“My Parents Say I Should Worry About Making More Money Than My Perfect Boyfriend. Advice?”

[Update: “So Whaddaya, Anyway? Some Kinda Fag?”]

Okay, readers. The following note came in today (in response to “Six Tests To Determine If He’s Mr. Right”). How would any of you advise this young woman?

Wow. Thank you so much. I have a lot to think about. I have been dating my boyfriend now for about eight months. My friends think he is amazing. He really takes care of me, encourages me, makes me feel beautiful. I was really sick one morning, and he drew a bath for me, made me some rice to eat and massaged my head. He helps me with my work, helps around the house, shows no interest at all in other women, and when we fight he always tries to get straight to the bottom of it and never yells at me. Ever.

He does everything you pointed out just right. The only problem is that my parents worry that I will be making a lot more money than him (I am a third-year law student and work for a judge, and he wants to be a teacher and currently works at the mall.) They think that he sees me as a way to the high life, and that his personality will change if we ever get married. He currently lives with relatives, and is always short on cash (an understandable side effect of someone who pays his own tuition, I think). But it seriously concerns me. I never thought I would be the breadwinner in a relationship, and I am still not sure how I feel about all that. Any advice? Thank you so much!

Well, friends?

Share

Print Friendly

About John Shore

John Shore (who, fwiw, is straight) is the author of UNFAIR: Christians and the LGBT Question, and three other great books. He is founder of Unfundamentalist Christians (on Facebook here), and executive editor of the Unfundamentalist Christians group blog.  (In total John's two blogs receive some 250,000 views per month.) John is also co-founder of The NALT Christians Project, which was written about by TIME,  The Washington Post, and others. His website is JohnShore.com. John is a pastor ordained by The Progressive Christian Alliance. You're invited to like John's Facebook page. And don't forget to sign up for his mucho awesome monthly newsletter.

  • http://www.grizzbabesden.blogspot.com Grizzbabe

    I'm not a big fan of his, but I think I remember Dr. Dobson (or someone like him) say that it takes about a year before people stop putting their best foot forward in a romantic relationship and that's when you start to find out what kind of person they really are. It may take a little more time before anyone (either the reader or her parents) can say anything definitive about this man's character.

    That being said, I think our society's insistence on adhering to gender roles (i.e., the man must make more money than the woman) does us all a disservice. Happy people usually means happy relationships; therefore, people should spend their careers doing whatever it is they love and arrange their financial affairs to accommodate that passion.

  • Robert Meek

    DEFINITELY focus on your future, talk to him, keep the lines of communication open. Wait and see. 8 months is not a long time to know someone, that's another thing to consider. Tragically, your parents might be right, but it's not an absolute. I read an article just a while back by a man married to an Episcopal priest, and he whined incessantly about how she "provided" things he could "never" provide for them – the luxurious Rectory, the private Episcopal school for their children, etc. I ended up emailing him at Oprah.com and telling him he was a jackass and did NOT deserve such a beautiful wife, and I MEANT it.

    • Diana

      I read that article too! I think the guy himself actually did concede that he was a jackass for feeling the way he did. At least he was honest. Some guys feel that way but try to pretend that they don't–which just leads to further disaster.

  • Bob

    People rarely get into teaching for the money, but for the love of helping others. It's a more noble profession than lawyerin' for sure. ;-) How many Lawyers do it to actually help people or because they just love the clientèle? Too many people get into law just for the money. So without knowing more about these two, I'd say it a crap shoot. That being said I'm unemployed and married to a woman who makes about 60K. I'm returning to school to get smart in a new field that might allow me to make that much. We get by without me working, but I don't really like not contributing and having to ask if we can afford for me to buy something. Also makes buying presents for her a bit strange. (Here's something I bought you with money you put in my account! I hope you love it!) Also, it's sad when money is what people pay attention to, rather than things that matter in life. Also gender roles suck.

    • Gina Powers

      I SO feel your pain, Bob….and I'm with you on this one. Good luck with the new educational venture you're taking! :)

    • Argy Bargy

      Sorry, gotta call you out on this one. I'm a lawyer, and yes, I do enjoy helping people as a lawyer, and enjoy working with the people I do, in a corporation, who are in turn good, decent people trying to do the best they can in this world for themselves and their families and for their customers. I don't know if you intended some sort of sly humor, but I do get sick of people singling out lawyers (easy targets sometimes, to be sure) as money-grubbers. Most lawyers I know don't make tons of money. Most lawyers I know enjoy their profession because it does help people. Most lawyers I know are very good, decent people who labor out of the limelight. In fact, how many people in MANY professions or occupations get into it "just for the money?"

      In fact, you are going back to school to get into a field that will allow you "to make that much." Don't we all like to work in jobs, careers, and fields where we can make a decent living? I know my kids appreciate it.

  • http://marie-everydaymiracle.blogspot.com/ Marie

    I agree with both Don and Grizzbabe. If you would lose respect for him if you make more than him, it's not going to work.

    I think it's sad that your parents have such a low opinion of your boyfriend just because he's aiming to be a teacher and not a lawyer. Would they have the same low opinion if you were a man and he were the woman?

    I've been the breadwinner in my family for 20 years now. My husband is a stay-at-home dad to our 3 boys and he's also a (yet unpublished) writer. I didn't marry him for his money or his ambition. He is a wonderful father and husband, and he's WAY MORE suited to staying at home with the kids than I am. His brother is also a stay-at-home dad embarking on a grad degree and married to a high-powered banker. They are both strong enough men to be married to strong, independent women. Truly, it takes a man with a healthy ego to not get intimidated by our society's expectations, as Grizzbabe says.

    If you truly love your boyfriend and can accept him just as he is, stick with the relationship. And defend him to your parents!

    Good luck!

    Marie

    • berkshire

      I think Marie asks an important question–that is, would you feel the same if you were the man and he was the woman? Because if you're "not sure" how you feel about being the breadwinner, that means you entertain thoughts of allowing someone else to be in that role. When you went to law school, surely you anticipated a decent salary (or are you on a track toward non-profit work?).

      So, should you marry a man who makes more money than you and is the "breadwinner", would his parents be right to disparage you for wanting him to be in that role? To accuse you of seeking "the high life" through him? Would you be more entitled to that simply by virtue of your gender?

      I understand about traditional gender roles, but if you're going out and getting a law degree, at least in some respect you are already defying those. It's just not the world we live in anymore. Men can make fine stay-at-home primary care-givers, as can women. Women can earn a good living, as well as men (pay-gap aside).

      I would suggest you wait a while before you make any assessment of this. Make sure you know each other well, and if down the road he is still behaving in the manner you describe, it's sounds to me like he's giving you an authentic "high life", more than any lawyer's salary could guarantee to him. The "high life" ain't about "stuff", and while money is not insignificant in anyone's life, marriage isn't about money.

      If you narrow the field of suitable partners to only those who make more money than you, erroneously thinking that this guarantees the purity of your suitor's motivations, I think you will be disappointed in a number of ways. Real love isn't so easy to find . If you narrow the field out of some mistaken suspicion of anyone who makes less money than you (especially if your lawyer's salary is typical), you will make it that much harder to find your life partner.

      If your boyfriend continues to do all the great things you describe–to demonstrate love and skill in relating–yet you lose respect for him simply because his earnings don't exceed your salary, then I would humbly suggest you might not be ready for marriage to anyone at this point.

      Examine your parent's motivations, too–surely they want the best for you. But do they dislike him for other reasons? Is the salary issue a red herring? Have they been through some exceptionally difficult financial troubles themselves, that perhaps would distort their view of your situation?

      If your concern is that one day you might want to have children and be a stay-at-home mom, and you worry about his ability to support a family, that's worth examining, too. Depending on where you live, teachers might not make great salaries, but a great many of them have families themselves, and are not living on the streets. If your concerned that you might not be able to drive the kids to soccer practice in a Mercedes, well. . . . he's not the one looking for a ticket to "the high life". In that case, again I would suggest that you might not yet be ready for marriage.

      There is also the important step of talking to him about all of this, when the time is right. That would be when you are both thinking about the possibility of marriage. At that point, there will be a great many topics you'll need and want to talk about, and money is one of them. Your ability to navigate that conversation with honesty and authenticity may offer hints as to how you would navigate many things together in the future. Pay close attention.

    • Jelcomin

      "strong enough to be married to strong, independent women"

      Well maybe she likes strong, independent men? Why is it okay for your husband and his brother to be married to women who earn more but wrong for her to be married to a man who earns more?

      And why is being a strong, independent, woman, a good thing? The reason I ask is you don't seem to see anything wrong with your husband being dependent on you, so why isn't it equally important for him to be a strong, independent man? You praise your husband for being strong enough to marry a strong independent woman who is the breadwinner. Do you also praise women who marry men who are the breadwinners and have no career of their own? Do you praise them equally? How can you say it's so important to be strong and independent, which you define as being a lawyer or a banker, then tell a man that he and his wife should be perfectly content with him being dependent on her?

      Oh, and as for the idea that you don't recognize any difference between men and women? Really? Do you and your husband wears the same clothes? Are you both bisexual?

      Why shouldn't your husband be strong and independent like you?

      • Diana

        @ Jelcomin: I'm going to answer your post seriously even though I think your argument is specious.

        "Why is it okay for your husband and his brother to be married to women who earn more but wrong for her to be married to a man who earns more?"

