My Husband Makes More Money and I Feel Guilty

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It was after midnight when Michael slipped through the front door. I could tell he was trying hard not to wake me—the way he gently closed the door behind him; the way he tiptoed over the hardwood floors; the way he undressed in the bathroom, his jeans whispering down his legs to the tiled floor.

But I had been awake since the moment his car door slammed in the back parking lot.

“It would have been nice to know when to expect you,” I muttered to him as he pulled back the sheets in the dark. He looked startled.

“I told you I’d be working late,” he finally said, sliding his glasses into their case and checking to make sure the alarm was set. “It’s going to be like this for the next month or so.”

“This is bullshit,” I said, not ready to let him off the hook. “You’re working all of this overtime, and you’re not even being paid for it. They’re taking advantage of you.”

“Yeah, well, this is the startup environment,” he said wearily, tired of having the same argument over and over. “This is how it is. I have to play the game if I want to be able to pay the bills.”

I glowered, thinking back to the trip we’d taken for our four-year wedding anniversary, several months before. Upon arriving at our motel, he’d pulled out his laptop, saying there was “just one thing” he had to take care of, despite the fact he’d been granted a vacation day.

“You need to reevaluate your priorities,” I said now, as I had said then. “You have a wife to come home to.”

“I’m being a good husband,” he said. “I’m taking care of you.”

“I need more than money,” I said, my body thrumming with anger.

“Well, maybe if your income was higher, I wouldn’t have to work so hard.”

This was the point in the conversation where my head usually exploded.

Even When We Weren’t Fighting About Money, It Was Always There

As a couple with wildly divergent incomes, this issue was always there, lurking in the background. No matter how far removed an argument was from our finances, at the climax of each disagreement he would throw his breadwinner status in my face, as if to say I had no right to complain about anything. He was, after all, carrying me. He was carrying us.

It enraged me.

When we first met back in 2004—at a strip mall Dunkin Donuts in North Jersey — I had just been laid off from my first post-college job. Only 23 at the time, I was already collecting unemployment checks and, on top of that sparse income, did nightlife reviews for Shecky’s and handed out food samples at Pathmark. The food sample gig was demoralizing, and the reviews barely covered bus fare into the city, but I prided myself on being an independent woman. I insisted on splitting every date-night dinner check.

Around the same time, I also dug myself into $10,000-deep holes five times in about five years (not to mention my student loans and car payments). I racked up credit card debt from buying pretty dresses and piles of paperbacks and home décor. When the interest rates on my cards shot up, I fell behind, and things spiraled out of control. My family bailed me out the first three times. Michael bailed me out the fourth. When it happened a fifth time, I cried when I told him, because it was no longer just my problem. It affected both of us. I gave him all my cards and stopped using them entirely. It took me a few years to finish paying off the last of that debt.

As Time Went On …

By the time we ended up buying a condo together, I had a job working full-time for an academic book publisher. But even though Michael was an underpaid direct mail copywriter back then, my salary still couldn’t hold a candle to his. I was saddled with guilt by the fact that he had to singlehandedly cover all the household bills while I only bought groceries and paid down my debt.

I knew he was feeling a lot of pressure to keep us afloat, and I wished I could contribute more. Still, as time went on, I found myself relying on Michael more and more.

(Was the issue about feeling taken for granted? One study shows a simple thank-you could save your relationship.)

Where We Are Today

I had always dreamed of devoting myself to my writing. To prepare, I took continuing ed classes, attended networking events and read a ton of books on freelancing, writing and business. After our wedding, I had a chat with Michael about going full-time freelance. He said he’d support me, but that I had to show results within a year. Within six months, I had matched my previous salary.

So now I’m a full-time freelance writer. I’ve done okay for myself, and have even managed to pay off my credit card debt. But Michael’s salary has tripled since we first met, thanks to a career switch from copywriting to web development. No matter how much I accomplish, I feel as if I’m not contributing enough. I feel worthless.

I feel as if the things I’m most proud of (like writing a book proposal and signing with an agent, or appearing on a panel for the American Society of Journalists and Authors, or launching a “starter kit” for writers that tripled my mailing list but didn’t bring in any money) don’t count.

Why I Would Never Want a Corporate Job

Still, I could never go back to the corporate world; freelance life has ruined me for that. I also can’t bring myself to hustle harder, going to great lengths to land even more writing assignments. I worked hard to build up a valuable network, and I made my current successful freelancing happen, but I’m not the type (especially not anymore) to spend nights and weekends developing query letters and executing complex marketing plans.

I value work-life balance more than I value career growth, and to be honest, I’m not sure what I’m working toward. I don’t know if I want anything more than to work on writing a book and teach yoga (I signed up for teacher training in January) and be a mom. The motivation and zeal is no longer there.

I make about 26% of what Michael makes, but I love my job

I get to roll out of bed at 7:30 or 8:30 a.m., lose myself in a cup of coffee as I catch up on emails, and work on everything from ghost-tweeting and ghostwriting books to helping clients manage their social media, writing freelance articles, doing some career coaching, managing my own blog and monthly newsletter and developing an online community. I can generally fit a yoga class into the day and knock off work around 6.

I make, on average, maybe $30,000 a year (working part-time hours, truthfully). It goes up and down every year. To put things in perspective, I make about 26% of what Michael makes.

All the same, I’m happy.

How My View for the Future Aligns With My Husband’s

All that seems to be missing is children, and we’re working on that. I’m turning 32 and Michael is 33, and we’ve been trying to have a baby for two years now. We’re on our second round of intrauterine insemination (IUI) now and the plan has always been for me to work from home to be with the kids. It’s one of the main reasons the freelance life appeals to me.

As for our money issues, I’m sure having kids won’t make things any easier, but I know we’re strong enough to work through it.

(Wondering how money might affect your relationship? More on that here.)

We’ve also been trying to sell our condo for as long as we’ve been trying to have a baby, but the value has dropped so low we’d lose too much money by selling right now, so we’re planning to rent out our condo once we buy a house. Thanks to Michael’s salary, we’re now at a place that we feel secure making that move, and we’re in the process of buying a house through a short sale.

Here’s Why I Don’t ‘Want It All’

Anne-Marie Slaughter recently wrote a piece for The Atlantic on “Why Women Still Can’t Have It All.” The media sphere exploded with commentary on why she was right, why she was way off base and why the phrase “having it all” was in itself problematic. (LearnVest interviewed guys for their views on the subject, and that exploded, too.) This was around the same time as the debate around Marissa Mayer’s work-life balance. I tried to ignore the uproar. All these articles only made me uncomfortable.

When I explore this discomfort now, I realize that I don’t really want to “have it all.” Or, rather, the phrase “having it all” is different for everyone. For me, it means having a balanced life, as a writer and wife and mother and woman. A high-powered career doesn’t interest me, though I wouldn’t want to stop working completely.

Michael and I have always wanted the same, basic things: marriage, children, a house, fulfilling careers. When I was 5 years old, I wanted to be a writer. When I was in college, I wanted to be a writer. Now? I’m a writer. Though the details of what I’m writing change, I never get tired of working with words.

But then I think about how Michael’s carrying me. How he’s carrying us. And not wanting “it all” (in the conventional six-figure sense) makes me feel guilty.

All the same, we’ve been having the money argument a lot less than we used to. We’re being better to each other in general. Once we both cool down from an argument, we’re able to see the other person’s side. All we can do is continue to support each other.

