Women Who Earn More Than Men – And The Men Who Resent Them!

From the New York Times

For Whitney Hess, a 25-year-old software designer in Manhattan, the tension that ultimately ended her recent relationships was all right there, in the digits on her pay stub.

The awkwardness started with nights out. She would want to try the latest downtown bistro, but her boyfriends, who worked in creative jobs that paid less than hers, preferred diners.

They would say, “Wow, you’re so sophisticated,” she recalled. A first look at her apartment, a smartly appointed studio in a full-service building in TriBeCa, would only reinforce the impression. “They wouldn’t want me to see their apartments,” she said, because they lived in cramped surroundings in distant quadrants of Brooklyn or the Bronx.

One of them, she said, finally just came out and said it. “Look,” Ms. Hess recalled him saying, “it makes me really uncomfortable that you make more money than me. I’m going to put that out on the table and try to get over it.”

But he never got over it, she said.

“The sad thing is that I really liked the guy,” she said. “If that hadn’t been an issue with him, we’d probably still be dating.”

Ms. Hess’s quandary is becoming more common for many young women. For the first time, women in their 20s who work full time in several American cities — New York, Chicago, Boston and Minneapolis — are earning higher wages than men in the same age range, according to a recent analysis of 2005 census data by Andrew Beveridge, a sociology professor at Queens College in New York.

For instance, the median income of women age 21 to 30 in New York who are employed full time was 17 percent higher than that of comparable men.

Professor Beveridge said the gap is largely driven by a gulf in education: 53 percent of women employed full time in their 20s were college graduates, compared with 38 percent of men. Women are also more likely to have graduate degrees. “They have more of everything,” Professor Beveridge said.

The shift is playing out in new, unanticipated ways on the dating front. Women are encountering forms of hostility they weren’t prepared to meet, and are trying to figure out how to balance pride in their accomplishments against their perceived need to bolster the egos of the men they date.

A lot of young women “are of two minds,” said Stephanie Coontz, director of research at the Council on Contemporary Families, a research organization. “On one hand, they’re proud of their achievements, and they think they want a man who shares house chores and child care. But on the other hand they’re scared by their own achievement, and they’re a little nervous having a man who won’t be the main breadwinner. These are old tapes running in their head: ‘This is how you get a man.’ ”

YOUNG affluent women say they are learning to advertise their good fortune in a manner very different from their male counterparts. For men, it is accepted, even desirable, to flaunt their high status. Not so for many women.

“Very, very early in a date,” said Anna Rosenmann, 28, who founded a company called Eco Consulting LA, in Los Angeles, and earns up to $150,000 a year, “a man will drop comments on how much his sales team had made for the year, which meant his bonus was blah, blah, blah.”

But, she said, “that’s not how we were raised.”

Instead, she said, she starts out dates being discreet. “I don’t talk about myself,” she said. “When people ask me, I’m going to be very honest. But I definitely don’t say, ‘My name’s Anna, I’m 28 and I own a business.’ ”

Ms. Rosenmann said that dating considerably older men helps her avoid innuendos from younger men who feel threatened by her professional success. She said that when she has gone out at night with men her own age and has to turn in early to be fresh for work, they have commented , “Oh, Anna’s an adult, she has a real job.”

So as not to flaunt her own salary, Lori Weiss, a 29-year-old lawyer in Manhattan, has found herself clipping price tags off expensive clothes she buys on shopping binges, or hiding shopping bags in the closet just so men she was dating would not see them lying around and feel threatened by her spending power.

“A lot of guys don’t want to admit they have a problem with it,” she said, referring to income disparity. “They don’t want to be ‘that guy.’ But I think it’s ingrained.”

She said one boyfriend “wasn’t too comfortable with me paying for things” on dates, so to make him feel better, she would surrender to his wishes. The two would just “stay home and cook, or just get something cheap,” she said. “We’d skip a movie.”

Women said the income disparity becomes obvious in all facets of dating: where you live, what you like to do for fun and how you travel. It often comes down to minimizing who they are — successful, focused women — with their dates, who may be lagging a bit behind.

Although these women often say it is men who have issues around their higher salaries, sometimes it is the women themselves who are uncomfortable with the role reversal.

Hilary Rowland, 28, bought her first condominium when she was 18, using money she had earned from an online business started when she was 15. Last spring, Ms. Rowland, who lives in New York, started dating a 34-year-old musician.

“I usually always fly business or first,” she said in an e-mail message. “The one trip where he paid for the flight — we stayed at a friend’s place — he didn’t tell me the details, then flew us economy on a 6 a.m. flight with a two-hour stop-over, from Salt Lake City, to save money. I would have rather paid myself and flew business at a regular hour.”

“When we broke up,” she added, “he was upset that I gave my ‘ex’ more gifts than I gave him. Meanwhile, the only gift I’d gotten from him was a small notepad.”

Ms. Rowland, like some other women interviewed, said that she has come to the conclusion that it would be easier to date someone in the same economic bracket.

