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Feeling extremely guilty about how much I earn


Setebos

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Hi there. Firstly, thanks to anyone who replied to my previous topic on this forum - I read your kind words but I didn't post back. I'm very sorry! Your responses were really helpful.

 

My current job is my first one out of school. My salary is small by the average person's standards, but it is very good for someone of my age. I feel wracked with guilt because of how much I earn in comparison to my partner, who works INCREDIBLY hard. I simply don't have many tasks to do, and I can't say my day is stressful. On the other hand, my partner is constantly stressed. He works weekends, bank holidays, and VERY long days. He almost never works less than 50 hours a week and his average is probably 60. I work half that and I make much more. I feel so terrible just sitting at my desk and staring at my screen while I know he is working his ass off and barely being paid above minimum wage. I'm not trying to put myself down about how much I do - I simply do not work anywhere near as hard as him.

 

Since I got this job I haven't talked about my salary with him. He hasn't asked, but I know it's going to get brought up sooner or later. I literally feel ashamed about how much I earn so I feel as if I'm keeping a dirty secret. This plays on my mind all day every day. We are planning to move in with each other once we have both saved a bit more so we're going to have to discuss money. To be honest, I want him to bring it up soon so that I can just stop worrying about his reaction and get it over and done with. We have a strong relationship but I feel as if this is going to cause a huge argument, and that is what I am concerned about. I think my salary will be a kick in the face to him. I almost wish I hadn't got this job in the first place!

 

Has anyone else here been in a similar situation? If so, how did you deal with it?

 

Thank you so much for reading.

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Why feel guilty about it?

 

It's a good thing. Especially if the relationship progresses further and you combine your income in regards to running a house and having kids someday

 

If my partner earned more than me it wouldn't bother me. At all.

 

I think your worrying about something that doesn't matter.

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Most of the time I've been married, I've made more than my husband. For the most part, I've also not worked as hard/put in as many hours/disliked my job or work as much as he has.

 

As long as your partner doesn't have some ideas about "I'm the Man, therefore I should make more money," it's not a big deal.

 

Enjoy your good fortune. If there's one thing I've learned about income in the last decade is that is can fluctuate wildly...in both directions...and you never know when it'll change and/or which direction it will go.

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It's not as though you landed this job with your good looks.

 

You went to college, right? So that would be at least four years of hard work, right? And you chose to do this, you chose to go for school for this field, and I bet the salary had something to do with your decision, right?

 

What your boyfriend chooses to do with his life is up to him. If he gets tired of working so hard for minimum wage, maybe he'll be driven to go back to school or to change careers. That is not something you have control over. But you do have control over how you feel about the decisions you've made in your life about your career. You can be proud of them rather than guilty over them.

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Most of the time I've been married, I've made more than my husband. For the most part, I've also not worked as hard/put in as many hours/disliked my job or work as much as he has.

 

As long as your partner doesn't have some ideas about "I'm the Man, therefore I should make more money," it's not a big deal.

 

Enjoy your good fortune. If there's one thing I've learned about income in the last decade is that is can fluctuate wildly...in both directions...and you never know when it'll change and/or which direction it will go.

 

That last point is so true - if you become unemployed later in life for some reason, and he still has a job, should he feel guilty that he has one? Nope, just like you shouldn't now.

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"Has anyone else here been in a similar situation? If so, how did you deal with it?"

 

I have dated men who made less than me and didn't really enjoy it. All moved on to women who make less than them. I wish it wasn't so because I actually enjoyed paying for vacations and dinners, but, I didn't like what came with it which was resentment. My current bf is paying for my graduated degree while I go to school full time. I am very grateful and I must say things are working out because there is no awkwardness when it comes to paying.

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Money is just a tool. Since the 90s, I have made = or more money than all men except one. It just doesn't matter.

 

I know someone for whom this did matter, so she chose to change her lifestyle to be affordable according to his income. She bought her own engagement ring. She sold stuff on ebay to afford redecorating the house. It made her happy, I suppose. I think she likes her man to be in charge "of the big decisions" and didn't like having more wealth than he. I have no idea whether he cared.

 

Guilty? Never. Never ever accept a thought pattern within yourself or someone else that encourages to be less than your potential. If you end up getting paid for your success, then be thankful you have more tools to offer to yourself and others.

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I had to say, I would feel guilty too. Then I would either decide to get over it, or find another job. Not necessarily that pays less!!! But one where you feel you are actually contributing something that matters, if you don't already.

 

I've worked a job like you are describing at one point. And almost went nuts, I was so bored and felt so awful. Sometimes places will pay a lot of money for someone to play on the internet half the day. Sure, you need a certain skill set and/or experience, but really, I can totally understand why someone may have the feeling OP is having.

 

I wouldn't delay the talk about money with your guy if I were you. I seriously doubt he is going to be upset with you for landing a plum job - it's more likely he will be happy that you can make a decent dollar, and come home at the end of the night without your feet run off!! What is good for you, is good for him. Your success is his success, and the other way around too. Whatever makes you happy - so if this job makes you happy, yay.

 

And talking to him about the money as well will help you understand more about his mentality about work/money/lifestyle. Some people actually enjoy running about very busy - yes, enjoy - and would wilt and die at an office job regardless of the money you pay them. So keep that in mind too.

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