Recently u/hons_1994 asked, "Women who make more money than their S.O., how is it going with your couple finances? How does that affect your relationship?" Women who make significantly more than their partners shared whether it actually affects their relationship — and how they're challenging societal stereotypes.
Here are the eye-opening results:
1. "My husband can't work due to mental health issues, and I'm the one earning our money. So, all of our money comes from my wage; he doesn't have any income. It's alright — we decided on that early in our relationship, and it has been like that forever. It's good for our well-being, and he does all the household stuff so that I can fully relax when I'm at home."
"He's happy keeping everything clean, tidy, and so on. The only effect this has on our relationship is: sometimes strangers think it's weird — and I don't care. He's happier, there aren't stress-related confrontations, and we're living in a clean, nice-looking flat. All good. We don't value a person's worth depending on their job."
2. "I've always made more money than my husband — not by a huge margin, but just about our entire marriage (26 years next week). Neither of us cares. Like, what kind of person would I be if I held that over my spouse's head that my job brings in more money? What kind of person would he be? All our money goes into one pot. We pay our bills with that money, we buy presents for each other with that money. Neither of us feels any kind of way about it."
"We each have small amounts of 'fun money' that we can spend how we want without talking to the other. It's not a big deal, seriously."
3. "I'm the only one working, and my husband will take whatever money I have left over from bills, so I have to keep it from him. He gets an allowance every week (less than $100, typically) but will still ask me for more. Any excess income (bonuses/tax season), and he will demand half, knowing he's not getting it. I reiterate that if he really wanted that much money, he could get a job."
"I almost feel like I'm being financially abusive, but he has no reason to not work (other than not wanting to, which, I'm in the same boat, man) and has worked in the past, he has access to money, and all of his basic life needs are met (food, shelter, shower, climate-controlled environment, etc.) — and I'm not forcing him to stay unemployed."
4. "For my partner and I, I make more money than him, but our pays go straight into a joint account; we pay our bills, put away savings, and leave some in the joint account for any dual expenses or cat supplies. After this, we transfer out a 'pay' amount to our individual accounts, and both of us can do what we want with our 'pay.' If you want to spend it all before the next week, that’s on you; if you wanna save it in your own savings, that’s on you, too. It's been so much better this way and has allowed us to keep our financial independence."
"When our money was completely joined, we were constantly arguing about what the other was spending money on, so now it’s eliminated that problem. I also don’t care that I make more than he does — we both contribute our pay to meet common goals and grow together."
5. "I make more. In my opinion, it all depends on the ego of your husband. My husband has always been my number-one supporter. He has always cheered me on and helped me reach my full potential. I honestly wouldn’t be where I am in my career without him. I have been SHOCKED at how my coworkers talk about my husband not making as much as I do. It makes me sad that there are so many husbands (my coworkers) that feel the need to suppress their partner for their own egos."
"We combine our money, we both contribute so much to our lives together. Money is a small aspect of that."
6. "Finances are good. I have no issues with my husband being a stay-at-home dad. That's what is truly saving us right now. Our relationship is great; he has lost some pride due to 'not contributing' as he says, but I think taking care of a child is a huge responsibility on top of daily tasks and chores. I constantly tell him that we have the best home life because of him."
"I love how much he takes care of us. I just wish he can see what I see. The dude is Superman — always goes above and beyond for the family. I love him so much."
7. "He makes more money now, but I made more for a while. We have separate finances but don't get petty or stingy over it. We each dedicate about the same percentage of our income to our shared expenses, and whoever has a little extra takes care of small luxuries, like ordering food. Some months my credit card bill will be higher, and he'll pay my phone bill — other months, he's a bit short, and I'll cover his health insurance."
"Money was never a problem for us — not in the sense of 'we have a ton of it,' — just that we never faced it as something to fight about. It's all our money' he just manages the bit that he makes, and I manage the bit that I make."
8. "We have very different kinds of jobs. He is in business for himself; it's seasonal work, very physically demanding, and has a fair amount of unpredictability. I have an office job at a company. I think those differences have had a much greater impact than the fact that I technically make more."
9. "I made substantially more than my S.O. when he had a job, and now, as he’s looking for one, he’s using his savings money. I hate having to ask him to cover something, but it’s been hard paying for almost everything. I can definitely do it, but it’s pretty stressful. I don’t resent him for it at all — if anything, I resent workplaces requiring people to have experience but not offering to give them that experience on the job."
10. "Honestly, I'm not confident about having kids because I worry if my pregnancy impacted my money-making abilities, we wouldn't be able to keep our lifestyle on his paycheck. We both earn a wage that's above average in our country — his maybe by two and a half times more, mine about eight times. We're living really nicely, but it's mostly thanks to me as he doesn't have savings because he's made poor financial decisions in the past, which he failed to disclose early in the relationship."
"We're living in my place. I didn't want him to pay any rent as I felt I'd be paying the same amount for mortgage with him there or not. He does pay his share for utilities. We split expenses equally. He likes to treat me to a dinner. He does his share with housework. It all works for me, except for his missing savings part. We could've bought a nice place together if he had any."
11. "Honestly, it was pretty rough. He was in school full-time and worked full-time. Date nights were split between the two of us, but I paid the majority of our expenses and half of his school. Our expenses were food, housing, utilities, etc. We’re happily married now. If I knew how hard it would be, he would still live with his parents, and I’d live my life on my own, dating in between his classes."
"I also did the majority of cooking and cleaning because he was too exhausted after uni/work. We almost split multiple times."
12. "Things are fine between us. I make way more than my partner, and they have some expensive medical bills. From the very beginning, we've always thrown all our money into one account and paid all the bills from that money — and I mean, everything gets paid from that money: mortgage, all the household bills, personal expenses, everything."