“I love traveling, going to the opera and good restaurants,” she said. “It doesn’t have to be Per Se, but good food is important in my life. It’s sometimes hard to maintain the lifestyle I’m used to when I’m in a relationship with a guy who makes less than me, since I don’t want to be paying for the guy I’m with all the time.”

The discomfort over who pays for what seems to be not really about money, plain and simple. Instead, it is suggestive of the complex psychology of what many of these women expect from their dates (for him to be a traditional breadwinner) and what they think they should expect (Oh, I just want him to be a nice guy).

On a first date at a lounge in Hell’s Kitchen, Thrupthi Reddy, 28, a brand strategist in Manhattan, watched her date down several cocktails to her one, then not even flinch when she handed the waitress her credit card. Initially miffed, she recognized her own contradictions.

“You wonder if you’re being a hypocrite,” she recalled, “because all date long I’m telling him how independent I was, and how annoying it was that men wouldn’t date strong independent women.” (The relationship ended after six months.)

Michael R. Cunningham, a psychologist who teaches in the communication department at the University of Louisville, conducted a survey of college women to see if, upon graduation, they would prefer to settle down with a high school teacher who has short workdays, summers off and spare energy to help raise children, or with a surgeon who earns eight times as much but works brutal hours. Three-quarters of the women said they would choose the teacher.

The point, Professor Cunningham said, was that young professionally oriented women have no problem dating down if the man is secure, motivated in his own field and emotionally supportive.

At least, that’s what their responses are in surveys. Talk about the subject with women a bit older — those who have been out of college long enough to be more hardened — and what you hear is ambivalence, if not downright hostility, about the income disparity.

Jade Wannell, 25, a producer at a Chicago ad agency who lives in a high-rise apartment building, started dating a 29-year-old administrator at a trucking company last year. “He was really sweet,” she said. But “he didn’t work many hours and ended up hanging out at home a lot. I was bored and didn’t feel challenged. He would finish work at 3 and want to go to the bar. The college way of life is still in them at that age. All they want to do is drink with the boys on Saturday. I was like ‘Let’s go to an art gallery’ and all he wanted to do was go to the bars.”

TO her, his lack of income masked a greater problem: a lack of drive.

“I have to say that I didn’t like his career, I didn’t think he had the goals of someone I would eventually like to be with or have respect for,” she said, adding, “It wasn’t the job, it was the passion.”

Unyi Agba, 27, an advertising executive with a small firm in Boston, almost always dates professional men, but when she goes out with someone earning less money, there is tension. “This is a topic that’s traveled in my own female circles a lot in the last year,” she said. Across a restaurant table with a man who earns less, “it’s never explicitly said, but there are nuances,” she said. “Things are said like, ‘Boy I’m going to be really broke after this dinner.’ ”

And her response?


Okay, guys, what are YOUR thoughts on this thorny issue?


Join our conversation (168 Comments).
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  1. 91

    See, the problem here is that a lot of men, like myself, wouldn’t feel threatened by it at all. I currently make around $40,000 a year. Not much, I know. If i were to meet a girl I liked who made $100,000 a year, I wouldn’t care, but she most likely would. I’ve talked to girls about this time and again and they all agree that a man should make as much or more than her or it just isn’t going to work out. They have spending habits that are different, they can travel more, etc. THAT is where the problem is. Look, if you want to be equal, treat us like it’s okay to make less, which is how men have always been told it is with women. I don’t expect a woman to make less than me, but I do expect her not to reject me just because I can’t go to Europe six times a year.

  2. 92

    When you ladies get yourselves all figured out, let me know what you decide on.  In the mean time, my wife makes 1/3 what I do (and is perfectly happy with it because we are a team) because she stayed home with the kids, who are happy and well-adjusted and will both get full ride scholarships in college.  Both boys will be high earners and will marry well and be good, committed fathers and kind, respectful husbands.  Hope you fare as well and don’t feel guilt for your self-centeredness.


  3. 93
    Yibble Naught

    “What women desire more nowadays is men who know how to turn them on sexually, which is something men can do only with their VOICES” – Collins

    …or their eyes and smile, it’s very organic and complex depending on the two individuals.  It works a lot like Hot Wheels toy cars work.  But this isn’t necessarily a good thing, men ought not to be objectified as tools of sex for women.  If a woman cannot first and foremost appreciate a guy for his brain, his compassion, his manhood, his leadership, his service or any other qualities of the soul, then she isn’t worth his time.

    A man’s food is the opportunity to work, to serve, to build, to lead.  When he does those things his soul is fed.  Perhaps this is what the proud and successful women do not grasp about their men.  If he lacks those opportunities he will either sulk or move-on.

    Turning a woman on has nothing to do with soulish qualities, in-fact neurologically the brain systems at work are completely independent of the brain systems related to spending quality time together, enduring challenges together, or even cuddling together on the couch.  Arousing a woman is transient and fleeting and serves only as a catalyst to pair-bonding (not as a replacement as Collins implies).