        It's not wrong. In fact, even in this age of supposed feminism, lots of people still think that the man is supposed to earn more and these people get their undergarments in a twist when that is not the case. This attitude is actually highly destructive to men as well as women, as our friend John Wilder (see posts below) has been at great pains to emphasize.

        "And why is being a strong, independent, woman, a good thing? The reason I ask is you don’t seem to see anything wrong with your husband being dependent on you, so why isn’t it equally important for him to be a strong, independent man?"

        Actually, it is just as important for a man to be strong and independent as it is for a woman to be strong and independent. Few people (to my knowledge) have seriously argued against a man being strong and independent, whereas throughout human history women have often been encouraged to be weak and dependent, much to their own destruction and that of their dependent children. Moreover, strength and independence are not solely measured in a person's earning capability–although it's hard to be strong and independent without having an income of one's own.

        "You praise your husband for being strong enough to marry a strong independent woman who is the breadwinner. Do you also praise women who marry men who are the breadwinners and have no career of their own? Do you praise them equally?"

        Women have not typically needed encouragement to accept the man as breadwinner and give up careers of their own. On the contrary, women have often been actively discouraged from making their own money and having their own careers.

        Men, on the other hand, have typically been expected to be breadwinners and have been (and still are) actively shamed for failing to make as much or more money than their wives. It takes a brave man to stand up against this shaming and actively choose to take on the more traditionally feminine role of nurturing wife and any children they have while permitting his wife to take on the traditionally masculine role of breadwinner. Therefore yes, men who take on the nurturing role do deserve praise for standing up against society's attempts to pigeon-hole them into a role that may be wrong for both them and their family.

        "Why shouldn’t your husband be strong and independent like you?"

        No one's said he shouldn't. In fact, as I've argued, it actually takes a great deal of strength and independence on the man's part to stand up against society's expectations and take on the nurturing role. I applaud all men who have been willing to do this regardless of the risk of being shamed by society in general and the people closest to them in particular–peers, family members, sometimes even their own wives.

        I hope this answers your questions.

        • Jelcomin

          "It's hard to be strong and independent without having an income of one's own"

          Exactly. So by your own definition you husband is not strong and independent. He is weak and dependent on you. So your ideal is a marriage in which one partner is strong and independent and the other is weak and dependent. That sounds sort of familiar.

          So your whole point is that your gender determines whether your behavior is right or wrong? A man should be praised for being weak and dependent on his wife because he's standing up against society. So then the weaker a man is and the more dependent he is the more you praise him? What is the level of weakness and dependency that most pleases you. How about if a man never learns to read or write, or how to drive, or how to tell time. Now that would really be standing up against society's attempt to pigeon hole men into competent, capable beings. So can I assume that would meet your approval?

          I'm curious what would happen if your ideal, weak, helpless, dependent, man, decided he might like to not be so dependent and weak. How would you thwart him?

          So my point is this, as long as you are an advocate of relationships in which your gender determines who should work and who stays home, who is strong and independent, and who is weak and dependent, how can you object when a woman says she also wants a relationship where gender determines the roles and behavior, but in her case prefers the male to be strong and independent?

          By your reasoning, since more women go to college than men, should we praise women who don't go to college since they are standing up against society's attempt to pigeon-hole them into a role that may be wrong for both them and their family.

          Expecting an adult male to be able to support himself and not be weak and dependent, is forcing him into a role that may be wrong? Yep, you answered my questions all right.

          • Diana

            Wow, you really do know how to twist an argument, don't you?

            "So your whole point is that your gender determines whether your behavior is right or wrong?"

            Actually, that wasn't my point at all, but if you want to take it that way, go ahead.

            "A man should be praised for being weak and dependent on his wife because he’s standing up against society."

            By definition, anyone who stands up to society's expectations for them is neither weak, nor dependent. They may or may not have other "issues" but that's way too broad a subject to be gotten into now.

            "What is the level of weakness and dependency that most pleases you. How about if a man never learns to read or write, or how to drive, or how to tell time. Now that would really be standing up against society’s attempt to pigeon hole men into competent, capable beings. So can I assume that would meet your approval?"

            I actually believe that men and women should both be encouraged to become competent, capable beings. I don't think anyone here has argued otherwise.

            "I’m curious what would happen if your ideal, weak, helpless, dependent, man, decided he might like to not be so dependent and weak. How would you thwart him?"

            You mean, he might get together with bunch of other men and decide that he has the right to vote and the right to earn his own income and picket and march on Washington and–I'm aghast that you would that you would suggest such a thing! No right-thinking gentleman would want to go against his God-given role as the family nurturer! Any man who would think to do so is unnatural, and positively unmasculine!

            "…as long as you are an advocate of relationships in which your gender determines who should work and who stays home, who is strong and independent, and who is weak and dependent, how can you object when a woman says she also wants a relationship where gender determines the roles and behavior, but in her case prefers the male to be strong and independent?"

            Ah. I'm not an advocate of relationships in which gender determines who should work, stay at home, etc. I actually think individual couples should work these things out for themselves.

            Again, I think you're being specious in your arguments. In fact, I'm probably taking you way too seriously by attempting to answer your arguments. I also think you and John Wilder aka marriagecoach1 should get together and have a couple of beers. While your arguments are completely opposite, you should both be able to find common ground in your mutual bitterness toward the female of the species.

          • berkshire

            As far as I can tell, Diana wasn't suggesting anything like any of that. Are you reading a post in a parallel universe or something?

            Oh, I get it—is that you , Marriagecoach1? You sneaky little devil, you!

            ;-)

          • berkshire

            As far as I can tell, Diana wasn't suggesting anything like any of that. Are you reading a post in a parallel universe or something?

            Oh, I get it—is that you , Marriagecoach? You sneaky little devil, you!

            ;-)

          • Ace

            "Oh, I get it—is that you , Marriagecoach? You sneaky little devil, you!"

            I was thinking the same thing, LOL. Internet trolls. Gotta love 'em.

          • Diana

            “Oh, I get it—is that you , Marriagecoach? You sneaky little devil, you!”

            Yeah, I wondered about that. That’s why I hesitated to answer his(?) post in the first place.

            I actually attempted to answer his 2nd post as well–but it disappeared into the ethernet (?) never to be seen again–and I didn’t feel like writing the whole thing out again.

            Even if Jelcomin is not an alias for Marriagecoach1, I still think the two of them should get together and bond over a couple of beers. While their arguments are completely opposite in nature, I’m sure they could find common ground with their mutual bitterness toward the female of the species.

          • Jelcomin

            Questioning whether it's good for men to be weak and dependent makes me a troll and bitter toward women? Okay. So what does it make you that you advocate men being dependent on women?

            You say you are not an advocate of determining roles based on gender, but you are. Here's why:

            "Therefore, yes, MEN who take on the nurturing role do deserve praise for standing up against society's attempts to pigeon-hole them…" So gender determines who deserves praise for not having a career.

            "women have often been encouraged to be weak and dependent, much to their destruction and that of their dependent children" So gender determines whether or not being a stay at home parent is "destructive." If a woman stays home, it's destructive to her and her children, if a MAN stays home, he deserves praise. No mention of any destruction.

            "strength and independence are not solely measured in a person's earning capability" But you described yourself and your sister in law as "strong, independent women" solely on the basis of your earning capability ("I've been the breadwinner for 20 years" "high powered banker"). So for MEN, strength and independence should not be measured in earning capacity, but it should for women.

            When you praise men for staying home, your intent is to encourage them and more men to also stay at home. My point is that you are hypocritically using gender to decide what is right or wrong, while at the same time criticizing women who think gender should determine who is the higher earner. For you it's simply a matter of gender. Your husband and his brother stay at home, and it's wonderful. Women staying home is destructive to themselves and their children.

            Someone who sees nothing wrong with having a husband who is completely financially dependent on her, shouldn't condemn a woman or a family who wants a husband to earn more.

          • Ace

            I really don't think she was saying any of the things you think she was saying, actually.

          • Diana

            Cool! More specious arguments from Jelcomin!

            I'm so not taking you seriously anymore.

            @ Ace–No, I wasn't. But a person will hear what s/he wants to hear–right?

  • LoneWolf

    Here's an idea: Put him in situations where he would have some kind of advantage over another. Going to a restaurant and seeing how he treats the waiting staff is a good example. It will give you a chance to see how he treats people he isn't compelled to impress. If he does something to a waiter that makes you uncomfortable, I guarantee we will do the same to you when he feels he has you around his finger.

  • Shannon

    I just read this on John Shore's blog! My mom worried about her perfect boyfriend while he worried about his financial security… 21 years later they are getting divorced and he isn't paying the bills so the house is going into foreclosure… she has no prospects cause she hasn't worked in 13 years – ladies – KEEP WORKING! It's wonderful when marriages work, but the stats don't lie. … See MoreDon't think your ex will take care of you or make your life "easy" by any means. At least if you can support yourself through good times and bad you'll have that much going for you! ;-D

  • http://none Don Rappe

    I know of half a dozen or more marriages with "bread winner reversal". Successful, failed and jury still out; they are not all the same. I do not think gender roles are "mere" social conventions, although every society will create such conventions. I know that we humans differ from the other large primates God created primarily in our female gender. Our females are receptive at any time in their cycle, not just when an egg is ready to be fertilized. This differs from most other primates and mammals in general. We are human because we communicate verbally and our females lead the way. These and other gender roles lie at the heart of our created humanity. We now know that straight and gay are not mere social conventions. I think our erotic impulse may be more affected by bread winning ability than say curly hair, nice smile, bright eyes, skin color, grace of movement, etc. etc. or they may not be. Many variables are in play. Individuals will surly differ.

