my own. Ive been with dh through the skint times and now the times when we are going on lots of hols etc. I love him aa much as the day ww met.

Pilgit Wed 08-Jan-14 07:06:17

It's not necessarily the money that's important but what it gives. I am the main wage earner in our family. I wanted to have a better work life balance after dd2 as I work stupid hours in a city job. The state of the economy and dh business meant there wasn't enough coming in to make this a reality for me. That hurts. He runs his own business and my wage has afforded him the freedom to do it and fit round the children. Sometimes this is a point of tension because he doesn't seem to appreciate the freedom he has as a result of my wage.

BUT he works bloody hard and is incredibly supportive so it doesn't matter. In an ideal world he would earn more but it isn't for want of effort on his part (he strives every day to bring more in) because he wants to be able to help me find the balance I want.

Having said all the above I was raised to support myself, not rely on anyone and to recognise that what we bring to a family isn't only monetary. In my case if he couldn't contribute equally to the family that would be a deal breaker.

sydlexic Wed 08-Jan-14 07:09:51

It would play no part in my decision to be with someone. It is nice to be able to live on one wage and not worry about money but doesn't matter if it's his or mine. Two good wages is even better

17leftfeet Wed 08-Jan-14 07:10:52

For those of you that want to be looked after

Do you realise how incredibly stressful being the sole earner in a family actually is?

ISeeYouShiverWithAntici Wed 08-Jan-14 07:12:03

God yeah! Everything that comes into the house is both of ours jointly and equally, so the more he (or I) makes, the more we've got!
sometimes he's earned more, sometimes I have.
doesnt matter which of us brings it, as long as we've got it.
Im far more concerned with who does how much housework wink
It must be really miserable to be keeping track of who brought what, who's got what and who gave what. I know some people prefer it but I really couldnt be arsed, im far too idle grin

Lweji Wed 08-Jan-14 07:13:34

I agree with Happy in relation to some pps.

I didn't even read anything in relation to being able to be at home for the children.

If a partner had posted this, I'd question their motivation and be sending them back to full time work, TBH.

Anomaly Wed 08-Jan-14 07:13:35

What does financial independence mean? I work three days a week. If dh earnt less I would have to work full time. Tough with 3 kids 2 still in nursery. I also doubt we'd have had dc3. If DH left tomorrow I would have to work full time but would be ok money wise. DH and I are a team so I dont feel the need to be financially independent.

Once all the kids are at school I will probably go back full time.

Logg1e Wed 08-Jan-14 07:19:05

Good question anomoly for me financial independence means "I don't rely on my partner being an earner". This means I could afford to stay with him during sickness and times of unemployment. It also means I don't have to go on talk forums and say, "yes it's important he earns a lot because it means I don't work".

MistressDeeCee Wed 08-Jan-14 07:19:23

I do like to be looked after and that wont change "shrugs" its each to their own, isnt it. My OH earns far more than I do so he enables us to have a more comfortable lifestyle. Looking after doesnt relate solely to money however, Im quite sure sahm's where OH is the sole earner, arent relaxing on a sun lounger all day (are they?!)grin they do their share of looking after too, just not financially. If some men are happy with that then thats their prerogative, just as its the woman's. Its up to a couple how they run their relaitonship.

StealthPolarBear Wed 08-Jan-14 07:21:16

Yes as it allows us to pay the mortgage and our bills. He'd say the same about me. Once we've paid t

StealthPolarBear Wed 08-Jan-14 07:22:01

Paid the mortgage off, a lot less. It matters that the 2 of us have enough coming in to maintain our lives

Logg1e Wed 08-Jan-14 07:26:44

There's a difference between saying, "I want a high earner so I don't have to work" and "I want the family income to be high enough that one of us can care for the children full time".

madam to me, being looked after means we bring cups of tea in bed when the other is ill. It doesn't mean being "kept" because I choose not to work.

NearTheWindmill Wed 08-Jan-14 07:32:54

When I met my DH he was really struggling. More going out than coming in. He was about five years call. Luckily I had my own house and was earning a lot of money then and could provide security for both of us. I loved him to bits and money wasn't important in our relationship; I suppose I took a chance on him but I don't think I'd have done that if he hadn't been fearfully ambitious.

He overtook me about 18 years ago, when DS was born. Since then our commitments have steadily climbed but had there been a disaster my capital would have kept us out of trouble albeit with a more modest life style although comparatively it is pretty modest by many standards.

We have very similar views about how money should be spent and how it should be invested.

simmerdown Wed 08-Jan-14 07:33:22

I would be financial independent without DH although since we are together my money is pretty much irrelevant. I continue working because I think people should work and because I would never want to ask DH for money for stuff I want. However much money we get we would never fritter it on nonsense. Money is another thing that's nice to have, not for itself, but for what you can do with it. We have taken on big responsibilities in the past 3 years (before we had much money) and it is definitely easier now we don't have to worry about certain aspects of it.

MinesAPintOfTea Wed 08-Jan-14 07:34:12

DH being a reasonable earner has given me the space to start my own business in the knowledge that I have a year to turn a profit (this is a freelance consultancy not a hobby business). So as in anything else, the more money that the family has, the more options we have as a unit.

But I wouldn't love him any less if that hadn't been something we'd decided was one of the options, I would just have had to of got a full time job as soon as DS was old enough to go to nursery. I fell in love with him age 16 when neither of us had jobs and we survived the lean student years eating pasta.

Basically access to money makes life easier so in turn makes us less stressed especially now we need to maintain a decent standard of living for DS>

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