Dear Wendy
Dear Wendy

Are Women’s Higher Salaries the Reason for Drop in Marriage Rate?

MarriageThe marriage rate in the US is at the lowest its been in over a century, having dropped 5% during the recent recession (among adults aged 25 to 39 the rate declined from 81% in 1970 to 51% in 2010). Experts believe the decline in the marriage rate is due to “cultural changes about whether and when to marry, the fact that two-thirds of first marriages are preceded by cohabitation and the recession’s financial fallout – including unemployment and underemployment.” But could their be another reason? Like, women earning higher salaries than ever before and many men feeling uncomfortable marrying a woman who earns more than they do?

Three economists — Marianne Bertrand and Emir Kamenica of the University of Chicago and Jessica Pan from the National University of Singapore — tested this hypothesis and found that “the odds of a couple marrying falls off once the woman makes more than the man. Of the 30 percentage-point drop in the marriage rate [from 1970 to 2010], seven points came from the income shift.”

The researchers also found that in response to this gap and in a desire to wed, a significant share of women have decided to work less outside the home, hurting “the potential growth rate for the U.S. economy as a whole,” and risking “being short-changed later on when her Social Security or pension is calculated.”

Despite the fear that a high-earning career will come at the sacrifice of a marriage and family, some women say “fuck it” and keep their jobs. And many of them, of course, DO get married, but the sacrifice they make is to work more that their husbands inside the home to “assuage the men’s unease.”

Finally, the researchers discovered that “divorce happens more often in marriages with higher-earning wives.” Well, if you want a better chance at avoiding divorce, here’s my advice: take that extra money a family has these days with the wife’s big paycheck and hire a maid!

And to all you ambitious, high-earning single female readers out there, of which I know there are a lot, don’t waste your time on a man who is threatened by your career and financial success. There really are a great number of men who would be happy to be with someone like you and have some of the financial burden lifted off their shoulders — or at least shared a little more equally than it has been traditionally.

Times are a changin’ and I think we will continue to see trends like this in coming years and decades. I wouldn’t be surprised if in 20 years women are the primary breadwinner in a majority of (opposite-sex) marriages. Eventually, our cultural perceptions are going to follow this shift and it won’t be such a fight for men — and women — to embrace the changing roles.

[via DigTriad.com and Wall Street Journal]

166 comments… add one
  • avatar

    lets_be_honest June 18, 2013, 1:05 pm

    “divorce happens more often in marriages with higher-earning wives.”

    I wonder if another factor in this is the fact that those women don’t have to worry about whether they can “afford” being single. I’m sure many, many women stayed in marriages in the past because their husbands were their only sources of income.

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    • Dear Wendy

      Wendy June 18, 2013, 1:06 pm

      Yes, great point!

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      • avatar

        lets_be_honest June 18, 2013, 1:11 pm

        Thanks, Wendy!

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    • Copa

      Copa June 18, 2013, 1:16 pm

      That was my thought, too! I’ve written on DW before about my parents’ terrible marriage, and they’re a great example of this. They hate one another and want to divorce in theory. While I don’t know that much about my parents’ finances, I do know my dad doesn’t ACTUALLY want to divorce because he knows that neither of them would be able to maintain their current lifestyles if they divorced due to the financials. Meanwhile, my mom knows that, as a stay-at-home mom who is now in her 60s, she’d have a difficult time finding work and supporting herself. They make me so sad. 🙁

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    • sobriquet

      sobriquet June 18, 2013, 1:27 pm

      Yes, I’ve seen this so many times, except it’s not just because the husband is the only source of income, it’s because the wife has never worked a day in her life. Could you imagine depending on someone your entire life (parents, then spouse) and then suddenly trying to make it on your own once you’re middle aged?

      The decline in religion may also play a factor. People are less likely to feel the religious pressure to stay in an unhappy marriage.

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    • avatar

      Addie Pray June 18, 2013, 1:39 pm

      Yea that’s a really good point. Can you imagine being 60 and wanting a divorce but not being able to because of money? Thank goodness for alimony. Still, that would blow, to be trapped like that.

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    • iwannatalktosampson

      iwannatalktosampson June 18, 2013, 1:53 pm

      I know the number one factor that scared me most about getting divorced was my inability to support myself. And I’m young. And educated. With potential. I absolutely cannot imagine being a middle-aged stay at home mom and filing for divorce.

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    • Fabelle

      Fabelle June 18, 2013, 2:10 pm

      This was my first thought as well. I’m sure there ARE some men who feel uncomfortable with their wife making more money, but I bet there’s more women who are just simply realizing, “hey…I don’t need a man/this man!”

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      • Fabelle

        Fabelle June 18, 2013, 2:12 pm

        Also, this isn’t to say all women secretly hate men or something? it’s just that I think IN GENERAL women are a lot better at being single than men are (again, IN GENERAL) so once there’s that option for women, they will take it. SOMETIMES.

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      • avatar

        lets_be_honest June 18, 2013, 2:14 pm

        Please tell my sister this. I never knew someone could hate being alone so much.

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    • othy

      othy June 18, 2013, 3:32 pm

      This was exactly my thought.

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    • avatar

      Tzee June 19, 2013, 11:23 am

      I’ve been saying this for years. Women who make their own money , don’t have to worry about the burden of money when getting a divorce. Also, some might have been independent for many years before getting married, which makes it a lot easier for them to go back to that lifestyle ,if need be. Getting a divorce might be too much work for some people, and they chose to stay in the marriage because of that, not because the marriage is good.

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  • avatar

    GatorGirl June 18, 2013, 1:10 pm

    Hmm. Interesting. I make more than my husband right now, granted he is still in grad school and his long term earning potential (as of right now, I may go for a Masters at some point, maybe) is much higher than mine. My SIL is also in grad school (to be come an Accountant) and her earning potential will be quite a bit higher than her public high school history teacher husband.

    I know GatorGuy sometimes has a hard time with me making more money than he does, but it’s like one vent a year when he is super strapped for cash, like the summer when he’s not getting his graduate stipend.

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    • avatar

      lets_be_honest June 18, 2013, 1:12 pm

      I wonder if he would vent the same way even to a male friend. Maybe it has nothing to do with the fact that you are his wife, but just that he’s frustrated he doesn’t have money and other people do.

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      • avatar

        GatorGirl June 18, 2013, 1:17 pm

        Yeah, I think that’s a part of it. During the summer he bartends to pay the bills (grad stipend is only from the last week of August till mid May) and it can be really hit or miss. So I don’t think it’s really that I’m a woman making more money than him- it’s just that he isn’t making enough money.

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  • avatar

    rachel June 18, 2013, 1:10 pm

    Pssh, I earn more than Ross, *and* he does more work around the house. Be jealous, women of America.

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    • avatar

      Addie Pray June 18, 2013, 1:37 pm

      Jealous!

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  • KKZ

    KKZ June 18, 2013, 1:21 pm

    Bah, I’m pretty much doomed to always under-earn my husband. He got into IT when he was a teenager and has spent most of his career working contracts that pay so well I’m almost embarrassed by it (tradeoffs: travel, no vacation days, crazy hours, no benefits). Most recently, he’s involved in supporting hospitals as they switch to electronic health records, which has a lot of federal money behind it.

    Meanwhile, I’m… a writer. I literally write email for a living. My compensation is more than fair, but I’m still a long ways off from what my husband brings home. I have a second job teaching creative writing classes, but I only teach 3-4 courses a year right now, and after taxes, barely keep anything I make.