  • http://none Don Rappe

    or perhaps surely differ!

  • Jeri

    Suggestion: Think positive, Grow your spiritual side, Finish school, get your good job, do some things you wished you could have done while in school but didn't get to, see where he's heading or not, and wait to get married til you're 29 or 30 if still in mid twenties. Sounds like a nice person and he'll still be there if he's meant to be there : )

  • http://farfromthisshore.wordpress.com Don Whitt

    How much do YOU care about his not making as much? Will you think less of the guy if he makes less than you forever? That's what's important. And, will he feel like he's not pulling his weight if he's not making as much as you? Those seem to be the two most important aspects of this for the two of you to discuss. You guys need to be aligned on money, the salary imbalance and what that does to how you feel about each other. Is it really important to you or are your parents influencing you just because they're your parents and you love and respect them?

    Turn it around: What if he made way more than you? Would your parents say, "Hey, you're just looking at this young man as a meal ticket and that's not right!". I doubt it. So why does it necessarily work the other way? Me thinks the 'rents are old school and perhaps a bit sexist. What's wrong with a man making less or even staying home to raise the kids? Nothing, unless YOU think there is.

    Envision yourself in 10 years. You're married and he's making a crappy teacher salary and you're pulling down big bucks, AND you're surrounded by other people all day at work doing the same, talking about their 2nd homes and sailboats while you guys are going to Costco every other weekend so you can save for a starter home. Oh, and he has a booger hanging out his nose.

    Do you still love him?

  • marriagecoach1

    I did not read any of the answers because I did not want to be swayed by them.

    Let me tell you first of all you will not be THE BREAD WINNER, youj will just make more money than him. You make it sound like he will contribute nothing and you will contribute everything to the money pot.

    He is perfect for you in every way except he won't make as much money as you, how shallow can you be?
    With your attitued, you will run him off and then sleep alone. So you hook up with a guy who will make more money than you and be dicattorial with you about finances.

    I say get your head out of your rear end and appreciate your guy for the wonderful guy he is and don't worry about the money. His money and your money is family money. You are demonstrating supremely conditional love rather than unconditional love.

    Blessings on you and yours
    John Wilder

    • http://dianer.bloodspot.com DR

      As someone who regularly finds herself in this scenario, your reply is really concerning, it's an awfully simplistic, aggressive reply from one whose monniker includes "marriage coach".

      This is simply a young woman who is dating a man and the context of their relationship is currently violating some long-standing cultural norms. Her parents are obviously still working from those norms, and she is questioning whether they should fit or not. I think she is awfully brave for doing it in the first place, and she's obviously smart enough to be asking others for their insight.

      This is a complex scenario that requires some thinking out loud. You've drawn some conclusions about her that seem really unfair. Perhaps when you're suggesting " getting your head out your rear", your projecting.

      • Don Whitt

        Ding, ding, ding, ding, ding!!! Bingo.

      • berkshire

        Nailed it, DR. 'Nuff said.

    • http://marie-everydaymiracle.blogspot.com/ Marie

      First you say "get your head out of your rear end," and then you close it with "blessings"? What kind of a marriage coach are you, exactly?

      • Diana

        The scary kind? I'm thinking he's trying to blend the personae of Dr. Phil McGraw and James Dobson.

        • Argy Bargy

          Haha. Well put.

        • John Wilder

          I agree with Appalachiana and Kim

          You are seeing the difference between a marriage counselor and a marriage coach. A marriage counselor talks about feelings endlessly and you are never wrong in their eyes.
          This is why they have a horrible 75% failure rate in the industry.

          A marriage coach takes on a mediator role and gets right to problem solving. A coach will confront both parties for where they are wrong and reassure them for the things that they are doing right. The average coach has a 75% success rate and a far higher acceptance rate among clients. I have an 80% success rate. You can take shots at me and my methods if you want to, but they are tested and proven.

          I wanted to inject a little "reality therapy" into the discussion. Telling you to get your head out of your rear I would equally tell a guy. I used a little sharpness to get you to take a different look at your attitudes through the eyes of a different person of the opposite sex. I wnated you to realize how offended your boyfriend would be if he knew that you were harboring these feelings. A bit of self confession here. I worked 3 jobs in order to put myself and my wife through school at the same time so that she did not have to work. I also helped with housework, laundry and doing all the cooking and grocery shopping and did child care with our toddler. When we graduated, she went into nursing and I went into the ministry. She beat on me constantly because I did not make enough for her to stay home full time and constantly cast aspersions on my masculinity. I know what it is like to be on the receinving end of your kind of attitude.

          So if you feel this way, I suggest that you dump the boyfriend and find a guy who makes enough money for you to feel good about it. You asked for opinions but it soounds to me likke you only wanted opinons that agreed with yours. You should be more clear the next time. I disagree with you and if that offends you, my apologies, but I call them the way that I see them. That is honesty and integrity. I am also the voice of everyman combatting the rampant misandry in our infected society.

          Agaiin the blessing are becuase I mean you no ill will
          John Wilder

          • Karen

            "A marriage coach takes on a mediator role and gets right to problem solving."

            As one who was an actual mediator for the State of Washington and dealt with a number of different relationships, you certainly didn't live the true mediation principles out at all in your comment, had you been trained in true mediation/relationship coaching, you would know that.

            You didn't solve any problems. You went immediately into the judge and jury role, deciding what is really going on with this young woman instead of digging into the situation a bit more and being observant and objective, which is what mediators do. Nor were you "sharp"; you were needlessly offensive. That's not provocative, it's distracting and demonstrates a lack of emotional intelligence. With all due respect, I hope this marriage coach gig isn't your day job.

          • Appalachiana

            So you think John Wilder should be "digging into the situation a bit more and being observant and objective, which is what mediators do." How the heck is the fellow supposed to do that in this blog? Give the guy a break. He was just trying to share his opinion that the boyfriend shouldn't be judged on the basis of income. Would you suggest otherwise?

          • Karen

            @ Appalachian:

            S o you think John Wilder should be “digging into the situation a bit more and being observant and objective, which is what mediators do.” How the heck is the fellow supposed to do that in this blog?>>>

            Um, by taking a few extra minutes and asking a few questions before concluding she's got her head up her ass and needs to pull it out? Because he's actually a professional and does that kind of thing for a living? It's fairly easy (for some of us) to not read an internet blog and decide what is going on in the inner workings of someone else's heart and mind.

            Give the guy a break. He was just trying to share his opinion that the boyfriend shouldn’t be judged on the basis of income. Would you suggest otherwise?>>>

            This *actually* made me laugh. Sure! Everyone can share their opinions, it's the Internet the actual alter of Opinion. He said a lot more about this young woman – who she is and why she's concerned – and a lot of us saw it. If you didn't? OK.. That is in fact, your opinion. Oh, sweet internet life.

          • Karen

            One more thing, John. Be careful not to bring your own hostility and resentment about your former experience (it's clearly still in living color for you) into the vulnerability of other's experiences. I wonder if your recreating your own scenario you experienced with a selfish woman here, it seems like it. Not everyone is your ex.

            Lastly, it seems like you are spesking to those of us who are countering you as the actual woman who posed this question to John. It's a little creepy.

          • Appalachiana

            How's he gonna ask the woman questions? It's a blog and John Shore posted the question and asked how we would answer it. My question was sincere; would you suggest one should select a spouse based on the potential partner's income level?

            Wondering if she should marry someone who earns less than she does is the primary dilemma this woman indicates she is facing. How would you answer?

          • http://www.getaclue.com Karen

            @appalachian: Wondering if she should marry someone who earns less than she does is the primary dilemma this woman indicates she is facing. How would you answer?>>>

            Well gosh, let's see. I'd probably say that I don't have any clue of what's really going on with this girl, that issues with money are sometimes tied to character (not always) and that it's very complicated to go against very wel-ingrained social norms without needing to talk it through. If you like Mr. Wilder prefer to make it about this girl being an asshole, then go for it, but there are clearly a few of us who understand that this is a little more complicated than that. OK? I'm not sure what else I can help you with.

          • berkshire

            You attempt to make a distinction between a coach and a counselor, but then go on to use terms like "reality therapy", which is an actual theoretical perspective in use by counselors for decades, developed by Glasser, which does not in any way resemble what you did here in your post.

            Where did you obtain your training? Is there a specific program or professional organization that sets out standards for training, and standards for ethical conduct? I'd be very curious to learn more.

            You also talk about tested and proven, but nothing is proven because you type a few numbers on a blog post. 9 out of 10 people would probably say that's a lot of bunk. Do you have actual research to back it up? If so, I can assure you the very intelligent and discerning readers of this blog would be most interested. For your own claim of 80% success rate, what measurement scales are you using? What parameters do those scales measure? What are the criteria for success that you're examining?

            You cannot speak for what her boyfriend would feel or what would offend him–you don't know anything about him.

            I'm sorry, but your training–if you've had any at all–would appear to fall far short of any professional standards of which I'm aware. If you had had any you would surely have come across terms like "transference" and "countertransference", and recognize your own highly emotive response to the original post and subsequent comments as the latter.

            It's a good idea to work on those kinds of personal issues before embarking on a career attempting to help others–it can really interfere with clear-seeing, and that can really harm clients. Your communication style comes across as abusive, and I hope it's not the way you conduct yourself with people seeking your assistance. Having had a bad marital experience doesn't make one an expert on "marriage coaching", I'm afraid.

