Husbands low income
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Financial Problems in Marriage When financial times are tough, it adds to the stress we deal with on a daily basis. This section is for talking about how financial problems affect our relationships and ways to cope.

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Old 04-24-2013, 11:24 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Husbands low income

Me and my husband live in a high cost of living area, a place where it's normal to pay $1700 a month for a 1 bedroom apartment because this is pretty much where we could find jobs. The problem is that my husband has only been making in the low $30k range for the past two years. I make a lot more money than he does.

After we pay all of our bills there is very little left thanks to our daughters high daycare and high rental costs. We have gone over our budget a million times even met with a financial counselor who said the best thing for us to do is to increase my husband's income

My husband admits he was lazy with his career and jobs in his early 20s (he jumped around a lot) and he had lacking ambition. He's tried to kick it up now that he is 30, but he has a psychology degree which is terrible in this economy. He's always struggled financially, after we got engaged I found out he had 15k in credit card debt. He paid it off and racked up another $5k a few years later. And he has literally has $0 in retirement savings. I thought things would be okay because at least he had a degree.

But now his financial situation really bothers me a lot. I know it sounds superficial but I really feel like I rather have a spouse who has the potential to make more income and live a more stable life. I had hoped to be a SAHM mom one day or have another child, but I feel like I have to put both these things on hold because my husband really can't support us and another child would just make things worse.

How do I cope with this situation?
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Old 04-24-2013, 11:34 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Husbands low income

Can you live a little further from work and pay less for housing?

Can your husband get additional schooling/ training to improve his income making ability ?

Is he actively looking for better paying jobs?

Are you suggesting you may consider divorce because of his salary? If so, how is the marriage otherwise?
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Old 04-24-2013, 11:45 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Husbands low income

Could it be that you are worried that he shows no ambition?
Also, the economy is tough I really think that the days of SAHM are long gone unless you marry a rich man. More households have two working spouses. Did he agree that you would be a SAHM when you got married? Have you considered moving to a different area?
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Old 04-25-2013, 01:41 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: Husbands low income

Did you think he would be ambitious when you married him?

You can't change someone's career motivations. If he isn't career oriented..."success" oriented...he probably never will be.

You don't marry a man for his paycheck. If he's working every day, and he's contributing to his family financially...then it is what it is.

That's how I see it. I know you are frustrated, and I am not meaning to belittle that. But he's your husband...not a paycheck...and I think you should focus on building your financial resources as a team instead of looking at him to provide for you so you can be a SAHM. I was a SAHM for years, so again...I don't mean to be critical of that.

It simply seems you married the wrong man if you wanted that SAHM lifestyle. But you're married, so you accept what is. And you do your best to make the finances work as they are.

The best way to cope is learning to accept him as he is and appreciating what he DOES provide. And not asking him to change who he is. Look at his positive attributes and all he DOES do...focus on that. And accept him for who he is. And for who he is not. That is love. And love isn't easy. But it IS rewarding. Focus on what's good. Love him for that.

Always, always look at finances as team work. Best wishes!
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Old 04-25-2013, 01:51 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: Husbands low income

You married a man who makes $30K a year, had a child with him.. and now you want to trade him in for someone who makes more? Or change him into something he was not.

Is he a good husband otherwise? Is he a good father? If you divorce him, you might acutally end up paying him child support as you make more than him. The best solution might be to make this marriage work.

Does he work full time right now?

There are things you can both look at.

You can look for a good job in a market that has lower rent costs. Then move there and he can find a job there.

Does he continue to job hunt for a better paying job? He should keep doing this until he moves into an income bracket that does more to help your family income.

He could go back to school to get a skill that pays better.

Don't know what to tell you as this is who you married. without his 30K a year, could you afford to live where you do? How about if you have to pay him child support?
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Old 04-25-2013, 10:29 AM   #6 (permalink)
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I already live an hour from my job moving out further isn't an option. I would love to move somewhere cheaper but it's hard to get him on board. If we moved somewhere else he claims he would probably just be unemployed because we live in one of the best job markets supposedly right now.

When we married he was actually making in the upper 40s. We married a 25 so that was a decent income for his age I felt and I made a similar amount myself. He had told me he was going to purse his Ph.D which is a must in his field, but never did.

He has been thinking of getting a masters which would cost about 40k but I am scared of this because what if he takes out all these loans and it doesn't materialize in anything. He already got one masters in something very generic, ended up with a bunch of student loan debt and only being able to get low paying jobs.

He does work full time and he is a good father and helps out a lot. Does pretty much all of the cooking.

I just feel that we are getting older and I'm fearful of my future life with him. I want more kids but we really cannot afford them. Sometimes I have wanted to pursue other things but would have had to take a pay cut most likely to do an entry level job and we can barely survive with where we are. Not to mention, we have had times where we entered a store and our debit card has been declined, which is sooo embarrassing.

I just feel like I worked hard in my career and honestly if I had it to do over I would never marry a man working in a social work type field. We met in college and honestly at the time I wasn't thinking of money, as I've gotten older I realize that money is more important that I used to think.