    Now, the tricky part is that he’s getting really burned out on IT and is not sure how much longer he wants to do this. Federal funds for the healthcare contracts he’s been doing will dry up by about 2016. We also both have dreams of running our own businesses – me, teaching & coaching writers, and him, doing the brewing part of a brew pub. That’s part of the five-year plan and we’re working towards it, but I still have some uncertainty/anxiety as to how that will play out. We’ve gotten used to a really comfortable lifestyle thanks to his income and my benefits, and I’m nervous about our willingness/ability to make any sacrifices while we put our resources towards our businesses. Or maybe I should say, I’m nervous about HIS willingness to sacrifice – I’m the minimalist in our marriage, he likes nice things.

    I try not to think about it too much – that’s a problem for Future KKZ – but I am holding my breath a tiny bit about whether it will even be feasible for us to pursue our dreams. :\

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    • avatar

      GatorGirl June 18, 2013, 1:27 pm

      Unsolicited advice- I would not open your own restaurant/brew pub. My family owns a restaurant and it’s 24 hours a day work, everyday including holidays and on the rare vacation day. Its a lot for little return (money and satisfaction, someone will always complain at restaurants no matter what you do). Also the risk of failing is SO high. I’m all for small business, it’s just a really hard business to make a living off of and sustain for years.

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      • KKZ

        KKZ June 18, 2013, 1:44 pm

        I’ve heard that advice before too. He’s not settled on “brew pub” specifically, and he’s really not interested in running the restaurant side of it AT ALL, but would rather partner with someone who would do that part. One idea he had was to find an existing restaurant that would be open to tacking on a brewery. Another idea is to become a ‘contract brewer’ who basically makes custom brews for particular clients, including but not limited to restaurants.

        We’ve been saying that whoever goes first gets the spouse’s support – if I’m in a position to quit my job and start my business before he is, then he will delay his plans to support me, and if he’s ready before I am, I’ll stay in my job to provide the stable income and benefits while he gets his venture off the ground.

        This looks good on paper, but in reality, my business will take a lot less up-front investment and work than his will, so it’s likely I’ll be ready before he is, which means we need to think about getting ourselves into a position that would allow me to leave my job – which might mean him getting a full-time gig with benefits that doesn’t pay as well as a contract. And add on top of that, the complication that I actually like my job and company a lot, even if it’s not what I want to do forever, so I already have some anxiety about the thought of leaving in a few years.

        I am equal parts optimistic and anxious about these plans. On my to-do list is calling our good pal ReginaRey at her coaching business to get some advice and help on the business-starting front.

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      • avatar

        GatorGirl June 18, 2013, 2:13 pm

        You guys sounds totally level headed about it, which is great. It’s just SO MUCH WORK. Also, I would suggest he spent time working in the field before investing your own money. We have an uncle who dove head first into managing our family restaurant (my grandmother okayed it) with out having ever set foot in the back of the house/management side of a restaurant. Well he hated it and did a terrible job. So yeah, proceed with caution!!

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      • KKZ

        KKZ June 18, 2013, 2:25 pm

        When the plans originally started taking shape, he and his brew buddy were seeing this as a joint venture of theirs, and Brew Buddy has restaurant experience (albeit not from the management standpoint, but still more than either my husband or I have). Brew Buddy has since fallen off our radar a bit because his girlfriend doesn’t like us (ugh) so I think my husband is reshaping his plans to be more solo-oriented. I appreciate your advice, though! While we’re both Big Ideas people, we’re also practical (maybe me moreso than him – I’m often the one to find the flaws in a plan that he’s excited about) and won’t turn down advice from people who have been there.

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      • katie

        katie June 18, 2013, 2:16 pm

        yea, ill just echo GG as someone who went into culinary and then took a pretty different path- it sucks. its really, really hard, and you can kiss your social life goodbye. there is a very specific type of person who is cut out for that, so definitely find out before you dive in officially.

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      • avatar

        TheTruth June 18, 2013, 3:33 pm

        My girlfriend owns a restaurant, and she deals with all the same things. Its well established though, and does make a lot of money. In fact she earns more than I do (and I make a lot).

        She is continually stressed out with employees, petty theft, vacations, blah, blah, blah.

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    • Fabelle

      Fabelle June 18, 2013, 2:05 pm

      Where do you teach creative writing? (by which I really mean, is it in a school aka did you need to get a teaching cert, or is it like creative writing classes for adults or something?) Basically: tell me more! haha. I would love do something like that (maybe? Speaking to a roomful of people is daunting for me, though) so I’m curious.

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      • KKZ

        KKZ June 18, 2013, 2:36 pm

        I teach at a nonprofit (formerly LLC) called Women Writing for a Change here in Cincinnati. I didn’t need a formal teaching cert, but went through their own training program, the Conscious Feminine Leadership Academy. So yeah, it’s ‘creative writing classes for adults’ pretty much, a step above your casual neighborhood writing club and with a feminist bent. http://www.womenwriting.org

        I don’t want to eat up the whole comments page with it but would be happy to take the discussion to Facebook, or to the forum if others are interested. We have a handful of locations in other cities, too, with Cincinnati being the ‘mothership.’

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  • avatar

    csp June 18, 2013, 1:26 pm

    I have said many times that my cleaning lady is the reason for our happy marriage. It stops the who is in charge of the housework fight. It costs $170 a month. We don’t have smart phones but we have a cleaning lady…priorities.

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    • Miss MJ

      Miss MJ June 18, 2013, 1:29 pm

      Cannot agree more. It’s a luxury, but one well worth the money if you can swing it, and it’s a lot cheaper than a divorce. Plus, it’s nice to not fight about the toilets! And even nicer to not have to deal with cleaning them on the weekend.

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      • avatar

        csp June 18, 2013, 3:53 pm

        We don’t have the “well I work too” or “my chores are daily while yours are weekly” fight. we outsourced the problem

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    • avatar

      Addie Pray June 18, 2013, 1:36 pm

      I need a cleaning lady so bad I am about to divorce myself!

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      • Dear Wendy

        Wendy June 18, 2013, 1:58 pm

        Oh, Addie Pray, get a cleaning lady! You can afford it and, most importantly, you deserve it! Do it. We have a cleaning lady — I pay her from my DW earnings — and it’s a stretch for me to afford it, but she saves my sanity, if not my marriage. I work on this site close to 20 hours a week, watch Jackson almost full-time (I have help 11 hours a week), and do about an hour of housework every day as it is. I don’t know how I could manage to keep our place up to my cleanliness standards without sacrificing the care I put into any of the other things in my life that are so important (family, friends, DW, exercise, cooking good meals, etc.).

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      • Dear Wendy

        Wendy June 18, 2013, 1:59 pm

        She comes every other week, by the way, which I think is a good schedule for those of us who aren’t wealthy but want someone to help keep our bathroom clean, etc.

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      • avatar

        Addie Pray June 18, 2013, 2:36 pm

        You’re so right. I need one. I make NO SENSE sometimes when it comes to how I spend my money: I’ll bike when I have appointments across town to avoid spending $12 on a cab each way – in a suit, and risking my life! – but then I’ll buy a LAST MINUTE plane ticket to visit my nephews/nieces for 24 hours. … Last weekend I spent $200 ONE WAY for a 45 minute flight…. What the hell? But don’t worry, I saved $12 biking to my doctor appointment this morning.

        So I need a cleaning lady. But does she clean while I’m at work? What if she steals my prised possession of… $10 earrrings?

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      • katie

        katie June 18, 2013, 2:38 pm

        haha, jake says that i am like that too with my couponing. like i saved $1, but still spent $5. he is like, thats not saving! that is still spending!

        anyway, i had cleaning ladies for a long time when i was little, and we were always there when she was there helping her. and by helping, i mean like moving our toys off the floor so she could vacuum, ect. ive never had a cleaning lady clean while we were gone.