          • http://thefakejohnshore.wordpress.com thefakejohnshore

            I'm not sure why everyone is giving you such a hard time. You're obviously speaking on behalf of Americans who want to see things go back to how they used to be – the days before we had birth control and padded bras. Before we realized that cigarettes could kill us. In other words? "Mad Men".

            You're not alone. Thank you for standing up for those of us who believe right along with you. Keep the proud, increase the loud.

            Blessings,

            FJS

          • John Wilder

            Hey Fakejohnshore:

            Apparently you did not read my post and understand it. You accuse me of being back in the fifiies. Nothing could be farther than the truth. I have no problem with her making more than her husband or for that matter any woman making more than their husbands. It was the original poster who wanted to be back in the fifities with the notion that she thought that her husband should make more than her. She seems to on one hand embrace feminism by going to school to be a lawyer and on the other hand embrace artificial gener roles when it comes to income. What is a poor guy supposed to do was my question with this whip sawing of gender roles?

            John Wilder

          • http://thefakejohnshore.wordpress.com thefakejohnshore

            Hey brother.

            Let's be careful not to argue in front of the others, it's unbecoming of men of God who are here to teach the Truth.

            Let me straighten you out. If you read carefully, it was her ::parents:: who were concerned about him not making money that she initially led with. I'll even provide that quote for you:

            "The only problem is that my parents worry that I will be making a lot more money than him."

            She like most reasonable young men and women are quite impacted by their parents. While I don't support rebellion of any kind against strong parental guidance, she is questioning whether or not they are right in this instance. If what she's learned is in fact, accurate.

            Now you and I both know that she's an awful person with very low character for listening to her parents all these years and being influenced by them. That kind of active pushing back should begin when you're about 11 or so. That she is now wondering if her parents are right or if she should push back and consider that being the "breadwinner" is fine? You jumped right in there and (rightfully) concluded that she's an abusive a&&hole. And now that I understand what you were doing, I support you 1000%.

            You see John, context – meaning, what she was actually offering here and how she was raised? That's not important. We're here to push our agenda that's rooted in our pain, and to conclude that our initial gut reaction that this young woman has the character of the underbelly of a hippo for daring to ask about money. I know it's a complicated topic and one of the top five reasons people divorce, but we're entitled to see all women as the women who hurt us. That's our right. For those of us in the counseling business, it's actually our professional duty.

            I hope that helps.

            Blessings,

            FJS

          • http://dianer.blogspot.com/ DR

            Dear John Wilder,

            In light of you supporting Jesus's cslling out the money changers, let me offer you this.

            You are a bigot, a sexist, a misogynist and I sense you have a penis the size of a cocktail wiener.

            With love,

            Jesus's spokesperson, otherwise known as the rabid liberal feminist you will ultimately identify me as because these counters are way too threatening for you to process.

          • John Wilder

            Hey DR
            How very mature of you. Ad hominem attacks. If that is the best that you can offer the conversation, then that reflects on you and not me. You sound like the voice of reason alright.

            I am out of here, this blog has become about me rather than the young lady who has a problem with boyfriend's future earnings.

            John Wilder

        • http://thefakejohnshore.wordpress.com thefakejohnshore

          Apparently Mr. Wilder has appointed himself as the voice of those who are standing up for something. I've yet to really understand what that something is or how he gets to speaks for so many, but perhaps he will clarify.

          • John Wilder

            Hey Thefakejohnshore

            I am speaking up for men who are routinely beat up trying to do the right thing. Men are routinely deprived of sex with their wives with the studies showing that the averrage married woman has her husband on a starvation diet of sex once a week or less.

            Promise Keepers became a big movement with the implied promise that if men became better husbands, father and christians that their wives would respond by giving them more sex. A lot of men bought the lesson, and did in fact became better men *(for which they admitted that they needed to do) but were bitterly disapppointed that for the most part, the lack of sex persisted after the change and the movement is now virtually dead.

            We live in a society saturated with misandry (reverse sexism and hatred of men by women). You see it even in the commercials on tv where the man if portrayed as a continuous hapless boob who has once again, gotten himself and/or his family in trouble yet again. In swoops the "heroic woman" to save the day all the while tossing off insulting and condascending remarks towards her husband showing him complete disrespect.

            One of the biggest complaints I get in my practice from men about women is that their wives don't make it safe for them to tell them the truth. If a guy says something that can in any way be constued as negative about the wife, then she goies on the attack with the intention of teaching him to never do that again. The men learn the lesson well and early and seethe in silence. Kind of like what I recieved on here.

            Does that explain it to you?

            Blessings on you and yours
            John Wilder

          • http://thefakejohnshore.wordpress.com/ thefakejohnshore

            Listen, you have nothing to explain. I am a huge proponent of everything you're saying here, you're preaching to the choir brother!

            I'm like you, when I offer a little tough talk regarding a situation I may not know too much about, I don't think it's important to really understand the nuances of the person. Heck, I don't even believe it's important to assume positive intent, that's just injecting a bunch of noise and context into a situation when we already know what's *really* going on.

            I experienced some trouble and what I've learned in my years of experience is that sometimes, people just don't understand how it led me to such an enlightened view. Sure, some have encouraged me to "get therapy" for the troubles I've experienced as a result of some of the abuse I experienced in my life. Apparently, some believe that I take my own pain and I "project" it into other situations because I'm just using that scenario to work out my own issues. Nonsense.

            But guys like you and I realize that therapy is for pussies. Am I right? And if others don't want to get on board with what we know is really going on with someone from the internet? Then they just don't share our gift of discernment and need our prayers. It's just refreshing to find real men who share this point of view.

            I hope this helped.

            Blessings,

            FJS

          • Diana

            FJS–Re: your response above–that was good. That was almost as good as the real John Shore.

            Hey John Shore–are you sure you and FJS aren't one and the same?

          • Ace

            "averrage married woman has her husband on a starvation diet of sex once a week or less. "

            I love how the Men's Rights Movement guys always fall back on the old "THE WIMMINS AREN'T PUTTIN OUT ENOUGH! THAT'S MISANDRY!" chestnut and go back to the old notion that men always have a "right" to women's bodies, whenever and wherever and however they want them. Kinda outs you for what you are right there, sorry.

            And I'm sorry you had a crappy marriage with a childish person and you have my sympathy for that, but that doesn't make every woman walking the planet your personal enemy and it definitely doesn't make you an expert on the subject of marriage.

          • Diana

            "I love how the Men’s Rights Movement guys always fall back on the old 'THE WIMMINS AREN’T PUTTIN OUT ENOUGH! THAT’S MISANDRY!' chestnut and go back to the old notion that men always have a “right” to women’s bodies, whenever and wherever and however they want them. Kinda outs you for what you are right there, sorry.

            "And I’m sorry you had a crappy marriage with a childish person and you have my sympathy for that, but that doesn’t make every woman walking the planet your personal enemy and it definitely doesn’t make you an expert on the subject of marriage."

            Yes. This is how I feel too.

          • http://none Don Rappe

            Troll alert! Troll alert!

            Schizophrenic troll alert!

            One guy with two handles commenting back and forth with himself on the blog. No wonder Mr. Shore blocked him.

    • Tim

      I basically agree with your response, though I think maybe a little more diplomacy could've been applied. This blog thread leans, after all, toward the Christian perspective. And I think Paul's first letter to Timothy is clear on the idea that focusing on the financial aspects of anything…especially a deep personal relationship, puts the concern for money as one that has the power to outweigh all others. Sounds a little like the love of money to me.

      To the woman who asked the question, I would only ask her to honestly assess the motives for her concern. As you pointed out, any income is shared. A married couple becomes one. That union is supposed to have the unconditional love of Christ at the center of that union serving as the glue that supernaturally binds man and woman together regardless of anything else. ANYTHING. In my opinion, the idea of unconditional love and commitment to the marriage relationship is key. Money issues certainly cause concern. Important thing is, should it ever overshadow the relationship? Never. If it does, the relationship, like you say, is supremely conditional, and doomed. Even if the messed up priorities don't lead to divorce, they will lead to a terribly diminished relationship.

      The world doesn't like this mindset, because at it's core, it doesn't prefer the light of Christ.

      I used to know a John Wilder when I went to Pershing Jr. High. Any chance this is the same Wilder?

      • John Wilder

        Hey Tim:

        I did not go to Perhsing Jr. High. I am a christian. Yes, I agree that I could have used a little more diplomacy. I chose not to. I was incredibly offended for her boyfriend and could not actually belive her question after describing what a great guy he was. I also confessed to a personal offense becuase I lived with a woman who verbally assaulted me on a regular bais striclty on the basis of money. I divorced her. Money is one the big three that I deal with in my practice. I did not say what I really was thinking and held back a lot.

        I deliberately wanted to bring her up short because it sounds like to me that she was incredibly spoiled and her parents definitely have the wrong values. I got the expected counter attacks against me and chose not to respond to them. I did not want to make the blog about me, but about her. I reinforced to her that I had no mean intentions on my part.

        Men’s number one need is respect, even more than sex. I could see by her attitude and her description that respect would dwindle for her guy and that would be toxic for the relationship, expecially claiming that she would be the BREADWINNER and since his income did not match with hers that she was dismissing it as nothing.

        My goal was to see how wrong headed her thinking was and dismiss it before she killed her relationship with a great guy.

        Blessings on your and yours
        John Wilder

        • Tim

          OK. I've seen blunt work on occasion, but not too often. It just seems that Jesus rarely took people out at the knees prior to getting them to rise and walk. He did call sin, sin…but I just have to believe He did it the most reasonable way. I could be wrong…that's just my opinion as well.

