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Money and finding a husband. Did you marry someone less well off?

(151 Posts)
user20000019 Thu 11-Jul-19 16:12:00

I really want to get married have kids etc but I’ve never found the right man and I’m wondering if it’s because I am valuing the wrong things? Or maybe not? I don’t know.

I have a good job with good prospects (not earning loads but have spare money). I am attracted to men with ambition, men who are financially secure and most importantly have put down roots, have a house, savings... it is less about the money I suppose and more about the security than money can bring. For instance, a small house is just as ok as a large house but no house at all is a problem.

The issue I seem to have is that although I have dated men with a nice home and roots laid down, they often don’t have a decent job or at least a job that matches mine. Then the men who match my sort of job tend not to have properly settled down or invested in a home.

Obviously I am sure there are men out there who do fit this criteria but it isn’t common and I feel that if I was to go off on maternity for instance, or take longer than maternity periods allow, then my standard of living would drop if I relied on the income of some of these men I have dated. I find that really unattractive in a man. Is that awful? Is this being too picky? Has anyone married someone earning less or generally less well off? Am I being a dick?!

Sparkles57 Thu 11-Jul-19 16:16:38

Following with interest as I’m in exactly the same boat!

user20000019 Thu 11-Jul-19 16:18:17

sparkles it’s strange isn’t it..I don’t want anyone to buy me a lifestyle but I feel uncomfortable if there’s no financial security on offer from someone I am with...in the same way I work to bring financial security.

GreenFingersWouldBeHandy Thu 11-Jul-19 16:23:51

You say it's not all about the money, but from your OP, it really is. How about finding someone who makes you laugh/shares your interests/life goals etc.

How old are you if you don't mind me asking? Are you dating?

Different people reach different stages at different times of life. If one of your first questions to men is 'How much do you earn/do you own your own house/car" etc, you'll come across as someone who whom money is very much the only important thing.

user20000019 Thu 11-Jul-19 16:25:55

Well obviously I don’t talk about money on a date! And I’m very bothered about having things in common and laughing together etc etc.

I’ve dated some extremely well off people and ended things because it didn’t feel right.

It’s not all about the money. But the money does matter to me.

mindutopia Thu 11-Jul-19 16:26:40

How old are you? I think that’s a big factor. If you are in your 40s, yes, I think financial security, stability, a house is important.

If you are in your 20s to 30s, it may be leading you astray. My dh and I met in our 20s (mid to late, I was 28). None of that would have been important to me at the time. I didn’t want someone who was long term unemployed and living with his parents. But certainly renting with flat mates was normal in my social circles to late 20s/early 30s. We were ambitious, with good career prospects, but we were also enjoying life, traveling, figuring out who we were, not getting mortgages. I was doing a PhD (so low earnings but lots of prestige). My dh was a student at the time and then working in a fairly low paid graduate job. Material things never really crossed my mind. It was our shared goals and values and just how much fun we had together that brought us together.

If you find a good person who is hardworking and ambitious and shares your dreams, you can build a life together. A decade later, we are both high earners with well respected careers that we enjoy. We still don’t own a house but that’s been a conscious choice due to uncertainty of needing to not put down permanent roots and choosing to not get tied into a chain (we’ll buy next year and instead have a very large deposit/be mortgage free). But when we met, we both pretty much had nothing.

user20000019 Thu 11-Jul-19 16:28:37

Thanks for the reply. I’m 35.

QforCucumber Thu 11-Jul-19 16:29:10

How old are you? I think it's very dependent on this, I met DH in our early 20's and were both starting out in our careers, 8 years later we own a house together, are married, have a DS and plans for more - but I wouldn't have expected him to have too much in savings or a house at 24 when we met and he had just finished training. We both earn similar wages now too which for us works really well as it makes us feel equal in everything together.

QforCucumber Thu 11-Jul-19 16:30:28

When we met I was a manager and he worked nights in a supermarket, he was earning a lot less than I but it didn't matter to me - I liked him and not his job.

mummmy2017 Thu 11-Jul-19 16:33:18

If you really liked a man you would compromise....

Megan2018 Thu 11-Jul-19 16:36:49

I earn more than double what my DH does, and he had no cash to bring in to the relationship (so the house deposit solely came from me and is in my name as he's not able to get a mortgage).

I was almost 35 when we met, he was almost 40 - he's had a really interesting life which goes along with some crap financial decisions but it is what makes him who is is.

I on the other hand have been far too sensible and built up financial security - we compliment each other, his lower earnings are not a negative - he brings many other dimensions to our partnerships. Being equal isn't about cash so I'm afraid, yes you are being a dick.

We have a baby due in 9 weeks and I'm not relying on his income to support us both - we've saved for mat leave and I'll return close to full time after a year off.

ElspethFlashman Thu 11-Jul-19 16:37:38

Imo, the type of job a person has doesn't matter. Its more whether they are fiscally prudent and good at saving.

My DH was working in a garden centre when we first started going out. So obviously earning very little. After that he worked in B+Q for a a while. So nothing fancy. BUT he was an excellent saver and it soon became apparent he saved something from every pay check and was extremely cautious and sensible with big purchases. He had no debt and had no intention of incurring any. This has paid off in a thousand ways in the many years since.

Whereas you could get somone earning squillions who burns through it as quickly as it comes in.