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      • avatar

        lets_be_honest June 18, 2013, 2:39 pm

        But it was on sale!!!! (famous last words)

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      • iwannatalktosampson

        iwannatalktosampson June 18, 2013, 2:43 pm

        I always am home when she gets to the house, and then leave right away. Because it’s weird I think to be there while she’s cleaning – if the whole reason I need her is that I’m too busy to clean. Anyway today I had a bunch of errands to run while she was cleaning, but I guess I got done earlier than her because she was there when I got home and I hated it. Honestly I don’t worry about them stealing stuff because I mean it’s their job – and they get most of their work from recommendations – so it’s in their best interest to not steal anything.

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      • avatar

        lets_be_honest June 18, 2013, 2:51 pm

        My brother was staying at my dad’s for a month in between moves, stayed home when their cleaning lady was there, apparently flirted it up and next thing you know, my dad is telling me he had to find a new one. When I asked why, he said “ask your brother.” Haha!

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      • Kate B.

        Kate B. June 18, 2013, 2:26 pm

        Oh hell,I live in a one-bedroom condo and I’m thinkning of doing it. She would only have to clean the bathroom and run a vacuum around. I’m just too lazy to do it.

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    • Miel

      Miel June 18, 2013, 1:46 pm

      I like priorities like that.

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    • avatar

      kerrycontrary June 18, 2013, 1:47 pm

      I just think they are SO worth the money. My parents house takes 4 hours to clean and they have someone come every 2 weeks (and then they straighten up in between). The cleaning lady does such a good job, and that’s 8 hours my mom gets back from her weekends every other saturday. I would much rather pay someone then spend every other saturday morning doing work that frankly makes me sore and unhappy.

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    • iwannatalktosampson

      iwannatalktosampson June 18, 2013, 1:55 pm

      Yup mine just came today. I mean it didn’t save my marriage, haha, but it might make living with my brother more manageable. They’re pretty cheap and they make a WORLD of difference. Honestly I think if I ever got a non-family member roommate I would make us split the cost of a cleaning lady as part of the move in contract – like just factor it into rent.

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      • avatar

        lets_be_honest June 18, 2013, 1:56 pm

        My sister does this. Funnily enough, the one roommate that did not want to was the messiest.

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      • iwannatalktosampson

        iwannatalktosampson June 18, 2013, 1:59 pm

        Shocking.

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    • avatar

      bethany June 18, 2013, 2:03 pm

      I wanted one when we bought the house, but my husband said no. 🙁
      Once I pay off my remaining debt, I’m going to spring for one, even if it’s only 1x/month.

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      • avatar

        lets_be_honest June 18, 2013, 2:09 pm

        Even once a month is so worth it!

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    • avatar

      GatorGirl June 18, 2013, 2:15 pm

      I want someone to come in like once a month and DEAP clean. Like wash the bathroom walls and clean the oven. I might have to make that happen.

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      • avatar

        lets_be_honest June 18, 2013, 2:22 pm

        Yea, just to add to everyone’s comment about how great they are, I still have one going to my mom’s (the one I arranged for after her mom passed) and she can’t say enough about it. The free time to do other things, the feeling of a really clean house, etc. She never fought with her husband about who would clean, it was always her, so even taking away the idea that it will help with fights, it helps with everything!

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      • avatar

        GatorGirl June 18, 2013, 2:26 pm

        I’m going to look into it. Once a month can’t be THAT much and if I pay for it out of my second job money then I don’t see how there could be an objection. (FTR he isn’t the OCD one who wants the bathroom walls scrubbed, it’s me- they aren’t actually dirty.)

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    • KKZ

      KKZ June 18, 2013, 3:15 pm

      Hmm, I feel my frugal & stubborn streaks heating up around this discussion of cleaning personnel (not to be nitpicky, but I’m sure there are men doing it too…).

      I think I’m just touchy about paying people to do things that I’m perfectly capable of doing myself, even if I do hate doing them and bitch about it a lot. We moved into a rental house with a less-than-one-acre yard this year and were without a working lawnmower for a while, so started paying a service to mow once a week – now we have our own mower and at least one able-bodied adult who can mow, but we’re still paying for the service. Lawnmowing was my husband’s chore last time we had a yard, and he’s also our budget-manager, so it’s his call. I’m not making a huge deal about it but it gets under my skin. Even though it’s within budget, I have this voice in my head saying that money could be better spent on X or Y if he’d just get off the couch and mow the lawn like he’s supposed to!

      And I feel the same about my chores. I will bitch and moan and take the heat when I fall behind on laundry, but like hell will I pay someone else to do it for me, no matter how much I dislike it, because I’m a grown-ass woman who can take care of her own shit, after all. And that just makes me laugh because growing up, my mom would complain that my brother and I left our clothes inside-out in the laundry, but when I started offering to spare her the hassle and do my own laundry myself, she completely shut down that idea. And she sounded just like me when I’m making my no-hired-help arguments. *Sigh* I am her daughter, inescapably…

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      • avatar

        lets_be_honest June 18, 2013, 3:23 pm

        Why don’t you mow the lawn then? (had to point this out, since you pointed out that most are saying cleaning “lady.”) 🙂

        As to your overall point, its true we are all capable of doing it ourselves, but at what cost? If I have to spend every Saturday cleaning, that’s one less day I’m spending with my family, or getting other errands done, etc. What’s wrong with making life easier? Why is it that we have to do it all, just because we can? I feel like doing it all, just because you want to say you do it all, is bad. Who are you proving it to? Others? Yourself? Why? And when people say things like this, it just makes other people who don’t want to juggle everything feel like shit. Of course, that’s on them, but still. Its like shaming in a way. What are your thoughts?

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      • KKZ

        KKZ June 18, 2013, 8:59 pm

        Haha I tip my hat to your call-out. I don’t mow the lawn as part of a deal we struck years ago – I do dishes and laundry, exclusively, and he mows the lawn, exclusively. He has some sort of phobia about dirty dishes, and just… doesn’t do laundry. So, I don’t mow the lawn. But I did get stuck with dog-poop duty pre-mowing at our last place.

        And I can see how my comment may have looked like a snub. I tend to be forgiving of others and hard on myself, so my feeling towards other people who hire help are empathetic, I assume they have a good reason. Whereas I would feel I’m doing it out of laziness. I do have a drive/need for independence that pops up in various areas of my life, and I think this is another example. Might be a trait of being a first-born?

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      • avatar

        lets_be_honest June 19, 2013, 9:18 am

        🙂 Hm, I think it definitely could be a first-born thing.

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      • avatar

        rachel June 18, 2013, 3:30 pm

        lbh has an interesting point. I don’t think you personally are trying to shame anyone kkz, but it’s a funny mindset. When I lived in Colorado and had a yard, I paid for someone to clean up dog poop. Could I have done it myself? Certainly. And I felt a little funny about it at first. But it’s my money and it’s worth it to me to not have to spend time on a Saturday morning searching through the yard for poop. I’d love to have the extra money to pay someone to clean my home, but right now, I’d rather my extra money go towards things like eating out. Everyone has different priorities when it comes to their time/money.

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      • avatar

        lets_be_honest June 18, 2013, 3:33 pm

        Just to be clear, I totally didn’t think KKZ was out to shame anyone at all. I’ve always enjoyed and respected her comments. She’d be the last person to shame anyone, imo.

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      • avatar

        rachel June 18, 2013, 3:35 pm

        I didn’t think you were, lbh, no worries!

        It’s just funny the internal dialogue we all have with ourselves to justify different priorities, when there’s no reason for us to get defensive about them.

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      • avatar

        lets_be_honest June 18, 2013, 3:47 pm

        So true!

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      • iwannatalktosampson

        iwannatalktosampson June 18, 2013, 4:27 pm

        I agree with all three of you. I used to feel guilty about outsourcing stuff too. But to me my emotional health is worth more than say expensive clothes. (lululemon excluded). Or purses, I actually don’t have expensive purse habits. And the only time I go out to eat is when it’s a date and the guy is paying, because I don’t really think spending money on food out is worht it to me when I like cooking. So I have just as many expensive habits as cheap habits.