Steph Auteri is a freelance writer and editor who typically writes about sex. She has overshared in Playgirl, NerveBabble, the Frisky and other publications. Thank God her husband loves seeing his name in print.

  • PMK

    You are going to have to learn to let go.  stop concentrating on what you are not bringing in financially if you know you are not making a career change because let’s face it bestselling author is a rarity.  Show him that you appreciate his sacrifice.  Try to save more money to help out more if that is really getting you down.  In the end, this boils down to how you are going to handle it.

    • lyzl

      I think you are missing the point. The author is offering up an honest look at how income disparity impacts her relationship and on the whole, I think her attitude shows she and her husband and handling it well.

      • LeAnne

        If she feels as if he is throwing the breadwinner status in her face and if she’s expecting him to bail her out while complaining about what it takes for him to financially be able to do so, I don’t think that they are handling it well. 

        • Jason

           At the end of the message she did make the point that they are arguing less. I think more than anything, she is drawing a picture for readers, as opposed to asking for help. Sometimes, it’s more about the experience and the complexity, than the solution (which I do not think any of us have).

        • SLGilstad

          To be fair, she is only working part-time. I get that she loves her job, but in a time where a lot of people would love any job tehy have, working from home at age 32 is a luxury.

      • PMK

         In the beginning of the article, it does sound like she is unhappy because of the income disparity.  Yes, she points out that they do fight less which means that either a. she stopped concentrating on the disparity or b. they talked like adults and he stopped throwing it in her face when she complained.  Yes, you can have your dream job but sometimes working the dream job does not reap high financial rewards.  I have been there.  I can also honestly say that in my marriage in the beginning my husband was the high wage earner while I went to school and figured things out and now I out earn him.  We do not throw these things in each others faces and I do admit when we first got married and he was carrying the bulk of the financial load – I was unhappy – not because he slammed it in my face but because I wished I could do more to support our family financially.  In my case I realized that full time journalism was not for me and I am actually happy with that decision.  I think she has to get to a place where she is at peace with her decision and not angered at night by her hubby coming in late because he has to make the cash.  Overall, I do not think she is at this place yet from reading this article.

  • Bob

    At some point you have to stop being a child. You can’t always work your dream job. Sometimes you have to do what it takes to take care of your family. Those who can work their dream jobs and take care of their family are the exception to the rule, the lucky ones. Be thankful for your husband, and be thankful that what he does makes your fairytale world possible. Without him you wouldn’t be able to stay home and write for a living. You might have to go out and get a second job on an assembly line or something similar. We do what it takes to get by. When we have enough, then we can decide how to best spend our time.

    • Talk2ortiz29

      And who gave you the right to judge anyone on what they can or can’t do.  You are totally wrong about anyone not being able to live and work their dream job.  Whether you work full time or part time or just got laid off, anyone can work on their dream job nothing is impossible.  As humans we make things complicated than it really is. I can speak from experience, I lived low so I know what its like to have that 10 + yrs on the job, with a $54,000.00 a yr money and then get laid off, with nothing to show for it. Previous to that the only jobs I could hold were low wage paying jobs and now in this present time I’m still working on my dream but it is evolving nicely.  As for marriages, husbands and wives, need to acknowledge each others strengths and weakness, be honest about each other’s finances.  As for men and women who make less than their spouse, don’t ever feel guilty for making less, as long as you are working on correcting your financial future be assured it will be better and you will become prosperous and financially educated not just for yourself but for your family.

      • nkdeck07

        She can only work her dream job on her husbands back. That is very nice for her but what if he wants out of the web dev game? Why can’t he pursue his dream job?

    • Anna

      This couple isn’t struggling financially.  They are making a decent living – sounds like around six figures – and her freelancing will ultimately allow her to be a better mom.  Additionally, having parents who are happy and professionally fulfilled makes for a happier home environment. Finally, how do you define “enough?”  It seems like in our society, “enough” is a moving target.  People are never satisfied and always want more material things that aren’t truly necessary, often at the expense of the things that really matter.

  • Julie G

    This is why I’m not married.  You can’t win with men; if your income isn’t high enough, they get a resentment.  If your income is higher than theirs, they get an even bigger resentment.  And if my (non-existant) husband made a habit of coming home at midnight, start-up or no start-up, he’d be a candidate for “Cheaters.”  I don’t think you are the one with the problem.  I think he is holding on to a grudge about your financial missteps of the past and is using his anger about them to distance himself from you; therefore he “has to” work late.  Read a book called The Dance of Anger; if it gets any worse, you may see both yourselves in it.

    • lyzl

      I think you are overblowing the issue here. All couples, even normal, well-balanced ones, fight about money and have money resentment. In the husband’s defense finding the money balance is hard for everyone and we all feel things we shouldn’t.

      • CML

        I agree with LYZL, and want to add, as a male earning less than his girlfriend it can go both ways. But Truthfully in any loving relationship this should not be a MALE FEMALE issue. it can happen with any relationship, communication is probably more the issue, breakdown in communication leads to unhappiness and potential resentment, and than that leads to all sorts of things, it can come out as a money thing or many other aspects that we try to place the blame on. I am going through this myself RIGHT NOW and its sad and sucks. So thanks to the writer for sharing and the commentaries for continuing the discussion

    • Ranredd

      The same thing can be said for women. Don’t work enough – not being a provider/supportive husband. Work at a start-up to make enough money for pregnancy treatments – you don’t spend enough time with me. I think this is just someone that doesn’t have a grip on the reality of their marriage. If she wants him to stay home more, than they’ll need to live on less or she’ll have to increase her income. Either way, she can’t have it both ways.

  • HC

    This is a great article.  There isn’t just one way to live your life, financially or otherwise. I noted this woman makes more than the median U.S. annual income of $26,364.  She also intends to provide childcare services for her family, which is many thousands per year in value, plus she is saving them the costs of transportation, lunches out, a corporate wardrobe, and any other conveniences like dinners out, laundry, or cleaning services they would consume because she is too tired to take care of that after working all day.  I expect she would have to make at least $50K in the corporate world to cover the additional expense of her working in the corporate world, and be in exactly the same place only more unhappy and seeing her family less often.

    As a woman who *does* work the 24/7 crazy job for a high salary, I think it’s beneficial for such professions, as a whole, that family members don’t buy into a profession’s insane assumptions about how many hours you should work and how you should live your life.  I do believe vacation days should be vacation days, that the workday should end at a reasonable hour, and “family time” or “free time” shouldn’t start after putting in 14 hours at the office.  I’m frankly grateful when the families of my colleagues remind them they are being brainwashed by a culture of excess, because it helps adjust the norms of our workplace ever so slightly, and every little bit helps.  On the other side of this coin are all the people who’d like corporate jobs but can’t have them because somehow, a lot of companies are still able to squeeze 80-hour weeks out of people and make fewer hires.  I don’t want necessarily to live in a super-regulated environment where I’m not allowed to put in more time to advance my career, but there has to be a balance somewhere.

    Should she criticize him at midnight?  Probably not.  But we’ve all done worse things in our relationships.  Nobody is perfect and I appreciate getting the real story.

    • Julie G

      You put it much better than I could.  What I wonder is, now that employers have ‘trained’ employees to expect to work ridiculously long hours for little pay, how we can ever go back to a norm that resembles the workplace of 3 or 4 decades ago.