    Speaking from personal experience here, believe me there is such a thing as becoming sick-to-death of sex with a beautiful woman whom you love and has all the features you love.  It gets to the point where you’ll do anything to avoid it and you crave some affirmation from her not in any way related to sex.  In a relationship when she tells you you are the best sex she’s ever had it’s not a compliment it’s a burden.  Men want to please a woman in soulish ways far more than in sexual ways and they are willing to do whatever it takes to accomplish those goals.  Well, that describes me anyway.

    Try not to be naive Collins, the conservatives decrying a modern liberal society have a point too.  Don’t throw the baby out with the bath-water.  Some good things have been lost due to ignorance, hurt, selfishness, myopia, and irresponsibility. 

  4. 94

    Women want it “all”.. Of course, they will fail – the sheet wont fit on the bed – pull one way and it slips off the other – you may do better at work, and have a higher earning husband, but your friend who stays home and does well with the children will be your envy.  This will be chronic…

    Earn more than your man.. he is 5 times more likely to cheat on you.. That equals almost 100%~!

    Figure out what you want – figure out how men fit.. Women/media/society has been emasculating men for the better part of 3 decades – expect things to get worse before they get better.

    Good Luck!

  5. 95

    Whitney Hess, a 25-year-old software designer in Manhattan is going through this with men….because she prefers to date OLDER MEN. This is her problem. If she tried a YOUNGER MAN, he’d be IMPRESSED she’s working in software design. Do you know how impressive that is to a younger guy? Since younger guys are in the tech generation, grew up with computers, texting, and most know how to code games, ect.
    Instead of being “threatened”, the majority of younger men would be PROUD of someone like Whitney Hess! They would even brag about her to their friends, which feels good if you’re a woman in Computer Science like Hess. Some advice to her: If she wants to date older men then she really doesn’t need to be shocked if they feel they need to be the successful partner in the relationship. Even men the same age can act like that, but younger men praise it. There are some older men that don’t mind but it’s generally really difficult for them. As long as they’re doing better than the woman, everything is GREAT. As long as he’s the winner, all is well, but when the woman suddenly does better than him, the problems set in.

  6. 96

    @ Nicole #85
    “So it also should be said that while men don’t marry women for their income potential, they do usually marry their EDUCATIONAL and ACADEMIC equivalents.  I don’t know of any of my college classmates who are married to women who aren’t college grads”
    Not from what I have observed. I know a male patent attorney who is married to a first grade teacher. Both have college degrees; but their degrees are far from being equivalent. Not all degrees are created equal. So really, it boils down to people marrying just because the person they were dating graduated college. Most female college graduates still want a man who earns more. But we have a problem. Women graduates outnumber male graduates. So now, female graduates are placing less emphasis on education, and more on income. So now the female college edcuated teacher, nurse or social worker is more likely to marry the high school edcuated male small business owner, truck driver (median income higher than teachers), and skilled tradesmen.
    Ladies, I know you have been conditioned to be politically correct; but it’s painfully obvious that most of you still want a man with an income larger than your own. Hypergamy is still alive and well. No amount of feminism will change your innate desire to mate with someone bigger, stronger and more financially successful than yourselves.

  7. 97

    @Mark, I think we have different ways of judging “equivalent education”.
    If your wife is a teacher but went to Harvard with you, I think she’s your equivalent even if she makes a fraction of your salary, and she is clearly as intelligent as you.  And in my opinion, the same is true in reverse so again, I know people who are intellectual equals but the man makes less money.
    You’d be surprised by the number of women who go to elite schools, get advanced degrees and then actually switch to something with an easier schedule.  
    So again, my friend’s older sister is now a SAHM, and before that she was a teacher, but guess what, she and her husband both have engineering degrees and that is how they met…she didn’t switch until they married.
    So I don’t know where your friend’s wife went to college, but if they went to school together or went to similar schools and she went into a lower paying profession, she is still cut from the same cloth and his equal.
    Marrying a teacher or a nurse isn’t the same as marrying a hairdresser or a waitress or a salesgirl (but some of those women went to good schools too)…

  8. 98

    It angers me how many men say that “women still want men to pay for everything” and then say that they feel emasculated if the woman pays. Talk about hypocrisy. It seems that no matter what you do, it’s wrong. Stay at home wife? Lazy, have a decent career? Bad mother. I’m so sick of it. No matter what you do, it is all wrong. I actually don’t mind paying for stuff on the first date(not that dating is that common in europe anyways, where I live). Really, the most normal thing where I live is for both to pay their own way I’d say. I don’t know if this whole thing is very american or what? The man having to pay for everything. It also angers me when people diss people who stay at home with their children. Hellooo, it is hard work! Cleaning the house, making dinner, watching kids all day. 