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      • avatar

        csp June 18, 2013, 4:05 pm

        So, here is the thing. Does it make me happy…Yes! Does it stop fights…Yes. So I know our marriage isn’t like all but we had stereotypical sexual politics division of labor. I cook, clean, do laundry and my husband did outside work and projects. Mine were daily grind stuff and his were weekly. So we fought about how I work just as hard and have responsibilities for breakfast, lunch, dinner every day and he had to work in blocks on the weekend. So we agreed that I still am in charge of food but not cleaning. And now we don’t fight and I am not a terrible person to be around. So it was way worth it. Always weigh options as who does it help and who does it hurt.

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      • avatar

        Just Me June 18, 2013, 5:44 pm

        I think it all comes down to budget. If the money is available, and you have other things you could be doing, why not pay somebody? I don’t have the budget right now, but I have seen the results at my friend’s place and it does seem worth it.

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      • avatar

        temperance June 18, 2013, 7:21 pm

        When I grew up, my mother was really judgmental of women who didn’t clean their own homes/had nannies/used daycare. Apparently hiring a housekeeper means that you are failing your family.

        Meanwhile, all I can think about is how much i’m going to love hiring help once I get a job. Cleaning is my least favorite thing in the world (probably because my mother used to more or less farm all the cleaning duties out to my sister and I, so now cleaning up after myself feels like a punishment, lol).

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      • avatar

        SpaceySteph June 19, 2013, 12:22 pm

        After one Texas summer of lawn mowing, I hired a lawn service. My now-husband got jealous and decided to hire one too, for his house. A few months later his parents were visiting and the lawn guy came and his dad was all “I can’t believe any son of mine would have a lawn service.”
        What the fuck ever. Its hot out there, and its up to us how we spend our money.

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      • Lindsay

        Lindsay June 18, 2013, 9:15 pm

        I can relate. A lot of people in NYC drop off their laundry, but I could never bring myself to do it. I’m not really sure why, but it just feels weird.

        That said, I think it’s sort of arbitrary what things are considered normal for people to do themselves or pay someone for. A lot of people may not have someone to clean their home or mow their lawn, but they likely take their car in to get the oil changed even though they theoretically could do it themselves. Or you take your car to a car wash, or buy a precooked chicken or take your bike to get a tune-up or get a manicure. It all sort of depends on the person.

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  • avatar

    kerrycontrary June 18, 2013, 1:45 pm

    I would love to hear from a reader who is in the situation of outearning her male partner. Do you ever feel resentment that you bring home more money? Does your husband do his “fair share” around the house? Does your husband feel resentment because you are the primary breadwinner? I find it fascinating. I would never be upset that a partner earned more or less than me (as long as they were earning something, and if not, if they were a stay at home dad). And my boyfriend wouldn’t be upset if I started outearning him. That’s more money for the both of us! I plan on continuing to work (for the time being), and the BF and I have agreed to a housecleaner to ease the stress around the house.

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    • avatar

      Ani Nani June 18, 2013, 2:23 pm

      I earn more than my husband, who also works longer hours than I normally do. We split household chores fairly evenly, though I will admit to making him do the extra gross things (killing spiders, dealing with the mice that turned up in our attic). There isn’t any resentment on either side. I strive to treat him the way I would want to be treated if he made more money. I don’t throw it in his face, he doesn’t have to run purchases by me, I don’t give him a hard time about doing my share of the chores, etc. We respect each other and we’re a team.

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      Banana June 18, 2013, 2:32 pm

      I make almost $10k more than my boyfriend. I never feel resentment of his lower earning, and he shows no signs of minding my higher earning. We’re pretty equitable about splitting things, because I never want him to feel like dating me is an expensive burden (I’d do that even if we made the same amount) and my focus is more on having a great time with him, than on who’s paying. But I will be completely realistic: sometimes it’s a drag. Because I can afford to do some things that are a bit of a stretch for him, like travel internationally, which I can do after a month of saving, but which he has to plan a long time for. And stuff like that, I can’t cover his ticket too. So I have to either hold back on my own plans, in order to go with him, or go without him on some things. It’s not a dealbreaker, and as we grow more serious and move toward combining our lives together, we’ll work out reliable compromises on things like travel and vacations, but yes, different income levels between us is on very rare occasions a bit of a deal.

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        Banana June 18, 2013, 2:35 pm

        And I just want to reiterate, as others have said about their own relationships, we’re a team and neither of us really minds the difference, but realistically you can’t pretend that there’s no difference, and some things make it more obvious than others, so those are the things we have to focus on developing good compromises on, and communicating our needs about.

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        kerrycontrary June 18, 2013, 3:14 pm

        Yeh my boyfriend makes about 10K more than I do (I think? Maybe its more now), and he doesn’t have loans, so he just pays for things like vacations/eating out. But we figure it’s “our money” so it’s not really a big deal.

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      • Nookie

        Nookie June 19, 2013, 7:19 am

        Yep, I make around £12k more than the Cockney does. He does a job he really loves while I type on the internet most of the day so I don’t think he’d trade places with me. But it does get tricky when we talk about big ticket items, like international travel: I figure since I make more and I want him to come, I should cover a bit more of his way so to make it more fair. He complains that this makes him feel like a charity case. We’re still working on these things as they come.

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    • othy

      othy June 18, 2013, 3:46 pm

      I earn somewhere around 3 times as much as my husband. I just got a raise a month ago which was almost equal to his annual salary. But, he works more hours than I do, and he has a much more stressful job (how is that fair?). I worry that he might be jealous of that sometimes, but I don’t think there is any resentment. It’s more that he hates his job than he’s resentful of mine.

      As far as chores, we do most of them together, if possible. I do a bit more cooking, but he does more of the yard work. I figure that our money is our money, it goes into the mutual fund. Just because I happen to earn more doesn’t mean that I work harder than him when I’m at work. So when we’re at home, we both pull our fair share with getting the chores done.

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  • mylaray

    mylaray June 18, 2013, 1:48 pm

    This is interesting and obviously there are many reasons for it. Despite the fact that my boyfriend is very progressive, I do find it interesting to see his views on how these roles are changing. I appreciate his honesty on the fact that it’s hard for him to be making a lot less than me. He knows he doesn’t have to feel that way, but he can’t explain why he does. We’ve been living together the past week before it’s more permanent and so we’ve begun discussing our roles on chores, cooking, bill paying and such. It’s been so interesting to see just how different our relationship is from our parents’ is in that regard and it makes me happy that things are slowly changing. Sometimes I can’t believe how my dad expected the woman to work full time and do all the housework, cooking, and childcare. It’s funny, we both came to the agreement of hiring a maid for cleaning and I think that will be a really good decision.

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  • Miel

    Miel June 18, 2013, 1:56 pm

    Its seems such a tragedy every time we hear about lower marriage rate and higher divorce rate, but in my mind, those aren’t necessarily terrible.

    I do not believe 100% of population should be married. I believe marriage is a wonderful life path, but it’s not the only way to live a happy and meaningful life. In the same line of thought, I don’t think it’s strange or unhealthy for people to have two or three really strong and committed relationships through their lifetime. Some couples spend 50 years together, and it’s very touching, but I don’t think we should judge badly people that have two 25 years relationship because “they changed ! They grew up ! They reached a different part of their life” and they didn’t want to stay with a partner that wasn’t fit for them anymore.

    Like LBH said earlier, if women who earns a decent amount of money use it to leave their unhappy marriage, I’m very happy for them. Nobody should tell them “earn less, stay married, it makes us a better nation for the sake of statistics”.

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      lets_be_honest June 18, 2013, 1:58 pm

      Gosh, I’ve never thought it was a tragedy that marriage rates are lower. I think it just means people are getting smarter…or more scared, lol.