          Blessings to you and yours as well.

          Tim Arnold

          • John Wilder

            Hey Tim"

            Perhaps you could read the passage where Jesus physically threw out the money changers (there is that old subject again rearing its head) and said that they had made His Father's house a den of thieves.

            I don't get where you feel like I took her out at the knees. I did say for her to get her head out of her rear end, but that is a common phrase although I used the PG version.

            For all the critics on here, she invited opinions and I gave mine. I have seen too many marriages suffer from the notion that money equates to power and that if the woman made more money than the man, then she lorded it over him and insulted him with it. If that is not the case here, then I would be the first to apologize, but if it is not the case why did she bring it up? I make no apologies for my comments. Any are welcome to disagree with my comments, it is their right. The critics have been far harsher with me than I was with her and then explain to me that issues are complex and perhaps I did not take the time to ask more questions blah blah blah. This is not therapy, nor is it intended to be,it is just me just offering my opinion, if it were therepy I would be charging $100 an hour. I stand by my comments. Her boyfriend I predict would be deeply hurt if he knew that she was harboring these thoughts.

            Blessings on you and yours
            John Wilder

          • Diana

            "Her boyfriend I predict would be deeply hurt if he knew that she was harboring these thoughts."

            This might well be true. All the more reason for her to follow Leslie's advice (down below, I think) and talk to him about it. Better to get it out in the open now than to have it be an underlying issue later.

          • Tim

            I didn't say Jesus never took people out at the knees. I said rarely. Maybe I have a selective memory, but I recall only two harsh moments in Jesus' ministry. Driving out the money changers, and when He called Peter, Satan and told him to get behind Him. I still hold that grace should be extended as often as possible since it is more often our nature to lean towards the sparing of grace.

          • Diana

            "I still hold that grace should be extended as often as possible since it is more often our nature to lean towards the sparing of grace."

            Yes, I think this is absolutely true.

          • http://dianer.blogspot.com/ DR

            John, im not surprised at all that you have supporters. Christians in America are some of the most dangerous. angry people in our country. And other Christians will deal with this kind of thing in our tent for years to come if it doesn't destroy the church (though perhaps that might be exactly what God intends so He can raise it back up again without this kind of thing).

            Take care if yourself and while I did call you a few pretty bad things, i sincerely hope you get the help you need and that you do no harm.

          • John Wilder

            Hey Tim:

            You still have not answered my question as how I took her out at the knees?

            I simply corrected her faulty statement that she would be the bread winner, and explained that they would be both be breadwinners and the money should go into the family pot as their money. It sounded like to me she was dismissing his money as nothing since she was going to make more.

            Since she is going to be an attorney, she should get used to playing hardball in the real world and people stating facts and vigorously pursuing their case. That is why I chose to be blunt with her. If she could not take my mild reprimand, she will be destroyed as an attorney. Better to find that out now as well.

            Blessings
            John Wilder

        • Diana

          "I deliberately wanted to bring her up short because it sounds like to me that she was incredibly spoiled and her parents definitely have the wrong values."

          I didn't see that at all–or rather, I did see her parents having the wrong values–and how quick you are to assume her values are the same.

          "I reinforced to her that I had no mean intentions on my part." And I'm sure she was duly comforted.

          "I could see by her attitude and her description that respect would dwindle for her guy and that would be toxic for the relationship, expecially claiming that she would be the BREADWINNER and since his income did not match with hers that she was dismissing it as nothing."–Ah, so you're a mind reader now? By the way, she didn't claim that she would be the BREADWINNER, what she said exactly was: "I never thought I would be the breadwinner in a relationship,"…note how the only capital letters are yours? Could it be that because of your own issues regarding marriage and money, you locked on to that word and blew it up into capital letters? Gee Mr. Marriage Coach–projecting much?

          • John Wilder

            Not projecting at all. I have seen this a hundred times in a lot of marriages. It is always the same. Over time, a lot of women gradually lose respect for their guy because he is not making more money than her. This reinforces in her mind that she should also be the primary decision maker in the relatioinship since she makes more money than him. This in turn reinforces his sense of humiliation for his masculainity..

            I capitalized it because it was her choice of words. Breadwiinner is an exclusive word which demeans his contribution. Words mean things and reflect values. I simply read her words and meanings and commented on them.

            She could have said, it never occurred to me that I might make more money in a marriage relationship which would include his contribution as well. She chose the word breadwinner and stated that she never thought that she would end up being the bread winner in the relationship. Seems crystal clear to me.

            Blessings

            John Wilder

          • Ace

            "Words mean things"

            Gee, I never would have guessed.

            You do still seem to be stretching quite a lot and going on a lot of assumptions in your statements about this person. She may have just been repeating what the parents told her, which she is clearly questioning, or she would not have posed the question to Mr. Shore in the first place.

            There are several readers here that have interpreted this as you having a chip on your shoulder or "projecting your own feelings" and I don't think it's wholly a coincidence.

          • Diana

            "There is none so blind as he who will not see." Giving up now. Blessings.

        • http://dianer.blogspot.com/ DR

          " I only wanted to bring her up short".

          It's so unfortunate for people like Mr. Wilder that civil rights for women came about. That whole oblivTory se im a husband so i grt to rape my wife was quite popular in he day.

          Here's hoping no one ever googles you upon looking for marriage coaching because I have a feeling after these revelations, someone by the name of John Wilder will be opening up his own dog washing business. Except you'd call it a bitch washing business and insist that "bitch" is an appropriate term for dogs because that is what they are called!

          • http://dianer.blogspot.com/ DR

            Wow iPhone keyboard fail!

          • Diana

            I hate when that happens!

          • berkshire

            Actually, some of us were fascinated enough to have already Googled Mr Wilder.

            All I can say is, please leave the money coaching out of the marriage coaching. I don't need to bail out anymore banks. Thanks.

            Amazing to me who is willing to throw out judgments like "good values" or "bad values". Simply incredible.

            As someone who works in the helping professions, people like this absolutely enrage me. They do so much harm, and turn people away from help that could really benefit them if sought through capable, trained hands.

            He complains about what marriage counselors do then goes on to explain just how little he understands about what marriage counselors actually do. Seriously, if he's going to disparage the profession of counseling, he might actually at least take time to learn something about it. Clearly he hasn't. One bad experience with a counselor maybe? One that told him to get his shit together, get over his rage and misogyny, and take a cold shower when his wife doesn't view herself as his on-demand gratification machine? Who knows. . . . . not this guy. Every post I've seen from this guy–and he's prolific–is about what's wrong with women, what they're doing wrong, how sexism favors them (no, seriously!), and basically points to this guy thinking he wasn't getting all the sex he was entitled to.

            There are clearly reasons why you weren't getting laid, sir.

            Here are some gems from this misogynist that I found he posted on another blog, accompanied by his name and picture, same as here. You asked for it, Wilder, trying to pass yourself off as someone with professional training that you clearly don't have:

            "Learn the art of talking dirty to him in bed once in a while. Let your inner slut out. The old italian proverb about what a guy wants in a good wife is: A good hostess for his friends, a good mother to his children and a slut in the bedroom. . . . Get rid of the little girl inhibitions about what you won’t do in bed with him. You don’t want him thinking that his previous girlfriend was better than you in bed."

            Did you try that guilt trip on your ex-wife, too?

            More, if you can stomach it, at http://www.projecthappilyeverafter.com/2010/04/ar

            There is SOOOOOOO much that's wrong with this. Inner slut? We don't want him thinking previous girlfriend was better than us in bed?

            Seriously, Wilder—what kind of drugs are YOU on? May I recommend the prescription variety, because acid is doing you no good whatsoever.

            I see I'm done being nice here. Last straw, I guess, was reading that.

            For the record, a BA in "behavioral science and Bible", coupled with "attending grad school in psychology" (attended? How about graduated and got a degree? Worked in the field, got licensed?) doesn't qualify you to practice therapy—call it "coaching" all you want, but you're attempting to practice in the helping professions without a license, as far as I can tell. In most states, this is ILLEGAL, and for good reason.

            Marriage isn't a game, Wilder. People who come to you seeking help are trusting you with one of the most important things in their life. It's not a money-making opportunity for you, or a chance for you to vent your personal frustrations and talk about your sexual fantasies. It's real life, with real consequences when you cast aside all ethical considerations and misrepresent your abilities and "training".

            You have a monumental chip on your shoulder, and could use a trained counselor yourself.

          • marriagecoach1

            Hey Berkshire;

            I had vowed to leave this post because people were making it about me and not the young lady and her notions of male female relationships and about money equals respect.

            You have thrown down the guantlet so I will respond. I know all about marriage counselors after having been to 9 of them who were all equally clueless and worthless. I had a wife who dsirespected me regurlarly because I did not make enougth money for her to stay home full time. She routinely screamed fuck you to me and cursed like a sailor. None of the counselors would really address it other to tell me to ignore it or get used to it. In other words it was okay for her to disprespect me. They in no way tried to teach peaceful conflict resolution which is a primary function I do with clients.

            For the record, I never had sexual problems with my two wives. I made sure early on before marriage that the women were comfortable with their sexuality and understood that sex was part of marriage. For all of my critics out there of the feminist persuasion, if they really believed in equality, they would teach that the man gets a night on and the woman gets a night off, in other words taking turns. That is true equality. Equality is not what they teach that women should only have sex when they feel like it. Thjis is the opposite of equality but highly self centered and selfish, qaualities that have no place in marriage.