  9. 99
    Doc Holiday

    Hi: This is just another example of the Feminist Revolution’s systematic destruction of the historical Male Female dynamic. This Brave New World is a disaster. Men have no place in the new Feminist World, and are dropping out of it in increasing numbers preferring to find companionship with 3rd world women, and have many children with them. In the end these estranged Men and their wives and their many children will take over the world from the childless or nearly childless Feminist women-who were to blind to see the big picture. These women need to read and re-read George Gilder’s excellent book “Men and Marriage”/ “Sexual Suicide” and stop deluding themselves that what they are living is progress. It is not. This trend leaves the Male with no real role to play-certainly not the traditional roles of provider and protector. What roles are then left for him-class clown, troublemaker, dishwasher, shopper. Sorry the average man will not accept such a relationship with women for very long. I see nothing but trouble ahead for any society stupid enough to embrace Feminism. Furthermore our New Order of Feminism is alienating the entire Arab world just for openers, not to speak of the many other cultures in the world who would never accept our Brave New World of Role Reversal and Gender confusion. There is a reason that two sexes were created and each of them have a distinct ,complimentary, and distinctly separate role in any healthy society-not a competitive nightmare that is now unfolding the USA. Women seem to understand the need for female affirmation, but for some reason can not comprehend the need for male affirmation-why? Witness the systematic distraction of one Male organization after another in our society. Men need to grow up to be Men, not some pathetic second class  appendage of some misguided political movement.

    1. 99.1

      Just some food for thought : sure sure, cause washing the dishes, shopping for your family and etc. is something extremely humiliating, right? If thats so unacceptable for you, why do you assume a woman should be happy with a role of a dishwasher, shopper, etc? 
      Feminism is not about making men the servants, however, many men see it that wrong way, rambling about mother nature and such. It makes me wonder, isn’t it the case that such men see women as somewhat “lower” species, who were born to do all the cleaning up and other routine stuff, while they get the noble roles of provider and protector? God forbit if a woman would make money too and so he is not the God in the family anymore…

      1. 99.1.1

        Lau_ra – 99.1  – Yes Laura – Some men do see women as “lower” no matter what role a woman embraces.  But not all men who would like a traditional wife see that role as “lower”, but complimentary.  If as a woman you don’t want to stay home with the children, don’t get involved with a man who wants that in a wife.  If, as a woman you would like to stay home with the children, find a man who wants that and doesn’t consider it a lower role.  I also see many women who denigrate the roles of stay at home wives, and think it is beneath a woman to leave the work force to be home and raise her own children.  (I have seen a handful of women on this blog denigrate that role, how rude since our blog host has a traditional wife) 
        I really don’t get how anyone can think that being the primary giver of life, and then nurturing that life is a lower role, ( a role that incidentally involves cooking, shopping, & cleaning).
        Of course, I’m a tad bias, I was pre-dominantly a stay at home wife & mom for the first 5 years of my son’s life.  I don’t regret that, especially now that my son is grown.  I can’t get those baby & toddler years back, so I am glad I got to share so much of those years with him, up close & personal.

        1. Lau_ra

          My comment wasn’t about denigrating housewives, though thats not something that would be acceptable for me personally. I think that everyone should do what is best for them, however, some men, as Doc Holiday, somehow think there is this one universal rule that all the women should stick to and blame feminism for ruining his fairytale, so the point of my comment was to reverse the situation. One would never say “oh, poor men have to clean up/cook” or whatnots, if he wouldn’t feel like these things somehow strip a man of his “greater” role / manhood or whatever. So hopefully you didn’t take my comment as an attack against women who choose to stay at home.

  10. 100

    well men are not at all in problem with women who are getting handsome amount of money after all better restraunts and good dressed date partners would be a cool thing to happen but the problem starts when women consistently one way or the other try to make an impact of their money dresses phones smells till they are told to get lost.This psychological dominance is totally unacceptable to men.

  11. 101

    @ Nicole,
    Please read my last paragraph: “Ladies, I know you have been conditioned to be politically correct; but it’s painfully obvious that most of you still want a man with an income larger than your own. Hypergamy is still alive and well. No amount of feminism will change your innate desire to mate with someone bigger, stronger and more financially successful than yourselves.
    You said, “If your wife is a teacher but went to Harvard with you, I think she’s your equivalent even if she makes a fraction of your salary, and she is clearly as intelligent as you.”
    Wrong. An education degree is much easier to obtain than a doctorate in neurology. My mother is a teacher and my father is an engineer. I can give countless examples of college educated women who still marry men with larger incomes and more marketable degrees (take an economics course). Statistically, it’s true. Imagine if a man with a degree in sociology had the gall to suggest his degree was equal to his wife’s degree in biochemistry. Most women would laugh, especially if his salary was smaller, and he was a SAHD. “A bum”, they would say.
    It all boils down to income. Degreed or not. Most women will choose men who earn more.
    Are you married? If so, does your husband earn more than you? If so, can you prove he does?