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      kerrycontrary June 18, 2013, 2:00 pm

      Good point, I don’t think its bad that only 50% of people from 25-39 are married. Factor in the people who legally can’t marry, people who don’t have the emotional intelligence to be married, and people who just don’t want to be married, and the number seems about right.

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    • iwannatalktosampson

      iwannatalktosampson June 18, 2013, 2:02 pm

      Yeah I think it’s actually a good thing. It’s almost a personality thing – I see it all the time where people seem very content to have meaningful but short term relationships. Short term being 3-4 years. And if we quit looking at breakups and divorce as failure people might be more comfortable admitting that that is their preference.

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      GatorGirl June 18, 2013, 2:18 pm

      So, interesting thing I’ve noticed, in my own personal life, is the people who where “shouting” the loudest in the time leading up to our wedding about how this is forever, you can never back out, end all be all, they where all the individuals with at least one, if not two divorces. (I have no issue with divorce, it’s often needed.) I found it strange that people would give advice so contradictory to how they have lived their own lives.

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    • katie

      katie June 18, 2013, 2:24 pm

      oh man, i dont think 100% of the population should do anything! have kids, get married, own houses, own pets, ect- there are people that just shouldnt, either because they are terrible people or because its just not their thing.

      i would love it if everyone understood that!

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    • KKZ

      KKZ June 18, 2013, 2:49 pm

      Yes, I think generational differences play a huge role in how we interpret this info. Older generations might see these stats and clutch their pearls at the disintegration of society and devaluation of everything they wanted so badly for themselves – marriage, house, kids, income. I think younger generations don’t interpret it the same way – I’d venture a guess that Gen X is maybe a little cynical about it, having been through marriage and divorce themselves (or via their peers) and seen it is not all apple pie and picket fences, while Millennials are more or less unfazed by the trend, being a very ‘do whatever makes you happy’ bunch in general. That’s just me speculating, but I wouldn’t be surprised if it broke down that way.

      As a married Millennial myself, the first among my peer group to marry, I’m fascinated by the choices other people make with their relationships. That’s a large part of why I read Dear Wendy actually, to vicariously experience alternative relationship models to mine. I’m not going to say I never judge, because everyone judges, but I certainly don’t expect my peers to do everything the same way I have or to want the same things I want.

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  • avatar

    bethany June 18, 2013, 1:57 pm

    My husband and I made about the same at our “day jobs”, but he also does the wedding photography, so I guess he makes more than me because of that.

    My SIL makes way more than my brother (he works for a non-profit), but if he did his job in a “for profit” sector, he’d probably make more than her. Either way, I don’t think it’s really a factor in their relationship, but I can see how it could be for many people.

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  • avatar

    j2 June 18, 2013, 1:57 pm

    Many wave written about this.

    Higher earning women have more choices, less reason to compromise, and blurred roles (from “traditional”).

    This sure seems generally good for the women, and it may even be good for men. The jury is still out, however, on the long term effects on kids w/o both role models under the roof demonstrating a durable relationship and stable home. In any case, with colleges ~65% women, this trend will only grow.

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      Ani Nani June 18, 2013, 2:27 pm

      Maybe I am reading into your wording, but a woman earning more than her partner does not cause a lack of role models who demonstrate a durable and stable home.

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        j2 June 18, 2013, 8:33 pm

        Lindsay is correct.

        Perhaps a clearer way I could have said it was that, if women having higher salaries really does lead to more single parent homes, then there will probably be impacts on children. What those impacts will be remains to be accurately assessed. We may not have good data until those children have children, etc.

        So, women will have more choices. Men may actually prefer the results, even if it simply allows more to check out of the hands-on father role and beer up at games and fight dragons on-line in their man-caves.

        My worries are more about boys not living with a live-in father demonstrating male maturity, young girls not having a loving father around, and both not seeing the dynamics of a long-term together partnership. Those youngsters may end up with fewer choices.

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        rachel June 18, 2013, 8:56 pm

        I wonder where the numbers lie on this. More people are not having kids these days, or having them at an older age, so maybe not in their first marriage. So I wonder if there are more kids in divorced households or not. Possibly. And I do agree that kids fair better with 2 parents (though I turned out fine). However, it would be a pretty big jump to make that kind of causal link.

        I have to take issue with your second paragraph though. It’s pretty awful to say that men would rather play games than be fathers to their children. Mothers don’t always get primary custody in a divorce, nor should they.

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        j2 June 19, 2013, 9:06 am

        Some men would; some would not.

        Again, it’s all about choices.

        On the custody part, “don’t always” — I agree. Still, it’s like the old saying, the race does not always go to the fleetest or the fight to the strongest, but that’s the way to bet.

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      • katie

        katie June 18, 2013, 10:25 pm

        i guess i wonder why you think that less marriage equals more single parent households?

        do you think that all these unwed women are going to be having turkey baster babies because she can do it all herself?

        i dunno, i kind of dont think thats whats going on. the decline of marriage shows a shift in the value of marriage, it really has little/nothing to do with kids…

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        j2 June 19, 2013, 9:19 am

        The key part is that more choices are available.

        One analogy might be network news and shows. Back when it was just CBS, ABC, and NBC, the total viewership was split amongst those three. Then independent stations came along, then cable, then internet and now a much lower percentage watch the original three. Those still get the most, but the presence of alternatives has reduced their viewership greatly as a percentage of the population.

        As women become the higher wage earners (~60-65% of college students are women), they will have more choices on how to parent. Thus, long term marriage will almost certainly drop as a percentage unless some new factor emerges.

        I am not saying it’s good or bad overall, I’m just pointing out what I believe may be the largest unknown long term impact. For example, it may be that single parent families tend not to be more secular and not religious in leaning. What might that affect, considering that the US began as a secular nation but one so steeped in Christian culture that God/Creator is cited in the first paragraph of the Declaration of Independence which also concludes with “our Sacred Honor”?

        I do not know, but more choices means change. It will be good for many, and not so for others.

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    • katie

      katie June 18, 2013, 2:28 pm

      i agree with ani- wtf does “the long term effects on kids w/o both role models under the roof” mean?

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        lets_be_honest June 18, 2013, 2:29 pm

        also, if it used to be the man earning money, BOTH were never there to begin with.
        ugh, wANIs

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    • Lindsay

      Lindsay June 18, 2013, 2:40 pm

      I assume it was referring to the decrease in the marriage rate, and therefore, more households with only one parent. Under the premise that higher-paid women are leading to the drop in the rate.

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        GatorGirl June 18, 2013, 2:49 pm

        but, more and more couples are choosing to have children outside of marriage and co-habitating. So children born out side of a marriage aren’t necessarily in a one parent household. http://healthland.time.com/2012/04/13/more-unwed-couples-are-having-babies/

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      • KKZ

        KKZ June 18, 2013, 2:56 pm

        Not just that, but I seem to have bumped into a lot of women around my age (25) recently who aren’t interested in having kids. Partially because they’re looking at it practically and see that birth control/abstinence are a lot more affordable than having a kid (even if they are earning more), partially because they personally just don’t want to be moms. So unwed working woman =/= unwed mom. (Not being argumentative, just adding perspective.)

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      • Lindsay

        Lindsay June 18, 2013, 3:01 pm

        No, I agree. I was just explaining what I thought j2 meant because people seemed confused.

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        j2 June 18, 2013, 8:41 pm

        Thank you.

        I really do think there is great value in the “traditional structure” no matter which parent is the wage earner or the higher wage earner.

        With that said, improving the ability for a woman to escape a bad marriage is just as important. An abusive marriage must be harder on the kids than a happy single-parent household. Has to be! If women being higher wage-earners lets them more easily take themselves and their kids out of a bad situation, that has to be better for everyone.