            My chip is not so much against women but against churches who are so screwed up about sex that all they teach is the shalt nots, that it is bad, dirty and wrong and good girls don't do that. They have screwed up a lot of women and never teach all of the positive commands about having a great sex life in the bible. My job is to help women overcome those inhibitions. I have been successful at that including helping a 44 year old woman achieve orgasm for the first time in her life. She had an inverted clitoris and I told her to buy a Hitachi Magic Wand vibrator, (the most powerful vibrator out there) This is where going to nursing school helped as well. She called me in tears after knocking off 4 orgasms in a row for the first time in her life. I have many other such stories. I have studied sexuality for years. Traditional marriage counselors rarely help with sexuality issues.

            A lot of main stream counselors are abandoning traditional marriage counseling because of their own statements that they fail about 75% of the time, (failing as defined as the couple getting divorced after the counseling) They are embracing the coaching paradigm as in Dr Harley of His Needs Her Needs and Michele Weiner Davis of the Sex Starved Wife. What is wrong with counseling is that they don't teach peaceful conflict resolution and have 1 session for 50 miinutes a week. This is too little too late. Would you have patience with a doctor for whom you visited with Strep Throat and he suggested that he woud give you just a little antibiotic today, and that you should come back in a week and he would give you just a little bit more antibiotics next week and in about 24-28 weeks he should have that infection cured. It is becuase insurance companies will only pay for one hour once a week that counselors practice this way. It is not best for clients but best for insurance companies because most couples give up in frustration soon after the counseling starts. This is clearly a paradigm that is not working and is not replicated in any other field of endeavor, especilally the medical field. I can't tell you how many marriages that I have saved after months of marriage counseling where it only made it worse for the couple and they were ready to get divorced. I also offer my services pro bono which you will not get any therapist to do. I also offer a money back gaurantee which no other counselor will do. I have many horror stories told to me by people who also found traditional marriage counseling not only worthless but actuallly does more harm than good.

            As a coach., I do 4 hour sessions and have an 80% success rate. I left grad school because of this and because there was a militant atheist feminst ranting about men and religeon in class rather than teaching psychnology who also happened to be the deparment head and was tenured..

            Now psychology is defined as the study of human and animal behavior. In an interesting experiment, a farmer introduced a chicken of a different breed into the hen house and the other chickens gathered around and pecked the different chicken to death. My point is why not stop pecking on me and deal with the subject of the blog which seems to be lost among all you chicken peckers. My self esteem remains intact in spite all of your shaming statements. I am proud of what I do to help couples in trouble and women as well.

            Blessings on you and yours

            John Wilder

          • http://dianer.bloodspot.com DR

            @John Wilder:

            What you don't see is that you made this thread about you and not the young woman in your first comment. You did so in the form of your own hastily drawn conclusion of this girl's character, and you went on to validate our perception by confirming your conclusions were drawn via your own anger at your relationship ( which doesn't seem to be healed yet). You will dismiss me as well as the others here because you don't seem quite willing or perhaps able to deal with what you experienced yet.

            And I'm sorry for saying this, but it makes you fairly dangerous in your line of work right now. But we are all damaged and God isn't dependent upon our health to work.

            But for you John, I hope you decide to listen to someone someday and really deal with your grief. Grief is typically st the root of the type of hostility you express.

  • Robert Meek

    Oy, I forgotted myself again.

    Major point here: Glad your boyfriend is so great, but reality check there is NO SUCH THING as a PERFECT boyfriend/girlfriend/spouse.

    Excellent. Yes. Idea. Yes. PERFECT. NO!

    To believe your b-friend/g-friend/spouse/relationship/marriage is PERFECT is to set it up for FAILURE when you realize with SHOCK that the person has FEET OF CLAY.

    I remember my late mama crying when her marriage to my father fell apart the first of many times, saying "I thought I had the perfect marriage!"

    Mama was 36 when I was born, 42 when we adopted sister, and a bit of time had passed. She would have still been in her 40s, but hardly a young person full of unrealistic idealistic dreams.

    Even then, I was smart enough, between 10-12 yrs old, to know that NO ONE IS PERFECT.

    Period.

    This "My PERFECT boyfriend…" really worries me!

  • Kim

    As important as I feel the management of money is within a marriage, I think the more important issue is that of equal contribution and thus, respect. The specific dollar amount each partner makes is never as important to me as the contribution each is making to the relationship. If one partner is out of work for awhile or pursuing a new career, I think it's fine for the other to step up and handle the finances until the other is working again, as long as the other is appreciative of the effort and is contributing to the household in other important ways, such as caring for the kids (to save $$ on childcare), making meals, grocery shopping, giving his wife nightly footrubs. That kinda thing. :)

    However – respect and money are very much intertwined, particularly in a relationship scenario. If one person has gone a very long period of time without either making money, looking for a job or moving forward in a new career and/or is clearly living off of their partner, respect for them is going to decline (along with happiness and satisfaction in the marriage).

    In a nutshell – I think as long as both partners are contributing to the relationship in a way that is SATISFACTORY TO BOTH, then whether or not s/he is making more money than the other shouldn't be a problem. DO communicate about how you will handle money in your household and don't fool yourself into believing that s/he is going to change their spending/working habits without talking about it. Starting the conversation may be a little scary, but not having it at all can be disastrous.

    • http://dianer.bloodspot.com DR

      I love this answer (even though it doesn't make as much money as I do).

      • Argy Bargy

        I agree. This was a very thoughtful response.

    • Tim

      Hi Kim. While I agree that respect may be important in human relationships, I believe it's important to note that in marriage…or at least a marriage based upon the vows of loving, honoring and cherishing another person for better or worse, in sickness and health, for richer or poorer…both individuals need to realize that while they may now have respect for their mate…they will eventually lose respect. Seeing that other person as worse, sick, and poor is inevitable. These are just the realities and seasons of a life together. In my opinion, putting conditions on a relationship, especially the expectation that a marriage, must be satisfactory to both, is a standard doomed to failure. Optimal conditions are obviously appreciated. But real commitment is tested when conditions aren't optimal. When respect is lost. When the other half is worse, poor, and sick. I think this should hold true in all human relationships.

      If the woman who asked the question believes that money could be an issue, it will certainly become an issue. If anything is set up as a condition for success, failure is immanent.

      • Diana

        "…both individuals need to realize that while they may now have respect for their mate…they will eventually lose respect…"

        I'm not sure I agree with this. It may be that I have the wrong notion of respect, but to me, genuine respect takes into account the fact that the other person is a human being–who will on occasion behave badly, be short on money and be sick (among other imperfections)

        To me, respect is understanding that the other person is human and entitled to be treated as human, regardless of his or her flaws. Moreover, it means not allowing a person's flaws to distract from his or her virtues.

  • Appalachiana

    I'm reminded of John Prine's wonderful song that begins with "Dear Abby, Dear Abby, my feet are too long. My wife hollers at me and my rights are all wrong." My "Dear Abby" response to this young woman would be….

    Dear Concerned,

    If you decide making more than him is a real issue for you, you have three choices: 1) dump him a.s.a.p; 2) give any amount you will make above his salary to charity so that you'll have equal incomes, or 3) . Of course if you decide you accept him and value him more for his altruistic bent and character than his future income potential, you still might want to take a bit more time to decide whether it's lasting love or just simple friendship. In the end, I'd say your decision/s are likely to say as much about you and your true intentions as him and his.

    BTW, I make 2.5 times my teacher husband (who coincidentally also worked at a mall for a while) and have never regretted marrying him. Well, maybe sometimes, for just a moment or two, I wish I were single again when he issues tips to improve my driving….sigh.

    When it comes to love, if we give our heads enough time to really listen to our hearts, it just may happen that "In spite of ourselves, we're gonna end up settiin' on a rainbow." Listen to the wise Mr. Prine's wonderful song "In Spite of Ourselves" at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fRb1h989_jk&fe

    • http://luwandi.wordpress.com Beth Luwandi

      Yay Appaliachia! Sweet to see both these songs quoted. Sometimes my husband and I have liked to think "In Spite of Ourselves" is our theme song! :)

      • Appalachiana

        I think there's a John Prine song to fit just about every situation in life. What a song writer!

  • Appalachiana

    Uh oh. I decided to simplify your decision and give you just two choices, but hit "submit" too soon.

  • Jeremy

    I went to school for teaching. It didn't work out (long story). My one and only teaching job was at a Christian School and I made less than 20 grand a year. My wife was making much more than that and I couldn't have cared less. Teaching is rewarding in non monetary ways, and as a general stereotype people who choose that profession aren't motivated by money.

    I wouldn't worry about it. Continue dating him and trust your instincts and feelings. Don't rush into anything.

  • Gina Powers

    MANY good points here (Marriage Coach, could you maybe dial it down a bit? Thanks…)…and to add my two cents? If you guys are meant to be together–and PLEASE don't be in a hurry to get hitched!–the differences in your salaries shouldn't matter. You both will be contributing to your household expenses, so it's not like he would be the stereotypical "lazy freeloader" (thank you, "Breaking Away"!!–GREAT flick). My therapist would tell me it's a good deal about what you're willing to live with…and if everything else is good….well, why fix what ain't broke?

    • Diana

      "My therapist would tell me it’s a good deal about what you’re willing to live with…and if everything else is good….well, why fix what ain’t broke?" This. This is really the bottom line. It is as somebody said above, no one is "perfect" (though one can be forgiven for thinking someone is in the first flush of love) but if you're willing to live with what your parents consider to be a flaw, then go with it…you're the one who will end up living with the decision, not they.