  12. 102

    @ Nicole
    You said: “Marrying a teacher or a nurse isn’t the same as marrying a hairdresser or a waitress or a salesgirl (but some of those women went to good schools too)…
    And there it is, folks. Middle class college graduates who think they are better than middle class women with a trade. What’s interesting is that most men don’t care if his love is a waitress or salesgirl. Women, on the other hand, care VERY much. Show me a male elem ed teacher married to a female engineer. I can certainly show you the opposite. Hell, there was an article in the Kansas City Star about a female elem ed teacher married to an attorney. Show me the opposite occurring. Please?
    Women want to have their cake and eat it, too. This is the proof.

  13. 103

    I’m just in awe of some of these posts. My mother makes more money than my father and its never been a problem. She has a higher education as well. They’ve been together thirty years. These bitter men need to get it together. A woman shouldn’t have to feel bad for earning more and living a luxurious life if that’s what she worked for. It doesn’t just have to do with money. It has to do with attitudes as well. The posts from the men on this board prove it. You all assume that women have a problem with men who make less. The truth is we want a partner who pulls his weight and that can also mean domestic household chores, budgeting the money, taking care of the kids, and he can also be creative with his romantic endeavors if they’re not luxurious. The point is a relationship takes work and there needs to be balance. The men on this board sound so bitter and resentful towards women and try to lay all the responsibility at there doorstep because “they’re selfish money hungry, status loving, etc” A woman is not responsible for a man feeling inferior. That’s an issue he has all on his own. 

  14. 104

    Wow, I just found this post and am shocked at how bitter some of the men are in the comments.  I think you must have had some bad experiences and are generalizing to all womankind.  That’s probably not going to help you find the good woman because you’re just going to enact a self-fulfilling prophecy.  You’re just going to attract the very type of women you despise because the other ones are just going to run away from you without you even knowing it!  I agree with Tina, women are not responsible for the insecurities of bitter men.
    I’m a doctor and I’m about to marry my fiancé who is an engineer.  We are both at the top of our fields but I make more than he does just because of the nature of our separate professions.  We are proud of each other and support each other’s hopes and dreams.  It is never your money vs my money but our money to support our future.  In terms of who pays, we have a joint account to which we contribute equally and when we go out I just let him pay from our joint account.  If you have a good connection you should be able to respect each other and be sensitive to the other’s feelings.  I never once thought he was beneath me because he made less than I did.  He has many great qualities that are not measurable in dollars and cents and I have a lot of respect for what he does.  My best friend is a physicist and she goes out with all sorts of men because she enjoys the variety.  I have lots of women friends from college who make more than their husbands but they are compatible on an intellectual and core values level and not once have I heard them complain about their husband’s earning potential – though they do complain about them not helping with the chores!  

  15. 105

    Comment number 103 and 104 seem very similar. One can’t help but wonder if they were posted by the same person. Wouldn’t shock me, as anonymity is free on the web.

    (Sorry, bud. They’re different women with the same feelings. And you’re anonymous, too. – EMK)

  16. 106

    I’m late to this discussion but find it fascinating.   I know many married couples in which the woman earns or has inherited significantly more $ than the man.  In these cases, the wives are always happy to pay more but hope that the husband will do his best to pull some significant weight when it comes to finances and household chores.  However, here are some true examples of what I have witnessed:
    – wife pays for about 90% of the house and 100% of kids’ education.  Husband is in a creative field: many years he earns nothing after he’s paid business expenses.  Years when he earns well, he buys himself (yes, these are true examples): a vintage Mercedes, flying lessons, a small plane, sailing lessons, a little boat, Italian designer clothes “bc I work hard for my money and I have good taste.”  In those rare years when he earns well, he never offers to help pay for college tuitions or fixing leaky roof.
    – wife earns well in a stressful job she hates.  Husband loses or quits job after job bc “he’s not fulfilled” and “this job is no fun.” Over past 10 years he has worked fewer than 4 years.  She pays for full-time nanny bc when he’s home,  he finds the gruelling work of childcare too hard and boring.  She does about 80% of the cooking and cleaning.  Every time she receives a promotion or bonus, his shoulders droop a little bit more.
    – wife inherited lots of money so, with her blessing, husband quit his high-earning job to take a more rewarding, lower-earning job.  After 2 years, he was fired from this low-earning job (no fault of his: the program simply lost its gov’t funding).  He never went back to work at ANY job after that but still has many friends from his high-earning days so he spends a lot of wife’s money “keeping up” with that lifestyle: expensive restaurants, 5* vacations, custom-made suits, etc.  He’s gone into numerous business ventures with his friends, always using his wife’s $ as seed money.  She would like him to return to work and earn, if only a little salary, so she didn’t feel the whole family’s well-being sat on her shoulders.  She also wants to stop funding his business start-ups, but he gets angry and tells her she’s being selfish.
    Are men the problem?  NO!!!  The guys described above are simply husbands who behave as many wives do: expecting that his inheritance should underwrite her lifestyle; spending her money on selfish frivolities while his money covers the house and family expenses; quitting her job without bc “why should I contribute to household costs when he has enough for all of us?”  
    I truly don’t think this is a gender problem; it’s an entitlement/resentment problem from which both men & women can suffer.  Let’s treat each other a bit better, shall we?  Eg:
    Is your partner paying for the bulk of your holidays, meals, living expenses, whatever?  Even if he/she has 100X as much money as you, NEVER forget to say thank you (and mean it) and NEVER take his/her generosity for granted.  
    Your money is not just for good times and toys while his/hers is for the big, boring expenses; at the very least, ASK if you can contribute to the heating /mortgage/ family vacation before spending your money on a new pair of Jimmy Choos/ $4K suit/ Porsche.
    If you’re with someone who has less money than you, don’t punish him/her for it.  Treating a person like a loser bc he/she doesn’t have what you has is bad form, not to mention toxic for any relationship.  Reach that (often difficult to find) point of being generous without being a pushover.