"We never even considered splitting bills and keeping our money separate. We've been together 30+ years, so it's definitely working for us."
13. "My husband has US disability benefits due to a heart condition. He has a part-time work-from-home position with the company I’ve worked at for five years. I, the wife, do earn more than him. When it comes to our finances, he pays for the rent, and I do everything else: food, electricity, cable, on-demand services, insurance, 401K, and car. We don’t struggle, but we are not rich. Our relationship is extremely strong since his disability was established long before I met him. We make it work rather well."
"We are both conscientious of our spending when we're not with each other. On high-cost items, we agree on a range ahead of time. The money he makes from his part-time work is considered his play funds. He can only work 15 hours a week, and it’s contingent on how his heart is doing. My work understands and is amazing about it. No issues as of yet, but because it is transitory, we treat the funds as if they are. What I mean by that is we don’t take it into consideration for things like looking for a home, or using it to pay a bill. I don’t want to become dependent on him working. His health is not worth it. We both agree on this approach."
14. "I recently sold my business, but before that, I ran it, and he supported it part-time while making dinner, laundry, raising our son, etc. It mostly affected his self-esteem when we saw my family. And they didn't help, and they always asked him when I wasn't around how he kept busy. We are non-traditional and love it. I handle the finances, which helps. He's just not interested in any of that."
15. "In my last relationship, my paycheck covered most of our expenses. He made money but was incredibly selfish with it. Plus, I did most of the domestic labor, including childcare. I’m completely financially independent now, take care of all domestic duties alone, and my kid is a teenager‚ so, this conversation is colored by my experience."
"I’d happily welcome a partner into my life and home that would be willing to help out with the domestic responsibilities — in addition to being someone who cares equally about me. I’ll pay all the regular expenses and vacation stuff, but I’d like to not deal with mowing the yard or cleaning the bathroom. To come home after work a few times a week with dinner prepared would be wonderful. If a dude wants an expensive hobby like vintage cars or guitars, he can get a part-time job for that. I only want someone in my life who brings value to it, but that is not dependent on their income."
16. "I am earning three times more than my husband. Expenses-wise, he insists to pay half of our household expenses (rent, groceries, and energy bills). But whenever we go out dining or do fun stuff that requires payment, I will pay it, and I'm happy to do so. We do not have joint savings; I prefer to have my own savings, too."
"In general, it's fine. My husband is also very supportive of my career, so he's more than happy to clean the household most of the time and leave only cooking to me. At some point, if I'm earning a lot more and I'm busier (with no time to help with chores at all), we have a deal that I volunteer to take care of finances, and he will be stay-at-home husband and only will be doing part-time work for pocket money (he refused pocket money from me). We are a progressive couple and do not care about gender roles. Some people think it's a bit weird or that my husband is less 'masculine' for not being the breadwinner, but my man simply doesn't care — he's even proud that I'm earning much more than him."
17. "I make significantly more than he does. Like, I make $100K+ more. It's fine. We just each take turns paying for groceries and daily things. We don't keep track — just whoever takes out their card first or whoever orders online. I pay for all housing expenses, mortgage, the electric bill, internet, etc. We do not commingle assets. He can buy whatever he wants with what he has left over, and I buy what I want. We're planning on getting married. I have way more in savings and investments than he does, and we plan on getting a prenup. What's his is his, what's mine is mine, and the house is included in mine since he hasn't paid anything into it. We don't argue about money at all."
"We just occasionally check in with each other to make sure we are each on track to meet our long-term goals of retirement and traveling together. We both save a lot of our incomes, but he's a bigger penny pincher than I am. He thinks I spend too much, but he also doesn't realize how much I actually bring in per month. So, it's OK that I spend more and I'm also saving a lot more. But our relationship is fine; he is very secure and doesn't feel bad about our income differences. Once we get married, we're keeping everything the same — no joint accounts. I'll probably just share my usernames and passwords of my banks with him so he can access my accounts in case I become incapacitated or something, and he can keep a roof over his head. I'll also make sure I have enough insurance and an estate plan to keep him in the home and make sure he explicitly gets most of everything, except in the case of a divorce."
18. "Part of each of our income goes to our individual investments. For a long while, too long, I paid all the bills with my income, and his was for fun. He’s getting ready to retire and won’t make as much as he did when he was working, so it’s all going to fall on me. I’m not cool with that unless he gets another job."
"It’s highly likely he will live another 30 years, and I’m not on board with him sitting around or just playing sports. So, I’ve cut back on his money being for entertainment, and some of the bills get paid with his money now."
19. "I've always made more money than my spouses. I am a saver, and my ex-husband is a spender. This caused issues as he kept spending more than he earned and dipped into the mortgage redraw that I paid without asking and never repaid it. A few times, I had to stop his access so we could get back into a positive balance. This made him feel emasculated and resentful."
20. "I make more than my S.O., and as a woman, it doesn’t bother me at all. I don’t think it bothers him; he says it doesn’t. He has a master's, and I don’t, so he’s actually more educated than myself, and I don’t care. I contribute more to our joint account for our household bills, because '50/50' wouldn’t be fair. Households should use a percentage contribution so it’s felt the same for both parties."
"This works for us, and he STILL manages to save more than me in his personal savings than I can in mine! Go figure!"
21. "It’s literally fine. It’s never been an issue for our relationship. It’s a product of the patriarchy and toxic masculinity for this to even become an issue. If a couple is making enough to pay the bills and have a good life, does it really matter who makes more money?"
Women who make more money than your S.O., has it affected your relationship? What's your experience been like? Let us know in the comments below.
Note: Some responses have been edited for length and/or clarity.