When it comes to relationships, there are going to be certain discrepancies between partners. For example, one partner may have had a completely different upbringing than the other, causing conflicts in lifestyle choices.
But what happens if you make significantly more money than your partner? We tend to have a deep-rooted notion that men should make more money than women in a relationship.
However, the tides are quickly turning, and females are exceeding their male partners in earnings more and more. If this has caused issues in your relationship, don’t panic—there are ways to dealing with the anxiety of income differences.
5 Ways to Help With Dealing with the Anxiety of Income Differences
Underlying Social Biases Against Female Breadwinners
Before delving into anything else, it’s important to note that there’s nothing wrong or abnormal about female breadwinners. It’s not uncommon for differences in income to cause problems in a relationship. But do your best not to view these differences from a place of gender bias.
If you’re a woman who makes more than your significant other, you needn’t feel bad about your success. Furthermore, if you’re a male who makes less than your female partner, you shouldn’t feel inferior in any way.
It’s an outdated notion that a woman should make less than a man. It’s essential to release this concept and understand why there is no inherent shame in income differences for either gender.
Avoid Controlling Each Other With Money
When you enter a serious relationship, you agree that specific independent liberties will be done away with. Money is one of the most significant stressors in any relationship—and both partners must call the financial shots equally.
When one person is making all of the decisions in a relationship, the other partner may come to feel resentful and inferior. Even if you are making more money, you need to allow your partner to be involved in financial decisions. And if you’re the partner making less money, don’t let the breadwinner call all of the shots.
You two decided to be in a relationship for a reason—so, ideally, you’re striving towards balance when it comes to all decisions.
Split Bills Fairly
Bills can pile up quickly and all too easily. If you’re making more money than your partner, you may feel inclined to pay every single one yourself. It’s okay to help your partner with bills or payments when it’s needed, but don’t fall into the routine of paying all of their bills simply because you make more money. If you’re sharing utilities, food, rent, or a mortgage, then you should strive to each contribute according to your ability to ensure that both partners are contributors and honored as such.
Be Honest and Understanding
If your partner is the breadwinner and it makes you feel inferior, consider opening up a dialogue about it. You owe it to yourself and your partner to be straightforward about your emotions.
Explain that you want to ensure both of you remain on the same page when it comes to money. It’s never an easy conversation to have, but it’s essential to be blunt when it comes to your vulnerabilities in a relationship. This open communication will only save you potential arguments and help with dealing with the anxiety of income differences.
Consider Couples Counseling
There is no shame in seeking outside help for issues in your relationship, especially when it comes to money. With the help of couples counseling, you and your partner can get on the same page when it comes to finances and decisions.
Furthermore, you will have a safe space to be open about negative feelings you have about your income differences. Relationships are too valuable to allow them to fall apart because of money issues. Seek anxiety treatment and couples counseling to get on the right track when it comes to income differences in your relationship and alleviating financial worry.