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  • When one makes more money than the other.

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    Old 11-19-2004, 05:37 AM   #1
    ana_27
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    When one makes more money than the other.

    My boyfriend and I have been together for a year and a half. I expect we will get engaged soon and buy a house, etc and this issue will be over once our finances merge. However, in the mean time, we are faced with the dilemma of me making more money than him. It's not really that much more, he just has more expenses. He pays a large amount of child support for his daughter, lives on his own and leases a car. I already paid off my car, live at home for the time being and have few expenses. I always have more money to spend than he does. At one point, it was a problem in our relationship because he felt he couldn't give me what I deserved. It made him feel very insecure and like less of a man. We got past that and now he's more accepting of the fact that I don't care. I don't need him to buy me things or for us to go on trips or do expensive things but once in a while the issue comes up. I went to Italy with a girlfriend last month and although it wasn't a very expensive trip, he could not afford to go with me. I know he was really upset about it although he tried to be happy for me.

    Christmas is coming up and I already bought the presents for him. I want to spoil him because I feel like no one has ever done that for him before and he deserves it. We agreed on a 100 dollar limit and I went way over.. probably triple that if not more. I don't even want him spending that much on me. I would rather he spent that money on his daughter so he feels like he can get her everything he wants to. He of course refuses to discuss it. He wants to buy me xmas presents.

    I guess what I'm asking is whether anyone has any advice on how to handle this sensitive issue of one person making more money than the other. How do we go out and have fun and not spend a lot of money. What are some ideas for dates that are cheap? It's almost winter here in Canada now so the oudoors are going to be pretty much off limits soon.

    Last night we were looking through some flyers and I saw a great deal on skis. I mentioned that I should buy new skis this winter since my old ones are useless. He said that I should wait since we can't go together anyway... meaning skiing is expensive and he can't afford it. He has the equipment but the trips or even the day passes are out of budget. Sometimes it makes me sad that we can't go on trips and do things together that are fun but cost a little more money but I don't dwell on it because I love him and I know that eventually this won't be an issue anymore...

    It's also hard when we're together with my friends who are quite financially secure and they are constantly urging us to go on trips with them, whether it's the Caribbean or the French Alps. I would LOVE to do those things but I know he can't and it's kind of awkward talking about it knowing we can't do stuff like that. I wish my friends would stop talking about trips around him. I'm sure it only makes him feel rotten.

     
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    Old 11-19-2004, 06:42 AM   #2
    eightball61
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    Re: When one makes more money than the other.

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by ana_27
    At one point, it was a problem in our relationship because he felt he couldn't give me what I deserved.
    He was probably raised this way and its hard to break a person out of it. I am the same way and I love to spend the money. He is doing great for himself by paying child support, car, ect... He does has a lot of mature responsibilities. I know you say the money thing took some of the man away from him but on the other hand you want him to be mature about things and that he is. I am far from being a man but I am mature enough to take care for myself or others. There are many ways to do cheap thing like nice picnic or even a lovely night at the house with dinner, candles, ect.

    As I said though its hard to break someone out of this. Eventually he will recognize the importance to saving more once you both have more bills together. Right now he thinks its right just to by you this stuff to keep you please. No matter what you say to him he wont listen. My GF does it all the time and I dont listen.

     
    Old 11-19-2004, 07:07 AM   #3
    Wowwwweeee
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    Cool Re: When one makes more money than the other.

    Hi,

    I would return the majority of the Christmas gifts and stick to your agreement of the $100 limit.

    Maybe you could both start putting a little money away together, and make it a goal to save for a nice vacation. It may take a while to meet this goal, depending on the financial situation of your boyfriend, but it's a financial goal together and you'll both be saving for something fun.

    Even though the money issue isn't a big deal for you, if the roles were reversed, you might also find it a little intimidating or depressing that you wouldn't always be able to join in when asked. Just a thought to remember to put yourself in your partner's place when it comes to this situation a little.