  17. 107
    Karl R

    Henriette said: (#106)
    “The guys described above are simply husbands who behave as many wives do”
    “I truly don’t think this is a gender problem; it’s an entitlement/resentment problem from which both men & women can suffer.”
    I agree.
    Furthermore, the problem doesn’t need to be as extreme as the example you gave to create serious strife in the relationship.
    I also agree with your examples of how to “treat each other a bit better”.
    But personally, I recommend having an explicit agreement (before the wedding plans are started) about how money will be handled. If you can’t reach an agreement, you can reassess whether getting married is still a good idea.
    My golden rule of financial tranquility:
    As a starting point, I think couples should have some money that is in separate accounts (the husband has his personal account, and the wife has hers). This solves a lot of potential conflicts from the beginning. If my wife decides to buy a $1,200 Halloween costume for the dog, I don’t care … as long as she used her money from her account. If she used our money or my money for something that ridiculous, I’d be pissed.
    Most of the potential disagreements over money disappear, because both of us have the freedom to make purchases that the other person would never spend their money on.
    One example of how to handle joint expenses:
    This is the agreement that my wife and I came up with (well before the wedding). For the sake of this example, we’ll assume I earn twice as much as my wife. (That’s not accurate, but it’s easy to explain.)
    For every joint expense (home, auto, food, utilities), I pay 2/3 of the cost and she pays 1/3 of the cost. In order to make this convenient, we keep our receipts, note who paid initially, then settle up periodically.
    This also means that my disposable income is double hers. Because of this, I tend to pay for all our joint leisure activities (vacations, evenings out).
    If her income starts to catch up to mine, she’ll start paying for some of the joint leisure activities. If mine moves even further ahead of hers, we’ll probably use some of the surplus for more expensive vacations.
    If one of us decides this system does not work for us, we can negotiate a different agreement. This may become necessary if one of us has a drastic change in circumstances (like losing a job).
    In each of Henriette’s examples (#106), the outcome would be self-correcting if the husband and wife had a similar arrangement to the one my wife and I have. There are definitely other agreements that could work as well. You just need to reach one that provides incentive for each partner to be fiscally responsible, while still giving them some freedom to spend money on things the other person disagrees with.

  18. 108

    EMK, when someone posts on your article, do you have access to their email address? You stated that the two women were different. Just out of curiousity, will you send me an email directly from your account? I just want to make sure you are able to distinguish whether or not the people posting here are doing so under the same email address but with different screen names or not. An email directly sent to me from you would clear up my curiousity.
    As far as my anonymity: I have always posted under the same name, and will gladly prove my account matches my posts, bud.
    (Yes, Mark, I have access to emails. No, I will not send you an email directly from my account. Is it possible that someone has taken the time to create multiple avatars to comment here? Yes. Is it likely? No. – EMK)

  19. 109

    @Karl107  – I pretty much agree with everything you wrote BUT I’ve been amazed by how often, even within couples who have explicit agreements, one spouse will  stop working (perhaps through no fault of his/her own: a layoff, an illness, whatever) and then never return to the workforce.  There is no way to force a spouse to get financially significant employment if he/she doesn’t wish to.

  20. 110

    EMK wouldn’t –or possibly couldn’t– send me a simple email to clear up the issue. If you’ve got nothing to hide…
    How about this, Evan. I give you my consent to post my email address on your next response. Then at least I would know that you do in fact have access to my email address.

    (Here ya go, big guy – [email protected] – now stop wasting my time.)

    1. 110.1

      Thank you EMK, for providing me with the information I requested. But why the need to say, “Now stop wasting my time”? You were the one to initially contact me in comment 105 to tell me that the two women were different. I did not personally ask for you to clarify that in comment 105. So you chose to engage with me. To wit, you chose to waste your own time while somehow making it seem as if I engaged you first. You’ve also proceeded to call me “bud” and “big guy”, which were clearly subtle provocations. I certainly hope a professional like you will be able to handle a simple request more maturely in the future.