Almahart Thu 11-Jul-19 16:37:54

I wouldn’t marry anyone who was not on the same page financially. Your earning potential is likely to be compromised if you have children and everything you’ve worked for would be likely to go into the pot if you were to divorce.

Marriage is a legal contract

Megan2018 Thu 11-Jul-19 16:41:47

Why will my earning potential be damaged @Almahart?
That's a very negative view - I'm at the top of my career at 41 and will return to my role after mat leave. My DH will be doing the lions share of support at home (as he already does) as he is the one that can afford to be compromised. It's not the 1950's!

Chovihano Thu 11-Jul-19 16:44:46

Money didn't come into it tbh, it was love at first sight and we're skint but just as happy 30 years later.
I think it's important to marry someone you love, you can work on other stuff.
Money and earning potential weren't a consideration at all.

AntsMarching Thu 11-Jul-19 16:46:41

What are you bringing to the table? A house? Financial security?

When I met my husband, at 26, we reach owned a house (with a mortgage), had similar levels of savings and similar earning. It was important to me to find someone who valued the same things as I did and it was important to my husband as well. Neither of us were looking to gain off the other.

Your OP reads as if you want someone to support you, that's not a great mind set. Look for someone who shares your value of money with regards to saving, earning, etc. But you shouldn't put conditions on him that you don't meet as well.

QforCucumber Thu 11-Jul-19 16:46:56

I agree @Megan2018, I returned to work full time also when DS was 9 months old. We both saved for my mat leave as my company only offer SMP, neither of us have suffered in earnings, we share time off if DS isn't well (DH work actually more flexible than mine in terms of leaving early) Yes, once it was the norm but since we are trying to get out of this mindset of women being the only ones who suffer we really should argue these points.

SkinnyPete Thu 11-Jul-19 16:52:18

@Megan2018

If you divorce, he will likely have the kids which you would pay maintenance for. He'd likely be allocated a bigger portion of the assets as you continued your career while he limits his earning potential, and you're benefitting from it. You may even have to pay some form of spousal maintenance.

Fingers crossed you stay together. But this is what PP means by compromised. Ideally both partners earnings and potential are similar amounts, as it gets difficult when it isn't.

Sajacas Thu 11-Jul-19 16:52:30

I think that you have to be a little bit realistic, not just in terms of what you need versus what you want, but also to see that valuing financial stabilty is not at all anti-romance.
It's not like you have found the perfect partner and are rejecting him him becuase he can't provide the kin dof lifestyle you want to maintain. It is actually perfectly reasonable to think about the kind of life you would have together in the future when you are dating someone, but it seen as grubby to phrase it in terms of income and money.

Almahart Thu 11-Jul-19 16:55:44

skinnypete has it.

Also, you might want to work part time when kids are small. Just sayin’

Sparkles57 Thu 11-Jul-19 16:58:37

@AntsMarching I’m not the OP but I’m in my late 20s and bring to the table a 4 bed house with a 70% mortgage (so decent chunk of equity) and no other debt (including a high end fully paid for car), plus I’m a reasonably high earner (well over the higher rate tax threshold).

I appreciate I’ve probably done unusually well for myself and I’m not looking for a man to support me whatsoever, but I would like someone who earns at least half of what I do, plus has some savings and no debt, especially since I’m open to dating up to about 8 years older!

Almahart Thu 11-Jul-19 16:58:43

So your options would be:

Work full time, keep your earning and pension up while your h is sahd. If divorce he gets lions share as primary carer

Or work part time and still sign over assets (reduced) on divorce

NB I’m not a lawyer, this is an approximation

ukgift2016 Thu 11-Jul-19 16:59:58

Women who are high earners seek mates who are their equal HOWEVER men are happy to date a retail worker as long as the woman is attractive.

This mean your dating pool is small. You are missing out on a lot of decent men you could date who earn less than you.

My boyfriend earns less than me but he has no debt, a good worker and is a lovely, kind man.

Megan2018 Thu 11-Jul-19 17:01:18

Exactly @QforCucumber I am fortunate to get some enhanced mat pay and we've saved up to cover the essentials. It'll be a lean year but after that we'll be fine.

I am hoping to marginally reduce hours so we qualify for child benefit, but otherwise I'll be out of the house 7.30-7.30 most days. DH will be doing the afternoon nursery pick up, dinner and bedtime at least 4 days per week.
We have a cleaner so I do no housework apart from laundry which I weirdly like. I also do the financial admin as I am good at it. DH does all the gardening, DIY, house chores that the cleaner doesn't do, food shopping, cooking, car maintenance etc etc. He leaves for work early (around 5.30-6am) and is back early afternoon. It is very much a traditional role reversal in our family.
We each contribute what we can and what we are best at. I don't see how this is going to negatively impact my career as I've got no desire to move up any higher (as there really would be no work life balance for me then and HMRC would get most of it).

Hmm. Look, I get it. Nobody wants to be taken for a ride. Been there, done that. And I won't marry again - partly to protect everything I've earned for my kids. So it would be naive to think that financial security doesn't come into the calculation at all.

But....

Everything in your OP is about money. Every last bit of it. Financial security is one thing you need to think about. But you seem to be focussed on that to the exclusion of everything else. That will come across. No man wants to be a meal ticket. And believe me when I say that money won't cushion things when you hit hard times. Shared values, shared interests, kindness, decency - all those things are so much more important.

Maybe time to re-evaluate your priorities to get a little more balance? Men who have been successful will run away of they think you're only after their money. And they'd be right to do so.

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