    Since you both are aware of the differences in your financial stability, and you both want to continue your relationship despite the differences in finances, I don't think it would be inappropriate to continue to go on vacations without your partner - maybe just not every time the opportunity comes up.

    Although I can see why less money would leave your partner feeling inadequate, he's got to realize that less money doesn't make or break the character of a person. You can't love someone for their money - and it's obvious that you care for him with or without it. With that said, there are zillions of ways to cherish your partner without having to do it financially, and that's where the focus should be.

    But also, maybe spending so much on your partner while he's not in a position to reciprocate may not always be the best idea, even if it's very well meant. It's just another reminder that he can't provide for you and to you right now in the manner that he wants to. And telling him it doesn't matter doesn't change how HE feels about the situation, because it matters to him.

    Allow your boyfriend to buy you a Christmas gift. No more talk of him not. Again, another reminder to him that he's not able to purchase too much.

    Hope this helps.

     
    Old 11-19-2004, 08:49 AM   #4
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    Re: When one makes more money than the other.

    Great post, Wowwwweeee.

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Wowwwweeee
    I would return the majority of the Christmas gifts and stick to your agreement of the $100 limit.
    . . .
    spending so much on your partner while he's not in a position to reciprocate may not always be the best idea, even if it's very well meant. It's just another reminder that he can't provide for you and to you right now in the manner that he wants to. And telling him it doesn't matter doesn't change how HE feels about the situation, because it matters to him.
    Ana, I quoted the portions related to his Christmas gifts because they are especially important. You want to spoil him for Christmas but you risk hurting his feelings during a very important holiday. For his happiness, stick to your agreement of the $100 limit.

     
    Old 11-19-2004, 09:18 AM   #5
    ana_27
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    Re: When one makes more money than the other.

    I want him to have the things that I bought him. It would feel wrong to return then. I realize it'll make him feel like his gifts are inadequate. I mean he's not poor or anything. He has a professional job and makes good money but it's all the bills he has right now plus the stress of saving for a ring and a house.

    We are planning to get engaged by middle of next year and he's looking into getting another job just to save for a ring... so saving together for a vacation probably isn't going to happen until other priorities are taken care of.

    I completely see the point about going over the xmas limit though... I am torn about what to do now. Do I just give him some of the things and save the rest for later? I really don't want to return them because I got great deals on everything and I want him to have them... sigh...

    Last year we also decided on a $100 limit and we both went probably double that... I don't want him to feel he has to do that this year. Maybe I'll give him some of the things on xmas day and then others on New Years or something. That way the pressure of xmas will be over by then.

     
    Old 11-19-2004, 09:25 AM   #6
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    Re: When one makes more money than the other.

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by ana_27

    Last year we also decided on a $100 limit and we both went probably double that... .



    Then next year set a 50 limit since you both doubled $100.

     
    Old 11-19-2004, 09:38 AM   #7
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    Re: When one makes more money than the other.

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by ana_27
    Maybe I'll give him some of the things on xmas day and then others on New Years or something. That way the pressure of xmas will be over by then.
    Good idea.

    New Years might be a little obvious for anything but a small gift. Valentine's Day isn't far away though. Good Luck!

     
    Old 11-19-2004, 09:46 AM   #8
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    Re: When one makes more money than the other.

    I also think it is a mistake to go over the limit you set at $100. If it was me, I wouldn't be happy at all about it that you went over the limit. I would return the gift to you in a second. I don't even like to receive presents myself in the first place. I can afford to buy whatever I want myself, but I go with the flow to not hurt anyone's feelings as long as it is not expensive. A single music CD is always the perfect present for me anytime. For a guy like me that makes a very good salary, but chooses to drive the same vehiicle for 28 years and going strong, you can tell right off I am not much for material things and toys.

    I can understand where you are coming from though. I prefer to give and it wouldn't make any difference to me if I didn't receive anything in return.


    HOOP!

     
    Old 11-19-2004, 10:39 AM   #9
    ana_27
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    Re: When one makes more money than the other.

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Hoop

    I can understand where you are coming from though. I prefer to give and it wouldn't make any difference to me if I didn't receive anything in return.


