Are you in a relationship where one person makes more money than the other? In most households, this occurs more often than not. One person is usually the breadwinner of the family and the other either stays at home or provides a supplemental income. If this is true in your situation, do you ever feel resentful over the situation?
Bringing Home The Bacon
Usually, one person will be the person who does the providing for the family. Without this job, the family would struggle. The supplemental income, however, is also key in being able to be kept afloat, so the person making less money should be in no way felt to be inferior because of the amount of money they are bringing home. In a marriage or partnership, the amount of money should not constitute which person is more important. Both need to see the money as one lump sum to be distributed together to pay bills and save.
When One Feels Inferior
If you are the one bringing home less money, does it make you feel like you are inferior to your partner? Do you feel like your contribution is just trivial and not really a solid income? If so, you need to reassess the way you view your monetary income. Although your spouse is making more money than you are, it doesn’t mean they are any more important than you are. You are most likely taking one more at home if you aren’t working as many hours. You might be taking care of children while your partner is out making money, which is equally important when you look at the entire picture.
The way people perceive others contributes to the feelings you have about your income. If you are used to making more money, and there is a setback where your partner needs to carry you through, your self-esteem is likely to suffer. You might start becoming resentful, and take it out on the person who is helping keep you afloat.
Unfortunately, the person making more money may feel upset about the situation, as well. They most likely are not upset that you are making less than they are, at all. Instead they may feel guilty for making you feel inferior and may try to hide their success so you do not feel as ashamed or angry about the situation. These feelings by both parties can escalate if they are not addressed, and they could lead to fighting and bad feelings. It is best to get your feelings out into the open with each other in an attempt at being able to express yourself and make the other person empathize with each other’s situation.
Battle Of The Sexes
If you are male, and your female partner is making more money than you are at the moment, there are bound to be some hard feelings. Since society often tries to portray the male in a relationship to be the breadwinner, it can make both partners a little uneasy when the tables are turned. The times are different now, however, and more and more female workers are pushing themselves up the food chain, grabbing higher paying jobs as a result.
If this is happening in your relationship, you need to put things into perspective. No longer is the female thought of as the one to stay at home cooking and cleaning. Child-rearing is being done more than ever by males throughout the country, while the female counterpart brings home the funds needed to survive. The main thing to consider is that all family members are cared for monetarily and emotionally.
If you are having hard feelings about your partner making more than you do, you may want to sit down and discuss the issue with him or her so he or she is aware of your feelings. Your partner most likely feels bad about the situation as well, and feels like he or she may be stepping on your toes in taking away the prominent role of the household. The best way to hand the overall situation is through discussion. You may be able to think of a few ways to increase your own pay as a result. Instead of feeling resentment, try to feel proud of your partner for the success they have within their job.
The best way to solve one person making more than the other in a relationship, is to get it all out on the line with each other so you can discuss how you feel about the situation. Trying to change the mindset about one person being the breadwinner and the other not being as successful can make a huge difference in how each person is perceived. For the person working less hours or making less money than the other, there can be other pluses in their contributions to the daily household chores. They can help by trying to save money when making purchasing decisions or by helping the person doing the most work stay comfortable and stress-free.
The person doing the higher-paying job should try to see the positives the other person contributes to the household. They need to make an effort to appreciate the help they give. They may be able to encourage their partner to find a better paying job or to go back to school. By working through the problem together, the partnership will remain in tact. It is always in the best interest of both parties to discuss this with their partners instead of holding it inside. Keeping secrets will just harbor bad feelings that can end up turning into a full-blown fight later on down the line. If you feel embarrassed to discuss the situation or if you end up fighting about money constantly whenever the subject is brought up, you may want to consider counseling together to try to sort through your feelings about the topic.
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