With regards to “My Parents Say I Should Worry About Making More Money Than My Perfect Boyfriend. Advice?”, here’s my two cents–which, when adjusted for inflation, means–
Hey! Just now “Berkshire” sent in our young questioner this answer, which I think so good I’m disinclined to add anything to it. A lot of your answers were, I thought, extremely good. I think this one is especially comprehensive and extremely well-grounded; I think it caught the best of what others of you said so well.
Nice job, you guys! (Whoa; “Gooseberrybush” also just logged in an exceptionally rich and wise answer. You guys are rockin’ this thing. I especially love what Goose says about the assumption that “teachers” make less than lawyers. And somewhere in the thread someone mentioned something that I also thought particularly salient, which is whether or not the girl’s parents sense something else about the boyfriend they don’t like, and are instead just pointing to the money issue as essentially an easier way of indicating their more general discomfort with him.)
The young woman’s inquiry was interesting to me personally, insofar as I spent 25 years of my marriage making way less money than my wife Catherine. (When Cat was making $90,000 a year as the chief financial officer of a bank while I was attending college or working at Trader Joe’s, we were living in Bakersfield. There, guys would just look at me, and go, “So what are you, anyway. Some kinda faggot?” But in super-liberal Palo Alto, fellow dudes would respond to our lifestyle with, “Very nurturing. Wanna join our yoga class?” Proof, yet again, that … um … oil workers should do yoga, or hippies should wear hard-hats, or Trader Joe’s employees should stop wearing Hawaiian shirts, or something.)
A couple of random thoughts I thought I’d toss into the Advice Salad we’ve prepared for this girl. (I wonder if she’s even reading these? I haven’t heard back from her. Hopefully she’ll chime in.)
If you’re planning on a career as a super-productive Power Lawyer, then consider the degree to which you might prefer a husband with a job less high-powered than yours. My wife has always been extremely successful professionally. Not insignificantly contributing to her professional success is that’s she’s never had to worry about doing anything but tending to her career. I clean the house, do the laundry, do the shopping, cook, and tend to all the life business that focusing so laser-like on her work simply doesn’t leave her time for. All she has to do when she comes home from work is change into her pj’s and start relaxing. That’s a beautiful thing for her. (Actually, it’s not quite that simple. I try to do all that housework-type stuff, but like anyone, sort of hate it, and so generally do a half-assed job of it. And she doesn’t really care what of it gets done. So it works out.)
Most importantly, the way we live allows her to talk to me about all the things going on at her workplace, without “having” to give me equal time. That’s huge. It means she can fully talk out all her stress and concerns, every night, free of the concern that she’s being in any way emotionally selfish. That’s a sweet thing for her. For sure it’s the main personal benefit that allows her to stay on top of her professional game. She gets to come home, vent (or explore options, or through talking gain the perspective she needs, or whatever), and then be able to sleep at night. Next day, she’s good to go. It really works.
During the phases of our lives when we’re both working sixty hours a week, things aren’t anywhere near as healthy for us personally. We don’t eat as well; we spend a ton more money; we’re a lot more stressed, etc. That can be fun, too; it’s exciting, to sort of always be on the edge and all that. But in the end, it’s a lot less rewarding–or viable–then having only one person out in the world fighting fifty or sixty hours a week.
Also, people have two sides, right: the practical side, and the artistic/spiritual side. With our lives, we’ve got both covered. I’m the artist; Cat’s the … well, literally, accountant. We both have both sides, of course–but it’s good (for us anyway) to have the two big areas really solidly represented in our day-to-day lives. It makes for a great, holistic balance for us.
Finally, about the idea that your boyfriend is secretly planning on using you as his meal ticket. That would make him one bizarrely patient gold-digger. I mean … really? Is he that diabolical? For two reasons I’m guessing not: 1. Because he wouldn’t be the super-nice guy that he apparently is, and 2: Nobody’s that big a schemer. Who has the patience? Who’s that crazy, really? If he was crazy enough to be planning on using you as his “high-life” ticket by pretending to be this guy who’s so nice you end up marrying him, he’d be crazy enough for you to not want to spend any time with him at all.
Anyway, you’ve gotten great advice from some good people here. The two Chunks o’ Advice I referenced above contain a lifetime of wisdom; read them carefully. (I also much like the one that just came in: “Have you tried talking to your boyfriend about it? That might be the first step.”) Read all of them; they each contain at least one piece of advice or perspective you’d do well to incorporate into your own worldview and understanding.
Thanks for writing in, young woman. Good luck to you.