General Question

Kelly27's avatar

How do/would you handle being in a relationship with someone in a different income bracket?

Asked by Kelly27 (1501points) May 4th, 2009

Have you been in a relationship where either your income was substantially higher or lower than the other persons? Did it make you uncomfortable, hurt your pride or did you not care either way?

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25 Answers

flameboi's avatar

there is no way you can handle it, sorry…

Facade's avatar

My babe makes good money as an engineer, and I’m unemployed. It doesn’t really affect our relationship. Since their is a significant age difference between us, it’s expected.
The only advice I could give is to not let it bother you. Work together on paying for things. Don’t expect too much financially out of the person who makes less income.

Likeradar's avatar

My guy makes quite a bit more than I do. It’s usually no issue at all. He is able to treat me to things/experiences/meals I couldn’t afford by myself, and in return I do my best to give him what I have to offer. We mutually appreciate each other. I make it a point to go out of my way to not assume he’ll pay for things. It works out nicely, I think. Good luck. :)

wundayatta's avatar

For a while my wife made twice as much as I did. It really wasn’t an issue for her, although sometimes I felt like I wasn’t carrying my fair share of the load. My work, however, was “do-good” work, so, to some extent, that seemed to make it of equal value for the relationship and for the world.

crisw's avatar

Yes. My husband makes about 5 times what I do. It’s definitely been one of the bigger strains in our relationship- he has never lacked for money, whereas I grew up poor, and he views many things from a strictly monetary aspect even when that isn’t necessarily the best viewpoint. He’s always been disappointed that I don’t earn what he does, and he has explicit and implicit biases due to the differences in our incomes (for example, he feels that he doesn’t need to do housework because he “supports the household,” and he can never truly accept that I work just as hard as he does, because I earn so much less than he does.)

Judi's avatar

My husband and I were raised in completely different worlds. The only negative effect it ever had on our relationship was all me. When we first got married I worried to much about coming across as a gold digger.
I know now that I have played a major role in how he has advanced and how our income together has increased (over the last 20 years.) We own our own business and I have contributed to it’s success.

cak's avatar

My husband used to joke (okay, he still does) that I’m his “Sugar Mommy.” He swears it really didn’t bother him and I believe him.

In my opinion, as long as the higher earning party doesn’t hold it over the lower earning party’s head – it’s all good. With that said, the lower earning party is responsible for not holding a grudge or constantly holding it over the one that is being paid higher.

cwilbur's avatar

I’ve been in a relationship where I was making six figures and he was consistently unemployed. That was a hell of a strain, because he was staying at home and doing nothing, and it was one of the major factors that led to the breakup.

That said, as long as both people are contributing and not interested in making an issue of money, it’s workable. It’s when one person stops, or when one person wants the income/assets discrepancy to be an issue, that it’s a problem.

casheroo's avatar

Well, having been a stay at home mother, my husband made substantially more than me (obviously). Didn’t bother me at all. Sometimes we have issues where I feel I have to tell him every single thing I do with the money, and he just spends it..but that’s because he calculates our available balance at all times, in his head. So he has to know what I spend.
Once I finish school, I might make equal to or more than him. He doesn’t mind. My thing is, I can’t wait to see what it’s like for my job to be the most important thing to the family. I have to make many sacrifices because he feels work is the most important thing in life, and once my work is the higher earning, he’ll have to make his sacrifices. Should be interesting.

westy81585's avatar

Well I’m in college, so I’m poor as shit…. and every girl I’ve dated for the past 4 or so years has also been in college and/or poor as shit…. So it hasn’t really been an issue yet, lol.

Crusader's avatar

As a woman, marry a conservative man, have children.

As a man, marry an older liberal woman, be entertaining, and avaiable always.

TitsMcGhee's avatar

With my last boyfriend, I was employed, he wasn’t. I ended up paying for most things, but I didn’t consider it a problem at the time because I loved him. Even post-breakup, I don’t regret it either. He called me his Sugar Mama and made up for it in other ways (affection and whatnot), so it was just a fact of our relationship that wasn’t addressed a whole lot.

ru2bz46's avatar

My wife hasn’t really worked since we’ve been married. It made me a little proud that I could support the both of us comfortably. I had no resentment until she cheated.

hungryhungryhortence's avatar

Some people are their jobs, they socialize as that entity and they look to their partners to be like minded or at least to compliment what they’ve got going on. I used to be one of those people and now I am not. It’s not all good or bad but people who are serious about one another should communicate how they feel about money even though it may feel uncouth or intrusive.

ru2bz46's avatar

@hungryhungryhortence Kinda like the condom talk, eh?

wundayatta's avatar

@crisw: I was in a relationship once with a woman who I thought was just as middle class as I was. It turned out that her family had struggled much more than mine, and that the attitudes about life that each of us had as a result of our upbringing eventually caused a rift we could not close.

The thing most symbolic of this for me was that she could not leave any food on a plate at a restaurant. It drove her batty. For me, it wasn’t that big a deal. I didn’t like it, but I could do it.

Our attitudes were so different in many tiny, tiny ways, having to do with our expectations, and our fears, and our way of making it through life. I realized that these differences can be very important. In some way, you have to be able to negotiate them, or your relationship will fail. I thought I could do it, but it turned out to be a much bigger thing than I imagined.

crisw's avatar

@daloon

Well, we have been together 16 years now, so we have managed! But it still can make for rocky waters sometimes.

justwannaknow's avatar

If it is about money or social status and not love, you are going to have problems regardless who you end up with.

ABoyNamedBoobs03's avatar

that matters? If you enjoy being with someone money shouldn’t be a deal breaker people…

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

In general there are two aspects of this – if life permits, both of you should do what you’re passionate about, regardless of money…if life doesn’t permit, then one or both of you should make enough money to keep the family living…I’ve had situations in my life where I depended on a partner when going to school…now I’m in a situation where I make money and he is a stay at home dad – it doesn’t bother us, that’s just how it worked out…no tension there…

madcapper's avatar

I make my bitch gimme her money!

bright_eyes00's avatar

i dated a guy who was loaded for a couple months. i come from a humble country family where we were always content with the things we had and not on the things we could have. things ended kind between us rather well though. we just agreed to stop seeing one another. i couldnt be the kind of girl he wanted around, i wear jeans and boots. i have never been comfortable in high heels or dressy clothes. the restaurants he took us too were always really really nice the kind of place i would think would be reserved for really special occasions not just a night out. also it was hard for me to be with a guy who wasnt into going out and playing in the mud, like hiking, atv-ing, camping that sort of thing. i needed rough and tumble and that just wasnt his thing.

i think its possible for it to work if expectations arent set that the other person OBVIOUSLY couldnt meet. we both set expectations for the person we wanted to be with and neither of us fit the bill for the other. c’est la vie

ru2bz46's avatar

@madcapper Don’t call your ho a bitch! It ain’t nice.

FB's avatar

Ah yes: “The Monetary Scoreboard Factor”. Been there, done that many times over – got the tee-shirt, the screen saver and all of the action figures.

Yet, seriously, honestly, the key is in the question: “handle it”. For me, it is clear that relationships with monetary differences, must take place between two highly motivated and hard working people – dedicated to their pursuits – and crazy in love with each other. Unconditional love. Because if two people can agree that the riches reside in the simple passion for their “life” together – without the pressures of a scoreboard hanging over the kitchen table, then there is indeed plenty of hope for success.

All of my failures, by the way, and there have been many, unfortunately, have been a direct result of “The Monetary Scoreboard Factor”.

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