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It's just sooooo unfair!!!!

(15 Posts)
travispickles Mon 11-Jul-11 11:06:22

First timer here - so go easy! However am a feminist, so read others' stuff with interest. Anyhoo, my bugbear is this. I appear to be the poorest of a fair few of my old school friends, because I earn more than my partner but am a mere secondary school teacher. The friends who are better off than me do not work at all, but 'married well'. We had good all girls private education which seemed to promote the idea of equality etc. But did I miss the real point? Were we only educating ourselves in order to gain access to the wealthier men? Am I the only fool who never wanted to rely on a man for money? Seems a bit of a phyrric victory really...

unclefest Mon 11-Jul-11 11:47:47

At least you can say that you don't rely on someone else? Not much of a comfort, but also, you have a profession and will never HAVE to rely on anyone else. My Mum always wanted us to have a profession so we would never be stuck like she was in a violent/unsuitable relationship with little recourse to financial security. I have a friend who has a very wealthy husband and is happily married but who did not complete her legal training to qualify as a solicitor; I find myself hoping nothing ever goes wrong with their marriage because she has no career to call on if it does confused

snailoon Mon 11-Jul-11 11:51:58

You are sooooo lucky to have an interesting, useful, worthwhile, challenging, job. Your brain will not rot; you will never feel like you wasted your life; you are setting a great example for your kids. No amount of money can come close to equalling the value of this.

travispickles Mon 11-Jul-11 12:04:23

I know - don't think I wish I had what they have. Having seen my parents' marriage break down after 35 years I know the value of independence. I love having my own career etc, although having just had a baby I am starting to see things differently. I swore I would work full time but now am going to 0.5 because I don't want to have to leave my baby at 7 months. But I will then be earning a lot less and will have to rely on my DP more. And so on...

unclefest Mon 11-Jul-11 12:04:44

Agree with snailoon - I don't like the idea of relying on someone else one little bit. My job is endlessly interesting, too. That is worth more than gold, surely.

SardineQueen Mon 11-Jul-11 12:16:52

Financial independence very important for me too.

Anyway.

Apart from me, all my friends have higher earning partners. However I have a theory about this.

Most women seem to settle down with men who are older than them - 5 years is the average I think. So the men have had more time in the workplace than the women and are earning more, often simply because they have been doing it longer rather than because they are in better jobs. Then the woman gets pregnant and the calculation is done as to who stays at home / goes part time / gets a job with more child friendly hours and of course the answer is the woman. And bingo - his career continues upwards and hers stalls or stops. Result = man is higher earning partner.

This is what has happened with all of my friends. One in particular, had just qualified in a profession with a top firm in london when she had her first child. Her husband is 15 years older and earning more than her due to the time in the job, but with a much much lower potential over time. He was already at the top and she was just starting out IYSWIM.

So i think that in a lot of cases it's not "marrying well" but the consequences of marrying older and then having babies.

Ephiny Mon 11-Jul-11 12:23:13

I don't quite understand what is supposed to be so unfair here, but would say that constantly comparing yourself with others is a recipe for unhappiness. There will always be someone with a better job, or a richer husband, bigger house etc etc. And different people make different choices, there isn't necessarily one 'right' way for everyone.

SardineQueen Mon 11-Jul-11 13:37:32

I say "apart from me all my friends have higher earning partners".

That's not actually true.

What is true that all of my friends have partners who were earning more when they met them, by dint of their partners being older, on the whole. I am older than my DH and earned significantly more than him when we met.

However due to decisions we made he now earns very much more than me. Which is something I feel sad about TBH - what happened? However I hope to catch up again once the children are bigger (I have two preschoolers at the mo). i really mourn my old career TBH.

SardineQueen Mon 11-Jul-11 13:39:00

Doesn't make sense that post. He earns more than me now due to teh decisions that we made when we started our family. i underestimated how difficult it would be to break back into a "proper" job after children. Now I now and it's a bit late to do anything about it.

Still i keep trying!

fluffles Mon 11-Jul-11 15:44:48

for some reason there seems to be no correlation between a 'good education' at school level and the desire to find a fulfilling career with that schooling.

just as many people from expensive private schools go on to have less than exciting careers as those from 'bad' state schools. i think the only difference is that if you move in a wealthy set you can marry into money and have a safety net whereas if you move in less wealthy circles you'll end up getting a minimum wage job to make ends meet.

i am quite sad when i meet people who have never found a career that motivates them sad [not counting people here who SAHP for a few years, that's a valid choice that does not make me sad]

fluffles Mon 11-Jul-11 15:46:44

oh - and to the OP - i'd happily be the poorest in my social circle because i love my career..

[except i'm not poorest because my friends are artists, academics, phd students, yoga teachers, theatre education officers.... all very rewarding and pretty low paid]

HerBeX Mon 11-Jul-11 18:30:31

I agree with everyone else. Ephiny is right, constantly comparing yourself to others is definitely a recipe for dissatisfaction and also, you don't know whether their marraiges are happy. Having a career that absorbs and challenges you, that you look forward to every day, is a great thing and it doesn't need to be well paid to feel great. Once you can cover your basic necessities, I think as long as you have the capacity to be happy, you will be.

This phase when your children are young and you don't want to leave them, is the phase at which I think lots of mothers look at the SAHM life and say "that's what I want". And for many, it is and it works well, but if you have to work for money, it is the hardest time to do it and you can fall out of love with your career. However, once they get a bit older, it becomes so much easier to WOHM, emotionally and practically and you find that the balance feels better and feels good; am rambling now but just want to let you know that difficult as it feels right now, in ten years time you may find yourself waking up feeling really happy and content every day and not caring at all how big your friends' houses are. (Sorry I know tht sounds like a long time to wait and am hoping I haven't made you feel worse... grin)

exoticfruits Mon 11-Jul-11 18:50:53

It depends what you are looking for in life. As a secondary school teacher money wasn't high up on your motivation and so you probably meet people who prefer job satisfaction to remuneration. I can't see that being married to a man with lots of money makes for happiness.

SardineQueen Mon 11-Jul-11 19:48:02

Money is nice though.

<gets coat>

grin

TeiTetua Mon 11-Jul-11 22:55:44

You just have to say, yeah well, is money the reason one person is happy and another isn't? So these other ladies have more loot. Has it really enabled them to get things that you want? And (better not dwell on this when you're with them) has it made them dependent on their husbands in a way that a woman who brings in an income will never be?

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