      • gc

        He makes $115,000 at a START-UP at 33 years old.  That is not a “little pay.”  For him to keep this job and make sure the company actually starts up, he will have to put the time in.  He is doing what he wants/needs to do in order to “have it all” and the author isn’t being supported because he’s not able to coddle her.  I’m sure he could ask his job to cut his hours by suggesting he take a  $30,000 cut or so, but then they, as a couple, probably wouldn’t be able to afford the IUI, etc. leading the author to REALLY not have all the things she wants.

        That being said, this isn’t really what the article is about, it’s about feeling like you’re sacrificing, which sucks, but that’s that.

    • lyzl

      Love this comment and perspective. I also appreciate getting the real story. It’s so helpful because Lord knows we fight about dumb money stuff at midnight too!

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  • Overworked

    I agree with LeAnne’s comment below… there is a lot of un-spoken resentment on both sides.

    I am going to stick up for the husband here. My husband and I earn about the same amount, but the difference is that he’s self employed and works a fraction of the hours I do, and from home. I commute to an office and work 12-13 hour days. I am rarely, if ever, permitted vacation time. I was hospitalized last month for a respiratory infection that got out of control b/c I went to the office instead of taking a sick day, and my boss texted me every 30 minutes while I was there (it was only one day, but still).

    My husband and I get into a RAGING argument about my work hours at least once a week. He is resentful that I have not found a way to earn as much while working fewer hours like he has, and he feels alone and neglected since we never see each other during the week. I can’t say I like my job, but the “corporate culture” where I work is one where no one has a life outside of work. 

    So, basically after a bunch of stress at work, I have to come home to a bunch of stress at home, instead of someone being supportive and feeling badly for ME that I have to work such long hours.  

  • Jacki

    I think this is defintely a first world problem.

    Low self esteem and loving your job are not things that the developing world spends a lot of time thinking about.

    • PhilChance

      I think this a problem couples in any economy/nation status have trouble with.  At least from my experience in other countries, developed and not.

    • aprjoy

      I think it’s somewhat condescending to assert that people in developing countries don’t care about quality of life. I really appreciate a statement that the writer Teju Cole made to this point: http://npr.tumblr.com/post/29558187249/i-dont-like-this-expression-first-world

      • Jacki

        Well, it is a good statement and maybe I just have should have just said that in the scheme of things, how is this really a problem? My point is that there are a lot bigger problems out there then this type of navel gazing. Unhappy with your income but not willing to work time or at job that you are not passionately interested in? Doesn’t seem as pressing as where your water is coming from and how long it will take for you to carry it back to your village (India). Or worrying about whether or not you will live through the night (Syria).

        • aprjoy

          Fair enough. :-)

  • JJ

    Hmmm…I recently got a position where I make about $2,000 less a year than my husband (we’re both in the mid to high 40′s).  

    It’s not bad, but I’m a bit perturbed that he doesn’t even have his Bachelor’s yet and I have my MBA yet I’m still not making more than him.
    With that being said though, we agree on the big things – our marriages, lives, children, etc. and we’ve both agreed that when it comes down to when we have kids, whoever is making less/has more flexibility to cut down hours will start working 30 hours a week versus the 40+ we both work.

    We also have a set weekly budget that we both draw from that’s synced between our phones and discuss any big purchases with each other.

    With that being said, we still argue about money sometimes and like this author is sharing, the money is just a symptom of deeper resentment.  I know when we argue, sometimes I or he has to stop us and try to get to the heart of what we’re really arguing about.  Is it really about money?  Or are we more annoyed by some other issue and the money is just a symptom?

  • Sbstephanie

    When you marry you become one. You support each other and there is no he brings this, she brings that as far as money goes (although in reality, not always the case for how each spouse feels). The only thing I could see the husband being upset about is if he truly doesn’t think she is meeting her potential or working very hard. If you don’t have kids, you should be working hard to help support each other, and I’m not talking 12 hour days. He might also resent the fact that he is working many more hours than her when she has been bailed out of debt numerous times, yet she still works part time for her dream job.

    Nothing wrong with a dream job, but I am only 23 married with the 2nd one coming next week. I nannied up until a month ago and go to Univ. TX full time while my husband’s salary is increasing each year. After 4 years of serious sacrifice and no debt, I am finally able to be home with the children and finish school without working. I don’t know everything at this age, but after having a kid, I know that sacrificing some time for more money before the kids come (as long as you’re spending doesn’t increase) is really worth it.

  • AD

    Wow. You sound like a giant spoiled brat. Your parents bailed you out of $30,000 of credit card debt, your husband bailed you out of another $10,000 and you have the audacity to complain about ANYTHING? Your day sounds like a dream. You leisurely wake up, fart around on the internet, take a yoga class? While your husband is out there hustling to pay the bills? You feel guilty because you know you are lazy and could be doing 1000x more to contribute to your family’s income. Why not teach an SAT class, or tutor in your spare time? Or heck, teach Writing/English  full-time and still continue your free-lance writing since it only takes part-time hours!

    If you weren’t married and didn’t have your husband to pay all your bills where would you be? Most likely saddled with debt once again and pandering to your parents to bail you out yet again. You sound pathetic. If you want to live your dream life and have your dream job then you have to EARN IT and WORK FOR IT! Its called paying your dues. Either that or learn to live within your means.

    This article is actually more infuriating than the little girl who said she wants to marry a rich man and be a stay at home wife. At least she was only 23 years old and has a lot to learn. You are 32 what’s your excuse?

    • Crystal Simonsays

      Yep, yep, yep, YEEEPPPPP!  This is what happens when people are overindulged, enabled, and not allowed/made to face their own consequences. God help us!

    • Overworked

      AMEN!!

    • AD

      And to be clear- I think the author’s guilt stems from the fact that she knows she could be doing more. And her husband’s resentment probably comes from the same place.

      I work at a consulting firm and make a decent living however my job requires long hours sometimes and a lot of travel. I hear all the men at work talk about how their stay at home wives complain how they travel too much, work late, are never home, etc. Similar to the author’s comments to her husband. My response is the same to the author and those wives: Do you like to eat food? Do you like living in a nice house/condo with heat and air conditioning? Do you like taking vacations and sending your child to private school? Yes, then be quiet, stop complaining, get a grip or get another job so your husband can work less. It’s that simple.  

    • SLGilstad

      I could not agree with you more. I am 29 and I could not imagine having the audacity to tell somebody that I deserve to sit around all day, work part-time, do yoga, and then complain when my significant other is working until midnight to support me. That’s entitlement. Wow.

      • ranavain

         Not to mention that if she’s pulling $30K part time, she DOES make enough to support herself. Her hubby’s job is a LOT of icing on the cake.

    • http://fitorama.wordpress.com/ Lauren Lever

       Hah, as much as I feel like a troll, I agree. I love the attitude of “could not” do corporate work. Oh, sorry us corporate drones are so beneath you.

    • Your_Poor_Husband

      Well said.
       

    • Ridiculous

      I agree – I’m shocked this article was even posted with the intention of inspiring financially stable women (what this website does best) – Instead this sounds like a rant from a very insecure, naive woman who needs to grow up before she even considers having children.

  • Lara

    My husband and I on the one hand would KILL to be making that much money, and I would LOVE to have that leisurely writing job from home, but that just isn’t what life handed us. I did not go to school to be a daycare worker, but it is what has been provided for me employment-wise and I am putting up with it to help out financially until my “dream job” comes around. Yet, I think I’d rather be making far less money and stick through my not dream job than have these ridiculous “who brings more bacon” fights. We are happy supporting each other’s goals and sacrificing for each other’s best interest. I may be in the minority but this article has a “whine” tone to it from both points of view.