      • Gina Powers

        Absolutely, Diana! (And OMG, you quoted me! Thank you! *blushes like the dork I am*). The author who posed the question originally doesn't seem like she has an issue with the financial situation–her parently mostly seem to. And boy, I'll tell ya–been married for nine years, and I am STILL learning about loving someone unconditionally, faults for no. I used to compare all marriages to that of a friend of mine, who had the (almost) PERFECT storybook wedding and (seemingly) marriage. Forgive me for quoting Sara Evans here, but–"Real love and real life DOESN'T (my emphasis) have to be perfect". Doesn't mean that I advocate "settling"–not at all!–it's just good to remember that the "perfect person" can be perfect as the wonderful, complex, flawed creation they are. Wish I'd gotten the hang of that earlier in my marriage, because it would've saved my poor hubby LOTS of headaches!

        I wish the author luck! I'm married to the best guy in the world–just give ti time, you'll figure things out. ;)

  • http://none Don Rappe

    It sounds like your bf may have it together. If he does you still need to be VERY certain how you would feel about being breadwinner. If you would lose respect for the man imho you should fish elsewhere.

  • Freda

    I have usually been the primary bread winner. A man who is worth having is a man who isn't threatened by it, and is still willing to do what he can and pull his share of the workload.

    • Marie

      Amen. Freda!

  • http://ramblingsofaspiritualidiot.wordpress.com ~Julia~

    Like most I dont think the bread winner is the issue. 8 months is long enough to really get to know someone. Dont be in a rush. Take your time and get to know each other. No presures. Enjoy each other's company and let things mature.

    And have fun. :)

    • http://ramblingsofaspiritualidiot.wordpress.com ~Julia~

      oopps. I meant to say 8 months is NOT long enough. Need more coffee….

      • Tim

        Thanks for correcting your post. I think it's insane to marry without at LEAST one full year of knowing the other person through all their seasons. One year is the minimum of time to (hopefully) see that person in enough opportunities to see their true colors.

        I guess there is no guarantee that a year or more will always do the trick. Some people can "play the part" for a long time and fool a lot of the people, a lot of the time. A marriage based upon such lengths of deception is a scary thing. I saw that very thing happen to my ex sister-in-law.

  • gooseberrybush

    I read all the previous comments before I posted anything, and I re-read the young woman's comments and questions. I think there are a lot of things that are telling here.

    First off, I agree with everyone who said that eight months is not long enough to know someone well enough to marry them. You should wait longer before making the decision to spend the rest of your life with someone. If he's worth the wait, then he won't find this threatening.

    Also, I think that in modern society, with few exceptions, people should wait until they are in their late twenties to marry. Your personality, your goals and ambitions are like jello that hasn't been sitting in the refrigerator long enough before the age of, oh, at least twenty-seven. That hasn't always been true, but I think with the way that adulthood seems to be postponed nowadays that it is true now.

    I hear you say that your boyfriend is a great guy who treats you well, and that's terribly, terribly important. I also hear you say that your boyfriend is always broke because he's spending money on tuition, which does mean that he has ambitions and goals. He's not home, sitting on his behind while you are working for the judge. He has a job of his own, and he is working to complete his education in order to attain his personal goal of becoming a teacher. These are all promising signs of a young man who has his head screwed on straight.

    When you bring up your concerns about your boyfriend making less money and you becoming the "breadwinner" (I agree with the above posts about that word having a negative connotation, as if you are going to be the only one contributing to the family coffers because you happen to make more money than your spouse), you mention that your parents fear that he will be living off of you and using you as his ticket to the "high life." I wonder if your parents would feel the same way about this situation if it were reversed. Would they be okay with you sponging off a man who, let's say, was a multi-millionaire and entrepreneur?

    Women complain, and rightly so, about not being treated as equals by society. However, when we reinforce gender stereotypes like that of the man being required to make more money than the woman in a relationship, we show that we are nothing but hypocrites with all our talk of equality. It's hard enough for a successful woman to find a man who's okay with her success. Don't throw away a truly good guy just because he wants to pursue his dreams, and he IS okay with you pursuing yours and being just as successful as you'd like. He doesn't sound threatened by this, and I hate to say it, but that's still somewhat rare.

    I'd also like to mention that it's faulty thinking to assume that just because his calling is teaching and yours is the law that he will automatically make much less money than you will. Maybe he will go on to become a frequently published professor at an Ivy League university, and you will work for peanuts in a legal aid office. Who's to say? You are both so young, and many times the degrees we pursue with relish in our youth come to have nothing to do with what we ultimately pursue as our careers.

    Your parents seem very preoccupied with money and the trappings and security that it can provide. Are you becoming a lawyer because you genuinely love the pursuit of the law? Is justice in all its forms something that you are truly passionate about? Or are you pursuing a law degree because it will make you affluent?

    If you are doing it for the money, then are you doing it to please your parents? Or is the accumulation of wealth something that is important to you personally? If it is, then will you ultimately be content with pursuing financial security on your combined salaries? It is an important question to ask yourself. It's not fair to commit to this young man unless you can be okay with that and not resent him for it.

    Money and your attitudes about it are crucial for a marriage's survival. Do you and your boyfriend have the same attitudes about money? Are you a saver while he's a spender? These are things that are important to learn before you say I do, and not after. In my opinion, it's just as important as discussing children.

    That's my two cents, for what it's worth.

    • http://farfromthisshore.wordpress.com Don Whitt

      Sage advice, Goose.

  • Leslie

    Have you tried talking to your boyfriend about it? That might be the first step.

    • Diana

      Wow, talk about cutting to the heart of the matter! Best advice given yet on this issue! Thanks, Leslie!

  • Marquis de Bucks

    You are a wise young woman to see through the romance fantasy we perpetrated to keep the peasants in their place. While a man should marry only for money and power, so should a woman marry only for money and security. Marriage is an institution established by god to legalize the acquisition of wealth and the legitimacy of heirs. My advice to you is start looking to "trade up". That exclusive country club membership awaits.

    • http://none Don Rappe

      OMG. Is this another alias?

  • Ace

    I think the real question is, what's wrong with being a teacher? I liked (most of) my teachers in school. :

    I don't think money equates happiness anyway. There were several years my mother was making more money than my father and though that is not currently the case anymore, they are still married. So, I think it can work, if people don't get to hung up on that.

    Also, "traditional" gender roles are dumb and restrictive and choke the human spirit and creativity so who cares about them.

    My 2 cents anyway.

  • John Wilder

    Hey Ace and Diana:

    "Kind of outs me for who I am". Why yes it does. This is suposedly a christian blog. 1 Cor 7 says that a wife does not have the right to say no as well as the man does not have the right to say no either. How cool that the Bible was all for equal rights long before the womens movement.

    The women's movement is in direct contradiction to biblical teachings. The women's movement reinforces to women that they should only have sex when they feel like it. When did you ever see a feminist point anyone to Jesus?

    By adopting the women's movement ideas about sex, you have the man only around to be stud service on demand and his rights and needs are totally abdicated. Women have no problem forcing their husbands to do without sex AGAINST HIS WILL. If you give your husband sex only when you feel like it, where is the love? Seems pretty self centered to me. I take the same approach with men who have lower libidos than their wives. The husband has no more right to say no than the wife does if you are going to follow biblical teachings. We are commanded not to use our own reasoning and intelligence as Christians but to follow the biblical commands for our lives. You don't see many men forcing their wives to have sex against their will, but a lot of women have no problem forcing their husbands to do without sex against his will. Yep sounds like misandry to me.

    So yes, I am guilty as charged.

    Blessings
    John Wilder

    • Ace

      Oh yes, not having sex is TOTALLY EXACTLY THE SAME as spousal rape. Uh-huh. I'm really convinced there.

      Second verse, same as the first.

      I agree with Diane – “There is none so blind as he who will not see.”

      Enjoy your bitterness and have a nice day.

    • Diana

      Women are not sex machines. They are people.

      Men are not sex machines. They are people.

      Men are not walking ATM machines. They are people.

      Women are not walking ATM machines. They are people.

      Now, having gotten that out of the way…

      Sex is a privilege, not a right. Forcing a woman to have sex against her will is called rape and it's a crime and it should be a crime. Forcing a man to have sex against his will is also rape (yes, it's been known to happen–it doesn't happen as often as it does to women because men are typically more capable of physically forcing a woman than women are of forcing a man–but it can happen.)

      As for forcing a man to do without sex–1) he can go out and find another woman–it's adultery, but he can do it. 2) he can also use his own right hand–or left hand–whatever works. Yes, the bible may say that masturbation is a sin–but he's still free to do so. Moreover, saying "no" to sexual activity is not a crime. It is, in fact, a right.

      • Ace

        What I really don't understand is the notion that marriage exists for the purpose of getting sex all the time. If that's what you are expecting, you are necessarily going to be disappointed, whether you are male or female. If you are only getting married because you want sex-on-demand for the rest of your life, you are barking up the wrong tree. People are not always "on" every time of every day for a variety of reasons.

        If you just want something to poke your pecker in that won't ever say no, I suggest the adult toy store, or take your wallet to a brothel.

        Or, you know, just grow up and stop acting like a child who needs instant gratification at every whim. Humans are not ferrets, you will not die if you forego sex for a while.

      • http://marriagecoach1Wordpress.com John Wilder

        Actually Kim:

        There is no place in the bible that says that masturbation is a sin. If you are going to force your husband to masturbate alone, why be married?

