I’ll Never Earn As Much As My Husband, And I’m Beginning To Be OK With That
I hate not being able to contribute. Republished from Whimn.com.au.
There’s been a lot of talk about the gender pay gap this week.
But there’s a different type of pay gap within my own relationship that I’m still coming to terms with: The fact that I will never earn as much as my husband. Not even close.
Our situation isn’t unique of course, in fact it’s the rule: around 28% of married women make more than their male spouses, in which case it’s fair to conclude 72% of men are the predominant breadwinners in a hetero, married household.
Right now, and for the foreseeable future, I will earn but a fraction of my partner’s wage. The reason isn’t political, but the simple fact that we’re in completely different industries.
I’m a writer, whereas my SO is in a senior position in robotic process automation (don’t ask me what that means exactly, I’m not entirely sure what it means. Even if I achieve my dream of becoming editor-in-chief of a major magazine, the pay ceiling of my chosen career won’t even come close to that of my partner’s.
What’s bothering me right now is how imbalanced our lives are.
See, I’ve followed my man to the other side of the world. He’s been set up with a high paying job in New York and I’m trying all over again to get my foot into the media door.
Apart from running whimn.com.au on the weekends, my days are filled with applying for jobs and waiting for the response I know I won’t get. The simple fact of me saying I need visa sponsorship probably results in my applications being binned almost immediately.
Back in Australia, we shared contributing to the household equally. I was then working full time as a content editor for a fashion brand and even though his salary doubled mine, we contributed to the household 50-50. Back then, our financial situation wasn’t an issue because our life together was equal.
Now, he pays for just about everything. He covers the rent and bills completely, which incidentally is three times what we were paying in Melbourne. I pay for the fun stuff (dinners, weekend drinks, etc.), but because of my pride, this supremely out-of-balance situation, frankly, makes me feel like crap.
We’ve talked about it and he knows how frustrated I am with the situation. Bless him, he’s never once complained and as far as I know, it doesn’t bother him in the slightest.
But even when I do get something permanent, our lives in the US will never go back to contributing half each, unless I change professions. Until then, the imbalance is just something I’m going to have to get used to.
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