    HOOP!
    That's exactly right Hoop. I love to give gifts especially to the people I love. It's so much more fun for me to give than to receive. I wouldn't care if he didn't get my anything other than a card. I would rather have him relaxed and happy as opposed to stressed out over how he's going to come up with funds for xmas presents for me and his daughter.

    Sometimes I don't like Christmas gift giving at all. After all, Christmas should be about so much more than gift giving and receiving but it seems that it has become so commercial in recent years that the true meaning is lost. People feel like they HAVE to give presents and out-do each other. To me it's all about making him happy... to him, it's that but also how it looks to other people. He wants to show off with a nice present in front of my friends and family. He wants to buy a ring so much more expensive then anything I would even want.

     
    Old 11-19-2004, 11:05 AM   #10
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    Re: When one makes more money than the other.

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by ana_27
    to him, it's that but also how it looks to other people. He wants to show off with a nice present in front of my friends and family. He wants to buy a ring so much more expensive then anything I would even want.

    He thinks you are his queen ( & you are) and he has to get you all of it. He has to show it to other to show how much of a good guy is. In reality his close friends allready know that but he doesn't see that. He doesn't get the clear picture. He is living in a world where buying things he thinks will make you happy. Maybe you can show a little on the side that you are happy to be with him like during your cuddling times. Plan a nice evening at your how and dress like a princess and you can dress him to be the prince. You both can try to role play this out over dinner and a nice night. Maybe I am going to over here but give it a thought.

    Last edited by eightball61; 11-19-2004 at 11:05 AM.

     
    Old 11-19-2004, 11:30 AM   #11
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    Re: When one makes more money than the other.

    My GF makes alot more money than me and there is no problem, she knew what I did for a living when she met me she knew this and accepted it when she fell in love with me. There are more important things in life that worrying about **** like this. Life is way to short!

     
    Old 11-19-2004, 11:51 AM   #12
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    Re: When one makes more money than the other.

    why not save the other gifts for a birthday present? Or anniversary present..?

     
    Old 11-19-2004, 11:58 AM   #13
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    Cool Re: When one makes more money than the other.

    No offense here, but it does seem a little selfish on your part to still give him Christmas gifts over the $100 amount when you know your partner is having a hard time about this situation.

    This doesn't have anything to do about YOU as it pertains to this part of the post. It's about how your partner feels and what his emotional needs are. It's understandable why you want to be so nice, but this is one time when it would be inappropriate. You are pushing a fine line here to meet your needs, not his. YOU will feel good to give those additional gifts, but you are not taking his request into consideration, therefore, even though it is a nice gesture, you are showing him no respect.

    Sometimes even nice gestures can be painful.

     
    Old 11-19-2004, 12:15 PM   #14
    ana_27
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    Re: When one makes more money than the other.

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by wildcat66
    My GF makes alot more money than me and there is no problem, she knew what I did for a living when she met me she knew this and accepted it when she fell in love with me. There are more important things in life that worrying about **** like this. Life is way to short!
    I think you're misunderstanding my post. I have no problem with the amount of money he makes. I am not a material person. This a sensitive issue that has to do with his feelings more than anything else.... If you think my post is S. H. I. T. then there's no need for you to worry about responding.

    If this situation was reversed and I was a guy and he was a woman, everyone would be like.. yeah, spoil her, she's your woman, etc. etc. Gender stereotypes unfortunately still exist... It seems to me that everyone thinks I'm going to kill him with kindness. I love him and I've decided I want spoil him for Christmas. His big ego will just have to live with it. He's not a sensitive little girl. He's a man and if he can't accept that sometimes I may have more than him and other times he may have more than me, then we have a problem. What I've learned from this is to never talk about money limits again.

     
    Old 11-19-2004, 12:20 PM   #15
    eightball61
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    Re: When one makes more money than the other.

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by ana_27
    I love him and I've decided I want spoil him for Christmas..

    Thats all it matters....If you wanted to do that for him then thats your choice and the same if he does it for you....right?

     
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