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  • katie

    katie June 18, 2013, 2:22 pm

    yea this whole shift is interesting. its like a big social experiment, which is cool, but its our real lives, with kind of sucks, haha. i make a lot more then jake does right now… but hopefully that will change soon because he has a stage tomorrow. i think that long term we probably have about equal earning potential? we have the same degree, so i guess that helps, we are just in very different industries. so it does suck sometimes that i make more money, but just because i guess i feel the “pressure” that most men speak of, making enough money to keep a household going or whatever. but i just get a lot of anxiety and pressure about money in general, so i dont know. its hard for me to sort out my feelings about it, basically.

    i did ask jake once what he thought about me making more money, and he did say that it bothered him a little, but not in the sense that he “should” be making more then me, but he feels bad because he cant contribute as much. and, like someone said above, more money for me is more money for us and vis versa, because we have “our” money. so its kind of a wash? i dunno, but i think we have just normal money issues (ok maybe mine are not so much “normal”, but whatever), i dont think we have money issues specifically because i make more money.

    honestly, i just wish my rent was lower. i know thats completely unrelated but its true. lol

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      rachel June 18, 2013, 2:25 pm

      Yeah, Ross and I have the same earning potential in the long term, I’ve just gotten luckier than him so far with the salaries that I’ve been offered. I wish my rent was cheaper too – and I wish I didn’t have student loans to be paying off.

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        GatorGirl June 18, 2013, 2:28 pm

        I wish I didn’t have student loans too. Ugh.

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    • katie

      Katie June 18, 2013, 3:01 pm

      Oh I will say though sometimes I have issues about feeling ownership over my money, and I think that is an odd thing women have more problems with then men, because of traditional gender roles. Men have been taught to be a provider- to make money specifically for other people. Women in recent years have been taught to have thier own money, be independent, ect. So that I think can create issues if the woman is the breadwinner, because she has likely never been taught to be the provider finantally, it’s something she will have to learn.

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      • Fabelle

        Fabelle June 18, 2013, 3:08 pm

        This is a good point.

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      • Fabelle

        Fabelle June 18, 2013, 3:11 pm

        And, this makes me think of the other thread—6’s forum thread about whether to offer to pay, that devolved into that whole argument where everyone (including me) was disagreeing with you. I did realize what larger point you were making though, & I think the point you’re making here is a good explanation for it (for women wanting & stating their independence & equality, yet still wanting—on some level—the man to provide, & feeling shitty when they’re the ones providing) if any of that makes sense.

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      • theattack

        theattack June 18, 2013, 3:13 pm

        Omg, I can definitely identify with this. I want to contribute equally to our household, but it’s been hard for me to 1) Let go of my paycheck, and 2) spend money out of our joint account guilt-free. It’s like I simultaneously feel guilty for not making as much money as he does and I also have a voice drilled into my mind that I should be independent and have a safety bank account and blahblahblah. In reality the safety bank account isn’t necessary because our relationship is safe, so I don’t need anything as a backup plan for leaving. I was just always taught to keep “secret” money from my future husband in case I wanted to leave, which I realize now is unhealthy and horrible. (God my mom has some messed up life philosophies.)

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        lets_be_honest June 18, 2013, 3:27 pm

        Unhealthy, I don’t know. I think its smart. BUT, I think it comes from that generation where, like I said above, women are trapped in marriages because they don’t have money of their own. I def think both partners should have accounts to themselves.

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        GatorGirl June 18, 2013, 3:36 pm

        I think it’s a good idea too honestly. But I don’t think it has to be a secret, both people should just have some money of their own. Even if it’s $100 a month that you get to chose what to do with, guilt/discussion free.

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      • theattack

        theattack June 18, 2013, 4:51 pm

        We just decided that we’ll put all of the money into one joint account and informally know that we can still spend money on ourselves. Theoretically if either of us wants to buy something for $100 or less we don’t have to ask the other one. It really doesn’t make a difference for us if it’s coming from the joint account or a personal account.

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        allymac June 18, 2013, 6:27 pm

        Agree that it’s a good idea, but I think having a *secret* account seems shady? If I ever have a Super Serious boyfriend again or get married, I’d definitely have “Yours,” “Mine,” and “Ours” accounts.

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      • Fabelle

        Fabelle June 18, 2013, 3:39 pm

        My mom has taught me that too, & she’s generally progressive about shit. It’s really a generational thing. My good friend told me a story recently where she had to borrow money from her parents, & she says her mom just went into this secret drawer & handed her some cash, like, “Shh, don’t tell your father. Also, make sure to keep some secret money that your husband doesn’t know about.” (it was worded more smoothly, but…yeah.)

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      • iwannatalktosampson

        iwannatalktosampson June 18, 2013, 5:02 pm

        Ummm theattack my secret account saved my life essentially. So maybe try to think of it as hoping for the best and planning for the worst. No one ever thinks they’ll get divorced. Why would you? You’re in lurve. You planned it and thought it through. You went through marital counseling. But shit happens. So yeah maybe it’s crazy and paranoid – but it’s also extremely practical to have at least a few months bills saved up in savings.

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      • theattack

        theattack June 18, 2013, 5:08 pm

        Oh, I know it helps a lot of people. But if that time comes for me, I’m just going to withdraw half the money and run. I don’t see much of a difference there unless he gets to it first, which he wouldn’t. I definitely don’t think we’re immune to divorce or anything. I have a terrible track record with relationships, and my husband is a divorce attorney, so we’re pretty realistic that it might happen. I just like the approach of pulling the rug out from under somebody when the time comes rather than secretly keeping one foot out the door the whole time.

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        lets_be_honest June 18, 2013, 5:09 pm

        It doesn’t have to be a secret account though.

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      • iwannatalktosampson

        iwannatalktosampson June 18, 2013, 5:13 pm

        Well I mean it wasn’t exactly secret that I had the account – he just didn’t have control over it. And it took me 3 weeks from the time I made the decision to leave until I was able to plan to get ALL my shit out one day while he was at work – so I couldn’t exactly have taken half without him noticing and igniting the situation. I’m just saying you don’t know all the secretive ways you might have to get out when the time comes. I mean I certainly didn’t. I would have never predicted that I would have spent two weeks of my life secretly and slowly taking my shit to a secret storage unit. And I had to rent that storage unit with a card that he couldn’t check online banking on.

        So obviously do what you think you need to do – but there are very practical reasons I think it’s important to have an account that they can’t have access too. I mean maybe my situation was more dramatic than others. But if you would have told me a year ago that my husband who didn’t drink was going to start taking 8 shots at 7am on a Sunday and being mean to me I would have told you you were crazy… he doesn’t even drink! How is that possible?…. and then…

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    • KKZ

      KKZ June 18, 2013, 3:01 pm

      I totally get Jake’s reaction because I felt that way a lot when I was working part-time while my husband (boyfriend/fiance at the time) worked full-time. My paycheck pretty much covered groceries, insurance, gas, and anything I spent on myself, but I felt so bad that I wasn’t able to contribute more to our household. Which had little to do with gender, and everything to do with wanting to be fair. I’d guess that this is how men in income-imbalanced relationships feel too – it’s not that they think “I’m the man, I should be making more,” but rather that they lament not being able to contribute more to the household expenses. Like my comment above, i think this is generational – Millennials seem more interested in a fair & equal arrangement REGARDLESS of gender, not BECAUSE of it.

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  • veritek33

    veritek33 June 18, 2013, 2:31 pm

    When the ex and I first got together, he made about 8k more a year than I did, and by the end, I was making the exact same amount of money as he was, so I basically got a 9k raise over two years by switching jobs and being ambitious. I can’t help but think that didn’t kill his ego sometimes because he would bring up all the time that I was five years younger and doing “so much better than him.” Oh well. It’s my money now, and hopefully I can find a guy who doesn’t give a damn how much I make.
    On the flipside, my parents who have been together 30+ years? My father said “Your mother has made more than me for 25 out of those 30 some odd years and do I look like I care?” Love those two.

