Even for some of the most loving couples, money can be the sandpaper that scratches the varnished surface of their bond. Compounding that interest for some folks: when she brings home more ducats. Cancel that pissing contest. — BadWitch
Readers Are Spellbound & Perplexed…
Dear GWBW — I may be foolish to ask two other modern women this, but how do I deal with my husband’s insecurity of my better paying job and bigger title? Thank god we’re not in the same industry, but I notice he’s accompanying me to my social functions less and less. I am so frustrated at him. I support his success at every turn. — Big Girl Pants
Dear Big Girl Pants,
Imagine my surprise in 2010 when promoting equal progress in relationships has gotten us called post-modern feminist hypocrites, so today I’m talking human nature. In most things in life, I believe we already know everything we need to – but sometimes our low self-esteems but ginormous egos disallow us from paying attention to the inconvenient truths, Al.
There’s more than one answer to your quandary, and which door you should walk through mostly depends on how willing and able you are to be truthful about who you’ve always deep down known (you and) your man to be. Big Girl, none of the self-centered, tunnel vision careerists I was happy and excited to date back in the day — but who I knew just weren’t ready for this jelly!— would or could accept who I have always been in my work and personal life. Not one of them was dumb. The “knowing” I’m talking about isn’t about the intellect. The one who ultimately stuck, is able to deal with the fact that no matter what I do, it’ll always be about improving myself, becoming more and more me, and he’s be a lot happier by not trying to lessen or undermine my focus and zest for life no matter how much more money one of us makes than the other. Happy, secure people want the people they love to be happy and secure, too. To want otherwise in a mature partnership, is a pure energy leak. Anyone can have a robust, loving relationship, but not everyone can handle one (sadly, this encompasses “deserving,” as well). Be truthful with yourselves.
Don’t let anything (especially the most common money) come between you. The goal isn’t to avoid fighting, but fight fairly and productively. Don’t try to change each other. Remind yourselves repeatedly that you’re on the same team. Talk out what makes you each happy and unhappy in life (not just work) and what you expect from each other and yourselves in your life together — and then act on the mutual understanding you come to of what truly, deeply moves you both. Then if you can dovetail your individual motivating passions into making the machine of your relationship move forward and evolve, then…work that!
Can’t buy love,
Dear Big Girl Pants,
What year is your hubby living in? In this economy that he has a wife who earns a good living should be applauded, not sulked! Money jealousy between two people who are suppose to be playing on the same team is absolutely ridiculous. If you two were on the same baseball team, should he care that you scored more runs or that your team won the game?
This all harkens back to days gone by when women were not allowed to work or own property. Of course, even then smart men knew to be glad for a wife with sizeable income or title that would boost the family—husband, wife and heirs to a chance of better living.
Applaud yourself and never, NEVER, dumb yourself down to be “worthy” of a mate. Reiterate to your husband that you are playing, working and saving for a better future and lifestyle for your family team. If he is still unable to support, congratulate and thank you for the wonderful job you are doing, you really have to look at what you are getting out of this relationship. Caring, balance, fairness and mutual support are the cornerstones of any good, mutually-beneficial relationship. Self-importance, imbalance, emotional manipulation and power struggles are the shaky, co-dependent basis for toxic relationships that do not help build better, stronger, more loving and evolved humans.
Build a calendar of scheduled events with a tally of how many job-supporting tasks each partner is designated to take each month. Schedule it. Keep track of it. Create a level playing field for mutual support. If your take home is more, make your contribution to the savings more. Use a flat percentage across the board so that it is clear both parties are contributing to the welfare of the family. Then celebrate that your team is winning when so many families are facing foreclosure and bankruptcy. Help him celebrate the wins for the team by structuring communications around the idea of the “team win.”
The practical steps may lead to conversation around the resentment, insecurities or jealousy that is coming up for your husband around the amounts of your paychecks. Listen to him. Recognize he is a human with flaws and help him see he is no less of a man because you make a larger salary. Let him know he is more of a man for putting the greater good of the family “win” as a priority. In the Great Depression many men walked away from their families to start over leaving women and children behind to pick up the pieces. In this Great Recession, it takes a real man to stand with his family and work together to make a better tomorrow. Let him know he’s a Real Man.
Then set the boundaries, make the job-supporting tasks tally and, in the immortal words of Tim Gunn, “Make it work.”
Juicy Relationship Coaching for Leaders and Individuals.
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