  • http://www.leslieforman.com Leslie Forman

    I can relate. I’ve been living with my boyfriend in the apartment he owns. I don’t know exactly how much he earns, but he’s a manager at a finance company and I’m a part-time university instructor and English teacher, with a bunch of freelance ideas. He’s incredibly generous and understanding, and I’m so grateful for how he’s supported me and my dreams. I can imagine this guilt could be a big conversation topic in the future. Thanks for a smart and thought-provoking article. 

  • Miranda Rasmussen

    While I enjoyed reading this post, I cannot relate. I do not come from wealthy parents; I scraped my way through college and I’ve been working since I was 15. I am the bread-winner in my marriage; my husband has not been working since June. Yes, the pressure is on me but I would not want it any other way. I love being the one that provides for my family and I think that I show my daughter a healthy balance of work, fun and responsibility by working full-time. I had the “crazy” notion that I was going to be a stay at home mom but when reality set in that my income is critical to keep my family clothed, fed and sheltered, I accepted that daycare 5 days a week was our only option until she’s old enough for school. We ladies need to realize that it’s not 1960 anymore – both parents typically work – in the home or outside; and both parents will contribute differently to the family but yet the goal should be that everyone is equal in the amount of work they put in to make it a happy home. Quality time with your spouse or kids is not something to put a price tag on. 

  • Marissa

    IUI treatments for 2 years cannot be cheap!!!! I wonder if she ever thought about acupuncture for infertility, for her and her husband?

    • SLGilstad

      Why does she need IUI treatments at 32 years old, was my question?

    • ranavain

       I wonder why they’re letting money put such stress on their marriage when they could adopt one of the thousands of children already in this world that need a $150K+ household (as hers is, it’s absurd to me that they ALLOW this stress when that’s the kind of money they’re making, and they want to bring a kid into it!). I just cannot morally reconcile spending thousands on fertilization to avoid giving a kid a good home, and then complaining when your husband works late to make the money to cover it? America is a screwed up place.

      • Kmt942

        Adoption is neither an easy route nor cheap nor is it any type of guarantee.

        • ranavain

          So… at worst, it costs the same and is the same hassle as fertility treatments, only without the moral problem?

    • Melissamlorenzo

       or, hello?, adoption? As in, adopting a US child?

  • simonsays

    Completely agree with AD.  For anyone who busts their ass, this is not inspiring.  This is sad.

  • Maxeysuzanne

    I recently stopped working for multiple reasons.  I am having our first baby Oct 1.  I was working as an independent consultant and traveling from NYC to VA weekly.  The day we confirmed I was pregnant my husband was laid off.  He found a new full time job in DC within 3 months but then someone had to plan the move from NYC to DC (get rid of NYC apt and find a place to live in DC).  So between traveling weekly, starting my third trimester and needing to moving from DC to NYC we made the decison that I would stop working about 3 weeks earlier than required.  One thing is my consulting job was/is lucrative.  I saved enough so that I could continued to get paid for 12 months (from July 12 – July 13) — albiet at a much reduced salary.  Since 2000 I’ve consistently made in the 6 figures.  In the last 5 years I’ve made a little over a quarter million per year.  I feel guilty now that I am not working and my husband is.  It’s weird not to be able to contribute like I used too.  The reality is my 60+ hr work weeks and 6-12 hrs of travel weekly was not going to work.  I could tell my work was suffering and I started having some problems with my pregnancy so we made the decision for me to leave early.  Although I am not in the exact same position I know what you are feeling.  I also realize that I will probably not be able to take the same types of jobs I’ve had in the past and be the kind of Mother I want to be.  I struggle with how much the money can buy (college savings, nice vacations, not worrying about money) to the cost of having such a stressful job (not spending enough time with my new born, stress, weight gain and general unhappiness).

    I am a big believer in Vision Boards.  When I decided to go independent one thing on my board was that I didn’t want to worry about money, I wanted savings and I wanted to pay off my student loans (that was my only debt 5 yrs ago).  I was able to accomplish all three in a short period of time. 

    We just moved and we recently dug our Vision Board out from NYC.  I would like to create a job that makes me happy and allows me to work part time for full time pay.  From now until the birth this is one of the many things I hope to work on. 

    Maybe make a Vision Board for yourself. Just because you write or teach yoga does not mean you can’t make more money.  This may just be your opinion of the jobs you’ve selected — writing and teaching yoga.  Although just because you don’t work full time doesn’t mean you can’t make a good salary.  Look at the opinions and limitations you’ve put on yourself or your jobs (meditation is great for this).  If you can let these go you might just have the life you want and the salary you want. 

    It’s worth a try.  

  • PhilChance

    Thank you for the insightful article.  I don’t see it as about the money, the money remarks are just the weapon.  A couple must learn how to merge this part of their lives and their roles in the relationship according to them….not other people or expectations.

    We also shouldn’t be so judgemental about their past or their level of income.  It happens for various reasons and they have moved on (we hope).  I also can’t judge their income as “enough”.  We each have our own enough depending on our past, lifestyle, where we live.  Some of these things can be adjusted. 

    I’ve had this happen to me.  Husband asked me to leave good career to location where I was not allowed to work (visa issue).  He then spent however he wanted, my spending was met w/ remarks/discouraged.  I even was told one time that his vote on a subject held more weight since he made our income.  This last one was the last straw.  We were able to work through it & it is no longer an issue but looking back I would never put myself in that position again. Not even if it included losing him.

    Using the income as a weapon is something that gets into the relationship and I hope they can work through this together.

  • sorry

    does he enjoy his work?  does he enjoy working late?  if he doesn’t like working as much as he does, then you can work more… but it sounds like you only want to work in an area that you like?  I don’t think you will hear much sympathy from anyone, because most people don’t enjoy their jobs.  It’s hard to empathize with someone who only wants to do what is pleasurable for him/her. 

    • speak for yourself

      “most people don’t enjoy their jobs”… good for her, and smart of her, for not being like most people

      • LeAnne

        Most people don’t have parents or husbands that they expect to buy everything for them.  It is not good and smart to be so self-centered that she would allow her husband to work himself to the bone, then whine that he does so, just so she can spend her days doing exactly as she pleases. 

        • http://renanichole.wordpress.com/ RenaNichole

          Misery loves company? Is that your approach? I agree that it should be balanced, however, she obviously doesn’t expect her husband to buy her everything. And, did you miss the part of the article where they discussed her going f/t with freelancing and came to a conclusion with stipulations — that were surpassed? 

  • Your_Poor_Husband

    I just recently subscribed to this website.  After reading this drivel I’m about to unsubscribe.  My advice to you is “If you quit attacking your partner for supporting your dream, he won’t have to feel defensive and guilty and respond in kind.”

    • RanRedd

      Exactly! Although she’s painted a picture, she came off like a brat. He’s working the long hours to support the her dream yet she’s unhappy with the hours. If he goes somewhere else for the hours but takes a 20k cut, she’ll complain about the IUI treatments being expensive, not having a baby, etc…..