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  • avatar

    TheTruth June 18, 2013, 3:38 pm

    “Finally, the researchers discovered that “divorce happens more often in marriages with higher-earning wives.” Well, if you want a better chance at avoiding divorce, here’s my advice: take that extra money a family has these days with the wife’s big paycheck and hire a maid!”

    This is poppycock. Women file for 75% of divorces, and its not because of housework… rationally, even if the guy does 30% of the housework, getting divorced would result in even more work for the woman.

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      lets_be_honest June 18, 2013, 3:40 pm

      you said poppycock.

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    • avatar

      lets_be_honest June 18, 2013, 3:41 pm

      Just because ultimately they’d have more work to do cleaning-wise, doesn’t mean that fights over cleaning don’t play a major role.

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      • Miss MJ

        Miss MJ June 18, 2013, 3:52 pm

        Agreed. The issue isn’t literally that scrubbing the toilet leads to divorce. It’s that the resentment and anger that fester because of disagreements over who does the housework and whether each party is contributing equally to it (and everything else) end up eroding the relationship and causing the divorce. It’s never really about the toilets.

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      • Lindsay

        Lindsay June 18, 2013, 5:29 pm

        Not to mention that being displeased that you’ll have to do more housework is not a reason to not get divorced.

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      temperance June 18, 2013, 8:52 pm

      Your logic is flawed. Cleaning up after one person is vastly different from cleaning up after two, and if he’s not pulling his weight at home, chances are he’s also messy. (This is not to say that all men are slobs and all women just run around cleaning up after them.)

      It’s why so many elderly women choose not to remarry after their husbands die while so many elderly men are seeking companionship.

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    • Dear Wendy

      Wendy June 19, 2013, 5:20 am

      Yeah, no. If a man accounts for 50 percent of the mess but only does 30 percent of the housework, a divorce most certainly would not result in more housework for the woman.

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  • othy

    othy June 18, 2013, 3:52 pm

    I make a ton more than my husband. And starting in August, I will be the sole breadwinner in our family. My husband is quitting his job and going to back to school to finish his bachelors degree, and then maybe on to a masters.

    I like to joke that I will soon be his sugar momma. But in reality, we are both thrilled that we are in a position to do this. He gets to quit his dead-end, soul-sucking job. I get to continue to work in a job that is fascinating to me while giving him the opportunity to finish school and find something that interests him.

    We are both glad that we live in a time where I can be at work all day (I would go mad being a stay at home mom, or even a mom period), and not be judged for failing to have a husband who provides for me. He’s glad that he can go back to school, and do so without going into debt to pay for it. I’m also glad he’s not a ‘macho man’ you is intimidated by my earning more than he does.

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  • avatar

    Addie Pray June 18, 2013, 4:00 pm

    Here’s what I want and I don’t think I’m asking much: a man who makes more than me (just to avoid the shit storm; really, even the liberal dudes who SAY they don’t mind a woman who makes more seem to mind when it actually happens); to have my own high-paying, powerful, important job but to also be a stay-at-home mom; condos on the same block for all my family members; time to do Bikram every day; to never have to put clean dishes or clean laundry away ever again (my least favorite chore ever), but I don’t mind toilets; to have a maid come daily; also I want 5 kids; and I want my kids to stay ages 6 or 10 forever because those are my favorite ages; I also want to be a dog walker and open a vegan cafe; and I want 2 dogs named merlot and pinot.

    That’s all.

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      lets_be_honest June 18, 2013, 4:02 pm

      ME TOO! Except only 1 kid. And I want to design bags.
      Ah, condos for your whole family on one block. Dream!

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    • Miss MJ

      Miss MJ June 18, 2013, 4:03 pm

      Sounds reasonable to me!

      p.s. Now I want two dogs named merlot and pinot. Or maybe just wine. Not merlot. But pinot sounds good. Is it 5:00 yet?

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      • avatar

        Addie Pray June 18, 2013, 4:06 pm

        I want a third dog named Cabbie (short for Cabernet of course). I also could go for some red wine.

        I’m taking my mom to a brewery tonight for The. Best. Vegan. Burger. in all of Chicago. I explained how to take the bus to the brewery so we can get tipsy together. She’s my favorite drinking buddy.

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        lets_be_honest June 18, 2013, 4:08 pm

        Twins named Cab and Sauv?

        I wanted twins named Bernadette and Mary Jane. Burn mary jane, haha!

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        Addie Pray June 18, 2013, 4:20 pm

        pourquoi pas! but my greatest fear ever is that “sauv” would be mistaken for a sauvignon blanc, GROSS BLECK PATOOY, instead of the beautiful cabernet sauvignon.

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        GatorGirl June 18, 2013, 4:10 pm

        What brewery?? Husband is running out of ideas.

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        Addie Pray June 18, 2013, 4:16 pm

        Haymarket!

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        Addie Pray June 18, 2013, 4:26 pm

        Wait, your husband is running out of ideas where to eat in Chicago? ??? ??? !!!!!

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      • katie

        katie June 18, 2013, 5:08 pm

        haha, yea, that is like impossible. its one of the best food cities in the world!

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      • Classic

        Classic June 18, 2013, 4:22 pm

        I want two hens named Faberge and Cadbury. For the eggs.

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      bethany June 18, 2013, 4:06 pm

      I like this game… Here’s what I want:
      I want to work part time, on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 10-4. I want to do volunteer work (with animals or old people or both) on Wednesdays. I want my husband to like his job, whatever it might be, and for us to make a comfortable living (or just win the lottery). I want 2 kids, but I don’t want to take care of them all the time, so maybe my mom could move next door and take care of them? She might like that? And I want to hug cats/puppies for at least 2 hours a day.

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      • avatar

        Addie Pray June 18, 2013, 4:15 pm

        Oh oh oh oh ok I want to add on to my dream:

        Husband: who loves his job and makes twice as much as me for his own ego’s sake, but a man who wouldn’t need to for his own ego’s sake (but really why test it? just have him earn more to avoid the possibility he can’t handle it); who loves to get up at 5 am and have sex and go to Bikram with me and who likes beer instead of wine (so neither has to share)

        Family: who each has their own condo on the block; I want Sunday dinners all together; impromptu dinners whenever; and I want my SIL to be in charge of all the kids during the day and to speak her native language so they grow up bilingual.

        Me: wait, scratch the above, i want to work from 7 to noon (when I’m most productive), then go to bikram in the afternoon, then go home and make dinner and have a drink ready for when my husband gets home. we can do Bikram together in the morning on the weekends. I’d like to be the VP of HR for [insert company with great products so I get lets of freebies]. But only Monday, Tues, and Thurs. On Wed. I want to teach high school calculus and maybe volunteer to be in charge of math club; and Fridays are MY days where I get to bike and do Bikram all day, like double sessions.

        And just because we are so loaded: I really want a personal shopper so I never have to step foot in a retail store every again for the rest of my life. And this isn’t really too expensive but I love this: fresh flowers every other day that just appear in the kitchen and throughout the house.

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        lets_be_honest June 18, 2013, 4:22 pm

        Pick up flowers on the way home! I assume they are as abundant on the street corners in Chicago as they are in NY.
        And, if you spend enough, J Crew will give you a personal shopper. Its only 1 store, but its a start to your dream 🙂

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        Addie Pray June 18, 2013, 4:27 pm

        I’m waiting for Wendy to offer to be my personal shopper.

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        kerrycontrary June 18, 2013, 4:36 pm

        Go to Nordies. They’ll shop for you.

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      • avatar

        Addie Pray June 18, 2013, 4:44 pm

        But that would require me to go inside – I can’t, I hate it, no. The personal shopper would have to come to me and catch me in the 5 minutes that I am receptive to trying shit on.