        You are free to reject biblical teachings, but they are designed for everyone's ultimate habit.

        You are using your own intellect to contradict biblical teachings which the bible forbids.

        I can't make anyone do right, just point out what the bible says and let them make their own decisions and I am definitely not for spousal rape.

        There is definitely rampant misandry in our society. Maureen Dowd did a column in the NY Times that stated the only curent reason for men to exist in our society is to be sperm donors.

        Blessings on you and yours

        John Wilder

        • Ace

          Maureen Dowd is one person with one opinion and plenty of old rot gets published by the papers that has nothing to do with reality.

          • http://www.johnshore.wordpress.com John Shore

            What Ms. Dowd wrote–and writes, all the time–about men is a good deal more complex (and funny) than the dumbass thing our Dr. Wilder has here reduced it to.

          • Ace

            I honestly am not familiar with the works of Ms. Dowd, but the habit of people to point to the extreme ends of something to discount the whole of it (like saying Westboro Baptist Church is representative of your average Christian or that Ingred Newkirk speaks for all vegetarians) annoys me and I reacted. :

            Most feminists I know do not think men are "just sperm donors" FWIW, they just want *all* people to treat each other like individual human beings, not objects or chattel or collections of stereotypes. It's really not that much to ask for, but apparently that's "misandry".

            Perhaps I'll go read Maureen Dowd's article.

        • http://dianer.blogspot.com/ DR

          "You are using your own intellect to contradict biblical teachings which the bible forbids"

          So conversely we are to rely upon Mr. Wilder's intellect that is interpreting scripture accurately? I see.

          • Diana

            Thank you. That’s what I wanted to ask but the words wouldn’t come. I hate it when that happens!

    • Ace

      (I also recall Paul stating that is better to NOT marry, i.e. remain celibate –

      "I desire to have you to be free from cares. He who is unmarried is concerned for the things of the Lord, how he may please the Lord; but he who is married is concerned about the things of the world, how he may please his wife. There is also a difference between a wife and a virgin. The unmarried woman cares about the things of the Lord, that she may be holy both in body and in spirit. But she who is married cares about the things of the world – how she may please her husband. This I say for your own profit; not that I may ensnare you, but for that which is appropriate, and that you may attend to the Lord without distraction."

      - But I doubt you quote that one much. )

      • John Wilder

        Hey Ace

        You did not quote the whole verse. He follows it up with better to be married than to burn in lust. Paraphrased

        Blessings on you and yours
        John Wilder

  • John Wilder

    Happiness, instead of habit. I type too fast and many times hit the send button before proof reading what I have written, shame on me.

    John

  • http://www.johnshore.wordpress.com John Shore

    In response to DR's last comment (http://www.patheos.com/blogs/johnshore/2010/07/22/should-i-worry-about-making-more-money-than-my-perfect-boyfriend/comment-page-1/#comment-27572) John Wilder has written:

    "Hey DR: How very mature of you. Ad hominem attacks. If that is the best that you can offer the conversation, then that reflects on you and not me. You sound like the voice of reason alright. I am out of here, this blog has become about me rather than the young lady who has a problem with boyfriend’s future earnings."

    So I guess that means he's leaving.

    Wait, before you go, Mr. Wilder! Don't forget to leave behind a few of your business cards!

  • http://dianer.blogspot.com/ DR

    Ad hominem? Didn't you refer to Jesus calling people vipers? Didn't you say this young girl has some character issues? I thought you'd be om with a little tough talk, but i guess you only like to be the one who offers it. You're a real Giving Tree kind of a guy.

    Oh, John Wilder. It gets so confusing when we live our lives out of our unforgiveness, doesn't it.

    Happy trails!

    • Ace

      (also, a glance at his blog kinda blows his credibility out of the water – the bulk of the posts are other people's writing that he's copied and pasted, and the few articles that are his own are hardly the work of an expert in anything other than anger and resentment.

      I feel sorry for him, actually, though I do wish he'd stop the questionable habit of dispensing dubious "advice" with a false air of authority to people who may have genuine problems that need real help. I mean, stuff like telling women that giving their husbands regular blow jobs and OMG don't spit it out, is going to save their marriage kinda just comes off as him typing out his own sexual fantasies but hey whatever floats your boat…)

      • Diana

        Scary.

        • Ace

          Eh, not scary but kinda sad.

          Of course there are plenty of BDSM circles where he could find the dominated love-slave he so clearly desires (judging by his insistence in his blow-job blog post that a husband's sexual needs must ALWAYS come first even if, you know, you just gave birth or are suffering through your monthly woes or whatever other silly female problems you are so clearly faking as an excuse to ABUSE your poor poor beleaguered husband) and be happy as a clam, without potentially trashing other people's relationships. Different strokes for different folks but he seems to think one-size-fits-all.

          Actually, I take it back. His blog *is* kinda scary. I can't really recommend it, truthfully.

          • Diana

            "(judging by his insistence in his blow-job blog post that a husband’s sexual needs must ALWAYS come first even if, you know, you just gave birth or are suffering through your monthly woes or whatever other silly female problems you are so clearly faking as an excuse to ABUSE your poor poor beleaguered husband)"

            What a creep!

    • Ace

      Most people like that can dish it out but they can’t take their own medicine.

      It’s all part of living that glorious, hypocritical double-standard: among other things, they can say/do whatever they feel like and it’s “Reality Therapy” but everyone else is just a bunch of big big meanies.

  • marriagecoach1

    Hey DR

    You claim that I am dangerous in my field of work. Funny, I have never had a com;plaint from any of my clients nor did anyone ever ask for their money back even though I have a money back gaurantee.

    Apparently you neglected a previous comment where I said that I wojld be the first to apologize if I am wrong about the young lady in question. Is it possible that she was simply looking for information. Perhaps but it seems to me, if she were thinking correctly, she would realize that money does not equal self worth. I was simply suggesting that she clear up her faulty thinking. Check my blog today as I have blogged about this experience and have recieved a positive comment back from a woman who agreed with me as mahy of the other bloggers basidcally agreed with me on this blog.

    I always listen to critique and evaluate it. I am not defensive and have no problem admitting that I am wrong. I would invite the young lady in question to further explain her position and clarify issues and if I have ctiticized her unjustly, I will be all too happy to apologize.

    Blessings on you and yours

    John Wilder

    • berkshire

      Apparently, you neglected to review one of my previous comments where I asked you where you get your stats from regarding marriage counseling success rates, and your own success rates. It asked a series of questions about the parameters you're measuring, the measurement tools. You conveniently ignored that in favor of cut-and-paste nonsense you've posted here and elsewhere to support your claim of the superiority of your approach and promote your business. As I said before, anyone can type numbers on a blog. Back it up with reliable sources if you want to be taken seriously.

      Your first post was telling–you had said you didn't read any other posts as you didn't want to be swayed by them, or something to that effect, I would suggest that's part of the problem–you don't appear interested in listening to what others think or feel, you just want to judge and project. I would think listening is the paramount tool of the counselor or "coach" who wishes to be effective. Perhaps you felt that way about grad school, I don't know–don't want to learn from a century of accumulated wisdom. You'll go it alone because you know what's right, what's correct, what's good, and what everyone else thinks is wrong. And heaven forbid you should hear anything that doesn't fit your existing ideas about the world or about women or anything else. I don't know, just guessing here.

      With 9 marriage counselors and still ending in divorce, I don't think you can blame the counselors (and frankly, the claim seems quite unbelievable, really. A lot like your other numbers). Either someone in the couple (or both parties) weren't doing the work, or the marriage was far beyond helping, motivation to stay together wasn't there or whatever. You really do not represent accurately what good marriage counselors do or fail to do, which again is why I question the whole 'went to 9 counselors' thing. Perhaps they were, like you, pretending to have training they didn't really have, because what you describe does not represent professional counseling.

      I feel kind of sorry for you–for real. That's not sarcasm, though it's hard to convey that through a keyboard–and yes, your misogyny does piss me off. You have some obviously deep wounds. It must be really hard to live in the world and ever heal such wounds, with such impenetrable ego defenses at work.

      Physician, heal thyself.

  • http://www.johnshore.wordpress.com John Shore

    I've blocked this asshole off my site. No more "marriagecoach1."

    • berkshire

      Oh, I didn't see you had done that until after I posted my last comment. Would have skipped my comment if I had. Sorry about that.

      And that was a wise move, John. I wasn't saying "asshole", but I was thinking that, and worse.

      • http://www.johnshore.wordpress.com John Shore

        No, I think it's great that you put up what amounts to such a great final word to him.

        • Ace

          I'm not normally in favor of censorship, but I can't blame you. This guy is one of the worst cases of Stubbornly Just Not Getting It that I have seen in a while, and considering the amount of time I waste on the internet, that's saying something.

          Berkshire pretty much hit the nail on the head, anyway.

          Yeesh!

    • http://none Don Rappe

      I should think there'll be no more fakejohnshore and probably no more marquisdebucks either.

      • Ace

        fakejohnshore is too clever and hilarious to be marriagecoach1 actually.

        • Diana

          This is true. FJS is totally tongue in cheek and is quite clever indeed.

      • http://thefakejohnshore.wordpress.com/ thefakejohnshore

        Hey brother!

        I’ve been away at a “Discovering Your Financial Blessing; God takes care of the Christian Sparrows first”. But I’m back now – good to know I was missed.

        Blessings,

        FJS


CLOSE | X

HIDE | X