    • bbkayak

      There have been other ridiculous articles that turned me off to this website as well.  I can’t stand the “poor me” so-called motivational articles.  What started out as some solid financial advice now has become endless cry-baby b.s. and irritates me more than anything.  Also, the last time I replied to one of these dumb articles, the editors replied to me on facebook and use the phrase “hater-ade” to me.  Seriously, editors of Learnvest, I can’t stand your poor choices when it comes to content.

    • amkade

      Hi Your_Poor_Husband, bbkayak and RanRedd,

      Thanks for your comments. We always seek to provide content that will enrich women’s lives, whether that means practical advice for saving a few bucks or personal stories from our readership. 

      This story was written by a writer who is not a member of the LearnVest editorial staff, and we don’t mean to give the impression that we agree with everything she says.

      Rather, we made the editorial decision to publish this controversial essay to show the diversity of readers’ experiences with money, and how difficult the emotional side of money and relationships can be. 

      It’s your right to disagree with the writer–in fact, we encourage it! We’ve received overwhelming feedback that readers appreciate these personal stories because, as they work to get their own financial lives in order, it shows them they’re not alone.

      We care what you think: If you have further questions or would like to discuss further, you can reach me at kade [at] learnvest [dot] com. 

      Allison

      • RanRedd

        Hi Allison,

        My comment wasn’t directed at LearnVest. You guys can post whatever you want.I look at articles like this as an opportunity to share and learn from someone’s mistakes.

        Thanks

  • Thatswhatshesaid

    While I like that fact she has come to appreciate the work life balance and although it very obvious that they still have a hard time talking about money, I don’t think that is the issue here.  They don’t see money and work/life balance the same.  When foundational values such a money and work are misaligned it not only creates tension but it will soon create resentment. Marissa is right IUI treatments are not cheap.  Which exemplifies their perspectives on money.  Additionally, if they don’t have children yet why are they trying to buy a house? Simply put, live within your means; life is too short to work all the time.  “Don’t ever cry for money, because it will never cry for you” -Kevin O’Leary

  • guest

    i think it was brave to write this article. it is a complex issue. I recommend you read Napoleon Hill the key to master riches.  your job as a wife is to keep your man’s confidence up and guide him to his potential — he can make a lot more than you, so keep him motivated to achieve big goals and PRAISE him, don’t castrate him : )   it sounds like you have a great husband, but maybe don’t know how to be the best wife you can be?  don’t feel guilt about your money/earning ….. feel curious about how to make this man a better man — supporting him and loving him and providing a joyful home is your best shot at success.

  • Elizabubbles

    Ugh. This article just reads like a bunch of humble-brag to me.
    My husband also works at a start-up, and has for the past 5 years. He makes 6x more than my largest salary (though nowhere near the husband in this article). I currently stay home with our one toddler-aged child (a luxury I am grateful and thankful for, though we live in a tiny apartment to compensate and live *below* our means), and sometimes he still comes home at midnight or later. How do I greet him? With a hug and a hot meal. 
    I guess this article shows money isn’t everything. I’d much rather have my modest life than ‘live the dream’ with a large combined income and a write-from-home career where both partners harass one-another.

    • Lauren

      I agree — total humble brag. “My husband makes six figures, and I feel guilty about it! ” Why are they focusing so much on who makes how much? Being married is about combining finances. Yes, he has to work all lot — but guess what, honey, life costs money! 

    • ShannonT

      Agreed 100%. In most couples, one person makes more than the other – unless they both have the exact same job. Deal with it. My husband makes more than I do – because the job he does earns more than the job I do. If I want to make more, I can go back to school and get a different job. But I LIKE my job so I’m sticking with it. Happiness is worth more to me than a few extra bucks on my paycheck.

      Besides – what is this author’s financial comparison saying about stay-at-home moms? That they contribute NOTHING? Give me a break! All contributions to a household/family are important – some are compensated financially and some are not.

      Both my husband and I agree that there is more to life than money. Sure, we live on a budget, but we are lucky enough to have two amazing children who we actually have time to spend with, a roof over our heads (it’s not fancy, but it keeps us warm at night), and enough money for the occasional date night or family camping trip.

      Of course everyone needs money to live – but the exact amount “necessary” certainly varies from person to person. My husband and I are downright poor compared to these people – our combined incomes are less than $100K per year. We recognize we probably could be making more money – sure it’d be nice to have a nicer house and more vacations – but for us the real cost would be time together as a family and it’s not worth it to us.

      • Elizabubbles

        Yes! You’ve articulated everything else I was thinking!

  • Shannon

    Steph: Coming from the wife of an entrepreneur, and someone very familiar with the startup world and culture, you absolutely need to read this: http://www.everywhereist.com/15-things-i-didnt-know-when-i-started-dating-an-entrepreneur/

    • Shannon

      That said, you don’t “need” to do anything. But it sounds to me like moving toward acceptance and appreciation will make the world of a difference in your personal development and marriage. Playing the victim of your own lack of “success” (money, it seems for you) will get you no where. 

  • Kievjaguar

    “The world is full of sorrow. The root of sorrow is an attachment, the uprooting of sorrow is dropping the attachment.” (Late Anthony De Mello commenting Buddha). Attachment to everything, including our future that we are so afraid of. Unfortunately, many people do not get it and continue worrying and worrying no matter what financial status they have. Enjoy your day, dear Writer! It is so great that right now you do not have to work as much as your husband does. But nobody knows what our future will bring. You might become a very successful writer or get a full-time job and lament about your wonderful past. If you learn to enjoy whatever comes to you, you will get a relief for ever.

  • http://twitter.com/imLissy Elissa Backas

    I’m not sure what the point of this article is, if you’re complaining or bragging.
    In most relationships, it’s going to be the case where one person makes more than the other. That’s life. There’s no reason to be miserable just to even things out. Money is not the most important thing in the world.
    I make about twice as much as my husband. We have separate bank accounts because both of us want control over our own money. But we split the mortgage and groceries and I mostly pay for everything else. I know he feels bad sometimes, but I always tell him, it doesn’t really matter. Whatever money we save is going towards our house, our future children or our retirement anyway.
    Could he get a higher paying job? Maybe. But he likes his job and having a happy husband seems much more pleasant than having a wealthy husband.
    The only time I felt resentment was when I was saving every penny I had and he went off and bought a whole new wardrobe. Since then I’ve learned I can save plenty and still buy myself stuff once in a while and he’s learned to save more and we’re both happier.

  • http://project-based-homeschooling.com/camp-creek-blog/ Lori

    i simply confused about why you think your husband is “carrying you.” the median household income in the u.s. is $50,000 — you make $30,000. so you’re doing your part. if you choose to live a lifestyle that matches your husband’s high income, that’s presumably something that both of you want — so why feel bad about it? i married young and after 20 years, neither i or my husband think in terms of “my money”/“his/her money” — it’s all in a pile and we decide how to spend it as a *family*. if you’re going to have kids, you should probably start thinking more like a team.

  • http://www.farandfaraway.com/ Megan

    I didn’t really find this article cohesive or making any particular point. I think it’s great that the writer and her husband are doing more than well financially. But I don’t feel like it’s constructive to complain that your husband makes more than you–as husband and wife, you’re a team. And if you’re both contributing in your own way, that’s awesome. It’s unhealthy to attack each other for trying to do your part and working hard in whatever way you can. Please don’t complain about where you are. It’s annoying, almost insulting, to those of us who are struggling, particularly married couples dealing with unemployment and/or trying to make ends meet and pay back mountains of debt, without anyone to bail us out four times over.