      Once again: thank you for the information, EMK.

  21. 111
    David Meyers

    I am one of the top people in my field. I saved a Siberian Company 20 million dollars by using recycled materials for a fiber optics run in below zero temperatures. In my school the only time I saw women was when I would take a class that wasn’t in my field.
    Two women started in my class and sometime during the first semester they dropped out. One transferred out. They were unable to keep up and unwilling to work with socially awkward people. I said hello to one and was looking her over, she wasn’t very pretty, but I stare with inventiveness whenever something sticks out. A woman in a hacking class, kind of makes me interested to know everything about her. She thought I was being sexual. I was threatened with violence and I turned toward her and told her about my fathers occupation as an Army Special Forces Green Beret and about how I was just wanting to know more about her.
    Does every man who wants to know you, automatically want to beat and rape you? No, I am the head of the class, I am regarding you with great scrutiny as a peer. I want to know more about you as a peer. What is so threatening about that.
    She made comments about how I was dressed. Which is not important. Since this woman got 0% on her first test.
    However, they are seemingly highly prized, where less educated women with lower scores and less certifications than me are paid more, primarily because there are not women in my field.
    My company hired a woman who wasn’t finished in college and did not even have the experience I did got paid the same as I did, she would not talk to us, would not discuss anything with us and her first quarterly review made her FIRED. She tried to say that she couldn’t talk to us and she was afraid that she would be sexually harassed.
    Our Response, was to say that maybe she should stop being so paranoid and just do her job.
    No woman has applied since.
    I wonder though is it our fault she’s paranoid? It’s not the Government’s fault when people think the Government is after them. Were we after her? No. Did I really want to have sex with her? How did she know? IS SHE PSYCHIC?
    Is it a valid complaint if she picked up my thoughts? I don’t particularly think women are attractive by the clothes they wear or their make-up, I find women attractive that are bold, strong and don’t hate everyone and everything. Her selfish nature and the wardrobe that could feed a small country did not impress me.
    Which is the real reason if women flash money around, it turns me off.
    Selfishness is not attractive. Being so shallow that you worry more about what you are going to wear than if the club you are going to is next to the county jail or not.
    Seriously if you can name every Kardashian and you work in Information systems and you do not know the difference between frequency and amplitude modulation, you should have gone to fashion school instead.
    Women who care more about their personal appearance than the 40 million people in poverty are just ugly sluts to me.
    Women just do not care about the environment or politics or ROLE PLAYING GAMES like DND.
    You love your cat, you feed him four times a day, but who cares about his sister, whom your make-up is tested on.
    I just don’t find that attractive. Is not finding you attractive, sexual harassment, because I am getting that a lot lately.
    Other than that there was no further evidence of sexual harassment, which ALL she said was she was afraid of sexual harassment. We never actually spoke, she hid out and did practically nothing. And it was me she was afraid of… For whatever reason.
    We would welcome a woman in our midst. We know there are engineers and scientists that are women, we would like half of the workforce to be women. However, women just are not like these men. These women as it would seem want just to make the money, they aren’t interested in the challenge of science. They don’t want to collaborate with men, which in a collaborative setting is explicitly involved and I am the supervisor so you have to collaborate with me. 
    It can’t be a sausage factory. But we have made lots of money without women and as long as women don’t want to play with the big dogs, they will stay on the porch.
    For real, now all applicants have to demonstrate their willingness to collaborate before we hire a contract. Women still don’t apply with the correct qualifications. There has not been one woman with a degree beyond an associates that has applied.
    Make more money than me? Sure, does that mean I can stay home all day, eat ice cream and watch Oprah?
    Make more money than me? Sure, just don’t show me the tags because I will chart the alienation of the worker and the degradation of the planet by your purchases…
    If that bothers you, don’t bother me. I can work without women and I go to the same sex toy store as you. I just don’t think women want men.
    Women don’t want Cowboys, they smell like Cowshit. Women do not like nerds, because we know shit. They don’t want a man who knows judo, because as soon as he breaks someones arm, he’s a bully.
    DO women want real men?
    DO Women want men?
    I think women hate men and just don’t want to be around male behavior, so when they say these things, they really don’t mean it.
    Sure they want the things that come with men, children, a house, you know the normal life. But men may want to sail around the world until the sea swallows them up.
    They may want to explore other planets or find out why water is blue.
    Women are different. They want some of this too, but they think it should be either them or you.