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        bethany June 18, 2013, 4:17 pm

        I also want to drink a lot of wine, daily. And sit on my patio every night. And garden all day on my days I’m not working/hugging cats or puppies.

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        Addie Pray June 18, 2013, 4:22 pm

        that’s good. i decided i like front porches the best – better than back patios and rooftops. so i want the same – wine and hugging puppies though – and do that from my front porch. and the front porch has to be on a busy street so i can watch people in front of me.

        i also want it to always be about 65 and dry. PERFECT WEATHER. Not a degree warmer. It can go down to 50 but that’s it. Also, i want all the birds to be dead. those bastards wake me up in the morning. birds chirping = O.V.E.R.R.A.T.E.D.

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        rachel June 18, 2013, 4:39 pm

        I *love* front porches. I grew up spending time on the front porch and I miss that. In my ideal life, Ross and I would live in a little house with a great front porch, but also in walking distance to a cool neighborhood with bars and restaurants. No suburbia for us!

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        bethany June 18, 2013, 4:42 pm

        My husband just made me a patio out front. I”m OBSESSED. I love watching everything.

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        Addie Pray June 18, 2013, 4:46 pm

        that sounds nice!

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        bethany June 18, 2013, 4:50 pm

        It is! And Pirate kitty comes out on his leash and sits on the patio with me and munches on grass. It’s awesome.

        Did that work?

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        lets_be_honest June 18, 2013, 4:49 pm

        I want your husband. First a scooter, and now a patio? Jeez.

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        bethany June 18, 2013, 4:51 pm

        Yeah, he’s pretty nice. I’ll hug him extra good tonight 🙂

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        lets_be_honest June 18, 2013, 4:28 pm

        I don’t even need a home, just an outdoor room. I love those!

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        bethany June 18, 2013, 4:44 pm

        We also have a sunroom out back, and we have been practically living out there (when I’m not on the front porch). It’s awesome. Way better than a deck, because there are screens, so no bugs!

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        bethany June 18, 2013, 4:20 pm

        One last thing– I want teleporting to be a real thing, so I can go to Costa Rica every night at 6pm and watch the sun set on the beach with my friends, and so I can be warm whenever I want.

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        Addie Pray June 18, 2013, 4:23 pm

        ok, now you are taking the game into the la la land whereas before this was all a real possibility. keep it real, bethany, otherwise it’s a buzz kill. so take it back, no teleporting!

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      GatorGirl June 18, 2013, 4:14 pm

      OH I like this game too!
      My ideal would be for me to work 4 days a week, have Fridays off, have GatorGuy get a great salaried/tenured job he loved that supported us so my money could be more of fun or savings money, I’d like to have 2 to 4 children, live in a farm house with a veggie garden, be a team mom, and have season tickets to all of our favorite sporting teams. And to have both sets of parents live in the same town (or with in like 2 hours) but that will never happen. And I want a kitten. Oh and to move back to the Carolina’s.

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        Addie Pray June 18, 2013, 4:24 pm

        i don’t know what a “team mom” is but it made me vomit a bit – so in my dream i am NOT a team mom, ok? i want to be a mom, and i support teams though. but no team mom.

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        lets_be_honest June 18, 2013, 4:28 pm

        Its like a class mom.

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        Addie Pray June 18, 2013, 4:30 pm

        yea ok then definitely no no no no no no no i can’t be a class mom no no no. but GG can be the class mom and i will not step on her toes.

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        GatorGirl June 19, 2013, 8:09 am

        Yes AP, like a class room mom but for the sports team- in charge of snacks and car pools and pizza parties. And thanks for not stepping on my toes 🙂

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    • Lindsay

      Lindsay June 18, 2013, 4:33 pm

      I want a husband who has makes at least as much as me, mostly because I’m going to make so little, and to enjoy his job. I want to work at a university doing something fun and hopefully helpful to someone, with oodles of promotions. No kids, but I want my husband to have siblings with children so we can be the cool aunt and uncle, and for my friends to live nearby so that we can also play with their children. And I want to go on cool trips with the money we’re not spending on children.

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    • iwannatalktosampson

      iwannatalktosampson June 18, 2013, 4:45 pm

      I want a husband that makes more than me and loves what he does, and is still home by 6pm. I want him to come to yoga with me on the weekends and love getting daytime drinks on Saturdays and Sundays. I want to have a fulfilling part time legal career where I am done working by 3pm everyday, at which time I go to yoga. Then I cook dinner while listening to music and drinking a glass of wine. Husband comes home and I look hot and dinner and a beer is waiting for me, which he is so turned on by that we bang every night before dinner. Then we after another glass of wine and beer on the porch while holding hands.

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      • avatar

        bethany June 18, 2013, 4:46 pm

        YES. To all of this. Sounds amazing if you just added in some time to hug puppies.

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      • iwannatalktosampson

        iwannatalktosampson June 18, 2013, 4:48 pm

        By the way, not to brag about it or anything, but new boy came to yoga with me this weekend. Swoon. And then after a shower we got day drinks and went to the pool. It’s like I designed him on a website or something and got him in the mail.

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      • iwannatalktosampson

        iwannatalktosampson June 18, 2013, 5:22 pm

        Really? No one wants to listen to me brag about it?

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        temperance June 18, 2013, 7:24 pm

        That sounds amazing. Seriously, my husband is great and all, but he is so not a yoga guy.

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      • iwannatalktosampson

        iwannatalktosampson June 18, 2013, 4:46 pm

        Oh and yes, like GG, I want to have season tickets to all my favorite sporting events. I am still undecided about kids, so we’ll table that discussion, but no I specifically do not want to ever be on the PTA or a team mom. I will bring the orange slices for the kids and the wine and beer for the parents. That will be my contribution.

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        bethany June 18, 2013, 4:48 pm

        We drove past some little league games last weekend and saw some dad pouring beers into their travel mugs. I want to be that kind of parent!

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        Liquid Luck June 18, 2013, 7:57 pm

        There’s a whole group of middle-aged men and women that go to our dog park with wine in travel mugs (and refill bottles in the car) on the weekends. I have every intention of joining them once J stops traveling and can take over driving duties. I figure if it works ok with my dogs, I can do it with my real kids one day, right?

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      • avatar

        GatorGirl June 19, 2013, 8:11 am

        I will be that kind of mom! (With responsible transportation!)

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  • avatar

    Sue Jones June 18, 2013, 9:12 pm

    Once I got my doctoral degree, it did seem that I intimidated a lot of men. I married at age 35 which was considered a bit late 20 years ago… Also I think that if you are a woman and make a lot of money, it is easier to leave a situation that isn’t optimal, whereas someone who depends on the man for $$ probably will put up with a lot more crap.

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  • bittergaymark

    Bittergaymark June 19, 2013, 1:54 am

    Well, which is it? Only yesterday, it was women don’t earn as much as men at the Miss Clue-Less-A pageant… But suddenly, now, some twenty odd hours later — their sky high salaries have sent divorce rates soaring… Is anyone else confused?

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    • Dear Wendy

      Wendy June 19, 2013, 5:06 am

      Let me try to explain it to you very simply. In many households, women earn more than their husbands. Women, in general, work more outside the home and earn more than they ever have. And men, particularly young men, and working less outside the home since the Great Recession. But, still – still!!!- when a man and woman are equally employed – like working the same exact job, the woman most often is paid far less than the man. Why? Because wage discrimination and sexism is still – still!!! – very much alive.

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  • avatar

    Another Anon June 20, 2013, 7:34 am

    I hear you.

    My husband and I work in government and are paid on technical competencies. So even though my new job is about a million miles out of his league (I’m effectively running a $3.5B business) we are at similar seniority and pay. I never thought he’d be threatened, but every time I mention a dollar figure in the millions, or a client base of X00,000, he *winces*. I was not expecting that. It’s really floored me, actually.

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