  • Cmf8375

    How about I write an article about me and my family’s REAL struggle rather than read this pathetic bragging article?  My husband makes barely $50,000 a year with a small bonus.  Up until January I had a great job that paid me about 5k less then my husband with no bonus.  If that was the end of the story we’d be doing great.  Here is the reality-check in the story.  We have two children and the cost of day care was literally equal to my salary, hence the reason I left.  No need to go into financial ruin and pay someone else to raise my kids.  Four years ago my husband was working for a company that drastically underpaid him and we got into more than a bit of debt on our credit cards just trying to make ends meet.  We also purchased a condo that is worth half what we paid 4 years ago and can’t give it away and because of the HOA rules, we can’t rent it.  So here we are with a huge amount of debt hanging over our heads, a one bedroom condo for a family of four, and no grand financial solution on the horizon.  Top that, ladies!  My husband and I argue almost daily about our financial situation and what are we going to do about it.  I started my own business with a direct sales company not too long ago and believe or not it has helped tremendously.  I have been able to add about $1000 a month to our financial situation.  The only strategy that have at this point is to stick together and keeping loving one another through the tough times.  Because if we can’t get through this together then we’ll never enjoy the good times.  

  • Cmf8375

    How about I write an article about me and my family’s REAL struggle rather than read this pathetic bragging article?  My husband makes barely $50,000 a year with a small bonus.  Up until January I had a great job that paid me about 5k less then my husband with no bonus.  If that was the end of the story we’d be doing great.  Here is the reality-check in the story.  We have two children and the cost of day care was literally equal to my salary, hence the reason I left.  No need to go into financial ruin and pay someone else to raise my kids.  Four years ago my husband was working for a company that drastically underpaid him and we got into more than a bit of debt on our credit cards just trying to make ends meet.  We also purchased a condo that is worth half what we paid 4 years ago and can’t give it away and because of the HOA rules, we can’t rent it.  So here we are with a huge amount of debt hanging over our heads, a one bedroom condo for a family of four, and no grand financial solution on the horizon.  Top that, ladies!  My husband and I argue almost daily about our financial situation and what are we going to do about it.  I started my own business with a direct sales company not too long ago and believe or not it has helped tremendously.  I have been able to add about $1000 a month to our financial situation.  The only strategy that have at this point is to stick together and keeping loving one another through the tough times.  Because if we can’t get through this together then we’ll never enjoy the good times.  

    • smlnewyork

       Seriously! Keep it up! I am inspired by your story and your motivation and creativity to do whatever you needed to get things going. I’m always inspired by the women I have seen lately take the reigns and creatively find solutions to help out their families all the while being their for their kids. There is more to life than the 6 figure income ladder climb. Thank you for sharing this one!

    • CleoBarker

       Yes I would probably enjoy your article more :P

  • sonnig

    She’s a writer.  She sold an article.  I get the feeling there was either a minimum or maximum word count required as it totally fizzled out at the end, with one concluding paragraph about how they are doing better, but not discussing how they got there.  Really, it was an almost laughable conclusion.
    And Steph, please drop the word “glowered” from your vocabulary.  Or use it in a cheap romance novel. 

    • LeAnne

      I really hope that LearnVest did not pay actual money for this article.

  • Lucasmichelle78

    I also love my job and set my own hours and have a partner who works long hours for a startup, travels extensively but I still don’t understand the point of this article? I don’t believe loving your job, work life balance and making money are mutually exclusive. To me it just sounds like the author’s guilt is not about her husband making more, it is about just not wanting to work hard, and that would make for a much better, more honest, article.

    Though it does sound like the author truly enjoys the things she is able to do and the work life balance, that’s a lot easier to do when your parents have bailed you out of $30,000 of debt (and not school debt) your husband of $10,000 AND he supports the author’s job she loves (writing and yoga) while she seems to begrudge him (in the name of guilt?) coming home late from the very job that supports both of you. Yoga teacher training is also an expense many people paying the bills with only a $30,000 would not be able to afford, both the time and expense, yet this is yet another one of her dreams supported.

    I agree with others, I used to find so much I could take away from these articles but not lately. Highlighting someone who racked up $10,000 in debt 5 different times and finally learned their lesson by paying it off themselves in one thing, but to me this author doesn’t inspire or motivate me in any way, and definitely not financially. I work REALLY hard and even with a partner don’t have the luxury not to even though I make closer to what her partner makes. I love my job and make a great salary and have work life balance and want to be a mom, and have/had debt which I’ve paid off myself (by choice). Bottom line: there are much more interesting topics and people and I have no idea what we were supposed to learn from this.

  • Guest

    I appreciated this article because I’m in the same situation, making considerably less than my husband.  In my case, I am overeducated and working part-time (though at least using my degrees).  Not landing a full-time job in my field has been disappointing and a blow to my self-esteem.  I hope to find peace with my situation like it sounds like you have with yours.

  • Tsullivan179

    I found this article incredibly annoying and unhelpful.  The author makes about 30k/year, while her husband makes about 115k/ year.  Wow, that sounds rough.  I think this article would have been a lot more interesting and a lot less annoying if the author actually talked about the hypocrisy of it all.  She’s upset about the income disparity, but doesn’t actually want to do anything to mitigate the issue (except complain about it after enjoying her make-my-own-schedule-and-do-yoga-whenever-I-want happy life).  Let’s talk about some real issues: treating the people you love fairly and not fighting dirty, being transparent about feelings of guilt (because after all, you DO have it all) and what to do about those feelings, making the best out of what you have, isolating what’s really bothering you instead of vomiting poorly directed nastiness … to name a few.  In my opinion this article didn’t really talk about anything relevant– it seemed like a brag fest in “poor me” clothing.  Spare us next time.

  • http://azaleastudio.blogspot.com/ azalea_studio

    This article is confusing and totally unhelpful. My husband has always made way more than me, but he values all the other comtributions I make to our family.

  • M Jean39

    I gross 20k as a dental receptionist and my fiance grosses 50k as a sales manager. I keep from feeling guilty by not bitching at him for the late nights/long hours, and instead thanking him. Being the primary cook. Doing more than my share around the house. Etc. If he appreciates the other contributions that you should be making, then it really becomes a nonissue.

    • http://www.karenmercury.com/ Karen Mercury

      I agree, Jean.  I am “allowed” to stay at home writing novels making about $.05/hr to his $1/hr, but then again, I put in 35 years as a secretary. However, I do empathize with this writer.  The other week when I “asked” for a new bathroom window to prevent the unhealthy & unsightly mold build-up, I got the screaming stress-induced tantrum.  Now I am really afraid to “ask” for anything, all because I am “allowed” to “lounge about” writing novels 7 days a week.  But yes, Jean, I also do 100% of the housework, cooking, etc.  Between that and writing, I don’t have a second to do yoga, that’s for sure! And it WOULD be a nonissue like you said if my H appreciated it.

  • funnyangel

    I wonder what she would feel like if the job she loved offered more than he is making.  How would he treat her? Also, anyone can feel comfortable with making $30,000 when all of their bills are paid. I hate to be so critical, but it is easy to be comfortable with someone else’s income.  If she stays at home with her child and ends up not making any money, will he end up being controlling?  Just some questions I had.