  22. 112
    Rev b

    Men just want to be respected. Money shouldn’t make u cold. She falls in love but than money become issue. I think Women need to know what they want. They want the time and attention from the blue collar men. At the same time want the executive figures. Remember a executive man don’t  the have time to do all the thing the poor man do. Money or love that the question? To be or not to be

  23. 113

    Here’s an idea, ladies. Let’s just not tell them exactly how much money we make. Until marriage is seriously under discussion, I don’t feel it’s anyone’s business. I don’t advocate lying, of course, but I can’t believe someone would really come out and ask how much a person makes. That’s considered one of the rudest questions.  I think it’s okay to be vague about it as long as you don’t hide who you are. If a girl is wearing Chanel and doesn’t seem to be in any financial trouble, then I assume the guy will be smart enough to realize she’s not poor. Until there’s a commitment, then that’s all a guy needs to know. I have never known how much a man I’m dating makes, nor do I care. He pays about 70% of the time, and the other 30%, I ask him out so it’s on me. If we are both able to have enough money to go on the kind of dates we like, then the amount each of us makes is not that important at this stage of the relationship.
    P.S. Since I’m the controller of a company, I did feel it necessary to disclose to my boss that I have a trust fund when I showed up in a new Porsche!  lol.  A little different situation, though.

    1. 113.1

      Nicely put!

  24. 114
    Peter 51

    As someone on the receiving end, I would say that high status women find their high status men by looking half a generation or more ahead.  There’s less uncertainty about the result.  Given equal pay for equal work, young women are going to out earn young men due to preferential hiring in jobs where there is direct competition.  The young men will be less likely to be employed in their preferred slot.

  25. 115

    For every complaint about how women who make a lot of money and won’t accept a man who makes less, there is a complaint about a women who makes little income and is a gold-digger who’s looking for a man to rescue her and foot the bill.  Go figure.

  26. 116

    Just starting in the world of online dating, I came across this site doing my research.  and I have to say I love it. So many points of view!

    I go to nice restaurants with those of my friends who like to spend their money that way.    some of my friends don’t have a lot of spare cash – we go hiking and bring our own food, or hang out in coffee shops.
    We find something we can both manage and like because we want to spend time together.  

    If I want to go to a certain place, I’ll go with someone who can go too.  BUT if I want to be with a person, I’ll try to find something we would both like / manage.  


    1. 116.1

      Oops last sentence left off above…

      am am I being naive To think dating works the same way? 

      1. 116.1.1

        I don’t think so. Me personally, I have dated men who made less. One in particular, a lot of our dated consisted of watching TV and eating at home.  I never had an issue with it.  I am so busy running all week that I was perfectly content to do that because it allowed me to relax and have some down time.  I have friends I can do other things with so it was not an issue for me.

  27. 118

    This is one of those really complicated issues. As a very blessed senior woman I find it is often the elephant in the room. Even with being open minded and caring about my partners needs and considerate about disparities in pocketbooks..men like to be the breadwinners and can be uncomfortable with a woman earning far more than them. I have found two negative possiblities..one they want a sugar mommy but more often they try to exert control in other aspects of the relationship as a way of compensating..It only works where men have enough esteem to weather this socially difficult disparity and the woman acts sensitively..Asking him to pay for what is out of his league is a recipe for a disaster..so is underwriting too much. But also not allowing him to offer to be a little extravegant once in a while can end up being emasculating..It is at best a tricky balance that will always be there to be considered.

  28. 119

    In the marketplace money equals power..what an income of 20,000 can buy is less than an income of 250,000 per annum. This is not lost on anyone. In some very important ways this fact impacts our personal relationships. Further what people say affects or does not affect them is not an accurate representation..Suppose you know you feel guilty for liking that your partner has the means to enhance your buying power..you may like the additional access you have to buy kitchen gear or a pair of pants but not feel so good about it..Will you compensate and say it is unimportant? Maybe..The fact is there are generalites..Women want to marry up..or Men feel intimidated..and there is some truth to these generalities..but scratch the surface and you start dealing with ameliorating circumstances..ie..He has a PHD research position..she is working as a sales assistant..She earns more..does his PHD act as a balancing to their disporportionate salaries? He is doing all the childrearing work..she earns the money..she values his support..see what I mean?? like most of life..its not the what only but also the extenuating circumstances that are critical in whether something between two people works or does not.

  29. 120

    If a man believes that the only way he can “support and provide” for me is to pay for things then i feel very sorry for his belief in his character and what he feels he has to offer

    As a successful woman I dont need your money, support me emotionally and physically I will be happy.

    Luckily my current partner understands this, on our first date I paid half. He tried to say he would pay and I said why and he came back with “Im the guy im supposed to pay”. I told him gently and respectfully that he needs to get in the modern world and I am more than happy to pay half. At first it was really difficult for him to get over that he couldnt be my financial provider..made me feel sad for him not realising how much more he had to offer as a man..but we communicated honestly and openly and he realises now where I need support from a partner

    I also think it helps that I make an effort to recognise his support in other areas probably more than I would do. I am hopeless in regards to DIY and know nothing about cars and im little and not strong. He is good at DIY good with looking after my Car and 6FT1 Rugby player. I make sure he knows how much i appreciate those “manly” qualities as well as the wonderful friendship and emotional support he offers me.


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