The older and closer I get to the dirty thirties, the more I notice a shift in myself and my peers. The less cautious one is of preventing the chances of falling pregnant; the more desperate we become to “settle down”; and the less time we want to spend by ourselves. It’s as if the pond has become so shallow that almost anything goes, yet, there’s the other side of this coin that I’m more intrigued by. The side where women find themselves debating their relationships because a lot of them now earn more than their boyfriends/partners.
“I earn more than my man”
A friend was telling me about her recent outing with girlfriends and how they were complaining to her that they earn more money than their boyfriends. This was causing a few of the ladies to contemplate their relationships since they’re used to the man earning more. A question that was raised by one of the ladies was, “will he be able to be the provider I’m seeking for if I earn more than him”. The real meaning behind this question was will I still respect him if I earn more than him? Interestingly enough there was a girlfriend amongst them who’s married and her situation is that she does indeed earn more money than her husband. I’ll get back to the story of the married lady because according to my friend she isn’t exactly the first person you’d necessarily want marriage advice from.
Now I cannot proclaim to be a guru on relationships but, if there is anything I’ve learnt from family and family friends who earn or have earnt more money than their spouses is that you still have a choice in love. Each one of us has our own love language based on what we’ve been raised on, what we’ve seen and how one defines themselves. If your language of love stems from morals and values than the depth of your partners pocket won’t be your first concern, instead it will be about the long-term values, morals and goals that you guys build together. Then a reversal in the traditional ratio of income has no bearing on the quality of your relationship because the foundation is solid. This isn’t to say anyone should become reckless and stupid, fuck no, each of us has a responsibility in a relationship to make good on our promises to one another. If actions communicate something else, then girl leave the man because nothing good will come from you becoming his doormat because of his bruised ego.
Going back to the story of the married lady who earns more than her husband. She had openly chosen to speak about her financial situation with everyone – please note that she was inebriated at the time. Anyway, she told the group that she and her husband divide parenting and general household duties according to the pay structure. Since she earns more she handles bills and other big-ticket household items and he takes care of their child. Her narration and tone whilst describing her situation made it clear that she doesn’t have much respect for her husband hence why my friend expressed hesitation of ever going to her for advice on marriage.
This struggle is a choice
Personally, in an ideal situation I’d love to be enjoying the fruits of my growth and change with a boyfriend who’s committed to us as he is committed to his dreams. The beauty of such a situation is that you get to enjoy more of the bad times together during the process of establishing oneself and really see how a person deals with uncomfortable times. Thus I’d be OK with my man earning less than me, however that would mainly be on the grounds that he’s in pursuit of something bigger than his current financial situation. That’s why to some extent I can sympathize with these ladies because it’s nice when your man can handle the “date night” bill or spoil you once in a while. But a man who isn’t intimidated by your financial status, respects & loves you and is driven to establishing himself in something he loves, is a far better man to enjoy life with than one who’s worried by the balance of his account.
Love and Happiness,