    • terrilynnmerritts

      It sounds more like she is the one who is controlling. She wants to lounge around the house working part time from home then whine when he works long hours on a start up which isn’t a 9-5 situation. She’s also got those fertility treatments going which are thousands of dollars per try. No wonder the guy is stressed. She’s making $30,000 to his $90,000. He’ll get sick of it one day and leave and she’ll be wishing she had not whined so much. 

      • Tiffany H.

        Clearly you don’t know anything about being a freelance writer; anyone who runs their own business (which is EXACTLY what she’s doing) is always working. She only is able to produce work on a part-time basis, I’m sure, because whenever you’re running your own business you have to deal with all of the other responsibilities as well, and without any vacation, sick days, etc, and twice the taxes. Plus, look at her website; she isn’t just a writer, but also an editor, blogger, career coach, etc. If you think juggling all these jobs is lazy, then I’d love to hear your idea of a productive day. 

  • Rockstar_chick87

    Yeah, I really don’t understand the point of this article. And if you’re making $30,000 a year, how he is carrying both of you? $30,000 is a decent wage. And with only 2 people, what are you doing to be spending most of your husband’s money? And you should never complain about your man working, because I’ve been on the other side of the coin where I make more than man, and he used to at one point not even work. THAT you should complain about, when you have to pay for everything while your man does nothing but be on his laptop all day.

    • terrilynnmerritts

      She’s making $30,000 a year but he’s making $90,000 a year and she is into a pricey lifestyle. It also costs thousands each time she goes through those fertility treatments. Likely all of hers is going to that. 

      • JM in LA

        Hmm, when I do the math, he’s making over $115K. But point taken.

        • Ladyace74

          I agree. I got 115,384.62. Not taking in consideration her 30K, that is quite a lot for two people. Perhaps, if you feel so bad about how much you are making do something about it otherwise don’t complain. When my brother and I were younger my mom had to work 2 jobs just to put food on the table, we rarely saw her. Not once, did she complain or did we. We knew what she was working for and appreciated it…granted it was quite lonely at times…

  • Aida

    I think that if the income disparity is such a huge issue in your relationship, it’s time to re-evaluate your relationship. We are a one-income household because my husband is working on his PhD. Never would I have thought to tell him anything about getting a job, because he is doing what he is passionate about. Your husband should not be making you feel like you are the reason he pulls these late nights.

    • SMLnewyork

       This is the most clearly truthful statement I have ever come across. I wonder when it began this idea of equal incomes and being of value in monetary terms? In other cultures (by other I mean Europe and Latin America) I don’t every come across women and men having this issue. I wonder if the old ideas of feminism and us being equal in monetary terms maybe had a little to do with this idea of women having to keep up with men in order to feel validated. Thank you for posting this, like Steph, this issue comes up for me in my own marriage and these are questions I have come to answer for myself. In the end I think it’s all about how we define marriage or partnerships in general and how we were taught to value the roles of women in society – not as workers – but as individuals.

    • terrilynnmerritts

      But she IS part of the reason he is working hard to make the start-up a success. She’s lounging around the house working part time and spending a lot of money trying to get pregnant while he has the stress of a start up and comes home to find her whining in bed about him having to work long hours. He might resent all the pressure of the little pouting princess. 

      • Lynsey04

         I believe THEY are trying to get pregnant.  It is not a one person job or decision. 

  • terrilynnmerritts

    I think maybe you need to stop spending thousands trying to artificially conceive a child (with no guarantees) and adopt a child.He may well feel terrible pressure and stress from that. Keep in mind too that startups do require very long hours. I know!  If your husband is serious about success, he will not be working 9-5. It seems like this is all about you. What about his desire to be successful and the stresses of having to provide for you, himself, and funding attempts to conceive and maybe worrying about when and if you do have a child. It’s not all about you and your fantasy career. He has a real job and real stress. It is a good thing you didn’t marry a doctor or police officer or someone in the military because their hours are like that for their whole careers. 
    Your husband had just pulled a long day at work and comes home to what? You laying in bed whining about his hours when he is trying to provide a nice life for you. 

    • ASmith

      I agree that this article complains a bit much–maybe she wouldn’t feel so guilty if she wasn’t just thinking of herself in this situation. However, in regards to adopting being cheaper, I think in many cases it would be just as expensive or more. Adoptions through the state are the least expensive, but usually there is an extensive waiting period, years even.

  • Jsrecruitingllc

    First off I want to commend you for your openness. I don’t believe everyone would feel comfortable sharing their story.

    Through your writing, I hear another story. I hear that you feel less valuable in the relationship. I believe you’re assigning that feeling to your different wage earnings though i challenge you to rethink this.

    First you need to respect yourself and take responsibility for your current and past decisions-both good and bad. Stop allowing yourself to feel less because of your past mistakes. Forgive yourself. Also continue tobuild good habits with money and be sure to help your family… Damn they helped you a lot in the past. Maybe think less about comparing yourself and feeling sorry for yourself and instead focus on the love, support, and change. You overcame a HUGE chapter in your life… Your family and husband helped you… Be gracious and see this as learning. You learned the hard way but it sounds like you changed.

    If you want to be respected, you must learn how to respect yourself,.your choices, and your money. Be accountable and responsible. For you, you need to come to terms with the fact that $30,000 brings you happiness in your work. With that money, which is the same that I makr BTW, you can live comfortably. I pay all my bills, save for retirement, enjoy my cable tv shows, and travel a bit. So perhaps you need to keep track of your expenses each month and discover whether little purchases are biting you in the butt or if it is in a certain category etc. This is extremely helpful. If $ is still going to pay off debt feel happy about clearing your name and let it serve as a reminder that you will never do that to yourself again. As you take responsibility for yourself, your husband will trust more in you too.

    As for coming home late, he should be able to text you… I don’t believe it would be unreasonable to ask him to indicate a span of time he will be home ie 6-8, 9-11, midnight or later. That would be respectful of him to give you some sort of indication.

    You and your husband may want the same things, however, you both may be assigning different $ values to each. I recommend discussing. Also you can have a kid in your condo and move to a house when you have acculmulated more $. Why rush for the house?

  • jpbrody

    You have got to be kidding me.  My wife makes considerably more than I . . . in fact, I’m unemployed and out of the house.  You ought to thank your lucky stars that someone is hauling home enough cash for you to sit at home feeling crappy about how much you’re not making.

  • Guest

    this story made me really uncomfortable, like i was reading a novel i wanted to put down-but i kept reading because i thought it would come to a conclusion that had a more encompassing lesson to lv’s readers. nope. so much complaining! i am thinking of unsubscribing to learnvest as these stories are getting more negative. i really really do not want to read personal relationship problems from what i believe is a financial resource. 

  • Guest

    I cringed reading this story.  This author claims she loves what she does… great.  She says she loves her job… great.  The words she uses to describe her day (fitting in a yoga class, not working past six) confirm that she loves her job.  However, she claims she is happy with her $30,000/year salary.  She may be perfectly “happy” with this salary, but no where does she claim that this will pay the bills.  She needs to grow up and accept the fact that if she wants to live a lifestyle conducive to starting a family, paying mortgages, paying for cars, paying bills, $30,000 is likely not even going to take a chunk out of the family’s expenses.  Therefore, she should stop giving her husband a hard time for what he clearly HAS to do to keep their life afloat.  I’m disgusted and embarrassed by this woman’s naive assumption that she can have her cake and eat it too.  Money has to come from somewhere and that place is generally a combination of hard work and profitability…

  • Angie1020

    I am not sure where the writer lives, however I am an Army wife and we don’t make anywhere near the kind of money her and her husband make. We live decently off of what he makes. We make sure to only have one car payment at a time. We are in the process of buying a house. We have two children and I am going back to school. We manage to support ourselves with his $30,000 a year. I will admit that finances get tight sometimes but proper budgeting we make it. 