The downside is that my feelings are ruining my marriage. I know I talk very disrespectfully to my husband and he is a good man but I feel like the money problems have made me want to be done with him. A lot of times I don't even want to have sex with him because the resentment has really built up.
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Old 04-25-2013, 01:24 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: Husbands low income

has he considered a career in HR
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Old 04-27-2013, 11:44 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Low wages + no ambition + laziness + high cost of living = bad for me. I NEED financial security which means he can support us modestly and has plans for our retirement.

People who say money doesn't matter haven't had their debit card declined. Money absolutely matters.

Your options are few. Either you lower expenses (move somewhere cheaper), he makes more income, you decide this is a deal breaker or you accept your lot in life.
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Old 04-28-2013, 12:10 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: Husbands low income

If you're considering leaving/divorcing a full time working father because he 'doesn't earn enough' then you wanted a paycheck, not a husband. Increase YOUR wages instead.

When you say you wanted to be a SAHM, what that means is that you want him to support you instead of you supporting yourself.
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Old 04-28-2013, 12:34 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Default Re: Husbands low income

Well Teary, I've seen opposing views that both make sense to me so here's what I think is the difference maker.

Do you feel like your husband pulled a bait and switch or have you just changed your mind regarding what you want? For example if you anticipated your husband's salary and was naive to the fact that you'd get tired of it then I think you stick it out. On the other hand if your husband projected that he was going to be kicking corporate arse and pulling down lots of money then he's not living up to the agreement that you guys entered by saying "I do".

For better or worse only applies when there's no deception.
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Old 04-28-2013, 10:40 AM   #11 (permalink)
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Default Husbands low income

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Originally Posted by Thundarr View Post
Well Teary, I've seen opposing views that both make sense to me so here's what I think is the difference maker.

Do you feel like your husband pulled a bait and switch or have you just changed your mind regarding what you want? For example if you anticipated your husband's salary and was naive to the fact that you'd get tired of it then I think you stick it out. On the other hand if your husband projected that he was going to be kicking corporate arse and pulling down lots of money then he's not living up to the agreement that you guys entered by saying "I do".

For better or worse only applies when there's no deception.
He made more money a lot more and said he was ambitious. Was going to finish his phd and be fabulous.

It was a bait and switch because he did no such thing. He got lazy and that's where her resentment is coming from.

He also neglected to disclose his debt and bad financial position.
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Old 04-28-2013, 12:49 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Default Re: Husbands low income

1700 for 1 bedroom. Holy bat**** robin! You can rent a 3 bedroom house here for 500-600 bucks.
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Old 04-28-2013, 12:51 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Default Re: Husbands low income

That sucks. I got a pysch degree in 07. Even when I was finishing out my last semester I knew that degree was going to get me nowhere unless I got a Master's or Ph.D. Which I had absolutely no interest in doing.

Went into nursing for the job security and options. Wish I had done that before getting the psych degree but already having a degree helped somewhat. I never actually wanted to BE a nurse, I just wanted to go into a field where I wouldn't really have to worry about getting a job or be unemployed for months or years if I lost one. It's hard work though and you have to be motivated to get through it (school AND nursing).

You should probably sit down with him, tell him how you really feel if you haven't, and maybe talk about him getting into a career field. Could be health care, something in computers/IT, etc. Maybe look at industries with growing career opportunities and finding something he might be interested in.

The only thing I would caution is if he DOES go back to school, which if he's 30 he should, look at private AND public schools and try to find out how graduates of those programs do when it comes to finding jobs and if they offer assistance with finding employment.

But ya you need to decide what you both want and set some timelines.
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Old 04-28-2013, 01:03 PM   #14 (permalink)
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Default Husbands low income

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1700 for 1 bedroom. Holy bat**** robin! You can rent a 3 bedroom house here for 500-600 bucks.
Here a nice spacious 3 bedroom apartment in the best school district runs 1,000.

It's cheaper to buy now with the mortgage rates so low and with all the foreclosures.

I'm in a nice 4 bedroom house with a 40 foot in ground pool for $1,080 a month.
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Old 04-28-2013, 01:34 PM   #15 (permalink)
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Default Re: Husbands low income

Money does matter. We can't live on love alone. It's not shallow to want a spouse who brings in their fair share of the income. Financial security is a valid emotional need according to Dr. Harley (His Needs, Her Needs). Financial security doesn't mean having so much that you can buy whatever you see at the store. The amount of money needed to meet that emotional need will vary by couple. You obviously have some mental idea of how much money is needed for you to feel more secure in the marriage. That's why you're feeling so frustrated and resentful of him because that expectation isn't being met. I know you said you went to a financial counselor but have you laid everything on the table for him as to how his salary is affecting the marriage? I think you need to be very honest with him the way you have with us.

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Originally Posted by Stonewall View Post
1700 for 1 bedroom. Holy bat**** robin! You can rent a 3 bedroom house here for 500-600 bucks.
I wonder if the OP lives where I do. The rent she quoted is about right for my area. You can't even rent a 2-bedroom apt here for $500! It would at least be $1,000. But on the flip side, there are many great things about my area as well.
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