  • Nunya

    Be more appreciative and understanding of your husband. I suspect he does not complain about what he’s doing to support your family; he does it because he’s probably been brought up to believe he’s supposed to do it.

    Whereas you, on the other hand, can’t take responsibility for your choices – don’t like the corporate rat race? Your choice not to work in it. Don’t make enough as a freelance writer? Your choice to pursue that as an income. Don’t like your husband working horrid hours to support you? Your choice to allow him to carry that burden instead of sharing it.

    And do you really think you’re gonna be happy when you have children and you can’t even freelance? They will take up all of your time, especially if you have more than one.

    Take responsibility for your choices and accept them. If you can’t do that, let your husband go find someone who can.

  • RealityCheck

    Not sure if this article is a hoax or not, but statements like, “I get to roll out of bed at 7:30 or 8:30 a.m., lose myself in a cup of coffee…” and then complaining about her husband working till midnight sound like troll bait.
    The first words that come to mind are “whiny & selfish”.
    By the way, if you are having marital problems, having kids will not help. They will only be a big problem when you get divorced in 5 years.

  • Guest

    1.If you keep confronting him when he comes home late from work, he just might find somewhere else to call home.
    2.You backed him into saying “Well, maybe if your income was higher, I wouldn’t have to work so hard.”  That was the logical conclusion to your whining.
    3.Husbands are in such a Catch 22 with their jobs.  When they’re young, they have to work long hard hours to advance their careers.  They end up getting in trouble for spending too much time away from their families.
    4.The world does not revolve around you, you spoiled brat.
    5. He was right when: “he would throw his breadwinner status in my face, as if to say I had no right to complain about anything.”

    If you can’t tell, I’m sick of women complaining about their husbands who are doing the right thing!A store called Husband Mart that sells husbands has just
    opened. A woman can go there and choose a husband from among many men. The store
    consists of 6 floors. As you open the door to any floor you can choose a man
    from that floor or choose to go up to the next floor. But you cannot go back
    down to a previous floor, except to exit the building. So a woman goes to
    Husband Mart to find a husband.

     

    On the first floor the sign on the door reads:

     

    Floor 1 – These men have jobs.

    The woman reads the sign and says to herself, “Well,
    that’s better than my last boyfriend, but I wonder what’s further up?” So up she
    goes.

     

    The second floor sign reads:

     

    Floor 2 – These men have jobs and
    love kids.

     

    The woman remarks to herself, “That’s great, but I
    wonder what’s further up?” And up she goes again.

     

    The third floor sign reads:

     

    Floor 3 – These men have jobs, love
    kids and are extremely good looking.

     

    “Hmmm, better” she says. “But I wonder what’s upstairs?”

     

    The fourth floor sign reads:

     

    Floor 4 – These men have jobs, love
    kids, are extremely good looking, and help with the housework.

     

    “Wow!” exclaims the woman, “very tempting. BUT, there
    must be more further up!” And again she heads up another flight.

     

    The fifth floor sign reads:

     

    Floor 5 – These men have jobs, love
    kids, are extremely good looking, help with the housework and have a strong
    romantic streak.

     

    “Oh, mercy me! But just think… what must be awaiting
    me further on?” So up to the sixth floor she goes.

     

    The sixth floor sign reads:

     

    Floor 6 – You are visitor
    3,456,789,012 to this floor. There are no men on this floor. This floor exists
    solely as proof that women are impossible to please. Thank you for shopping
    Husband Mart and have a nice day.  

  • Laundryblessings

    My I offer a bit of marital advice?  If you feel a need to have a discussion with your hubby about his work hours, perhaps midnight, after he’s put in a 20 hour day and you’ve put in a 4 hour one, is not the best time to do it. Instead of complaining, while not give him a big hug and thank him for allowing you to live your dream?
     

    • Rin

      No kidding.  I can’t believe she was upset at him for working late.

      They need to have a real discussion about the kind of life each of them wants.

       If she wants a nice house and other things she needs to STFU and let her hubby do what he needs to do. 

      If she is ok scaling back their lifestyle in order for him to spend more time at home, she needs to bring that up.

      If he wants the money/career and she wants him to spend more time at home, well, they have a problem that should have been discussed before they got married. 

  • Guest

    I’m surprised that the majority of these comments are basically aimed at shaming this woman for feeling this way. It sounds like her and her husband don’t share the same idea about what kind of life they want and both may find it difficult to be supportive of the other person’s career choice.

    I don’t think it’s necessarily true that it really IS her fault he has to work so hard to bring in all the money, as some commenters have suggested, because maybe he’s the one who wants a pricier lifestyle than she does? Maybe she’s the frugal one and wouldn’t mind living on a $60,000 dual income but he wants a six-figure lifestyle. (Granted, the money they’re spending on trying to conceive a child is probably outside what a middle-income household could afford.)

    Anyway, if she loves her husband and he’s working because he loves his work and he is supportive of her career choice, then yes, she needs to complain less and find other ways to fulfill herself than wait around for her husband to come home. But if she genuinely wants someone who just spends a lot of time with her, or values work-life balance the same way she does, then she should have a real discussion about it with her husband and/or move on before she gets pregnant! Because that will definitely make things worse.

    • U021009

      Yes, you are correct. Her husband do not share the same idea about her working part time and relaxing while he is working long hours. Otherwise, he wouldn’t throw comments about at her. I do think she needs to re-evaluate her way of living as there is some resentment on his part as well.

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/ICOPW6CQC6MJXI24BFSFLA4MLI Heidi

    Thank you so much for this article! Sometimes I feel a little anit-feminist, because all I want to do one day is stay home and take care of my house, my husband and my children. I feel exactly as Steph does. I went to college, love my field and like working, but like she said, “the motivation and zeal is no longer there.” I feel bad about feeling like I would be taking a step backward, but it’s what I want more than anything!

    • ranavain

      What you want more than anything is never a step backwards. :) It’s truly a shame that income levels no longer support the stay-at-home-mom (or dad!) model, because when you have a house, and kids, that’s a lot of work! When you have two parents working outside the home, a lot of that work simply doesn’t get done. It would be great if everyone could truly choose, for themselves, whether they want to work and pay for childcare or enjoy and put labor into the home you’ve created for yourself!

  • Tracy

    You SHOULD feel guilty. You have a work life that I would consider my retirement life and your husband happily supports you so that you can! And yet you cry about how hard it is to feel guilty and you actually have the nerve to be angry at your husband? How do you think he feels working long hours and knowing that you got up hours after him, went back to sleep hours before him and had time for sipping coffee and yoga? I don’t know what you do to balance this relationship but hopefully it’s something or you’ll eventually be alone. 

    • LauraJSmiles

      @ TRACY- you spoke almost everything I was about to say! I just want to add that the author is 32 and no kids and on the prime of her life where she should be accumulating (saving) money as much as possible for when she gets older, she can have a comfortable and guilt free life. I don’t think she is thinking of the future of getting older, how women live longer than men, how expensive raising a family is, or how in any moment her husband can loose his job. I am just saying…